While America Slept. Saturday, January 3, 2009

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
while america slept saturday january 3 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

Suzuki down in India: Maruti Suzuki is India’s top carmaker. They own half of India’s car market. Like everybody in India, they got it on the chin. Their total vehicle sales in December fell 10 percent from a year ago. At least, their domestic sales rose from the previous month, after declining in November and October. Total December sales of Maruti Suzuki fell to 56,293 vehicles from 62,515 in the same month a year earlier, the Nikkei (sub) writes.

Tata WAY down in India: India’s Tata sold 23,894 units domestically in December, a decline of 44 percent compared to the corresponding month last year, India’s Economic Times reports. Including exports, Tata’s total sales for December 2008 stood at 25,219 vehicles, down by 47 percent. For the year 2008, their sales fell 11 percent.

Toyota nixes plans for Russia, Thailand: Toyota will freeze construction plans for new factories in Russia and Thailand, Bloomberg writes.

Ford sees further downside: Ford expects industry-wide December U.S. auto sales to drop by some 35 percent from a year earlier with no sign of a turnaround in the first quarter of this year, Reuters writes. Ford’s chief sales analyst George Pipas expects that full-year sales of light vehicles in the U.S.A. will drop to 13.2 million for 2008, down from 16.2 million in 2007. “The sales rates have declined like a lead balloon, really,” Pipas said. “I think when December comes in, every segment will be down. Not one segment will be up versus a year ago.” And there is no quick end in sight: “We’re not looking for the first quarter to be much different from what we saw in the fourth quarter,” Pipas said.

Subaru’s U.S. sales up. Subaru of America announced that it is anticipating a year-over-year sales increase for 2008 U.S. sales. Through November 2008, Subaru was the only volume automotive brand with positive sales, IndiaCar writes. As most other U.S. brands, Subaru will announce U.S. sales on Monday, January 5, 2009.

Spain had worst auto year in history: Spain’s auto sales went down by 28.1 percent for the year 2008, which marks the worst reduction in its history, Automobilwoche (sub) writes. December was especially bad with minus 50 percent. Industry groups predict a further 10 percent reduction in for 2009.

Italy, Belgium down as well: Italian car sales fell 13.3 percent in December, Bloomberg writes. Belgium’s new car registrations dropped 7.8 percent in December, reports Bloomberg.

Germany to recover in 2009: Willi Diez, head of the German Institut für Automobilwirtschaft, predicts the German car market to recover in the second half of 2009. He forecasts the world market to rise to 65m in 2015. By that time, the developed markets like the US, Europe, and Japan will be outsold by the developing markets in Asia and South America, das Autohaus reports.

Join the conversation
  • PeteMoran PeteMoran on Jan 03, 2009

    @ Bertel Is Willi Diez usually an accurate source? Only 14.5m for the USA in 2015? And 65m worldwide in 2015? Where is all that energy going to come from!

  • Bertel Schmitt Bertel Schmitt on Jan 03, 2009

    @Pete: His forecasts are hit & miss like all forecasts. But he's usually more on target than motor-mouth Dudenhöffer. Personally, I wouldn't dare to make any forecasts. But 2015 forecasts are usually very safe: Who will remember six years from now what anyone has forecasted? Well, in April 2008, he forecasted 15.5m sold in the US by end of 2008 ...

  • Lou_BC VW has had a stellar reputation with their electronics and now they go full EV. What's not to like? ;)
  • MaintenanceCosts "roughly the same external footprint as a two-row VW Atlas Cross Sport but with - per a VW rep - more interior capacity than the three-row Atlas."And this is why I'm kind of intrigued by this little van, even though for me it's in spite of, not because of, the retro styling and Type 2 nostalgia.
  • Ajla From what I can see in the NHTSA data nontire part failures make up about .5% of reported crashes and aren't listed as a cause in the fatal accident reports. While we've all seen hoopties rolling around I'm guessing they don't go far or fast enough for many negative outcomes to occur from their operation.While I wouldn't want to be in that .5% I'd also want to avoid a "Bear Patrol" situation. When it comes to road safety nontire part failures are more like animal attacks while aggressive or impaired driving are heart disease and cancer.
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