Jan. 18, 2012, 10:35 AM
IHS Automotive reports that U.S. auto plants may operate at close to 81% of capacity in 2012 after falling to a level as low as 49% in 2009. Production is kicking in after light-vehicle sales in the U.S. knocked out their 2nd consecutive double-digit gain - outpacing even China's rate. Another interesting variable for the auto sales formula is the irreversible tidbit that the average age of the vehicles in the U.S. is on the high end. Are bigger profits in store for GM, F, TM, and HMC?| Jan. 18, 2012, 10:35 AM | 1 Comment
Jan. 17, 2012, 1:03 PM
Chrysler's (FIATY.PK) Jeep brand recorded a stellar 61.8% Y/Y increase in European sales last year, compared to an industry-wide decline of 1.4%, according to data from the European Automobile Manufacturers' Association. Execs with Chrysler attribute the blowout sales number to a successful integration of the company with Fiat, including the use of Fiat's technology inside the Grand Cherokee model.| Jan. 17, 2012, 1:03 PM
Jan. 12, 2012, 11:47 AM
Chinese auto sales growth slowed to 2.5% in 2011, the final figure coming in a bit below analyst estimates for 3%. Growth is estimated at 8% for the coming year, meaning existing production overcapacity could get worse as Mizuho expects it to expand 15% this year and 20% in 2013.| Jan. 12, 2012, 11:47 AM
Jan. 12, 2012, 10:21 AM
BMW (BAMXY.PK) plans to invest $900M into a South Carolina plant - adding to a growing wave of global automakers adding to U.S. operations. An exec with the German firm expects production capacity to increase to 350K at the plant, including a run of a new SUV slated to hit the market named the X4.| Jan. 12, 2012, 10:21 AM | 2 Comments
Jan. 12, 2012, 7:37 AM
It was Ford (F) - not the usual suspects GM and Chrysler - that tapped federal loan programs to help retool plants and make more efficient vehicles, according to information made public by the DOE. The car maker initially received $5.9B in June 2009, and has since drawn down another $4.5B to date to help it update 11 plants in five states. Shares +0.8% premarket.| Jan. 12, 2012, 7:37 AM | 3 Comments
Jan. 12, 2012, 6:42 AM
PSA Peugeot-Citroen (PEUGY.PK) predicts even further declines in European auto sales after seeing 6.1% fewer cars sold on the continent last year. To counter the downtrend, the car maker plans to focus on increasing sales in other regions to over 50% of its total and push its "premium" models including the Citroen DS line and Peugeot 508.| Jan. 12, 2012, 6:42 AM
Jan. 11, 2012, 2:26 PM
Daimler (DDAIY.PK) announces a strategic partnership with Google that will allow the car maker access to APIs for Google Maps - a move that could help it set up in-car map displays. Though it's a nifty feature to look for, where does that leave Garmin (GRMN +0.7%) if more car makers embed navigation systems in models?| Jan. 11, 2012, 2:26 PM
Jan. 11, 2012, 8:40 AM
More chatter from the Detroit auto show: Execs with GM and Ford (F) both say anecdotally that sales are brisk in January through the first 10 days of the year. Though it's unclear if it's the mild winter weather or improved consumer sentiment pushing buyers to showrooms so far this year, another overlooked factor to watch in 2012 is that the average age of cars in the U.S. is close to 11 years.| Jan. 11, 2012, 8:40 AM | 5 Comments
Jan. 11, 2012, 7:42 AMGeneral Motors (GM) marketing exec Joel Ewanick says the company has a detailed contingency plan in case another fire in a Chevrolet Volt launches a Congressional hearing or public reaction, as the car maker remains committed to making a splash in the EV market. Perhaps more to the point, he notes that "Volts are safe and won't burn." | Jan. 11, 2012, 7:42 AM | 1 Comment
Jan. 11, 2012, 7:11 AM
Volkswagen (VLKAY.PK) says its vehicle sales in India doubled in 2011, driven chiefly by the Polo model. The car maker introduced 10 new vehicles and opened 56 dealerships in the nation last year, as it joined global rivals in stepping up its presence in the industry's largest untapped market.| Jan. 11, 2012, 7:11 AM
Jan. 10, 2012, 2:41 PM
Jan. 9, 2012, 10:29 AM
Jan. 9, 2012, 8:29 AM
NHTSA's David Strickland says regulators are satisfied with General Motors' (GM) plan to fix the Chevrolet Volt battery issue that has grabbed headlines over the last month, clearing the path for the car maker to ramp up production in 2012. Shares +0.2% premarket.| Jan. 9, 2012, 8:29 AM | 8 Comments
Jan. 9, 2012, 7:53 AM
Jan. 9, 2012, 6:50 AM
General Motors (GM) and Ford (F) knocked out record auto sales in the fast-growing market of China in 2011 after Japanese rivals were crimped by production issues tied to the natural disasters in Japan and Thailand. GM reports that it sold 2.55M vehicles in the nation (+8.3% Y/Y), while Ford said it registered vehicle sales of 519K (+7% Y/Y).| Jan. 9, 2012, 6:50 AM
Jan. 6, 2012, 7:03 AMAudi (VLKAY.PK) intends to add new sedan and SUV models in its bid to steal market share away from other German brands in the U.S. such as Daimler (DDAIY.PK) and BMW (BAMXY.PK). CEO Rupert Stadler says the car maker will use the Detroit auto show next week to unveil a "Vail" version of the compact Q3 SUV and will build a sedan version of the A3 hatchback. | Jan. 6, 2012, 7:03 AM
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