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To hell with saving gas: As TTAC’s sales analyst Tim Cain wrote a week ago, big trucks are back with a vengeance. It’s not just that sales are up by double digits. Transaction prices are up big.
“In many ways, this may be an even better time than before the recession,” writes Automotive News [sub]. “Although volumes remain well below the previous peaks, average transaction prices for full-sized pickups have increased at more than double the average rate for the industry since 2005.” Read More >
Lower gas prices and a turn-around in the housing market rekindled America’s love for the pickup, resulting in 2,000 new jobs at Ford’s Kansas City Assembly Plant. Read More >
The General attracted all kinds of flak for its growing inventory of full size trucks. When we raised the issue earlier in the year, we were chided for yellow journalism and blatant bias. Months later, the MSM woke up to the story, and when the Detroit News wrote that GM’s pickup truck inventory was “much higher than the less-than-100-day supply considered ideal for full-size pickups,” even the diehards accepted that the inventory may be a mite rich.
That problem just went away. Poof, gone, just like that. Read More >
It did not take a high degree of intellect when we recommended last week to wait for a better deal if you are in the market for a Chevy or GMC pick-up. GM threw its vaunted fiscal discipline in the wind and is piling cash on the hood of trucks that are piling up on dealer lots. Read More >
While GM is pushing its “evolutionary” styled new pickups with tried and true marketing, touting brawn and toughness, Ford will go with a less macho approach. It will push fuel economy for its next-generation F-150 pickups. For that, marketing has to be preceded by engineering. Ford will make its trucks shed between 700 and 750 pounds of weight for a 15 to 20 percent better fuel economy, says a report by Reuters. Read More >
The bailout of a Volt-producing GM was sold as an investment into a green future, a liberation from the terrorist-supporting Arabs. We have been fooled. The decisive turnaround of the company could be delivered by a new generation of big, gas-guzzling trucks. If successful, the trucks could help recover at least some of the money the tax payer sunk into GM.
Forget the Volt. Read More >
Last week, we told you to not buy a full-sized GM pickup just yet, and to hold out for big discounts from GM. You did not have to wait long. However, you may want to wait a little more. Read More >
Are you in the market for a full-size pickup? Hold your fire. With a little patience, you can profiteer from an all-out Battle of the BOFs. It’s a fight for your money, and for delivering optimistic 2012 sales goals. The noise you hear outside are the winds of war: GM not only missed its truck sales goals in November, it also sits atop a 4 ½ month supply of full-size pickups taking up space (and cash) at dealer lots. ”We’ll continue to use all levers to influence inventory…,” said Kurt McNeil, GM’s VP of U.S. sales. “That includes first and foremost adjusting production and marketing activity.” Translation: Shutdowns and cash on the hood. Read More >
U.S. gasoline prices averaged $3.47 a gallon last week on weak demand, says Reuters. At the same time, record low mortgages instill life in the real estate market and rev up housing starts. All of this makes auto companies bet on a pick-up of pick-up sales. Read More >
Charles Murray’s Coming Apart, an examination on the class divides in present-day America, features a handy quiz for “cultural elites” to answer, as a means of getting a sense of how much of a “bubble” one lives that isolates them from rural America. Among the questions asked are whether one owns or has owned a pickup truck (also: whether one knows an evangelical Christian, whether one has eaten at T.G.I Friday’s in the past year, and have you ever participated in a parade that did not involve global warming, gay rights, or a war protest). Read More >
This morning, our man in India, Faisal, showed you renderings of the fourth generation Range Rover. TTAC reader Penaloza looked up from his (free) coffee at the Embassy Suites in Corpus Christi, TX, and there it was: Read More >
The Wall Street Journal has a long article about Ford “working on one of the biggest gambles in its 108-year history: a pickup truck with a largely aluminum body.” Ford will make parts of its next generation F150 from aluminum to save some 700 lbs, which “would enable Ford’s trucks to go farther on a gallon of gasoline, and open the door to other changes, such as the use of smaller engines.” The fear is that some people will think Ford is building a truck for sissies. Read More >
What would we do without the neverending saga of the Mahindra brothers entering the United States of America with a truck? The publishing of white pages again has been prevented by the news that the U.S.-bound truck by Mahindra & Mahindra has suffered yet another of its many setbacks. The Indian company has halted development work on a pickup truck aimed at the U.S. market after a failure to win certification, Reuters says. Read More >
Some people say Obama saved GM from the abyss. Some people say GM sold its soul to the Chinese devil to cheat death. In truth, the future of General Motors rests on the shoulders of a 5-foot-2 woman by the name of Diana Tremblay. Writes Ben Klayman at Reuters:
“Global manufacturing chief Diana Tremblay is one of the highest-ranking women in the automotive industry. Throughout her 35-year career at GM, she has made her mark in what were regarded as male domains, from directing foundry workers to staring down union labor negotiators.
Now she faces an even more critical task for the world’s largest automaker – ensuring the smooth 2013 introduction of the remodeled full-size pickup trucks and SUVs, GM’s high-profile equivalent of a new Apple iPhone. Read More >
In the late 70’s, Volkswagen had plans to take over truck maker MAN and to sell a whole range of commercial vehicles, from light vans to heavy trucks under the MAN brand. MAN was never taken over, much to the relief of Volkswagen’s commercial vehicle division in Hannover that feared for its independence. Some 35 years later, the plan is close to become reality. Read More >