Monthly Archives: March 2014

European Auto Industry Experiencing Fragile Recovery

Across Europe, the auto industry experiences weak sales and little growth.

Sales of European passenger cars continued their feeble recovery in February for the sixth straight month, according to an industry report on Tuesday.

New-vehicle registrations, a proxy for car sales, rose 8 percent last month in the European Union from February 2013, the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association reported from Brussels.

The European economy has been slowly recovering since the first half of last year, but the car market has been moribund since the onset of the global credit crisis in 2008. As millions of jobs in the European Union depend on car sales directly or indirectly, economists watch the data for hints about the trajectory of growth and the prospects for the region’s more than 26 million unemployed people.

While sales have risen steadily since bottoming out in August, the total of 861,058 vehicles registered last month was still the second-lowest on record for a February, the association said. In a data series that goes back to 2003, when the European Union had fewer members, only the figure for February 2013 was lower.

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Newest Tesla Commercial Goes Viral

While most car commercials cost significant cash to produce, the latest Tesla commercial create serious impact on a small budget.
For all the millions spent on car advertising, it’s amazing what $1,500 can do.
That was the budget of a 60-second video spot done by a couple of guys who wanted to promote the Tesla electric car.
They created a spot called “Modern Spaceship” in which a boy makes the car part of his other-worldly fantasy.
Advertising Age says the piece was done by a new production company called Everdream Pictures — and that Tesla didn’t pay a cent for it. Everdream co-CEOs James Khabushani, 25, and RJ Collins, 24, work out of Culver City, Calif.
Read the full article here.

Slow Sales Cause Chrysler to Idle Plant

Slow sales of Chrysler’s Viper model halts production in one plant. Chrysler Group has suspended production of its SRT Viper sport coupe for at least two months because of slow sales.

As a result, 91 hourly workers at Chrysler’s Conner Avenue Assembly in Detroit will be laid off, a spokeswoman said. The Detroit Free Press reported the production suspension earlier today.

“Chrysler Group confirms that its Conner Avenue Assembly Plant will be down, beginning the week of April 14. Production will resume the week of June 23,” the company said in a written statement.

Through January and February, U.S. dealers had sold just 91 of the 640-hp two seaters, and had 756 vehicles unsold on March 1, a 412-day supply. Vipers have traditionally not sold well in winter in part because its specialized tires do not grip well in cold weather.

Chrysler said the Viper “is a hand-crafted American exotic car that is designed for a specific consumer that values performance, style and exclusivity. It has never been intended to be a mass-production vehicle as less than 29,000 vehicles have been produced in the past 20 years. The ability to increase and decrease production at the Conner Avenue Assembly Plant allows the company to continue to our consumer’s desire to keep these special cars exclusive.”

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With Honda and GM in the Middle of Recalls, Chrysler Joins the Party

Chrysler’s Dodge Charger is being recalled with issues with the car’s headlights. More than 43,000 vehicles have already been recalled.

The automaker said the voluntary action will affect 43,450 Chargers in the U.S. from the 2011 and 2012 model years. The recall is to inspect the jumper harnesses and halogen bulbs in the headlights, which can overheat, causing a potential fire risk.

Any parts discovered to be faulty will be replaced at no charge to owners. Chrysler is not aware of any accidents or injuries as a result of the issue, the automaker said in a statement.

Read the full article here.