December 02, 2005
November auto sales
Lower gas prices aren't bringing Americans back to the large SUV's.
Despite the dramatic drop in gasoline prices, vehicle sales by GM, Ford, and Chrysler were down 12% in November 2005 compared with November 2004. Full-size SUV's again led the charge, down 50% at Ford and 34% at GM.
The drops in part reflect the earlier heavy price discounts that induced some consumers who might have purchased cars this fall to instead make those purchases this summer. Toyota and Honda, which did not offer such aggressive summer discounts, saw November vehicle sales up 6%. But that's only part of the story: sales by the Big Three over the first 11 months of 2005 (which included the strong incentive-fueled sales months) were still down 2% compared with the first 11 months of 2004.
Chrysler is trying to counter the gas-conscious psychology of new car buyers with its Miles of Freedom deal, offering free gas for the first two years. Sounds like a replay of this summer, with the auto companies betting that concern about gas prices is a temporary aberration and the American consumers seeing it as a new fact of life.
I'm with the consumers on this one.
Posted by James Hamilton at December 2, 2005 06:04 AMdigg this | reddit
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Tracked on December 2, 2005 09:51 AM
Just when you think you've heard everything about the decline of the domestics, there's this story (who has the bravery to verify it?) that Toyota is actually increasing the price of some of their vehicles to make the market share shift less dramatic. No, I did not google. Could not.
Posted by: calmo at December 2, 2005 06:26 AM
I still contend that the precipitous drop in sales for Ford, and to even a greater extent GM, has less to do with fuel economy and more to do with falling out of fashion. The constant reports of downsizing and possible bankruptcy combined with Toyotas holy image is affecting perception. There's not really much value differential between the midsize car offerings from all of the automakers, but there is a compelling image difference. That's the biggest challenge GM and Ford face.
Posted by: Rick at December 2, 2005 08:58 AM
That's a load of garbage - there are plenty of value differences between the midsize car offerings, and the value difference expands as you go down to smaller cars.
The Prius won #1 for reliability. That's not "fashion". How did the Malibu do?
Posted by: M1EK at December 2, 2005 09:19 AM
That's a good point, Rick. How do the big 3's SUV sales fare when compared to others like Nissan, Honda, Toyata, and others? If Ford is facing a 50% drop in SUV sales and Nissan only had a 5% drop and Honda had a 5% gain (NOTE :: I'm making those numbers up), then one would suspect that the problem goes beyond it being an SUV.
Posted by: Allen at December 2, 2005 09:19 AM
I see the Malibu is actually doing well in reliability. Bad example on my part!
I drove one, though, and was unimpressed - but the reliability is now obviously above the line for consideration.
Posted by: M1EK at December 2, 2005 09:25 AM
shows that big SUVs with thirsty engines did poorly even if they were Japanese. (Sequoia, for instance).
Posted by: M1EK at December 2, 2005 09:26 AM
see "History of the Dodge Omni and Plymouth Horizon" at the URL above.
does this have any insight for GM today?
Posted by: nate at December 2, 2005 09:27 AM
Does someone have a chart showing GM's monthly sales as compared to the same month in the previous year?
If the incentives pushed sales earlier, then GM's sales numbers for the summer should've been over the previous year's numbers for those months, yes?
All in all, this makes me think that comparing November 2005 to November 2004 is rather silly. Sales incentives happen at different times of the year each year.
It's like comparing how much rain you get today between 6:00 and 7:00 to how much rain you got yesterday in that hour. Precipitation is only weakly connected to the day/night cycle, and car sales are only weakly connected to the 12-month cycle.
Posted by: Dan at December 2, 2005 10:07 AM
Dan, GM sales were up 41% in June compared to 2004 so your point is correct. Every year in the retail car business we see spikes and declines on a monthly basis. YTD GM is down 3.7%, Ford is down 4.6% and Toyota is up 9.9%. ME1K my point really is that you shouldn't have too much faith in the rationality of why people buy the cars they do. If everyone bought what was economically the wisest decision there wouldn't be 240 models on the market. I was personally involved in over 130 car deals last month and fuel economy was spoken about in less than 1/3 of those transactions. The headlines about Delphi/UAW/GM as a sinking ship were mentioned much more, even though they will have no real effect on the individual buying the car like gas mileage will. VW sells lots of fuel effient vehicles and their sales are down 10.1% YTD because they have destroyed their image. People buy what they think is HOT. (Period!) Emotions rule when real people are involved.
Posted by: Rick at December 2, 2005 11:03 AM
"Ford Looks to Close Plants, Shed Jobs in Overhaul"
Front Page Today's WSJ
-today Ford sells 240,000 Ford Explorers per year
-It once sold 400,000 Ford Explorers per year
The days of selling 400,000 Explorers are gone per the article.
Posted by: nate at December 2, 2005 11:26 AM
"People buy what they think is HOT. (Period!) Emotions rule when real people are involved."
You keep saying this, and yet the long-term trend is clear: other than big trucks and big SUVs, people are gradually moving away from your company. It has nothing to do with fashion and everything to do with rational actors (fads don't last that long; and the combination of the millions of people making up the market are a lot smarter than they are individually).
In fact, it would be far more rational to say that the huge SUV thing was the 'fad'. But I understand your need to astroturf this inconvenient fact away.
Posted by: M1EK at December 2, 2005 01:25 PM
On the contrary ME1K, I think the enormous sales volume of big SUVs in the late 90's through 2004 is a great example of an automotive fad. My disagreement with you regards the concept that fuel economy is the driving force in most auto purchase deccisions today. Examples: Hummer sales are up 90% this year thanks to the introduction of the H3. That thing is a pig. Many full size SUVs will actually award their drivers better mileage...But you might not look as cool. Chrysler 300 sales are setting records...but good luck seeing better than 25mpg...Land Rover sales are up 18%...14mpg city and 18mpg hwy. Hey, I'm on the front line with GM, I don't need your nasty little remarks to remind me that it's a challenge to attract and keep buyers. I was also here in the early 90's when GM closed 20 plants and eliminated 70,000 jobs and was about to go bankrupt. In the late 90's through 2004 I was also here setting GM sales records (note:GM market share was also in decline but their sales numbers and the market as a whole became huge) The momentum of the market sways towards the Manufacturer with the hot and fashionable product. And stop calling me GM. I'm a retailer, and it's not the only product I represent.
Posted by: Rick at December 2, 2005 01:52 PM
M1EK - we know you love your Prius. However, when everyone begins making practical decisions, we will all be like Ivan. Want good wife, stout, like good tractor.
Posted by: M1EK at December 2, 2005 01:53 PM
Focusing on one model as an example of a countertrend is ridiculous - one could just as easily say that H3 sales are consisting of people who would have otherwise bought H1 or H2s but now won't because they're more concerned about gas prices.
Far more useful is to look at large market segments - such as "big SUVs" vs. "medium SUVs" or "SUVs" vs "cars". And the data there do not look good for GM, since the shift back to cars is clear, and GM doesn't have many cars that many people would consider acceptable to purchase absent steep steep discounting.
Posted by: M1EK at December 2, 2005 02:05 PM
Rick, you wrote: "I was personally involved in over 130 car deals last month and fuel economy was spoken about in less than 1/3 of those transactions."
How does that compare to, say, five years ago? It sounds to me like a substantial increase. Traditionally fuel economy hasn't been a big issue.
Posted by: Pianoguy at December 2, 2005 02:07 PM
Pianoguy, I do hear more discussion about fuel economy today than 5 years ago for certain. But it is odd that it's not a factor for even more people. People will dwell over a 1% interest rate increase, but remain disinterested in analyzing their total costs of ownership and driving. I contend the mortgage market is similar in consumer choices driven by very short-term...not real cost analysis...thinking. Me1K, I gave you three examples, and I could spend hours giving you hundreds more over the years. I don't disagree that trends may follow market segments as much as individual models. I also agree that GM is really caught in a rut of only executing decent sales volume by offering seemingly ever increasing incentives. It's troubling indeed.
Posted by: Rick at December 2, 2005 02:34 PM
According to the latest color popularity survey by DuPont automotive systems, "39% of American motorists said they'd choose a different vehicle if their top pick wasn't available in the right hue." What does that say about rational decision making?
Posted by: Rick at December 2, 2005 02:57 PM
Rick, do your customers ever ask about reliability? Do they ever cite depreciation comparisons with competing brands? Is it true that many repeat GM buyers are having trouble financing last year's model? Why is it that the customers eventually throw in the towel on GM products? Is it merely the thought that it is no longer fashionable to be driving a 2nd rate product or is it that they are having trouble keeping it out of the repairshop? Would the picture look even worse for GM (Ford too) if there were no rental fleets? [Is there a better market share for the domestics in the rental fleet?]
'Appreciate your showroom point of view.
Posted by: calmo at December 2, 2005 11:47 PM
I forget the economic term, but we are supposed to treat all dollars the same. It doesn't make sense to spend $1000 more on a car to save $500 on gas, etc.
My observation is that this is one of those places where we (some of us) are not rational economic agents. We really don't like buying gas, and we really don't like putting more than [insert number] in the tank on any one fill-up.
I think this is the origin of the GM prediction that people wouldn't switch until a specific price was hit. They had an idea about that fill-up price. They were just (unfortunately) a little off in terms of the tipping point - both the $/gal amount, and the timeframe at which it would happen.
Posted by: odograph at December 3, 2005 05:52 AM
Hey guys, what's the economics of this:
"Survey: 9 Out of 10 Americans Want Access to Dozens of Car Models That Get High mpg Ratings ... But are not Sold in U.S."
I've been aware of these cars, but I had no idea I was in such a majority. Why, in the name of the free market, don't we get them?
Posted by: odograph at December 3, 2005 06:13 AM
"I forget the economic term, but we are supposed to treat all dollars the same. It doesn't make sense to spend $1000 more on a car to save $500 on gas, etc."
And most people aren't. The Prius and Civic Hybrid easily save money over the life of the car; even if you play every trick in the book (overestimating inflation, etc.).
Some of the motivation for the remainder are non-economic, which is rational too. They're trying to emit less pollution, for instance. Or provide less money to the Saudis (more money for the Japanese is better than more money for the Saudis, I think; but it'd be even better if one American car existed that got top-of-class mileage and was close to the Japanese in reliability - a la Saturn in the early 1990s).
Posted by: M1EK at December 3, 2005 12:14 PM
I've been aware of these cars, but I had no idea I was in such a majority. Why, in the name of the free market, don't we get them?
Well you can always get a VW diesel Jetta TDI unless you live in Cali... the manual tranny versions get about 50 mpg highway & about 40 mpg city... we own two (both the wife & I... the numbers are for real).
Posted by: dryfly at December 3, 2005 12:20 PM
I actually have a prius (in california), partly for environmental reasons ... but I'd be slow to say why "most people" buy them.
... what I hear from my SUV driving friends is the "pain" of a fill-up.
Posted by: odograph at December 3, 2005 02:33 PM
"'It doesn't make sense to spend $1000 more on a car to save $500 on gas, etc.'"
"And most people aren't. The Prius and Civic Hybrid easily save money over the life of the car"
I dunno. Edmunds.com says that for the Civic hybrid to break even on cost vs a conventional Civic the price of gas has to be $9.60 a gallon. For a Prius versus a Corolla it's $10.10 a gallon.
Posted by: Jim Glass at December 3, 2005 09:35 PM
I make the following observations/ opinions:
1. the price of gas may have kicked it into touch (as we say on this side of the Atlantic) but the trend was already towards smaller, more car-like SUVs. Part of the surge to SUVs was the mental security effect (SUV drivers feel they are safer in an accident and from criminal assaults). As that wanes (people decide they are not much more safe after all) then it comes down to the advantages of the body type (riding above the traffic, feeling less hemmed in, more carriage space for big volume loads).
Fashion moves in fads. Take a look at hemlines, or men wearing hats to work: in my father's day, no self respecting man of the middle class would walk out of the house without a hat. It's not something economists model well, but human society moves in waves of fashion-- we are fundamentally a social animal, deriving our standrards of what is 'normal'/acceptable/cool/desirable by what your neighbours, colleagues and friends do-- just watch any group of 'individualistic' teenagers, all wearing the same black t-shirt and trainers.
2. the data is 'noisy' because of the precipitate decline of sales of the N American car makers, reflecting 1). enormous incentives spent earlier in the year to encourage sales 2). long term problems with market share due to vehicle buyers just don't want.
So I think gas prices were just the emotional 'tipping point'. The trend would have broken, but gas prices have made it happen. Because as many posters here note, gas prices aren't a huge factor for many (most?) drivers, relative to vehicle depreciation and insurance.
My long term view of GM (and Ford) is this:
- like the steelmakers (and the 'old' airlines) they are in a position where the majority of their financial stakeholders are pensioners and employees ie the liability for pensions and healthcare is larger than the liability to bondholders and to stockholders.
There is a way out of this situation. It is called Chapter 11. GM will deny it until the day it happens, but GM is moving inexorably to Chapter 11, and an offloading of pension liabilities onto the US federal government (the PBGC) and a reduction in healthcare liabilities (again, effectively, moving them on to medicare).
This is the route the steel industry and the airlines have already taken. Note the management of GM will deny this is their plan, until the day they file (because of the disruption to the suppliers and dealer network that this will cause).
What will emerge will be a far leaner, lower cost GM, with a smaller market share (perhaps 20%). Its long run survival will then depend on its ability to emulate the Japanese (rapid creation of new models, low cost, high quality). The record from the airline industry post Ch 11 isn't promising: Southwest and Jetblue are still cleaning their clocks.
There isn't any other way for GM's shareholders to earn an acceptable return on capital. The split between the stakeholders is just too skewed. Either the current management will take this route, or the next management.
Ford the problem is a little more complex because one family controls the business and has a very significant proportion of their wealth in the company (and their name on every car). But once GM goes into Chapter 11, Ford will be stuck as the last high cost car producer: it too will have to find a way to shed those liabilities.
It may be, paradoxically, the collapse of the two biggest private sector healthcare plans, that leads the US to once again consider national healthcare in some form. Just as the 'Walmartisation' of the retail sector is beginning to lead to such stirrings-- if WalMart is the largest employer in the US, and it systematically avoids offering healthcare its workers can afford, the stage is set for society as a whole to go down that route. These are not, after all, poor black welfare mothers, they are 'people like us' who work at WalMart.
Posted by: John at December 4, 2005 04:43 AM
I like John's summary. FWIW, I'll throw out a reason to buy a small hybrid which, while not optimum, is still relatively sound.
You're downsizing. You would have bought a more expensive and less efficient car, partly for status, and find that you achieve a different kind of enviro-status, for less, and save on gas/maintenance on the long term.
Since the efficient three (Insight,Civic,Prius) all cost less than the average new car in Amercica ($26K), potentially anyone from the midpoint upward could choose this kind of "downsize."
Posted by: odograph at December 4, 2005 06:09 AM
Yes, Edmunds was who I was referring to. They've added the following questionable inputs:
1. Service costs MUCH HIGHER on hybrid (this has turned out to be false - the Prius won the most reliable car of the year this year; the last-gen Prius is holding up quite well).
2. Using "actual" mileage on hybrid versus EPA mileage on non-hybrids (I think)
3. Comparing Prius to Corolla. (Prius is a midsize car; Corolla is a compact; and YES, the Prius is really that big, especially in back-seat and cargo capacity). We wouldn't have bought a Corolla as our family car; we would have bought a Camry. This doesn't affect Civic versus Civic Hybrid as much, although they gamed this comparison as well by comparing a stripped Civic to the CH (which is basically a loaded Civic + hybrid engine).
4. (All): Depreciation - they assumed hybrids would depreciate much FASTER than non-hybrids, when real-world evidence is that the opposite is true. (Used previous-gen Priuses holding their value extraordinarily well compared to even Corollas and Camrys).
Posted by: M1EK at December 4, 2005 08:57 AM
One factor the US market doesn't seem to have clicked to: diesels.
Half of all new cars in Europe are diesels.
Downside: something like average of 1500 more euros per car cost. Shortage of diesel refining capacity has driven diesel costs above petrol, despite advantageous tax rates.
Upside: genuine fuel economy improvements over identical petrol-powered cars of 40% or more. 50mpg (Imperial gallon) is not uncommon.
Certainly the bulk of our SUV-class vehicles (about 8% of the UK new car market, and 12% in London) are diesels.
The problems in the US, I gather are:
- bad reputation of diesels arising from the 70s (the technology didn't work well especially in cold weather)
- not all petrol (gas) stations supply diesel fuel, it's pretty universal here, now
- differing state rules on 'clean diesel' and state air pollution laws, mean diesels can't be sold in some markets (? not sure about this)
- the sorts of turbo charged diesels they have now deliver acceptable performance across a wide range of vehicles
There is a 'new propulsion technology' out there which could improve US fuel economy by 30-40%, and it is called diesel. All the other parameters (reliability, operating cost, etc.) are perfectly known and competitive with gasoline cars. Downside might be urban air pollution is worse (particulates).
Posted by: John at December 4, 2005 09:27 AM
I think we've got a situation in California where small diesel cars are not allowed in, but diesel pick-ups are still sold.
While the economy-minded don't get their diesel cars, other people buy these trucks and use them as cars.
Non-market forces, and unintended consequences in spades.
Posted by: odograph at December 4, 2005 11:19 AM
Downside might be urban air pollution is worse (particulates).
With the new particulate filters, cat converters & clean diesel fuels (low sulfur) then the difference in pollution is minimal... consider the improved mileage and it favors diesels.
I agree cold weather can be an issue but hasn't been for us. We park our cars outside and haven't had trouble starting them in two going on three winters now... and I live in Minnesota. I put an engine block heater in just in case (if you don't know what that is you live somewhere warm)... haven't had to use it yet even up in Northern Minnesota & Wisconsin (easily started as low as minus 25 deg F).
Plus the Jetta TDIs are pretty affordable... approx $20-$25K... way less than an SUV. I've got over 100K on mine and nothing other than scheduled maint and a few screw ups (drove off road and had a large rock knock out an oil pan ~$1K damage... shocking little compared to the damage I did). A great value.
They have come a long way.
Posted by: dryfly at December 4, 2005 03:20 PM
odograph and dryfly
Another (political) problem with diesel is that if the US government set out to encourage diesels (as the European governments have, systematically) then US based car makers couldn't compete- they lack the engine plants. It is for this reason the Japanese have done deals with European engine makers.
(although the European subsidiaries of Ford and GM make good diesel engines, the reality is it is European carmakers who have led the world in this regard. There is an analogy here to mobile phones-- because Europe was forced onto one standard digital mobile phone standard (GSM) we have 3 of the world's leading handset manufacturers).
Since Michigan is a swing electoral state (steadily going Red over time) as are a number of other auto-intensive states, I don't see either party doing anything (like a return to Corporate Average Fuel Economy) to jeopardise the jobs of autoworkers or the benefits of autoworker retirees.
The tragedy is more efficient propulsion technology exists *now* and could be widely adopted within 10 years. Hybrids may well be a distraction in this picture (I still have my doubts re the lifecycle costs of the technology and the genuine fuel savings).
But environmental and auto-politics are likely to prevent it occurring.
I read (in the ASPO Peak Oil presentation by MIT) that cars last an average of 17 years in the US (a surprisingly high number to me-- the idea that all those SUVs will be cruising around in 15 years is horrendous). If the US went from 1% of new cars as diesels now to 50% in 10 years (this took 25 years to do in Europe), the benefits would be seen in the 2015-25 world, by the poor and young drivers (who drive second hand cars) of that time. But the US would have to do something *now*, and you have two political parties, one who is tied surgically to the autoworkers, and the other of which is tied theologically to the idea that government can, and should, do nothing.
Posted by: John at December 5, 2005 01:03 AM
PS if you read the malcolm gladwell www.gladwell.com piece on auto safety, you will find the Jetta is one of the safest cars on the road.
Why? because the 'German' road feel (ie live and hard) means we drive more safely-- at lower speeds we 'feel' as if we are going faster. (doesn't stop the Germans doing 110mph on the autobahn, I agree). But it is this 'active' safety feature that saves lives whereas passive ones don't.
I for one hate the American 'auto wallow', and Toyota in particular seems to have copied this. Honda is much better (my family in North America drives Accords, yes with engine block heaters!). But for real driver's cars it is still the Germans who make the best.
Posted by: John at December 5, 2005 01:06 AM
Fashion, by the way, is just rationality for stupid people:-)
Posted by: Alex at December 5, 2005 02:59 AM
"With the new particulate filters, cat converters & clean diesel fuels (low sulfur) then the difference in pollution is minimal... consider the improved mileage and it favors diesels."
No, not even close. Show me a midsized diesel that gets the mileage of a Prius, and then tell me what its emissions are.
Posted by: M1EK at December 5, 2005 06:33 AM
Alex puts the finger (maybe the foot too) on it: the Japanese have cornered the stupidity market.
Their buyers go for the styling, the image, and ignore those low repair bills, those infrequent tow charges, those accidents arising from shoddy design, those pesky fuel bills (the actual ones). They even think its fashionable to keep these dated vehicles (as if they were Volvos!).
They'll be sorry when they decide to sell. They will.
The Big Three win, in every category, for most depreciated product. You could say that even management thinks the same: the incentives are de facto depreciation stickers.
This is fashion: But for the love of Mike, nobody buys a car as an investment. They're supposed to depreciate. Buy the shine, the polish, the prestige, the glamor. Don't gimme that schtick about depreciation, you loser.
This is the rationality: we can't afford the polishing wax and the repair bills.
Posted by: calmo at December 5, 2005 07:09 AM
When I was a mere youth in auto retail (roughly 10,000 transactions ago) I designed a spreadsheet that an individual could use to determine the best way to acquire a vehicle. The buyer plugged in their down payment (or total cash), acceptable monthly payments, estimated annual miles driven per year, desired length of ownership. I then plugged in annual fuel costs, warranty length, probablility of repair, estimated depreciation, date of equity and a few other variables. I thought I really had a nice tool to help people compare finance terms, leasing vs purchase options, and a way to pre-schedule an appointment for their next purchase. It didn't work. Other than a few teachers and bankers, the general public just couldn't get their arms around it. Peoples buying decisions are built around one or two dominant considerations. For some the hot button is fuel economy (even if it won't save them much money as they drive 5,000 miles per year) For others it's styling or image, and economics be damned. For others it's affordability via monthly payment and thats all that matters. Cargo/Towing/People capacity are others. The success of the hybrid is thanks to a laser focus on economy with the added bonus of image. They've nailed that buying segment and it's a growing segment. When every soccer mom had to have a Suburban or Explorer with a Golden Retriever in back, GM and Ford had a nice niche. That niche is fading so the domestics are stuck with the need to contrive a new segment while being a follower in hybrids. They are betting heavily on crossovers, we'll see how it goes.
Posted by: Rick at December 5, 2005 08:06 AM
I personally think Ford/GM should lobby for a new loophole - to let their efficient German models into the US market unchanged.
(maybe they have that as "Plan C" - for $4/gal gas)
Posted by: odograph at December 5, 2005 08:45 AM
ME1K I have a somewhat unrelated question that I can't seem to find an answer for in the press releases, but you may know since you follow hybrid technology. Why does Toyota sound so vehemently opposed to plug-in hybrid production? I can understand their reluctance to encouraging individuals modifying their current cars. But as a category leader, why not kill the competition and take the next step right at the factory?
Posted by: Rick at December 5, 2005 10:17 AM
Plug-in hybrids are nowhere near as simple as some people like to claim - the key issue is battery life. You'd either have to restrict the amount of plug-in charging you could do to a fairly small amount, or massively increase the amount of battery space you have on the car -- because the key is keeping the charge level in a band between 30 and 70% of the maximum possible.
And cut out the "ME1K" stuff.
Posted by: M1EK at December 5, 2005 10:34 AM
M1EK, sorry about the typo. The increased battery space requirements seem like a relatively small obstacle compared to the potential mpg gains. Do lithium ion battery improvements hold any promise?
Posted by: Rick at December 5, 2005 11:05 AM
"The increased battery space requirements seem like a relatively small obstacle compared to the potential mpg gains."
The weight and cost would be a deal-breaker, in my opinion. Gas would have to be hideously expensive to make it worthwhile to carry a bunch MORE batteries.
I don't know enough about Li batteries to say.
A plug-in car would have to be designed from the ground up, pretty much like the Prius was, but this time keeping in mind the desirability of charging when the car's not running (probably different battery technology necessary here). Those who try to turn existing Priuses into plug-ins are going to be hit hard with the battery replacement costs that hybrid FUDers like to claim lay in wait for the normal Prius. The "30-70%" charge band really seems to be critical in keeping the life of the batteries long.
Posted by: M1EK at December 5, 2005 11:57 AM
as an engineer, my intuition is that battery sizing is a cost/benefit analysis, and that Toyota's current batteries are appropriately sized.
i suspect that would be true even if batteries were not in short supply, but in short supply it is certainly build to build more priuses rather than 'bigger' priuses.
Posted by: odograph at December 5, 2005 12:22 PM
Mind you, I see the new Honda Civic CDT is out; 140hp turbodiesel; five seats; 0-60 in 8.4; 53.3mpg (imperial) on the UK cycle. One easily forgets how great good diesels are.
Posted by: Alex at December 7, 2005 02:24 AM
Unlikely the diesel will beat the hybrid in the new model, since it wasn't all that close in the previous one.
Posted by: M1EK at December 7, 2005 08:48 AM
Auto Manufacturers - November 2005 auto sales data
* October sales info included for comparison.
Audi USA - Press Releases
http://www.audiusa.com/about_pressreleases (no updated sales info)
Audi Global - Press Releases
http://www.audi.com/audi/com/en1/company/news/press_releases.html (no updated sales info)
Audi USA - Nov 05 auto sales (summary)
Audi USA - Oct 05 auto sales (summary)
Reuters - Audi auto sales info for Oct 05
BMW USA - Press Releases
BMW Group of North America (BMW GNA) - Press Releases
BMW Group of North America (BMW GNA) - Nov 05 auto sales (summary)
BMW Group of North America (BMW GNA) - Nov 05 auto sales (details)
BMW Group of North America (BMW GNA) - Oct 05 auto sales (summary)
BMW Group of North America (BMW GNA) - Oct 05 auto sales (detailed)
DaimlerChrysler - Chrysler Group USA
Chrysler Group USA - Sales Data and Related Press Releases
Chrysler Group USA - Nov 05 auto sales (summary)
Chrysler Group USA - Nov 05 auto sales (detailed)
Chrysler Group USA - Oct 05 auto sales (summary)
Chrysler Group USA - Oct 05 auto sales (detailed)
DaimlerChrysler - Mercedes-Benz USA
Mercedes-Benz USA - Sales data and Press Releases
Mercedes-Benz USA - Nov 05 auto sales (summary)
Mercedes-Benz USA - Nov 05 auto sales (detailed)
Mercedes-Benz USA - Oct 05 auto sales (summary)
Mercedes-Benz USA - Oct 05 auto sales (detailed)
Ford - Press Releases
Ford - Nov 05 auto sales (detailed)
Ford - Oct 05 auto sales (detailed)
Ford - Jaguar
Jaguar - auto sales - see Ford data
Jaguar - Nov 05 auto sales (detailed)
Jaguar - Oct 05 auto sales (detailed)
Ford - Land Rover
Land Rover - auto sales - see Ford data
Land Rover - Nov 05 auto sales (detailed)
Land Rover - Oct 05 auto sales (detailed)
Ford - Volvo
Volvo USA - general info (no sales info - see Ford)
Volvo Cars Global - press releases (no sale info - see Ford)
Volvo - auto sales - see Ford data
Volvo - Nor 05 auto sales (detailed)
Volvo - Oct 05 auto sales (detailed)
General Motors - Press Releases
General Motors - Nov 05 auto sales (detailed)
General Motors - Oct 05 auto sales (detailed)
GM Daewoo - Press Releases
Daewoo - Aug 05 auto sales - see PR # 33; last sales report
GM - Saab
Saab USA - Press Releases (for auto sales, see GM)
Saab USA - Nov 05 auto sales (detailed)
Saab USA - Oct 05 auto sales (detailed)
Honda - Press Releases
Honda - Nov 05 auto sales (detailed)
Honda - Oct 05 auto sales (detailed)
Hyundai USA - (no sales info)
Hyundai Global - Press Releases (2005)
Hyundai - Nov 05 auto sales (global press release)
Hyundai - Oct 05 auto sales (global press release)
Isuzu USA - home page (no sales info)
Isuzu Global - Press Releases (no sales info)
Isuzu Global - Fact Book 2005 (prior years sales info)
KIA Motors Global - Press Releases
KIA - Nov 05 auto sales (global sales summary)
KIA - Nov 05 auto sales (global sales, detailed)
KIA - Oct 05 auto sales (global sales summary)
Mazda - auto sales - in general, see Ford data
Mazda Global - six month global sales (summary)
Mazda - Nov 05 auto sales (detailed; Ford data)
Mazda - Oct 05 auto sales (detailed; Ford data)
Mitsubishi Global - Press Releases
Mitsubishi Global - North America auto sales - previous years
Mitsubishi - Nov 05 auto sales - (not available from corporate until late December)
Mitsubishi - Oct 05 auto sales
Mitsubishi - Sep 05 and fiscal year to date sales (detailed)
Nissan Global - Press Releases
Nissan - Nov 05 auto sales - (not available from corporate until late December)
Nissan - Oct 05 auto sales (summary)
Nissan - BusinessWeek - Oct 05 sales info (summary)
Suzuki America (American Suzuki Motor Corporation)- Press Releases
Suzuki Global - Press Releases
Suzuki - Press Releases - Auto Sales
Suzuki - Nov 05 auto sales (detailed)
Suzuki - Oct 05 auto sales (detailed)
Toyota USA (Toyota Motor North America, Inc./Toyota Motor Sales, (TMS), USA, Inc.) - Press Releases
Toyota USA - News Media Press Releases - Auto Sales
Toyota Global - Press Releases
Toyota - Nov 05 auto sales (summary)
Toyota - Nov 05 auto sales (detailed)
Toyota Global - Nov 05 global auto production and sales (summary)
(not available until late December)
Toyota - Oct 05 auto sales (summary)
Toyota - Oct 05 auto sales (detailed)
Toyota Global - Oct 05 global auto production and sales (summary)
Volkswagen of America - press releases (no sales info)
Volkswagen Global - general info (limited sales info)
Volkswagen Global - Investor Relations - Auto Sales
Volkswagen - News Media - Auto Sales
Volkswagen - Nov 05 auto sales (summary)
Volkswagen - News Media - Nov 05 auto sales (summary)
Volkswagen - Oct 05 auto sales (summary)
(no corporate record of a press release)
Volkswagen - Reuters - Oct 05 sales info (profit summary)
Volkswagen - Reuters - Oct 05 sales info (summary)
Volkswagen - Previous Years' auto sales (limited summary)
Posted by: Movie Guy at December 8, 2005 12:37 AM
Diesel v. hybrid across America:
the trick being, you can't get a European automotive grade diesel in the US.
Posted by: John at December 8, 2005 05:03 AM
Toyota sales declines in November 05:
LAND CRUISER -37.7%
Lexus sales declines in November 05:
LX 470 -28.5%
GX 470 -14.3%
RX 330/400h -8.5%
Posted by: Movie Guy at December 8, 2005 09:46 AM
JDH -- "Full-size SUV's again led the charge, down 50% at Ford and 34% at GM."
Jim, I know that you are quoting Green Car Congress, but you might look at the actual sales data by model concerned.
Chevrolet Tahoe -23.1%
GMC Yukon -27.2%
Cadillac Escalade -47.5%
* The above three full size SUV vehicles will be replaced with new models in first months of 2006.
Chevrolet Suburban -45.9%
GMC Yukon XL -44.6%
Cadillac ESV -39.4%
Land Rover Range Rover -17.5%
Mercury Mountaineer -25.7%
Lincoln Aviator -77.0%
Lincoln Navigator -54.7%
Posted by: Movie Guy at December 8, 2005 11:21 AM
UPDATE - Ford / GM / Delphi
GM drops matches for 401(k)
Automaker also limits severance pay for salaried workers; UAW retiree challenges health benefit cuts
Thursday, December 15, 2005
"General Motors Corp. is suspending contributions to its 401(k) savings plan for salaried employees and paring back severance benefits as it prepares for more white-collar job cuts in the coming year. The changes in the white-collar benefits plans were spelled out in an information packet distributed Wednesday to GM's 36,000 U.S. salaried employees, a copy of which was obtained by The Detroit News."
"In addition to suspending 401(k) matching funds, GM has dropped the requirement that up to 3 percent of employee contribution and 100 percent of the company's contribution be invested in GM stock for a limited period of time."
"Also, the company told employees that its white-collar severance packages will be changed to limit payouts to one month of base salary for each year of service, with a maximum of 15 months."
"Earlier this year, GM told its salaried employees that their monthly health care premiums will nearly double in 2006, and that annual deductibles and out-of-pocket expenses for medical costs also will increase."
"Word of the cuts at GM come a day after Ford Motor Co. informed salaried workers of a sweeping reduction of fringe benefits, which were outlined in an internal memo obtained by The News. The changes at Ford included higher medical costs for current and retired salaried workers. Ford suspended 401(k) matching contributions for employees in June."
UAW backs Ford health deal
Tentative agreement would shift more care costs to retirees, blue-collar workers
Thursday, December 15, 2005
An interesting read...
Ford caps retiree benefits
Ailing automaker freezes money for former salaried workers' health insurance, cuts white-collar pay hikes
Wednesday, December 14, 2005
"Ford Motor Co. plans to freeze health care benefits for tens of thousands of white-collar retirees as well as raise out-of-pocket medical costs and curtail pay hikes for salaried workers in a sweeping overhaul of its benefits program.
The white-collar health care cutbacks announced internally Tuesday will be followed today by details of a tentative deal struck between Ford and the United Auto Workers to raise health insurance costs for blue-collar workers and retirees. The agreement still must be ratified by UAW members."
"Ford will cap health care spending for retirees and their surviving spouses at the average 2006 level. After that, any increases in insurance premiums will have to be paid entirely by the retirees or their survivors." [ Wow...]
"Ford also will cap retiree life insurance benefits at $50,000 and eliminate a program that provided a vehicle allowance to the survivors of mid- to high-level management retirees after they died."
"In June, auto supplier Visteon Corp. [formerly part of Ford] cut retirement health and life insurance benefits for its salaried workers. Two other suppliers, Metaldyne Corp. and ArvinMeritor Inc., plan to discontinue retiree benefits entirely next year, while Delphi Corp. will stop paying medical insurance for its retired salaried workers in 2007."
"GM will increase out-of-pocket health costs for white-collar workers and retirees in 2006. Those employees, who have been paying 27 percent of their medical expenses, will foot 31 percent of those bills next year."
"A recent survey showed that three-fourths of companies nationwide have asked retired workers to pay a higher share of insurance premiums in the past year. The study by the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonprofit health care policy group, and human resource consultant Hewitt Associates found that 86 percent of companies said they planned to increase the amount retirees pay for health insurance in the next three years."
Union blasts Delphi CEO for predicting quick deal
Thursday, December 15, 2005
"If no deal is reached between Delphi and the UAW by Jan. 20, the supplier has said it will ask a bankruptcy court judge to void its union labor agreements."
House, UAW hammer out pension reforms
Union concerns about benefits were addressed, committee chairmen say; vote expected this week
Wednesday, December 14, 2005
Posted by: Movie Guy at December 15, 2005 01:06 PM
UPDATE - Jaguar (Ford)
Ford bails out Jaguar with 2.1 Billion
Friday, 23 December 2005
"The money will come from the sale of preferred shares to its US owner, Jaguar said."
"This week Jaguar posted a pre-tax loss of 429.3m Pounds for 2004, blaming tough market conditions and a 173m Pounds write-down of investments."
"However, the accounts were an improvement on 2003 when it revealed it was 601.1m Pounds in the red, mainly as a result of one-off charges 534m Pounds."
"Reports added that part of the Ford cash will be used to reduce the 350m Pounds deficit in Jaguar's pension fund."
"The company, which has plants at Castle Bromwich in Birmingham, Whitley in Coventry, Halewood in Liverpool and Gaydon in Warwickshire, has already abandoned hopes of breaking even in the UK by 2007."
"Jaguar is still lumbering under the weight of falling sales, high raw material costs and soaring wage bills - its wage bill surged to more than 1bn Pounds in 2004 from 740m Pounds a year earlier, The Independent said."
"The paper added that without Ford's cash, Jaguar would no longer be a going concern as by 31 December 2004 it had "negative shareholder funds of 748.8m Pounds"."
"Ford has struggled to make money with Jaguar since it bought the group for 1.6bn Pounds in 1989."
"The luxury carmaker is part of Ford's Premier Automotive Group (PAG) which includes Volvo, Land Rover and Aston Martin."
Posted by: Movie Guy at December 23, 2005 01:41 PM
UPDATE - China
China now net exporter of cars
Geely, Chery lead the way; nation poised to become the world's biggest auto market.
Friday, December 23, 2005
"Exports jumped by 133.5 percent in the first 10 months of this year, giving China an export surplus of 7,000 vehicles, according to the official Xinhua News Agency."
"Michael Dunne, president of Beijing-based consulting firm Automotive Resources Asia, said China's exports in 2005 would probably reach about 125,000 units."
"Some 20 to 25 percent of that total is likely to be made up of vehicles made by Chery and Geely, two Chinese brands that sell abroad for less than $10,000, said Dunne."
"China's domestic auto sales now total about 5 million vehicles per year, with most foreign brands manufactured locally or assembled from imported parts."
"Chinese automobile manufacturers are facing an increasingly competitive market at home," he [Michael Dunne, Automotive Resources Asia] said. "To compete and survive, they need to export worldwide."
"Chery has announced plans with American entrepreneur Malcolm Bricklin's Visionary Vehicles to market cars in the United States and says it hopes eventually to sell 2 million vehicles a year."
"The company plans to begin offering five models in the United States starting in 2007, including a compact sedan and an SUV."
"Africa, Asia and the Middle East are the main markets for Chinese exports, with Syria and Algeria the largest of all."
Posted by: Movie Guy at December 23, 2005 01:56 PM
Reason for drop in sale,isprice/gas/jobs,and do not forget quality not quanity in all areas.Theses things are not affordable for the middle class people.They work and work for 6 some-times 7 days a week for 30-40 Thousand a year. So we can get to work some of us have to choose between trips,schools,housing,grocies and that is just some of the things we have to give up to get a new car or truck .ect....Then for the price that the actual consumer pay's for a vehicle.They say they are not makeing money but the sales dealor is .If you sold directly to consumer you would cut the middle man for your self and the middle class consumer. So the only person would be loosing would be car dealors. Why can't you sell straight to all of the Middle class America? Thank you for your time.
Posted by: Sad about or America policies at January 23, 2006 06:29 AM