Cold weather depresses January auto sales

2013 Ford Ranger

The weather has been bone chilling all across the country so far in 2014, and many automakers are blaming weaker than expected auto sales on the chilly temperatures.

Four of the top five U.S. auto sellers on Monday blamed extreme winter weather for poorer-than-expected sales in January, as analysts and executives predicted a rebound in February and March.

U.S. automakers Ford Motor Co and General Motors Co as well as Japan’s Toyota Motor Sales USA and American Honda Motor Co saw auto sales plummet in January, missing analysts’ estimates for the month.

Sales results were mixed for other companies and brands, with Chrysler Group, a unit of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, and Nissan North America reporting increases and topping forecasts.

Total industry sales in January, as compiled by Reuters from the manufacturers, fell 3.1 percent to 1,011,188.

Tye folks at Chrysler took the opportunity to crow a bit that the weather only affected their competitors, but having spent some time in Ohio in January, I’m not suprised by these disappointing results. Let’s see what happens in February and March.

  

Nissan roars back!

It wasn’t that long ago when the future of Nissan wss in doubt so you have to give Carlos Ghosn credit for taking Nissan/Infiniti to the next level. Yes, Nissan just reported that Q1 profits doubled and annual sales set a new record.

From the Detroit Free Press:

TOKYO — Nissan’s January-March profit more than doubled to 75.3 billion yen ($941 million) as the Japanese automaker achieved record sales despite production disruptions from last year’s tsunami.

Nissan annual global sales reached a record 4.85 million vehicles, showing a quick recovery from the March 2011 earthquake that ravaged much of northeastern Japan, the Yokohama-based manufacturer said Friday.

Nissan continues to be bullish — expecting to sell 5.35 million vehicles this fiscal year, up 10% for another record.

It also raised its forecasts for the fiscal year through March 2013, to a 400 billion yen ($5 billion) profit, up from its earlier forecast for 290 billion yen ($3.6 billion).

President and CEO Carlos Ghosn said Nissan held up well in recent months amid serious hardships, including a slowdown in Europe, and was gearing up for more growth, banking on solid demand in China and other emerging markets.

Read the full article.

  

Desmond Howard & Nissan Sending Fans to BCS Bowl Games

Nissan has partnered with 1991 Heisman Trophy winner Desmond Howard, the creator of the most famous in-game Heisman pose, in a search for the greatest off-field Heisman pose. They’re asking fans to submit a photo of the most creative or funniest Heisman pose for a chance to win a trip to the Allstate BCS Championship Game, Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, Allstate Sugar Bowl, or Discover Orange Bowl. Fans can enter the Innovate the Heisman Pose contest on Nissan’s Facebook page today through Wednesday, December 14.

Desmond Howard and Nissan will choose one grand prize winner who will win an all-expenses paid trip for two to the 2012 Allstate BCS Championship Game in New Orleans on January 9th, as well as three runners up who will win trips for two to the Fiesta Bowl (2nd place), Sugar Bowl (3rd place), or Orange Bowl (4th Place). You can watch Desmond’s video challenge to fans below!

  

2011 Nissan 370Z Touring Review on Bullz-Eye.com

Bullz-Eye.com staff breaks down the 2011 Nissan 370Z Touring!

There aren’t too many true sports cars on the road today, but from our first impressions to riveting drive time behind the wheel of the 2011 Nissan 370Z Touring, this car delivers for sports car enthusiasts. Our test model sported a pearl white exterior that added a soft touch to the otherwise untamed sports machine waiting for you to hit the push-button start so the games could begin!

Exterior
The styling of the 2011 Nissan 370Z is unmistakable on the road, and with the aggressive design this pure sports car makes statements whether she is on the road or sitting idle. The low stance with the history of the Z car abound, we get a peak at the past but a clear vision of the future in the design of the 2011 Nissan 370Z Touring. Our test model was the upscale Touring edition and came equipped with 19 inch RAYS forged wheels that developed a following of their own while we drove the 370Z. Also included were front chin and rear spoilers, Bi functional Xenon headlights, power remote control door mirrors, heated outside mirrors, fender mounted Z emblem side markers, aluminum hood, hatch lid and UV shielded glass. According to Nissan, “The 370Z’s taut exterior design incorporates intentional 240Z styling cues, a sleek aerodynamic shape, a ‘dynamic motion’ feel with a dramatic cantilevered roof and a ‘low visual gravity.’ The sleek silhouette is defined by its upswept quarter window design that is echoed by the dynamic upward curvature in the lower rocker panel and the sense of the taut sheet metal molding itself around the wheels and frame.” We feel the exterior of the 2011 Nissan 370Z Touring rivals some of the ultra expensive sports cars and gets as much or even more attention than rivals while on the streets.

Read the full review.

  

Chevy Volt sales are picking up

I’ve been seeing a lot of commercials for the Chevy Volt, and this advertising blitz might be paying off. The Chevy Volt outsold the Nissan Leaf for the first time in October. In October GM sold 1,108 units of the Volt, which is a significant increase over the 723 units sold in September.

The Volt is still running behind GM’s sales targets, and it seems like the company was banking on all the PR buzz around the vehicle to drive sales. Perhaps a marketing push was also needed. The commercials are pretty good. They stress the gas savings of an electric car with some humorous situations at gas stations.

As more and more automakers go electric and introduce plug-in hybrids, it will be interesting to see if this segment really takes off. Right now the sales numbers are miniscule but that could change quickly.

  

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