Toyota and Nissan to return to incentives warfare

Japan is ramping up production in the wake of the 9.0 March 11 earthquake, and major factory-to-dealer incentives are on the way from Toyota and Nissan to move the anticipated inventory wave. Automotive News reports the Japanese automakers will offer cash, interest rate holidays and significant lease rewards in the U.S. industry. Decreased sales in early May – particularly when in contrast to those from a year ago – prompted the automakers to consider diving back to the incentives pool.

Supply is back meaning vehicles must move

Both Toyota and Nissan expect to return to full production capacity in North The United States before May is over, which means there will be inventory to move. Usually, incentive spending is used. This makes it easier to keep away from overstock. There will have to be even more automobiles sold since Nissan believes its Japanese factories can be up and running normally again by June.

The plan is something Nissan Division Manager Al Castignetti believes will work. The best deals possible could be offered in the tent sales he sees happening. These sales will be on the Altima and Maxima cars.

Compared to a year ago, sales are hurting

Compared with May sales last year, Toyota and Honda sales have fallen on hard times this May. A 56 percent drop in Toyota sales has been seen. The Lexus had a 45 percent drop. A 41 percent decrease in Honda sales was shown. There was a 46 percent decrease in the Acura division. Nissan and Infiniti are only down 12 percent. Of all the Asian automakers, Hyundai was one of the only that had a rise in May number. It was up 37 percent total.

J.D. Power and Associates forecaster Jeff Schuster blames Japan’s May sales slumps on a combination of higher gas prices, lower rebates and shortages caused by the Japanese earthquake.

Change from February to March in incentives

According to Edmunds, the decline in dealer rewards has been happening for a few months, even in the U.S. An average incentive of $2,346 per new vehicle sold was shown in the United States in Feb. 2011. In March, that dropped 8.6 percent or $220.

That was a huge drop in incentives. Ivan Drury as an Edmunds analysis spoke about it.

“These latest numbers show by far the biggest February-to-March incentives decline since Edmunds started tracking in 2002,” Drury said. “The decline is mostly likely a result of a 26 percent month-over-month sales jump in subcompact and compact cars which typically have a much lower level of incentives compared to large trucks and SUVs.”

Will increased rewards hurt automakers again?

In a report entitled “The Impact of Customer Rebates and Retailer rewards on Manufacturer Profitability and Sales, ” a team of researchers presented a statistical analysis that suggested that fixed production and labor costs for Detroit’s Large Three (GM, Ford Motors, Chrysler) are the same whether they produced as several vehicles as possible or stood idle part of the time. There was overstock and more incentives since the Large Three produced more than they needed to. There were lots of sales with these incentives. They were often at a loss though.

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No salary for Sergio Marchionne

Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne would have been subject to federal review if he’d taken an income in 2011, notes numerous sources. So he determined it would be best not to do so. Chrysler compensated him no salary or stock options last year, unlike Fiat, which compensated their CEO an undisclosed amount in both.

Fiat owns over half of Chrysler

A report was also filed by Fiat on Tues about the company’s financial info. It is known that Sergio Marchionne got paid by the company, but the report did not say how much he got compensated. Fiat paid $4.5 million in 2010, which was the same year that he got $600,000 in stock and other awards from Chrysler without salary or bonuses. Fiat owns 58.5 percent of Chrysler.

Payment for other CEOs

Last year, Ford CEO Mulally received $26.5 million on payment. The year before, he was given 2.85 million shares of Ford stock. The stock is worth $34.5 million currently, according to the Free Press. Seeing these numbers makes Marchionne’s lack of 2012 salary even more surprising.

CEO Dan Akerson of GM got $5.3 million in stock compensation — $2 million was restricted — and earned $1.7 million in total salary.

Because Ford did not accept automotive bailout dollars from the federal government, the automaker’s payment practices did not fall under review by the U.S. Treasury. If Marchionne had been compensated in 2011, his total income and compensation would have been reviewed by treasury officials. Government officials would have paid close attention to the manner of compensation, particularly as it might have related to Chrysler’s 2009 emergency Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Paying back bailout funds

Marchionne explained that Chrysler and Fiat are both going to stay on course now that they have paid all automotive bailout loans from the United States and Canadian government back. The last payment, according to the Free Press, was paid in May of last year.

“We’re going to remain competitive, but I think the industry itself has learned how to be much more cautious,” he said. “We intend to follow that trend, and I don’t think we should be breaking with what I consider to be a … institutionalized trend today in the marketplace.”

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The new XTS will replace two previous Cadillac models

Cadillac’s new XTS model is due out next year. The XTS will replace both the STS and DTS models. No date has yet been announced for production to begin. General Motors first wants to sell off the DTS and STS car models still in stock on its dealer’s showroom floors.

2010 concept vehicle used

The Platinum concept vehicle at the 2010 Detroit Auto Show was what Cadillac used to start its XTS. General Motors will use a stretched form of the Epsilon II platform for the automobile to be built on. This platform is under vehicles such as the Chevy Malibu and Buick LaCrosse. The vehicle will also be built in GM’s plant in Lansing, Mich., called Grand River.

Many like the convenience and comfort in the automobile

There will be a longer rear overhang than the concept car while being a little bit narrower. The features will have connectivity and infotainment. Both the rear-seat and front seat passengers will get this. The vehicle likely will be powered by GM’s direct-injection 3.6-liter V-6. It will have controlled shock absorbers so the ride is gentle.

The XTS may have different V-6 power plants, a choice for all-wheel drive and possibly a drive line for a plug-in hybrid if the model is true to the concept. There has been no confirmation, however a rumor is that there could be 8-cylinder engine options.

Cadillac goes up against BMW

Now that both the DTS and STS models are being replaced in Cadillac’s lineup, the current entry-level CTS can move slightly up-market in an attempt to become a rival to BMW’s 5-series and the Mercedes E-class. The Bavarian Motor Works c-class and 3 series may end up with new competition in summer 2012 with this change. A smaller ATS sedan will be coming soon.

Old car leaves so new can stay

Cadillac has already ceased production of the six-year-old STS. The final DTS models will be built in the next three to four weeks. However with an inventory of 3000 DTS models and less than 900 STS models, Cadillac intends to sell the last of its big sedans before building production models of the XTS replacement.

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At Courtesy Ford of Brooklyn, Connecticut, quality customer service isn’t merely an add-on or lip service. The experienced, pleasant experts know how to help you find the vehicle of your dreams, and the experience working with them is pressure-free.

Top Dealer Rater rankings for Courtesy Ford of Brooklyn employees

Numerous employees in the sales and leasing department of Courtesy Ford of Brooklyn have received optimistic customer comments on the industry site Dealer Rater. Since 2002, Dealer Rater is the first worldwide car dealer review site to help online consumers find the right brick-and-mortar dealerships for sales and service. Customer feedback is screened through a four-step process to identify and remove fraudulent reviews.

Discover David Mahon

Sales and leasing advisor David Mahon of Courtesy Ford of Brooklyn has received much acclaim for his customer service skill, friendliness and product knowledge. One customer who gave Mr. Mahon top ratings on Dealer Rater was looking for a very specific model Ford with a very specific set of options. Even though the customer’s request ultimately ruled out all current Ford models available, Mahon was able to help the consumer find a comparable model with almost the exact same options at a reasonable price. Throughout, the customer never felt pushed. On the contrary, they were more than pleased with the experience, and exclaimed that the immaculate facilities at Courtesy Ford would be the first place they’d turn when they need automobile service.

There was another customer who commented on David Mahon at Courtesy Ford of Brooklyn. He explained that he would certainly recommend Courtesy Ford after his great experience. Evidently, the customer had no idea what he wanted when he showed up at the store, but he did have a set of needs. Mahon worked perfectly and patiently to help the customer pick out a vehicle that worked for him.

Michelle Lamotte, Business manager

On another occasion, a Dealer Rater user had the possibility to work with Courtesy Ford of Brooklyn Business manager Michelle Lamotte. This customer was searching for a new car, and had the chance to work with both Lamotte and Mahon. The customer had many questions, all of which Lamotte was able to address thoroughly and courteously in a timely fashion. By the time the consumer was done at Courtesy Ford, they drove away in a fully registered, immaculate used SUV.

“They do it all,” said the customer of the Courtesy Ford of Brooklyn experience.

Get some help from Chelsea Ketchen

One customer worked with Chelsea Ketchen at Courtesy Ford. The consumer was pretty excited to find someone who was not the typical sales person. The customer did not feel pushed and felt like Ketchen had more knowledge than the average salesperson would have about the vehicles. Regardless of getting burned by a Ford Fusion with motor failure in the past, the customer came back for another Ford, and Ketchen made it easy to buy something brand new.

John Mesawich, Sales and Leasing Consultant

Yet another example of Courtesy Ford of Brooklyn’s excellent customer service team is John Mesawich. One customer went to the car dealership with her husband, with a brand new Ford on their mind. Not only did they find the Ford vehicle they wanted, but friendly, expert treatment they received when working with Mr. Mesawich certain them to recommend the Ford dealer to their family and friends.

Work with David Williams

After shopping at three different Brooklyn, Conn.-area Ford dealerships, one customer gave Courtesy Ford a try, and they were thankful they did. General Sales Manager David Williams and Mesawich were able to help the customer find the Ford automobile they desired, then hold it until pending insurance cash from a previous accident came through. Throughout, Williams impressed the customer with his honesty, lack of high-pressure sales tactics and the ability to offer the very best price in the region on a new Ford Focus.

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NHTSA Scraps Mustang Exploration

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has closed its exploration into 29,807 2011-2012 standard transmission Ford Mustangs. The probe looked into grievances of shifting issues. The federal security regulators decided that a recall was not in order.

Grievances of rough shifting

Ford did an exploration to see if there was a problem after the NHTSA started its investigation in August, according to Inside Line. This exploration was done because there were 364 grievances about the brand new Mustang shifting made. There were several different was the troubles with shifting could have begun, none of which Ford was responsible for. This included having cold transmission fluid or a clutch stay-out at high speeds.

Automaker blames drivers

As reported by Ford, there haven’t been any accidents as a result of issue because it is only a problem that some drivers are having. These drivers have to let the automobiles run for five minutes before they drive the cars in order to fix the problem. According to Ford, the issue is more due to the customer’s “unfamiliarity with the performance-style shifter” than other things. One issue that really does exist is with cold-starts in the Chinese-built Getrag MT82 six-speed motor. Ford said that service technicians can fix the problem with transmission fluid that has a lower viscosity. This was the only suggestion the car company made to address the problem.

National Highway Transportation Safety Administration conclusions

According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, there were only five vehicles that had issues with loosening clutch plate bolts, which Ford issued a service tech bulletin about and has overhauled the bolts. This hasn’t prevented any of the vehicles from driving or from shifting correctly. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration final report said:

“There is no indication of loss of motive power or unreasonable safety risk associated with the alleged defect in the subject vehicles. This preliminary evaluation is closed.”

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Mazda unveils i-ELOOP braking system

A new regenerative braking system has recently been introduced by Mazda. The machine uses kinetic energy from braking to power the car’s electrical system. The “Intelligent Energy Loop” system is called I ELOOP for short. The system is intended to make an internal combustion automobile function as almost as possible like a hybrid automobile.

Energy converted

Generally kinetic energy is lost in the brakes and heat but is converted into electricity with this system. An Electric Double layer Capacitor is used for storage. This is where the electricity is then sent.

Engine going on and off

You are able to conserve fuel with the “i-stop” program named by Mazda that shuts off the motor automatically whenever the automobile stops. The electricity stored in the super-capacitor is then used to run auxiliary capabilities such as the sound system, lights, heating, and ac. Then, you are able to get the engine to automatically start. The accelerator gets depressed at that point.

Much better gas mileage

For stop and go city driving the system will be great. As reported by a Mazda press release:

“In real-world driving conditions with frequent acceleration and braking, ‘i-ELOOP’ improves fuel economy by approximately 10 percent.”

What’s wrong with it?

Power comes out very easily out of the super-capacitors that can only store electricity for a short while, as reported by “Car and Driver” arguing against the device. The article also explains that the super-capacitor doesn’t take long to charge. In fact, it will only take seconds. You will most likely never have to replace the super-capacitors since they last for a long time. This is certainly an advantage. Batteries do not do it.

BMW comparable to it

The system is comparable to the BMW EfficientDynamics system in that it stores power generated while braking. However, the BMW uses a more costly glass-mat battery instead of the capacitor.

Accessible in 2012

Mazda Motors plans to start introducing the machine in its new vehicles next year.

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White House gets open letter from Carbon Motors

Carbon Motors, an automobile company that has produced a special law enforcement automobile, has just produced an open letter addressed to the White House Cabinet. The company wants the federal loan it requested two years back to be approved, so it can begin supplying the country’s police with vehicles.

Business wants to put bespoke cruiser on the streets

The E7 is a po-lice automobile produced by the Carbon Motors Corpora-tion that would be very beneficial to several law enforcement forces. The compa-ny hoped to obtain a loan it applied for two years back, according to Auto Blog. This loan would be given to the business under the Advanced Technology Automobile Manufacturing Program, which is an initiative the George W. Bush administration put together for the Department of Energy. There would not be any consumer versions of the car pro-duced, producing it solely a police automobile.

The White House Cabinet was given an open letter from the compa-ny recently. Hopefully this will allow the start of production on the first bespoke law enforcement interceptor.

An excellent car

As reported by Carbon’s site, the E7 police car should produce over 250 horsepower and obtain from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 6.5 seconds. Its price is projected to be comparable with standard po-lice automobiles, which are typically retail vehicles with extensive modifications.

The two things that the Carbon E7 has over all of its competition is that it emits 40 percent less carbon than other police cars and gets an average combined gasoline mileage between 28 and 30 miles per gallon. According to the EPA, the 2009 Ford Crown Victoria gets 19 miles per gallon as a popular law enforcement vehicle.

BMW agreed to license its 3.0-liter inline-six cylinder diesel engine for use in the E7, accord-ing to AutoBlog. BMW currently offers a 3 series sedan, the 335d, and the X5d SUV with the 3.0-liter diesel in the U.S.

With over 20,000 E7 cruiser or-ders already in, the company could create 10,000 jobs in Connersville, Ind., to build the automobile. This would only be possible if the business were to get the $310 million loan.

Most popular diesel

The E7 cruiser would be the most used diesel vehicle on the road if it is able to produce the 20,000 vehi-cles that have been ordered with the loan.

The three most popular diesel automobiles are the Volkswagen Jetta TDI, the Volkswagen Golf TDA and the BMW X35d. The Jetta is the number one sold Jetta in the United States with 56,717 sold this year between January and July. The other two do not even come close in sales to the Jetta. Only about 3 percent of all passenger cars sold even have diesel abilities. Not very several individuals own a diesel automobile.

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GM eyes cuts after record half for profits

GM’s first-half profits hit a record $6.3 billion. Yet according to Automotive News, GM CEO was not happy. GM cutbacks will soon follow.

Cutting expenditures

Dan Ammann is the CFO at General Motors. He believes the business needs to cut expenditures since its 6 percent margins are lower than almost everybody in the industry as calculated by Morgan Stanley with earnings before interest and taxes. Only Toyota, Renault SA and PSA Peugeot Citroen have lower operating margins.

GM is attempting to get above Ford and Volkswagen AG’s 7 percent margin to be able to get back to the top for global sales, as reported by Jim Cain who is a spokesman for GM.

All of the programs are being reviewed by GM, according to ABC7 Action News Detroit. The business is making cutbacks everywhere. These cutbacks will include things such as production consolidation, job cuts, during down thermostats and marketing cutbacks.

“Ford’s North American margins are easily 2 percentage points better than GM’s,” said Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas. “We think that gap can narrow.”

What the 3rd quarter could look like

A team of industry analysts told Bloomberg that GM’s third-quarter net income would likely drop $2.16 billion from the previous year, to $1.6 billion.

Jonas explained that commodity prices, engineering and marking costs are all going up. There are higher dealer incentives and more lucrative buyer incentives. You are able to expect production cuts to drop.

Not as several models accessible

GM Senior V.P. for Global Product Development Mary Barra told Automotive News that the automaker also plans to cut back from 30 models to only 14 by 2018. General Motors wants to slow the production of compact and mid-size cars since only 31 percent of 2010’s sales came from these automobiles compared to Ford’s 70 percent of 2010 sales.

Fewer engine models will be used also. Right now, there are 16 models. They’re used in numerous automobiles. GM has targeted 10 by 2018.

It is about the company

“A lot of the cost focus at GM is about discipline,” said Detroit-based consulting firm Principal Jim Hall. “The company has to make a statement to employees. If you don’t, then corporate entropy will creep back in.”

Quarter was not too bad

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Chevy Volt demo cars going on sale

The demonstration Chevy Volt models have been authorized by Chevrolet to be sold if needs be, to get more consumers into the cars. Sales have been de-cent, but there’s concern that models with the preferred possibilities are not accessible.

Everything for Volt to do

The Chevrolet Volt, the plug-in electric hybrid, was published last year at a higher cost than other hybrid automobiles and the totally electric Nissan Leaf. The Detroit News reports that the Chevy Volt is doing very well in sales. Still, the Nissan Leaf is doing better. A “range extending” gasoline powered generator is discovered in the Volte while the Leaf is all electric. Chevrolet expected that in 2011, 10,000 would sell. Between Jan and October, only 5,003 had been sold. Nissan Motors sold 8,048 Leafs in that time.

The Leaf is not as costly. The asking price is lower. For $32,780, you are able to get the base 2011 model. The base 2012 model is $35,200. If you need the base Volt, it will cost $39,995. Both of them get the green automobile tax credit. This can be a $7,500 credit on your taxes.

Get a demonstration unit

Chevrolet authorized retailers to begin selling to customers the Volt to be able to boost sales, as reported by USA Today. Dealer surveys indicate that up to 72 percent of consumers were put off from buying the Volt simply since the model they wanted wasn’t accessible. The supply is limited at each dealership, which is also an issue. There were 2,600 Chevrolet dealerships authorized to sell the Volt. About 700 of them cannot do this because they do not have access to a Volt.

Vehicles have to sit on the lot for six months before they could be sold, which about 2,300 Volts have been doing as demo automobiles. After the demonstration units are involved, there are 4,100 Volts that can be sold. AutoBlog reports that there are around 1,800 being sent to shops right now. They can also be sold.

Getting green cars

The Orlando Sentinel reports that the DeLand, Fla., City council authorized new city vehi-cles. They can buy five Chevy Volts for this. A $1.3 million federal grant will be given to the city. This is because of the green changes. The Volts will be used alongside Toyota Prius and Camry hybrids already in use.

The Chevy Volt was purchased by a hybrid automobile and green rental service in LA, MPG Car Rental, according to the Sacramento Bee. More rental agencies and cities are sure to add them as more become accessible.

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Chrysler invests in $500 million in Toledo

The Chrysler Group has declared plans for a serious investment in its Jeep production complex in Toledo, Ohio. According to Automotive News, Chrysler will invest $500 million in the Toledo North Complex, where Jeep and other vehicles are made. Growth of facilities and an additional work shift will be the result.

Toledo to expect more workers

Currently, Chrysler’s Toledo North facility, which is part of the larger Toledo Assembly Complex, can only deal with a single shift of employees. Fox Toledo Online explained that the Jeep Liberty and Dodge Nitro will have increased production. In order to do this, 1,105 hourly and salaried jobs had to added-on by Chrysler.

To accommodate the added staff, the Toledo North Assembly Complex will be expanded by almost 300,000 square feet. Improvements to the on-campus body shop quality lab, paint shop and material handling companies will occur before the end of 2012. In 2013, the new manufacturing shift will start.

Just in time for 2013

Chrysler believes that this change to the Toledo North factory will be just in time. The 2013 Jeep Liberty SUV will be out soon after it is done. DaimlerChrysler released the current Liberty in 2008. It was intended to have Jeep Cherokee in it just a little bit. Cherokee production had ended in 2001 after a 17-year cycle.

The brand new Liberty will be Chrysler’s first vehicle to ride on a Fiat platform, notes Automotive News. There will be eight automobiles that get this platform in North America. It is called a CUSW platform.

In 2006, the Dodge Nitro SUV came out. It was intended to be a version of the Liberty that had been altered.

Chrysler’s $1.7 billion retooling effort

After the UAW contract was redone, Chrysler put $1.7 billion into changing its companies. The Toledo expansion will be one of the first projects done with $500 million.

Chrysler sought lower price for Jeep complex

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