An overview of what happened in other parts of the world while you were in bed. TTAC provides round-the-clock coverage of everything that has wheels. Or has its wheels coming off. WAS is being filed from Tokyo this week.
India‘s car sales up: Just like neighbor China, India reports rising cars sales for January. Most car companies registered positive sales despite the withdrawal of price rebate schemes, India’s Economic Times reports. Tata Motors continued its negative run, with its passenger vehicle sales declining by 9 percent.
Toyota losses spreading: Toyota’s parts arm Denso and four other Toyota Motor Corp. affiliates are expected to suffer group net losses for the year ending March 31 as the automaker’s drastic output reductions battered businesses along the supply chain, the Nikkei [sub] writes.
Hitachi lowers volume of auto biz: Hitachi considers cutting in half the number of 85 marketing and production sites handling automobile-related equipment, the Nikkei [sub] says. Hitachi group company Clarion has already decided to close a factory in Hitachinaka around the end of 2010 and keep just one domestic factory open. In the US, where Hitachi operates Hitachi Automotive Products (USA) Inc. in the state of Kentucky and three other production bases, two locations may be closed.
Mazda sees red: Mazda expects its first loss in eight years for this fiscal year due to damage sustained from a strong yen and a sharp downturn in consumer sentiment, the Nikkei [sub] reports. The Hiroshima-based company now expects a net loss of ¥13 billion for the current fiscal year through March, compared with its previous forecast for a ¥50 billion profit.
Ford moving to China: Ford Motor Company’s Asia Pacific and Africa region headquarters, will be moving from Bangkok to China, Gasgoo reports. Bangkok will continue to serve as Ford’s ASEAN regional headquarters. In 2004, Volkswagen AG and General Motors relocated their Asia Pacific regional headquarters to China.
Small getting bigger and bigger: Underscoring China’s move from big to small, SAIC-GM-Wuling, a Chinese venture of GM and leading manufacturer of mini-trucks and mini-vans in China, reported all-time high sales of 75,168 units in January, Gasgoo writes. The record sales were largely on the strength of Wuling Sunshine, which remained the best-selling model and saw its sales volume hit 1.4 million units by the end of January 2008.
Not a good start for Deutschland: Germans bought 14.2 percent fewer cars in January 09 than in January 08. Saab (-60.7 percent), Chrysler (-53 percent), Land Rover (-51.9 percent), Nissan (-51.1 percent), Jaguar (-31 percent), Skoda (-30.7 percent), Mercedes (-30 percent), Porsche (-24.7 percent) and Opel (-22.7 percent) were the big January losers in Germany’s car market, Automobilwoche [sub] reports. Ford sold 25.9 percent more. Smaller importers such as Hyundai (+50.8 percent), Mazda (+27.2 percent) and Lancia (+13.7 percent) gained. The trend goes from big to small.
Out with a Bangle: After 17 years with BMW, U.S.-born Christopher Bangle resigns as chief designer of the BMW Group. The Bavarians go Dutch with Adrian van Hooydon. According to Reuters, Chris Bangle is “one of the most well-known and controversial people in the auto industry.” Bangle was the object of multiple online petitions calling for his sacking. After his 2002 redesign of the 7 Series sedan, the vehicle was voted one of the 50 worst cars of all times by Time magazine, along with such other infamous models as the 2001 Pontiac Aztek and the 1998 Fiat Multipla.