August 19th, 2011 at 12:45pm
There were several reveals from luxury automakers at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. Cadillac unveiled a large, four-door convertible concept called the Ciel. Infiniti debuted a seven-passenger, three-row luxury crossover, powered by a V-6 engine matched with a CVT, called the JX. And Lexus showed off the 2013 GS 350 which has a 3.5-liter V-6 under the hood that produces 306 horsepower and 277 pound-feet of torque. All that and more, plus a little taste, a morsel, of what you missed on last night’s Autoline After Hours, where we broadcasted LIVE from Woodward Avenue.
Ahoy hoy! It is I, Jim Hall of 2953 Analytics fame, bringing you another installment of Autoline Daily for your ocular, aural and . . . olfactory pleasure. Today is Friday, the 19th of August, 2011. We’ve got a great show planned and if you stick around, we may even hear from my evil carbon-based replica, Bob. But first, some juicy, newsy tidbits.
ANALYSTS CUT SALES FORECASTS
Last week on Autoline Daily, Rebecca Lindland, an analyst at IHS Automotive said her firm is reducing its sales forecast for the year to the mid-twelve million range. Now other analysts are doing the same. J.P. Morgan, Goldman Sachs, J.D. Power and RBC all cut their forecasts and say sales will come in between 12.5 and 12.8 million units this year. Each firm cut forecasts for next year as well, saying they expect sales to reach between 13.3 million and 14.1 million in 2012.
AUGUST RETAIL SALES BETTER THAN JULY
But despite its downgrade, J.D. Power says retail sales this month are slightly better than July. They’re expected to come in at just under 900,000 units. That’s a SAAR of 9.9 million retail units, which is slightly ahead of last month’s 9.5 million. J.D. Power says the retail SAAR is a more accurate measurement of consumer demand compared to the Total SAAR, which includes fleet sales. The firm says there is a lot of pent-up demand right now but the economy and financial worries are keeping it from being released.
STOCK WOES HAVEN’T HURT SALES
But even with the volatility, analysts at Edmunds.com say the ups and downs in the stock market haven’t impacted car sales. Yet. They expect August’s total SAAR to come in at 12.2 million units, which is about the same from July.
CADILLAC CIEL CONCEPT
Cadillac unveiled a new concept car today at Pebble Beach in California, my home state. Called the Ciel, French for Sky, not the amusing ball-balancing aquatic mammal, the car is a large, four-door convertible wrapped is what can only be described as SPECTACULAR sheetmetal. In pictures, this thing looks low, wide and long – and it is! Wheelbase is a Queen Mary-like 125 inches. That’s a foot longer than a CTS! Overall, the design is striking and the car looks like something from the 1950s. It’s got suicide doors, too. But there’s nothing retro under the hood. It’s powered by a twin-turbocharged 3.6-liter V-6 engine that’s paired with a hybrid-electric system. As usual, no production or pricing details are available, but if GM doesn’t do this one, even as a limited build short production model, it can only mean the old Corporate auto-immune system that help make General Motors what is was in the halcyon days of May 31st 2009 is back with a vengeance. BUILD THIS CAR Mr. Akerson!
INFINITI JX REVEALED
Another Pebble-Beach reveal is the Infiniti JX. It’s a seven-passenger, three-row luxury crossover. It’s powered by a V-6 engine matched with a CVT . . . a continuously vexing transmission. In the design department this thing is a little soft, literally. It looks like it was carved out of a bar of soap that was run under hot water until all of the edges and cut-lines were softened. And check out that funky-looking D-pillar! This is one you’ll have to see in person before passing judgment on it. Look for the JX at Infiniti dealers next spring.
2013 LEXUS GS 350
But that’s not all! No sir . . . or Madame! Lexus used the famous California venue to premiere a vehicle of its own. Behold, the 2013 GS 350! Those of you in the market for a Japanese E-Class or 5 Series, this is your steed! With a 3.5-liter V-6 on board it delivers 306 powers of the horse and 277 torques. 60 miles an hour from a standstill should be attainable in just 5.7 seconds. One notable attribute about this distinctively styled car is the weight. It’s actually down compared to the previous version, if only a tiny amount. Inside, the design is much more tasteful. For more details hit the link in our show notes at AutolineDetroit.tv.
PANORAMIC SUNROOF A POPULAR OPTION (subscription required)
Ford’s panoramic sunroof option is proving to be more popular than the company expected. According to Ward’s, the company expected the take rate to be as high as 35 percent, but for the Edge and Explorer it’s at 50 percent! In addition to those models, the panoramic sunroof is offered on the Flex, Mustang and Lincoln MKX. It’s proving to be just as popular as navigation systems and it even surpasses other optional features like 20-inch wheels, adaptive cruise control and active park assist.
Coming up next, a little taste, a morsel, of what you missed on last night’s Autoline After Hours, where we broadcasted LIVE from Woodward Avenue. Stick around.
LAST NIGHT ON AFTER HOURS
As I alluded to before the break we were down on Woodward Avenue last night for Autoline After Hours, and here’s a quick smattering of what you missed.
JIM – That was fun show, Bobby!
BOB – It sure was, Jimmy!
JIM – Now eagle-eyed viewers, could you tell which Hall was which?
BOB – I don’t know, but that guy in orange sure was handsome.
Lastly, make sure you stick around for RoundAbout tonight. The show goes LIVE at 6:30 p.m. Eastern Time on our website, AutolineDetroit.tv
Alright, well, signing off I’m Jim Hall from 2953 Analytics
BOB – and I’m Bob hall from not there.
Thanks for watching, we’ll catch you next time!