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Found 18 results

  1. With more people trending towards trucks and utility vehicles, it would be expected that prices on cars would be falling. But not on used cars according to Edmunds. In their latest Used Car Report, Edmunds says the average price for a used subcompact rose 3 percent in the first quarter. Compacts saw their average price increase by 3.9 percent. The reason according to the report is due to the increasing cost for a gallon of gas. "Used-car shoppers are typically more price-sensitive to changes in the market, but this is the first time in years that we're seeing renewed demand for smaller vehicles With rising fuel costs breathing fresh air into this segment, subcompact and compact cars are finally retaining value again," said Ivan Drury, senior manager of industry analysis at Edmunds. With rising gas prices, the expectation would be that prices on used trucks and utility vehicles would drop. But Edmunds says prices for these models are holding steady as buyers are willing to pay a bit more at the pump as they place "value on increased cargo capacity, ride height, and other SUV and truck features". Source: Edmunds View full article
  2. With more people trending towards trucks and utility vehicles, it would be expected that prices on cars would be falling. But not on used cars according to Edmunds. In their latest Used Car Report, Edmunds says the average price for a used subcompact rose 3 percent in the first quarter. Compacts saw their average price increase by 3.9 percent. The reason according to the report is due to the increasing cost for a gallon of gas. "Used-car shoppers are typically more price-sensitive to changes in the market, but this is the first time in years that we're seeing renewed demand for smaller vehicles With rising fuel costs breathing fresh air into this segment, subcompact and compact cars are finally retaining value again," said Ivan Drury, senior manager of industry analysis at Edmunds. With rising gas prices, the expectation would be that prices on used trucks and utility vehicles would drop. But Edmunds says prices for these models are holding steady as buyers are willing to pay a bit more at the pump as they place "value on increased cargo capacity, ride height, and other SUV and truck features". Source: Edmunds
  3. Volkswagen was planning to publish the final report on the external investigation done by U.S. law firm Jones Day. But in a move that surprised no one, Volkswagen has decided not to publish it. "I’m aware that some of you wish for greater transparency. Often the publishing of a full report is demanded. To be clear: there is no written final report from Jones Day, nor will there be. I ask for your understanding that for legal reasons Volkswagen is prevented from publishing any such report," said VW Chairman Hans Dieter Poetsch at the company's annual general meeting. Poetsch said Volkswagen would risk “massive fines" if the report was published. While Volkswagen has settled with the U.S. over the scandal, there are a number of civil cases against the company and other investigations ongoing. It should be noted Volkswagen used this same excuse last April when it announced that it would not publish the preliminary findings of its internal investigation. Unsurprisingly, this move has gotten a lot of heat from investors and government officials. Christian Strenger, a shareholder rights advocate, and German corporate governance expert said Volkswagen's management and directors need to "put all their cards on the table," as there is a legal back door that allows the company to publish new information. "Under the plea agreement, the U.S. has a right to see any findings and agree to them in advance," said Strenger. "Your reference to the statement of facts agreed in the U.S. is completely insufficient and almost insulting to all those who are interested in complete clarification of responsibilities." Louise Ellman, who led the UK Transport Select Committee in the investigation of the diesel emission scandal called Poetsch's comments "not credible". “We were told very clearly by VW that the report would be published in due course. Saying there is no report is not credible, it stretches the imagination too far and lets down consumers,” said Ellman to British paper, The Telegraph. But there might be more to Volkswagen's decision as to not wanting to publish this report. Yesterday, Bloomberg reported that Poetsch and Volkswagen CEO Matthias Müller are under investigation by Stuttgart prosecutors for market manipulation relating to the diesel emission mess. Then today, a source revealed to Bloomberg that Müller is under investigation for possibly withholding information about the scandal to Porsche SE shareholders. German weekly WirtschaftsWoche says the investigation stems from a complaint filed last July by BaFin, Germany’s Financial Supervisory Authority that linked several Porsche SE executives to possible market manipulation. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), The Telegraph, Bloomberg, WirtschaftsWoche View full article
  4. Volkswagen was planning to publish the final report on the external investigation done by U.S. law firm Jones Day. But in a move that surprised no one, Volkswagen has decided not to publish it. "I’m aware that some of you wish for greater transparency. Often the publishing of a full report is demanded. To be clear: there is no written final report from Jones Day, nor will there be. I ask for your understanding that for legal reasons Volkswagen is prevented from publishing any such report," said VW Chairman Hans Dieter Poetsch at the company's annual general meeting. Poetsch said Volkswagen would risk “massive fines" if the report was published. While Volkswagen has settled with the U.S. over the scandal, there are a number of civil cases against the company and other investigations ongoing. It should be noted Volkswagen used this same excuse last April when it announced that it would not publish the preliminary findings of its internal investigation. Unsurprisingly, this move has gotten a lot of heat from investors and government officials. Christian Strenger, a shareholder rights advocate, and German corporate governance expert said Volkswagen's management and directors need to "put all their cards on the table," as there is a legal back door that allows the company to publish new information. "Under the plea agreement, the U.S. has a right to see any findings and agree to them in advance," said Strenger. "Your reference to the statement of facts agreed in the U.S. is completely insufficient and almost insulting to all those who are interested in complete clarification of responsibilities." Louise Ellman, who led the UK Transport Select Committee in the investigation of the diesel emission scandal called Poetsch's comments "not credible". “We were told very clearly by VW that the report would be published in due course. Saying there is no report is not credible, it stretches the imagination too far and lets down consumers,” said Ellman to British paper, The Telegraph. But there might be more to Volkswagen's decision as to not wanting to publish this report. Yesterday, Bloomberg reported that Poetsch and Volkswagen CEO Matthias Müller are under investigation by Stuttgart prosecutors for market manipulation relating to the diesel emission mess. Then today, a source revealed to Bloomberg that Müller is under investigation for possibly withholding information about the scandal to Porsche SE shareholders. German weekly WirtschaftsWoche says the investigation stems from a complaint filed last July by BaFin, Germany’s Financial Supervisory Authority that linked several Porsche SE executives to possible market manipulation. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), The Telegraph, Bloomberg, WirtschaftsWoche
  5. Mitsubishi's fuel economy mess in Japan isn't getting any better. The Wall Street Journal reports that the Japanese automaker continued to improperly test the fuel economy of their vehicles a month after admitting that it had manipulated fuel economy figures on their Kei cars. This accusation comes from a new report from Japan's transport ministry. “We cannot help but feel concerned that these points haven’t been improved,” said Naoki Fujii, head of the road transport bureau at the ministry. Japan's transport ministry requires the country's automakers to perform five road tests and take the average of median values. In their report, the ministry explained to Mitsubishi workers how to properly do the test. But workers continued to manipulate the tests. Some examples listed in the report include, Workers took the average of the best mileage numbers, not the median numbers of the five tests Mitsubishi didn't tell workers doing the tests that you were only to do five Mitsubishi Motors chief executive Osamu Masuko said they are taking the continued problems seriously and laid blame at the “lack of capability” at the division responsible for the testing. Of course, this latest allegation puts some questions to Nissan planned acquisition of a controlling stake in Mitsubishi Motors. The deal - worth $2.2 billion - was expected to be finalized by the end of October. Now, it has been pushed back to the end of the year. Nissan's due diligence investigation is taking longer than expected. Source: The Wall Street Journal (Subscription Required)
  6. Mitsubishi's fuel economy mess in Japan isn't getting any better. The Wall Street Journal reports that the Japanese automaker continued to improperly test the fuel economy of their vehicles a month after admitting that it had manipulated fuel economy figures on their Kei cars. This accusation comes from a new report from Japan's transport ministry. “We cannot help but feel concerned that these points haven’t been improved,” said Naoki Fujii, head of the road transport bureau at the ministry. Japan's transport ministry requires the country's automakers to perform five road tests and take the average of median values. In their report, the ministry explained to Mitsubishi workers how to properly do the test. But workers continued to manipulate the tests. Some examples listed in the report include, Workers took the average of the best mileage numbers, not the median numbers of the five tests Mitsubishi didn't tell workers doing the tests that you were only to do five Mitsubishi Motors chief executive Osamu Masuko said they are taking the continued problems seriously and laid blame at the “lack of capability” at the division responsible for the testing. Of course, this latest allegation puts some questions to Nissan planned acquisition of a controlling stake in Mitsubishi Motors. The deal - worth $2.2 billion - was expected to be finalized by the end of October. Now, it has been pushed back to the end of the year. Nissan's due diligence investigation is taking longer than expected. Source: The Wall Street Journal (Subscription Required) View full article
  7. While General Motors has gotten most of the blame in the ignition switch fiasco, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) isn't getting away scot free. The New York Times reports that the Department of Transportation released two internal documents revealing a series of failings by NHTSA. One of those failings was the administration not paying sufficient attention to a Wisconsin state trooper’s report in 2007 which suggested that the ignition switch played a key role in a fatal accident. The reports go on to say that NHTSA didn't use their full power to hold GM accountable in terms of this problem. “There needs to be a complete overhaul of this failing agency. The results of this report are long overdue,” said Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT). NHTSA has begun to make a number of changes in light of these reports. They include, Put manufacturers “on notice” about potential defects as soon they identified any troubling cases. Institute a 'Risk Control' program that better aligns different sections of NHTSA and encourage more sharing Be monitored by a group of outside experts including former officials of the National Transportation Safety Board and NASA “The G.M. experience changed the culture here. What that means is challenge the information you’re getting, and challenge the assumptions you are pursuing,” said NHTSA administrator Mark R. Rosekind. Still some people believe NHTSA needs to go farther. “It still soft-pedals why they have gone from one defect crisis to another,” said Sean E. Kane of the consulting firm Safety Research and Strategies. “What is missing is any mention of the importance of transparency.” Source: The New York Times View full article
  8. While General Motors has gotten most of the blame in the ignition switch fiasco, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) isn't getting away scot free. The New York Times reports that the Department of Transportation released two internal documents revealing a series of failings by NHTSA. One of those failings was the administration not paying sufficient attention to a Wisconsin state trooper’s report in 2007 which suggested that the ignition switch played a key role in a fatal accident. The reports go on to say that NHTSA didn't use their full power to hold GM accountable in terms of this problem. “There needs to be a complete overhaul of this failing agency. The results of this report are long overdue,” said Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT). NHTSA has begun to make a number of changes in light of these reports. They include, Put manufacturers “on notice” about potential defects as soon they identified any troubling cases. Institute a 'Risk Control' program that better aligns different sections of NHTSA and encourage more sharing Be monitored by a group of outside experts including former officials of the National Transportation Safety Board and NASA “The G.M. experience changed the culture here. What that means is challenge the information you’re getting, and challenge the assumptions you are pursuing,” said NHTSA administrator Mark R. Rosekind. Still some people believe NHTSA needs to go farther. “It still soft-pedals why they have gone from one defect crisis to another,” said Sean E. Kane of the consulting firm Safety Research and Strategies. “What is missing is any mention of the importance of transparency.” Source: The New York Times
  9. The Environmental Protection Agency released their annual report on industrywide fuel economy this week and says that 2013 model year vehicles achieved an average of 24.1 miles per gallon — up 0.5 mpg from the previous year and almost 5 mpg since 2004. "We are thrilled to see that manufacturers continue to innovate and are bringing technologies to improve fuel economy online even faster than anticipated," said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. Mazda was the top automaker in the report with a fleet average of 28.1 MPG, while Nissan was the leader in the full-line automakers with 26.8 MPG. The Detroit automakers made up the bottom with Ford at 22.2 MPG, GM at 22.0 MPG, and Fiat Chrysler at 20.2 MPG. The EPA also notes in its report more fuel saving technologies are beginning to appear on vehicles. For example, the report notes that five percent of vehicles that aren't hybrids. This up from none back in 2009. Source: EPA William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached atwilliam.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  10. The Environmental Protection Agency released their annual report on industrywide fuel economy this week and says that 2013 model year vehicles achieved an average of 24.1 miles per gallon — up 0.5 mpg from the previous year and almost 5 mpg since 2004. "We are thrilled to see that manufacturers continue to innovate and are bringing technologies to improve fuel economy online even faster than anticipated," said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. Mazda was the top automaker in the report with a fleet average of 28.1 MPG, while Nissan was the leader in the full-line automakers with 26.8 MPG. The Detroit automakers made up the bottom with Ford at 22.2 MPG, GM at 22.0 MPG, and Fiat Chrysler at 20.2 MPG. The EPA also notes in its report more fuel saving technologies are beginning to appear on vehicles. For example, the report notes that five percent of vehicles that aren't hybrids. This up from none back in 2009. Source: EPA William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached atwilliam.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. View full article
  11. It was three months ago that General Motors published a scathing report on its handling on the ignition switch problem. Now its National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's turn. This morning, the House Energy and Commerce Committee released a 44 page report on NHTSA's handling of GM's ignition switch problem. The report was based on the review of millions of pages of records and interviews with key NHTSA officials and found that a series of critical mistakes and “ample information” already on hand meant that the agency should have found the problem sooner. “Both GM and NHTSA had ample information necessary to identify this defect. It was a failure to process, share and utilize that information within each entity that enabled this safety defect to persist,” the report states. “NHTSA also lacked the focus and rigor expected of a federal safety regulator. The agency’s repeated failure to identify, let alone explore, the potential defect theory related to the ignition switch — even after it was spelled out in a report the agency commissioned — is inexcusable. This was compounded by NHTSA staff’s lack of knowledge and awareness regarding the evolution of vehicle safety systems they regulate." A key example of this was found by Yahoo's Motoramic. Back in 2006, an accident in Wisconsin that involved a Chevrolet Cobalt claimed the lives of two boys. Wisconsin State Patrol Trooper Keith Young who was investigating the crash looked into the data from vehicle and was able to pull up a dealer bulletin about certain GM models having ignitions that could be bumped into the accessory position. In a report filled in February 2007, Young said the ignition was switched into the 'accessory position', thus leading the Cobalt's airbags not to deploy. The report showed that NHTSA officials had read the report, but didn't do anything there after. This report also says NHTSA officials didn't fully comprehend how airbags and that investigators believed that the air bag systems were designed not to go off under certain off-road conditions. "Agency staff were blinded by outdated perceptions about how air bag systems operated. Even as manufacturers began installing advanced air bag systems in response to new federal standards, NHTSA investigators lacked a fundamental understanding of how these new air bag systems functioned. For a decade, ODI investigators evaluated air bag concerns based on their knowledge of first generation air bag systems," the report continued. "They assumed that advanced air bag systems, like their predecessors, operated from an independent energy reserve and were completely unaware of the relationship between power mode and air bag systems. Only after the GM recall, in February 2014, did ODI investigators realize the chasm in their understanding of air bag technology," the report says. The report also takes mentions how NHTSA employees would defect and blame others, eerily similar to GM's report. “NHTSA likewise had critical information in its possession which pointed to this defect. Whether the information was not understood, overlooked or lost in organizational stove-pipes, the agency’s failure to followup on this information contributed to NHTSA’s inability to identify this defect. The agency would not tolerate similar conduct from a manufacturer. The NHTSA Shrug: the agency does not hold itself to the same standard of accountability as those it regulates. There is a tendency to deflect blame and point the finger at others rather than accept responsibility and learn from its own failures. It is no different than the “GM salute.” What happens next for NHTSA is up in the air at moment. Today, federal auto regulators will testify to the Senate Consumer Protection Subcommittee to discuss their role in the GM ignition switch recall and what can be done to improve NHTSA's role. Source: The Detroit News, Detroit Free Press, Yahoo Motoramic William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached atwilliam.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  12. It was three months ago that General Motors published a scathing report on its handling on the ignition switch problem. Now its National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's turn. This morning, the House Energy and Commerce Committee released a 44 page report on NHTSA's handling of GM's ignition switch problem. The report was based on the review of millions of pages of records and interviews with key NHTSA officials and found that a series of critical mistakes and “ample information” already on hand meant that the agency should have found the problem sooner. “Both GM and NHTSA had ample information necessary to identify this defect. It was a failure to process, share and utilize that information within each entity that enabled this safety defect to persist,” the report states. “NHTSA also lacked the focus and rigor expected of a federal safety regulator. The agency’s repeated failure to identify, let alone explore, the potential defect theory related to the ignition switch — even after it was spelled out in a report the agency commissioned — is inexcusable. This was compounded by NHTSA staff’s lack of knowledge and awareness regarding the evolution of vehicle safety systems they regulate." A key example of this was found by Yahoo's Motoramic. Back in 2006, an accident in Wisconsin that involved a Chevrolet Cobalt claimed the lives of two boys. Wisconsin State Patrol Trooper Keith Young who was investigating the crash looked into the data from vehicle and was able to pull up a dealer bulletin about certain GM models having ignitions that could be bumped into the accessory position. In a report filled in February 2007, Young said the ignition was switched into the 'accessory position', thus leading the Cobalt's airbags not to deploy. The report showed that NHTSA officials had read the report, but didn't do anything there after. This report also says NHTSA officials didn't fully comprehend how airbags and that investigators believed that the air bag systems were designed not to go off under certain off-road conditions. "Agency staff were blinded by outdated perceptions about how air bag systems operated. Even as manufacturers began installing advanced air bag systems in response to new federal standards, NHTSA investigators lacked a fundamental understanding of how these new air bag systems functioned. For a decade, ODI investigators evaluated air bag concerns based on their knowledge of first generation air bag systems," the report continued. "They assumed that advanced air bag systems, like their predecessors, operated from an independent energy reserve and were completely unaware of the relationship between power mode and air bag systems. Only after the GM recall, in February 2014, did ODI investigators realize the chasm in their understanding of air bag technology," the report says. The report also takes mentions how NHTSA employees would defect and blame others, eerily similar to GM's report. “NHTSA likewise had critical information in its possession which pointed to this defect. Whether the information was not understood, overlooked or lost in organizational stove-pipes, the agency’s failure to followup on this information contributed to NHTSA’s inability to identify this defect. The agency would not tolerate similar conduct from a manufacturer. The NHTSA Shrug: the agency does not hold itself to the same standard of accountability as those it regulates. There is a tendency to deflect blame and point the finger at others rather than accept responsibility and learn from its own failures. It is no different than the “GM salute.” What happens next for NHTSA is up in the air at moment. Today, federal auto regulators will testify to the Senate Consumer Protection Subcommittee to discuss their role in the GM ignition switch recall and what can be done to improve NHTSA's role. Source: The Detroit News, Detroit Free Press, Yahoo Motoramic William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached atwilliam.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. View full article
  13. A new report from IHS Automotive says the average age of a vehicle on the road stands at 11.4 years, the same age as last year. This is change from the past few years where the age was climbing steadily. "In our history of tracking, we have seen a gradual increase in the average age of vehicles on the road. This year, we're seeing somewhat of a plateau in the market, and expect it to remain over the next few years, without a major change in either direction. We attribute this to a number of factors, including the economy and the increasing quality of today's automobiles," said Mark Seng, director, aftermarket solutions and global aftermarket practice leader at IHS Automotive. But IHS is predicting that the average age will creep up to 11.5 year by 2017, and up to 11.7 by 2019. IHS also reports that at the end of 2013, there were 252.7 million light vehicles operating U.S. roads. This is up by 3.7 million vehicles when compared to 2012. Source: IHS Automotive Press Release is on Page 2 Average Age of Vehicles on the Road Remains Steady at 11.4 years, According to IHS Automotive U.S. Vehicles in Operation (VIO) Hits Record Levels at More than 252 Million; Scrappage Rate Declines Significantly SOUTHFIELD, Mich.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The combined average age of all light vehicles on the road in the U.S. remained steady at 11.4 years, based on a snapshot of vehicles in operation taken Jan. 1 of this year, according to IHS Automotive, which incorporated Polk into its business last year. Total light vehicles in Operation (VIO) in the U.S. also reached a record level of more than 252,700,000 -- an increase of more than 3.7 million (1.5 percent) since last year, said the IHS Automotive analysis from July 2013. In addition, new vehicle registrations outpaced scrappage by more than 24 percent for the first time in a decade, according to the analysis. The average age is in line with the trend shift first seen in 2013, in which the combined fleet of cars and light trucks on the road is older than ever. New analysis, however, indicates the average age of light trucks has increased in the past year to the same age as passenger cars, both at 11.4 years. This milestone marks the first time this has happened since 1995, when the data was first reported. “In our history of tracking, we have seen a gradual increase in the average age of vehicles on the road,” said Mark Seng, director, aftermarket solutions and global aftermarket practice leader at IHS Automotive. “This year, we’re seeing somewhat of a plateau in the market, and expect it to remain over the next few years, without a major change in either direction. We attribute this to a number of factors, including the economy and the increasing quality of today’s automobiles.” Looking ahead, IHS forecasts that average age of vehicles is likely to remain at 11.4 years through 2015, then rise to 11.5 years by 2017 and 11.7 years by 2019. This rate of growth is slowing as compared to the last five years due to the substantial increase in new vehicle sales. Scrappage Rates Decline amid VIO Growth The number of vehicles scrapped in 2013 was significantly fewer than in previous years, with just over 11.5 million vehicles scrapped during the 12-month timeframe analyzed by IHS Automotive. In comparison, a record high of more than 14 million vehicles were scrapped in 2012. This while VIO is up 1.5 percent, a rate the auto industry hasn’t seen in the U.S. since 2004-2005. Dynamics of Fleet Age and Mix With the shift in ownership comes shift in the age of vehicles within segments of the overall fleet, which is important to business planners in the aftermarket and service industries so they can manage inventories of parts required and plan for sales and service activity accordingly. Based on the growth of new vehicle registrations in the past few years as the U.S. auto industry has rebounded, IHS Automotive forecasts that the volume of vehicles 0-5 years old will increase by 32 percent over the next five years while vehicles in the 6-11 year old category will decline by 21 percent. Because of improved quality and consumers holding their cars and light trucks longer, vehicles 12-plus years old continue to grow and will increase by 15 percent by 2019. The IHS Automotive aftermarket team is working with customers in all areas of the aftermarket to help them best identify opportunities and specific planning efforts that may help improve their business. Likewise, business planning opportunities are under way at the OEMs to help them identify additional sales opportunities as vehicles are taken out of service and newer vehicle are coming into the U.S. vehicle fleet. View full article
  14. A new report from IHS Automotive says the average age of a vehicle on the road stands at 11.4 years, the same age as last year. This is change from the past few years where the age was climbing steadily. "In our history of tracking, we have seen a gradual increase in the average age of vehicles on the road. This year, we're seeing somewhat of a plateau in the market, and expect it to remain over the next few years, without a major change in either direction. We attribute this to a number of factors, including the economy and the increasing quality of today's automobiles," said Mark Seng, director, aftermarket solutions and global aftermarket practice leader at IHS Automotive. But IHS is predicting that the average age will creep up to 11.5 year by 2017, and up to 11.7 by 2019. IHS also reports that at the end of 2013, there were 252.7 million light vehicles operating U.S. roads. This is up by 3.7 million vehicles when compared to 2012. Source: IHS Automotive Press Release is on Page 2 Average Age of Vehicles on the Road Remains Steady at 11.4 years, According to IHS Automotive U.S. Vehicles in Operation (VIO) Hits Record Levels at More than 252 Million; Scrappage Rate Declines Significantly SOUTHFIELD, Mich.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The combined average age of all light vehicles on the road in the U.S. remained steady at 11.4 years, based on a snapshot of vehicles in operation taken Jan. 1 of this year, according to IHS Automotive, which incorporated Polk into its business last year. Total light vehicles in Operation (VIO) in the U.S. also reached a record level of more than 252,700,000 -- an increase of more than 3.7 million (1.5 percent) since last year, said the IHS Automotive analysis from July 2013. In addition, new vehicle registrations outpaced scrappage by more than 24 percent for the first time in a decade, according to the analysis. The average age is in line with the trend shift first seen in 2013, in which the combined fleet of cars and light trucks on the road is older than ever. New analysis, however, indicates the average age of light trucks has increased in the past year to the same age as passenger cars, both at 11.4 years. This milestone marks the first time this has happened since 1995, when the data was first reported. “In our history of tracking, we have seen a gradual increase in the average age of vehicles on the road,” said Mark Seng, director, aftermarket solutions and global aftermarket practice leader at IHS Automotive. “This year, we’re seeing somewhat of a plateau in the market, and expect it to remain over the next few years, without a major change in either direction. We attribute this to a number of factors, including the economy and the increasing quality of today’s automobiles.” Looking ahead, IHS forecasts that average age of vehicles is likely to remain at 11.4 years through 2015, then rise to 11.5 years by 2017 and 11.7 years by 2019. This rate of growth is slowing as compared to the last five years due to the substantial increase in new vehicle sales. Scrappage Rates Decline amid VIO Growth The number of vehicles scrapped in 2013 was significantly fewer than in previous years, with just over 11.5 million vehicles scrapped during the 12-month timeframe analyzed by IHS Automotive. In comparison, a record high of more than 14 million vehicles were scrapped in 2012. This while VIO is up 1.5 percent, a rate the auto industry hasn’t seen in the U.S. since 2004-2005. Dynamics of Fleet Age and Mix With the shift in ownership comes shift in the age of vehicles within segments of the overall fleet, which is important to business planners in the aftermarket and service industries so they can manage inventories of parts required and plan for sales and service activity accordingly. Based on the growth of new vehicle registrations in the past few years as the U.S. auto industry has rebounded, IHS Automotive forecasts that the volume of vehicles 0-5 years old will increase by 32 percent over the next five years while vehicles in the 6-11 year old category will decline by 21 percent. Because of improved quality and consumers holding their cars and light trucks longer, vehicles 12-plus years old continue to grow and will increase by 15 percent by 2019. The IHS Automotive aftermarket team is working with customers in all areas of the aftermarket to help them best identify opportunities and specific planning efforts that may help improve their business. Likewise, business planning opportunities are under way at the OEMs to help them identify additional sales opportunities as vehicles are taken out of service and newer vehicle are coming into the U.S. vehicle fleet.
  15. The internal investigation has been completed and General Motors has released the report that looks into the handling of the ignition switch recall. During a town hall meeting this morning at GM's headquarters, CEO Mary Barra said the report was "extremely thorough, brutally tough, and deeply troubling," and announced changes to the company's policies and processes. “Overall the report found that, from start to finish, the Cobalt saga was riddled with failures which led to tragic results for many,” said Barra. The 315 page report, done by former U.S. Attorney Anton Valukas finds that General Motors suffered from “organizational dysfunction” and that there were deceit and missed opportunities for GM to come clean on the ignition switch problem. The report also determined that Barra, General Counsel Michael Millikin, and head of global product development Mark Reuss did not learn of the ignition switch problem and the delay in addressing them until after the decision to issue a recall was made on January 31, 2014. "The structure within GM was one in which no one was held responsible and no one took responsibility," said the report. Barra announced at the meeting that fifteen individuals have been fired after it was determined to have acted inappropriately. More than half of those individuals were in executive roles or higher. Another five individuals have received disciplinary action. Barra also announced a compensation program that will be headed up by attorney Kenneth Feinberg. The program will offer compensation to those who either suffered a serious injury or lost a loved one due to the ignition switch problem. GM has also taken action by instituting a number of changes on how it deals with safety issues. Appointing Jeff Boyer to the new position of Vice President of Global Vehicle Safety Adding 35 product safety investigators Creating the Speak up for Safety program that allows employees to report on potential safety issues Introducing a new Global Product Integrity organization to enhance overall safety and quality performance Restructuring the recall decision making process to raise it to the highest levels of the company "Together, we have to understand that the attitudes and practices that allowed this failure to occur will not be tolerated. Also, if we think that cleaning up this problem and making a few process changes will be enough, we are badly mistaken. Our job is not just to fix the problem. Our job must be to set a new industry standard for safety, quality, and excellence,” said Barra. Source: The Detroit News (2), Motoramic, General Motors, Valukas Report Press Release is on Page 2 GM Receives Extremely ‘Thorough,’ ‘Brutally Tough’ and ‘Deeply Troubling’ Valukas Report 2014-06-05 Company will act on all recommendations 15 GM employees no longer with company Five other GM employees disciplined Report reveals no conspiracy or cover-up Feinberg to administer compensation fund DETROIT – General Motors CEO Mary Barra said today that GM has received the findings of an investigation by former U.S. Attorney Anton Valukas into the Cobalt ignition switch recall and plans to act on all of its recommendations. She again expressed deep sympathy for the victims of accidents related to the ignition switch defect and their families. In addition, Barra announced that Kenneth Feinberg will administer a compensation program for those who have lost loved ones or who have suffered serious physical injuries as the result of an ignition switch failure in recently recalled vehicles. Barra described the Valukas findings as "extremely thorough, brutally tough, and deeply troubling." “Overall the report found that, from start to finish, the Cobalt saga was riddled with failures which led to tragic results for many,” Barra said, noting that the report revealed no conspiracy by the company to cover up the facts and no evidence that any employee made a trade-off between safety and cost. Barra said 15 individuals who were determined to have acted inappropriately are no longer with the company. Disciplinary actions have been taken against five other employees. GM Chairman Tim Solso said the Board of Directors has been working closely with the management team to get the facts on the ignition switch issue and to see that changes are made to prevent such a tragedy from ever happening again. “The Board engaged Anton Valukas to investigate and determine what went wrong while already working with GM’s leadership to make necessary changes,” Solso said. “We have received and reviewed Valukas’ very thorough report and are continuing to work with management to oversee the implementation of the recommendations contained in the report. “In addition, the Board also retained independent counsel to advise us with respect to this situation and governance and risk management issues. We will establish a stand-alone risk committee to assist in overseeing these efforts.” Solso said. “The Board, like management, is committed to changing the company’s culture and processes to ensure that the problems described in the Valukas report never happen again. “The Valukas report confirmed that Mary Barra, Mike Millikin and Mark Reuss did not learn about the ignition switch safety issues and the delay in addressing them until after the decision to issue a recall was made on Jan. 31, 2014,” Solso said. Barra emphasized to employees that the company has adopted and will continue to adopt sweeping changes in the way it handles safety issues. The actions to date include: Appointing Jeff Boyer as Vice President of Global Vehicle Safety, elevating and integrating GM’s safety processes under a single leader Adding 35 product safety investigators that will allow GM to identify and address issues much more quickly Instituting the Speak up for Safety program encouraging employees to report potential safety issues quickly and forcefully Creating a new Global Product Integrity organization to enhance overall safety and quality performance, and Restructuring the recall decision making process to raise it to the highest levels of the company. In her remarks to employees, Barra said she is committed to leading "in a way that brings honor and respect to this company. "Together, we have to understand that the attitudes and practices that allowed this failure to occur will not be tolerated,” she said. “Also, if we think that cleaning up this problem and making a few process changes will be enough, we are badly mistaken. Our job is not just to fix the problem. Our job must be to set a new industry standard for safety, quality, and excellence.” View full article
  16. The internal investigation has been completed and General Motors has released the report that looks into the handling of the ignition switch recall. During a town hall meeting this morning at GM's headquarters, CEO Mary Barra said the report was "extremely thorough, brutally tough, and deeply troubling," and announced changes to the company's policies and processes. “Overall the report found that, from start to finish, the Cobalt saga was riddled with failures which led to tragic results for many,” said Barra. The 315 page report, done by former U.S. Attorney Anton Valukas finds that General Motors suffered from “organizational dysfunction” and that there were deceit and missed opportunities for GM to come clean on the ignition switch problem. The report also determined that Barra, General Counsel Michael Millikin, and head of global product development Mark Reuss did not learn of the ignition switch problem and the delay in addressing them until after the decision to issue a recall was made on January 31, 2014. "The structure within GM was one in which no one was held responsible and no one took responsibility," said the report. Barra announced at the meeting that fifteen individuals have been fired after it was determined to have acted inappropriately. More than half of those individuals were in executive roles or higher. Another five individuals have received disciplinary action. Barra also announced a compensation program that will be headed up by attorney Kenneth Feinberg. The program will offer compensation to those who either suffered a serious injury or lost a loved one due to the ignition switch problem. GM has also taken action by instituting a number of changes on how it deals with safety issues. Appointing Jeff Boyer to the new position of Vice President of Global Vehicle Safety Adding 35 product safety investigators Creating the Speak up for Safety program that allows employees to report on potential safety issues Introducing a new Global Product Integrity organization to enhance overall safety and quality performance Restructuring the recall decision making process to raise it to the highest levels of the company "Together, we have to understand that the attitudes and practices that allowed this failure to occur will not be tolerated. Also, if we think that cleaning up this problem and making a few process changes will be enough, we are badly mistaken. Our job is not just to fix the problem. Our job must be to set a new industry standard for safety, quality, and excellence,” said Barra. Source: The Detroit News (2), Motoramic, General Motors, Valukas Report Press Release is on Page 2 GM Receives Extremely ‘Thorough,’ ‘Brutally Tough’ and ‘Deeply Troubling’ Valukas Report 2014-06-05 Company will act on all recommendations 15 GM employees no longer with company Five other GM employees disciplined Report reveals no conspiracy or cover-up Feinberg to administer compensation fund DETROIT – General Motors CEO Mary Barra said today that GM has received the findings of an investigation by former U.S. Attorney Anton Valukas into the Cobalt ignition switch recall and plans to act on all of its recommendations. She again expressed deep sympathy for the victims of accidents related to the ignition switch defect and their families. In addition, Barra announced that Kenneth Feinberg will administer a compensation program for those who have lost loved ones or who have suffered serious physical injuries as the result of an ignition switch failure in recently recalled vehicles. Barra described the Valukas findings as "extremely thorough, brutally tough, and deeply troubling." “Overall the report found that, from start to finish, the Cobalt saga was riddled with failures which led to tragic results for many,” Barra said, noting that the report revealed no conspiracy by the company to cover up the facts and no evidence that any employee made a trade-off between safety and cost. Barra said 15 individuals who were determined to have acted inappropriately are no longer with the company. Disciplinary actions have been taken against five other employees. GM Chairman Tim Solso said the Board of Directors has been working closely with the management team to get the facts on the ignition switch issue and to see that changes are made to prevent such a tragedy from ever happening again. “The Board engaged Anton Valukas to investigate and determine what went wrong while already working with GM’s leadership to make necessary changes,” Solso said. “We have received and reviewed Valukas’ very thorough report and are continuing to work with management to oversee the implementation of the recommendations contained in the report. “In addition, the Board also retained independent counsel to advise us with respect to this situation and governance and risk management issues. We will establish a stand-alone risk committee to assist in overseeing these efforts.” Solso said. “The Board, like management, is committed to changing the company’s culture and processes to ensure that the problems described in the Valukas report never happen again. “The Valukas report confirmed that Mary Barra, Mike Millikin and Mark Reuss did not learn about the ignition switch safety issues and the delay in addressing them until after the decision to issue a recall was made on Jan. 31, 2014,” Solso said. Barra emphasized to employees that the company has adopted and will continue to adopt sweeping changes in the way it handles safety issues. The actions to date include: Appointing Jeff Boyer as Vice President of Global Vehicle Safety, elevating and integrating GM’s safety processes under a single leader Adding 35 product safety investigators that will allow GM to identify and address issues much more quickly Instituting the Speak up for Safety program encouraging employees to report potential safety issues quickly and forcefully Creating a new Global Product Integrity organization to enhance overall safety and quality performance, and Restructuring the recall decision making process to raise it to the highest levels of the company. In her remarks to employees, Barra said she is committed to leading "in a way that brings honor and respect to this company. "Together, we have to understand that the attitudes and practices that allowed this failure to occur will not be tolerated,” she said. “Also, if we think that cleaning up this problem and making a few process changes will be enough, we are badly mistaken. Our job is not just to fix the problem. Our job must be to set a new industry standard for safety, quality, and excellence.”
  17. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com October 14, 2013 Last week, a report came out of Australia that said a refresh of the smallest Lexus, the CT200h could happen as early as 2014. Well new spy shots this week show that a refresh is coming soon. The shots reveal the CT200h will become more integrated into Lexus' current lineup with a spindle grille, new fog and headlights, and bumper. Towards the back is a revised bumper and what looks like a small diffuser. We don't have any pictures of the interior, but we expect some minor changes. Don't expect any changes to the hybrid powertrain. Source: The Motor Report, Autoblog 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
  18. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com October 14, 2013 Last week, a report came out of Australia that said a refresh of the smallest Lexus, the CT200h could happen as early as 2014. Well new spy shots this week show that a refresh is coming soon. The shots reveal the CT200h will become more integrated into Lexus' current lineup with a spindle grille, new fog and headlights, and bumper. Towards the back is a revised bumper and what looks like a small diffuser. We don't have any pictures of the interior, but we expect some minor changes. Don't expect any changes to the hybrid powertrain. Source: The Motor Report, Autoblog 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.

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