The Truth About Cars » OICA The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Thu, 17 Jul 2014 18:06:11 +0000 en-US hourly 1 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » OICA OICA President Walks Back Criticism Of US Auto Industry Wed, 09 Nov 2011 18:25:52 +0000

A week ago the president of OICA, Patrick Blain, ruffled some feathers on this side of the Atlantic by laying into the US auto industry with such bon mots as

If the American manufacturers had gone years ago to the government and said, ‘Listen, we have a huge project’ – electric cars, for instance, the government could at least have studied it. But they never tried.

Take the Chevrolet Volt (extended-range electric vehicle launched in 2010). Without government help, at least in the developmental stages in which certain economies of scale must be reached, it is too expensive. It’s just another example of the American industry being too late. They have missed many trends.

Because the sign of an innovative automaker is entanglement with the government… just ask Blain’s compatriots (and former colleagues) at Renault! Oh, and incidentally, Detroit did approach the government for help developing green cars back in the 1990s and managed to waste a cool billion dollars building three prototypes (see: PNGV). But there I go taking Blain at his word… when he’s already walking back his nonsensical comments.

Wards Auto was kind enough to give Monsieur Blain the opportunity to mitigate his unnecessarily inflammatory comments. Unsurprisingly, however, Blain’s walk-back is just as incomprehensible as his initial comments:

In a new auto world, with so many different power technologies (electric, hybrid, classical) things are getting more and more complex, and we must understand each auto world.

Every government, every nation has its own automotive culture. What I wanted to highlight is that manufacturers, with different technologies, gas prices, taxes, government incentives are all reducing, in a drastic way, (carbon-dioxide) emissions. That is definitely not what I explained. Some started sooner, some later, but they drive all in the same direction.

Apparently Blain’s volte-face came after the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, which represents American-based automakers, entered “discussions” with Blain. Apparently it wasn’t hard to convince Blain that he was talking nonsense, but it seems to have been much more difficult to get him to actually start making sense. Meanwhile, Americans are now free to continue ignoring OICA as they have for decades.

]]> 3
Head Of Global Industry Body Says U.S. Makers Lose Their Moxie Wed, 02 Nov 2011 16:04:29 +0000

The president of the International Association of Vehicle Manufacturers OICA says that U.S. auto makers risk being left behind. In an interview with Wardsauto, OICA-head Patrick Blain warned that European and Asian car companies are setting the pace while working together with their governments to reduce emissions and rising fuel costs.

OICA is the world’s umbrella organization of all auto manufacturer associations. OICA also represents the global auto industry at the United Nations. As OICA president, Blain is the auto industry’s ambassador to the UN.

In the interview with Wardsauto, Blain voiced his displeasure that U.S. auto makers who resist the adoption of U.N.-based international vehicle regulations, especially regarding emissions reduction.

Blain sees the July CAFE agreement as a step in the right direction, but only as the beginning of a tour along a rocky road:

“At last, they are entering into the natural discussion. Fighting like hell against technical regulations that make some sense to save the planet is a mistake. I think they have been fighting for too long, and they have been paying the price.”

Consumers are increasingly aware of emissions and fuel prices. According to Blair, American manufacturers are not ready to supply cars that meet those needs, while their Japanese and European competitors are.

Blair thinks the time is right for a truly global adoption of international standards, but he doubts that it will happen anytime soon.

 “Twenty years ago, you had mature markets fighting with new markets to accept the same standards because that was easier for them, with new markets fighting to protect themselves. Now, it is more equilibrated. The world is now becoming truly global, so there is a common interest to have common standards.”

While the rest of the world either officially or for all practical matters adopts the UNECE standards, the U.S., and by extension Canada, becomes insular. Exports from the U.S. would become much easier if the U.S. automakers would abandon their resistance to global standards.

Patrick Blain was elected president of OICA in February 2011. Blain is president of the French Automobile Manufacturers’ Association CCFA. Blain spent most of his career at Renault (from 1977), where he held various managing positions. Blain replaced Dave McCurdy who had headed OICA in his capacity as president of the U.S. Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers.


]]> 22
World’s Largest Automakers Of 2011 (Projected): The Race Gets A Little Tighter Fri, 05 Aug 2011 20:53:57 +0000

In June, we made a projection of who will be where on the podium of the world’s largest automakers by the end of 2011. Now that half year results of most majors are in, we can have another look. Suddenly, the race gets tighter, and it could remain interesting till the end.
First, let’s see where we stand at halftime.

H1 10 H1 11 Growth
GM 4.34 4.73 8.9%
VW 3.61 4.18 15.8%
Toyota 4.36 3.38 -22.5%

GM leads with 4.73 million units made in the first six months of 2011, followed by Volkswagen with 4.18 million and Toyota with 3.38 million.

Toyota has been hit badly by the effects of the March 11 tsunami and is down 22.5 percent. GM is up, by 8.9 percent. Most impressive is Volkswagen’s growth with 15.8 percent.

All data are global data which have been pulled from official financial and press releases of the respective companies. To comply with OICA, numbers are production numbers if available. Percentages have been calculated. If percentages do not agree with press releases, tough. We prefer to do our own math instead of cribbing numbers from a communiqué.

Now on to how the end result could look like. This is how we projected the numbers: For Volkswagen and GM, we raised the 2010 results as reported to OICA by the growth rate the carmaker registered in the first half of 2011. For Toyota, we took the official projection for the end of 2011. The 2010 OICA numbers were taken as the year-end number of 2010 instead of the numbers reported in the year end reports, because we want to replicate the OICA methodology as closely as possible.

And this is how this admittedly crude projector projects.

2010 2011 Growth
GM 8.48 9.23 8.9%
VW 7.34 8.50 15.8%
Toyota 8.56 8.04 -6.0%

As you can see, the race now looks a little tighter than in June, when the contenders were more than a million apart. Why is that so? GM’s global growth has slackened. Volkswagen has kept its double-digit pace. Toyota has big plans for the second half of 2011.

Still, with GM a (projected) 730,000 in front of Volkswagen and Toyota a (projected) 460,000 behind VW, the race looks pretty much a done deal. But it’s far from decided. GM seems safe. But if VW doesn’t keep up its strong pace, and Toyota finishes a few more Prii prior to year’s end, Volkswagen will have to try again next year.

]]> 12
It’s Official: Who Built The Mostest in 2009? Wed, 28 Jul 2010 19:05:52 +0000

OICA, the venerable “Organisation Internationale des Constructeurs d’Automobiles,” better known as the International Organization of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers, finally got around to finishing their 2009 World Ranking of Manufacturers by motor vehicle production. This list has very little surprises for the TTAC B&B who pinned our World’s Top Ten Automakers 2009 to the wall. Yet, there are some. Let’s see …

Two months ago, we predicted that “as far as the top 4 are concerned, we do not expect any changes in position” when the final OICA list comes out. TTAC and OICA agree: #1 remains Toyota, # 2 remains GM, #3 remains Volkswagen, #4 remains Ford (all except Toyota with a slightly different count than in their annual reports, but I guess a few hundred thousand units more or less don’t matter in the grand scheme of things.) We predicted that also: “Some companies gave OICA 2008 numbers that differ from what’s on their books and in their annual reports. Expect the shenanigans to continue.” They sure did.

From place 5 on down, the field is bunching up a bit, final numbers matter now. Hyundai kicked PSA off place 5, where we had them. Probably by counting KIA as theirs, which they did not do in the prior years. In their annual report, Hyundai has 3,106,178 units for 2009, on the OICA list, there are 4,645,776. Sorry, PSA! Creative bookkeeping!

FIAT, which had not made our Top Ten list, found some more cars for OICA, and kicked Suzuki from 9 to 10. Suzuki had reported to OICA the same number they had in their annual report (with a tiny difference of 4 units.) That’s what you get for being honest. Fiat’s miraculous resurrection of lost sales kicked Renault off the number 10 position they had on TTAC’s list.

One oddity for number nerds: Volvo is counted separately in the OICA list, with 105,873 units sold. Why in the world did Volvo not count them for 2009? Ford owned Volvo in 2009, they still own them until the Geely deal is closed. There is such a big gap between #3 Volkswagen and #4 Ford that the Volvo sales would not have changed anything. It still is odd. It may be the only time where a manufacturer reported less to OICA than what they were entitled to.

OICA Top 50 Car Manufacturers
by production (total vehicles)

Rank Group Total
1 TOYOTA 7,234,439
2 G.M. 6,459,053
3 VOLKSWAGEN 6,067,208
4 FORD 4,685,394
5 HYUNDAI 4,645,776
6 PSA 3,042,311
7 HONDA 3,012,637
8 NISSAN 2,744,562
9 FIAT 2,460,222
10 SUZUKI 2,387,537
11 RENAULT 2,296,009
12 DAIMLER 1,447,953
13 CHANGAN 1,425,777
14 B.M.W. 1,258,417
15 MAZDA 984,520
16 CHRYSLER 959,070
17 MITSUBISHI 802,463
18 BAIC 684,534
19 TATA 672,045
20 DONGFENG 663,262
21 FAW 650,275
22 CHERY 508,567
23 FUJI 491,352
24 BYD 427,732
25 SAIC 347,598
27 GEELY 330,275
28 ISUZU 316,335
29 BRILLIANCE 314,189
30 AVTOVAZ 294,737
31 GREAT WALL 226,560
32 MAHINDRA 223,065
34 PROTON 152,965
36 VOLVO 105,873
38 FUJIAN 103,171
39 KUOZUI 93,303
40 SHANNXI AUTO 79,026
41 PORSCHE 75,637
43 GAZ 69,591
44 NAVISTAR 65,364
46 PACCAR 58,918
47 CHENZHOU JI’AO 51,008
48 QINGLING 50,120
]]> 18