Feb. 12, 2014, 4:31 AM
- The major auto makers have found themselves in a bit of a dilemma.
- They've been offering discounts in order to clear an increasing amount of unsold inventory in the U.S., which in January reached the highest level since August 2009.
- However, the industry wants to avoid getting sucked into the kind of price wars that have caused so much trouble in the past.
- Production cuts are not on the agenda at the moment.
- Relevant tickers: TM, RNSDF, VLKAF, GM, DDAIF, BAMXF, FIATY, HMC, PEUGF, F
Feb. 11, 2014, 7:29 AM
- Japanese automakers report mixed sales in China during January with some extra demand kicked up by the Lunar New Year holiday cited as a factor.
- Though the recent up-and-down performance by the group in the region is expected to continue as political tensions crop up now and then, double-digit growth for the year is forecast.
- Nissan saw a slip in the month, due in part to its model introduction cycle in China. Sales in both November and December were strong.
- January China sales: Nissan (NSANY) -0.4% to 95,200; Toyota (TM) +18% to 85,600; Honda (HMC) +33% to 63,128.
Feb. 10, 2014, 3:26 AM
- Toyota (TM) intends to end the production of cars and engines in Australia by the end of 2017, due to high costs, the strong Australian dollar and low economies of scale.
- Toyota's move is not a huge surprise after the Japanese company warned about the future of its Australian operations last year following the announcement of similar plans by Ford and GM.
- The exit by the car companies represents the end of an era for Australian manufacturing. Toyota's departure will hit 2,500 jobs directly, although the auto industry supports over 40,000 workers and 150 supplier companies. (PR)
Feb. 8, 2014, 1:12 AM
- Toyota (TM) is near a deal to pay $1B to settle a U.S. criminal investigation into how it disclosed customers' complaints about unintended acceleration years ago, WSJ reports.
- The automaker could reach a deal within weeks, which would end a four-year probe by U.S. authorities.
- Prosecutors in the Manhattan U.S. attorney's office are looking into whether Toyota made false or incomplete disclosures to regulators about possible car defects, as well as possible mail and wire fraud violations connected to the alleged false disclosures, the report says.
Feb. 7, 2014, 1:14 PM| Comment!
Feb. 6, 2014, 11:57 AM
- Toyota (TM +0.2%) will only see a "very minor impact" from an issue with heated seats in several models that caused the automaker to halt sales efforts on 30K vehicles on dealer lots, according to exec Bob Carter.
- The issue could still evolve into a recall.
- Despite a rash of recall issues, Toyota's brand reputation appears to be as solid as ever based on a Consumer Reports survey.
Feb. 5, 2014, 9:20 AM| 24 Comments
Feb. 4, 2014, 3:06 PM
- IHS Automotive forecasts global electric vehicle production will increase 67% this year as a number of major automakers (DDAIF, BAMXY, TTM, HYMLF) enter the category (EV and plug-in hybrids) or try new markets.
- Europe will account for 40% of all EV production, followed by Asia at 30% and the U.S. with 27%, according to IHS.
- Three EV trends to watch: 1) Automakers (NSANY, TM, GM) needed a high level of incentives to spur electric car demand in the U.S. last year. Will 2014 be any different? 2) Demand in China for EVs could soar if the government keeps instituting mandates to lower pollution in major cities. 3) The war of words between Tesla (TSLA) and Toyota (TM) on electric batteries vs. hydrogen could intensify late in the year as the much-hyped Toyota FCV debut gets closer.
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. 4, 2014, 2:13 AM
- Toyota (TM) FQ3 net profit jumps more than fivefold to ¥525.4B ($5.2B) from ¥99.91B a year earlier, helped by the weaker yen.
- Operating profit climbs almost fivefold to ¥600.5B, topping expectations of ¥575.9B.
- Net revenues ¥6.585T vs ¥5.32T.
- Toyota has raised its fiscal-year outlook for the third time in three quarters, saying it now expects net income to almost double to a record ¥1.9T ($18.8B) vs a prior forecast of ¥1.67 and consensus of ¥1.87T.
- Toyota projects operating profit at ¥2.4T vs previous guidance of ¥2.2T and consensus of ¥2.44T. Revenues are seen at ¥25.5T. (PR)
Feb. 3, 2014, 1:23 PM
- Major automakers reported disappointing sale volume during January, but most saw their average transaction price per vehicle increase during the month.
- Honda (HMC), Ford (F), and Toyota (TM) all increased their average selling price per vehicles in the U.S. by over 3% either through product mix or a restrained level of incentives, according to a forecast from Kelley Blue Book.
- On the other end of the stick, Volkswagen (VLKAY) saw its average transaction price show no growth while Nissan's (NSANY) fell 1.3%.
Feb. 3, 2014, 11:03 AM
- Toyota's (TM -1%) growing pile of cash has analysts questioning its capital allocation formula.
- The automaker hasn't been clear on if it will use part of its $40B in cash to raise its dividend payout rate or invest in more factories. Capacity in North America is stretched to the hilt, notes some industry watchers.
Feb. 3, 2014, 10:29 AM
Feb. 3, 2014, 7:45 AM
- Auto sales rose 27.5% Y/Y in Japan during January, according to data from the Japan Automobile Dealers Association
- Despite the torrid pace of growth for the month, sales are expected to drop off for the year due to an upcoming sales tax increase in the nation.
- January sales breakdown: Toyota (TM) +19.2% to 125,568; Nissan (NSANY) +1.8% to 45,024; Honda (HMC) +136%.
Jan. 31, 2014, 9:28 AM| 15 Comments
Jan. 31, 2014, 7:49 AM
- Toyota (TM) stops selling some cars equipped with seat heaters in the U.S. as the company works with the NHTSA on a potential safety issue.
- Reports indicate that up to 13% of Toyota's inventory in the U.S. could be affected by the action.
- Analysts note the unfortunate timing for Toyota with cold weather stretching across a wide swath of the U.S.
TM vs. ETF Alternatives
Toyota Motor Corp designs, manufactures and sells sedans, minivans, compact cars, sport-utility vehicles, trucks and related parts and accessories. The Company also provides financing, vehicle and equipment leasing & certain other financial services.
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