July 31st, 2012 at 11:56am
Chrysler, Honda and Mazda released their figures for the second quarter. All sold more cars than a year ago but Mazda was the only one to lose money! Ford’s days down under may be numbered. The company recently cut production and slashed jobs at the plant building the Falcon. A survey of the 20 most popular commercials on YouTube found that six of the 20 are car related! All that and more, plus a look at a new trend in paint.
Welcome to Autoline Daily. I’m John McElroy and here’s the news.
CHRYSLER 2Q PERFORMANCE
More car companies are reporting how they performed financially in the last quarter and Chrysler posted an impressive improvement. Sales were up 20% to 582,000 vehicles. And yet revenue went up even more. It jumped by 23% to nearly $17 billion, which means Chrysler was selling a richer mix of products and probably cut back on incentives as well. The company posted a net profit of $436 million, putting it on track to hits its goal of earning $1.5 billion for the full year.
HONDA 2Q PERFORMANCE
Meanwhile, Honda reported that its car sales hit 999,000 units, up nearly 60% in the last quarter compared to a year ago. Sales of motorcycles and power products also posted good gains. The company’s revenue did not go up as much, though it did increase 42% to about $30 billion. And net income shot up 314% to $1.6 billion. Yet, despite such a dramatic increase, Bloomberg reports that analysts are disappointed because they thought those earnings would be even higher. They say Honda’s marketing costs hurt its profitability.
MAZDA LOSES MONEY
Mazda reported that its global vehicle sales shot up nearly 33% to 246,000 units. Its revenue increased 24% to over $6 billion. And yet it lost about $83 million. Even so, that’s better than analysts expected and is much better than last year when the loss was nearly four times higher.
FORD TO END AUSSIE PRODUCTION?
Is Ford going to stop making cars in Australia? A few weeks back Ford started slashing production and laying off workers. Now WardsAuto reports that many analysts are wondering if this is the beginning of the end of Ford making cars in Australia. Its iconic Falcon sedan is scheduled to end production in 2016. Suppliers say they should be working with the company on a new model for 2016 but nothing is happening. Last year Ford sold less than 19,000 Falcon’s in Australia and sales are already down 25% in the first six-months of this year.
PATHFINDER LAUNCHES ON FB
Yesterday Nissan revealed the production version of the 2013 Pathfinder on Facebook. The completely new SUV moves from body-on-frame to unit-body construction, which shaves several hundred pounds off its weight. It will be powered by a V6 mated to a next-generation CVT, which is expected to boost fuel economy by 25% compared to the outgoing model with a V6. Nissan also says the Pathfinder will feature four-wheel-drive and have a 5,000 pound towing capacity.
In Europe Peugeot just introduced redesigned MPV, the 807. Featuring such refinements as a new grille emblem and improved interior, PSA is looking to improve its hold on the segment. Mechanically the 807 offers six-speed automatic and manual transmissions and a trio of 2.0 liter engines producing between 136 and 163 horsepower that keep CO-2 emissions below 189 grams per kilometer.
AUTO ADS AMONG MOST VIRAL
The auto industry spends billions on advertising every year, so it should be no surprise that some of the most watched commercials on YouTube were car commercials. According to Adweek, six of the top 20 most watched commercials were for cars. Among the ads were an Autoline favorite, the Kia dancing hampsters, and Chrysler’s iconic “Imported from Detroit” super bowl ad.
We started seeing concept cars with a satin finish start showing up at auto shows a couple of years ago. Now, it’s starting to show up in production. And wouldn’t you know it, Hyundai is the first to offer a satin paint job on a car for the masses.
SATIN PAINT CATCHING ON
Most automakers call them matte finishes. But they’re not matte, they’re really satin. I’m talking about satin paint jobs, paint with no almost no gloss and absolutely no reflection. Typically, they’re only available on expensive sports cars, but now Hyundai is making them available on the Veloster Turbo.
(This feature is only available in the video version of today’s show.)
You’re also not supposed to rub too hard when you wash those paint jobs by hand. That could actually polish up the paint and make it shine. Recently I test drove an AMG Mercedes S-class with a satin finish. It was part of a package, but the cost was nearly $4,000.
Be sure to join us Thursday night for a very special Autoline After Hours. This marks the 85th year of GM Design, and as part of the celebration Peter De Lorenzo and I will be given a very special insider tour of GM Design by none other than Ed Welburn, the head of GM Design. Supposedly we’re going to be shown parts of the design center that have never been shown to the outside world, so be sure to join us this Thursday starting at 6 pm eastern time.
And that wraps up today’s report. Thanks for watching, we’ll see you tomorrow.