The Truth About Cars » recession http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Fri, 12 Sep 2014 22:45:32 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 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 editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (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 » recession http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com Toyota Shuttering Australian Factory By 2017, Local Industry Dead http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/02/toyota-shuttering-australian-factory-by-2017-local-industry-dead/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/02/toyota-shuttering-australian-factory-by-2017-local-industry-dead/#comments Mon, 10 Feb 2014 15:58:31 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=738457 Toyota announced Monday that as of 2017, the automaker will no longer manufacture any of their vehicles in Australia, driving in the final nail to the coffin containing the nation’s local automotive industry following similar announcements by Holden and Ford. Toyota Australia head Max Yasuda and Toyota Motor Corporation head Akio Toyoda made the announcement […]

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Toyota Landcruiser 70 Troop Carrier Workmate

Toyota announced Monday that as of 2017, the automaker will no longer manufacture any of their vehicles in Australia, driving in the final nail to the coffin containing the nation’s local automotive industry following similar announcements by Holden and Ford.

Toyota Australia head Max Yasuda and Toyota Motor Corporation head Akio Toyoda made the announcement at the automaker’s factory in Altona — a suburb of Melbourne — before an audience comprised of various media and the factory’s 4,200 employees. Yasuda claimed numerous factors in the decision, citing high costs of manufacturing, low economies of scale, increased competitiveness surrounding current and future free trade agreements, and the “unfavourable” Australian dollar as among the many reasons for the closures.

“We did everything that we could to transform our business, but the reality is that there are too many factors beyond our control that make it unviable to build cars in Australia,” Yasuda said. “Although the company has made profits in the past, our manufacturing operations have continued to be loss making despite our best efforts.”

The Australian Manufacturing Workers Union warned that Toyota’s complete exit from the nation’s manufacturing base would devastate not only those directly affected, but up and down the supply chain, as well. AMWU vehicle secretary Dave Smith added that the final result would be “a potential recession all along the south-eastern seaboard.” The Australian Council of Trade Unions also warned that the pullout would ultimately cost 50,000 jobs and erase $18.76 billion from the local economy.

On the government side, Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane said he was disappointed in the decision, and felt that the government would have been able to help had there been enough time to put a plan in place to keep Toyota manufacturing in Australia. Victoria Premier Denis Napthine concurred with Macfarlane’s sentiment and desire to have been able to work through the issue, and would be seeking a commitment from Australia’s coalition government — currently led by Prime Minister Tony Abbott — for a comprehensive adjustment package similar to the one made to Holden employees late last year.

On the subject of government subsidies, Abbott said his government had wanted Toyota to soldier onward, going as far to hold private talks with Yasuda as recently as hours before the announcement of the manufacturing pullout — contradicting what Abbott said in an earlier press conference regarding knowledge of the announcement — though as with Holden prior to its decision, paying the automaker any extra taxpayer dollars was ruled out.

Abbott said that while nothing could be said or done to “limit the devastation that so many people will feel” from the fallout of Toyota’s decision, he wanted everyone to remember that “while some businesses close, other businesses open, while some jobs end, other jobs start,” and that there would be “better days in the future.”

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten, proclaiming the Toyota closure an “unmitigated disaster,” offered this statement on the matter:

The car industry has died under the Abbott government — it’s a disgrace.

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Reuters Poll of Economists Say Euro Recession Has Ended But Recovery to be Slow http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/08/reuters-poll-of-economists-say-euro-recession-has-ended-but-recovery-to-be-slow/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/08/reuters-poll-of-economists-say-euro-recession-has-ended-but-recovery-to-be-slow/#comments Thu, 15 Aug 2013 15:49:46 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=499430 According to a Reuters poll of 30 economists, data to be released next week will show that the recession in Europe has ended, but that the euro zone will not start growing significantly until 2015. The consensus prediction for the second quarter of 2013 was 0.2% growth. That prediction was supported by industrial production figures […]

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According to a Reuters poll of 30 economists, data to be released next week will show that the recession in Europe has ended, but that the euro zone will not start growing significantly until 2015. The consensus prediction for the second quarter of 2013 was 0.2% growth.

That prediction was supported by industrial production figures released earlier this week showing a 0.7% increase in June. Most of the economists expect a very slow recovery, echoing what auto executives like Sergio Marchionne have been saying for a while. GDP for the euro zone won’t surpass 0.4% in any quarter until 2015, according to their predictions. Inflation is expected to stay at or below 2%, allowing the European Central Bank to keep its lending rates at record lows for the next two years. When asked about potential risks to the recovery, those economists who answered the question referenced political instability. Southern European countries have had some political turmoil recently and German federal elections are being held next month.

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Hammer Time: What Recession? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/02/hammer-time-what-recession/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/02/hammer-time-what-recession/#comments Thu, 14 Feb 2013 18:13:57 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=477483 I live in a nice quaint small town called Powder Springs, Georgia. The sidewalks are paved downtown and even partially bricked for artistic value. Thanks to a generous donation by the taxpayers. The streetlamps are ornate and well lit thanks to the same contributors. The old closed down ACE hardware store is now the new […]

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I live in a nice quaint small town called Powder Springs, Georgia.

The sidewalks are paved downtown and even partially bricked for artistic value. Thanks to a generous donation by the taxpayers. The streetlamps are ornate and well lit thanks to the same contributors.

The old closed down ACE hardware store is now the new police station. The old city hall has been replaced by the new city hall.  Even the vehicles that get too old to keep get replaced with shiny new ones thanks to American taxpayers far and wide.

How many miles do you think would it take to replace a car owned by the local city government?

How about less than 50,000 miles?

This 2005 Chevy Impala has all of 49,974 miles on it. Like any other vehicle that has the agony of driving in what many view as the smoothest roads in the country, this Impala is ready to be put out to pasture.

For some reason, this Impala wasn’t much loved in the city vehicle pool.  7000 miles a year for a non-police unit likely means that this ride didn’t have to go past too many closed down businesses to get to the Waffle House a mile down the street.

What? You want me to get interior pics? Fat chance on that. This is all you are going to see of a car that was made possible by you alone, Mr. John Q Public!

Yawn! You want me to write a description of this car too? Okay, fine then! I’m taking an early lunch after that!

Year Make/Brand Model VIN/Serial Miles
2005 Chevrolet Impala 2G1WF52K059385392 49,974
Condition Category
See Description Automobiles
2005 Chevrolet Impala Base SEDAN 4-DR, 3.8L V6 OHV 12V.2007 Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor SEDAN 4-DR, 4.6L V8 SOHC 16V.2001 Ford Crown Vic info

I did mention it was a SEDAN. So as far as I’m concerned, my job is done here.

Here are a few other prized jewels for the offering.  I do have to confess that this is not anywhere near the worst presentation of government vehicles that I have ever seen. In fact, I do have to offer kudos for the lady who came back and answered questions about this vehicle.

But this does bring on an important consideration. If a state government is issued approximately 10,000 vehicles every year, wouldn’t it make sense to either…

A) Enact some minimal standards on how these vehicles are marketed so that the taxpayers get a fair return? I mean for cryin’ out loud, the 2007 Crown Vic Police Interceptor has only one picture. With all the time cops have to spend in those things, wouldn’t it make sense to at least open a door, sit in a seat, and click a button?

or

B) Let someone else do it. No, I wouldn’t encourage some gypsy auction company to come by and quick hammer the vehicles to a few of the connected locals (and Lord knows we have plenty of those.) The Govdeals.com site is fine. It’s the presentation that needs work.

 

 

I don’t know about you guys but this one is on my short list. You can find the rest of the vehicles here. Please bid. I want my taxes to go down for once.

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Question Of The Day: Have We Passed The Peak Of Cheap? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/09/question-of-the-day-have-we-passed-the-peak-of-cheap/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/09/question-of-the-day-have-we-passed-the-peak-of-cheap/#comments Fri, 21 Sep 2012 15:25:27 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=461129 The good old days of late summer 2009. It was a great time to buy a new car. Monthly new car sales in North America had plummeted to under 10 million units.  Access to financing seemed to be near impossible for a lot of consumers. Brands were orphaned. Leasing collapsed. Banks were picky. The future […]

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The good old days of late summer 2009.

It was a great time to buy a new car. Monthly new car sales in North America had plummeted to under 10 million units.  Access to financing seemed to be near impossible for a lot of consumers. Brands were orphaned. Leasing collapsed. Banks were picky. The future was uncertain and… raw materials were cheap.

It was a good time to buy new at a deep, deep discount.  Has that time passed?

What got me thinking about this was a late model car I was using for my auction travels. A popular car. One that sells like hotcakes. Yet it looks like nearly every interior component within it has been parts binned, deconteted and cheaped out to epic proportions.

It offered good fuel economy, a nice radio display, and several hundred pounds of plastics that were in varying forms. Could the car get any cheaper and remain marketable?

I had my doubts. From the wafer fin door panels. To the glossy, Tonka like display of the center dashboard. It reeked of cheap to the point where an hour inside of it felt like a petrochemical bath.

As I went to that evening sale, I thought,  “I wonder if this material is cheaper to buy than cardboard boxes?” It was an honest question because everybody uses this cheap stuff. From the mightiest of manufacturers to the most irrelevant of niche players. The hollowness of material quality and feel for anything 20k or under seems to be an epidemic of cheap these days.

Yet everything costs more. Reconsider those MSRP’s for a moment. There was a time not to long ago when a $13,000 Yaris, Versa, Cobalt, Aveo, Rio, and PT Cruiser were publicized on a paperish pulp we used to know as a newspaper. Remember those?

Now a few of these names, along with their far more marketable descendants are venturing hard towards the $20,000 mark. There a few discounts. Maybe even a rebate or two.  But the hard march to the next big round number seems to be the new tune of 2012. A loaded Camry can now retail for well over $30k. The Lexus LS400h can now cost nearly $100k.  We’re talking two decent foreclosed houses in the ex-urbs here folks!

This brings the TTAC readers to our question for today. Have we passed the peak of cheap? Are we bound to a new world of car buying where commuter cars only feel cheap and the ‘nip and tuck’ of cost containment has run the course?

What says you?

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