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Drew Dowdell

March 2019: Audi of America

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Nice movement of CPO sales, but like everyone else, new auto sales are slowing.

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    • By Drew Dowdell
      SMART just recently announced they will be leaving the U.S. and reorienting towards China.  Could Fiat be throwing in the towel in the U.S.?   It could be if the signal of investment location is the tea leaf to be read. While the Fiat brand has nearly disappeared in China and rapidly fading in the US, they are targeting the Brazilian market, Europe, and emerging markets in their new 5-year plan. 
      Fiat has been struggling in the U.S. for year, and in spite of fielding 4 models, Fiat moved just 15,521 vehicles in the U.S. in 2018, a decline of 41% over 2017. Sales continue to fall in 2019, down another 42% YTD as of April 2019. 
      According to a report in Bloomberg, Fiat is investing $4 billion in South America to expand and build two new SUVs for the South American market. The money will go towards expanding capacity at a Jeep factory in Pernambuco to 350,000 from 250,000 per year as well as building a new factory to build engines.  Fiat plans to release 15 new, refreshed, or special series vehicles in Latin America by 2024.  Jeep and Ram will get an additional 10. 
      Latin America is the only region other than North America where FCA made money in first quarter 2019, however Fiat's market share has been falling from first place in 2015 to third place today. At the same time, Jeep has been expanding in South America from near 0% share as recently as 2014.  Fiat brand is most popular in Brazil. 
      While the 5-year plan does not yet signal an exit from the U.S. market, the reorientation of resources to markets other than the U.S. could be a signal that the end could be near for Fiat brand in the U.S. 

      View full article
    • By Drew Dowdell
      SMART just recently announced they will be leaving the U.S. and reorienting towards China.  Could Fiat be throwing in the towel in the U.S.?   It could be if the signal of investment location is the tea leaf to be read. While the Fiat brand has nearly disappeared in China and rapidly fading in the US, they are targeting the Brazilian market, Europe, and emerging markets in their new 5-year plan. 
      Fiat has been struggling in the U.S. for year, and in spite of fielding 4 models, Fiat moved just 15,521 vehicles in the U.S. in 2018, a decline of 41% over 2017. Sales continue to fall in 2019, down another 42% YTD as of April 2019. 
      According to a report in Bloomberg, Fiat is investing $4 billion in South America to expand and build two new SUVs for the South American market. The money will go towards expanding capacity at a Jeep factory in Pernambuco to 350,000 from 250,000 per year as well as building a new factory to build engines.  Fiat plans to release 15 new, refreshed, or special series vehicles in Latin America by 2024.  Jeep and Ram will get an additional 10. 
      Latin America is the only region other than North America where FCA made money in first quarter 2019, however Fiat's market share has been falling from first place in 2015 to third place today. At the same time, Jeep has been expanding in South America from near 0% share as recently as 2014.  Fiat brand is most popular in Brazil. 
      While the 5-year plan does not yet signal an exit from the U.S. market, the reorientation of resources to markets other than the U.S. could be a signal that the end could be near for Fiat brand in the U.S. 
    • By William Maley
      After 20 years, Audi will be sending off the TT coupe and convertible into the great parking lot in the sky. During the brand's annual meeting today, Audi CEO Bram Schot said a new strategy focusing on sustainability means the brand has to cut a number of models that don't make economic sense.
      “There will be lots of things that we won’t do any more in the future, or things that we do less. We focus maximum resources on our key projects,” said Schot.
      This is part of an effort to get the brand back on track in terms of sales and profit after the diesel emission scandal which culminated in the arrest of former CEO Rupert Stadler and an 800 million euro ($895 million) fine.
      Schot did reveal that the TT would be replaced by a new "emotive" electric vehicle in the same price range. No other details were given.
      The TT isn't the only model on the chopping block. The R8 sportscar is being questioned as to whether or not it fits into Audi's new focus. Also, the successor to the A8 flagship may go all-electric.
      Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      After 20 years, Audi will be sending off the TT coupe and convertible into the great parking lot in the sky. During the brand's annual meeting today, Audi CEO Bram Schot said a new strategy focusing on sustainability means the brand has to cut a number of models that don't make economic sense.
      “There will be lots of things that we won’t do any more in the future, or things that we do less. We focus maximum resources on our key projects,” said Schot.
      This is part of an effort to get the brand back on track in terms of sales and profit after the diesel emission scandal which culminated in the arrest of former CEO Rupert Stadler and an 800 million euro ($895 million) fine.
      Schot did reveal that the TT would be replaced by a new "emotive" electric vehicle in the same price range. No other details were given.
      The TT isn't the only model on the chopping block. The R8 sportscar is being questioned as to whether or not it fits into Audi's new focus. Also, the successor to the A8 flagship may go all-electric.
      Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
    • By Drew Dowdell
      Porsche Reports April U.S. Retail Sales
       
      First four months up 2.7 percent ahead of new Macan, 911, electric TaycanAtlanta, Georgia. Porsche Cars North America, Inc. (PCNA), importer and distributor of the Porsche 911, 718 Boxster and Cayman, Panamera, Cayenne, and Macan model lines, today announced April retail sales of 5,018 vehicles. The total was an increase of 5.0 percent from March but down 9.9 percent from a record April 2018. The primary reason for the year-over-year decline was the transition to the new Macan, the best-selling Porsche model that is due in U.S. dealerships this month.

      U.S. retail sales in the first four months were 2.7 percent ahead of the same period in 2018, which itself was the seventh record retail year in a row for PCNA. 

      “We are already feeling the excitement for the refreshed Macan and later this year for the eighth generation of the iconic Porsche 911,” said Klaus Zellmer, President and CEO of PCNA. “In September we will unveil the first all-electric Porsche, the Taycan, so all in all we have a thrilling year to look forward to along with our 191 U.S. dealer partners.”

      April results were driven by strong demand for the new Cayenne, with a notable 86.1 percent increase compared to April 2018. The mid-engine 718 Boxster and 718 Cayman together were up 1.3 percent from a year ago. 

      Porsche Approved Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) sales in the U.S. totaled 1,975
      vehicles in April, up 9.4 percent year-over-year.
       
      Model April Sales Year-to-Date 2019 2018 2019 2018 ALL 911 655 804 3,549 3,315 ALL 718 612 604 1,277 1,956 ALL PANAMERA 992 1,026 2,690 2,942 ALL CAYENNE 1,645 884 7,204 4,171 ALL MACAN 1,114 2,252 5,322 7,140 GRAND TOTALS 5,018 5,570 20,042 19,524
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