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U.S. Auto Market News and Reviews

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Comments

  • berriberri Posts: 10,166

    That Malibu chart indicates to me that maybe Mary Barra needs to clean house in both engineering and purchasing. In the old days Leo Durocher would say "back up the truck".

  • berriberri Posts: 10,166

    Stever, Detroit can't start seriously cutting incentives until they start using more competitive sticker prices. Sticker price similarly equipped Traverse versus Highlander and so on.

  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,664
    edited May 2014

    That's why the bailout was only skin deep. What lies underneath still lingers. Obviously, the recalls tell the story of the disorder in the execution of the final product. Toyota also has this as does Honda to a certain extent but not close to the GM operational inconsistencies that lead to lower product quality.

    Fortunately, the doctors are working feverishly on the past infections that led to the bankruptcy in the first place. It's the culture shock that will ensue that will make or break the effectiveness of the treatments. It doesn't get worse than it is now.

    I am rooting for Mary Barra. :D

  • tlongtlong CaliforniaPosts: 5,194
    edited May 2014

    Hopefully she can give GM a good dose of chemo. Kill the cancer!

  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,664

    Fiat-Chrysler hires outside firm to review recalls

    Want proof that the General Motors' recalls will eventually have a positive impact on the auto industry? Here it is. Thanks to the Detroit-based manufacturer's mishandling of the ignition switch recall, other manufacturers are taking a second look at their recall procedures, just to make sure they don't fall victim to the same mistakes.

    http://www.autoblog.com/2014/05/24/fiat-chrysler-hires-outside-firm-review-recalls/

  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,664

    Auto parts price-fixing probe rattles industry

    WASHINGTON (AP) — An investigation into price-fixing and bid-rigging in the auto parts industry has mushroomed into the Justice Department's largest criminal antitrust probe ever, and it's not over yet.

    The investigation, made public four years ago with FBI raids in the Detroit area, has led to criminal charges against dozens of people and companies, stretched across continents and reverberated through an industry responsible for supplying critical car components.

    The collusion has also saddled U.S. drivers with millions of dollars in extra costs.

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/cars/2014/05/25/auto-parts-price-fixing-probe-rattles-industry/9568881/

  • steverstever Posts: 52,462

    May as well try to smoke out all the potential problems and get them on the table. It's old news at this point anyway.

    An Increase in Recalls Goes Beyond Just G.M. (New York Times)

  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,664
    edited May 2014

    Looks like we are learning a lot about past recall strategy and a sea change at the moment.

    http://abcnews.go.com/Business/wireStory/documents-show-delayed-gm-recall-23917610

    The company says it has changed its criteria for recalling cars. It now issues recalls based on the severity of a safety problem rather than the number of warranty claims or complaints, Adler said.

    It's another example of how GM previously resisted recalling cars and trucks to fix safety problems.

  • tlongtlong CaliforniaPosts: 5,194

    Looks like Mary is making a lot of correct decisions to change the culture at GM. A big job.

  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,664

    Yes, it's a far more efficient process to recall issues ASAP rather than the "Old School" hide and hope process in the auto industry.

  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    edited June 2014

    Time flies.

    "Five years ago, the government bailed out GM in a managed bankruptcy, a blockbuster on both the financial and political scales. Taxpayers eventually recouped $39 billion of the $49.5 billion spent in the rescue. Today in WSJ History, June 2, 2009."

  • steverstever Posts: 52,462

    "All automakers report May sales on Tuesday, and all but Volkswagen are expected to post increases, according to the Edmunds.com auto website. Even General Motors, which is in the throes of a recall crisis, is expected to see sales rise over a year ago. Schuster said GM should see an increase that's slightly above the overall market."

    Ahead of the bell: May auto sales (BusinessWeek)

  • steverstever Posts: 52,462

    "Do consumers really separate the “old General Motors,” the struggling company that existed before its 2009 bankruptcy and federal bailout, from the new GM?

    Apparently so, according to figures released Tuesday.

    The company reported that its U.S. sales in May were up 13 percent over a year ago, marking the company’s best month in nearly six years. It said business was up across all four of its brands — GMC, Chevrolet, Buick and Cadillac."

    GM sales jumped in May as automaker weathers recall scandal (Washington Post)

  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,664

    G.M. Response to a Fatal Flaw Was to Shrug

    A report that General Motors turned over to federal officials on Thursday details a decade-long tale of denial, incompetence and tragic nonchalance at the automaker.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/06/business/gm-response-to-a-fatal-flaw-was-to-shrug.html?hp&_r=0

  • tlongtlong CaliforniaPosts: 5,194
    edited June 2014

    @circlew said:
    G.M. Response to a Fatal Flaw Was to Shrug

    A report that General Motors turned over to federal officials on Thursday details a decade-long tale of denial, incompetence and tragic nonchalance at the automaker.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/06/business/gm-response-to-a-fatal-flaw-was-to-shrug.html?hp&_r=0

    There Is a reason why many people haven't trusted gm in the past IMHO this is far from the only situation of incompetence with this particular auto maker. Fortunately for gm the US government was ready to save them or they would have been gone.

  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490

    @tlong said:

    Can you imagine the screaming that would have happened if all of this had come out during the bailout discussions?

    Talk about a difficult position to be in as a politician making that decision...

  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,664

    Makes you wonder why the Government Team didn't discover this....all they know is what a success the bailout was!

  • berriberri Posts: 10,166

    Do you think it would have mattered? Bush and Obama at this point were being driven by macroeconomics, not a desire to save GM.

    I hope that Barra and Ruess keep on cleaning up at GM. Personally, I've liked some of the GM products I've rented, but as noted previously, their history and track record has kept me from buying from them for awhile now. If the company gets more competitive in quality, reliability and consistency down the road I'd then be willing to go back.

  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,664

    Legislators dismiss GM's Valukas report as 'self-serving' PR campaign

    "The GM public relations campaign is pitching this report as an independent review. In truth, it seems like the best report money can buy," said Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.). "It absolves upper management, denies deliberate wrongdoing, and dismisses corporate culpability."

    http://www.leftlanenews.com/legislators-dismiss-gms-valukas-report-as-self-serving-pr-campaign.html

  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,664

    Tesla makes improvements to Model S electric car

    Musk says the electric fleet has now collectively traveled 344 million miles — and it has yet to record a single "serious permanent injury" or death in an accident. "That is certainly one of our proudest accomplishments," he adds.

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/cars/2014/06/08/tesla-improvements-model-s/10178539/

  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 24,657
    edited June 2014

    http://www.edmunds.com/car-news/minimal-fallout-in-chevrolet-showrooms-in-gm-recall-crisis.html

    Edmunds puts a nice factual report on the Cobalt trades:
    "The most popular car purchased with a Cobalt trade-in is the Chevrolet Cruze. In May, 22 percent of Cobalts traded in were exchanged for Cruzes.

    "The data suggests that, for the most part, recalls have not discouraged Cobalt owners' loyalty to GM and Chevy," said Jessica Caldwell, an Edmunds senior analyst. "GM has done a good job communicating new-car deals to affected Cobalt owners, many of whom were probably getting close to buying a new car anyway.

    "These deals look very appealing to outgoing Cobalt owners, especially if they personally haven't had major problems with their GM vehicles in the past."



    This shows that GM has handled the problems better than many others have in the past. The open, honest expression
    of the recalls that were needed has been sunshine in the automotive world. Because GM has been producing quality
    cars in the past several years, people are accepting of the usual flaws that occur with all companies, albeit that this
    particular flaw was compounded by a few individuals' collective actions that were wrong.

    The future is bright. The recalls saga is behind us.

    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2008 Cobalt 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490

    Recalls and their effects on people are a bit like what we might see in the aftermath of a tragic mass transit accident, where scores are maimed or killed.

    If you weren't one to actually experience the incident, or have a close relative/friend involved, it just doesn't move an individual to take it as a possibility of happening to him/her. Even if the person relates in some way, he/she justifies their lack of concern on some level by thinking they would have done something differently, thereby escaping the tragedy that befell others.

    I think it would take an auto recall of tens of thousands, at a minimum, with an extremely high number (percentage-wise) of serious events occurring for people nowadays to really see it as something potentially serious in their lives.

    We are constantly bombarded 24/7 with bad news from radio, TV, Internet and print media. I think we've just decided to tune the bad stuff out...

    Companies can simply continue to advertise and tout their wares, as if nothing really serious is going on, and the public quickly forgets the recall incidents...

  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 24,657
    edited June 2014

    Some more sunshine on the facts from another source, but clear enough to be valuable information here.


    "DeGiorgio was the engineer who approved the faulty ignition switch in 2002, even though he knew it was flimsy and not quite up to GM’s standards. During a probe of the issue in March, he said he didn’t realize the switch could pose a safety risk as it worked without incident during preliminary testing. Investigators might have believed it was an honest mistake if it didn’t appear as though DeGiorgio was trying to cover up the fact the switches ever had anything wrong with them at all.

    "Knowing the torque rating on the switches wasn’t up to par, DeGiorgio approached the manufacturer of the switch, Delphi Automotive, with options for strengthening it. At the same time, he was also trying to fix a problem where the cars with the same switch wouldn’t start in cold weather. The work order for the redesigned ignition noted an electrical change to remedy the cold weather issue, but made no mention of the new retention spring and plunger which had also been installed to increase the torque rating. DeGiorgio then repeatedly told his co-workers in 2009 and after that there had been no changes that would affect the torque in the ignition.

    "DeGiorgio later claimed during a disposition he had “absolutely” no knowledge of a change to the ignition switch nor did he remember authorizing the change himself. He was put on paid leave for two months before being fired from the company and hasn’t spoken publicly since the recall.

    gmauthority.com/blog/2014/06/how-ignition-switch-engineer-ray-degiorgio-deliberately-conned-his-colleagues/

    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2008 Cobalt 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,664

    Three New General Motors Recalls Announced

    http://www.inautonews.com/three-new-general-motor-recalls-announced

  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,664

    Not over yet....

    General Motors still unsure of costs of ignition recall

    http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2014-06-10/news/50478523_1_gm-recall-mary-barra-air-bags

  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 24,657
    edited June 2014

    Multiple recalls for some toyotas.

    2.3 million.

    (Reuters) - Takata Corp's (7312.T) safety crisis deepened on Wednesday after Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T) recalled almost 2.3 million vehicles globally, many for the second time, and the Japanese air bag maker warned that further fixes may be needed.

    Toyota, the world's largest automaker, called back 1.62 million vehicles outside of Japan that it recalled last year as well as 650,000 more in Japan not previously recalled. The additional vehicles brought to more than 7 million the total number of cars equipped with Takata air bags to be called back worldwide over the last five years.

    The 2.3 million cars, many of them sold in the United States, are being recalled to replace faulty air bag inflators.

    Toyota expanded its recall because Takata said it had discovered record-keeping errors at a Mexican plant where potentially faulty air bag inflators were made in 2001 and 2002.
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/06/11/us-toyota-recall-idUSKBN0EM0F620140611

    In 2013, carmakers including Toyota, Honda Motor Co (7267.T), Nissan Motor Co (7201.T) and BMW (BMWG.DE) recalled about 3.6 million vehicles because of flaws in Takata air bag inflators that could cause them to explode in an accident.


    Faulty records from toyota. And in Mexico at that.
    Guess it's never too good to criticize one company because another company may not be far behind. What goes around comes around.

    Some of this goes back 10 years. Sounds familiar. Guess they must have been covering something up
    at toyota, Honda, Nissan and BMW.

    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2008 Cobalt 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,664

    The ‘GM Nod:’ 315 Scathing Pages on General Motors’ Culture

    In the report, investigator Anton Valukas says information about the switches, which could abruptly slip from the on position, stalling the vehicles and disabling airbags, bounced around an “astonishing number of committees.” Employees evaded responsibility with what CEO Mary Barra described to Mr. Valukas as “the GM Nod,” a reference to meetings at which participants appeared to nod in agreement that action should be taken, then did nothing.

    Mr. Valukas describes the “GM Salute,” as “a crossing of the arms and pointing outward towards others, indicating the responsibility belongs to someone else, not me.”

    http://blogs.wsj.com/corporate-intelligence/2014/06/05/the-gm-nod-325-scathing-pages-on-general-motors-culture/

  • berriberri Posts: 10,166

    Just sounds like standard bureaucracy found everywhere throughout the world in organizations of all types to me. Don't think GM has any lock on this stuff.

  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,664

    All the "Too Big to Fail" companies have a lock on this stuff. Toyota and Honda included.

  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 24,657
    edited June 2014

    GM is out front on fixing the problems from the past as well as having a financial person involved in determining damage claim offers. GM's Barra has set a tone for the company and their future. Great work.

    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2008 Cobalt 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 24,657

    "Market" is the title of the forum and I have a comment about the sales of autos going on that's based purely on anecdotal methods. Either last summer or two summers ago I was seeing all these auto carriers pumping cars out to the dealer lots. Apparently that pressures the dealers to sell them or gets them counted as auto production for the year so the maker can claim to have sold the largest number for the model year in the US.

    I am in western Ohio. I watch the numbers of carriers moving because I am on two major interstates traveling in my area on day-to-day errands. I see cars from toyota in Kentucky and cars from the Lafayette, Indiana, plant toyota was sharing with another maker. I also see a lot of VW's moving but I don't have any idea of their source, whether a plant or a large drop yard from which the trucks pick up the vehicles.

    The numbers or haulers I see are lower than earlier summers. Must mean there's no big push to dump lots of cars onto the dealer lots for one brand to make top seller.

    What is the sales race looking like for this year?

    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2008 Cobalt 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

  • steverstever Posts: 52,462

    Funny, I'm sure it's just because we're on the road, but I keep seeing haulers, and they've all been hauling newer used cars.

    I was going to say "seeing more haulers than usual" but I never see them around home. :smile:

  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 24,657
    edited June 2014

    @stever said:
    Funny, I'm sure it's just because we're on the road, but I keep seeing haulers, and they've all been hauling newer used cars.

    I've noticed more haulers with recent used vehicles because I drive to and from Columbus on I70. I wondered if they are being moved to and from large auctions in Columbus/Cleveland. Also do the stores like Car Max move vehicles from one area to another where they may have better resale popularity and value?

    I also see smaller car haulers with 1, 2, or 3 classic cars being moved. I recently saw a 55 Crown Victoria in black and a black 1955 Chrysler on a small hauler.

    The 1:15 drive to Columbus is usually entertaining for me.



    I keep thinking about the survey of the auto business, old and new, that I'm doing as I observe the auto haulers during my drive. It reminds me of Horseshoe Bend in Altoona, PA when my son was 13 or so. There was a odd-looking fellow who just sat on the bend with a notebook watching the trains go around. Talking to him later, I learned he had been spending his vacation there for 20 some years documenting the train cars, type and number, on that rail line. There was an elderly for then Volvo in the parking lot with Vermont plates on it and a college parking sticker IIRC. Interesting field of study. Probably writing a book.

    Maybe I should write a book about my observations of the auto business.

    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2008 Cobalt 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,664
    edited June 2014

    YTD Sales MAY 2014

    • GM 1.2MM - 17.6% Market Share
    • Ford - 1.04 MM - 15.5%
    • C - 850K - 12.6%
    • T - 960K - 14.3%
    • H - 610K - 9.1%
    • N - 594K - 8.8%
    • H/K - 543K - 8.1%
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 24,657
    edited June 2014

    Ford lowers mileage ratings. Sounds like what happened to Kia/Hyundai.

    Ford on Thursday cut the fuel economy ratings on six of its vehicles most promoted for fuel efficiency, including the Fiesta subcompact and hybrid and plug-in hybrid C-Max, Fusion and Lincoln MKZ models from the 2013 and 2014 model years.

    Ford says it will compensate owners and lessees of the 200,000 vehicles affected for the difference between the old and new mileage ratings — 1 to 2 miles per gallon for most, but as much as 8 mpg for the highway mileage on the MKZ.
    http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/cars/2014/06/12/ford-gas-mileage-lowered/10383307/

    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2008 Cobalt 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,664

    Auto bailout still largely unpopular

    The CNNMoney American Dream poll shows six in 10 Americans believe the government should not have spent billions to rescue General Motors (GM) and Chrysler from the brink of bankruptcy. Just under four in 10 -- 38% -- believe the bailout was the right move.

    http://money.cnn.com/2014/06/12/news/economy/poll-auto-bailout/index.html

  • berriberri Posts: 10,166

    Auto bailout still largely unpopular

    Like marketing research, what people say and what they actually do can often be quite different!

  • tlongtlong CaliforniaPosts: 5,194

    @berri said:
    Auto bailout still largely unpopular

    Like marketing research, what people say and what they actually do can often be quite different!

    Still, I have no doubt that the majority of the public is against the principles of the bailouts.

  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,664

    GM's Latest Recall Wreck Claims the Storied Camaro

    The latest recall includes the current edition of the Chevy Camaro, one of the company’s more storied brands and a paragon of what Detroit has always excelled at: delivering a lot of horsepower per dollar. And it’s a pretty big batch of affected cars, too. GM is telling customers to bring in all Camaros made between 2010 and 2014—almost 512,000 cars in all.

    Finally—and most importantly—the newest recalls once again stem from defective ignitions, but this time around the problems are in no way related to the ignition switches that sparked the recall crisis in the first place. The crummy Camaro parts meet all GM engineering requirements, yet they still have a tendency to shut the car off mid-drive given the slightest bump.

    http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2014-06-13/gms-latest-recall-wreck-the-camaro

  • tlongtlong CaliforniaPosts: 5,194

    Well, no reason the Cobalt should have the problem all to itself!

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    edited June 2014

    There have been plenty of "unpopular" decisions that turned out to be very good ideas. (and yes, some that didn't).

    With all due respect, I don't think the average citizen randomly polled in the middle of dinner is necessarily equipped to make sound judgments on complex economic issues, nor does he have the option of seeing how the alternative panned out in his crystal ball.

    It's an opinion. And they change like the wind. I may wake up and decide it wasn't a good idea. But at the time I thought it was better than the alternative.

    @berri said:
    Auto bailout still largely unpopular

    Like marketing research, what people say and what they actually do can often be quite different!

  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,664
    edited June 2014

    Ford made an extremely popular decision in 2008.

    GM and C took the people's money and continued the disease. They were forced to improve their products but the culture remained the same.

    Funny how it takes a disaster to make changes that should come naturally....yes, including Toyota.

    I vote for the Ford approach (although they've had their share of disasters). B)

  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,664

    Recap as of June

  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490

    Well, it seems the public has become recall "saturated"

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/cars/2014/06/14/gm-recall-ignore/10254663/

    From the article...

    "If every recall is publicly covered, it is no longer an unusual event. The public will pay no attention," says George Hoffer, transportation economist at the University of Richmond, who has studied the auto industry for more than 40 years.

  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,664
    edited June 2014

    Well, GM is not finished quite yet....

    GM recalls 3.16 million more for switches

    GM now has announced 44 recalls this year covering 17.73 million U.S. vehicles.

    The North America total – including the U.S., Canada, Mexico and exports – is 20 million, GM says, noting that some vehicles have been recalled for more than one issue.

    GM said the big, new ignition switch recall covers 2000 to 2014 models in the U.S. because the ignition switch might inadvertently move out of the "run" position if the key is carrying extra weight and experiences some jarring event. The automaker says it knows of eight crashes and six injuries related to the switches being recalled.

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/cars/2014/06/16/gm-recall-key-switch/10629373/

    Even the latest and greatest from GM are now affected!

    "The cars being recalled are:

    Buick Lacrosse -- 2005-2009
    Chevrolet Impala -- 2006-2014
    Cadillac Deville -- 2000–2005
    Cadillac DTS -- 2004–2011
    Buick Lucerne -- 2006–2011
    Buick Regal LS & GS -- 2004–2005
    Chevy Monte Carlo -- 2006–2008
    

    "In these vehicles, the ignition switch may be unable to handle extra weight hanging on a slotted key. GM will add an insert to the ignition keys of the recalled vehicles to close the slot and leave a 4x6-millimeter hole through which the key ring could be attached. In vehicles where the key cover has been worn, new keys with holes instead of slots will be provided free of charge.

  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490

    It would seem it's a never-ending saga of recall after recall...

    The real problem that may come from all these recalls (and the sensationalism from all the news coverage, which, I don't see any way of avoiding...) is that in the near future some manufacturer might actually have a significant life-or-death issue under a recall which a large segment of owners might simply ignore... Until it's too late to ignore it.

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