It seems yet another (luxury) car maker did not get the “but it’s the weather” memo. Following Mercedes record sales in January, Porsche has announced today that expects to hit a target of selling more than 200,000 sports cars next year, three years earlier than originally scheduled. As Reuters reports, Volkswagen-owned Porsche is entering the lucrative segment of compact SUVs with its new Macan model, which has already sold out about eight months of production ahead of its arrival at German dealerships on April 4. Wealth effect, of course, is all that matters… and the promise of higher minimum wages and a Maserati in every garage.
Porsche expects to hit a target of selling more than 200,000 sports cars next year, three years earlier than originally scheduled, as the brand keeps pushing into sport-utility vehicles, Chief Executive Matthias Mueller said.
Imagine a new “E Class” Mercedes exploding in flames, burning to a cinder. 220 km/hr crashes on the Autobahn are often survived, certainly without a fire.
There is a reason to own a Mercedes, in normal circumstances the chances of dying in one are quite remote unless you are Lady Di or heir to the presidency of Syria or, just perhaps, wrote a scathing expose that dismembered part of one of the greatest drug empires of all time.
“Yes, you got Michael Hastings. We are warned. Lots of journalists are killed each year. Veterans Today loses its share, perhaps a bit more. ”
When the S&P, always so conveniently ahead of the curve, yesterday revised its forecast for Europefrom growth in the second half of 2013 to 2014 one couldn’t help but golf clap, as well as wonder if they finally started looking at the fundamental depressionary reality on the ground instead of the rating agency’s infamous “models.” A depressionary reality confirmed by the latest car sales number for May which just hit a fresh 20 year low.
German-made cars are not as reliable as many believe, according to new research. Warranty Direct has studied its claims data to compile a list of the manufacturers with the most reliable engines – and Audi, BMW and Volkswagen all finished in the bottom 10 out of a total 36 makers.
In fact, the only firm whose cars had a worse engine failure rate than Audi was MG Rover. MINI wasn’t much better, finishing third from bottom, while its parent company BMW came seventh from bottom. And, despite its reputation for rock-solid reliability, Volkswagen came ninth from bottom.
This should have been an exciting moment: the Paris auto show, “Mondial de l’Automobil,” this weekend with over 100 new models from around the world, from econo-boxes with rounded corners to exotic prototypes that will never see production. Chicks next to some of them. Nausea-inducing colors, downsized motors. Something for everyone. But it had been preceded by two days of supplier events loaded with the dire verbiage of an industry that is on a death march. Particularly in France, whose private sector is veering into economic fiasco. And on Monday, it became official.
A barometer of the real economy in France, new car sales as measured by registrations, crashed in September—down 18.3% from September last year, and accelerating (year-to-date, sales were down “only” 13.9%). It was the worst September in years, worse even than the infamous Lehman September of 2008. And 2012 is shaping up to be the worst year since long before the financial crisis.
Of the French brands, market leader PSA Peugeot Citroen saw sales drop “only” 5%, helped by the introduction of its new sub-compact Peugeot 208. But year to date, sales were down 18.4%. Renault got killed. A stunning 33.4% plunge for the month and 19.8% YTD.
An equal-opportunity fiasco. Even the heroes from across the Rhine got their clocks cleaned in France. Volkswagen (VW, Audi, SEAT, Skoda) fell 17.4%. BMW and Mercedes where hit as well. GM (Opel, Chevrolet) tumbled 20.8%, Ford 31.5%. And Fiat, well, it might as well hang up its hat: down 38.4%!
Tesla gets a much-needed infusion of cash and help building the gorgeous Model S sedan. More importantly, Tesla gains legitimacy as it continues raising funds. Having the company that invented the automobile as a partner makes you much more attractive to investors.
Daimler’s investment buys it a whole lot of battery know-how, something German automakers are short of. And a seat on the board gives Daimler gets a close look at Tesla’s business plan and financials so it can decide if it wants a bigger piece of the action.
November Auto Sales: Porsche sales drop by half (Source: Forbes)
November Auto Sales: Daimler AG’s sales decline (Source: Forbes):
Total sales at Daimler’s U.S. operations fell 29.9 percent to 15,991 from 22,819 in November 2007 Sales of Mercedes-Benz brand vehicles last month declined 38.2 percent to 14,102 while the company sold 1,889 of its two-seater Smart models. Smart was introduced to the North American market in mid-January of this year.
Mercedes-Benz USA said its best-selling model family, the C-Class, had a 36.1 percent drop-off in sales, and E-Class sales fell by 49.3 percent.
November Auto Sales: BMW sales fall 26.8 percent (Source: Forbes)
Volkswagen November U.S. Sales Fall 19% on Economy (Source: Bloomberg)
Audi U.S. November sales fall 25.4% (Source: Market Watch)
Berlin under fire as German car sales collapse
German car sales have plunged to the lowest level since reunification almost twenty years ago, increasing pressure on Chancellor Angela Merkel to abandon budget restraint and back plans for an EU-wide rescue package.
Registrations fell 18pc in November, led by a drop of 36pc in Opel sales. “The crisis has again worsened dramatically,” said Volker Lange, of the VDIK motor vehicle association.
Volkswagen is to suspend production at its Wolfsburg headquarters this month. BMW has cut output in Leipsig to one day a week and Porsche is shuttering its Stuttgart plant for a week. It is just as bad in France where PSA Peugeot Citroen is halting production for a month at Sochaux, the country’s biggest industrial site.
The slump in Germany’s core industry has led to vocal criticism of the Left-Right coalition government. The Handelsbatt newspaper warned this week that the coalition faces a “rebellion” unless it faces up to the gravity of the crisis.
*Daimler halts output at two plants four weeks-works council *Daimler shares fall more than 10 percent
(Rewrites with works council and plant spokeswomen)
FRANKFURT, Oct 27 (Reuters) – German carmaker Daimler (DAIGn.DE: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) will stop year-end production at two big German plants for four weeks, doubling the normal holiday stoppages given a sharp drop in demand, its works council said on Monday.
The Sindelfingen plant near Stuttgart that makes Mercedes-Benz C-, E- and S-Class models will shut down from Dec. 12 and reopen on Jan. 12, a works council spokeswoman said.
The Untertuerkheim motor and transmission plant will also halt most output from Dec. 15 to Jan. 12, a plant spokeswoman said.
Mercedes-Benz was not immediately available for comment.
On Sunday, Germany’s Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung said the carmaker had imposed a five-week Christmas break for its 36,000 workers at Sindelfingen. Workers normally get only two to three weeks off during the holiday season.