What to watch for in the automobile industry in 2014

Kelley Blue Book sees U.S. auto sales of 16.3M units this year to rep a growth rate of 4.9%. One of the biggest risks to the industry is a bump in interest rates to a level where buyers are pushed away from purchasing new cars. Industry watchers think the luxury sector (VLKAY, BAMXY, DDAIF) could see the sharpest impact as consumer previously willing to stretch trade down.

Ford's (F) increased use of aluminum in the widely popular F-150 line will be in focus. Analysts think could consumer reaction could go either way. Rival truck makers like Ram (FIATY) are set to pounce if the aluminum concerns show any validity.

Japanese automakers (NSANY, TM, HMC, MZDAY, SZKMY, FUJHY) are betting big on growth in the U.S. as tensions in China continue to crop up and clip sales from climbing to full potential .The group is seen as likely to use incentives and promotions in the U.S. to gain market share if sales momentum slows.

Toyota vs Telsa: Top execs with the two automakers have dialed up the rhetoric on the use of hydrogen fuel cell cars despite being long-time partners. With the Toyota (TM) FCV and Tesla (TSLA +4.5%) Model X both slated for a 2015 launch, the remainder of this year could see the war of words escalate.

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Comments (6)
  • surferbroadband
    , contributor
    Comments (5390) | Send Message
    "With the Toyota (TM) FCV and Tesla (TSLA +4.5%) Model X both slated for a 2015 launch, the remainder of this year could see the war of words escalate."


    And where are the Fuel Cell refilling stations right now? Supercharging stations are sprouting everywhere, plus most people will plug in at home.


    Tesla has this fight won hands down.


    Toyota is simply filling a compliance requirement with the Fuel Cells. They are not serious about this at all.
    16 Jan 2014, 03:24 PM Reply Like
  • John Bingham
    , contributor
    Comments (1304) | Send Message
    Very true surfer,


    The simple fact is that Toyota (and other manufacturers pushing HFCVs) get more zero emission credits from a 300 miles range HFCV than they do for a range restricted EV.


    The HFCV can NEVER be as efficient or reliable as a pure EV, but it also serves the secondary purpose of blinding the public the the fact that real EVs are already here, thanks to Tesla.


    It's game of smoke and mirrors. Just watch all the press telling us how wonderful these HFCVs are with their clean hydrogen power . . . . produced principally from fracked natural gas, one of the filthiest and most ecologically damaging processes known to man.
    16 Jan 2014, 05:48 PM Reply Like
  • SharkDude
    , contributor
    Comments (785) | Send Message
    Watch out TSLA might sell 30,000 cars next year! Bump up mkt cap. Maybe $30 billion? $40 billion?
    16 Jan 2014, 05:51 PM Reply Like
  • tech01x
    , contributor
    Comments (1243) | Send Message
    How about $50 billion? Especially as they build the giga-factory for their batteries in the U.S. and start building Superchargers in China.
    16 Jan 2014, 07:13 PM Reply Like
  • JRP3
    , contributor
    Comments (10538) | Send Message
    The X will simply blow the Toyota FCV away in every category, and the comparison is only going to help Tesla.
    16 Jan 2014, 08:41 PM Reply Like
  • Dan Fichana
    , contributor
    Comments (1918) | Send Message
    I love Toyota touting the hydrogen fuel cell.


    Well, here's a question, which states are they going to actually be able to sell them in? Considering there is only one station in south carolina and a handful of stations in CA.




    Why limit yourself and go out of your way?
    17 Jan 2014, 01:31 AM Reply Like
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