Posted by Dale Buss on June 10, 2013 04:27 PM
Pickup trucks accounted for a whopping 90 percent of Ford's profits last year, according to a Morgan Stanley analyst, while contributing to two-thirds of GM's earnings in 2012. So it's no wonder that the current performance of the pickup truck segment in the US market has executives of the traditional Big Three whistling while they work.
Thanks to the stubbornly steady overall recovery in the American auto market and a specific rise in the housing sector and other pieces of the economy, happy days indeed are here again for pickup truck sales. They accounted for about one-third of the overall 8 percent increase in US sales volume in May compared with a year ago, and the segment was up by 21 percent year-to-date while the industry rose only by 7 percent, Automotive News calculated.
Meanwhile, transaction prices for the segment have increased at more than double the average rate for the industry since 2005, Edmunds.com reported.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on May 17, 2013 07:30 PM
Ford is facing a lawsuit that threatens to tarnish the carefully nurtured image of its EcoBoost engines as a way to get big improvements in fuel efficiency without giving up driving performance.
Some Ford owners in Ohio alleged in a suit filed in federal court in Columbus that Ford vehicles containing the 3.5-liter, V6 EcoBoost engine are "subject to sudden shuddering, shaking, rapid loss of power, and inappropriate transition to limp mode." The allegations echo complaints that Ford addressed last year in a non-public bulletin to dealers and by making changes on its engine assembly line.
At the same time, there are more reports from reviewers who maintain that EcoBoost engines don't deliver their promised fuel efficiency in real-world driving performance.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on May 2, 2013 09:12 AM
DreamWorks acquires Awesomeness TV, a YouTube teen network.
Walmart retools e-commerce and mobile.
Facebook says 30 percent of revenue now comes from mobile ads.
Boeing moves to upgrade popular 777 passenger jet.
Bud Light launches Music First initiative.
CBS scores big from Super Bowl ad revenues.
Cablevision adds Glenn Beck's network.
Del Taco emphasizes freshness of its food in campaign.
Disney rethinks role in Bangladesh supply after building collapse and deaths.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on February 5, 2013 04:20 PM
Toyota's latest Avalon: Off to a good start in the U.S. market, but can the Tundra follow suit?
March will mark the second anniversary of the earthquake and tsunami that leveled much of Japan's northeast coast and sent the nation's auto industry into a tailspin.
While many psychic, physical and economic scars remain nationwide, Toyota, Japan's leading auto brand, is back on top of the world: Today, the company reported a 23 percent rise in quarterly net profit and raised its annual profit forecast by 10 percent.
Toyota and its Lexus and Scion brands are all benefiting from a snapback in sales and market share in the U.S., as Toyota has managed to get through its recall fiasco in 2010 — as well as the natural disaster in 2011 — with flying colors. Toyota reported a 26 percent gain in January sales in the U.S. market — more than double the industry average gain for the month. Sales of the new RAV4, as well as a new version of the Avalon full-size sedan, have started off strong.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on January 29, 2013 11:58 AM
Ford reported a tale of two continents in its quarterly earnings today, with robust North American profits but deepening losses in troubled Europe.
In the United States, Ford has become a sales and earnings juggernaut, posting pretax profits of more than $8 billion last year, including $2 billion in the fourth quarter on the strength of a 4.7 percent increase in U.S. auto sales last year and an increasingly healthy pickup-truck business. Ford's U.S. employees will share in the bounty to the tune of a profit-sharing check averaging about $8,300 per hourly worker for 2012, up from about $6,200 each in 2011.
Yet Ford could only report an increasingly woeful picture in Europe, which is slipping into a continent-wide recession. Ford Europe lost $732 million in the fourth quarter and $1.75 billion for the full year — more than Ford's previous forecast of $1.5 billion in European losses for 2012.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on December 21, 2012 02:20 PM
The paint isn't even dry yet on the 2012 sales year and already automakers are gearing up for a 2013 that they hope will be even more prosperous. U.S. auto sales defied the economic headwinds this year, and prognostications so far are that they'll lead the way again next year in bringing whatever further measure of recovery comes to America.
That's why the buzz around the 2013 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS), more commonly known as the Detroit Auto Show, already is stronger than it has been in a few years — at least since before the Great Recession and the GM and Chrysler bailouts.
More than 50 products are slated to be unveiled at NAIAS, which kicks off with a media preview on January 14-15, with most of them being global "reveals." The Chinese will be back after bowing out for a few years. A number of luxury marques are returning to the show after absences caused by a number of factors; they include Jaguar, Land Rover, Ferrari and Maserati.
Here's a look at what a few brands already have signaled to expect at the show, including the new Toyota Furia, at top:Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on November 20, 2009 11:13 AM
Ford knows, and does, small cars. Remember the original teensy Fiesta that created a mini-sensation in the U.S. market in the Seventies? And Ford’s latest Fiesta subcompact is currently the No.2-selling vehicle in Europe.
So the company is better situated than it might seem for what Ford’s top US sales analyst, George Pipas, sees as an irreversible trend toward smaller vehicles by American consumers. Even after a decade in which Ford generated record profits by selling high-margin SUVs such as the Ford Expedition and F-150 pickup trucks, Pipas says Ford has bet its future on small cars and “crossover” SUVs that are built on car platforms rather than truck bases, such as the Ford Edge utility vehicle and Fusion compact sedan.Continue reading...