While America Slept. Saturday, January 17, 2009

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
while america slept saturday january 17 2009
Definitely infrequent for a few weeks while I’m in Europe, hunting the elusive Euro: An 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. WAS is being filed from Berlin – when I’m in Berlin.

Toyota shifting down in NA, again: Toyota will shut down all seven vehicle assembly plants in the U.S. and Canada on some days through early April, as part of an effort to cut growing stockpiles by half, the Nikkei (sub) reports. The number of non-operating days will vary by facility. The production line for the Sienna minivan at the Indiana plant will be stopped for 30 days. Toyota had shut down some production lines in the U.S. for three months starting last August. Toyota hopes to reduce inventories from the current 80-90 days to the desirable level of about 40 days by the end of June.

Nissan shifting down in Japan, again: Nissan will reduce Japanese domestic output by 64,000 vehicles in February and March from its earlier output plan, prompted by an increasingly decelerating global auto demand, the Nikkei (sub) says. The company had already announced reduced production as sales at home and abroad tank. Nissan had decided to dismiss all non-full-time workers by the end of March. Although it has no plans to shed any full-timers, it does intend to reduce their base pay for February by designating some of the days the plants will be idled as non-work days.

Honda shifting down in Japan, again: Honda will cut production in Japan for this fiscal year by 56,000 vehicles on the continued slump in auto sales, the Nikkei (sub) writes. The latest production cutback follows a domestic output reduction by a combined 86,000 vehicles that Honda already had announced. Japan’s second biggest car maker by volume now expects its domestic output to total 1.168 million vehicles in the fiscal year ending March, down 10% on year.

Red alert for Fuji Heavy: Fuji Heavy, maker of Subaru, expects to fall into the red for the first time in 15 years this fiscal year amid anemic sales and a strong yen, the Nikkei (sub) reports. Fuji Heavy expects a group operating loss of 9 billion yen, a 32 billion yen difference from the previously forecast 23 billion yen profit. Fuji Heavy posted a 45.6 billion yen operating profit for the previous fiscal year. U.S. sales are seen edging down only 2%, but Russian sales are expected to plunge 13% to 20,000 units. President Ikuo Mori said that the company has decided to reduce board member pay by 10 percent from January.

Brilliance delays U.S. entry by two years: Brilliance China will delay vehicle exports to the United States by two years, Gasgoo says. Their appearance at the Detroit Auto Show is now branded as a brand building exercise. Brilliance, the Chinese partner of Germany’s BMW, had earlier planned to sell sedans under its Brilliance brand in the US in the first quarter of this year.

VWs of China, unite! Times must be really tough if China’s bitter enemies, FAW-VW in the North and SVW in the South, “will form a close partnership to rival the two Sino-Japanese carmakers, Guangzhou Honda and Guangzhou Toyota” as Gasgoo reports. FAW and SVW are joint venture partners of Volkswagen. They make separate cars of the VW brand, and sell them through separate dealer networks. All previous attempts by Volkswagen to get the two to cooperate were unsuccessful.

German government signals compromise on VW law: Germany’s Minister of Justice, Brigitte Zypries (SPD) said she will enter discussions with the EU Commission about the VW law, Germany’s Automobilwoche (sub) says. The European Court had struck it down. Germany wrote a new one. It is just as bad as the old one, thinks Commissar Charlie McCreevy. He wants to drag Germany in front of the court again. Apparently, the German government is seeking a settlement.

Volvo cuts output in half: Volvo will make only 5000 cars a month in January and February, das Autohaus. Ford wants to sell Volvo, but could not find a buyer. Same with GM and Saab.

Join the conversation
  • TheRealAutoGuy TheRealAutoGuy on Jan 18, 2009

    Couldn't help but notice that since Toyota missed on the forecast, no one even bothered to comment. When GM revises, there is much screaming, calls for CEO resignations, bankruptcy, accusations of liar, liar, pants on fire. etc. But Toyota? [sound of crickets...]

  • FromBrazil FromBrazil on Jan 18, 2009

    Echoing what I've said in 2 other threads, but, do the Germans give a f******ing s**** about whatever the EU does? Specially in trying economic times??? The answer is self evident, ain't it?

  • ToolGuy Question: F-150 FP700 (  Bronze or  Black) supercharger kit is legal in 50 states, while the  Mustang supercharger kit is banned in California -- why??
  • Scott "It may not be the ideal hauler to take the clan cross-country to Wally World considering range anxiety "Range Anxiety is a chosen term that conceals as much as it discloses. You don't care about range that much if you can recharge quickly and current BV's (battery vehicles) can't, no matter how good the chargers are. From what I've been reading it is likely that within 5 years there will be batteries in cars, most likely Tesla's, that can charge fast enough with no harm to the batteries to satisfy all of us with no need to increase range beyond a real world 300-ish miles.And that's when I buy one.
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  • Alan I would think Ford would beef up the drive line considering the torque increase, horse power isn't a factor here. I looked at a Harrop supercharger for my vehicle. Harrop offered two stages of performance. The first was a paltry 100hp to the wheels (12 000AUD)and the second was 250hp to the wheels ($20 000 (engine didn't rev harder so torque was significantly increased)). The Stage One had no drive line changes, but the Stage Two had drive line modifications. My vehicle weighs roughly the same as a full size pickup and the 400'ish hp I have is sufficient, I had little use for another 100 let alone 250hp. I couldn't see much difference in the actual supercharger setup other than a ratio change for the drive of the supercharger, so that extra $8 000 went into the drive line.