Archive for the ‘Sales’ Category

Automakers Still Looking for Top Price on Full-Size Pickups

Trucks continue growing bottom line for automakers.

by on May.21, 2019

The Sierra HD 3500 makes an audacious debut pulling 225,000 pounds of yacht and trailer. It also gets an audacious price tag.

Truck sales are booming, which is good news for automakers since they result in big profits. Only adding to their bottom-line delight is that the fastest growing area are the highly profitable “luxury” trucks with price tags zipping past $60,000.

New full-size trucks in 2018 were 16% more expensive than those in 2015, and midsize trucks were 3% more expensive, according to CarGurus.com. In fact, the top end of the market has trucks passed the $80,000 mark, and the good news is that there is probably room for even more expensive pickups, according to one truck executive.

Product News!

“I think there’s still an opportunity (in vehicles) for traditional luxury items, like more materials, audio systems, things like that,” said Duncan Aldred, vice president, Global Buick and GMC, recently during a meeting with journalists. (more…)

Could Tesla’s High-Flying Ride on Wall Street be Ready to Come Crashing Down?

Shares head towards $200 for first time since 2016, as key analyst warns $10 is possible.

by on May.21, 2019

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has plenty to worry about as investors turn bearish on its stock.

After sliding to its lowest level since December 2016 on five days of losses, Tesla stock fell to its lowest level in nearly 30 months, at just above $200 — and one key analyst, Morgan Stanley’s Adam Jonas, warns Tesla could see the stock plunge to just $10 a share.

Not much has gone right for the California automotive upstart in recent months, starting with word that first-quarter sales had fallen well short of expectations. Its unexpectedly deep, $702 million loss for the quarter didn’t help. And the situation only grew worse when CEO Elon Musk last week ordered a “hardcore” belt-tightening covering “literally every payment that leaves our bank account.” Then, the National Transportation Safety Board weighed in, blaming a fatal March 2018 crash on Tesla’s much-ballyhooed Autopilot system.

Breaking News!

Even where the automaker appeared to pull off a coup, topping substantially what it had expected to raise with last month’s combination of stock and debt offerings, Musk told employees in an e-mail, that the $2.7 billion Tesla brought in “actually only gives us about 10 months at the Q1 burn rate to achieve breakeven!”

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Ford Cutting 500 Salaried Jobs in US, 7,000 Globally

Reduction in force expected to save $600 million annually.

by on May.20, 2019

Ford CEO Jim Hackett is implementing his plan to improve the Dearborn, Michigan-based automaker's profitability.

Ford Motor Co. will today notify 500 white-collar workers in its North American operations that their jobs are being eliminated, the move part of a broader cutback that will see 7,000 salaried positions eliminated worldwide, including 1,500 former employees who voluntarily separated from the company in 2018.

While most of the focus is on Europe and other markets where Ford has been struggling, as many as 800 U.S. workers could lose their jobs before the end of this year. Coming to about 10% of the automaker’s white-collar workforce, the cutbacks are part of a broader, $11.5 billion global “Smart Redesign” that Ford CEO Jim Hackett announced last year.

Business News!

“Within that total, and consistent with our goal to reduce bureaucracy, we will have reduced management structure by close to 20%,” CEO Hackett said in a note sent to employees late Monday. “This will result in annual savings of about $600 million.” (more…)

U.S. Ending Steel, Aluminum Tariffs on Mexico, Canada

Move design to prevent import of Chinese steel into U.S.

by on May.17, 2019

The Trump administration agreed to lift the steel and aluminum tariffs on Mexico and Canada in order to keep out Chinese steel.

Seeking to secure Congressional approval of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade deal, or USMCA, U.S. negotiators secured tough new measures against Chinese steel by agreeing to lift tariffs on steel and aluminum from Mexico and China.

The deal avoids quotas on steel from the two countries, which Canada and Mexico had opposed, according to the Washington Post. The tariffs will end in 48 hours.

The Last Word!

“We came to an agreement that benefits both parties: the tariffs are lifted, without quotas on steel and aluminum,” according to a statement from the Mexican president’s office, adding that it reinstated a tariff-free commercial relationship for those products. (more…)

VW Unleashes Seven Sport Concepts at Southern Worthersee

SOWO show cars highlight options for both performance and off-road fans.

by on May.17, 2019

VW shows off its SOWO "enthusiast fleet."

Volkswagen has long had a history of rolling out some of its most creative niche products and concept cars at the annual Worthersee gathering in Austria. It has expanded that tradition by adding what it calls the SOWO event on Hutchinson Island in Savannah, Georgia.

Short for “Southern Worthersee,” the big gathering aims to entice VW fans this time around with seven concept vehicles featuring what it calls “sport performance add-ons and visual enhancements.”

News You Can Trust!

Considering the shift in global markets, and especially the U.S., from sedans, coupes and hatchbacks to SUVs, CUVs and other light trucks, it should surprise no one that this year’s crop of concepts includes versions of the latest Tiguan and Atlas crossover-utility vehicles. But Volkswagen traditionalists shouldn’t be disappointed, either, the automaker rolling out customized versions of the Golf, Jetta and new Arteon, as well. (more…)

GMC Tightens Up Premium Truck Segment with 2020 Sierra 1500

More technology and engine choices highlight new truck.

by on May.17, 2019

For 2020, the GMC Sierra gets a slew of new technology as well as a new engine offering.

The competition to produce the best-equipped pickup truck continued to get tighter today with GMC’s announcement that its “taking premium to the next level” for its 2020 Sierra 1500.

GMC’s full-size light-duty pickup can now get a slew of new options to take it up a notch, including expanded availability for its carbon fiber bed, 3.0-liter Duramax turbo-diesel and 10-speed automatic transmission, additional technology like Adaptive Cruise Control – Camera.

Product News!

While options are great, functionality is still king among truck users and GMC is looking to make a statement in that arena too. For 2020, the Sierra 1500 will be available with the upgraded ProGrade Trailering System introduced earlier this year on the 2020 Sierra HD. The updated system offers 15 camera views – the class leader –  an in-vehicle Trailering App which has been enhanced to simplify the trailering process. (more…)

“Hardcore” Belt-Tightening a Must, Says Tesla’s Musk

The “only way for Tesla to become financially sustainable.”

by on May.17, 2019

Tesla's Elon Musk has ordered employees to rein in spending on virtually everything.

Tesla will need to engage in some “hardcore” cost-cutting, CEO Elon Musk told employees in an e-mail late Thursday, a move that comes in the wake of an unexpectedly severe first-quarter loss.

The automaker earlier this month was able to raise $2.7 billion through a combination of stock and debt offerings, but investors have become increasingly wary of the challenges that face the automaker – Tesla facing substantial debt repayments on top of the costs involved in the development of an array of new products and a new plant in China.

Breaking News!

The latest cash infusion, according to Musk, will only let it go for another 10 months without getting back into the black, he wrote, which “is why, going forward, all expenses of any kind anywhere in the world, including parts, salary, travel expenses, rent, literally every payment that leaves out bank account must (be) reviewed.”

(more…)

Hyundai/Kia Partnering up with Croatia EV Supercar Maker Rimac

Croatian company positions itself as a major supplier of electrification technology and components.

by on May.14, 2019

Rimac founder and CEO Mate Rimac celebrates with Hyundai's Euisun Chung their new alliance.

Alliances and joint ventures are becoming as much the norm as the exception in today’s auto industry, but Hyundai Motor Group just entered a particularly strange-bedfellow sort of relationship, investing nearly $90 million in Rimac, the Croatian manufacturer of battery-electric supercars.

The Korean parent of the Hyundai and Kia brands will not only invest 80 million euros in Rimac Automobili but also establish a technology partnership that will put some high-performance electric vehicles in their future line-ups, as well.

Breaking News!

“Rimac is an innovative company with outstanding capabilities in high-performance electric vehicles,” said Euisun Chung, Executive Vice Chairman of Hyundai Motor Group. “Its startup roots and abundant experience collaborating with automakers combined with technological prowess makes Rimac the ideal partner for us. We look forward to collaborating with Rimac on our road to Clean Mobility.”

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First Drive: 2019 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350

Power, handling, performance, new Shelby GT350 has it all.

by on May.14, 2019

Ford's new Mustang Shelby GT350 lives up to the hype with stellar track performance and impressive fo

By this late in May, it should be getting warm in Detroit, but despite the 50-degree chill and a depressingly leaden sky, at least the rain has held off as I strap on a HANS Device and helmet and head out to pit row at Pontiac’s M1 Concourse, where a 2019 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 is waiting for me.

On the way, I pass a vintage version of the car, one of just a handful of original 1965 models that survive. It might look dated, but when it made its debut back in 1965 it transformed Ford’s little pony car into a wicked contender. With its tiny tires and live rear axle, it was a handful to drive but nonetheless raised the muscle car bar to new heights.

Reviews You Can Trust!

Today, the GT350 takes a back seat to the Shelby GT500, an all-new version of the 700--horsepower monster set to roll out later this year. But for those who don’t need to go to the ultimate extremes – or who simply don’t have quite a large enough bank account, the latest update of the GT350 that rolled out in 2016 has plenty to offer. (more…)

Nissan Earnings Plunge on Lower Sales, Rising Warranty Costs

Ghosn problems force company to take $83 million charge.

by on May.14, 2019

Nissan Motor Corp. CEO Hiroto Saikawa delivered somber earnings news to the media and investors.

Nissan Motor Corp. officials earlier predicted that 2018 would be a difficult year for the company, and the final numbers show they were right to be worried as operating profit for the automaker dropped 57.3%.

The Japanese automaker was plagued with a variety of problems all at once, including a costly plan to improve “quality of sales” in the U.S. and the costs related to the implementation of a warranty extension effort for selected vehicles.

News Now!

Some of the issues the company faced it could have sold its way past, global unit sales fell by 4.4% to 5.516 million units. Sales in the U.S. fell 9.3% to 1.44 million units. The company is predicting a slight increase for 2019 to 5.54 million units worldwide. (more…)

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