Archive for the 'Volvo' Category

June 2009 sales abysmal for Europe’s automakers

Tuesday, July 28th, 2009

Gathered, in part from LeftLane:

Volkswagen says its diesel TDI vehicles are selling well. An impressive 81 percent of Jetta SportWagens were equipped with the TDI, as were 40 percent of Jetta sedans and 29 percent of Touaregs last month. Volkswagen, sales were down 18 percent to 19,027.

Volvo saw a 0.6 percent increase in sales compared to June 2008, though the Swedish marque is still off 35.6 percent for the first six months of the year. The all-new XC60 sold 1,032 units.

Porsche had a disastrous June; just 902 of the automaker’s sports cars left dealer lots, a 66 percent decrease that brought the automaker’s year-to-date sales down 36 percent for the year.

BMW, down 20.1 percent to 16,744.

Maserati, down 47.9 percent to 111.

Mercedes-Benz, down 22.6 percent to 15,155.

Mini, down 21.2 percent to 4,105.

Saab, down 58.4 percent to 779.

January sales figures… as slow as our post…

Wednesday, February 25th, 2009

Yes, it is the end of February, so it is a bit late for all of this, but Beyond the KM will start trying to post sales figures. The move seems timely since every car sale seems to count a lot more than ever. In fact, we just got an advert from one of the 25 largest US Porsche dealers advertising a “first-time ever” special sale program:

 

Even Porsche of North Scottsdale is promoting "Big Sales"

Even Porsche of North Scottsdale is promoting "Big Sales"

 

 

BTKM is also working to compile European auto numbers by company over time. We have been actively cataloging sales figures for the last few months courtesy of Newspress.

 

The ugly
The following manufacturers have reported January 2009 sales figures posted on Leftlane News:

(Note that these seem to be U.S. sales only…December 2008 and overall 2008  sales can be found here.

Audi, down 26.4 percent to 4,722
Mercedes-Benz, down 42.9 percent to 10,433
Saab, down 46.1 percent to 955
Smart, up 177.1 percent to 1,776
Volkswagen, down 11.6 percent to 12,744
Volvo, down 63.8 percent to 2,910

Volvo issues safety tips for drivers, and America yawns – who’s listening?

Saturday, May 31st, 2008

How safe is YOUR driving?

From the folks at Volvo – the same people who have promised to eliminate car injuries and deaths in the next 12 years, come some safe driving tips for the summer. Though some analysts have predicted record low numbers of summer travelers, the following tips might even be useful in taking the kids to daycare in the morning. Some are just a little humorous.

On the other hand, all drivers could start with a refresher course of the rules of the road. A pamphlet you can pick up at your local DMV when they tell you to get your car smog checked this summer! Start with this one: unless you are passing someone stay to the right lane of the road – a great tip for all Buick drivers! 

  • Limit the noisemakers. Parents are more and more turning to “road trip babysitters” such as GameBoy’s, portable DVD players and iPods to keep their kids happy and busy on long trips and when traffic gets bad. Practice moderation with this in your car. Set rules around wearing head phones or only having one thing playing at a time. The beeps and tones that these machines make can be block out the sounds of a beeping horn or even an oncoming emergency vehicle’s siren.
     
  • Pack low. See more. When the trunk or hatch gets full with bags and coolers, kids tend to squeeze stuff on to the back shelf of the car or pile their hatch area right up to the ceiling of the car. This can take away some key sight lines. At every stop, take an inventory of what has crept into these sight lines and take 30 seconds to repack your stuff before you get back on the road.
     
  • Stick together. Sometimes on road trips, it can be as dangerous out of the car as it is in the car. Rest stops, restaurants and gas stations that your family has never been to before pose risks such as not knowing when and where to look for oncoming cars. Unfortunately, public places on the open road can also be hangouts for people preying on young kids. Never send a child under 18 to a rest room by him or herself. Form teams of at least two to head inside. As alert as you are on the road, be equally as alert when you make stops.  
     
  • Avoid rival sibling arguments. Let’s face it, kids that have to sit in cars for a longer time than they are used to alongside their brother or sister may pick a fight with their sibling. These family moments can be dangerous to parents behind the wheel because their instincts tell them to break up the fight just as they would if they were in their living room. Stern warnings to riders about fighting in the car need to be made crystal clear before you put the car in drive. If things get really out of hand, pull over and deal with the situation on the side of the road or at a gas station.  
     
  • Keep the car seat safe for your youngest passengers. The best car seat is the one that fits your child properly, is easy to use and fits in your vehicle correctly. Install the car seat in the vehicle’s backseat. Infants under 20 pounds or younger than one year old, should ride in a rear facing car seat. Check to see that the safety belt holds the seat tightly in place and make sure the harness is buckled snugly around your child. Some new cars, including Volvo’s, now offer integrated car seats. Visit www.volvocars.com/us/experience/Pages/safety.aspx to learn more about child safety in cars. At http://www.nhtsa.gov/ you can find ease of use ratings for child seats on the market today.  
     
  • Never leave your child alone in car. Young children can overheat quickly in a warm car. Older children can loosen their seat belt, climb into the driver’s seat, figure out how to undo the parking brake and potentially cause an accident.  
     
  • Keep small toys in check. Children may get upset and throw their small toys at you, potentially causing you to lose control of the car and cause an accident.  
     
  • Engage kids in ride safe ideas. Kids have great ideas and they are more likely to own them if they come up with them. Ask each kid rider to come up with their idea to keep their family safe on their road trip.

Source: Volvo

Clever Audi Commercial

Friday, September 21st, 2007

For your weekend enjoyment:

Aston Martin: A Perfect Fit For Prodrive?

Wednesday, March 14th, 2007

On Monday, Ford announced that they sold their profitable brand Aston Martin to a consortium of buyers, including the owner of racing competitor Prodrive of the UK. This means that Aston now goes back to British ownership – at least partly. In addition, a well-known Aston Martin collector is investing in the buyout as well as two well-financed investment companies Adeem Investment Co. and Investment Dar, both of Kuwait. Ford will retain US$ 77 million (about 8.5% of the company). The whole deal is worth $925 in much needed cash for Ford Motor Company. Ford will still retain three brands in its Premier Auto Group: Volvo, Land Rover, and Jaguar. Ford has previously stated that Jaguar is losing money, and Land Rover (despite widespread quality problems) is said to be profitable. Both are known “British” companies.

As for Aston, we can expect to see some leverage on the buy-side of this deal. It is unclear if the two Kuwaiti investment companies are planning long-term investments, but a lot of leverage could mean a quick turn-around. Unlikely would be for David Richards, the chairman and founder of Prodrive, and John Sinders an Aston collector and racing backer, to resell the company in the short-term. Both seem to view this as a long-term investment.

Strategically, Ulrich Bez will remain the CEO of Aston Martin, and will continue to drive the product lineup in the future with the Rapide, a four-door Aston Martin, which will compete against the Maserati Quattroporte and the Porsche Panamera (due out in 2009). We should expect that plans for the Rapide will be accelerated to generate more revenue and better return on investment over the next few years.

On a final note, for those surprised by the Prodrive investment, we should note that Prodrive has considered investment in a production vehicle before. The well-known racing company commissioned a technologically advanced vehicle, the Prodrive P2. Prodrive couldn’t be bothered to put the sophisticated car into production, but we could view the purchase of Aston Martin as a foray into production sports cars. No doubt we could see Prodrive technology in future Aston Martins, thus giving Aston a specific product advantage.

Source:http://media.ford.com/newsroom/release_display.cfm?release=25635

Thoughts on Ford’s PAG

Thursday, March 1st, 2007

The Financial Times first reported in early January that Ford was considering selling the Jaguar unit of the Ford Premier Auto Group, the Ford Company’s luxury division. Jaguar has been in the Ford stable since the 1980s, the same decade that Ford began to assemble the PAG.

Alan Mulally told the FT, “All good businesses continually review their portfolio, and we will continue to evaluate ours going forward.” Good plan Alan! With that statement Ford is on the right track. But then again this statement comes weeks after Ford announced that they were looking for buyers of the Aston Martin name, PAG’s ultra luxury supercar division. Oddly, Ford’ Don LeClair told the FT just days later that Jaguar was NOT for sale. Clearly, Ford needs to get the corporate message packaged cohesively.

And that leads use to wonder if Ford is really taking its own advice. In evaluating the reasons for the sale, it is of no doubt that Ford is looking to sell the now profitable Aston Martin because it needs cash flow. A sale would generate short-term cash flow. This much is true. Still, Ford needs to consider the long-term ramifications of this decision. Aston gives Ford some degree of legitimacy in international racing, and no doubt Aston Martin in far more profitable than it has been in the past.

Ford has done an excellent job of turning around Aston Martin, which made only 43 cars in 1993. 2006 resulted in over 5000 Aston Martin sales. This is much contrasted with Ford’s 1989 purchase of Jaguar. Jaguar has struggled since its inception, and has yet to make any money for the PAG. It does however represent a Ford’s prestige motorcar presence in the auto industry. It is the only luxury auto unit that Ford runs outside of the USA, and the only one which is known and respected worldwide.

Regardless of what happens to Aston Martin and Jaguar, you can bet that Ford’s PAG will attempt to keep Volvo and Land Rover, both of which are profitable, in its portfolio. As we have said before, a sale of Aston Martin is mistake, and as likely is a sale of Jaguar.