July 25, 2011 News flash

US latest H1 growth good but trend is slowing but overall year will be up.
Europe latest auto market will be down marginally. H2 may be slightly better.
China Sales of cars above $46,000 increased by more than 51% in H1. Cars below this dropped by 3%. Reasons: cancellation of sales incentives, licensing restrictions in Metro Beijing and Shanghai, and a lack of new fuel efficient small cars with a good quality reputation by the larger Chinese domestic producers – who find it difficult to change quickly.
EV (Electric Vehicle) Forecast demand not overstated but will have teething issues. Expect 2-3% within 5 years. Ghosn and Renault-Nissan alliance may be right to have invested heavily though reliance on only BEVs may prove ill-judged. Renault in short-term could make correct.
Hybrid (Hybrid Vehicles) forecast demand not expected to be anything more than 10-20% of the market. US estimates of up to 60% are wide of the mark.

Friday, July 08, 2011


Saab back on and then off again, off and now on July, 2011

Chinese partners not so good.
Saab looks as if it will be back in business but for how long?
There is another cash injection deal and a tentative date (August 9, 2011) for the restart of production at its main plant in Trollhattan, Sweden.
The latest cash injection came via the European Investment Bank, for the sale and lease back of some of its property. The deal involves a consortium of Swedish real estate investors led by Hemfosa Fastigheter that will purchase 50.1 % of the shares in Saab Property for approximately $40 million.

Will this be enough? Probably not. Once again too little too late. Saab still needs to invest megabucks in product development – even if now smart and using just one flexible platform.

Old news from June 2011:
Saab revived production around May 27: resumed production after a cash advance on an order from Pangda Automobile Trade Company ended a two-month manufacturing halt. June 7 production halted again: warned of continued delays as it works out new contracts with suppliers, raising fresh fears about the future of the Swedish car maker. Saab claims a good order bank of 10,000 vehicles but just need to calm suppliers fears.

Toyota and the Japanese automakers are now resuming normal production post-Tsunami. This is about 3-4 months earlier than expected. All will be down on the total year (by around 12% to 20% depending on how much they can over-produce in the second half of 2011).


Market retail sales and production volumes as of end of June 2011


Car and LT sales Jan-May +14%; production +10%
Class 4-8 sales and production Jan-May +27%


Car and LT sales Jan-May –0.8%; but +7% in May
Production static but likely to fall slightly
CVs Jan-May +13.5%

S. America



Rest of SA


Sales & production Jan-May +29%

Sales Jan-M +8.8%; production +3.7%

Generally up





Bad April and May could be -5% or -10% down for the year.
View as a temporary hiccup.
Registration lottery limiting sales in Beijing and Shanghai.

Market turning. FY11 may be good but FY12 will be static at best.
Target of 12-15% growth will not be met.

Sharply down due to Tsunami
Thailand and India likely to be beneficiary of Japanese Tsunami as Japanese companies diversify production away from Japan





Rest of Asia

Affected by Tsunami otherwise would have been up for 26th consecutive month
Toyota now considering fourth car factory in Thailand

Growth slowing down but still expected to be a record year.

Also hit by the Tsunami

Still up but turning down. 2011 may be a record year for some markets


Middle East




Down hit by Spring revolution

Sharply up though imports dropping


2010 sales +30%, 2011 possibly +17%; 2.9 million units
Production also likely to rise from 1.15m in 2010 to 1.5m in 2011