December 3rd, 2008 at 12:00pm
Car sales plummet 37 percent in November to a meager total of only 744,000 units. The Big Three say they need a $34 billion bailout. Kia contemplates an A-class car for the American market. All that and more, plus John answers viewer questions about Ford’s restructuring plans and the Chevy Orlando concept in the “You Said It!” segment.
Transcript and Story Links after the jump . . .
Here are today’s top headlines. Car sales plummet in November. The Big Three say they need a $34 billion bailout. And Kia contemplates an A-class car for the American market.
Up next, we’ll be back with the news behind the headlines.
This is Autoline Daily for Wednesday, December 3, 2008. And now, the news.
No surprise here, but car sales in the American market were abysmal last month. They plummeted 37 percent compared to a year ago, reached a meager total of only 744,000 units, and fell to an annualized rate of only 10.1 million units. OK, here’s the shorthand on who did the least worst and who really did the worst. Volkswagen’s sales fell the least of all, followed by Subaru, Ford and Honda. All of them gained market share. Those who saw their sales fall the most were Chrysler, Nissan and Suzuki.
More details on the Big Three’s turn-around plans. GM says it needs $18 billion in total. That’s up from the $12 billion it said it needed only two weeks ago. And it needs $4 billion of that immediately, by Christmas. GM says it will now put all its effort into only four brands: Chevy, Cadillac, GMC and Buick. It will cut an additional 31,500 employees, close 9 more plants, and weed out 1,750 dealers.
As we reported yesterday, Ford is going to come out with a battery-electric, van-type commercial vehicle in 2010: my guess is it will be the Transit Connect-but I’m just speculating. And unlike we reported yesterday, Ford said it will come out with a battery electric sedan in 2011, Fiesta maybe? Again, just a guess.
When it comes to Chrysler’s plan . . . man, there ain’t a lot there. We did learn they need $7 billion by Christmas, and maybe there will be more details to follow, but what Chrysler has posted publicly pales in comparison to GM. Hey Chrysler, go look at the GM plan and come out with your version of that.
It looks like Kia will build two models in its US plant in Georgia. Ward’sAuto.com reports Kia is contemplating bringing in the Picanto (subscription required), a small A-class car to the American market.
And just to show you how automakers are getting into every emerging market they can, General Motors is now producing the Chevrolet Lacetti in Uzbekistan (subscription required). According to WardsAuto.com, the Lacetti will be jointly produced by GM and an Uzbek auto company, whose name my mouth can’t even pronounce.
Coming up next, it’s time for You Said It!
And now it’s time for some of your feedback.
This is “You Said It!” Every day we get dozens of comments and questions from you, our viewers. “You Said It!” gives me a chance to respond.
John Thompson writes in to say, “I’m a skilled trades welder for Ford Motor Co. and I am wondering if you might be able to tell me where I might be able to get a copy of the new restructuring plan Ford is offering up this week for hopes of obtaining this new bridge loan.
John, we’re going to be posting links or copies of all the plans on our website later today. You can find it in the John’s Journal section of our website at www.autolinedetroit.tv
And Chris Terry, who saw our report on the Chevrolet Orlando concept vehicle, in which we reported that it would not be sold in the North American market writes in to ask, “Is the Orlando too heavy to fit with the 1.4-liter turbo? When gas prices go back up, why not sell the Orlando in the US?”
Good question, Chris. My guess is it would work with the one-four turbo, especially when gas prices go back up and people want fuel economy again. But with the Equinox or the Traverse in the line-up, Chevy might think it already has enough cross-overs.
Remember, if you have a comment or question you’d like answered, get in touch with us! Just send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. But, if you’re feeling really creative, you can post a video comment to YouTube and send us the link. Oh, and if you’re going to send us a video, please try to keep it to around 30 seconds long. Do that and you might just end up on our next installment of “You Said It!”
Anyway, that’s it for today’s top news in the global automotive industry, but don’t forget, this Friday we’re giving away an extra-special prize. It’s a limited-edition, die-cast replica of the 2010 Ford Mustang. It’s part of the Ford Collection, which you can visit at the FordCollection.com. Only 4,000 examples of this 1:18 scale model were made.
To win this model, all you have to do is sign up for our free e-mail newsletter. Just visit our website, AutolineDaily.com, and sign up now. I’ll be announcing the winner this Friday, so don’t delay!
Anyway, thanks for watching today’s show. We’ll see you tomorrow.