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Found 32 results

  1. Under the current standards for vehicle emissions, automakers have a variety of ways to achieve compliance. These are known as "compliance flexibilities" which allows an automaker to sell electric vehicles to off-set gad-guzzlers like SUVs as an example. But the recent proposal by the Trump administration to ease emission standards, will remove these flexibilities. The proposal unveiled last week would freeze fuel-economy and emissions standards at their 2020 levels for several years beyond that. This would seem like a positive for automakers as trucks and SUVs/crossovers are selling like hotcakes. But the removal of this provision has automakers crying fowl, saying these help with global vehicle development. The heads of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers and the Association of Global Automakers wrote a letter to Trump stating that the “flexible compliance pathways that pave the way for research and deployment in advanced fuel-saving technologies”. “We are global manufacturers; to compete around the world, we must continue to invest in both more efficient internal combustion engine technologies, electric-drive technologies and fuel cells,” said Mitch Bainwol of the Alliance, and John Bozzella of the Global Automakers. But there is a reason the government is removing those compliance flexibilities as it "existing fuel-economy program easier to administer and more transparent". This makes it easier for regulators and consumers to verify an automaker's claim. The current system is somewhat confusing, as thirstier automakers can buy into compliance by trading emission credits from more efficient ones. The trades and prices can be shielded from public viewing. Source: Bloomberg
  2. Under the current standards for vehicle emissions, automakers have a variety of ways to achieve compliance. These are known as "compliance flexibilities" which allows an automaker to sell electric vehicles to off-set gad-guzzlers like SUVs as an example. But the recent proposal by the Trump administration to ease emission standards, will remove these flexibilities. The proposal unveiled last week would freeze fuel-economy and emissions standards at their 2020 levels for several years beyond that. This would seem like a positive for automakers as trucks and SUVs/crossovers are selling like hotcakes. But the removal of this provision has automakers crying fowl, saying these help with global vehicle development. The heads of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers and the Association of Global Automakers wrote a letter to Trump stating that the “flexible compliance pathways that pave the way for research and deployment in advanced fuel-saving technologies”. “We are global manufacturers; to compete around the world, we must continue to invest in both more efficient internal combustion engine technologies, electric-drive technologies and fuel cells,” said Mitch Bainwol of the Alliance, and John Bozzella of the Global Automakers. But there is a reason the government is removing those compliance flexibilities as it "existing fuel-economy program easier to administer and more transparent". This makes it easier for regulators and consumers to verify an automaker's claim. The current system is somewhat confusing, as thirstier automakers can buy into compliance by trading emission credits from more efficient ones. The trades and prices can be shielded from public viewing. Source: Bloomberg View full article
  3. Automakers have been edge for a few months with talk of a trade war and possibly putting up to a 25 percent tariff on imported new vehicles. They only would be pushed further to the edge as President Donald Trump tweeted last week a 20 percent import tariff on all cars assembled in the European Union. Now, automakers are rebuking the President over this. Reuters reports today that two trade groups, representing nearly every major global automotive brands have issued comments saying the president shouldn't go forward with tariff. The two groups in question are the Association of Global Automakers (represents Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Nissan, Subaru, Toyota, and others) and Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers (represents General Motors, Ford, FCA, BMW, and others). The primary concerned brought up by both groups? Jobs. “Rather than creating jobs, these tariffs would result in the loss of hundreds of thousands of American jobs producing and selling cars, SUVs, trucks and auto parts,” said the Association of Global Automakers. Both groups cite a study done by the Peterson Institute for International Economics which estimates job losses between 195,000 to 624,000 depending if other countries retaliate with their own tariffs. Next up is the increased cost on a new vehicle. The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers says a consumer could expect to pay an average of $5,800 more on a new car. This number is based on analysis of 2017 sales data and factoring in a 25 percent tariff. New cars are already expensive - Kelly Blue Book said the average transaction price for May stood at $35,635. The final concern brought up deals with a decrease in investments into new technologies such as electrification and autonomous vehicles. “We are already in the midst of an intense global race to lead on electrification and automation. The increased costs associated with the proposed tariffs may result in diminishing the U.S.’ competitiveness in developing these advanced technologies,” said the Alliance. The U.S. Commerce Department which is investigating new car imports on the national security has said that it hopes to wrap up their investigation either next month or August. Source: Reuters View full article
  4. Automakers have been edge for a few months with talk of a trade war and possibly putting up to a 25 percent tariff on imported new vehicles. They only would be pushed further to the edge as President Donald Trump tweeted last week a 20 percent import tariff on all cars assembled in the European Union. Now, automakers are rebuking the President over this. Reuters reports today that two trade groups, representing nearly every major global automotive brands have issued comments saying the president shouldn't go forward with tariff. The two groups in question are the Association of Global Automakers (represents Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Nissan, Subaru, Toyota, and others) and Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers (represents General Motors, Ford, FCA, BMW, and others). The primary concerned brought up by both groups? Jobs. “Rather than creating jobs, these tariffs would result in the loss of hundreds of thousands of American jobs producing and selling cars, SUVs, trucks and auto parts,” said the Association of Global Automakers. Both groups cite a study done by the Peterson Institute for International Economics which estimates job losses between 195,000 to 624,000 depending if other countries retaliate with their own tariffs. Next up is the increased cost on a new vehicle. The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers says a consumer could expect to pay an average of $5,800 more on a new car. This number is based on analysis of 2017 sales data and factoring in a 25 percent tariff. New cars are already expensive - Kelly Blue Book said the average transaction price for May stood at $35,635. The final concern brought up deals with a decrease in investments into new technologies such as electrification and autonomous vehicles. “We are already in the midst of an intense global race to lead on electrification and automation. The increased costs associated with the proposed tariffs may result in diminishing the U.S.’ competitiveness in developing these advanced technologies,” said the Alliance. The U.S. Commerce Department which is investigating new car imports on the national security has said that it hopes to wrap up their investigation either next month or August. Source: Reuters
  5. If the Trump administration goes forward with placing a 25 percent tariff on new cars, it could cost automakers between one to two million sales. Analysis done by researcher LMC Automotive said if automakers pass on the full 25 percent tariff to customers, it could cut sales by about two million - about 10 percent of annual U.S. sales. If automakers absorb some some of tariff, the sales drop would reduce to just a million. Jeff Schuster, senior vice president of forecasting for LMC Automotive tells Bloomberg that consumers would react in one of three ways. Look at the used car market Move to domestically built products with cheaper pricetags Put off buying a new car with the hope this is only temporary While new car sales have been slipping from the record high of 17.6 million in 2016, LMC Automotive is predicting a still-strong 17.1 million deliveries by the end of the year. Source: Bloomberg View full article
  6. If the Trump administration goes forward with placing a 25 percent tariff on new cars, it could cost automakers between one to two million sales. Analysis done by researcher LMC Automotive said if automakers pass on the full 25 percent tariff to customers, it could cut sales by about two million - about 10 percent of annual U.S. sales. If automakers absorb some some of tariff, the sales drop would reduce to just a million. Jeff Schuster, senior vice president of forecasting for LMC Automotive tells Bloomberg that consumers would react in one of three ways. Look at the used car market Move to domestically built products with cheaper pricetags Put off buying a new car with the hope this is only temporary While new car sales have been slipping from the record high of 17.6 million in 2016, LMC Automotive is predicting a still-strong 17.1 million deliveries by the end of the year. Source: Bloomberg
  7. We all know someone who takes things a bit a too far. In the case of automakers, that someone is EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. Back in April April, Pruitt announced a serious rollback of fuel economy regulations that were set in stone during the Obama administration. In a summary of the proposed draft, the EPA would rollback the fleetwide average from 46.8 mpg for the 2026 model year to around 37 mpg - the fleetwide average for the 2020 model year. The draft also mentions pre-empting "California's authority" on setting their own emission standards under the 1975 Energy Policy and Conservation Act. This move has caused California and a collation of other states to file suit over the proposed changes. According to Automotive News, the changes proposed by Pruitt go a bit too far for automakers. All they wanted was the emission targets for the 2022-2025 model years to "ratchet up more gradually and offer more compliance flexibility." Now, they have to worry about litigation and uncertainty. "I don't think anybody in industry, when asked for reopening of standards, asked to level out to zero," said an unnamed lobbyist for a major automaker. However, certain groups argue that automakers should have expected something far-reaching under this current administration. "You've got to know your audience. If you go to [EPA Administrator] Scott Pruitt and Donald Trump and say you want relief from the rules and they are going to cost jobs, this is what you end up with," said Andrew Linhardt, deputy director of the Sierra Club's clean energy campaign. Later this week, executives from the major automakers will be meeting with officials at the White House to see if they can get the federal government and California to agree to some sort of comprise. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
  8. We all know someone who takes things a bit a too far. In the case of automakers, that someone is EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. Back in April April, Pruitt announced a serious rollback of fuel economy regulations that were set in stone during the Obama administration. In a summary of the proposed draft, the EPA would rollback the fleetwide average from 46.8 mpg for the 2026 model year to around 37 mpg - the fleetwide average for the 2020 model year. The draft also mentions pre-empting "California's authority" on setting their own emission standards under the 1975 Energy Policy and Conservation Act. This move has caused California and a collation of other states to file suit over the proposed changes. According to Automotive News, the changes proposed by Pruitt go a bit too far for automakers. All they wanted was the emission targets for the 2022-2025 model years to "ratchet up more gradually and offer more compliance flexibility." Now, they have to worry about litigation and uncertainty. "I don't think anybody in industry, when asked for reopening of standards, asked to level out to zero," said an unnamed lobbyist for a major automaker. However, certain groups argue that automakers should have expected something far-reaching under this current administration. "You've got to know your audience. If you go to [EPA Administrator] Scott Pruitt and Donald Trump and say you want relief from the rules and they are going to cost jobs, this is what you end up with," said Andrew Linhardt, deputy director of the Sierra Club's clean energy campaign. Later this week, executives from the major automakers will be meeting with officials at the White House to see if they can get the federal government and California to agree to some sort of comprise. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) View full article
  9. The Frankfurt Motor Show is only just a month away, where will see a new selection of production and concept vehicles. But there will be some no-shows. Automotive News Europe has learned of nine automakers that will be skipping the show. They include, Alfa Romeo DS Fiat Infiniti Jeep Mitsubishi Nissan Peugeot Volvo The nine automakers combined make up 20 percent of all automotive sales in Europe. So why are they skipping? One issue is the cost as automakers have to spend a fair amount of cash to take part. Ian Fletcher, principal analyst for IHS Markit said it is becoming very difficult for a company to justify spending so much money for a small boost in sales. "I would question what the translation rate is between attendance on public days to transactions -- I bet most customers now are happier to do research online," said Fletcher. The other reason is automakers are beginning to do their own events or use other showcases such as the Goodwood Festival of Speed. This allows an automaker to directly reach out those interested and allow them to be the star, not be lost in the noise of an auto show. Source: Automotive News Europe (Subscription Required) View full article
  10. William Maley

    Nine Automakers Pass On Frankfurt

    The Frankfurt Motor Show is only just a month away, where will see a new selection of production and concept vehicles. But there will be some no-shows. Automotive News Europe has learned of nine automakers that will be skipping the show. They include, Alfa Romeo DS Fiat Infiniti Jeep Mitsubishi Nissan Peugeot Volvo The nine automakers combined make up 20 percent of all automotive sales in Europe. So why are they skipping? One issue is the cost as automakers have to spend a fair amount of cash to take part. Ian Fletcher, principal analyst for IHS Markit said it is becoming very difficult for a company to justify spending so much money for a small boost in sales. "I would question what the translation rate is between attendance on public days to transactions -- I bet most customers now are happier to do research online," said Fletcher. The other reason is automakers are beginning to do their own events or use other showcases such as the Goodwood Festival of Speed. This allows an automaker to directly reach out those interested and allow them to be the star, not be lost in the noise of an auto show. Source: Automotive News Europe (Subscription Required)
  11. The current trend in powertrains is to downsize engine displacement to meet emission standards. Paired with a set of turbochargers, three-cylinder and even two-cylinder engines can produce enough power to move large vehicles. But this trend is coming to an end in Europe. Reuters reports that a number of European automakers are beginning to scrap their small displacement engines for larger displacement ones. With a number of real-world tests showing these engines produce higher CO2 and nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions than in the lab, and stricter tests coming in the next few years, automakers are making a costly reversal. "They might be doing OK in the current European test cycle, but in the real world they are not performing. So there's actually a bit of 'upsizing' going on, particularly in diesel," said Pavan Potluri, an analyst with IHS Automotive. Industry sources gave Reuters some examples of automakers going bigger in terms of displacement. General Motors will ditch the 1.2L diesel in 2019. The smallest engine will be 25-30 percent bigger in displacement Renault will be increasing an almost 10 percent increase on the 1.6L diesel engine in the near future Volkswagen will replace the 1.4L three-cylinder diesel for a new 1.6L in their Polo subcompact "The techniques we've used to reduce engine capacities will no longer allow us to meet emissions standards. We're reaching the limits of downsizing." said Alain Raposo, head of powertrain at the Renault-Nissan alliance. We can't help but wonder if this change will extend into the U.S. There are a small number of three-cylinders engines on offer, but many automakers have been swapping V6s for turbocharged four-cylinders. Source: Reuters
  12. The current trend in powertrains is to downsize engine displacement to meet emission standards. Paired with a set of turbochargers, three-cylinder and even two-cylinder engines can produce enough power to move large vehicles. But this trend is coming to an end in Europe. Reuters reports that a number of European automakers are beginning to scrap their small displacement engines for larger displacement ones. With a number of real-world tests showing these engines produce higher CO2 and nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions than in the lab, and stricter tests coming in the next few years, automakers are making a costly reversal. "They might be doing OK in the current European test cycle, but in the real world they are not performing. So there's actually a bit of 'upsizing' going on, particularly in diesel," said Pavan Potluri, an analyst with IHS Automotive. Industry sources gave Reuters some examples of automakers going bigger in terms of displacement. General Motors will ditch the 1.2L diesel in 2019. The smallest engine will be 25-30 percent bigger in displacement Renault will be increasing an almost 10 percent increase on the 1.6L diesel engine in the near future Volkswagen will replace the 1.4L three-cylinder diesel for a new 1.6L in their Polo subcompact "The techniques we've used to reduce engine capacities will no longer allow us to meet emissions standards. We're reaching the limits of downsizing." said Alain Raposo, head of powertrain at the Renault-Nissan alliance. We can't help but wonder if this change will extend into the U.S. There are a small number of three-cylinders engines on offer, but many automakers have been swapping V6s for turbocharged four-cylinders. Source: Reuters View full article
  13. America. The land of opportunity. Various automakers around the world want to get in on this very lucrative marketplace. But as Automotive News notes, trying to break into the U.S. marketplace is close to mission impossible. Automakers who don't compete in the U.S. see numbers like "16-million-plus sales volume of new cars and trucks" and "average transaction price of $30,665, according to J.D. Power" and want a piece of this. But the U.S. is an unforgiving place. "People around the world look at the sales volumes going on here, and they look at the fortunes being made here, and they look at what the outlook is in other parts of the world -- and they want to be here," said Charlie Hughes, owner of the brand-consulting firm Brand Rules. "But the plain truth is that unless you're coming in with something truly unique, it is just not plausible that you're going to get anywhere in this market." (Author's note: Also, having a bit of luck isn't a bad thing to have either. -WM) Hughes isn't wrong. Automotive News says there are 42 automotive brands that sell 283 nameplates in various models and configurations. Trying to get the attention of a consumer, let alone a large number is a difficult task. Just ask Alfa Romeo and Fiat who are currently struggling in the U.S. One only needs to look at the list of automakers that have packed up left in the past 20 years - Daewoo, Isuzu, and Suzuki. Others haven't even made it to the shore - China's Chery and India's Mahindra. But that isn't deterring a large number of automakers to give it a shot. Here is the current list of automakers that are currently planning entry to the U.S. PSA Group - parent company of Citroën, DS, and Peugeot - has announced plans for a U.S. launch. But it will be a slow rollout beginning with ride sharing service. The company will also conduct a research project to see if it is viable for them to make a launch. Skoda - a brand under the Volkswagen Group umbrella - is reportedly going to make a decision on whether to come in the U.S. next year. Ssangyong Motor Co., a South Korean builder of crossovers has announced that it will enter the U.S. in 2020 Geely Automobile is planning to launch a new brand known as Lynk & Co with the possibility of entering the U.S. No word on a possible date. Alkane Truck Co., a company based in South Carolina plans on building the Dominator, a truck using the chassis of a Brazilian army truck and various components from the U.S. CEO Bob Smith believes this vehicle will fill a niche left by the Hummer H1. "If all you're going to do is enter this market offering the same thing everyone else is already offering, you might as well save your money. The U.S. auto industry is a very expensive place to do business," said Hughes. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
  14. America. The land of opportunity. Various automakers around the world want to get in on this very lucrative marketplace. But as Automotive News notes, trying to break into the U.S. marketplace is close to mission impossible. Automakers who don't compete in the U.S. see numbers like "16-million-plus sales volume of new cars and trucks" and "average transaction price of $30,665, according to J.D. Power" and want a piece of this. But the U.S. is an unforgiving place. "People around the world look at the sales volumes going on here, and they look at the fortunes being made here, and they look at what the outlook is in other parts of the world -- and they want to be here," said Charlie Hughes, owner of the brand-consulting firm Brand Rules. "But the plain truth is that unless you're coming in with something truly unique, it is just not plausible that you're going to get anywhere in this market." (Author's note: Also, having a bit of luck isn't a bad thing to have either. -WM) Hughes isn't wrong. Automotive News says there are 42 automotive brands that sell 283 nameplates in various models and configurations. Trying to get the attention of a consumer, let alone a large number is a difficult task. Just ask Alfa Romeo and Fiat who are currently struggling in the U.S. One only needs to look at the list of automakers that have packed up left in the past 20 years - Daewoo, Isuzu, and Suzuki. Others haven't even made it to the shore - China's Chery and India's Mahindra. But that isn't deterring a large number of automakers to give it a shot. Here is the current list of automakers that are currently planning entry to the U.S. PSA Group - parent company of Citroën, DS, and Peugeot - has announced plans for a U.S. launch. But it will be a slow rollout beginning with ride sharing service. The company will also conduct a research project to see if it is viable for them to make a launch. Skoda - a brand under the Volkswagen Group umbrella - is reportedly going to make a decision on whether to come in the U.S. next year. Ssangyong Motor Co., a South Korean builder of crossovers has announced that it will enter the U.S. in 2020 Geely Automobile is planning to launch a new brand known as Lynk & Co with the possibility of entering the U.S. No word on a possible date. Alkane Truck Co., a company based in South Carolina plans on building the Dominator, a truck using the chassis of a Brazilian army truck and various components from the U.S. CEO Bob Smith believes this vehicle will fill a niche left by the Hummer H1. "If all you're going to do is enter this market offering the same thing everyone else is already offering, you might as well save your money. The U.S. auto industry is a very expensive place to do business," said Hughes. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) View full article
  15. A couple of weeks ago, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne made headlines when he announced that the Chrysler 200 and Dodge Dart would run their course - i.e. no second generation. Instead, the company would focus on building utility vehicles. This threw everyone in the automotive press into a frenzy with equal groups calling Marchionne a genius or a lunatic. But Marchionne also mentioned that the 200 and Dart could continue on if a partner could be found and build vehicles under a contract, a.k.a. badge engineering. This move presents a lot of risk for FCA. Badge engineered vehicles have never been a true success for anyone. There is also an added risk of trying to find the right partner to build these new vehicles. I have decided to figure out a possible list of suitors that FCA could go for. Some of these suitors have a history with the brand while others don’t have any history at all. Mitsubishi - Chances of happening: 1 to 10% The Japanese automaker has a long history with Chrysler. During the late 70’s to mid-nineties, Chrysler imported a number of Mitsubishi vehicles to rebadge and sell (Colt, Colt Vista, Conquest, and Sapporo to name a few). Then there was Diamond Star Motors - a joint venture between the two of developing and building a group of coupes - Eagle Talon, Mitsubishi Eclipse, and Plymouth Laser. Even now, Mitsubishi allows Chrysler to sell a rebadged version of the Mirage G4 sedan - the Dodge Attitude in Mexico. But Mitsubishi doesn’t have a midsize sedan. A few years back, the company announced a joint partnership with Nissan/Renault to develop a new midsize sedan. However the partnership was dissolved and Mitsubishi was back to square one. Then there is the case of the Lancer compact sedan. While most automakers have introduced new or refreshed versions, the Lancer has stayed the same. More concerning is Mitsubishi not having a real plan for the next one or a timeframe. To put it bluntly, Mitsubishi is currently marooned at sea with no sign of help coming for their car lineup. Hyundai - Chances of happening: 0 to 3.5% Hyundai is currently on a roll in many markets with an impressive lineup. But that wasn’t always the case. For example, the Korean automaker partnered with Chrysler to sell a rebadged version of the Hyundai Accent in Mexico, the Dodge Altitude in the oughts. This was because Hyundai wasn’t in the Mexican market untill last year. Going with Hyundai gives FCA access to a well-rounded if a bit boring looking midsize sedan (Sonata) and recently redesigned compact (Elantra). But Hyundai is very constrained on production. All of Hyundai’s factories are working overtime on getting vehicles onto dealer lots. Hyundai is also beginning to change some of their production capacity to focus on building crossovers to meet the growing demand for utility vehicles. The possibility of FCA getting any vehicles are very slim. Mazda - Chances of happening: 10 to 35% The most recent partnership FCA has developed is with Mazda. A few years back, the two announced a deal where the next-generation Mazda MX-5 Miata would form the basis for a new Alfa Romeo Spyder. But Alfa Romeo decided to go their own way and the Miata deal fell into Fiat’s lap. The end result was the 124 Spider which debuted at the LA Auto Show. Extending the partnership would be beneficial for Mazda. The Japanese automaker would have more vehicles on the ground, albeit with different badges. But this partnership could bring some problems. If Mazda was to give the 3 and 6 to FCA, they would be essentially competing with itself. Also, would FCA want to make any changes to the 3 and 6? They already did this with the 124 Spider and there are concerns about reliability due to the changes made. Volkswagen - Chances of happening: 0 to 2% I’ll admit this is quite the long shot. The two automakers have been bickering at each other for a few years when it comes to Alfa Romeo. (To be honest, I would like to see what Volkswagen could do with Alfa Romeo. They could actually get models out on time. But I digress. -WM) So why would Volkswagen want to enter a partnership with FCA? Well, they could use the money considering the amount of trouble they are in with diesel emissions. Also, the two did have a relationship with producing a version of the Chrysler Town & Country/Dodge Caravan for the German automaker - the Volkswagen Routan. But Volkswagen is currently dealing with the fallout of the diesel emission scandal and doing a partnership with an another automaker isn’t at the top of their priority list. Also, would you really want to drive a Chrysler Passat? How about a Dodge Jetta? PSA Peugeot Citroen: Chances of happening: 0 to 2% This idea was put out there by Richard Truett of Automotive News. His argument for going with the French automakers is this: ‘The replacements must not be available here from any other manufacturer.’ This makes sense as it would solve one of the biggest problems with going with automaker already in the U.S. - Competing with itself. It would also give the PSA Peugeot Citroen a barometer of whether or not it should make a return to the market. There have been rumors here and there about the French automaker considering a return. But there are a number of problems with this solution. If a deal was reached, getting the vehicles into the U.S. Market would take a fair amount of time and money - getting it certified, making changes, performing emission and crash tests. Also, PSA Peugeot Citroen is still in a recovery process after being very close to bankruptcy two years back. They announced a profit in the first half of 2015 and sales are starting to climb back. Considering something like this would be considered too risky for French automaker. Chinese Automaker: Chances of happening: 1 to 10% The last possibility for a possible partnership is going with one of the Chinese automakers. A number have expressed interest in selling vehicles in the U.S., and a few have come to the various auto shows to gauge interest. But no one has made the full commitment. If FCA was to somehow to make a partnership with a Chinese automaker, it could give them an idea of how their models could fare. But there is a glaring issue with this - aside from the concerns about safety and quality. There is already a sentiment of people who don’t like the idea of automakers of importing vehicles built in China - the Volvo S60 Inscription and soon the Buick Envision. If FCA was to import Chinese vehicles wearing Chrysler and Dodge badges, this could end up a disaster in the court of public opinion. So there is the list of possible contenders that FCA could partner with. We’ll have to sit and wait to see if FCA makes any decision on a possible partnership. But one thing is clear, there is a small group of automakers that would even entertain this. View full article
  16. A couple of weeks ago, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne made headlines when he announced that the Chrysler 200 and Dodge Dart would run their course - i.e. no second generation. Instead, the company would focus on building utility vehicles. This threw everyone in the automotive press into a frenzy with equal groups calling Marchionne a genius or a lunatic. But Marchionne also mentioned that the 200 and Dart could continue on if a partner could be found and build vehicles under a contract, a.k.a. badge engineering. This move presents a lot of risk for FCA. Badge engineered vehicles have never been a true success for anyone. There is also an added risk of trying to find the right partner to build these new vehicles. I have decided to figure out a possible list of suitors that FCA could go for. Some of these suitors have a history with the brand while others don’t have any history at all. Mitsubishi - Chances of happening: 1 to 10% The Japanese automaker has a long history with Chrysler. During the late 70’s to mid-nineties, Chrysler imported a number of Mitsubishi vehicles to rebadge and sell (Colt, Colt Vista, Conquest, and Sapporo to name a few). Then there was Diamond Star Motors - a joint venture between the two of developing and building a group of coupes - Eagle Talon, Mitsubishi Eclipse, and Plymouth Laser. Even now, Mitsubishi allows Chrysler to sell a rebadged version of the Mirage G4 sedan - the Dodge Attitude in Mexico. But Mitsubishi doesn’t have a midsize sedan. A few years back, the company announced a joint partnership with Nissan/Renault to develop a new midsize sedan. However the partnership was dissolved and Mitsubishi was back to square one. Then there is the case of the Lancer compact sedan. While most automakers have introduced new or refreshed versions, the Lancer has stayed the same. More concerning is Mitsubishi not having a real plan for the next one or a timeframe. To put it bluntly, Mitsubishi is currently marooned at sea with no sign of help coming for their car lineup. Hyundai - Chances of happening: 0 to 3.5% Hyundai is currently on a roll in many markets with an impressive lineup. But that wasn’t always the case. For example, the Korean automaker partnered with Chrysler to sell a rebadged version of the Hyundai Accent in Mexico, the Dodge Altitude in the oughts. This was because Hyundai wasn’t in the Mexican market untill last year. Going with Hyundai gives FCA access to a well-rounded if a bit boring looking midsize sedan (Sonata) and recently redesigned compact (Elantra). But Hyundai is very constrained on production. All of Hyundai’s factories are working overtime on getting vehicles onto dealer lots. Hyundai is also beginning to change some of their production capacity to focus on building crossovers to meet the growing demand for utility vehicles. The possibility of FCA getting any vehicles are very slim. Mazda - Chances of happening: 10 to 35% The most recent partnership FCA has developed is with Mazda. A few years back, the two announced a deal where the next-generation Mazda MX-5 Miata would form the basis for a new Alfa Romeo Spyder. But Alfa Romeo decided to go their own way and the Miata deal fell into Fiat’s lap. The end result was the 124 Spider which debuted at the LA Auto Show. Extending the partnership would be beneficial for Mazda. The Japanese automaker would have more vehicles on the ground, albeit with different badges. But this partnership could bring some problems. If Mazda was to give the 3 and 6 to FCA, they would be essentially competing with itself. Also, would FCA want to make any changes to the 3 and 6? They already did this with the 124 Spider and there are concerns about reliability due to the changes made. Volkswagen - Chances of happening: 0 to 2% I’ll admit this is quite the long shot. The two automakers have been bickering at each other for a few years when it comes to Alfa Romeo. (To be honest, I would like to see what Volkswagen could do with Alfa Romeo. They could actually get models out on time. But I digress. -WM) So why would Volkswagen want to enter a partnership with FCA? Well, they could use the money considering the amount of trouble they are in with diesel emissions. Also, the two did have a relationship with producing a version of the Chrysler Town & Country/Dodge Caravan for the German automaker - the Volkswagen Routan. But Volkswagen is currently dealing with the fallout of the diesel emission scandal and doing a partnership with an another automaker isn’t at the top of their priority list. Also, would you really want to drive a Chrysler Passat? How about a Dodge Jetta? PSA Peugeot Citroen: Chances of happening: 0 to 2% This idea was put out there by Richard Truett of Automotive News. His argument for going with the French automakers is this: ‘The replacements must not be available here from any other manufacturer.’ This makes sense as it would solve one of the biggest problems with going with automaker already in the U.S. - Competing with itself. It would also give the PSA Peugeot Citroen a barometer of whether or not it should make a return to the market. There have been rumors here and there about the French automaker considering a return. But there are a number of problems with this solution. If a deal was reached, getting the vehicles into the U.S. Market would take a fair amount of time and money - getting it certified, making changes, performing emission and crash tests. Also, PSA Peugeot Citroen is still in a recovery process after being very close to bankruptcy two years back. They announced a profit in the first half of 2015 and sales are starting to climb back. Considering something like this would be considered too risky for French automaker. Chinese Automaker: Chances of happening: 1 to 10% The last possibility for a possible partnership is going with one of the Chinese automakers. A number have expressed interest in selling vehicles in the U.S., and a few have come to the various auto shows to gauge interest. But no one has made the full commitment. If FCA was to somehow to make a partnership with a Chinese automaker, it could give them an idea of how their models could fare. But there is a glaring issue with this - aside from the concerns about safety and quality. There is already a sentiment of people who don’t like the idea of automakers of importing vehicles built in China - the Volvo S60 Inscription and soon the Buick Envision. If FCA was to import Chinese vehicles wearing Chrysler and Dodge badges, this could end up a disaster in the court of public opinion. So there is the list of possible contenders that FCA could partner with. We’ll have to sit and wait to see if FCA makes any decision on a possible partnership. But one thing is clear, there is a small group of automakers that would even entertain this.
  17. Automotive News recently reviewed a fair amount of data to answer a question; which automakers are selling more vehicles to rental car companies? Previously, the big three would do "fleet dumping" as a way to prop up sales for the month. But now, Ford and General Motors have actually cut back on selling to rental fleets and number of Asian automakers are picking up the slack. Automotive News compared sales to rental fleets in 2012 to this year's numbers, and GM has reduced its sales to fleets from 18.6 percent (nearly one-fifth of their total sales) to 13.6 percent. It should be noted that GM is still the top rental car provider with 378,219 vehicles through November. But GM is the only automaker to reduce its rentals this year (down 11 percent through November). Ford has also seen its share of fleet sales drop from 15.4 in 2012 to 11 percent this year. Automotive News does note that Ford's fleet volume has increased 23 percent through November of this year. Meanwhile, Asian automakers are increasing their sales with Hyundai and Kia leading the charge. Through November, 22.4 percent of Hyundai's total sales were for rental fleets. Contrast this to just 9.9 percent in 2012. Jessica Caldwell, an analyst for Edmunds.com says a possible reason for this is people are buying up crossovers and trucks, and Hyundai and Kia don't make that many. "Anytime an automaker is under pressure to protect market share, it's tempting to count on the daily rental business to dial up more volume," said Caldwell. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) View full article
  18. Automotive News recently reviewed a fair amount of data to answer a question; which automakers are selling more vehicles to rental car companies? Previously, the big three would do "fleet dumping" as a way to prop up sales for the month. But now, Ford and General Motors have actually cut back on selling to rental fleets and number of Asian automakers are picking up the slack. Automotive News compared sales to rental fleets in 2012 to this year's numbers, and GM has reduced its sales to fleets from 18.6 percent (nearly one-fifth of their total sales) to 13.6 percent. It should be noted that GM is still the top rental car provider with 378,219 vehicles through November. But GM is the only automaker to reduce its rentals this year (down 11 percent through November). Ford has also seen its share of fleet sales drop from 15.4 in 2012 to 11 percent this year. Automotive News does note that Ford's fleet volume has increased 23 percent through November of this year. Meanwhile, Asian automakers are increasing their sales with Hyundai and Kia leading the charge. Through November, 22.4 percent of Hyundai's total sales were for rental fleets. Contrast this to just 9.9 percent in 2012. Jessica Caldwell, an analyst for Edmunds.com says a possible reason for this is people are buying up crossovers and trucks, and Hyundai and Kia don't make that many. "Anytime an automaker is under pressure to protect market share, it's tempting to count on the daily rental business to dial up more volume," said Caldwell. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
  19. A group of ten automakers have agreed to equip all of their new vehicles with an automatic emergency braking (AEB) system in the near future. Audi, BMW, Ford, General Motors, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Tesla, Toyota, Volkswagen, and Volvo announced today they will work together with the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on an agreement and timeline to make automatic braking standard on all of their models. AEB systems work to prevent or lessen the effects of a rear-end collision by detecting an imminent collision and apply the brakes to slow or stop the vehicle. This technology is becoming commonplace in more vehicles, but seemingly always as an optional feature. The IIHS says one percent of 2015 model year vehicle have AEB as standard while 26 percent have it as an option. “If technologies such as automatic emergency braking are only available as options or on the most expensive models, too few Americans will see the benefits of this new era,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said in a statement. These 10 companies are committing to making AEB available to all new-car buyers.” Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) View full article
  20. A group of ten automakers have agreed to equip all of their new vehicles with an automatic emergency braking (AEB) system in the near future. Audi, BMW, Ford, General Motors, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Tesla, Toyota, Volkswagen, and Volvo announced today they will work together with the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on an agreement and timeline to make automatic braking standard on all of their models. AEB systems work to prevent or lessen the effects of a rear-end collision by detecting an imminent collision and apply the brakes to slow or stop the vehicle. This technology is becoming commonplace in more vehicles, but seemingly always as an optional feature. The IIHS says one percent of 2015 model year vehicle have AEB as standard while 26 percent have it as an option. “If technologies such as automatic emergency braking are only available as options or on the most expensive models, too few Americans will see the benefits of this new era,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said in a statement. These 10 companies are committing to making AEB available to all new-car buyers.” Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
  21. Porsche Cars North America, Inc. - Up 28.1% (5,217 Vehicles Sold This Month, 16,647 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year) Mitsubishi Motors North America - Up 25.6% (8,216 Vehicles Sold This Month, 32,006 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year) Subaru of America, Inc. - Up 17.9% (47,241 Vehicles Sold This Month, 178,522 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year) Jaguar Land Rover North America - Up 14.8% (6,390 Vehicles Sold This Month, 27,702 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year) Mercedes-Benz USA - Up 10.6% (32,432 Vehicles Sold This Month, 117,680 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year) Maserati North America, Inc. - Up 10% (1,060 Vehicles Sold This Month, 2,989 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year) BMW Group U.S. - Up 9.6% (32,428 Vehicles Sold This Month, 123,697 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year) Audi of America - Up 7.5% (16,827 Vehicles Sold This Month, 56,925 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year) Mazda North American Operations - Up 7.5% (24,123 Vehicles Sold This Month, 102,167 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year) FCA US LLC - Up 6% (189,027 Vehicles Sold This Month, 694,881 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year) General Motors Co. - Up 5.9% (269,056 Vehicles Sold This Month, 953,095 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year) Nissan North America - Up 5.7% (109,848 Vehicles Sold This Month, 477,476 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year) Ford Motor Company - Up 5.4% (222,498 Vehicles Sold This Month, 817,161 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year) Hyundai Motor America - Up 2.9% (68,009 Vehicles Sold This Month, 240,038 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year) Toyota Motor Sales - Up 1.8% (203,329 Vehicles Sold This Month, 778,949 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year) Kia Motors America - Down 0.7% (53,282 Vehicles Sold This Month, 194,382 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year) American Honda Motor Co. - Down 1.8% (130,068 Vehicles Sold This Month, 464,011 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year) Volkswagen of America - Down 2.67% (30,009 Vehicles Sold This Month, 109,248 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year) Volvo Cars of North America, LLC - Down 5.5% (4,381 Vehicles Sold This Month, 18,103 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year) Brands: Porsche - Up 28.1% (5,217 Vehicles Sold This Month, 16,647 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year) Chrysler - Up 26% (27,704 Vehicles Sold This Month, 109,637 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year) Mitsubishi - Up 25.6% (8,216 Vehicles Sold This Month, 32,006 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year) MINI - Up 24.7% (5,467 Vehicles Sold This Month, 18,253 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year) GMC - Up 20% (47,194 Vehicles Sold This Month, 167,005 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year) Jeep - Up 20% (71,759 Vehicles Sold This Month, 250,508 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year) Lincoln - Up 19.6% (8,134 Vehicles Sold This Month, 29,612 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year) Subaru - Up 17.9% (47,241 Vehicles Sold This Month, 178,522 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year) Land Rover - Up 17.2% (5,311 Vehicles Sold This Month, 22,287 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year) Sprinter - Up 15.5% (2,674 Vehicles Sold This Month, 8,323 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year) Cadillac - Up 13.7% (15,801 Vehicles Sold This Month, 52,976 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year) Mercedes-Benz - Up 12.8% (29,188 Vehicles Sold This Month, 107,344 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year) Lexus - Up 11.7% (25,876 Vehicles Sold This Month, 103,056 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year) Maserati - Up 10% (1,060 Vehicles Sold This Month, 2,989 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year) Infiniti - Up 8.8% (9,979 Vehicles Sold This Month, 43,821 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year) Audi - Up 7.5% (16,827 Vehicles Sold This Month, 56,925 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year) Mazda - Up 7.5% (24,123 Vehicles Sold This Month, 102,167 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year) BMW - Up 6.9% (26,952 Vehicles Sold This Month, 105,444 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year) Nissan - Up 5.4% (99,869 Vehicles Sold This Month, 433,655 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year) Acura - Up 5.3% (14,874 Vehicles Sold This Month, 54,518 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year) Ford - Up 4.9% (214,364 Vehicles Sold This Month, 787,549 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year) Jaguar - Up 4.3% (1,079 Vehicles Sold This Month, 5,415 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year) Ram - Up 4% (40,864 Vehicles Sold This Month, 151,270 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year) Chevrolet - Up 3.4% (187,837 Vehicles Sold This Month, 664,393 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year) Hyundai - Up 2.9% (68,009 Vehicles Sold This Month, 240,038 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year) Toyota - Up 0.5% (177,453 Vehicles Sold This Month, 675,893 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year) Kia - Down 0.7% (53,282 Vehicles Sold This Month, 194,382 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year) Volkswagen - Down 2.67% (30,009 Vehicles Sold This Month, 109,248 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year) Honda - Down 2.7% (115,194 Vehicles Sold This Month, 409,493 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year) Buick - Down 5.2% (18,224 Vehicles Sold This Month, 68,721 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year) Volvo - Down 5.5% (4,381 Vehicles Sold This Month, 18,103 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year) Fiat - Down 13% (3,756 Vehicles Sold This Month, 14,794 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year) Dodge - Down 16% (44,906 Vehicles Sold This Month, 168,417 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year) Scion - Down 20% (4,309 Vehicles Sold This Month, 16,287 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year) Smart - Down 54.2% (480 Vehicles Sold This Month, 2,013 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year) Alfa Romeo - N/A (38 Vehicles Sold This Month, 255 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year) View full article
  22. William Maley

    Sales Figure Ticker: April 2015

    Porsche Cars North America, Inc. - Up 28.1% (5,217 Vehicles Sold This Month, 16,647 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year) Mitsubishi Motors North America - Up 25.6% (8,216 Vehicles Sold This Month, 32,006 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year) Subaru of America, Inc. - Up 17.9% (47,241 Vehicles Sold This Month, 178,522 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year) Jaguar Land Rover North America - Up 14.8% (6,390 Vehicles Sold This Month, 27,702 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year) Mercedes-Benz USA - Up 10.6% (32,432 Vehicles Sold This Month, 117,680 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year) Maserati North America, Inc. - Up 10% (1,060 Vehicles Sold This Month, 2,989 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year) BMW Group U.S. - Up 9.6% (32,428 Vehicles Sold This Month, 123,697 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year) Audi of America - Up 7.5% (16,827 Vehicles Sold This Month, 56,925 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year) Mazda North American Operations - Up 7.5% (24,123 Vehicles Sold This Month, 102,167 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year) FCA US LLC - Up 6% (189,027 Vehicles Sold This Month, 694,881 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year) General Motors Co. - Up 5.9% (269,056 Vehicles Sold This Month, 953,095 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year) Nissan North America - Up 5.7% (109,848 Vehicles Sold This Month, 477,476 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year) Ford Motor Company - Up 5.4% (222,498 Vehicles Sold This Month, 817,161 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year) Hyundai Motor America - Up 2.9% (68,009 Vehicles Sold This Month, 240,038 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year) Toyota Motor Sales - Up 1.8% (203,329 Vehicles Sold This Month, 778,949 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year) Kia Motors America - Down 0.7% (53,282 Vehicles Sold This Month, 194,382 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year) American Honda Motor Co. - Down 1.8% (130,068 Vehicles Sold This Month, 464,011 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year) Volkswagen of America - Down 2.67% (30,009 Vehicles Sold This Month, 109,248 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year) Volvo Cars of North America, LLC - Down 5.5% (4,381 Vehicles Sold This Month, 18,103 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year) Brands: Porsche - Up 28.1% (5,217 Vehicles Sold This Month, 16,647 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year) Chrysler - Up 26% (27,704 Vehicles Sold This Month, 109,637 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year) Mitsubishi - Up 25.6% (8,216 Vehicles Sold This Month, 32,006 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year) MINI - Up 24.7% (5,467 Vehicles Sold This Month, 18,253 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year) GMC - Up 20% (47,194 Vehicles Sold This Month, 167,005 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year) Jeep - Up 20% (71,759 Vehicles Sold This Month, 250,508 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year) Lincoln - Up 19.6% (8,134 Vehicles Sold This Month, 29,612 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year) Subaru - Up 17.9% (47,241 Vehicles Sold This Month, 178,522 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year) Land Rover - Up 17.2% (5,311 Vehicles Sold This Month, 22,287 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year) Sprinter - Up 15.5% (2,674 Vehicles Sold This Month, 8,323 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year) Cadillac - Up 13.7% (15,801 Vehicles Sold This Month, 52,976 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year) Mercedes-Benz - Up 12.8% (29,188 Vehicles Sold This Month, 107,344 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year) Lexus - Up 11.7% (25,876 Vehicles Sold This Month, 103,056 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year) Maserati - Up 10% (1,060 Vehicles Sold This Month, 2,989 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year) Infiniti - Up 8.8% (9,979 Vehicles Sold This Month, 43,821 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year) Audi - Up 7.5% (16,827 Vehicles Sold This Month, 56,925 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year) Mazda - Up 7.5% (24,123 Vehicles Sold This Month, 102,167 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year) BMW - Up 6.9% (26,952 Vehicles Sold This Month, 105,444 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year) Nissan - Up 5.4% (99,869 Vehicles Sold This Month, 433,655 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year) Acura - Up 5.3% (14,874 Vehicles Sold This Month, 54,518 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year) Ford - Up 4.9% (214,364 Vehicles Sold This Month, 787,549 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year) Jaguar - Up 4.3% (1,079 Vehicles Sold This Month, 5,415 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year) Ram - Up 4% (40,864 Vehicles Sold This Month, 151,270 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year) Chevrolet - Up 3.4% (187,837 Vehicles Sold This Month, 664,393 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year) Hyundai - Up 2.9% (68,009 Vehicles Sold This Month, 240,038 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year) Toyota - Up 0.5% (177,453 Vehicles Sold This Month, 675,893 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year) Kia - Down 0.7% (53,282 Vehicles Sold This Month, 194,382 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year) Volkswagen - Down 2.67% (30,009 Vehicles Sold This Month, 109,248 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year) Honda - Down 2.7% (115,194 Vehicles Sold This Month, 409,493 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year) Buick - Down 5.2% (18,224 Vehicles Sold This Month, 68,721 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year) Volvo - Down 5.5% (4,381 Vehicles Sold This Month, 18,103 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year) Fiat - Down 13% (3,756 Vehicles Sold This Month, 14,794 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year) Dodge - Down 16% (44,906 Vehicles Sold This Month, 168,417 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year) Scion - Down 20% (4,309 Vehicles Sold This Month, 16,287 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year) Smart - Down 54.2% (480 Vehicles Sold This Month, 2,013 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year) Alfa Romeo - N/A (38 Vehicles Sold This Month, 255 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year)
  23. In light of the GM Ignition Switch and Takata airbag recalls, you would think owners would be aware whether or not their vehicle has a notice and take it in to be repaired. Unfortunately, you would be wrong. Bloomberg reports that only two-thirds of vehicles get repaired. Even more worrying is a third of vehicles under a recall notice aren't repaired within 18 months. “Recalls are only successful, and they only save lives, if they end up getting the cars fixed,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said. So how do you get owners to repair vehicles? Well that's what NHTSA and automakers will be talking about today at meeting in Washington D.C. with the focus on improving the getting the word to get vehicles fixed. General Motors has a fair bit of experience on notifying owners in the wake of ignition switch recall. The company tried redesigned mailings, did outreach on a number of online platforms such as YouTube and Twitter; and even offered loaner cars. Yet, there are still a fair number of vehicles needing to be fixed. “Awareness doesn’t mean action,” said Julie Heisel, GM’s director of customer relationship management. Source: Bloomberg
  24. In light of the GM Ignition Switch and Takata airbag recalls, you would think owners would be aware whether or not their vehicle has a notice and take it in to be repaired. Unfortunately, you would be wrong. Bloomberg reports that only two-thirds of vehicles get repaired. Even more worrying is a third of vehicles under a recall notice aren't repaired within 18 months. “Recalls are only successful, and they only save lives, if they end up getting the cars fixed,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said. So how do you get owners to repair vehicles? Well that's what NHTSA and automakers will be talking about today at meeting in Washington D.C. with the focus on improving the getting the word to get vehicles fixed. General Motors has a fair bit of experience on notifying owners in the wake of ignition switch recall. The company tried redesigned mailings, did outreach on a number of online platforms such as YouTube and Twitter; and even offered loaner cars. Yet, there are still a fair number of vehicles needing to be fixed. “Awareness doesn’t mean action,” said Julie Heisel, GM’s director of customer relationship management. Source: Bloomberg View full article
  25. The past ten years has seen a number of automakers either being folded up or taken into other automakers. But an analyst believes there is more consolidation for the automotive marketplace. Morgan Stanley auto analyst Adam Jonas said in a research note earlier this month says in the future there will only be five to six automakers in the world. This comes down to such factors as economics and technologies. “We believe the radically changing landscape of autos requires a commensurate change of thinking in Detroit if the domestic OEMs, as we have traditionally known them, are to remain relevant 15 or 20 years from now. The world has too many car companies: We cover nearly 30 auto assemblers globally across eight countries. In our opinion, the balance of economic, competitive and technological forces will ultimately consolidate this figure to five or six players,” said Jonas. Jonas' thoughts appears to be have spurned from Tesla Motors as the company has been very successful with their Model S rollout and introduction of new technologies. Last year, GM set up a group to study Tesla and see if they can take anything away from them. “Tesla could either end up being Detroit’s worst enemy or its salvation. In our opinion, the disruption from Tesla comes early enough to allow an incumbent sufficient time to adapt its culture, capital allocation and recruiting strategy to the changing forces. With proper execution, Detroit may thank Tesla Motors for being that stiff board in the back of the head right when they needed it,” said Jonas. It should be said that many of these predictions that have been spoken before have not amounted to anything. Will this one be any different? Stay tuned. Source: The Detroit News William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. View full article

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