Jan. 15, 2014, 7:03 AM| 2 Comments
Jan. 14, 2014, 7:36 AM
- Geely Automobile predicts deliveries in 2014 will rise 6% to 580K, a mark which falls below the forecast by the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers for a 8% to 10% rise in China
- Chinese automakers lost market share to General Motors (GM) and Ford (F) at home last year with their models not quite as competitive and could slip further in 2014.
- Overall, domestic sales in China are expected to top 22M vehicles in 2014.
Jan. 13, 2014, 7:07 PM
- Ford (F) today unveiled its new F-150 with a body built almost entirely out of aluminum, which shaves as much as 700 pounds off the 5,000-pound truck, a response to small-business owners’ desire for a more fuel-efficient and nimble truck - and stricter government requirements on fuel economy.
- It's a big risk: F-Series trucks - which include the F-150 and heavier duty models like the F-250 - have been the best-selling vehicles in the U.S. for the last 32 years, and Ford makes ~$10K profit on every F-Series truck it sells.
- The 2015 F-150 goes on sale late this year; although aluminum is more expensive that steel, Ford says the truck will stay within the current price range.
- Will customers accept the change? "Trucks are put to such hard use. They take bangs and dings and a lot of hard use," says a somewhat skeptical Kelley Blue Book editorial director Jack Nerad. "We'll see."
Jan. 13, 2014, 8:29 AM
- Ford's (F) CEO Alan Mulally exudes confidence in his press conference at the Detroit Auto Show.
- The exec says the portfolio of vehicles offered by the automaker in 2014 will be the most balanced in its history.
- In the next year, Ford expects to introduce 23 new models globally and strategically add plants in high-growth regions.
- The company brought the new Mustang out on the stage with its top management as it aims to use the iconic car as a brand-builder in new global markets. (Twitpic)
Jan. 12, 2014, 6:50 AM
- GM (GM) is set to unveil its new GMC Canyon later today, ahead of the official opening of Detroit Auto Show tomorrow.
- GM hopes that the redesigned vehicle, which is due to go on sale in Q3 along with the new Chevrolet Colorado, will pull sales from Ford's (F) F-150, Chrysler's (FIATY) Ram 1500 and Toyota's (TM) Tacoma, the market leader.
- GM acknowledged that the Canyon could also take minimal sales away from the company's larger Chevrolet Silverado, although execs aren't worried.
- GM abandoned the mid-sized segment in 2012 due to waning popularity. However, sales of mid-sized pick-ups are forecast to grow by more than a third, research firm LMC Automotive has estimated.
Jan. 10, 2014, 9:26 AM
- The intersection of technology and the automobile industry was on full display this week at the Consumer Electronics Show where a record number of automakers presented.
- Though the sneak peek at the new gadgetry and the evolution of on-board systems was quite impressive, there's a bit of backlash building on privacy issues.
- As more mobile devices connect to cars, and Google's Open Automototive Alliance and GM's OnStar system evolve, hyper-local marketing could take off. It's a gray area with few legal precedents, note privacy advocates.
- A Ford exec probably got a little too fired up at CES earlier this week with this comment: "We know everyone who breaks the law, we know when you're doing it. We have GPS in your car, so we know what you're doing."
- Related stocks: GM, F, TM, FIATY, HMC, NSANY, TSLA, VLKAY, DDAIF, HYMLF, BAMXY, TTM, FUJHY.
Jan. 9, 2014, 8:14 AM
Jan. 9, 2014, 8:08 AM
Jan. 9, 2014, 7:23 AM
- Ford (F) is taking the game right to Toyota (TM) with the re-introduction of the Fiesta model in Japan to compete directly with models from local brands.
- The automaker has struggled in Japan in the past and only sold 3.5K vehicles in the nation last year, but thinks the Fiesta can fill a role in the market.
- What to watch: Ford and Toyota have been sparring over trade issues in Japan. The launch of the new Fiesta in the nation could ratchet up the rhetoric.
Jan. 8, 2014, 7:39 AM
- Shares of Ford (F) move up in early action as investors applaud the decision by Alan Mulally to stay on at Ford.
- Though the automaker has already transitioned many of Mulally's duties to Mark Fields, analysts think the presence of Mulally during a critical year will lift a cloud of uncertainty on how Ford's 2014 will progress.
- F +1.7% premarket.
Jan. 7, 2014, 5:26 PM
- Following months of reports, speculation, debate, and much else, Alan Mulally states he isn't leaving Ford (F) for Microsoft (MSFT), according to the AP.
- Microsoft's shares, which have already sold off due to dimming expectations Mulally will be the company's next CEO, are declining some more AH. Ford, meanwhile, is up 1.2%.
- Assuming Mulally is out of the running, the top candidates to succeed Steve Ballmer include server/cloud chief Satya Nadella (previous), ex-Nokia CEO Stephen Elop, and ex-Skype CEO Tony Bates.
Jan. 7, 2014, 7:30 AM
- Automobile registrations in the U.K. rose 24% in December to 152,918.
- For the year, U.K. car registrations were up 10.8% to easily beat the pace of other large European markets.
- Ford (F) was an out-performer in the region with its Fiesta and Focus models the two top sellers for 2013.
- The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders notes easier financing terms helped to stoke demand.
Jan. 6, 2014, 7:31 PM
- Toyota (TM) execs painted a bright picture for the fuel cell industry in the U.S. during an energized press conference at the Consumer Electronics Show.
- "Hydrogen-powered vehicles will be in our future much faster than many people believe, and in much greater numbers," predicts management.
- On the question of scale, Toyota notes that 68 charging stations stretching from San Francisco past Silicon Valley to Southern California could support 10K fuel cell vehicles. A rough estimate of a 2015 launch date is still in play.
- What to watch: Toyota says it has drastically reduced the estimated cost of the FCV concept sedan but isn't being real specific about numbers. The automaker's market entry point, production run totals, and range claims will all be watched by EV sellers such as Ford (F), General Motors (GM), Honda (HMC), and Tesla Motors (TSLA).
Jan. 6, 2014, 3:23 PM
- Microsoft (MSFT -2%) takes on a little more water in afternoon action as a Sterne Automotive analyst says Ford's (F +0.6%) board meets on Wednesday and is likely to provide an update regarding the future of CEO Alan Mulally. In the Sterne team's opinion, Mulally isn't going anywhere.
- Previous: Doubts grow over Mulally candidacy due to his lack of technical background.
Jan. 6, 2014, 12:22 PM
- The rapid evolution of Internet-connected cars is expected to be a major theme at 2014 Consumer Electronics Show this year. Mercedes (DDAIF), Audi (VLKAY), Ford (F), BMW (BAMXY), and Chrysler (FIATY) will all showcase new services which enable consumers to link mobile devices to their cars.
- Priceline.com (PCLN +0.2%) has a new partnership with General Motors (GM +1.5%) that will see the company's hotel booking service become available within the new Chevrolet AppShop. Watch for a great deal of talk on how the automaker's OnStar system fits into the evolution of infotainment systems in the industry with heavyweight Google and others quite active in the field.
- Other highlights from automakers include a closer look at BMW's all-electric i3 and Ford's highly anticipated C-Max Solar Energi.
- Though demonstrations of self-driving cars will be a crowd pleaser, the nascent technology doesn't threaten to disrupt the market for a few more years at least. (Related: Google, you can drive my car).
Jan. 6, 2014, 6:52 AM| 2 Comments
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