Finally, a day later, the two German primadonnas, Daimler and BMW, handed in their homework, and America can get on with its life, knowing that Americans bought 1,243,784 light vehicles in December. This brought annual sales in the U.S. to the official total of 12,778,885 units, up 10 percent over 2010.
U.S. December sales results, and with December, full year results begin to roll in. What we see so far looks like a December surprise: Numbers come in stronger than expected by analysts. Chrysler is up 37 percent in December and 26 percent for the year. GM is up only 5 percent in December, but 13 percent for the year. Ford up 10 percent in December, 9 percent for the year. Volkswagen surprises with 36 percent up in December and 26 percent for the year. Subaru up 26 percent in December, but only one percent for the year. Toyota ( not on the list yet) reports a flat December and the year down by 7 percent.
When U.S. new-vehicle sales will be announced tomorrow, there should be gains of around 10 percent compared to December the year before, a panel of 30 analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters reckons. The gain will mostly go on account of the fabled pent-up demand, which suddenly is a bad thing. Gains are linked to buyers who delayed purchases do not indicate a strengthening economy, analysts tell Reuters. (Read More…)
Apparently, this is Camry week. TTAC has already thrown two of its most feared and revered auto testers, Michael “Hard Plastic Killer” Karesh and Alex “Yellow Fever” Dykes, into the battle – with similar, yet finely nuanced results. Yours truly has arrived in Tokyo, where he cools his heels (as much as a thermostat set to electricity-saving 82F allows,) until the JDM Camry is unveiled on Sept. 5 to by then totally Camry-numb members of the media.
Alas, your correspondent of the car wars has left China too early, because the global Camry conflict has shifted to the Middle Kingdom, which finds itself in search of the core Camry character. (Read More…)
Porschephiles: How do you like the marvelous scent of diesel? You know, the stuff they sell at the big truck stops to those people with the big Mack trucks? Automotive News gives Porsche lovers heart palpitations with the news that Porsche is considering selling diesel versions in the United States. (Read More…)
You have heard the whole year about the exploding Chinese car market. Surprise: Production growth in the U.S. appears to be stronger than China. In a few days or weeks, we will have the 2010 sales numbers. In this economy, what’s more important than spending money is making money, and that means jobs. For that, we have to look at the motor vehicle production numbers by country. For those, we will have to wait many months until OICA gets around to tabulating them. Let’s make a best guess estimate for who’s on top and by how much. (Read More…)
Bailing out the U.S. auto industry was all in the name of jobs, jobs, jobs, and the recent sales increases in new cars should have made a decent dent into the jobless rate. It just didn’t work out quite as expected. By the end of the year, J.D. Power expects that 11.8 million units will have been made in North America, up 38 percent from 8.5 million units in 2009. And where did the jobs go? They went mostly south. (Read More…)
Toyota looks very cautiously into the future. This is the bottom line of an article that just appeared in the Asahi Shimbun (in Japanese. You just have to trust me, or rather Frau Schmitto-san, who provided the translation.) According to the piece, Toyota downrevised its projection for the 2011 fiscal year (starting April 1 2011) to 7.8 million for Toyota alone, excluding Daihatsu and Hino. With those two backed in, total worldwide production of TMC would be around 8.8 million. Meaning: Until further notice, Toyota’s world is pretty much flat. (Read More…)
Tata reiterated its threat to invest the the U.S. and Europe with their bargain-basement Nano car. At an event held today in Toyko, Tata’s Vice Chairman Ravi Kant said that “Tata Motors now plans to take it forward to the developed markets in Europe and in the U.S.,” The Nikkei [sub] reports. “Now plans?” (Read More…)
U.S. auto sales climbed 29 percent last month, the biggest gain of the year. (Nearly) everybody was a winner: All but two booked increases in September. Suzuki lost 12 percent (itai!), and the “others” brand lost 4 percent. Ford shot up 40 percent. Chrysler rocketed up by 61 percent. GM looked downright lame in comparison by growing only 11 percent. From Porsche (+ 25 percent) to Hyundai (+44 percent), from Daimler (+ 18 percent ) to Toyota (+17 percent), everybody reported huge gains. But why is nobody partying? (Read More…)
Hot summer. Hot deals. Time to clear out the lot for the 2011 models. Bloomberg figures that July sales broke all records since last August’s short-lived cash-4-clunkers frenzy. Eight analysts, polled by Bloomberg’s, predict a July SAAR of 11.9 million.
Real numbers will be released tomorrow, and TTAC will be there for the blow-by-blow.
In the meantime, all indicators are in the top band. (Read More…)
Have you ever done serious business in Russia? Nyet? If you want to keep your conscience pure, don’t. It’s a “gotta pay to play” country. If you don’t make regular payments, the best that can happen to you is that you are out of business. In more serious cases, you pay with your life – a common currency in that country.
Behind that backdrop, it’s humorous to read that “the Russian Prosecutor-General’s Office has asked the United States to provide information about corruption that reportedly accompanied the sale of Mercedes limousines by Russian law enforcement agencies, Prosecutor-General Yuri Chaika told the Federation Council.” That according to Russia’s news agency ITAR-TASS. (It’s “sale to law enforcement agencies.” Someone with lesser English may have made a payment. See video.) (Read More…)