Things change fast in the U.S. Auto Industry as it looks like it’s now Chrysler, Hyundai-Kia , Toyota and VW’s time to shine in 2012. GM and Ford are down in share for the year but they both have some strong product coming out that could put them back in the black when it comes to market share.
From the Detroit News:
General Motors Co.’s sales in the U.S. were down 8.2 percent for April as Ford Motor Co. reported last month’s U.S. sales were down, too, by 5 percent. Meanwhile, Chrysler Group LLC said Tuesday its sales were up 20 percent last month, making for its best April in four years.
GM sales were down to 213,387 primarily due to a 25 percent drop in fleet sales that the automaker said was because of the timing of rental customer deliveries. The company said its retail sales were essentially flat. GM also pointed out that April 2012 had three fewer selling days than the same month a year ago — only the second time that has occurred in the past 10 years.
GMC posted a sales increase of 4.5 percent during the month, driven by a 20 percent increase in sales of the GMC Sierra pickup and a 9 percent jump for the GMC Terrain crossover. Chevrolet, Buick and Cadillac all saw total sales fall during April compared to the same month a year earlier.
General Motors said today that it is sending letters to 661 dealers that lost their franchises through a dealership consolidation program, which will give them an opportunity to apply for reinstatement.
To qualify, the dealers would need to meet a number of financial requirements, such as having adequate capital to operate and available financing.
“This has been a very, very tough time as the company has emerged from bankruptcy,” said Mark Reuss, GM’s North America president. “It is emotional and it is part of the rebirth as we start the company from a clean slate.”
WASHINGTON — Toyota Motor Corp. “deliberately withheld relevant electronic records” that it was legally required to produce in lawsuits over SUV rollover accidents, the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee said today.
Rep. Ed Towns, D-N.Y, said in a letter to the automaker that a review of documents subpoenaed from former Toyota lawyer Dimitrios Biller also shows Toyota may have “withheld substantial, relevant information” from federal regulators.
There is something going on in the auto industry that seems to indicate a rebounding economy. It doesn’t feel like a rebound out here, but pretty much all of the auto companies are increasing production and now GM is even talking about re-opening shuttered plants! Do they know something the rest of us don’t? We can hope that the auto companies will help lead the economy back from it’s current state of the blues but they still need buyers to make that happen.
General Motors Co. is looking to add capacity by bringing shuttered plants back on line using labor-intensive tooling, Vice Chairman Bob Lutz said.
“We are looking at taking an unutilized plant and putting in less-automated systems that you can put in quickly and at low investment,” Lutz said in an interview on Friday. “The downside is more labor cost. But we’ll gladly pay that labor cost to get an additional high-margin unit.”
Two of Toyota Motor Corp.’s competitors reversed course and said today they will join those offering incentives on trade-ins from Toyota owners.
Chrysler Group LLC and Hyundai Motor Co. are the latest to offer rebates. General Motors Co. and Ford Motor Co. were first to offer $1,000 incentives for Toyota owners through the end of February. Ford today said it also is increasing the amount of money it provides to dealers for advertising to allow them to capitalize on the opportunity created by Toyota’s woes.
Chrysler has spent the last two days mulling a change in its programs and had planned to wait until next week to announce its latest incentives.
Fiat SpA and Chrysler LLC on Tuesday confirmed the Italian auto maker will take at least a 35% stake in Chrysler as part of a deal to share technology and bring small cars developed by Fiat to the U.S.
The move is an attempt to revive two of the world’s storied auto makers and is likely to eventually give Fiat control of Chrysler’s operations, people familiar with the matter said. Under terms of the deal, Fiat has the option of increasing that to as much as 55%, these people said.
Fiat, the stronger of the two car makers, wouldn’t immediately put cash into Chrysler. Instead, it would obtain its stake mainly in exchange for covering the cost of retooling a Chrysler plant to produce one or more Fiat models to be sold in the U.S., these people said. Fiat would also provide engine and transmission technology to help Chrysler introduce new, fuel-efficient small cars.
The deal is the latest maneuver by Fiat’s chief, Sergio Marchionne, who has pulled the Italian company back from the brink collapse since taking over in 2004.
This might be a great combination. We’ll see how it plays out.
We are launching this car blog at a time of great turmoil and uncertainty in the auto business. With the economic crisis, the United States has had to bail out banks and auto companies just to prevent the economy fm collapsing.
Apart from this crisis, the auto industry is facing challenges rearding energy as well. Summer gas prices convinced many that our addiction to oil must be addressed, and looming climate change is also driving policy changes. Fortunately, significant progress has been made on hybrids, including plug-in hybrids, that might change the auto industry in ways not imagined just several years ago.
Yet even with all these problems, many of us still love cars. We’ll be addressing the tough issues facing the auto industry, but we’ll also bring you reviews and stories covering the great new vehicles being produced around the world.