Episode 383 – Global Industry Recovery, Germany Wants A Million EVs, Chevy Orlando Axed For U.S.

May 3rd, 2010 at 12:00pm

Runtime 7:58

In a clear sign that the automotive industry is recovering worldwide, sales in March were up more than 40 percent. Germany aims to have one million electric vehicles on its roads by 2020. GM announced that it won’t sell the Chevy Orlando in the U.S. All that and more, plus we get Mercedes-Benz’s reaction to the new alliance between Daimler and Renault/Nissan.

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Transcript and Story Links after the jump . . .

This is Autoline Daily for Monday, May 3, 2010. And now, the news.

GLOBAL INDUSTRY RECOVERY (subscription required)
In a clear sign that the automotive industry is recovering worldwide, Ward’s reports that sales in March were up more than 40 percent to 7.6 million vehicles. The big gains came in China and Japan and North America. But analysts predict that sales in Europe will weaken this year as government incentives come to an end.

US SALES CLIMBING (subscription required)
By the end of the day we’ll have full sales for April in the U.S. market. The Wall Street Journal reports that the annualized sales rate should hit 11.3 million units for the month, then continue to get better and exceed a 12 million SAAR by this summer. It says we’ll see big gains coming from Nissan and Ford.

TOYOTA INCENTIVES NOT WORKING
But Toyota could be running into some trouble. Cars.com reports a big drop off in sales leads it generated for the Toyota Tundra, Highlander and RAV-4. It says Toyota’s incentives worked well in March but didn’t seem to work that well in April, which suggests it still hasn’t overcome the effect of the recalls the company has gone through.

TOYOTA FACES MORE LAWSUITS
And the company faces more bad news. The Associated Press says the tally of lawsuits filed against the company in the United States now stands at 228 federal cases and 99 states ones, for a total of 327 lawsuits filed against Toyota.

GERMANY WANTS A MILLION EVs
Last week we reported that environmentalists in Germany said they would rather see automakers improve internal combustion engines instead of investing in electric vehicles and that taxpayer money shouldn’t be used to help fund them. Apparently the government wasn’t listening. According to Bloomberg, German Chancellor Angela Merkel says she wants the country to be the world leader in electric vehicles. Her goal is to see Germany have one million EVs by 2020.

GM AXES CHEVY ORLANDO FOR U.S.
Last year General Motors announced it would sell the Chevrolet Orlando in the American market in 2011. But now it’s changed its mind. According to Bloomberg, the company says it wants to focus on the models it already has in the market: Equinox, Traverse, Malibu, and will add more production capacity for them. But GM still plans to sell the vehicle in Europe, and Asia and even in Canada.

AUDI’S SPECTACULAR R8 GT
Audi is building an even higher performance version of its R8 supercar (login required). The limited-production R8 GT features a more powerful V-10 engine and a significantly lighter curb weight. The numbers pretty much speak for themselves: 560 horsepower, 0 – 100 kilometers an hour in 3.6 seconds and a top speed of nearly 200 miles an hour! As impressive as those figures are, they’re not as remarkable of as this one: 100, as in the 100 kilograms engineers were able to take out of it. To cut that much mass they went over every millimeter of the car. The windshield is made of thinner glass; the rear bulkhead and window are polycarbonate; the sheet metal is thinner; the hatch, bumper and sideblades are all carbon fiber; light-weight carpeting cuts another 7.9 kilos. If you’re interested, Audi sells the breathtaking R8 GT in Germany for – and I hope you’re sitting down – 193,000 Euros! That may be a small fortune, but maybe this kind of car will keep the company going strong. Its first-quarter revenues rose nearly 24 percent to nearly 8.3 billion Euros. It expects to increase new-car deliveries to more than 1 million units this year thanks to strong growth in Asia and a “significant recovery” in the U.S.

CITROEN METROPOLIS
A couple weeks ago we showed you some sketches of a Citroen concept that’s expected to premiere at the Shanghai Expo later this month. Now we’ve got some photos of the full-size sedan to share. According to Autoblog, the Metropolis is a French take on a Maybach-style luxury car. Apparently it’s powered by a 460 horsepower hybrid drivetrain with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. Also, it’s HUGE at more than 17 feet long and 6 and a half feet wide! It’s not bad looking, either.

Two weeks ago we reported that Daimler was joining the alliance of Renault and Nissan. Part of the deal includes Infiniti, Nissan’s luxury division, getting diesel engines from Mercedes-Benz. So what does Mercedes think about this deal?

Daimler AG loves the idea of sharing cost and technology with its new alliance partners of Renault and Nissan. But what does Mercedes-Benz think of the idea, especially when it comes to Infiniti getting diesels from Mercedes? We put that question to Ernst Lieb, the CEO of Mercedes-Benz USA.

That was Ernst Lieb of Mercedes-Benz USA.

And that’s it for today’s top news in the global automotive industry. Thanks for watching, we’ll see you tomorrow.

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15 Comments to “Episode 383 – Global Industry Recovery, Germany Wants A Million EVs, Chevy Orlando Axed For U.S.”

  1. Tony Gray Says:

    Yo! Where’s the theme music? My buddy in the next cubicle used to LIVE for that…now, he is as depressed as the Washington Capitals fan in the other office.

  2. pedro fernandez Says:

    You have to wonder about the decisions at Gm, the Orlando would go up against Rogue, CRV and Rav4 because the Equinox is just in a different size class.

  3. Mark Says:

    Hey John, I like the new quick intro. I used to always skip the 10 second intro in the past. Thanks for the getting the news right away.

  4. len Says:

    The orlando is probably quieter( i hope so)than the Traverse & Equinox & would diminish their glow. C,mon John, what’s the real reason?

  5. Chuck Grenci Says:

    Has the trivia challenge ended or just taking a week off; I miss it. Most of those questions were valid and required (me) to research (for answers).

  6. Nick Stevens Says:

    The april sales came in. The new Sonata did well, but so did the obsolete ugly Escape. Subaru up 48% desipte being butt-ugly, and VW-Audi did really well too. Nissan was up 35%, not the predicted 55 or so, and much of it is rentals, I bet. GM did not do so well, with 4 divisions less and the new models coming later, like the Killer 40 MPG ECO Cruze and its silly derivative the Volt. Honda also was below average. Toyota did well, with incentives.

  7. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    Guys, Maybe John is working on a new intro? John just going into the news like that its not good.

    1. If people who have no familiarity with AAD see this they will say, “What show is this?”

    2. It just feels naked like that.

    3. It lowers the professional grade of this show a notch. This is a great, insightful, and worthy show that can be be around for years and years. That’s even with a different host, but that time is still quite a ways off.

  8. Drew Says:

    “The big gains came in China and Japan and North America.”

    Is anyone else here sick of the United States being clumped in “North America”, instead of separating Canada, the US, and Mexico?!?!

  9. pedro fernandez Says:

    Drew: US sales have been so weak, it’s almost embarrassing to just announce it, so instead they clump in Canada and Mexico (like if that’s gonna help anybody)It’s probably a ploy to make prospective new-car buyers feel good about going ahead with their purchase.

  10. jeff mohr Says:

    Chrysler Sebring sales over 100% gain–how can this media rated worthless car gain this much— if they are so bad, maybe some expert could explain, if they were that bad, even rentals would not want them.

  11. Andrew Charles Says:

    The Orlando isn’t really like the RAV4, CRV or Rogue. It’s a 7-seat minivan somewhere between a Mazda5 and Ford S-Max in size.

    Now, if they think US sales will require so much extra capacity, isn’t it worth investing in increasing capacity? Even if you have to delay introduction, go ahead, make the investment. Whether you sell them in the US or elsewhere the Orlando deserves that investment in capacity. You don’t want to have the same problem with the Orlando that GM is having with the Equinox.

  12. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    Becuase the SEBRING IS NOT AS BAD AS A CAMRY!!!

    Camry=Absolute Automotive Excrement

  13. Mohammad Rafi Says:

    John,

    I don’t know if I like the new headline-less show or not, but one thing that would definitely improve the show would be FULL SCREEN capability of Autoline Daily at its web site. Due to fact that I can’t watch the show in full screen, I usually watch it either on YouTube or DailyMotion.

  14. Nick Stevens Says:

    jeff mohr Says:
    May 3rd, 2010 at 9:44 pm

    Chrysler Sebring sales over 100% gain–how can this media rated worthless car gain this much—

    If you give them away to fleets for nothing, you will sell a whole lot of them.

    And if you sold FIVE Worthless Sebrings last year and sold 10 this year, yeah, you will be up 100%. WHO THE EFF CARES, when its competitors (MALIBU, FUSION, ACCORD, CAMRY and now even the SONATA) sell 20,000 to 40,000 per month EACh???

    PS SMoke: The Camry being worse than the… Sebring? Oh, Really? Another piece of ludicrous nonsense. Stop farting instead of talking.

  15. Nick Stevens Says:

    Correction to my post no. 6 above: Honda was NOT below average, it actually increased its market share for 2010 (Jan -Apr) and the Accord was the Number one CAR, and no 3 vehicle overall after the F-150 and the Silverado.

    I like the Accord’s exterior styling (most of it, not the front so much). it is EPA class LARGE and has the length to go with it. The civic did not do as well. maybe gas prices are not high enough?