June 28th, 2011 at 11:40am
Nissan released more details on its “Power 88″ business plan including how it intends to average one “all new” vehicle introduction every six weeks for the next six years. Turkey of all places is really starting to emerge as an important market for vehicle assembly. Holden, GM’s Australian subsidiary, could be in deep trouble because of political flip-flopping and budget cuts in the country. All that and more, plus John reviews the 2011 BMW Active Hybrid 750 Li.
This is Autoline Daily for June 28, 2011. And now, the news from around the world.
NISSAN’S “POWER 88” PLAN
Nissan released more details on its “Power 88” business plan. As we reported yesterday, the goal is to deliver 8 percent global market share and an 8 percent operating profit by 2016. To get there the company will introduce an average of one all-new vehicle every six weeks for the next six years. I say define “all new.” PLUS it claims it will introduce 90 new technologies over that same time period. “Power 88” also calls for an expansion of Nissan’s global dealership network to some 7,500 stores, up from about 6,000 today.
And it may want to expand in Turkey, which is starting to emerge as an important market for vehicle assembly. Hyundai and Turkish automaker Karsan just signed an agreement to assemble small commercial vehicles in Turkey. And Renualt sees car and van sales in the country hitting between 800,000 and 850,000 units this year compared to just over 760,000 last year.
HOLDEN, AUSTRALIAN FOR TROUBLE (subscription required)
But while Nissan is expanding and Turkey is growing GM Holden could be deep in trouble. According to Ward’s, Holden Chairman and Managing Director, Mike Devereux, says GM may stop making cars in Australia because of political flip-flopping and budget cuts to a fund that supports technological innovation. Also, Australia will implement a carbon tax which will add cost to operating in the country. Between 2005 and 2009 Holden reported over $600 million in losses, but last year the company saw a before-tax profit of $144 million, thanks, in part, to government funding.
IT SOUNDS LIKE A DISEASE! (subscription required)
As long as we’re looking at different automakers around the globe, have you ever heard of the car company Perodua? Me neither. I don’t even know how to say its name. It’s a Malaysian automaker that sells the country’s most-popular car. The Myvi – a rebadged Daihatsu – has been at the top of the list since 2006, averaging more than 81,000 sales per year. Nearly one third of all cars sold in Malaysia are Peroduas and half of those are Myvis. To keep this momentum going the company just introduced a redesigned version of it. It’s powered by a 1.3-liter four-cylinder engine delivering 86 horsepower. Starting price is about $14,500.
EATS, SHOOTS & LEAVES
And now to China. There some truly innovative design and styling coming out of China, and then there are the blatant rip-offs of patents and intellectual property. Fiat finally won its lawsuit against Chinese automaker Great Wall for copying the Fiat Panda. The company has been ordered to stop building and exporting the copies. But it’s a hollow victory. The court case took so long that Great Wall says it actually stopped production last September. That case was heard in Italy, not China. And now another Chinese company, the Beijing Automotive Industry Corporation, looks like it’s doing the same thing. BAIC is coming out with the BC 301Z which is a blatant rip-off of a Mercedes B-class (subscription required). Don’t worry, Mercedes knows all about this. Its partner in China is none other than BAIC.
ELECTRIC CAR STORMS PIKE’S PEAK
Electric cars keep making progress, including in motor racing. AC Propulsion, the California company that specializes in electric motors, raced an electric car up Pike’s Peak, shattering the old record for electrics by nearly a minute – a record that it set a year ago. The car uses a 200 kW induction motor. That’s the equivalent of 268 horsepower, not a lot. But since the race ends at more than 9,300 feet of altitude, or 2,800 meters, electric cars do well because they’re not affected by the altitude like internal combustion engines are. Just for good measure, Nissan ran a stock LEAF up the mountain in 14 minutes 33 seconds. The track record is 9 minutes and 20 seconds.
Coming up next, a look at one of the most luxurious and most expensive hybrids that you can buy.
I recently got a chance to test drive the biggest and most expensive hybrid that BMW makes. Here’s my take on what it’s all about.
2011 BMW ACTIVE HYBRID 750 Li
I think the diesel version of the 7 Series is a far more satisfying car than the hybrid. If BMW decides to sell the diesel in the U.S. market I’ll bet it handily outsells the hybrid.
And that’s today’s report on the top news in the global automotive industry. Thanks for watching, we’ll see you tomorrow.