Luxury automobile sales are forecast to be strong for the Black Friday this weekend as manufacturers become more aggressive with promotions.
Mercedes-Benz (DDAIF) and BMW (BAMXY) have increased their marketing spend into their year-end battle for being the top-selling luxury seller in the U.S. - while both General Motors (GM) and Ford (F) expect strong traffic at dealerships.
The L.A. Auto Show hit full stride with global automakers tipping off plans to ramp up production and designs to take advantage of the North American demand boom.
Honda (HMC), Toyota (TM), and Hyundai (HYMLF) pounded home the commitment they will make to hydrogen fuel cells. This is no flux capacitor chatter. All three plan to invest to have fuel cell models on the U.S. market within two years, although details on charging station infrastructure are sketchy.
General Motors (GM) was the talk of the town as the Chevy Colorado truck impressed analysts mightily and looks set to give challengers from Nissan and Toyota a run for their money.
BMW (BAMXY), Porsche (VLKAY, POAHF), and Mercedes-Benz (DDAIF) all have big plans for the luxury market, while Kia enters the segment as a darkhorse with the K900. Kia?
On the zero-emission front, Honda was full of swagger by landing a major green award for the new hybrid Honda Accord on gaudy fuel economy ratings.
Automakers to watch: Subaru (FUJHY) and Chrysler (FIATY) look well-positioned for 2014 market share gains. Tesla (TSLA) CEO Elon Musk is off monitoring his latest Space X rocket, while the Tesla debate gets even livelier on SA.
Strong demand for BMW i3 and i8 electric offerings
BMW (BAMXY -1.2%) has had orders for nearly 10K of its i3 electric cars, global sales chief Ian Robertson said at the LA Auto Show. First deliveries were made in Germany last week, and the vehicle will go on sale in America during Q2 of 2014.
The i8 plug-in hybrid sports model, which will be introduced in mid-2014, has already sold out for its first year of availability.
European automobile market: Beware of taking on the Germans
Major automobile companies are making a big mistake in thinking they can increase profit margins by taking on German automakers (BAMXY.PK, VLKAY.PK, DDAIF.PK) in the luxury market on their home turf, argues Neil Winston of The Detroit News.
The "delusional" strategy to invest in the high-end market - instead of slashing capacity and following the lead of the successful South Korean automakers (KIMTF.PK, HYMLF.PK) in Europe - has proven disastrous to automakers such as Saab, Renault (RNSDF.PK), and Volvo (VLKAY.PK) in the past.
Peugeot (GM, PEUGF.PK) and Ford (F) are guilty of falling for the temptation to move more models into the European upscale market, while Fiat (FIATY.PK) is playing small ball on the continent.