September 24th, 2012 at 11:42am
Ward’s predicts September sales will hit the best SAAR in three years. GM figures out how to shed pounds by spot welding aluminum. John McElroy takes his first drive of the CODA electric car and gives his initial impressions. All that and more, plus a report from KPMG about using the cloud to improve the automotive supply chain.
Hello and welcome to a new week of Autoline Daily. We have our first test drive of the CODA electric car coming up, and a report on how automakers can use the cloud to improve how they work with suppliers, but first the news.
STRONG SAAR (subscription required)
Car sales could be strong in the U.S. this month. WardsAuto forecasts that sales will hit 1.16 million units in September which translates to a SAAR of 14.6 million units. And that is the best it’s been in three years.
TOYOTA REOPENS IN CHINA
Looks like that spat between China and Japan is easing up a little bit. Toyota announced that it is reopening all its factories and dealerships in China today.
TOYOTA’S HYBRID ASSAULT
And speaking of Toyota, it will be offering hybrid versions of 21 of its vehicles in the next three years. It wants to sell more than a million hybrids a year worldwide.
VOLVO’S JACOBY SUFFERS STROKE
Volvo CEO, Stefan Jacoby is on sick leave and will temporarily suspend his duties after suffering a mild stroke last week, we wish him a speedy recovery.
GM FIGURES OUT SPOT WELDING ALUMINUM
When Honda showed us the new Accord, it pointed out that it is welding steel to aluminum with a new welding technique it calls friction stir welding. Now GM says it’s developed a new way to spot weld aluminum, which eliminates 2 pounds of rivets. The secret is a new welding tip, what they call a multi-ringed domed electrode. Spot welding aluminum is almost unheard of, and this will allow GM to do it quickly and a lower cost than riveting.
TEST DRIVING THE CODA
Last week I got a chance to drive the CODA electric car, and here’s what I thought about the car.
(John McElroy’s impressions of the CODA are only available in the video version of today’s show.)
CODA has a pretty impressive management team of people who have worked at GM, Ford, Chrysler, Ferrari, Mitsubishi and Porsche Engineering. They know what they’re doing and CODA is worth keeping an eye on.
Coming up next, a look at how automakers can use the cloud to improve how they work with their supply chain.
Don’t forget to check out our live coverage of the Paris auto show this Thursday morning starting at 10AM Eastern time right from the floor of the show itself. Now from a report from KPMG of how automakers can use the cloud to improve their supply chain.
(KPMG‘s report on the cloud is only available in the video version of today’s show.)