While America Slept. Friday, January 2, 2009

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
while america slept friday january 2 2009
A – due to worldwide holiday inertia – very short overview of what happened in other parts of the world while you were in bed. TTAC provides round-the-clock coverage of everything that has wheels. Or has its wheels coming off. Until Jan 4, 2009, WAS is being filed from Tokyo.

Hyundai sees trouble ahead: Hyundai’s Vice Chairman Choi Jae Kook gave employees an uplifting New Year’s speech, writes Bloomberg. Choi said, Hyundai expects global industrywide vehicle sales to fall at least 7.7 percent next year. Sales may fall below 60 million from an expected total of about 65 million this year, “Next year will be a critical time for all automakers as there could be a big industrywide shake-up” amid slowing sales and overcapacity, Choi said. Global industry capacity stands at about 90 million vehicles a year, Choi said. That is an untenable capacity utilization of 66 percent. Hyundai and Kia have a combined annual capacity of 5.3m vehicles. According to the Chinese news agency Xinhua, Hyundai’s “total global sales in 2008 reached 4.8 million vehicles, down from 3.96 million units in the previous year.” Of course, this doesn’t make any sense, but other news outlets print it anyway.

Chinese motorization slowing down: According to statistics of the Chinese Ministry of Public Security, there were 169.88m motor vehicles on China’s roads as of the last day of 2008. This is an increase of 6.33 percent from last year, reports Gasgoo. The number of licensed drivers grew to 180.66 million, up 10.23 percent. It should be noted that in China, a “vehicle” counts as anything that has a motor and wheels, including cars, motorcycles, tricycles, tractors, trucks and possibly the odd tank. Private motor vehicles rose by 6.4 percent and account for 76.14 percent of all motor vehicles. The rate of increase was down by 4.52 percentage points from last year.

China exports less, imports more: Beijing is expected to be getting a bid edgy about the following factoid: China’s auto exports – which had been disappointing at best – fell 46.5 percent in November compared to the same month last year, Gasgoo says, citing data from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers. A scant 35,800 cars were exported from China. In November, China’s auto imports still grew 3.5 percent to 33,300 units from the year-earlier month.

Brilliance surprises China- with high prices: China’s Brilliance, joint venture partner of BMW, unveiled two self-developed sedan models, the Zhonghua Junjie Wagon and the 2009 Zhonghua Zunchi, which are separately priced at $15.5K-$22.8K for the Junjie and $18K-$36K for the Zunchi. This pricing is regarded a bit rich in China, as comparable cars are usually priced $11K lower.

GM sales way down in India: GM demonstrated that it is possible to show dismal sales even in a country that has some growth left. General Motors India reported a 35.95 per cent decline in its domestic sales at 4,041 units in December last year, against 6,309 units in the same month in 2007, writes India’s Hindu Business Line. GM India managed to sell 509 Chevrolet Taveras, 867 Chevrolet Aveos, 248 Chevrolet Optras, 2,382 of the Chevrolet Spark, and a whopping 35 of the Chevrolet Captiva. For the full year of 2008, GMI posted a 9.44 percent growth with 65,702 units sold.

Skoda’s sales way up in India: Skoda India total sales for 2008 are 16,188 units, a growth of 28.5 percent compared to the prior year, the Economic Times writes. Skoda India is a subsidiary of Czech Skoda Auto, which belongs to Volkswagen. The company has a facility in Aurangabad, Maharashtra.

Rare Bugatti found in barn: After the 2007 death of reclusive Newcastle doctor Harold Carr, relatives finally opened a dusty barn which the good doctor had left them. Under thick layers of dust, they found a 1937 Type 57S Atalante Bugatti, along with a classic Aston Martin, and a Jaguar E-type, the BBC reports. The Bugatti, thought to be one of just 17 built, is to be sold by Bonhams in Paris next month. It is expected to fetch more than $4m. The Bugatti 57S is a highly coveted car by collectors, with at least four thought to belong to the Musee Nationale de L’Automobile in Mulhouse, France. The dusty Bugatti was originally owned by Earl Howe – first president of the British Racing Drivers’ Club.

Join the conversation
  • Master Baiter Might as well light 50 $100 bills on fire.
  • Mike1041 At $300K per copy they may secure as much as 2 or 3 deposits of $1,000
  • Sgeffe Why on Earth can’t you just get the torque specs and do it yourself if you’re so-inclined?!
  • Sgeffe As was stated in another comment, the FAA nominee went down in flames. But the NTSB chairwoman certainly didn’t, and she’s certainly not qualified either!Lots of this kind of stuff going on both sides of the aisle—Ben Carson would have arguably made a better Surgeon General than HUD Secretary under Trump, for example.
  • Art Vandelay Interesting, the Polestar 2 I had as a rental utilized Android Automotive which is what GM said it is going to exclusively, yet it still offers Apple CarPlay according to this. Wonder if GM will do the same.