CAR – Estimated Costs of the UAW-GM Strike are Low

AutoInformed.com on CAR Estimated Employment Multipliers for UAW-GM Jobs

The UAW GM strike is now a serious economic problem for the overall U.S. economy.

Many estimates of the cost of the UAW strike focus on how much the work stoppage is costing GM, but few have estimated the broader costs of the strike to the U.S. economy or individual states, writes Kristin Dziczek, Vice President – Industry, Labor, & Economics at the Center for Automotive Research.

“The UAW-GM strike is sufficiently large to not only affect many sectors of the U.S. economy but also to reach beyond the borders of the nine states that are hosts to UAW-represented GM manufacturing facilities. GM, the UAW, GM suppliers, federal, state, and local governments, and many other businesses incur losses each day the strike continues,” says Dziczek. Continue reading

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Ford Motor Company Q4 Dividend Declared at 15 Cents

AutoInformed on Ford Stock - Chart courtesy Yahoo Finance

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The Board of Directors of Ford Motor Company today declared a fourth quarter regular dividend of $0.15 per share on the company’s outstanding Class B and common stock. It is currently trading at ~$8.60 (7% yield), with a 52-week range of $7.41 – $10.56.

Ford Motor Company Q3 sales dropped -5% year-over-year due to a striking -30% drop in car sales to 77,231. Year-to-date sales at 1,820,836 compared to 1,887,625 in 2018 were off -4% in the first sales report since credit agencies downgraded Ford debt to junk status. Continue reading

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Western European Passenger Car Sales Weak

AutoInformed.com on Western European Passenger Car Sales 2019 Forecast

The global economy is fragile and disrupted by uncertainty. Click to Enlarge.

Western European car registrations rose by 13.9% YoY in September, but the selling rate faded to 13.1mn units/year, from16.9 mn units/year in August, the weakest selling rate of the year so far, according to consultancy LMC.

As AutoInformed readers know the introduction of WLTP in September 2018 distorted the market in August and September last year, with a high base effect in August and a low base effect for September as it became clear that diesels were dirty and not meeting emission standards.

“This has led to a perceived growth in sales across Europe for September while, in many cases, the selling rate has dropped since August and sales growth is weak or negative in the year to date,” says LMC. Continue reading

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US Medical Uninsured Rate and Number Up from 2017

AutoInformed.com on People Uncovered by Medical Insurance Rising - Data US Census Bureau

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The crisis in American health care continues.  Since 2018, 8.5% of people, or 27.5 million, did not have health insurance at any point during the year. The uninsured rate and number of uninsured increased from 2017 (7.9% or 25.6 million), according to the U.S. Census Bureau*.

Healthcare of course is one of the key issues in the ongoing UAW GM strike.

The percentage of people with health insurance coverage for all or part of 2018 was 91.5%, lower than the rate in 2017 (92.1%). Between 2017 and 2018, the percentage of people with public coverage decreased 0.4% points, and the percentage of people with private coverage did not statistically change.
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Ford Motor Issues Two Safety Recalls, Expands a Previous One

AutoInformed on Ford Motor Safety Defect Recalls

Owners are advised to apply the parking brake whenever the F-Series is parked.

Ford Motor Company issued two safety recalls in North America yesterday and amended safety compliance recall 19C07 to expand the number of suspect vehicles. The first safety defect recall is for 2019 Ford F-Series Super Duty vehicles. The electronically locking rear-axle assembly may have a passenger-side axle shaft manufactured with steel that does not meet Ford’s specifications. It may fracture, resulting in a loss of driving power while in two-wheel drive, and the inability to hold the park function. If the parking brake is not applied, this could result in unintended vehicle movement, increasing the risk of crash or injury.

Ford is not aware of any reports of accident or injury related to this defect that affects 28,579 vehicles in the United States and federal territories, 4,316 in Canada and 73 in Mexico. The vehicles were built at Kentucky Truck Plant and Ohio Assembly Plant, May 21 – July 26, 2019. Continue reading

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FCA US Q3 Sales Flat at 565,000

AutoInformed.com on FCA Q3 2019 US Sales

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FCA said overall sales were 565,034 vehicles for the three-month period covering July, August and September. US retail sales accounted for 438,649 vehicles, while fleet accounted for 22% of total sales. Fleet sales, on a year-to-date basis, accounted for 25% of overall sales.

The announcement came shortly after the Securities and Exchange Commission charged Michigan-based automaker FCA US LLC, and its parent company, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V., for misleading investors about the number of new vehicles sold each month to customers in the United States.  FCA US and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles have agreed to pay $40 million to settle the charges. Translation: FCA bought its way out of all legal troubles with the SEC here for a mere $40 million. Continue reading

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Strike Crippled General Motors Q3 US Sales Up 6%

AutoInformed.com on GMGeneral Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) dealerships delivered 738,638 vehicles in the United States in the third quarter of 2019, an increase of 6.3% compared to the third quarter of 2018. GM’s fleet mix of total sales was 19.5 %, down 0.3%, year over year. End of September inventory was 759,633 units. Thus far the GM UAW strike has had little effect on sales. Continue reading

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Q3 Ford Motor US Sales Continue Slump

AutoInformed.com on Ford Motor US 2019 Q3 Sales

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Ford Motor Company Q3 sales dropped -5% year-over-year due to a stunning -30% drop in car sales to 77,231. Year-to-date sales at 1,820,836 compared to 1,887,625 in 2018 were off -4% in the first sales report since credit agencies downgraded Ford debt to junk status.

Ford, as always,  tried  a positive spin claiming it was a transition year of its phasing out of cars – Focus, C-Max, Taurus – with a changeovers ongoing in the all new Explorer and Escape, which are undergoing complex launches that in our view are showing mixed results. The freshened Escape went on sale last week. The new platform Explorer launch is going slowly with hopes that sales will expand in Q4. How Ford ran out of inventory of Explorers is puzzling, However given the history, we bet quality issues loomed large. (Omitted from the pitch was that Ford was about to issue a safety recall on 2020 Ford Explorer vehicles for an improperly secured wiring harness. This occurred hours later. But pay no attention to that man behind the curtain… Continue reading

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Amazon Selling Level 2 Electric Vehicle Home Chargers

AutoInformed.com on Electrify America Electric Vehicle Home Charger

With a charging power of up to 7.6kW, it’s about 6 times faster than the typical Level 1 charger.

Electrify America today announced that it is offering Level 2 electric vehicle home chargers beginning today, customers can purchase the Electrify America Electric Vehicle Home Charger on Amazon for $499. The home charger is also at electrifyamerica.com/charging-at-home.

The Electrify America Electric Vehicle Home Charger is compatible with all electric vehicles available in the North American market today. It has a charging power of up to 7.6kW – about 6 times faster than the typical Level 1 charger provided to some new EV owners, depending on vehicle make and model. Continue reading

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Weak Chinese Retail Sales in August Delay Recovery

AutoInformed on slowing Chinese economy

American becoming less great again as Chinese tariffs backfire on the beleaguered, inconsistent and chaotic Trump mis-Administration.

China’s Passenger Vehicle (PV)  wholesale sales) in August fell by -8.6% year-on-year (YoY) to 1.71 mn units, while the Light Commercial Vehicle (LCV) segment contracted by -4.0% YoY to 0.24 mn units. The overall Light Vehicle (LV) market ended the month with a decline of 8.1% YoY, on total sales of 1.80 mn units, says consultancy LMC.

Chinese passenger production improved in August, with a drop of  -0.7% to 1.66 mn units, recovering from the double-digit declines seen in recent months. LCV output fell by – 0.9% to 0.24 mn units. LV output was down by 0.8% YoY, on total build of 1.90 mn units. Now that vehicle stocks have been unwound, OEMs no longer are carrying bloated inventories and are preparing to resume normal production rhythms, says LMC. However, LMC decided to make a further cut to the passenger vehicle growth forecast for 2019, from -5.5% to -7.4%. This is bad news for the global economy in general and the Detroit Three.

AutoInformed.com on China August 2019 Light Vehicle Sales

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Ford Restructuring – Mahindra Joint Venture Announced

AutoInformed.com on Mahindra and Ford

Exports are ~7% of Mahindra’s auto business revenues. Its products are exported to South Africa, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Chile, and other areas.

Mahindra & Mahindra Limited and Ford Motor Company have signed an agreement to create a joint venture that will develop, market and distribute Ford brand vehicles in India and Ford brand and Mahindra brand vehicles in high-growth emerging markets around the world. It’s the latest step in Ford’s sweeping reorganization and a retreat of sorts from Ford’s global position as a leading automaker. (Mahindra, Ford to Study Links in India, Emerging Markets)

Mahindra owns a 51% controlling stake and Ford will transfer its India operations to the joint venture, including its personnel and assembly plants in Chennai and Sanand. Ford will retain the Ford engine plant operations in Sanand as well as the Global Business Services unit, Ford Credit and Ford Smart Mobility. The move comes after Ford’s credit by the rating agencies earned “junk” status. Ford was among the first global automakers to enter India in 1995. (August Global Light Vehicle Sales Drop -3.9%) Continue reading

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Mercedes One, Two at Russian Grand Prix. Ferrari Third

AutoInformed.com on 2019 Formula One - Russian Grand Prix

Another good Sunday for Mercedes-Benz, but for racing fans?

Formula One continued its struggle to present a race on the track at the Russian Grand Prix yesterday, as safety cars once again turned the racing into a battle of pit crews with the drivers providing entertainment via their car radio communications complaining or questioning the team strategies.

Early on Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc was on the radio saying he wanted to swap positions back with Sebastian Vettel after Vettel passed him at Turn Two after the start, with Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes having a tough time keeping up with either of them. Seems Leclerc forgot who he was really racing against by complaining that Vettel didn’t stick to the rules, whatever they were. It was clear that something was discussed before the race as a team strategy and Leclerc was miffed at the deviation by saying something wasn’t followed. Continue reading

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BMW Motorrad Heritage Collection 2020 Coming

AutoInformed.com on BMW Motorrad Heritage Collection 2020

The collection celebrates the history of BMW Motorrad, which dates back to 1923. The first production BMW motorcycle was the R32 equipped with an air-cooled, two-cylinder flat-twin boxer engine.

Taking a page from, gasp, Harley Davidson, BMW Motorrad is expanding its product line in the Heritage segment and launching its own Ride & Style collection on the market for the first time. The BMW Motorrad Heritage Collection 2020 has a wide range of new items, from leather jackets to denim outfits, as well as motorcycle gloves and signature boots

The famous black and white color of the early motorcycles is claimed to be reflected throughout the entire collection. The original branding and the BMW metal emblem are also incorporated in the design. The copper-colored details and visual accents displayed in these garments are similar to the materials used in classic BMW motorcycles. Continue reading

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Fiat Chrysler Cops Plea on Fraudulently Reporting Sales

AutoInformed.com on fraudulent FCA Sales Reporting

Strong sales were an important step to becoming a publicly traded stock again.

The Securities and Exchange Commission yesterday charged Michigan-based automaker FCA US LLC, and its parent company, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V., for misleading investors about the number of new vehicles sold each month to customers in the United States.  FCA US and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles have agreed to pay $40 million to settle the charges. Translation: FCA bought its way out of all legal troubles with the SEC here for a mere $40 million.*

According to the SEC’s order, between 2012 and 2016, FCA US issued monthly press releases falsely reporting new vehicle sales and falsely touting a “streak” of uninterrupted monthly year-over-year sales growth. However, the growth streak ended in September 2013. (FCA is New Name for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles) Continue reading

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Hyundai Motor and Cummins to Work on Fuel Cell Technology

AutoInformed.com on Hydrogen Fuel Cells

This Cummins demonstration project is a transit bus, called N’yu’ti, that can travel more than 200 miles on 38 kilograms of compressed hydrogen in partnership with Ad Astra Costa Rica and others.

Hyundai Motor Company and Cummins Inc. (NYSE: CMI), announced today that they have entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to jointly evaluate “opportunities” to develop and commercialize electric and hydrogen fuel cell powertrains.

Hydrogen can be produced from renewable sources, stored economically, and deployed for many industrial and residential energy-generation applications. It is, of course used, in fuel cell passenger cars and commercial vehicles. Energy experts predict hydrogen will become increasingly important in meeting fast-growing global energy demand, while also supporting efforts to drive down carbon emissions from energy generation. Continue reading

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