Thursday, November 29, 2012, 2:24 PM
The L.A. Auto Show launches tomorrow for the public with over 20 new models from major automakers set to be unveiled. The showcase for electric vehicles will get even closer attention this year with the field of players getting more crowded. While a number of the new models are concept cars and nostalgia-driven retreads, a few new offerings have mass adoption as a goal. Look for the Fiat 500e, the Chevrolet Spark EV, and BMW's powerful Concept series to grab a lot of the EV spotlight - while Ford hopes to generate a buzz with its jump back into minivan business. (live blog)
1 Comment[Consumer, Global & FX]
Tuesday, November 20, 2012, 10:40 AM
The auto industry could take the some of the sharpest blows if the fiscal cliff is as devastating as the most dire forecasts make it out to be. Analysts note a higher tax rate on the rich will do little to curb the purchases of Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Lexus cars - but even just the scare of a budget deal impasse could decelerate broad auto sales in December. Edmunds Chief Economist Dr. Lacey Plaches puts a number out amid all the conjecture, calling out a 3% dip in auto sales if cliff jumping is the plan.
Tuesday, November 6, 2012, 6:45 AM
Someone in Europe is buying cars: New car registrations in the U.K. rose 12.1% in October, according to the U.K. Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders. Based on the solid month, the agency upped its forecast for the full year to over 2M units. Best sellers in the region included the Ford Fiestsa, Opel Corsa, and Ford Focus.
3 Comments[Global & FX, Consumer]
Monday, October 29, 2012, 7:12 AM
The whispers are developing into murmurs from automakers on plans to follow Google's lead and develop self-driving car concepts. While Google has already successfully auto-piloted its test car through traffic in Silicon Valley, major automakers start to ramp up. Nissan (NSANY.OB) unveiled a futuristic driverless car at a tech show - while Ford (F), Audi (VLKAY.PK), and BMW (BAMXY.PK) are in a testing phase. The end game: Down the road, the technology could be developed to automate simple driving in places such as college campuses or business complexes before hitting mainstream roads.
Friday, October 19, 2012, 1:58 PM
An exec with Ford (F -2.4%) says luxury automakers are pushing up their end-of-year discounts in an effort to grab market share. BMW (BAMXY.PK), Mercedes (DDAIF.PK), and Toyota's (TM -0.8%) Lexus are leaders in the segment, but Ford maintains hope it can make its Lincoln brand relevant again.
Tuesday, October 16, 2012, 4:45 AM
RBS (RBS) will be given permission this week to leave the Asset Protection Scheme, a state-backed insurance program covering the bank's old "toxic assets," the FT reports. Exiting the scheme, which has cost RBS £2.5B in premiums, is seen as a first step towards the government selling its 82% stake in the bank. Meanwhile, RBS has suspended Jezri Mohideen, its head of rates trading in Europe and Asia Pacific, over the Libor scandal. Mohideen is the most senior employee to be put on leave so far.
Tuesday, October 16, 2012, 4:32 AMEU new-car registrations for September highlight the the sector's troubles in the region, slumping 10.8% to 1.1M, the fastest drop in a year. VW -13.8%, Ford (F) -15%, Opel (GM) -16%, Renault -33% but BMW +11%. In Jan-Sep, sales -7.6% to 9.15M. (PR)
Thursday, October 4, 2012, 3:26 PM
A 59% monthly jump (34% Y/Y) in BMW's (BAMXY.PK +4.8%) auto sales in China in September eases at least some concerns about the slowdown in the world's largest auto market. Volkswagen and Daimler's Mercedes-Benz also posted good numbers last month. "This strength has legs to it," says Credit Suisse's David Arnold.
Comment![Global & FX]
Thursday, September 27, 2012, 10:08 AM
Google backs its pet project of seeing self-driving cars become a reality in a tweet from Google Auto that highlights that 60M Americans now live in states where cars theoretically could operate free of their owners. Though automakers such as GM, BMW (BAMXY.PK), and Audi (VLKAY.PK) have been researching the topic on their own, it's a tech company that's the clear leader in pushing the concept forward.
Thursday, September 27, 2012, 9:04 AM
The Paris Auto Show gets off with a bang as PSA Peugeot Citroen (PEUGY.PK) CEO Philippe Varin warns the industry is in the eye of a hurricane with sales expected to fall again in 2013. His most telling remark (so far): "We're working on the assumption that the market has hit a plateau for the coming three years, so that 2015 is not going to look very different from 2012." (video stream)
Comment![Consumer, Global & FX]
Wednesday, September 19, 2012, 2:30 PM
In the zero-sum game of auto sales, General Motors (GM +1.5%) and German automakers such as BMW (BAMXY.PK) and Volkswagen (VLKAY.PK) could benefit from the wave of anti-Japan protests across China, while Honda (HMC +1.9%), Toyota (TM +1.0%), and Nissan (NSANY.OB) suffer a loss of market share. The trio of Japanese automakers already reported attacks on dealerships and have cut production in the region.
2 Comments[Consumer, On the Move]
Tuesday, September 18, 2012, 8:06 AM
The European Automobile Manufacturers Association reports that new passenger car registrations fell 8.9% Y/Y in August as the sluggish trend in the industry shows no signs of abating. Key market Germany saw demand contract by 4.7%, while in France and Italy double-digit declines don't paint a pretty picture.
3 Comments[Global & FX, Consumer]
Monday, September 17, 2012, 11:46 AM
Moody's cuts its forecast for 2013 growth in the auto industry to 2.9% with downwards revisions to sales in Europe and China pushing the overall global projection lower. The ratings agency maintains a stable outlook on the sector for the next year to 18 months, needing an outlook of 5% growth or better to move to a positive outlook.
Friday, August 31, 2012, 1:13 PM
August auto sales preview: The tally for new light vehicles sales in the U.S. is expected to come in strong, with an estimate of 1.255M units marking a 17.2% gain from last year and a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 14.2M. Perhaps even more relevant to auto stock investors, margins should improve with incentive spending per unit down 6% Y/Y. Japanese automakers should lead the charge again, boosted by earthquake-affected comps, while Volkwagen (VLKAY.PK) and Ford (F) are also tipped for a strong month.
Comment![Consumer, Global & FX]
Friday, August 24, 2012, 2:00 PM
Forecasting firm LMC Automotive sees U.S. automobile sales hitting their highest selling level in 4.5 years during August. The growth rate should hit double-digits for the 4th consecutive months as dealers clear inventory to make way for 2013 models. Looking forward, an optimistic LMC pegs total light-vehicle sales for 2013 above 15M.
Friday, August 24, 2012, 7:05 AM
General Motors (GM) has grand plans to see the new Cadillac ATS rise to the top of the compact luxury segment. In the hopes of refreshing the Cadillac image to appeal to a younger market, the new model features a new rear-wheel-drive platform and the latest tech gadgetry along with its still-powerful V-6 engine. The ultimate goal for GM is to see the Cadillac brand unseat the dominance of the BMW (BAMXY.PK) 3-Series.