By on March 2, 2016

Tesla Model X: Image: Tesla Motors

If you live in the north, you might consider taking your kids tobogganing on Tesla’s NASDAQ trend line.

That, GM wants less rentals, “Imported from Detroit” becomes “Deported from Auburn Hills,” automakers fear the Brexit, and rage grows around pointless concept cars … after the break!

Even the sun sets in paradise

Nothing lasts forever — not great romances, not even the relationship between automakers and their ad agencies.

Remember the “Imported from Detroit” ad during the 2011 Superbowl? That’s now just a Polaroid in a scrapbook for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, according to Automotive News, now that they’ve parted ways with ad agency Wieden & Kennedy.

The two had been together since 2010, but they’ve now decided to see other people — though it seemed the split was amicable. No hard feelings.

So, what does the future hold? FCA isn’t saying.

If it’s Superbowl spots they’re looking for, snagging Betty White wouldn’t be a bad idea.

Tesla Model S Center Stage front view

Time to dump that Tesla stock?

… Or hold on to it, praying that it will recover to 2014 levels?

Tesla is good at launching rockets into space (though not necessarily returning them to earth), but hasn’t yet managed to find a way to correct the declining value of its shares.

In case you were distracted by beauties in Geneva yesterday, Business Insider has detailed how a single tweet from Citron Research pushed Tesla’s stock down over four percent yesterday.

The tweet factored in all of the news swirling around the tech giant and predicted even lower share prices in the near future. It also served to bring that prediction to fruition.

Tesla’s stock currently sits about 100-points lower than it did in July of last year.

In the interest of both business and saving face with shareholders, a good expenditure for CEO Elon Musk right now would be paying Citron Research not to tweet.


General Motors wants a more expensive used car

Posting a slip instead of gains, General Motors’ February sales numbers weren’t anything like the its two American competitors, but those numbers don’t tell the whole story, says Automotive News.

Overall sales were down 1.5 percent, but only because GM slowed deliveries of rental vehicles in an effort to boost resale values of its products. Cancel out the rental fleet aspect and the data shows that retail sales rose seven percent, a trend GM wants to continue.

It looks like the days when you could pick up a second-hand Cavalier or Sunfire for a song are over, but doesn’t that sound like a good thing?

Red_Devils-Union_Jack (Wikimedia Commons)

Don’t poke the Brexit bear, automakers warned

It might be a good idea for automakers to keep it zipped when it comes to the topic of Britain potentially leaving the European Union, an industry watcher warns in Forbes.

Trade will happen in either event, Neil Winton argues, but when executives open their mouths and stake out a particular side of the debate, it runs the risk of turning off their company’s consumers and local partners.

Still, talk has heated up in recent days about the possible ramifications of Britain leaving the EU after the June 23 vote, with reports of similar discussions occurring at this week’s Geneva Motor Show.

A poll of 700 British and German companies published in Britain’s The Guardian in mid-February found that more favored the status quo than an exit scenario.


Enough with the rear-drive sports cars, already

A scathing column in the BBC targets the svelte Opel GT concept shown at the Geneva Motor Show and opines that the lack of success of the 1960s version — and so many others like it — should be a lesson for automakers.

Yes, niche vehicles are rarely strong sellers, but they exist to fill a niche. An automaker can choose to build whatever they please, assuming it won’t bankrupt them.

The problem, as The Truth About Cars has stated before, is when manufacturers have no intention of building a production version of their concept, and return time after time with yet another media-friendly tease.

Concepts shouldn’t be solely a PR vehicle. Sometimes a company needs to put up or shut up.

[Image: Chevrolet Impala, © 2015 Timothy Cain/The Truth About Cars; Union Jack, Wikimedia Commons, (CC BY-SA 2.0)]

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20 Comments on “TTAC News Round-up: Tesla Stocks S(t)ink, Chrysler Takes Out an Ad, and Concept Car Anger...”

  • avatar

    I wasn’t aware Wieden & Kennedy developed that “imported from Detroit” tagline. I used to live right down the street from that office and I have a couple friends that work there, so sad to see the change from what I thought was a great concept, but it certainly is rare to see a company stay with an agency.

  • avatar

    “Overall sales were down 1.5 percent, but only because GM slowed deliveries of rental vehicles in an effort to boost resale values of its products. Cancel out the rental fleet aspect and the data shows that retail sales rose seven percent, a trend GM wants to continue.”

    This sounds like a bad correlation to draw. Cutting fleet sales is not instantly going to make a customer buy a car at retail they wouldn’t have otherwise bought. It will take -years- of reduced/no fleet sales for any Chevrolet sedan to not be considered rental fodder, and a body style changeover.

    • 0 avatar
      heavy handle

      GM has the attention span of a squirrel.

      They will drop this policy the minute some exec needs to make quarterly numbers (and bonuses!).

    • 0 avatar

      Fleet vehicles hitting resale are responsible for resale values. It depends on service life. If a rental is kept for 2 years GM won’t see an improvement in resale until then.
      The other issue is the fact that fleet queens tend to be the type of cars no one wants at a premium price.

      Pickups on the other hand tend to get beat up badly in fleet settings and tend to sell at “as is where is” pricing. I don’t see the same downward pressure on resale value.

  • avatar

    I can’t understand Elon Musk. If he’s serious about popularizing zero emission drive, he should have broaden his market approach. Sometimes a picture says more than a 1000 words – check out:

    • 0 avatar

      Isn’t that the point of the model 3? Let the rich folks fund research into the mass market version?

      • 0 avatar

        Trouble is that it is unlikely that Tesla can make the Model 3 at a profit at the price they are talking about. They most certainly can’t SELL (and service) enough of them with their current business model, IMHO. Someday, maybe…

    • 0 avatar

      Yes, because US drivers are clamoring for an electric 3-seater. *sigh* Musk is making the smart play. Start out with a low-volume, high-margin product, then slowly expand as the tech improves and gets cheaper. It’s a slow process, but that’s how you play the long game.

  • avatar

    GM is only fooling itself with talk of slowing fleet sales. They’ll find another excuse when they increase them again – which will be the moment retail sales cool off. Maybe they shouldn’t have sold fleet only spec vehicles (Captiva, old Impala, etc.) if they want to improve their perception of value.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      “Maybe they shouldn’t have sold fleet only spec vehicles (Captiva, old Impala, etc.) if they want to improve their perception of value.”

      Actually, that was a good idea. One reason Equinox and Terrain resale values remained relatively-high was that GM introduced the Captiva (a reincarnated version of the Opel-based Saturn Vue) for fleet markets, so they were buying that instead of the Equinox. Then, when those Captiva units got dumped to dealerships at the end of their fleet lifetimes, they attracted customers who wanted a reasonably-nice, sub-$20K compact crossover without lowering the perception of the mainstream Equinox and Terrain. Similarly, the W-body Impala is an old design whose resale values are already in the toilet, but it’s perfectly suitable as a fleet model. Now sold as the Impala Limited, it is different enough from the consumer Impala that it doesn’t mess with resale values of that model. GM will be doing a similar performance with the outgoing Cruze and the now-previous Malibu, which will be sold as Cruze Limited and Malibu Limited, respectively.

      I think it will be harder to reap the benefits of that with the Cruze Limited and Malibu Limited, since those are already pretty modern vehicles that don’t have many disadvantages versus their successors.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    “Tesla is good at launching rockets into space”

    ^^^ Yeah, that would be SpaceX.

  • avatar

    I do have to say that the little white car up top is about the only nice-looking small car I have seen in a long long time. Definitely running against the trend of overstyled-by-grade-schoolers-obsessed-with-manga-and-transformers cars.

  • avatar

    Not TTAC related but just needed to say, f*** Jack Marchewka.

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