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…)