Mar. 26, 2014, 2:53 PM
- Auto sales in the U.S. should snap back in March, according to a new forecast from Kelley Blue Book.
- The research firm expects sales to rise to 1.475M units, up almost 24% from February.
- A modest increase in incentives from automakers will roughly offset gains in average transaction prices, according to KBB.
- March growth forecast by manufacturer: Chrysler (FIATY) +7.2%, Toyota (TM) +2.3%, Nissan (NSANY) +1.7%, Ford (F) +1.0%, General Motors (GM) +0.4%, Honda (HMC) +0.0%, Hyundai (HYMLF) -2.1%, Volkswagen (VLKAY) -7.8%.
Mar. 26, 2014, 11:19 AM
- Automobile dealerships no longer provide value for consumers, concludes a research paper by INSEAD professor Karan Girotra.
- "Car dealers and more generally intermediaries represent an extra layer of companies in the supply chain that clearly increases costs to customers," writes the prof.
- The industry has evolved such that a consumer could search and research a car online, test-drive at a product gallery, and service a purchased vehicle at a reputable repair shop without needing the backstop of a manufacturer-certified dealership, concludes Girotra.
- Related stocks: GM, F, TM, FIATY, HMC, NSANY, TSLA, VLKAY, DDAIF, HYMLF, BAMXY, KIMTF, MMTOF, PEUGF, RNSDF, TTM.
Mar. 25, 2014, 7:12 AM
- Ford (F) and General Motors (GM) are still spinning their wheels in India with each claiming a market share of only around 3% in what is tapped to be the third largest automobile market in the world by 2018.
- The Detroit automakers have been slow to adapt to local tastes for small sub-$10K cars.
- The "big two" in the nation are Suzuki (SZKMF) and Hyundai (HYMLF) which combined account for over half of all automobile sales in India.
Mar. 24, 2014, 7:30 AM
- An early read on automobile sales from J.D. Power and Associates indicates sales for March are tracking at an annual selling rate of 15.6M.
- The mark is slightly below the research firm's forecast of 15.8M.
- Analysts sees March as a make-or-break month for the industry if it hopes to reach full-year expectations after weather stalled traffic during the January and February.
- Prices will also be closely watched in March with inventory levels running high. Kelley Blue Book notes the average transaction price in March is up 1.6% Y/Y to $32,100 so far.
- Related stocks: GM, F, TM, FIATY, HMC, NSANY, TSLA, VLKAY, DDAIF, HYMLF, BAMXY.
Mar. 17, 2014, 12:44 PM
- Ford's (F +1.2%) joint venture in Russia might halt production for as long as two months due to demand concerns following some turmoil with the Russian currency.
- A Ford Sollers plant in St. Petersburg that manufactures the Focus compact and Mondeo models could be idled, according to Russian media reports.
Mar. 14, 2014, 2:05 PM
Mar. 6, 2014, 3:35 PM
- The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders reports auto sales in the U.K. rose 3% to 68,376 units in February.
- The U.K. has now strung together 24 straight months of increasing new car sales.
- The top seller for the month in the region was the Ford Fiesta (F) with 4,415 units, while the Ford Focus took 4th place with 2,566 units.
Mar. 6, 2014, 7:41 AM
- Ford (F) appears to have won the month of February over General Motors (GM) in the truck segment.
- Steady demand for the F-Series helped Ford land 34% of truck sales, while GM dropped three percentage points to 22.5%.
- Incentives from Ford on popular truck lines were lower as well. Autodata reports that the average discount on a Chevrolet Silverado rose $500 M/M to $4,218 - compared to the $2,835 that Ford offered to potential F-Series buyers.
Mar. 5, 2014, 7:17 AM
- Ford (F) plans to ramp research and development in China as it stays on a pace to sell more than one million vehicles in the region.
- The automaker will add new facilities and increase headcount by 50% to close to 2K by 2018.
- The goal of the initiative is to integrate "local customer insight" into product designs.
Mar. 4, 2014, 1:53 PM
- The overall tone at the Geneva Motor Show is positive as sales patterns in Europe have stabilized and even shown some pockets of strength. Perhaps the biggest question is if the sales gains are organic or the results of heavy discounting? Autohaus PulsSchlag reports price cuts of at least 10% at most major manufacturers.
- European automakers are downplaying the impact on sales in Russia from the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. Russia is Europe's second largest automobile market and is expected to pass Germany within a few years.
- Jeep unveiled its all-new 2015 Renegade compact crossover SUV. The model is unique in that it will feature seven different engine choices tailored to different global markets.
- BMW announced plans to build over ten new smaller models on its latest platform. The Mini Clubman concept has created a stir with analysts.
- New models from Ferrari, Lamborghini, and Maserati show that the ultra-wealthy haven't been forgotten by automakers at the show. Related stocks: GM, F, TM, FIATY, HMC, NSANY, TSLA, VLKAY, DDAIF, HYMLF, BAMXY, MMTOF, PEUGF, RNSDF, TTM, SZKMY, FUJHY, RNSDF.
Mar. 4, 2014, 9:21 AM
- Ford (F) COO Mark Fields issues a warning at the Geneva Motor Show on the pace of investment by the industry in the BRIC nations.
- Global automakers may have built up too much capacity in emerging markets as regions such as India and Brazil continue to disappoint, notes Fields.
- Another factor is the recent turmoil in the Ukraine which could hurt auto sales in Russia after interest rates in the nation saw a sudden hike.
- The view of the heir apparent at Ford lines up with research by KPMG which indicates that by 2016 the global automotive market will have built up 20%-30% excess capacity.
- Related stocks: Tata Motors (TTM), General Motors (GM), Renault (RNSDF), Nissan (NSANY), Volkswagen (VLKAY), Toyota (TM).
Mar. 3, 2014, 9:55 AM
- Ford (F -1.2%) says it saw a sales surge in the last week of the month after February got off to a rough start.
- Lincoln kept up its recent resurgence. The brand now has increased sales 26% over the last five months compared to a year ago.
- Fleet orders were down 10% in February, but Ford thinks the volume drop will be made up in March.
- Sales by model: Fiesta -3.4 to 4,844; Focus -23.5% to 15,926; Fusion -14.3% to 23,898; Explorer -22.1 to 12,921; F-Series +2.6% to 55,882.
Mar. 3, 2014, 9:36 AM
Feb. 28, 2014, 8:33 AM
- General Motors (GM) and Ford (F) have increased their level of discounting in order to drive traffic into showrooms, according to Reuters.
- A scan of online deals shows the competitive full-size pickup market is seeing some of the more lush deals for consumers.
- What to watch: Though the relentless string of wintry weather and growing inventory has the industry edgy, overall pricing for February could still come in level with a year ago. March and April could be the months that slimmer profits for GM and Ford unless pent-up demand is unleashed.
Feb. 27, 2014, 3:59 PM
- New U.S. auto sales are expected to rise just 0.8% Y/Y in February, according to Edmunds.com, which expects to be hampered by poor winter weather for the second month in a row.
- Edumnds estimates 1.2M new cars and trucks will be sold in the U.S. in February, up from slightly less than 1.2M a year ago and improving from January's total.
- Among major auto makers, roughly 5% sales declines are projected for GM and Ford (F), with more modest sales drops seen at Toyota (TM) and Honda (HMC); Fiat Chrysler (FIATY) and Nissan (NSANY) are likely report double-digit sales increases, and Hyundai (HYMLF) sales are expected to rise 2%.
Feb. 26, 2014, 2:08 PM
- Ford (F +1.5%) wants to increase its credit lines to $12B from $10.7B, according to Bloomberg.
- The action could increase borrowing costs for the company if the lines are tapped with the loans reported to be at higher rates.
- The automaker is ramping up production in several key categories this year.
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