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Wobbiest: Three Laws Safe
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6,137 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I'll try to update this as much as I can, but "daily" may be loosely used :) Some dates may cover a few days. Don't hold me to a 24 hour time frame.

3/16/09



Chrysler's Press: Sales Projection Target on Track

Situation

Despite Feb sales decline of 44%, Chrysler Vice Chair Jim Press says sales projections are on target

Chrysler sold a little over 84K cars and trucks in Feb, vs 150K in same period 2008
US light vehicle sales down 41% in Feb, but totals show sales were actually up 4.9% over Jan sales

Press feels that sales levels sustainable and calls Feb a "good month" relative to prior months

Significant Points

Chrysler's annual selling rate of 9.1M (Feb) is below 10.1M projected originally

Press: Sales should pick up in March to May, won't need more aid until March 31

Press: Negotiations w/ Fiat Group SpA are progressing, may take 35% stake

Fiat will not put cash into Chrysler deal, but would offer small-car, small-engine technology

http://www.detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20090307/AUTO01/903070324/1148





U.S. Hybrid Sales Pass 1 Million Mark for Toyota

Situation

Toyota Motor Corp reports it has sold more than 1M hybrid units in US in less than 9 years

Sales of hybrids are on the rise, says Toyota, despite slow sales overall and 39.8% drop in Feb sales

Toyota will introduce its 3rd generation Prius later this year, will encounter fierce competition from Honda Insight

Toyota sold about 500K hybrid units from 2000-2007, and another 500K+ in the last 2 years


Significant Points

W/ gas prices receding dramatically, US Prius hybrid sales were actually down 33.6% in Feb

Prius will go head-to-head w/ new Honda Insight hybrid, going on sale at low base price of $19,800

Toyota controls almost 75% of the US hybrid market to now, topping 1.7M hybrid sales worldwide

Toyota has sold 600K Prius cars in the US to date, more than half of the 1.2M sold worldwide

http://www.forbes.com/feeds/ap/2009/03/12/ap6157601.html





Subprime Lending Resumes

Situation

Lenders declined financing for most people w/ poor credit histories in 2008

Doing business w/ consumers w/ low credit scores a matter of necessity

45% of people wanting used vehicles have impaired credit

Significant Points

Subprime auto lending showing slight signs of recovery

Subprime borrowers now must have down payments and co-signers

Many lenders have scaled down operational area

Credit unions are filling in some lending gaps

http://wardsdealer.com/ar/auto_subprime_slightly_recovers/




Model Termination Reduces Loyalty

Situation

Study finds OEM defection rate of 55% among owners of models terminated

Polk analyzed repurchase / defection rates of customers returning to market in 1st Q 2008

Industrywide, corporate defection rate for this group is 55%
8 percentage points higher than 47% corporate rate of defection for all owners

Compact car owners have highest rate of defection from their manufacturer

Termination of large cars and pickup models has almost negligible impact on customer loyalty


Significant Points

OEMs considering brand or model termination should be wary

Careful consideration of potential future purchase decisions of affected customers

Must devote significant resources to mitigate potential customer defection

Automakers, dealers, ad agencies can take steps to mitigate customer defection

Manner in which termination process is handled has substantial impact on loyalty

http://www.lighttruckbiz.com/web/online/NEWS/Automotive-Loyalty-Suffers-With-Model-Termination--According-To-Polk/1$1604
 

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Wobbiest: Three Laws Safe
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Discussion Starter #2
3/17/09



Sales Down but Ford Taking Qualified Buyers from GM, Chrysler

Situation

Ford quality has been rising steadily to levels of best imports

Halo surrounds Ford for passing up federal funds being devoured by its Detroit rivals

Ford's focus on building image in its marketing while others flog incentives

Ford's US sales plunged 48% from Feb 2008 to 96,044 units


Significant Points

Ford's US market share rose 4 consecutive months thru Jan to 12.5%, then falling 1% in Feb

19% of consumers who planned to buy GM cars in Jan/Feb instead bought a Ford, Lincoln or Mercury

Switch to Ford higher for trucks getting 32.6% from GM

15% who set out to buy Chrysler/Dodge cars in Jan instead switched to Ford brands

Change in intent of qualified buyers Jan-Feb 2009 over same months of 2008:
Ford/up 16%; GM/down 12%; Chrysler/down 33%


http://adage.com/article?article_id=135105




Potential Saturn Sale Draws Buyers

Situation

Details on Saturn spinoff may come as early as mid-April

GM's stated objective to divest themselves of Saturn brand raised number of interested parties

Plan surfaced that would have Saturn's 208 dealers take ownership of brand

Saturn has about 400 dealership locations; roster of 208 relatively strong dealers

Retail locations carry consistent "look and feel"

Attractive asset for any company wishing to establish retail presence in US


Significant Points

Saturn brand may yet survive

Almost certainly w/ vehicles supplied by someone other than GM

Opportunities outside GM for Saturn brand are apparently numerous

Saturn dealers do not appear to be too alarmed at prospect of being discarded by GM

Saturn dealers would be free to negotiate w/ any manufacturer willing to build vehicles


http://dealersedge.com/ME2/dirmod.asp?sid=&nm=&type=news&mod=News&mid=9A02E3B96F2A415ABC72CB5F516B4C10&tier=3&nid=6510E8105D26452CAC6B0D66A6E796C1





CPO Sales Lose Ground After Record January


Situation

Autodata Corp reports certified pre-owned sales were down 9.5% from Jan, reaching 127,399 units

On a year-over-year basis, Ford-GM-Chrysler share of CPO market dropped 4.3% to 42.4%

Hyundai reached new sales high for CPO units, to 1,027 sales, versus 563 units sold last year

Chrysler brand CPO sales were down in Feb, selling 2,555 units for the month vs 3,693 last year


Significant Points

Average "turn rate" for certified vehicles was 26 days in Feb, vs 71 days for non-certified used vehicles

Indications are dealer grosses higher and turn rate twice as fast for certified over non-certified vehicles

CPO customers are returning to dealerships for service, and more frequently, than for non-CPO customers

Some GM brands are showing improvements; Cadillac, Hummer, Saab and Saturn saw higher CPO sales



http://www.autoremarketing.com/ar/news/story.html?id=9150&utm_source=Listrak&utm_medium=Email&utm_term=/ar/news/story.html?id=9150&[email protected]&utm_campaign=Certified+Sales+Come+In



Automakers See Reduced Value in Some Major Auto Shows


Situation

Automakers look at auto shows differently

Some pulling out major shows like Detroit

Competition keeps automakers from quitting every show

Some taking more personal, specialty event approach


Significant Points

Automakers have spent $50M on auto show displays

Now they're more frugal, especially at smaller shows

Analysts question whether auto shows really sell cars

Supporters say some shows draw 1M or more visitors

And the major shows draw considerable press


http://www.thedetroitbureau.com/2009/03/the-end-of-the-auto-show-2/


Forbes Ranks Top US Auto Brands


Situation

Forbes' list of America's strongest automakers used brand-value data from Interbrand

Added scores from 2009 Car Brands Perception Survey from Consumer Reports

Plus green-efficiency and design ratings from JD Power and Associates

And domestic retail sales figures from Jan and Feb of 2009

Hints at brand strength as function of buyer loyalty, product quality, safety, eco-friendliness


Significant Points

Main factor that goes into building an auto brand: emotion

Toyota earned No. 1 slot on Forbes list, due in large part to Prius hybrid
Four Toyotas, Highlander, Prius, RAV4 Sienna, earned Consumer Reports "top-pick"

BMW, Mercedes in top 5 of strongest car brands in US

Hyundai ranked 9th, brand on the rise; Genesis Car of the Year at 2009 Detroit Auto Show

Honda, Ford ranked 2nd and 3rd; GM brands Cadillac / Chevy were 7th and 8th


http://www.forbes.com/2009/03/11/strongest-car-brands-lifestyle-vehicles-car-brands.html?partner=alerts


Lease Originations Fell Sharply in 2008



Significance of the Data

Less leasing equal lower sales and loyalty

New lease originations fell to level in more than a decade

Lenders cautious in offering subvented lease terms; opting for longer maturity loans

Leasing, when done right, shortens new vehicle trade cycle; generates greater loyalty

Keeping monthly payments low allows buyers to move to upscale vehicle

Reduction in leasing alternative will make affordability issues more acute
 

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I like where Ford is going. I'd like to see them become the biggest powerhouse. Hell they are u.s. and they created the damn automobile.
 

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^Well... Karl Benz was actually the inventor of the first, gas driven auto. Henry Ford figured out mass production to give the car to the rest of the world.

I have always been a huge Ford fan. I have always felt it was a better company.
 

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Wobbiest: Three Laws Safe
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6,137 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
3/19/09

Detroit Finance Sources Dump Leasing, Lose Market Share

Situation
Experian Automotive's AutoCount ranked top auto finance lenders for 2008
Toyota Financial Services at top spot
GMAC, Ford Motor Credit, Chrysler Financial Services lost significant market share
Credit unions and regional banks made significant gains in 2008
Traditionally strong financing sources forced to work w/ fewer dealers, finance fewer buyers

Significant Points
Watershed year for US automotive industry
Last year, domestic captives represented 3 of top 4 spots
Finance sources faced tightening capital and credit markets
GMAC, Chrysler Financial discontinued lease originations, signaling industrywide retreat
Non-captive lenders helped to fill the gap; remains to be seen if leasing will rebound


http://www.fi-magazine.com/News/Story/2009/03/Big-Three-Captives-Lose-Ground-as-AutoCount-Ranks-Top-Lenders.aspx




Electric Cars Could Moderate Electrical Grids Serving as Storage Devices

Situation
Willett Kempton is renewable-energy professor at University of Delaware
Kempton developed electric car based on Toyota Scion w/ 95 mph speed, 120-mile range
Dubbed the MAGICC car after initials of Mid-Atlantic Grid Interactive Cars Consortium
Custom MAGICC car cost about $70K
Recharges from electric grid but can also send stored energy back to the grid


Significant Points
Nation's millions of automobiles could become a network of mini-storage devices for electricity
Batteries would recharge during low electrical demand valleys
They would release some stored energy during high demand peaks
Allows electrical generation system to be size for efficient, full-time operation
1 car might even power a few nearby homes briefly if wires go down in a storm


http://www.freep.com/article/20090312/BUSINESS01/903120350/1014/Someday++battery-powered+cars+will+give+to+the+grid



GM, Chrysler Ask Dealers To Stock More Inventory


Situation
Dealers trying to figure out how to sell cars and finance customers in tough economy
GM and Chrysler asking their retailers to take on more inventories
Asking dealers to place more orders to help clear their own inventories, keep factories running
Many dealers are resisting added-inventory push


Significant Points
GM, Chrysler stress such actions will help prove their long-term viability
Long-term viability is provision for getting additional federal rescue loans
Economy has crashed down on all automakers, even Toyota
Some Chrysler-brand dealers harbor lingering resentment over past practices


http://wardsdealer.com/latest/dealers_resist_inventory_090306/index.html




AT&T Planning $565M for CNG, Hybrid Vehicles Over Next Decade


Situation
AT&T will spend up to $565M over next decade on 15K+ mostly Ford hybrid and CNG vehicles
Decision both environmental and economic stimulus oriented
AT&T estimated the spending will create or save 1K jobs over next 5 years


Significant Points
AT&T to spend $350M on 8K compressed natural gas vehicles, mostly trucks
Ford trucks will initially be converted by 3rd party
$215M to begin replacing its passenger cars w/ alternative-fuel models
Also plans to push for 40 new natural-gas fueling stations to be built in states where it operates
AT&T plans to replace 7.1K cars over next decade w/ hybrids or other advanced-technology vehicles


http://www.freep.com/article/20090312/BUSINESS01/903120332/1014/AT&T+to+snap+up+hybrids++giving+Ford+a+boost



Rental Revenue Up Slightly in 2008, Fleet Size Down



Total rental revenues rose by 1.8% in 2008
Higher fleet costs and lower rental days pinched industry profits in 2nd half of 2008
Business and leisure air travel fell; inbound foreign travelers also decreased
Q4 drop in rental days resulted in excess fleet capacity
Average rental fleet size fell by 50K units in 2008; 1st decline in 5-yrs
Average revenue per unit fell 5% in 2008

Manheim, 2009 Used Car Market Report, January 24, 2009, page 49
 
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