BMW 2 Series April's Fastest-Selling Used Vehicles
April’s fastest-selling used vehicles were led by the BMW 2 Series, according to iSeeCars. The 20 fastest-selling used vehicles averaged 28.7 days, 1.2-1.7 times faster than it took to sell an ordinary used vehicle. The fastest-selling used vehicles included a mix of sports cars, luxury vehicles, hybrids, and minivans.
QOTD: Does Color Affect Resale Value?
Color counts when selling or buying a car. But which colors help or hurt? iSeeCars.com, a car search engine, performed exhaustive research on this topic, recently publishing the results.
Porsche (Go Figure) Ranked Most Appealing Brand in J.D. Power Study
This must be getting boring for the guys and gals in Stuttgart.
For the 12th year in a row, Porsche ranked first in J.D. Power’s new vehicle appeal study, but other automakers are closing in on its crown.
This year’s Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) study found that driver-assist safety features cause drivers to fall in love with their vehicles. They also bore friends and co-workers by talking about it all the time.
Tesla Confirms Model 3 Order Cancellations; Musk Goes Looking for Cash
It’s billed as the affordable electric car of the future, but 12,200 reservations have dropped off the Tesla order list since the company’s Model 3 came on the scene.
The new tally was revealed when Tesla announced plans to raise $1.4 billion through a share offering to boost its financial standing, Bloomberg reports.
Since orders opened, 4,200 duplicate reservations have been erased by the company, and 8,000 customers have backed out of their purchase. That leaves 373,000 reservations on the books, each backed by a $1,000 check.
GM Profits Soar, and Volkswagen is the Anti-GM
There’s happy faces inside the Renaissance Center today.
General Motors saw its first-quarter pretax profit rise 28 percent, despite continuing trouble in foreign markets, Automotive News has reported.
A net income of $1.95 billion means investors will reap $32.66 a share, a 1.5 percent increase. Revenue was up four percent in the first quarter, at $37.27 billion.
Your Car's Headlights Are Probably Terrible: IIHS
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has started rating headlights, and just released a report that takes a dim view on the performance of most midsize cars.
Only one vehicle out of 31 testers earned a rating of “good” from the road safety nonprofit, with the bulk of midsize vehicles earning a rating of “marginal” or “poor.”
The results are even less dazzling when you take into account optional lighting packages, which pushed the number tested to 82. Even then, it was only the LED-equipped advanced technology package on the Toyota Prius V that earned the IIHS’s acclaim.
Ford Fueled Record Profits in 2015 With Truck Sales, China Surge
Ford announced Thursday that it had earned a record pre-tax profit of $10.8 billion for 2015 — including $2 billion in the fourth quarter — bolstered by pickup sales in the U.S. and strong growth in China.
The record-setting year for the automaker wasn’t much of a surprise — second- and third-quarter results set records along the way — but Ford’s ability to finally turn a profit in Europe may be the most unexpected news. The automaker had lost money in Europe since 2011.
Latin America, notably Brazil, will continue to be a sore spot for Ford and other automakers. Ford said Thursday it expects to lose more money there in 2016 than the $832 million it lost there in 2015.
Jeep Pickup, Jeep Compass and Jeep Renegade: All The Things We'll Probably Hear Tomorrow From Sergio
On Wednesday, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne will update investors on his long-term plans and fourth-quarter profits — namely, how many Jeeps it sold — during his scheduled earnings conference call.
It’s widely expected that Sergio will address the near-certainty that Jeep will build a pickup based on the Wrangler, as well as the future for the Jeep Compass that’ll likely survive from the Patriot/Compass twin billing, and Jeep’s potential to keep afloat fledgling FCA brands such as Maserati and Alfa Romeo.
Analysts say FCA’s ambitious target of $5 billion profit by 2018 would be almost unattainable at this point.
“‘Ambitious’ is not really an adequate word to describe it, ‘fantasyland’ might be more appropriate,” Bernstein’s Max Warburton told Automotive News.
Analyst: Tesla and FCA Wouldn't Weather 'Mild Recession'
Business Insider transportation editor Matthew DeBord (formerly of Jalopnik too) said Tesla and Fiat Chrysler’s stock show both companies’ susceptibility to market volatility and that each automaker could be in dire situations if a mild recession were to rear its head again.
(Although he does note that the best return on an investment this time last year would have been a few hundred bucks into FCA’s stock.)
Tesla may have more in common with FCA than it likes in terms of market unpredictability, which could raise the specter of a merger if its Model 3 isn’t on time or if the economy takes a dive, DeBord writes. As long as Musk doesn’t talk openly about hugging Mary Barra, he may have a decent shot.
TTAC on The Trading Floor: Ferrari Good, Tesla Bad*
According to The Truth About Cars’ stock exchange bureau chief, Ferrari is good and Tesla is bad today.*
Tesla shares have dropped 10 percent on news today that Consumer Reports would pull its “Recommended” rating from the Model S because of concerns about the car’s reliability. That’s bad.
Also, initial shares of supercar-maker Ferrari may be going for more than expected due to the stock’s appeal on office walls and potential value people may find in owning another Ferrari-branded item beyond overpriced shirts.
Tesla's Biggest Cheerleader Thinks Model X May Be Overpriced
Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas issued a lower target for Tesla on Wednesday, saying the automaker’s SUV price tag is too hefty for the carmaker to meet its production volume goal for 2016.
Jonas wrote that the $130,000 SUV is just too pricey (via Business Insider):
Even allowing the Model X (average transaction price) to decline over time through the introduction of lower-spec models leaves what we believe to be a higher-priced vehicle than we expected that may struggle to meet the volume expectations of the market and our forecasts.
If you remember correctly, Jonas was the analyst that called for Tesla’s stock to effectively double because he had a good idea for the automaker, which he said was the world’s most important.
Volkswagen Planning Capital Push to Raise Money For Scandal
Volkswagen may issue preferred shares to help raise money to deal with its growing diesel scandal, Reuters reported.
The German automaker may cut costs and boost cash flow before resorting to offering parts of the company to outside investors. According to the report, VW may find some willing investors to help bail the company out of its dire straights thanks to its healthy balance sheet and assets. However, if no one is willing to take the bait, the company may resort to more extreme cash-raising strategies that include selling ordinary stock, or even perhaps selling off some of its brands.
Reuters reported that sources said Volkswagen wasn’t considering selling any of its brands now. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles spun off luxury carmaker Ferrari this year, in part, to raise capital for other investments at the global automaker.
Terrorists Could Make Autonomous Cars A Security Nightmare
Self-driving cars could usher in a new form of terrorism, an investment analyst writes (via SlashDot).
Alex Rubalcava, who is an investment advisor in California, says that autonomous cars would be “the greatest force multiplier to emerge in decades for criminals and terrorists.
“A future Timothy McVeigh will not need to drive a truck full of fertilizer to the place he intends to detonate it. A burner email account, a prepaid debit card purchased with cash, and an account, tied to that burner email, with an AV car service will get him a long way to being able to place explosives near crowds, without ever being there himself.”
Criminals in Denver have already used burners, pre-paid cards and fake names to rent Car2go cars for drive-by shootings.
Analyst: Tesla Could Surge With Autonomous Ride Sharing Biz
Tesla’s ride-sharing business could be worth hundreds of millions to the company in the future, an analyst for Morgan Stanley said Monday.
Adam Jonas increased his price target for Tesla from $280 to $465 — but said the stock could go even higher to $611 — based on his forecast that Tesla could introduce an autonomous ride-sharing service by as early as 2018, Bloomberg reported.
It’s at least the third time that Jonas has publicly pumped Tesla’s stock.
Koreans Best Japan In 2015 JD Power Initial Quality Study
Once one of the bests among the rests, Japanese automakers fell below average in the 2015 J.D. Power Initial Quality Study as the Koreans rise in quality.
Credit Suisse Picks Tesla As One Of Its Favorites For 2015
Looking for new stock to add to your portfolio in 2015? Credit Suisse has one for your consideration: Tesla.
Schmidt: Western Europe EV, PHEV Sales Stalling Through Decade
EV and PHEV manufacturers may have fared well in Western Europe last year, but further gains in the market aren’t likely for some time to come.
Consumer Reports: Tesla Model S Ranked "Average" In Reliability Survey
Think your Tesla Model S is all that and a bag of Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte Doritos? That it says to the world that you’ve arrived? That you’re standing on the edge of a silver future? Consumer Reports says your car’s just “average.”
Low Fuel Prices, Strong New-Car Sales Boost US Economy
What happens when $2.99 for a gallon of regular fuels demand for new vehicles? The U.S. economy feels its VTEC kick in, of course.
Nielsen: Baby Boomer Men Greatest Generation Of Connected-Car Users
Nielsen, who are better known for its television ratings system than much else, recently published a report narrowing down who exactly goes for connected-vehicle technology the most.
Short answer: Men 55 and over, college degree in one hand, $100,000 in the other.
Interbrand: Toyota Most Valuable Global Automotive Brand
Aside from giving away FCVs at environmental media award celebrations, Toyota is Interbrand’s most valuable automotive brand on its Best Global Brands list, moving from No. 10 to No. 8 overall in 2014.
US New-Car Fuel Economy Improves For 2013, Falls For September 2014
Good news: New-car fuel economy in the United States improved to an average of 24.1 mpg in 2013.
Bad news: Said economy fell to 25.3 mpg for September 2014.
Goldman Sachs: Tesla Needs $6B In Capital To Meet "Disruptive" Growth
According to the financial overlords of Goldman Sachs, Tesla would need an $6 billion in capital within the next 11 years should its products become truly disruptive to the automotive industry.
Edmunds: 2014 SAAR May Best 2006 Peak
The surge in United States auto sales last month could push the final figures to a height not seen since 2006 when January 2015 rolls around.
August 2014 US New-Car Fuel Economy Hits All-Time High Of 25.8 MPG
The University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute’s monthly United States new-car fuel economy report is out, and it’s a doozy: August 2014 saw an all-time high of 25.8 mpg.
Consumer Reports' Long-Term Tesla Develops Reliability Blemishes
Though the Tesla Model S is one of Consumer Reports’ recommended darlings, the premium EV garnered its share of reliability blemishes during long-term testing.
Latest GM Recall Woes Hurt Q2 Results
In today’s General Motors digest: The automaker takes it on the chin in its quarterly report; the analysts have their say; GM Korea could allow its workers to build the next Cruze if only they would put down the picket signs; 45 attorney generals are investigating the February 2014 recall; and CEO Mary Barra will be the keynote speaker for a connected-vehicle forum.
Subaru Behind Jeep, Ram As Most Off-Roaded Automaker
Jeep may be the first thing to come to mind when the idea of going off-road comes up in conversation, but when taking a trip from Los Angeles to that secret pool/art installation in the middle of the desert, you might find a Subaru waiting nearby.
BMW M235i Bests Corvette, 911 In Consumer Reports Road Testing
BMW’s M235i has earned the highest marks ever bestowed upon the German automaker’s lineup from Consumer Reports, while also besting the Porsche 911 and Chevrolet Corvette in road tests whose results were recently released online.
JD Power Initial Quality Study Shows GM, Hyundai, Porsche Leading The Pack
J.D. Power has released their U.S. Initial Quality Study for 2014, where General Motors, Hyundai and Porsche earned top marks despite consumers still struggling with the gizmology taking over their vehicles.
May 2014 New-Car Fuel Economy Average Climbs To 25.6 MPG
Though the new-car fuel economy average stumbled a bit in April, the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute says May’s figure more than made up for it by setting a new monthly record high of 25.6 mpg.
S&P Delivers Junk Status On Tesla
Though still riding high all over equity markets, Tesla’s debt offerings took a severe hit in status when Standard & Poor’s bestowed a rating of junk status due to increased possibility of default by the EV automaker.
Survey: GM Worst In Its Relationships With Tier 1 Suppliers
Already dealing with a perception-is-reality problem over its ongoing product recall crisis, General Motors now has a new perception problem: Tier 1 suppliers find the automaker to be the worst automaker in the United States when it comes to their relationships with the company.
April 2014 Sales Expected To Rise With The Temperature, Fulfilled Demand
As the vortices of winter give way to the tornadoes of spring, two automotive weather forecasters predict April 2014 sales to rise 9 percent as consumers head for the showroom floor amid the warming air.
March 2014 US New Car Fuel Economy Average Climbs To 25.4 MPG
The University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute says the U.S. new car fuel economy average climbed 0.3 mpg to 25.4 mpg in March.
Toyota Dominates Consumer Reports Used Car Recommendations
Several Toyota models dominated this year’s Consumer Reports list of used car recommendations, with 11 out of 28 overall belonging to the automaker’s Scion, Lexus and namesake brands.
Barclays: GM Suffering From Worst Large Pickup Launch In 15 Years
Though the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado took home North American Truck/Utility of the Year at last month’s Detroit Auto Show, the large pickup and its brother, the GMC Sierra, have suffered from “the least successful large pickup launch over the last 15 years” according to Barclays Capital analyst Brian Johnson.
Sonata Quality Issues Drag Down Hyundai, R&D President Returns
Just as J.D. Power ranks Hyundai fifth from dead last over quality issues regarding the 2011 Sonata, the automaker’s research and development president, Kwon Moon-sik, returns to the fold three months after quitting over a number of quality issues within the product line.
Panasonic, Partners Plan To Invest $1 Billion In Tesla Gigafactory
In the wake of Tesla shares hitting an all-time high of $259.20 after Morgan Stanley raised its target price to $320/share, battery maker Panasonic is gathering a few partners to go all in on a $1 billion investment in the automaker’s Gigafactory battery production plant.
Presidents Day, Warmer Weather Provide Small Jump In February Sales
Brief warming spells between polar vortices and Presidents Day sales boosted sales in February, though rising inventories and incentives raise questions about sales momentum heading into the oncoming spring selling season.
Japanese Brands Dominate Consumer Reports Rankings, Detroit Three Struggling
Though quality and performance have improved as of late for products made by the Detroit Three, they still have a ways to go to beat the Japanese brands dominating Consumer Reports‘ current rankings.
J.D. Power: Increase In Dependability Problems For 1st Time Since 1998
In a new study by J.D. Power and Associates, the analyst group has found an increase in the average of dependability problems per 100 cars, the first such increase since 1998.
Moody's Cuts Fiat's Rating Down Due To Earnings Worries, Outlook
Citing weak results in 2013 and guidance challenges for 2014, investment ratings agency Moody’s has cut Fiat’s rating from B3a to B1, four notches below investment grade.
EPA Declares Mazda As Most Fuel Efficient Automaker
Though Toyota and Nissan may be leading the charge to a hybrid plug-in future, it’s Mazda who, once again, leads the Environmental Protection Agency’s fuel economy list for the 2013 model year with an average of 27.5 mpg.
Analyst Who Can't Shoot Straight Sinks Car Stocks
TTAC’s advisor in cross-cultural affairs, Frau Schmitto-san, advises me that “itay” means “pain” in Japanese. Nomen est omen: Pessimistic remarks of an analyst named “Itay” sent car stocks down this morning. By mid day, Ford had dropped 19 cents, GM lost 53 cents. All because Citi analyst Itay Michaeli thinks the car market may not be as hot as some think.
Grade The Analysts: The Bankers Have It
March was a great month for the auto industry, and an analyst’s Waterloo. The real-time data equipped heavy-weights of Edmunds, TrueCar and Kelley were solidly trounced by bankers with a better feel, better sources, or simply better luck. The podium of March’s “Grade The Analysts” is populated by brokers and bankers, the professional auto oracles have been degraded to also-runs.
TTAC Grades The Analysts: Edmunds Receives First A+
With full sales numbers reported for July, TTAC is proud to announce its first-ever auto analyst grades [analyst estimates via Bloomberg]. For now we’re simply grading SAAR projections, but we’ve included OEM projections where applicable, for your own comparison. For July, the top-rated analyst was Edmunds.com’s Jessica Caldwell, whose SAAR prediction was an uncanny .5% off the actual number. Congratulations to Jessica and the Edmunds team, as well as our other A-rated analysts, Rod Lache of Deutsche Bank and Peter Nesvold of Jefferies (who squeaked in with an A-). Hit the jump to see how we calculated our grades.