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The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
 |  Jan 03 2012, 6:14 PM

The recession has not been kind to most luxury car manufacturer’s. After all, with the economy on a downturn, even those who can still afford luxuries shy away from frivolous spending.

While the recession was the final nail in Maybach‘s coffin, Bentley has soldiered on and managed to survive the tough economic climate. Not only did Bentley survive, they have bounced back strongly in 2011.

Global sales for Bentley rose by 37% in 2011, totaling 7003 deliveries to customers. In December, they moved 1059 cars, which is not only their best month since the recession, but also the second best month in the history of the company.

The two big reason’s the brand was so successful in 2011 are the U.S. and Chinese markets. The U.S. market retains the top spot, as the biggest market for this British brand. 2021 new Bentley’s were sold to American homes in 2011, while 1839 units were delivered in China.

In Germany, demand for Bentley’s increased by 88%, while the rest of Europe also saw an increase. On this occasion, Bentley’s Chairman Wolfgang Durheimer said: “It has been a tremendously good year for Bentley. The dramatic sales growth reflects a global strength to the Brand and a recognition of the quality, craftsmanship and engineering excellence of our cars. It is also testament to the work of the entire Bentley Team whose passion and daily commitment has delivered this outstanding result. It has been particularly pleasing to see renewed interest in Bentley in established as well as new and emerging markets, all of which is contributing to a positive financial result for 2011.”

The most popular model in 2011 was the Continental GT coupe, and with the launch of the V8 version of this model starting shortly, it will probably help propel Bentley’s sales to even greater heights.

 |  Nov 21 2011, 8:00 PM

German auto giant Volkswagen is already Europe’s largest auto manufacturer, but it won’t rest until it becomes the worlds largest producer of cars.

To achieve its goals, it needs to do very well in America, a market where it hasn’t made a profit since 2003, despite moving 256,830 units in 2010.

VW wants to sell three times as many cars to American households, roughly 800,000 units per year. To achieve this vast goal, Volkswagen groups CEO for America, Jonathan Browning says he wants to increase the number of dealerships.

Currently there are about 600 VW dealerships in America, and while that number will remain the same for the next few years, Browning says that by 2014/15 he hopes to add dealers across the nation to meet their goals.

VW looks set to shift 300,000 units for 2011. Browning adds that 2011 will once again return a profit for this German brands operation in the U.S.

[Source: Carscoop]

 |  Nov 02 2011, 3:00 PM

There was a time when Lexus was the top-selling luxury car brand in North America. In fact, it held onto that crown for nearly a decade.

However, after the unfavorable publicity relating to allegations of unintended acceleration and then a production shortage due to the tsunami in Japan, Lexus lost the top spot in sales for luxury cars.

For 2012, Lexus hopes to improve its sales figures, however the goal is not to be the biggest luxury brand anymore.

US Lexus Division Vice-President and General Manager Mark Templin said: “We never were about being the biggest – it just happened for all the right reasons.” He added that Lexus lost a lot of customers because they didn’t have anything to sell them, pointing at the shortage the brand dealt with due to the tsunami.

However, being the biggest is not their main concern said Templin, saying that Lexus would rather be number one at customer experience, quality, value and profitability.

With Lexus looking to introduce 10 new or refreshed models over the next few years, Templin says the brand will see a growth in sales due to their new models, however while some luxury brands are looking to get into A and B segment cars, Lexus will not be doing that to maintain its luxury brand image.

In the first 9-months of this year, Lexus sales in America are down 17%, having shifted 135,647 vehicles until the end of September.

Will 2012 prove to be a better year as predicted by Lexus’ senior management? Only time will tell.

[Source: Detroit News]

 |  Aug 02 2011, 6:00 PM

Chrysler, announced today that the American automaker has seen a 20 percent increase in sales this July (112,026 units sold) compared to the numbers of July 2010 (93,313 units sold). Jeep contributed to the 20 percent July sales uncrease with the 2011 Jeep Wrangler, which set an all-time sales record and the 2011 Jeep Compass which experienced a 240 percent sales increase, the largest year-over year sales gain of any Chrysler model.
Other vehicles that had a significant impact on the July sales gain included the 2012 Fiat 500, the 2011 Dodge Durango and the 2011 Chrysler 200 that was featured in the award winning “Born of Fire” Eminem Super Bowl commercial. “In a market that remains tougher than a cheap steak, we were able to produce our highest retail sales in more than three years,” said Reid Bigland, President and CEO – Dodge Brand and Head of U.S. Sales. “I think that statistic is the ultimate testament to the progress we have made with our product in the areas of fuel economy, quality and design.”
 |  Jul 15 2011, 3:00 PM

Yesterday, Hyundai Motor Group said it is expecting to raise its U.S auto sales by 18.2 percent this year to 1.06 million vehicles, an improvement from a previous target of 1.01 million.

Hyundai would to sell 624,000 units and Kia with 433,000 in the U.S. Both South Korean automakers are experiencing fast growth in the U.S market with a combined share reaching 10.1 percent as of May from 7.7 percent in 2010 and 3.3 percent in 2001. The launch of the Hyundai Veloster and the Kia Rio subcompact in the U.S are to help maintain the sales momentum of both companies.

Chung Mong-Koo, charman of the Hyundai Motor Group, announced the sales increase while visiting the U.S, which may be linked to the possible construction of a second plant to meet booming demand in the world’s second- largest auto market.

[Source: Reuters]