Saturday, April 02, 2011

Ford outsells GM; Hyundai and Kia sales waaaaaay up.

Auto sales up with economy, but buyers downsize | AP Business News - The News Tribune
The trends lifted U.S. sales of new vehicles by 17 percent from a year earlier to 1.25 million, a healthy rate that shows the auto industry's slow and steady recovery remains on track. The monthly sales pace, adjusted for seasonal differences and projected out for the year, came in at 13.1 million. That's higher than last year, but still far below recent boom years when car sales hit 16 million a year.

The March 11 earthquake in Japan had little impact on sales, although automakers said supplies of some cars could be tighter as spring progresses.

Hope industry execs are paying attention-- the companies that have invested resources in developing high quality, affordable  fuel-efficient cars are reaping the benefits.  (Ford's plant that produces the Focus used to build trucks.)  Sales of expensive gas guzzlers loaded with options are slowing... in some places anyway.  I was talking with a driver the other day who said almost all the vehicles he delivers in West Virginia are trucks worth $40,000 or more.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Waves and troughs in car hauler load volumes ahead.

GM, Toyota models delayed by hauler dispute | Detroit Free Press |
Buyers of certain Toyota and General Motors models are facing unexpected waits as automakers reassign transport work after terminating contracts with an Atlanta-based carhauler.

Cassens, Jack Cooper and United Road are picking up a lot of this freight, which means a huge wave for them and their sub-haulers.  However, according to information from today's Automotive News,  I would expect slow-downs a bit later.    Port traffic will slow because of the Japanese situation (everybody expected that)-- as well as for Japanese-owned assembly plants in North America that rely on some parts from Japan.
Honda is cutting hours by 50% at assembly plants in AL, OH and IN.  Subaru announced cuts at Lafayette, IN plant of 50%.  Toyota's 18 Japanese assembly plants are closed until April 18th, and there is no guarantee they won't extend those closures.