Subaru has a problem, though it’s a problem many other automakers would love to have. The small Japanese automaker is growing at a rapid rate and it’s fully expected to run out of capacity to fulfill demand sooner rather than later. Most automakers would simply expand and flood the market with more units to feed the sales rush, but for Subaru it might mean becoming the opposite of the market position and perception they’ve taken years to cultivate.
As Bloomberg‘s Kyle Stock puts it, “Being small, though, is the reason Subaru has become such a big deal. With manufacturing capacity maxed out, it now has to decide what kind of company it wants to be.”
Our cross-cultural adviser, showing a little A-Class
Bloomberg relentlessly covers a fight very few care about: Who sells the most “luxury cars?” Never mind that the only way to win this is to sell more, what do they call them, “approachable” cars. Which Bloomberg’s latest dispatch from the upper class struggle aptly proves.
Are you ready to have the value of your car double while you own it? From $25,000 to $50,000 and beyond? And are you ready to experience this appreciation for an incremental maintenance cost of between $2,400 and $5,000 a year?
Then Bloomberg has a car for you. Just make you read the article instead of staring at the pretty pictures.
If you have a spare four minutes and four seconds (plus time for the commercial) take the time to check out the following discussion over at Bloomberg.com. As a layman, I find these kind of discussions very interesting and would like to hear the best and the brightest, many of whom I know to be connected with auto industry, give a little perspective to what seems to me to be a very shallow look on the subject of modern car design.
Someone asked yesterday: “And what exactly is the difference between journalism and blog anyway?” Let me tell you a story:
Last Wednesday, I walked down the shop floor of Nissan’s humungous factory in Smyrna, Tennessee. A monitor pronounced that Volkswagen would end the year as the world’s largest automaker. My stomach knotted.
Or was it GM that proposed? “General Motors Co. Chief Executive Officer Rick Wagoner secretly proposed a merger with Ford Motor Co. in 2008, a year before GM’s bankruptcy filing, the New York Times reported.” That explosive revelation is made today by Bloomberg. And OMG, Rick Wagoner turned down the deal! Isn’t anything secret sacred anymore?
Japan’s March 11 tsunami had more destructive effects than just washing pint-sized (ok, ok, 0.6 liter sized) kei cars to the top of Japan’s sales charts. It also resulted in considerable menboku o tsubusu (literally “breaking of face”, dishonor) for Lexus. On its home-turf Japan, Toyota’s lux-brand was outsold by doitsu (German) BMW, even by Mercedes, a brand said to be popular with the yakuza. Speaking of major menboku o tsubusu: BMW did certainly not top Toyota, as Bloomberg insinuates.(Read More…)
It’s that time of the month again, and welcome to another episode of Chinese Numerology. As it has become a TTAC tradition, the China Automotive Technology & Research Center jumps the gun again with an off-the-wall number. Shameless Bloomberg prints it and reports that “retail deliveries of cars, sport-utility vehicles and multipurpose vehicles rose 15.4 percent last month from a year earlier to 822,300, the China Automotive Technology & Research Center said in a statement today. That compared with 10.9 percent growth in June.” No, it did not. The CATRC is known for pretty good safety research and for awfully wrong numbers. You can safely ignore them, along with the rest of that Bloomberg tale. (Read More…)