AD #2505 – BMW 8 Series Night Sky Edition, 2018 U.S. Car Sales End on A High Note, Mark Reuss Named President of GM

January 4th, 2019 at 11:40am

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Runtime: 8:04

0:30 Mark Reuss Named President of GM
0:59 Toyota Reveals Next-Gen Autonomous Car
1:43 Toyota Gives Government Workers a Break
3:08 Nissan Tests Sun Damage in The Lab
3:46 BMW 8 Series Night Sky Edition
5:13 2018 U.S. Car Sales End on A High Note

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41 Comments to “AD #2505 – BMW 8 Series Night Sky Edition, 2018 U.S. Car Sales End on A High Note, Mark Reuss Named President of GM”

  1. Barry Says:

    What a great AAH with Sandy Munro! Will be watching it again and again!

  2. WineGeek Says:

    I guess that BMW doesn’t expect to sell many 8 series Night Sky Editions, I’m sure there is not a surplus of meteorite material in this world.

  3. WineGeek Says:

    Hey Sean what ever happened to the Subaru sales numbers you used to post?

  4. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Here are Subaru sales numbers. It looks like their year-to-year streak is intact.

  5. Kit Gerhart Says:

    It kind of amazes me how much value the Jeep name has. The Wrangler is a unique vehicle, but the rest of the Jeeps are so-so products, but they continue to sell well.

  6. Lambo2015 Says:

    Toyota is making the same mistake as many other automakers with developing their next generation AV and EVs on a car platform when that segment continues to drop.
    If the SAAR drops I’m not sure if Ford and GM can tighten their belt much more than the previously announced closing and layoffs.
    Pretty amazing sales by Tesla and they should be scrambling to offer more models. However it will be interesting to see if the EV saturation point is close or will it continue to climb?

  7. Kit Gerhart Says:

    6 I’m thinking EV sales will continue to climb, as more charging options are available. There are millions of people, like myself, living in apartments and condos with no place to charge a car at home. I would seriously consider an EV, if I could charge it at my condo. Also, decreasing prices will help EV sales.

  8. Buzzerd Says:

    WineGeek- I was thinking the same thing, exactly how many or much asteroid does BMW have? Where would one purchase an asteroid? Amazon ?

  9. Buzzerd Says:

    yea, just checked Amazon, they have at least one.

  10. Larry D. Says:

    lots of stuff in this show

    Mark Reuss: Known as a “Car Guy” who recently crashed a Corvette Pace Car instead of sitting on his executive chair and giving the shareholders their money’s worth from his multi-million $ salary.

    “The Reuss family must be elated. Mark’s father Lloyd Reuss was also the president of GM in the early 1990’s but was fired along with Chairman and CEO Bob Stempel when the company posted massive losses”

    So apparently they were looking for somebody who could repeat the above ‘feat’. Who better than the son. I wonder if GM shareholders (fortunately i never ever owned the stock) are as “elated”.

    Toyota’s next Gen AV. Can anybody explain to me why they would waste several $100k LSs instead of using a bunch of slow-selling Corollas or Camrys (the Camry has almost as much space for the gear as the LS)? I am not surprised, I see LS600hs around here with obvious AV gear hanging out of them all the time. But I don’t know why they don’t use a base Camry instead.

    4 That site lists not only the streak for Subaru, but the amazing growth in its market share every year for 10 years, from about 1% to the current 4 TIMES that, 3.95%!

    I used the site to check Tesla sales, and here are their estimates:

    All Models

    2018 191.627 1,11%
    2017 50.145 0,29%
    2016 47.644 0,27%
    2015 25.416 0,13%
    2014 16.689 0,11%

    Their Dec numbers are far higher than Ward’s (32600 vs 25k or so) and much closer to the AN estimate of 31,700. I think they got the 32600 from that EV sales webpage.

    Clearly there was little growth from 2016 to 2017, but in 2018 it was the Model 3 that made all the difference.

    A big Q is, at whose expense did tesla sell 140,000 MORE vehicles in 2018 than it did in 2017?

    I looked at BMW and MErc Sales, and they were both down in dec over last year, but by only a couple thousand units each. Same for lexus and audi. It seems that 100,000 buyers who bought econoboxes before switched to much more expensive Model 3s in 2018.

  11. Larry D. Says:

    Just checked gas prices at gasbuddy, will fill the tank tomorrow, and if I used gas, I’d just pay $1.95-55=$1.40! (have a kroger card, plus points from groceries purchases, get 30+25 cents/gall off.) But since I have diesel, I’ll pay $2.89-0.55=$2.34. Still dirt-cheap.

    Markets are going crazy today, after tremendous Jobs data (312,000 in Dec, double or more what they were before 2017), 3.9% unemployment, the Fed chair saying he’ll look at the data re rate hikes, and other news contributing to 3.5-4.2% rises in Dow, S&P and Nasdaq (they were 2-3% earlier).

    That BMW coupe, looks aggressive but is too obese for the tiny interior (esp the useless back seat). I do not see what the big deal is with the coupe styling when you lose the back seat AND you pay more than the infinitely roomier 7 series with the same mechanicals.


    There is an article I read which shows that sales for next year would probably be around a 16.5M SAAR. A little lower than now but no where near 2008 which was 10.2 SAAR. The reason for that would be the anticipated drop in sales to commercial buyers (companies and rental fleets) who will not be receiving any additional tax breaks in 2019 according to the article.

    This same news article showed that Chevrolet and RAM truck are now tied for second place. I suspect that many Ford buyers have went to RAM as the F150 is getting a bit out of date. Chevrolet needs to refresh the styling inside and out of their trucks as they are losing ground with their all new truck. Nothing wrong with their drivetrains, just the styling is too plain.

  13. Kit Gerhart Says:

    10 I suspect Model 3 sales were at the expense of midsize sedans, like Camry and Accord, more than econoboxes, like Yaris or Sentra. Sales of Camry and Accord are down. Not all of those people bought trucks instead. Some bought Model 3s.

  14. Larry D. Says:

    13 I should have written “non-luxury cars” instead of “econoboxes” (which itself does not mean subcompacts, the older Impala was an econobox too, but a big one). I know many owned Accords and Camrys before, read it somewhere. Subcompacts sell so few units anyway, Yaris barely sells 5,000 a month, and same for the ‘fun’ Fiesta and the ‘smart design’ Fit.

    Would be curious to see the data though. I bet most owned cars and not SUVs (crossovers maybe), and sure not pickups.

    Re Jeeps, they are an emotional purchase, they may be poorly made and unreliable, as were all those my friends ever bought, but they look good and have ‘iconic’ status (almost retro, too. buyers pay a premium for those things). Wranglers are extremely popular w college students around here, esp female ones. But Wrangler’s are no crossovers, I was invited once to a summer compound close to beaches inaccessible by road, but one of the guests had a wrangler and it was the only vehicle who could access these beaches. It would be best if you rode it before you had lunch or dinner, though.

  15. Larry D. Says:

    13 Actually, I think I have read that the most popular car Tesla 3 buyers owned was not the 3 series or the Accord/Camry but the Prius, which makes sense because there is such a huge number of them around from prior years, and many owners not surprisingly wanted to go all-electric.

  16. Danny Turnpaugh Says:

    #12 saying styling is to plain is your thinking, others may like it plain. Maybe truck makers could put the fins and stuff from 1950’s cars on trucks to add some real style.

  17. Ed Says:

    Sean and John, the 24k Tesla’s sold in December from the wards auto report. Are those vehicles actually delivered to customers as of December 2018 or just sold and on a waiting list? If delivered were all those cars sold and delivered in December? Or were some of them Reserved prior and just delivered then?

  18. Kit Gerhart Says:

    14 The places I have lived over the last 30 or 40 years, “economboxes” have been Chevette, OmniRison, Early Corolla, Datsun 210, etc. More recently, they have been Sentra, Versa, Rio, Accent, Yaris, etc. To me, and most people I’m around, front drive Impalas, like Camrys and Accords, are simply mainstream sedans.

    From an article a while back, the top 5 Tesla 3 “trade ins” are Toyota Prius
    BMW 3-Series
    Honda Accord
    Honda Civic
    Nissan Leaf

    Actually, that was listed as non-Tesla trade ins, so some people must be trading Ss and Xs for 3s.

  19. Larry D. Says:

    15 I now found a link with Musk’s own reveal re the top-five trade-ins.

    I was right about the Prius being no 1. After that was the 3 series, the Accord, the Civic and the EV Leaf, in that order.

    it is important to note these are the top five NON-tesla models traded in for Model 3s. I am not sure that more Tesla S or X owners traded in for a Model 3 than Leaf owners, though.

    The Camry and Corolla are not in the top 5, maybe they are close behind them.

  20. Kit Gerhart Says:

    18 I don’t know if that was “trade in,” as in sold to Tesla, or if those cars were replaced in other ways, like private sales, selling to Carmax, etc.

  21. Larry D. Says:

    17 no estimate was as low as 24k in Dec. Ward’s was the lowest I have seen at over 25,000 vehicles, and all others are way above 30,000 vehicles in December alone. (31,700 and 32,600). Do not expect a huge difference re your assumptions, they sold a LOT of them. And wait until they start selling the Model 3 in Europe, and, above all, in CHINA.

    In that same issue of TR I got, it says that just six cities in China account of 21% of all EV sales in the WORLD. AND they are growing really fast, it’s Beijing’s policy, same as the US invested in the Interstate Highway system in the 50s, China is investing billions and billions of $ on EVs and their superchargers.

  22. Larry D. Says:

    20 I am sure they parted with their old cars, if not they would not be valid “trade ins” of any kind, whether they sold them to private parties, businesses, or actually traded them in to the “tesla store” they got their Model 3 from.

    That leaves a considerable number of owners who did not trade in their other car(s) when they got their model 3s. Maybe young buyers with no car, or maybe it was thew Camry-Corolla owners who decided to keep them and get the Model 3 on top of them.

  23. Kit Gerhart Says:

    20, 22

    Here’s the article I saw.

  24. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Tesla taking orders in Europe

  25. ChuckGrenci Says:

    Perhaps Nissan’s “sun” testing is unique but similar weather testing has been going on, in laboratories, for just about the beginning of automobile durability testing. Salt, cold, hot, U.V., etc.

    Congrats to Mark Reuss; his mishap and his father’s performance have little if any affect on what he will provide during his tenure as president of GM. Best of of luck Mark; being a “carguy” should give you great foundation for making great decisions in your new job.

  26. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I bet Mark R. is still feeling the (mental) hurt of crashing that pace car. I don’t know how much it helps having “car guys” in upper management in today’s world, but I wish him well in his new job. I hope he has enough influence that Cadillac will keep selling serious, rear-drive cars.

  27. ChuckGrenci Says:

    I’m thinking Mark may still feel embarassed about his pace car incident but I don’t think it is a sentinel event he obsesses about. And I think you still need car guys guiding future product at least until the day we are all driving pod-cars. I hope that day is a long way from today. And I’m 100% in agreement that Cadilac needs to continue with a high end sedan ( or two). I believe the CT5 is still going to make production and can’t believe they abandaned the “6″.

  28. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I didn’t like the optioning of the CT6, especially that AWD was mandatory to get an engine other than the turbo four. I like the car, though. The CT5 should be a reasonable replacement for the CTS and CT6. I hope they will price it a little lower than the German competition. That would help sell it.

  29. ChuckGrenci Says:

    I got to drive a CT6 for a couple days when my XT5 was in for a repair and it was very impressive; very light on its feet, comfortable and luxurious IMO. It was a V-6, so AWD, and drove like a dream. It wasn’t top of the line so not too bad of a price(about 60′ish), so worth the price, again IMO. I think Caddy needed to keep it and just delete the ATS, CTS and XTS. Keep the “6″ and add the “5″ or call it a “4″. Then add their crossovers: XT4 and upcoming XT6.

  30. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I have driven an ATS and CTS, both V6s. The ATS was AWD, and was sporty and quick, but seemed lacking in “luxury” for the price, near $40K for the one I drove. I really liked the CTS, which was a V6 RWD, and the second lowest trim level, “luxury,” I think it was called. The interior was attractive, and it was quiet and comfortable, and had a very good compromise of ride and handling. I really liked it, and if I didn’t already have too many cars, might have considered buying it. The MSRP was about $50K, but it would have been low-mid 40s with my retiree discount, and maybe other incentives.

    The CTS and CT6 are actually pretty close in size. the CT6 being 8 inches longer, with 7 inch longer wheelbase. The “5″ done right could be a reasonable replacement for both.

  31. ChuckGrenci Says:

    The CTS would have given me a choice had the trunk been larger. I was coming off an STS (which was terrific, at least for me), and the main usage was for longer trips, so the trunk was paramount in my decision. I couldn’t afford a new XTS so the CT6 was way out there pricewise and thus, I moved to a crossover XT5. I miss the hunkered down driving experience a of sedan, but for a crossover, the XT5 works well. I think Cadillac dumped their sedans too quickly; especially with an almost tour-de-force of the CT6 (there seemed plenty of room to make it a better and better vehicle) instead of making it another orphan.

  32. John Sahr Says:

    Can we put Tesla’s recent boom in sales down to the production of the Model 3 getting on track. And new owners finally receiving their autos? Or is this pace sustainable?

  33. ChuckGrenci Says:

    You’re asking two questions here. Yes the current sales increase is the Model 3 coming on line (with the promised increase in production). Now, whether this will be sustainable after pending orders are filled, it may be a wait and see. What will compound this question is how many more orders will come in before Tesla catches up, which will take some time. And then there is the Model Y, maybe a pickup, etc.

  34. Larry D. Says:

    32 If you read the comments with the hard numbers here, and the related links, it is beyond obvious that OF COURSE the Exponential growth in Tesla sales in 2018 is 100% due to the Model 3, which is a mainstream model similar in price with entry-level luxury cars like the BMW 3 Series,

    2017 saw a total of 50,000 or so sales for tesla, and 2018, 190,000+. The 140,000 diff is almost entirely due to the Model 3.

    33 I know you keep saying if it is sustainable, and I keep answering, and you keep disregargind the answers. Note that in MARCH 2019 the Model 3 will start being sold in CHINA. If you know what China is to EVs (the biggest market in the WORLD, with twice as many charging stations as the second biggest US, and a government policy, if you read my quotes from “Technology REview”s issue on CHina, that obviously tries to ERADICATE ICE cars from big cities like Shanghai, there should not be even a TINY doubt in your head that WORLD (NOT JUST US!) Model 3 sales are going to double yet again in 2019 and 2020, and there are 500,000 reservations few of which have been satisfied yet!

  35. Larry D. Says:

    I just returned from my weekly raid of our puboic library, got my weekly dose of free books and returned some DVDs, and was parked on the ground lot right next to a Gorgeous Tesla S 90D (that’s the one with the 90 KWH battery and the 300 mile range, there is yet a bigger variety, the 100 D, with an EPA 335 mile range.

    The fit and finish were PERFECT, I walked around and saw it carefully. The interior was that of a flagship, sporty luxury car, with individual bucket seats far sportier than those you see in Mercs and even BMWs, probably Porsche or McLaren style.

    The 17 ‘ screen is vertical on the S, I probably would prefer the huge horizontal one on the Model 3, maybe it was adopted after feedback from S owners.

    Now THAT is a car, to quote poor Jimmy Carter, one can “Lust After!”

  36. Larry D. Says:

    29, 30.

    The CT6 was a great car, no wonder the incompetents at GM axed it. The XTS is about the same size, but has little in common. I would not give the XTS the time of day.

    The CTS is clearly one size smaller than the CT6 which is a flagship size model, similar in dimensions to the old LExi LS400-430-460 and the short versions of the 7 series and the S class.

    The difference in length and wheelbase you cite is substantial and typical of one size jump in every other luxury maker. Compare the E class and the short version of the S class, or the 5 class and the short 7 series. they have about the same diff in wheelbase and length.

  37. Larry D. Says:

    30 I once test drove a CTS. I insisted, like you, to test the one with the manual transmission. It was nothing to write home about, and, what’s more, the interior was truly low-rent, I was disgusted with the cheap hard plastics that these days do not have a place even in a Toyota or Honda, much less in a Caddy. The transmission was rather lousy too, but I was spoiled driving Accords and Civics with Honda’s excellent manuals. In short, the CTS was a dog. That was a long time ago, I am sure it grew bigger and better, but still it does not cut it where in counts, in Sales and Profits.

  38. Kit Gerhart Says:

    37. The first generation CTS was not much. The current, 3rd generation one is very nice.

    36. The XTS is a fancier Impala or LaCrosse, yeah, nothing special, and too pricey for what it is.

  39. ChuckGrenci Says:

    34 (on me 33)
    Opinions vary, and I may be totally wrong (and won’t be ashamed to admit it) but let’s at least consider this: incentives are going away and China is subsidizing electrics to the tune of 14000 dollars so there is some room for conjecture on how great Tesla’s will fair; I’m keeping an open mind.

  40. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Isn’t Tesla building a factory in China, to open in about 3 years?

  41. Larry D. Says:

    Out of curiosity I googled “Tesla factory in China” and the most recent article above claims (according to the local Shanghai Govt) the company is on pace to begin production there in the second half of 2019.

    In Mid-October 2018 Tesla officially acquired an 864,885 m2 (about 10 million ft2) plot in the area. and is hiring locals.

    Chinese production will also allow Tesla to reduce its costs significantly, not only in manufacturing wages etc, but also ocean transport currently used to ship US made teslas to China, and whatever tariffs will remain at the end. (Tesla mentioned a 55-60% cost disadvantage vs Chinese EV makers currently)