August Global Light Vehicle Sales Weaken Again

Ken Zino of on August Global Light Vehicle Sales Weaken Again

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The Global Light Vehicle (LV) selling rate was 82 mn units/year in July, prolonging the weaker trend seen in recent months. The semiconductor shortage held back the post-lockdown recovery of vehicle sales in Europe, while its impact on inventories in the US meant average transaction prices rocketed, according to the LMC Automotive Consultancy. Worse, rising Delta variant cases threaten to impair the outlook in parts of Asia.

The US Light Vehicle market continued to be hurt by low inventories during July. Sales grew by only 3.2% YoY, to 1.28 mn units. This is a slight advance compared to July 2020’s pandemic-affected result. The selling rate declined more to 14.6 mn units/year, from 15.4 mn units/year in June. This is the lowest rate since June 2020. Continue reading

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Is China Now Clearly in the EV Affordability Lead?

Ken Zino of on Is China Now Clearly in the EV Affordability Lead?The JATO Dynamics consultancy is building on its considerable knowledge of the industry with the release today of its data looking at the impact of government incentives on the electric vehicle (EV) market during the past decade. In so doing JATO prompts a realization at AutoInformed that China has the lead here.

This of course is not good news for occidental auto conglomerates or their customers, which through a forced combination of government regulation, shareholder pressure and consumer sentiment are investing billions in EVs to solve the very real and deadly problem of fossil fuel use, which has increasingly visible negative health and climate effects. (Mazda MX-30 EV Starts at $33,470 in CA this October; BMW Group Sales Up for First Half of 2021. EV Sales Surge; EU Gets Tougher on Climate Change – Wants All EVs by 2035)

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COVID Losses – NISMO Festival Canceled Again

Ken Zino of on Nissan Nismo

Two Juke NISMO configurations – front-wheel drive with a 6-speed manual transmission and all-wheel drive CVT were originally sold.

Nissan Motor and Nissan Motorsports International have cancelled the 2021 NISMO Festival. In a statement issued from Yokohama this morning, The Japanese automaker said: “The decision was made to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and protect the health and safety of fans, participating teams, exhibitors, and Nissan and NISMO employees. Nissan and NISMO regret and understand the disappointment caused to all the fans who were looking forward to the event.” It was the second year running that the event was cancelled. (See AutoInformed on Nismo and Williams to Develop High Performance Cars) Continue reading

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Ford India Stops Manufacturing Vehicles For Sale

In a statement out of New Delhi this morning, Ford India said it will cease manufacturing vehicles for sale in India immediately. The manufacturing of vehicles for export will wind down at Sanand vehicle assembly plant by Q4 2021. The Chennai engine and vehicle assembly plants by Q2 2022.

India will remain Ford’s second-largest salaried workforce globally. In addition to Ford Business Solutions, Ford India will continue engine manufacturing for export, as well as full customer support operations with service, aftermarket parts and warranty support. Continue reading

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Ford Motor Expanding Home Pickup & Delivery

Ken Zino of on Ford is expanding its at-home Pickup & Delivery serviceOn Monday, Ford Motor is expanding its at-home Pickup & Delivery service by making it available to all its 8.5 million FordPassRewards members nationwide.

The company is also complicating its loyalty program by adding tiers – Blue, Silver and Bronze levels – to reward and recognize its most loyal customers. Members in the top two tiers, Blue and Silver, will be eligible for annual complimentary Pickup & Delivery services*.

With more than 3,100 dealers in the U.S., Ford appears to be the only full line auto brand to offer Pickup & Delivery to millions of customers. Since March 2020, Ford says it has made ~100,000 Pickup & Delivery services in the U.S. The process requires  customers call their local dealer to schedule an appointment and request an at-home or at-work pickup. On the day of service, customers receive updates via phone, text or e-mail to keep them informed of their vehicle’s progress, and it’s delivered back as soon as the service is complete. Continue reading

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Honda and Cruise to Start Testing Autonomous Vehicles on Public Roads

Ken Zino of on Honda and Cruise to Start Testing Autonomous Vehicles on Public RoadsHonda says it will start a testing program for autonomous vehicles later in September 2021, taking a step toward an autonomous vehicle mobility service (MaaS) business in Japan. Honda plans to launch MaaS in collaboration with Cruise and General Motors.

The testing program for MaaS technologies will be conducted in Utsunomiya City and Haga Town, Tochigi Prefecture. To start, a high-definition map of the area will be created using a special vehicle for mapping. Once the high-definition map is ready, an autonomous vehicle – a Cruise AV will be driven on public roads to develop and test autonomous vehicles adapted to the traffic environment and the relevant laws and regulations in Japan. Continue reading

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US August Light Vehicle Sales Continue Shrinking Trend

Ken Zino of Auto on declining US new light-vehicle sales in August

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New light-vehicle sales in August continued to decline with diminishing inventory on dealer lots. Sales in August totaled a SAAR of 13.1 million units, the lowest level since June 2020’s 13 million. August’s sales rate reduced the year-to-date SAAR to 16.1 million units from 16.5 million last month. August began with record-low inventory levels, and by month’s end total inventory had fallen an additional 5.2% for a new record low of 1.06 million units.

“Given the continuing announcements of plant shutdowns throughout the industry, sales for the rest of the year will likely be limited by these inventory constraints,” said Patrick Manzi, NADA Chief Economist. (Read on August Vehicle Sales to Drop as Prices Hit Record High; US Auto Sales Forecast Down Again in August) Continue reading

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Christine Feuell New Chrysler Brand CEO at Stellantis

Ken Zino of Auto on Christine Feuell will join Stellantis as Chrysler Brand CEO

What’s missing from this picture? Hint – it has wheels…

Stellantis said today that Christine Feuell will join Stellantis as Chrysler Brand CEO on September 13, reporting to CEO Carlos Tavares. Previously Feuell was Chief Commercial Officer at Honeywell Safety and Productivity Solutions (SPS).

SPS claims “to provides products, software and connected solutions that improve productivity, workplace safety …through mobile devices, software, cloud technology and automation solutions, the broadest range of personal protective equipment and gas detection technology, and custom-engineered sensors, switches and controls.” (see on Stellantis Posts Record H1 Results. Full-Year Guidance Upped) Continue reading

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