There’s a new player in the electric car market this year, but its long-term plans don’t necessarily include trying to unseat other brand’s stake in the burgeoning market.
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The latest detail in what’s become a sad saga of failure has to do with dealerships and their reaction to being caught in the fallout. It’s probably easy to forget, but if an automaker goes belly-up, the folks who made a living pedaling their products have to find a new source or go home.
That’s exactly what’s happening with many of the 900 Saab dealers worldwide who are either giving up the ghost or getting creative to stay in business.
Depending on their plans for the company, anyone trying to resurrect the defunct brand may find a dealer exodus too great a burden to overcome.
Without a conduit to sell cars, there is very little an automaker can do to bring their vehicles to market. Given this development, there is only one realistic business option: a company absorbing Saab purely to own their patents and to adopt their engineering.
If that were the case, we could start seeing Saab drivetrains and tech popping up in other cars around the world.
Brand names changing hands isn’t uncommon in the automotive world, Fiat now owns Chrysler and Ferrari, Volkswagen is the master puppeteer behind a myriad of companies including Porsche and Lamborghini and the automotive smorgasbord is hardly finished.
That said, we’re anticipating Saab will continue its slow somersault into the scrap bin with fewer hands reaching to catch their fall as the months wear on.
[Source: the Detroit News]
Given what many see as slow economic recovering, unstable fuel prices and supply problems from Japan, it probably isn’t surprising that May’s auto sales were rather soft.
That said, figures, expected to be released tomorrow will likely reveal a 12.1 million seasonally adjusted annual rate, based on an average from 11 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. This follows on the heels from 12.6 million total vehicle sales in January, based on research from Autodata Corp.
However, predictions are that as the economy potentially goes stronger, and Japanese suppliers get back on track, total vehicle demand for this year is expected to be the highest since 2008, when some, 13.2 million cars and light trucks were sold.
Although Japanese automakers are working through their supply issues, price increases and reduced sales incentives by some automakers, notably Ford still have the potential to eat into sales and profit margins.
Nevertheless, the overall outlook remains optimistic. Among the automakers; Toyota says it expects production to return to around 70 percent of normal levels by June, while Honda says it will resume full capacity by August. Meanwhile, Chrysler, having managed to pay off some $7.6 billion in government loans during the month of May, says sales increased around 9.5 percent during the same period.
The biggest worry among many is GM, which is struggling to move it’s now aging full-size pickups and SUVs; nevertheless, in trading, GM shares were up slightly on the New York Stock Exchange this morning, settling at $31.28 per share.
Ever wonder where Pontiac owner’s are going shopping for new cars since the brand folded? Honestly, we hadn’t, until this new study came to our attention.
According to a study by Polk Automotive, most of them are staying loyal to General Motors. An astonishing 53.3% have come back to buy another GM product, with Chevrolet getting the biggest piece of the come-back pie. To be more precise, 33.5% defected to Chevrolet, 11.7% defected to GMC, 6.7% defected to Buick and 1.5% defected to Cadillac.
That is pretty impressive indeed and shows people who actually bought their cars were happy with what they got.
Some customers have wandered off to other brands though, particularly towards Japanese brands such as Toyota and Honda. Given the recall problems some of these foreign brands recently dealt with, there is a big chance some of those customers might return to buy another car from the General.
Nissan‘s Cube has had a lukewarm reception outside its home market of Japan, and sales have been so poor in Europe that Nissan has decided to axe the vehicle entirely.
Nissan is citing exchange rate issues between the yen and the euro as the underlying cause, but the dismal sales are likely an equal culprit in the company’s decision.
Nissan dealers are apparently sold out of the car, save for a few outlets in central London.
General Motors upcoming IPO is attracting a lot of attention, not least from Chinese car manufacturer SAIC. A long time partner of the General, SAIC is looking to buy a significant portion of GM’s IPO, and with nearly $6 billion in cash reserves, the company is in a good position to do so.
According to reports, the president of SAIC has recently visited America after GM posted its prospectus on November 3rd. GM is hoping to raise $10.6 billion through its IPO.