Feb. 7, 2014, 12:30 PM| Comment!
Feb. 4, 2014, 8:00 AM
- Federal regulators indicate they aim to require automakers (GM, F, TM, FIATY, HMC, NSANY, VLKAY, HYMLF, TSLA, FUJHY) to install technology that helps to warn drivers if a crash is imminent using data broadcast from other vehicles .
- Cars and trucks would be required to have special technology which would emit data through radio signals. The rate of accidents could be lowered by up to 80% through successful adoption of the program, according to the NHTSA.
- Privacy advocates oppose the technology while security experts warn hackers could be disruptive in the area.
- Implementation of the technology standard is expected to be at least a few years off.
Feb. 3, 2014, 3:28 PM
- Maserati (FIATY) U.S. unit sales rose 230% Y/Y to 567 during January.
- Though the luxury sports car seller isn't much of a factor for overall automobile sales trends in the U.S., it seemed to be aiming for the masses yesterday with a Super Bowl ad aired during the game's first quarter for its new Ghibli.
- If nothing else, Maserati kicked up some curiosity with its 90-second spot. Kelley Blue Book reports brand searches for Maserati soared 700% on its site last night.
- The Fiat-controlled Maserati wants to sell 50K Ghible units globally by 2015.
Feb. 3, 2014, 8:17 AM
- Chrysler (FIATY) reports that the Jeep and Fiat brands had their best January ever in the U.S. despite tough weather patterns.
- Demand for minivans and trucks was strong during the month.
- The automaker ended the month with a 105 days supply of inventory. A mark that will catch the eye of some automobile industry analysts.
- Model standouts: Compass +31% to 4,068; Wrangler +8% to 9,553; Ram P/U +22% to 25,071.
Feb. 3, 2014, 8:09 AM
Jan. 30, 2014, 9:29 AM
- AutoNation (AN) CEO Mike Jackson thinks automakers are producing too many cars in the U.S.
- The exec cuts through the "bogus" dealer inventory numbers to highlight what he maintains is a 100-day supply of autos in the nation.
- Despite the "friendly" advice to the Big Three (F, GM, FIATY), Jackson is optimistic and thinks the industry will crack through the 16M unit sales mark in the U.S. this year.
Jan. 29, 2014, 6:59 AM
Jan. 27, 2014, 10:44 AM
- Fiat (FIATY) and Chrysler will present their Q4 and annual results together for the first time this week as they move closer to merging.
- Execs will address questions covering both automakers during a conference call on Wednesday.
- Guidance is expected to still be separated out by brand.
- Conference call webcast
Jan. 23, 2014, 7:14 AM
- Fiat (FIATY) CEO Sergio Marchionne will propose to the automaker's board that the shares created from the merger with Chrysler will be listed on the NYSE with a secondary listing on Milan, according to Automotive News.
- The exec will also suggest that Fiat-Chrysler have a fiscal domicile in the U.K. for tax purposes.
- Yesterday, Fiat officially pulled its IPO for Chrysler.
Jan. 22, 2014, 11:45 AM| 1 Comment
Jan. 19, 2014, 3:28 AM
- The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has approved Chrysler's (FIATY) recall of 1.6M Grand Cherokee and Jeep Liberty sport utility vehicles that have the gas tank located behind the rear axle and are therefore deemed more vulnerable to fires in the event of a crash from the behind.
- The NHTSA originally wanted Chrysler to recall 2.7M vehicles, but reduced the number after the car maker refused to comply with the agency's request.
- Chrysler plans to install a trailer-towing hitch to shield the gas tank even though former Chrysler executive Francois Castaing, who was in charge of engineering at the company when the first Grand Cherokee was designed, has said that "the tow package does not protect the tank." Even Chrysler has acknowledged the limited safety impact of the hitch.
- Separately, Chrysler said December vehicle production climbed 16% to 187,764, while 2013 output rose 5.8%, led by light trucks.
Jan. 16, 2014, 3:08 PM
- Kelley Blue Book sees U.S. auto sales of 16.3M units this year to rep a growth rate of 4.9%. One of the biggest risks to the industry is a bump in interest rates to a level where buyers are pushed away from purchasing new cars. Industry watchers think the luxury sector (VLKAY, BAMXY, DDAIF) could see the sharpest impact as consumer previously willing to stretch trade down.
- Ford's (F) increased use of aluminum in the widely popular F-150 line will be in focus. Analysts think could consumer reaction could go either way. Rival truck makers like Ram (FIATY) are set to pounce if the aluminum concerns show any validity.
- Japanese automakers (NSANY, TM, HMC, MZDAY, SZKMY, FUJHY) are betting big on growth in the U.S. as tensions in China continue to crop up and clip sales from climbing to full potential .The group is seen as likely to use incentives and promotions in the U.S. to gain market share if sales momentum slows.
- Toyota vs Telsa: Top execs with the two automakers have dialed up the rhetoric on the use of hydrogen fuel cell cars despite being long-time partners. With the Toyota (TM) FCV and Tesla (TSLA +4.5%) Model X both slated for a 2015 launch, the remainder of this year could see the war of words escalate.
Jan. 16, 2014, 3:48 AM
- European car sales dropped for the sixth year in a row in 2013, slipping 1.7% to 11.9M vehicles, the European Automobile Manufacturers' Association says. That's the worst performance since ACEA began tracking the data in 2003.
- However, the moderate recovery in sales that began in H2 accelerated in December, with new-car registrations climbing 13% to 906,294 vehicles.
- Despite the pick-up, industry executives remain cautious. "The European car market is starting the year in its best condition for two or three years," said Yann Delabrière, the CEO of components supplier Faurecia. "But it is too early to say we have a clear vision of the turnaround." (PR)
- Relevant tickers: TM, RNSDF, VLKAF, GM, DDAIF, BAMXF, FIATY, HMC, PEUGF, F
Jan. 15, 2014, 9:28 AM
- Chrysler's (FIATY) Ram brand will go light on the aluminum in new models as it seeks to improve fuel economy through powertrain improvements and by offering diesel models.
- The use of aluminum by Ford looks like it might be used as a marketing point by Ram as execs are already harping on the "tradeoff" in strength and safety by using the metal in the bodies of trucks.
- Ram hopes to improve on its sales growth pace of 7% from last year by building more brand loyalty.
Jan. 14, 2014, 10:18 AM
- The NHTSA opens an investigation into Chrysler (FIATY) Grand Cherokees and Durangos vehicles from model years 2011 through 2013 on concerns that a short circuit near sun visors could create the risk of a fire.
- The agency will open an engineering analysis on the issue before determining if a full recall of close to 600K vehicles is warranted.
Jan. 14, 2014, 7:23 AM| 1 Comment
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