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Top 5 Stories
Detroit Auto Show to Open with Newfound Optimism
Five Factors Will Drive Bigger Auto Sales in 2011
Volt, Explorer Nab Car, Truck of Year Honors
Ford Unveils its First All-Electric Car
For Bigger Cars, Crossovers Are King of the Road
Top 5 Stories
Detroit Auto Show to Open with Newfound Optimism

The most significant arrival at this year's Detroit auto show is something of a throwback to the heady days of the late 1990s: optimism that growth is accelerating in an infamously cyclical industry. The last time the U.S. auto market saw three consecutive years of substantial sales growth was in the late 1990s when Detroit automakers were still riding high. One sign of the industry's renewed confidence: vehicle debuts are expected to roughly double at the Detroit auto show this year to as many as 40 all-new vehicles, up from 18 in 2010. "Detroit is still the center of automotive manufacturing in the United States, although other areas are gaining," NADA economist Paul Taylor said.
Source: Reuters

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Five Factors Will Drive Bigger Auto Sales in 2011

U.S. new car and light-truck sales are headed for double-digit percentage gains in 2011. So predicts Paul Taylor, chief economist of the National Automobile Dealers Association, which explains why in the following: "The auto industry is coming back strong from what has been a difficult economy," Taylor says. "Auto sales are playing a key role in leading the economic recovery." With the average age of cars and trucks on the road today at more than 10-years-old, Taylor says Americans will need to replace their aging vehicles. This fact, combined with low financing rates and wider credit availability, will help boost new vehicle sales 12% this year, he says. Here's a list of NADA's top five factors that will accelerate new vehicle sales this year ...
Source: USA Today

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Volt, Explorer Nab Car, Truck of Year Honors

DETROIT -- The Chevrolet Volt sedan and Ford Explorer crossover were named 2011 car and truck of the year today by a panel of automotive journalists. The Volt, Nissan Leaf and Hyundai Sonata were finalists for 2011 North American Car of the Year, while the Explorer, Jeep Grand Cherokee, and Dodge Durango were Truck of the Year finalists. The awards are judged by 49 automotive journalists from the United States and Canada -- representing magazines, newspapers, Web sites, television and radio. The criteria used to judge the winners include innovation, design, safety, handling, driver satisfaction and value for the dollar.
Source: Automotive News

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Ford Unveils its First All-Electric Car

Ford unveiled its first strictly electric car on Friday, a Focus which is expected to get up to 100 miles (60 kilometers) on a single charge and will be available in North America late this year. Alan Mulally, chief executive of the number two US automaker, introduced the four-door passenger car at the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Mulally declined to detail the hatchback's total range or how much it would cost, but a Ford spokesman said the Focus Electric's mileage on a single charge would be "competitive" with similar electric vehicles such as the Nissan Leaf. Mulally acknowledged the need for regular charges would be seen as a drawback by some customers. "We know electric vehicles are not for everyone, they're only part of the solution for greener driving," he said. But, Mulally added, "we know that many customers are looking forward to driving a zero emissions electric vehicle and never having to visit a gas station again."
Source: Agence France Presse

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For Bigger Cars, Crossovers Are King of the Road

The auto industry is showing strong signs of a rebound as more people are buying cars and trucks. But what they're mostly driving home might come as a bit of a surprise. "It's the crossovers that seem to be our hottest sell right now," says Michelle Primm managing partner at (Cascade Auto Group in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio). "It's really the major area of auto sales growth," says John McEleney, President of McEleney Chevrolet Toyota in Clinton, Iowa. "Crossovers have a lot more appeal as people move away from minivans." Proving their new found popularity, sales for crossovers in 2010 accounted for 24.5 percent of all vehicles sold, according to Ward'sAuto.com, a research group for the industry. Minivans were only 5.4 percent of sales while SUVs were just 6.8 percent.
Source: CNBC

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Quotable
 
"Two years ago there was a sense of panic in the market, and many large purchases were stopped or delayed. The fear is gone."

    -- Dan Creed, the head of U.S. marketing for BMW AG, The Wall Street Journal, Jan. 10

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