Toyota (TM) aims to more than double it sales in China to 2M a year from 917,000 in 2013 and introduce 15 models in the country by the end of 2017. From 2015, the Japanese company intends to produce and sell hybrid versions of its Corolla and Levin cars in China. Toyota unveiled its plans at the Auto China show in Beijing, which has officially kicked off this weekend.
Ford (F) is unveiling a prototype of the Ford Everest, a seven-seater off-road SUV that will be made by the company's JMC joint venture with Jiangling Motors. At the moment, Ford makes its SUVs with Chongqing Changan Automobile.
Fiat Chrysler (FIATY) plans to start producing three new Jeeps in China with partner Guangzhou Automobile Group from late 2015 via the companies' GAC Fiat JV, which intends to invest 4.7B yuan ($755.8M) in a project in Guangzhou. The plans have received government approval. GAC Fiat could even make a vehicle customized for the Chinese market.
GM is on course for "a good month" in the U.S., the head of its North American operations, Alan Batey, has said. GM increased sales in March despite the bad publicity the company suffered because of the ignition-switch defect. GM is launching a new Chevrolet Trax and a redesigned Chevrolet Cruze compact car at Auto China. Batey reckons GM isn't "too far away" from selling 1M Chevrolet vehicles in China after selling 650,000 in 2013.
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%.
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.
Fiat S.p.A. Torino is the holding company of the Fiat Group. Through its subsidiaries, Co. is engaged principally in the manufacture and sale of automobiles, commercial vehicles and agricultural and construction equipment. Co. is organized into operating sectors, divided in the two major...More