By on July 1, 2016

2015 Honda CR-V

A modest increase of 2 percent fell below expectations from forecasters that the U.S. auto industry would grow by more than 5 percent in June 2016. Indeed, given the extra day on June 2016’s auto sales calendar, the daily selling rate for the industry actually declined in June, albeit marginally.

Big gains were nevertheless not uncommon. The Ford Motor Company, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Nissan-Infiniti, and Hyundai-Kia all posted above-average gains. Ford’s best-selling F-Series, which accounted for three-in-ten sales at Ford’s namesake brand, posted a 29-percent year-over-year increase. Overall pickup truck sales, powered in large part by the Ford’s 15,766-unit increase, jumped 10 percent.

The Toyota Camry claimed the top spot among cars despite its own sharp decline, a 13-percent loss worth nearly 5,000 sales. For the first time since last October, the Honda CR-V was America’s top-selling SUV/crossover(Read More…)

By on June 1, 2016

2017 Kia Sportage

The U.S. auto industry’s May 2016 sales performance was much better than the numbers suggest, but there were disappointing results in some quarters.

Due to a quirk in the auto sales calendar – May 2016 had two fewer selling days than May 2015 – the period in which sales were generated for the “May” period was simply too brief for May 2016 to measure up to May 2015. This is more easily seen with a look at the daily selling rate picture, where industry-wide results were up two percent, a far less daunting figure than the six percent decline in real volume reported by the industry overall. (Read More…)

By on May 3, 2016

2016 Chevrolet Silverado

The U.S. auto industry once again reported gains in excess of three percent in April 2016, thanks to significant improvements at Honda, Nissan, and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.

General Motors continued to de-emphasize fleet sales. FCA continued to emphasize incentive spending, with TrueCar pegging their average April incentive per vehicle at a hair under $4,000. Only BMW’s was higher.

BMW is at the forefront of the luxury downturn — sales at the namesake brand slid seven percent in April and are down 10 percent through the first one-third of 2016. Mercedes-Benz led all premium brands in April and in year-to-date terms.

Ford’s F-Series produced its second consecutive 70,000-plus sales month, and truck sales jumped at General Motors and Ram, too. Sales of smaller trucks were up at Toyota and Nissan, as well. The pickup truck market rose 12 percent to 232,647 units in April. (Read More…)

By on April 1, 2016

2016 Ford Mustang GT convertible

Against expectations that auto sales would rise by at least 7 percent, March 2016 volume in the United States increased just 3 percent. Modest growth at General Motors and noteworthy drops at Toyota, Volkswagen, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz didn’t stop auto sales from increasing by more than 50,000 units, year-over-year. But the possibility that auto sales in March would climb to one of the highest levels ever failed to materialize despite an additional two selling days compared with March 2015.

Indeed, the daily selling rate achieved by the auto industry decreased even as March 2016 hosted 27 official selling days on the auto sales calendar, up from 25 one year ago. (Read More…)

By on February 25, 2010

A “person familiar with the situation” tells the Wall Street Journal [sub] that GM is looking into two new offers for the HUMMER brand after a deal that would have sold the brand to China’s Sichuan Tengzhong collapsed. No word on who these two firms are, where they are located, or what they’re smoking to make them interested in the dinosaur brand. The rest of the WSJ piece bemoans the opacity of the Chinese Government’s deal approval system, and details how approval hurdles have scuttled deals in other industries, much to the frustration of American firms. Of course, if GM had listened to TTAC’s Bertel Schmitt, they’d know that:

All joint ventures need to get government approval. However, the Chinese government wants its car industry with more than 100 players to consolidate to a more manageable number. Beijing wants to see four big ones and four smaller ones. What Beijing definitely doesn’t want is more car manufacturers. So instead of saying outright “no,” Beijing is letting the deal get entangled in red tape.

By on February 23, 2010

Although the Chinese government takes much of February off for New Year festivities, GM’s deal to sell HUMMER to Sichuan Tengzhong has exactly one week left before a self-imposed deadline for completion arrives. The deal is being held up by China’s Commerce Ministry which has publicly said that it wants the Chinese auto industry to consolidate and become “greener,” two goals that are severely at odds with Sichuan Tengzhong’s HUMMER aspirations. Now, the Financial Times reports that Tengzhong may be trying to pull an end-around on the Chinese government by pursuing a purchase via an offshore investment vehicle. This would (in theory) evade the requirement for the Commerce Ministry’s approval. In reality … (Read More…)

By on December 7, 2009

Saab's bard? (courtesy:grunder.no)

Bård Eker, the Norwegian partner in Koenigsegg Automotive, and Koenigsegg Group, appeared as one of the guests on Friday night’s regular Swedish/Norwegian talk show “Skavland” this weekend (the following, translated conversation starts at 27:09). Mr Skavland, first talking a bit about Eker’s feelings about the broken deal, and how he felt visiting Trollhättan talking to Saab employees after the deal broke, he then asked Eker: “Is there a tiny chance you’ll try again? Saab isn’t sold yet…!” Eker smiles and answers “…we’ll see. Maybe!” laughing, shrugging his shoulders, audience cheering. Skavland: “how would you wanna do it?” Eker: “I don’t know…Seriously – we haven’t given it much thought. We’ll see…perhaps there’s a new opportunity. Maybe someone’ll give us a phonecall” Skavland: “So it’s not definitive that you’re out of the game?” Eker – laughing, glancing at his watch – “..err..how long is this show?” Skavland says: “So, you’ll still want a Saab?”, Eker: “yeah, sure” Skavland: “Alright….?” and shifts to another subject. All the while Eker has a cunning smile on his face.

(Read More…)

By on December 3, 2009
Is there a last man standing scenario in the house? (courtesy: WSJ)The Wall Street Journal reports that the Crown group, which includes former Ford Executives Michael Dingman and Shamel Rushwin as well as former Volvo CEO Roger Holtback, are still in the hunt to buy Volvo Cars from Ford, or at least they like to think they are! Ford has been keeping these guys on the back burner behind Geely and told Crown to come back when they had money lined up. Guess what, Crown now says their “offer is fully funded and includes participation by Swedish investors … two adjustments aimed at making the offer more attractive to Ford in the sale of the Swedish operation.”

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