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Inside this issue
Toyota May Boost 2012 Outlook for U.S. Industry Sales
Used-Vehicle Price Rise Seen Mild if Gas Prices Peak at $4/Gal.
Marchionne: Fiat Needs an Asia Partner
BMW in Talks with GM on Future Technologies: CEO
Opinion: Mulally's Mission: Ford Global Growth
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Top Stories
Toyota May Boost 2012 Outlook for U.S. Industry Sales

Toyota Motor Corp. may be ready to ratchet up its 2012 sales outlook for the U.S. auto market after two months of stronger-than-expected volume, a top executive at the Japanese automaker said on Tuesday. Toyota is still forecasting U.S. industry sales of 13.6 million this year, but strong January and February demand is causing officials to rethink that prediction, Yoshi Inaba, president and chief operating officer in charge of Toyota's North American operations, said after a speech in New York.
Source: Reuters

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Used-Vehicle Price Rise Seen Mild if Gas Prices Peak at $4/Gal.

Rising gasoline prices are expected to peak at about $4 per gallon in May and will produce a "mild" effect on used-vehicle prices, analysts at NADA Used Car Guides say in a report released Tuesday. But if tensions over Iran's nuclear program escalate into military action, "then it would be difficult to make a prediction" about how high gasoline prices would go and the effect on used-vehicle prices, says Larry Dixon, an analyst at the company. Dixon says escalating gasoline prices are being pushed by the threat of a military conflict that would disrupt oil supplies rather than a loss of oil production. "We are always making vehicle price adjustments based, in part, on our expectations for the price of gasoline," he adds.
Source: Automotive News

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Marchionne: Fiat Needs an Asia Partner

Fiat SpA is scouring Asia for a possible partner after the planned alliance between General Motors Co. and PSA Peugeot Citroen shrank the pool of European candidates. Chief Executive Officer Sergio Marchionne, who says he’s searching for a third partner after merging with Chrysler Group LLC to help reduce development costs and boost sales in fast-growing countries, said teaming with either Suzuki Motor Corp. or Mazda Motor Corp. makes sense. Fiat and Chrysler only sell half the cars Marchionne said is needed for long-term survival. “Those two companies would be complementary to Fiat’s activities,” Marchionne said at the Geneva International Motor Show. “We talk continuously with Suzuki; we talk with Mazda; we talk with everyone.”
Source: Bloomberg

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BMW in Talks with GM on Future Technologies: CEO

BMW is in talks with General Motors on future technologies such as fuel cells and may extend cooperation with PSA Peugeot Citroen on gasoline engines, Chief Executive Officer Norbert Reithofer said. The world's largest maker of luxury vehicles "can imagine" joining forces with a cooperation partner in North America, Reithofer told reporters on Tuesday at the Geneva Auto Show. He declined to specify what areas the talks were focusing on. "Peugeot also has several partners for cooperation," the CEO said. "That's our strategy, too."
Source: Reuters

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Opinion: Mulally's Mission: Ford Global Growth
By Daniel Howes

A dozen years after Jacques Nasser grudgingly admitted that Ford Motor Co. booked virtually all of its profits from the United States, the Dearborn automaker is doing pretty much the same thing. And CEO Alan Mulally, an unambiguous apostle for embracing reality, knows it. That's why the CEO in his sixth year leading the Blue Oval is using a deepening debt-and-growth crisis to replicate the "match capacity to demand" workout he developed chiefly for North America and use it to get Europe back in the black.
Source: The Detroit News

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The NADA Story

The NADA story began in 1917 when 30 auto dealers traveled to the nation’s capital to convince Congress not to impose a luxury tax on the automobile. They successfully argued that the automobile is a necessity of American life, not a luxury. From that experience was born the National Automobile Dealers Association. Today, NADA represents nearly 16,000 new-car and -truck dealerships with 32,500 franchises, both domestic and international. For more information, visit www.nada.org.

 
Quotable
"The global market is pushing automakers to do a much better job and therefore pushing to align or cooperate or work together as a common goal. I don't think this GM/Peugeot thing is the end of it."

   
-- Yoshi Inaba, president and chief operating officer of Toyota's North American operations, predicts there will be more deals like the alliance signed last week between GM and Peugeot in an effort to cut costs, Reuters, March 6



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