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August 1, 2017 FacebookTwitterFlickrRSSSEND TO A FRIENDPRINT
Inside this issue
Car Sales Seen Lower in July; US Automakers Post Sharp Drops
GM Slashed July Rental Car Sales, Boosted Commercial Fleet
Fiat Chrysler Can Resume Sales of Diesel Jeeps, Rams in U.S.
Auto Industry Faces Apprentice Crisis
After Defeat in Europe, GM Is Picking Its Battles
Toyota Makes $5 Million Investment in American Center for Mobility
Ferrari Wants ‘Utility Vehicle’ in a Plan to Double Profit
J.D. Power: Consumers Find New Vehicles More Appealing Than Ever
Top Stories
Car Sales Seen Lower in July; US Automakers Post Sharp Drops

U.S. sales of new cars and trucks were expected to show a decline in July as consumers pulled back on purchases and waited for Labor Day deals. July likely marked the seventh straight month of declines in a peaking market. After an unprecedented seven years of growth, analysts are predicting lower U.S. sales this year. General Motors said its sales fell 15 percent in July, while Ford’s sales were down 7.5 percent. Fiat Chrysler’s sales were down 10 percent. Automakers are still seeing healthy profits thanks to consumers’ preference for SUVs.
Source: The Associated Press

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GM Slashed July Rental Car Sales, Boosted Commercial Fleet

General Motors Co. said on Tuesday it slashed July sales to rental car fleets in the United States by 80 percent compared to a year ago to just over 2,700 vehicles, while increasing sales to commercial fleets. GM said sales to U.S. commercial vehicle fleets rose by 40 percent in July to 17,300 vehicles, and noted that commercial fleet sales can be as profitable as retail sales.
Source: Reuters

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Fiat Chrysler Can Resume Sales of Diesel Jeeps, Rams in U.S.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV can once again sell new diesel-powered pickup trucks and sport utility vehicles in the U.S. after environmental regulators approved modifications to its emissions-control software. Approvals from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and California Air Resources Board will allow the company to sell 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee and Ram 1500 diesel models.
Source: Bloomberg

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Auto Industry Faces Apprentice Crisis

The audience is high-ranking auto executives and engineers, but the message is the need to get more people who work with their hands trained and employed in an auto industry that faces a shortage of such skills. Michigan Lt. Gov. Brian Calley, in a speech to conference attendees, says part of the solution is for society to show more respect to people whose education pursuits might not include a 4-year college degree and beyond. “For the longest time, we’ve been told that pursuing careers like tooling is what you do because you are not good at academics, which is absolutely ridiculous,” he says.
Source: WardsAuto

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After Defeat in Europe, GM Is Picking Its Battles

Completion of Opel sale makes GM the only major auto maker without a significant presence in Western Europe

General Motors Co. is hitting the accelerator on its growth agenda now that it has given up trying to extract a profit from Europe and several tough markets around the globe. GM on Tuesday said it has completed the sale of its Opel AG unit to France’s Peugeot, marking the end of 88 years as a mainline car maker in Europe and nearly two decades of heavy losses despite near-constant restructuring. The deal was first announced on March 6.
Source: The Wall Street Journal

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Toyota Makes $5 Million Investment in American Center for Mobility

The second facility in Michigan dedicated to testing automated and connected vehicles is currently under construction in Ypsilanti, Mich. and it just got its first official automaker financial sponsor. At the annual Center for Automotive Research Management Briefing Seminars in Traverse City, Mich., Toyota announced plans [on July 31] to contribute $5 million to the American Center for Mobility (ACM).
Source: Forbes

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Ferrari Wants ‘Utility Vehicle’ in a Plan to Double Profit

Ferrari NV is considering adding a roomy four-seat “utility vehicle” as part of a major expansion push beyond its traditional supercar niche in a bid to double profit by 2022, people familiar with the matter said. Under the plan, which is set to be unveiled in early 2018 and could expose the carmaker to stricter environmental regulations, Ferrari will also build more hybrid models to improve its vehicles’ efficiency and woo new wealthy buyers, the people said.
Source: Bloomberg

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J.D. Power: Consumers Find New Vehicles More Appealing Than Ever

Car owners’ love affair with new vehicles is stronger than ever, as evidenced by a nine-point increase in the APEAL index from last year — tied for the largest gain ever — according to the J.D. Power 2017 U.S. Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) Study. “Many automakers are getting better and better at giving consumers what they want in a vehicle,” said Dave Sargent, vice president of global automotive at J.D. Power. “The industry is doing a very good job of creating vehicles customers like across every segment, and the APEAL study identifies why this is. One clear reason is that nonpremium vehicles are increasingly offering technology and safety features found in premium vehicles.”
Source: Auto Dealer Monthly

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Quotable
"It's vital to attract talent for skilled-trades apprenticeships early on. After high school is too late."

    -- Michigan Lt. Gov. Brian Calley, in remarks at the Center for Automotive Research’s Management Briefing Seminars in Traverse City, Mich., WardsAuto, July 31

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