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Nissan’s Diesel Experiment

This time last year Nissan shocked the truck world when it announced a plan to team up with Cummins in order to produce a lineup of diesel powered trucks. Over the last couple of years Ford and Ram have been fighting over producing the most fuel efficient pickup truck on the market. Nissan effectively threw its hat in the ring by introducing their concept for a diesel engine in their full size Titan, but also in their smaller Frontier model. Nissan’s diesel experiment could thrust the brand as a frontrunner when it comes to the truck market.

The Diesel Frontiernissan

Nissan’s diesel Frontier is only a concept right now with a few mule prototypes in existence. The truck is boasting a Cummins 2.8 liter turbo diesel six cylinder engine that produces 200 horsepower an 350 pounds of torque with an eight speed transmission. The truck itself is boasting up to 7,000 pounds of towing and will average 22 miles per gallon city and 30 miles per gallon highway which is virtually unheard of in power and fuel economy within the smaller truck category when compared to the last 20 years of small pickup trucks. The Frontier Diesel Desert Runner concept was first introduced when it appeared at the Chicago Auto Show in Chicago in February. Unlike the diesels that are being offered by both Ford and Ram, the availability of the diesel engine is not yet available in a 4 wheel drive version of the Frontier. Should the relationship between Nissan and Cummins continue to flourish, the technology behind both of these companies would allow for a superior product to hit the streets and allow customers to achieve better gas mileage and not have to give up the practicality of a pickup truck that has hurt consumers in the past. Currently Nissan has not officially committed to the building of diesel Frontiers for the commercial and non commercial uses, but many industry analysts believe that the company is not showing off their prototypes as a muscle flexing tactic. Industry analysts believe that Nissan has the intention to build these trucks on a massive scale, but are continuing on testing the technology first, before being able to introduce it into the market. The company has officially given no position on when or if the truck will be mass produced and at what cost to the consumer. Many believe the truck will start out at around 30,000 dollars. The truck that was on display at the Chicago Auto Show is exactly what is described as a mule prototype which is by Nissan standards nothing close to or representative of what would be the finished product that consumers would be exposed to.

nissan 2Benefits to the Cummins Engines

For Americans, the benefits of Cummins engines would hold a bit of pride close to the heart because Cummins prefers to build their engines where there is intent to sell. So if Nissan were to put Cummins engines into their pickup trucks, those engines would be produced domestically. Also the benefits of a Cummins diesel engine has other sometimes overlooked benefits that would help sales in the US. For instance when one hears the name Cummins, the name rings on a tone of professionalism and long standing history within the diesel technology category. The company is one of the most iconic supplier of power and fuel efficiency when it comes to diesel technology. Cummins has also been considering certain physical changes to the engine that would go into the Frontier model lineup that could help ease on engine weight and further better gas mileage. Fuel efficiency is a big winner when it comes to pickup trucks because in the current lineup of trucks available across the board, all of the pickup trucks available for purchase perform the same, it currently just comes down to brand preference. Should Cummins and Nissan actually pair up for the purpose of building diesel pickup trucks to be sold on the mass market, the results could be staggering for Nissan. The Frontier lineup has in recent months done rather well as it is the second highest selling small pickup truck on the market, just behind the Toyota Tacoma. The reason behind this is that the American companies like Ford, Dodge, and Chevrolet have all pulled their smaller pickup trucks off the market in the US. The Chevrolet and GMC small pickup is set to return later this fall but will not offer the fuel efficiency that can be achieved by a diesel.

Should Nissan and Cummins give the green light and start building diesel powered pickup trucks at an affordable a reasonable price, Nissan’s overall profits might shoot up. While the figures of success are currently unknown, it is very possible that in the smaller truck market, the diesel Frontier could overtake the Toyota Tacoma and become the most popular selling small pickup in the US.

 

 

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Toyota Relies Heavily on US Sales

The Toyota Motor Corporation has raised its targeted sales in the US market with the beginning of the third quarter upon the release of its global profits. The auto manufacturer which is one of the best selling brands worldwide has showed a slowing of profits in other countries which has forced the company to become more heavily reliant on its sales in the US. Toyota had earlier in the year, set its sights on Thailand as an emerging market as well as other developing countries to help surge profits, but has so far lacked any significant gains.

The World’s Best Selling Brandtoyota

Toyota for years has been the best selling brand globally according to industry analysts. Currently the strongest sales in used and refurbished Toyota Camry’s are the best selling overseas. The company has had strong sales both in the US and worldwide which could be for the first time be taken over by the company’s biggest competitor in global sales, Volkswagen. Many of the heavy weight car manufacturers have been looking at investing in new plants in China in order to maximize profits. Volkswagen has made it perfectly clear that the manufacturing will continue in all of their existing plants until the capacities are exhausted before the company will invest in newer plants. Currently Toyota hasn’t made much mention of newer investments to be made in the building of new plants any earlier than 2016. The company has not released any information other than the possibility of a new plant and hasn’t even picked a location. Between the two major brands produced by Toyota, annually 9.8 million vehicles are currently produced for Toyota and Lexus globally. While in a perfect world Toyota would entertain plant expansions, company spokesmen have stated that the company is currently comfortably producing vehicles at a rate that matched their current demands. Should demands increase, Toyota’s plants will be able to sustain before a new plant is needed to be built.

On Tuesday Toyota posted their second quarter profits that was between April and June. The company posted a revenue of 692.7 billion yen which in US dollars is worth about 6.76 billion dollars. The company is up 4.4 percent this year when compared to the sales numbers of this time last year. Toyota has attributed this jump in revenue to their ability to cut costs, push sales in the US higher than in recent years, and the fact that the US dollar is at a greater value than the Yen which is boosting monetary value.

Sights Set on the UStoyota 1

The Japanese auto maker has stated that they are looking to move an additional 50,000 vehicles out of their Japan based plants and reach about 2.3 million vehicles in the US for Toyota’s 2014 calendar year. The company has in the last year trimmed about 110,000 vehicles off of its annual yearly global delivery. In order to compensate for this overall trimming of vehicles to be delivered worldwide the company has gone and raised its targeted sales goals in the US where the company believes it has more of a chance in gaining more profit. These numbers the company has set for its US based business allows for the dealerships to achieve this overall number through March of next year. Industry analysts don’t see this refocusing of assets and redirection by Toyota as one that has been enacted by loss of business in Asia. In fact many industry experts agree that in Asia the competition for auto makers like Toyota, Honda, and Nissan are continually intensifying. Toyota hasn’t lost business in Asia and continues to provide for that market, but as many enthusiasts in the industry know new car sales tend to do better in the US and used sales better in the European and Asian markets. The stock value for Toyota’s shares have to date fallen about 6 percent for the year and only about 1 percent since the announcement of their second quarter earnings. However, the company remains one of the strongest auto manufacturers in the world and has currently been maintaining its place as the top selling global brand.

The US is currently the best chance for the continuous rise in profitable revenue. The company’s redirection and refocusing in on the US car sales market also has taken into consideration the ever slow but gradual rise in the US domestic economy. The company may be relying more heavily on the US sales market, but the goals of the company are not farfetched. The bulk of Toyota’s profits are being achieved within the US market with many of Toyota’s customers being repeat customers. Much of the Toyota’s on the road today were first bought new over twenty years ago and the quality hasn’t changed since then. The growth that Toyota is seeking in the US is easily achieved with a record like that!

 

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Hyundai Recalls 883,000

Hyundai has voluntarily recalled 883,000 cars in the U.S. in an effort to fix a transmission issue that has been plaguing their Sonata sedans. The biggest issue has been with the transmissions slipping while the cars have been parked, allowing the cars to roll away. This issue has been documented according to filings that have been made with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. This is one of the newest recalls hitting customers in a year that has shockingly surpassed the amount of recalls by all of the car manufacturers for the last five years.

The IssueHyundai 1

The 2011 to 2014 Sonata models have a transmission cable that has been known to separate from the gear selector and has caused the car to shift into gears that the driver hasn’t chosen. Some of the affected models have been rolling away even when the gear selector is showing that the car in is park. The company has said that in the meantime of the cars being fixed the easiest way to combat the faulty cable is when the car is in park to place the emergency brake on which will lock the car in place. The company has stated the primary issue could be the eyelet of the cable being wider than the cable tab it is attached to within the car, which would account for the separation. So far the company has already dealt with 1,171 warranty claims associated with transmission issues and roughly seven owner complaints associated with the issue. Some of the cars have been reported to Hyundai with issues that the cars have been shutting down in the drive gear. Upon the attempt to restart the car, the car is unable to restart because it is in the drive gear and not the park gear. A total of 883,000 Sonata sedans manufactured between December 11, 2009 and May 29, 2014 have been affected by this issue and the company has already stated that the repairs will begin during the third quarter. Hyundai has also issued a statement to current owners that were affected before the recall was put into effect, stating that any cost to the customers would be reimbursed to the customers by Hyundai. Although a repair schedule has not yet been provided by the company, one is short to arrive and owners will be contacted by Hyundai. Owners can also call the company at the customer service phone  number provided on the company’s regional websites.

Other Recalls by Hyundai

Earlier in May of this year, Hyundai had issued a recall of 137,00 Tucson’s for issues with airbag components that had a high likelihood of coming loose. It was in April of 2013 that Hyundai issued a recall on 1.9 million 2011 Sonata sedans for issues with their break lights. Other issues attributed with the break light issues were also tied into early issues with the shift locking system that was locking up and preventing the car from shifting out of park or back into park again. In an entirely separate recall which has already been affecting some of the recently released 2015 Sonatas, Hyundai has announced that 5,650 units that were manufactured between April 25, 2014 and June 16, 2014 are showing front brake calipers are more likely to fracture.

Hyundai 2Understanding the gravity of the seemingly ever constant recalls being issued by many of the more well known and deemed reliable car companies has definitely brought the long term effectiveness of the cars into question with the consumers. However, as many industry analysts agree, cars are mere machines and it is likely that some parts will always go undetected until they are out on the road. Defects are common among many of the different machines we use and the difference between a minor recall and a serious recall is all dependent upon the part that has been called into question. As with all recalls issued by the parent companies, the repairs for the breaking issues or the replacement parts and labor costs will all be covered by the manufacturers and will remain at zero cost for the customers other than having to take time out of their day to drop off the cars.

While the issued recall notice concerning the affected Sonata sedans has only been recently released, the company hasn’t noticed much of a downturn in overall sales. In comparison to many of their counterparts and competitors such as Toyota and Honda as well as some of their American brand competitors, Hyundai has continued on with strong sales figures thus far. Hyundai is one of the few brands that has been ranked yearly providing the U.S. with one of the best warranty programs available to new car customers. Hyundai may be the current car company in the hit seat when it comes to the most recent recall being issued, but the company is far from the tainted image that has been delivered by the family brands associated with General Motors which has recalled a historic and currently unmatched amount of vehicles since the beginning of the year.

 

 

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Tesla to Produce More Affordable Car

CEO and founder of Tesla Motors Elon Musk, has finally confirmed that the company will be producing a more affordable car for the general populous. The car which will be named the Model 3 is set to debut in 2017 at around $35,000 and is looking to compete with the BMW 3 Series. So the question becomes now, How will a more affordable Tesla impact the automotive market?

Tesla Motorstesla 2

The California based electric car company Tesla Motors has proven to the world that there is a place in this world for an electric car. By introducing a car that was both desirable and efficient, Tesla has been able to produce one of the most environmentally safe and sought after cars in recent history. At first there were two models on sale, the current Model S and the previously available Roadster which were both widely popular yet expensive. To date their current available Model S has given Tesla the cash flow and success to effectively look onward towards expansion. Earlier in the year, Tesla had announced plans to purchase land for a new factory in which the company would produce vehicles in addition to their California plant, as well as commercialized versions of their lithium battery.

The Model 3

The Model 3 would be the fourth vehicle overall that Tesla will have put on the market. As mentioned earlier the original Roadster, the Model S which is currently on the market and the soon to be released Model X which will be a sport utility vehicle. The Model X is set to be released sometime next year which has also brought some more positive press for the company because of the expansion in interior room and capability for consumers looking for the same reliable performance. The Model 3 as has been described by Tesla is to be on the same level of reliability as the rest of the brand but would compete most competitively with the BMW 3 Series to which it would most likely compare to. The Model 3 would bring the affordability of a Tesla to a bigger consumer market. Right now the company offers an industry top rated vehicle that has quickly accelerated past all of its competition, so much so that other companies have identified Tesla as a major threat to current business. That being said Musk has stated in previous interviews that the company is more than willing to share its patens with other companies in the industry in order to pass of the wealth of technology onto the customers who are the real profiting faction.

teslaThe Model 3 if it were to perform to the capability of the Model S would revolutionize the category in which it is to compete. For midsized sedans one of the most common complaints from consumers has been the limited range achieved by relatively expensive electric or hybrid cars. Simply put, the sticker price does not equal out to the performance of the car. Because of this issue, gas fueled midsized sedans and compacts have flourished tremendously as other auto manufacturers have refocused their efforts into producing light more fuel efficient cars. If Tesla’s Model 3 can provide customers with a vehicle that compares in price as well as in range and maintenance cost, then the brand will succeed in breaking into a much more heavily populated targeted audience. Thus far the brand has only appealed to a much wealthier, more established section of the consumer bracket that has been looking for performance and comfort, and can afford the lofty price tag. Tesla has had trouble in overcoming some of the more conventional challenges such as getting a heavier vehicle to exceed 300 miles per battery charge which would rival some of the more popular model on the road such as the Nissan Altima or Honda Accord. The other biggest concern when it comes to highway drivers would be the availability of recharge points and time it took to recharge the battery. It may only take a few minutes to fill up a gasoline tank, whereas with the electric car it could take a matter of hours.

With Tesla looking to branch out into a more populated consumer market, the company will be entering into a much higher more competitive state with the other car companies. What consumers have been looking for when it comes to their personal needs and views on transportation has evolved rather quickly in a such a short time. Where 10 to 20 years ago the market was craving gas guzzling trucks and larger SUVs, now more fuel efficient and cheap to maintain are in demand. The customer base has showed support and willingness to buy and drive a fully electric vehicle if the price tag was a little more conservative to the needs of the market. Fiat has described issues with the 500e to which even the CEO has asked consumer to stop buying the car because it is costing the company $14,000 with every sale. This concept makes many wonder if the $35,000 price tag would consume the profit that were to be made on any sale of the Model 3.

 

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BMW Accelerates in 2014

BMW had a phenomenal sales year in 2013, as the company sold a total of 1,963,798 vehicles last years. 2013 brought in a banner year for the company and set a sales record for BMW which fell only slightly short of 2 million vehicles sold. That goal of 2 million vehicles sold became the clear cut goal and direction of the company for 2014, and the first six months of this year are proving that BMW has what it takes to achieve such a high goal.

BMW’s First 6 MonthsBMW

The first six months of 2014 have been great for BMW, as the German automaker group has already sold over 1 million vehicles worldwide. Between January and June, BMW has sold a total of 1,020,211 which has marked 6.9 percent increase in deliveries for the company on the current record. Industry experts currently analyzing the sales of BMW believe that the consumer buying trend will continue on throughout the end of the year. BMW will release their X4, which enthusiasts are pegging as a newer crossover for the market and will deliver an expected boost in sales. The core brand BMW is currently outperforming the other companies beneath the BMW family brands and has surpassed Mercedes-Benz in overall sales this year. In the first six months of the year, BMW has sold 886,347 vehicles while Mercedes-Benz has only sold 783,520 vehicles this year. And just when the electric vehicle market was seemingly dominated by Toyota, Nissan, and the ever popular Tesla – BMW sold an impressive 5,396 BMW i3 EVs (Electric vehicles).

Success Amid Recalls

The amount of recalls that has been issued by auto manufacturers this year has been staggering to say the least. General Motors has taken the lead in the amount of cars recalled due to almost endless defects, Toyota has been affected by airbag and break issues, and now BMW has issued a recall of 1.6 million vehicles created between May 1999 and August 2006. The years of produced cars are being voluntarily recalled by BMW for issues with passenger side air bags that were designed and supplied by Takata Corp, which have been breaking apart during impact and deploying projectiles into the cabin which have been injuring passengers. The active recall is a worldwide recall and is nothing more than an extension of a recall issued last year concerning 240,000 vehicles. The airbag issue is not solely tied to BMW, as Takata Corp is one of the leading suppliers to global auto manufacturers and has affected millions of cars across dozens of brands and banners. Under the BMW family brands, 26 Minis were affected and recalled in accordance with the Takata Corp recalls. The latest recalls by BMW stand at 574,000 recalled in the US, 189,000 vehicles recalled in the United Kingdom, 450,000 vehicles recalled in Germany. Whereas the same recall issue in the US was limited to only 42,000 vehicles.

The BMW Family BrandsBMW 2

While the core brand of BMW, BMW is selling tremendously well this year the other brands under the family banner have seen their sales numbers dip a bit. The Mini Cooper lineup saw their sales fall by 11.4 percent in the same amount of time that the BMW sales rose. However, the recently released new redesigned Mini hardtop convertible is helping to boost the sales figures for the brands. Mini sales may be slightly down for the last 6 months, but have in comparison to that percentage risen slightly by 3.2 percent in June sales compared against June 2013.

Rolls Royce sales are up a significant 33.4 percent over last year. There is considerable demand for their current Ghost Series II and the Wraith. Even the BMW Motorrad was able to sell 70,978 motorcycles and scooters halfway through the current year. In the US, sales rose roughly 5.1 percent which has helped keep BMW in the running for their overall sales goals but it is the Asian and European automobile markets that have the greatest impact on overall sales. By the close of June of this year, BMW has sold a total of 181,534 vehicles while the overseas markets have sold much higher figures. In Asia BMW has sold over 321,915 vehicles while on the European market BMW has sold a whopping 455,808 units.

BMW continues to accelerate in 2014 as the brand has continued to innovate an inspire. The company is still driven to post its internal record breaking sales figures and continues on following the goals of reaching the 2 million sale mark. The company is investing in itself and therefore has proven to those willing to invest in either shares or products that when looking at BMW you are betting on a safe bet. BMW has proven to enthusiasts and consumers alike that internal goals, industry goals, and being an industry leader are just as important to the company as producing a car that is fun and exciting to drive!

 

 

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5 Cars Failing in the US Market

The American automobile industry all but collapsed a few years ago during one of the biggest recessions in US history. Over the last couple of years car and light truck and crossover sales have steadily began to increase. In May 2014 auto sales in the US jumped 11 percent over last year, yet there were 5 cars that were left in the wake of this rising industry success. Keep reading to learn more about the 5 cars failing in the US market.

One: Scion tCcars

Scion sales for the first five months of the year were up 10 percent over last year but down overall. The average Scion sits on the dealership lot roughly 90 days before it is sold. Last year it took the average tC 63 days of sitting on dealer lots before the cars were sold with only 1,571 tC’s being sold between January and May. The Scion tC has a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of less than 20,000 dollars yet has had mixed results when comparing tC sales numbers over parent company Toyota. Traditionally the Scion brand has been marketed towards the younger generation but Toyota has already begun looking at restructuring how and who they market the cars towards. Despite being backed by one of the most reliable car companies, Scion as a brand has been rated as the worst rated cars on the road by a study conducted by J.D. Power.

cars 1Two: Dodge Avenger

Dodge dealerships are sitting on a plethora of Dodge Avengers as it took an average of 96 days to sell an Avenger after arrival. Sales are down 34 percent over last year and the brand as whole is reeling in from the lack of customer satisfaction. The manufacturer’s suggested retail price is 20,595 dollars and were ranked as one of the least dependable brands in the US. Between January and May 2014 7,024 Avengers were sold, and the company has already announced plans to discontinue the car.

Three: Chrysler 200cars 2

Like its counterpart and sister car the Dodge Avenger, the Chrysler 200 is competing in a heavily saturated market which has caused sales to drop 40 percent. Dealerships selling the 200 have noticed a trend in which it takes roughly 102 days to sell one 200. Between January and May of this year, 7,567 Chrysler 200s were sold, even with a brand new redesign introduced into the market. The car competes in the same market as the high selling Toyota Camry and the Honda Accord – the two top selling cars in the nation to date. The manufacturer’s suggested retail price is roughly 21,700 dollars. One of the biggest issues with the Chrysler 200 is the lack of affordable trim level upgrades as the most fully equipped 200 can cost over 35,000 dollars.

cars 3Four: Mitsubishi Outlander

The Mitsubishi Outlander competes in one of the most difficult categories taking on the Ford Escape, Honda CR-V, and Toyota RAV4. Between January and May sales for the Outlander actually increased by 37 percent over last year but the brand itself accounts for less than half a percent of the US automobile sales market. It took in that same time period an average of 117 days to sell an outlander, only selling 3,788 of them in a five month span. While it is a rather small improvement for Mitsubishi for the first five months of the year, overall sales are up for the company at 34 percent yet is failing overall in the US market.

Five: Cadillac Escaladecars 4

The Cadillac Escalade is one of the best known signs of luxury when it comes to the auto industry. It is one the three full size SUVs produced by General Motors that includes the GMC Yukon and the Chevrolet Tahoe. However in just a five month span between January and May Cadillac has only sold 1,498 Escalades and took an average of 115 days to move just one SUV. The manufacturer’s suggest retail price is 71,695 dollars and overall sales have dropped 14.7 percent year after year. While the largely expensive Escalade may have been battling quality control issues with the recent plethora of General Motors recalls yet with the introduction of a newer redesigned version of the Cadillac Escalade. A J.D. Power’s 2014 Vehicle Dependability study ranked the Cadillac Escalade behind only Mercedes-Benz and Lexus. While consumers have been ranking as very happy and satisfied with the brand, sales continue to drop in the US market. This trend is telling industry experts that the high sticker price and fuel consumption by the Cadillac Escalade is enough to help kill it in sales in the US market.

These 5 above mentioned cars have been failing in the US auto market over the past couple of years. All with their own individual failures either specific to the models or the brands, but continue to deteriorate in the market they are produced in as well as might not be on the market much longer. Due to the long turnover rate for the vehicles to move from delivery to sale, these 5 cars continue to fail on the US market.

 

 

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