May 23rd, 2011 at 11:40am
A company called Planning Perspectives, which tracks supplier relations, says the Detroit Three have improved dramatically, while the Japanese, in the words of the study’s author, “have lost their way.” Volkswagen, at its new plant in Tennessee, will be paying its hourly workers $27 an hour, including wages and benefits. That compares to about $52 an hour for GM and Chrysler and $58 at Ford. The average age of cars and trucks on the roads in the U.S. is getting older. All that and more, plus a look at the convertible version of the Camaro 2SS.
This is Autoline Daily for May 23, 2011. And now, the news.
SUPPLIER RELATIONS IMPROVING AT BIG 3
Historically, Detroit’s automakers were universally criticized in how they treated their suppliers, while the top Japanese automakers were universally praised. But now that’s changing. A company called Planning Perspectives, which tracks supplier relations annually, says the Detroit Three have improved dramatically, while the Japanese, in the words of the study’s author, “have lost their way.” They’re now putting pressure on their suppliers to cut cost the way the Detroit Three used to. Even so, Toyota is still ranked first, with Honda second, followed by Ford, Nissan, GM and Chrysler. For the first time ever, Planning Perspectives included Mercedes, BMW and VW. Since it only has one year’s data, the company did not include them in the overall rankings, but if it had, Mercedes would have finished first.
VW UNDERCUTS UAW PAY (subscription required)
Uh-oh, the UAW is not going to want to hear about this next story. The Wall Street Journal reports that Volkswagen, at its new plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee, will be paying its hourly workers $27 an hour. That includes wages and benefits and compares to about $52 an hour for GM and Chrysler. Ford says it’s at $58. The Center for Automotive Research says that VW’s labor rate will kick up another $8 an hour over the next few years. But, in its bankruptcy contracts with GM and Chrysler, the UAW agreed to match labor costs at the transplants, and this is going to put it under enormous pressure to agree to more wage concessions.
CAR SALES WILL DROP THIS MONTH (subscription required)
This doesn’t look good. Ward’s projects light-vehicle sales in the U.S. will drop to 1.12 million units this month. It also forecasts the SAAR will hit just 12.4 million, the lowest it’s been since November of last year. It blames the drop on low inventory among Japanese OEMs. The Big Three as well as Korean automakers are expected to fill the void. Wards estimates GM, Ford and Chrysler will capture 48 percent of the market, their best performance since December 2008.
U.S. VEHICLES GETTING OLDER (subscription required)
The average age of cars and trucks on the roads in the U.S. is getting older. According to Ward’s, in 2009 the average age was 9.6 years. That grew to 9.9 years in 2010. The age of vehicles went up despite the fact that nearly 6 million vehicles were scrapped in 2010 and in the fourth quarter there were more vehicles scrapped than any quarter since “Cash for Clunkers” ended in 2009. Even still, the number of licensed vehicles was up slightly from the year before, totaling close to 240 million. Because of slow sales of new cars and the growing age of vehicles on the road, the vehicle PARC is expected to remain low in 2011.
BAIC RECRUITS IN GERMANY
The president of the Beijing Automotive group is heading to Germany to find talent. According to Gasgoo, the company will hold the largest recruitment fair a Chinese company has ever held overseas. BAIC wants to hire technological experts, engineers and executives for its subsidiary companies. The company is looking to hire 60 to 100 people and says it’s already received 650 applications.
1ST SUSPENDED LICENSE IN VENEZUELA
This next story is astonishing. According to an article posted on Autoblog, the national police chief of Venezuela recently held a press conference announcing the country’s first-ever suspension of a citizen’s driver’s license. Let me say that again . . . this is the FIRST TIME anyone in Venezuela has had their driver’s license suspended! Amazing, which begs the question . . . is everyone in the land of Hugo Chavez a great driver? Well, not exactly. So what did the guy do to get his license suspended? Well, he was speeding . . . while driving a bus . . . that was loaded with too many people . . . oh, and one of the vehicle’s rear wheels was inside with the passengers. He has to wait a year before he can drive again.
Coming up next, a look at the convertible version of the Camaro 2SS.
CHEVY CAMARO 2SS CONVERTIBLE
I recently got a chance to test drive the convertible version of the Camaro 2SS and here’s a little bit of my experience with the car.
The Camaro is selling pretty well right now against its competition. So far this year, Dodge sold a little over 13,000 Challengers. Ford sold over 23,000 Mustangs, and Chevrolet sold over 30,000 Camaros.
You can download a brand new episode of RoundAbout right now at AutolineDetroit.TV. This week you’ll see the ugliest Cadillac ever, find out what Yooper treat is powering cars, and the panel will debate the issue of “Death by GPS.” Check it out in John’s Journal.
That’s today’s report on the top news in the global automotive industry. Thanks for watching, we’ll see you tomorrow.