THE SHOW WILL GO ON — EARLY
It’s official – the National Automobile Dealers’ Association will shift its annual convention up a week to accommodate a Feb. 3 Super Bowl in New Orleans. Reportedly, the NFL will pay the NADA some $7.5 million for expenses related to moving the mega-dealer conference to the week of Jan. 27. As for other shows, spokesmen for AAPEX and SEMA say the annual shows will take place as scheduled, starting Oct. 30 at the Sands Expo Center and the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas. Spokesmen said there have been several rumors about the shows being cancelled in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in New York and Washington. "We have successfully combated false rumors of the shows' cancellations," said Chuck Blum, president of SEMA. "And, we're seeing continued confidence in our industry and its future. Our exhibit space is still sold out, and we continue to add new exhibitors to our waiting list. Every day, we receive messages supporting our efforts to go ahead with our Las Vegas shows as planned."
NISSAN WORKERS REJECT UAW
In a major blow to the United Auto Workers union, employees at Nissan’s Smyrna, Tenn., assembly plant overwhelmingly rejected the UAW’s organization drive. Spokesmen for both the union and Nissan said that 3,103 of the 4,589 eligible workers rejected UAW representation. Industry analysts have said this was a critical showdown for the UAW since a win at Smyrna could have propelled the union into representing workers at other foreign-owned plants. If the workers had voted in favor of representation, it would have been the first fully-owned foreign auto plant to be unionized. The vote was the fourth the UAW has suffered at Smyrna. A vote to organize the non-union plant 12 years ago failed by a 2-1 margin. Two other union drives, in 1997 and 2000, unraveled before workers were even able to vote.
EUROPE FEELS AMERICA’S SLOWDOWN
There were more reports of gloom and doom for the world auto industry on Wednesday. DRI-WEFA Inc. predicted that global economic growth is likely to fall to below 1.5 percent, helped by falling auto sales and production cuts. DRI-WEFA forecasted that global light vehicle sales will fall 2.6 percent for 2001 and will fall an additional 1.5 percent in 2002. The firm predicted that production will drop 4 percent this year and 1 percent in 2002. Nigel Griffiths, DRI-WEFA's director of European Automotive Forecasting and managing editor of the World Car Industry Forecast Report told Reuters, "Over the next 16 months, 2.9 million units of sales will be lost compared to DRI-WEFA's pre-crisis forecasts. The last few months of 2001 will lose about 400,000 to 500,000 units with the balance of 2.5 million units lost in the full year 2002.” Meanwhile, the World Markets Research Center predicted that European car sales will drop by 600,000 this year and a further 1 million in 2002. The report said that European consumer confidence had been shattered by the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington. Other market researchers and analysts have been scrambling to cut their car market forecasts.
HONDA DOES SOME BRAGGING
Honda took some major bragging rights for the year, trumpeting the Accord as the best-selling car in America for the 2001 model year, the Civic as the best-selling small car, and the Acura 3.2 TL as the best-selling luxury sedan. The newly remodeled Accord sold 412,074, topping the aging Toyota Camry, which had sales of 388,512. The third-place Ford Taurus sold 349,742 units. The Civic was the best-selling small car in America with 2001 model year sales of 323,074. It topped the Ford Focus, which sold 261,542. The Acura 3.2 TL posted 2001 model year sales of 68,229, topping the BMW 3-Series sedan, which sold 61,992.
TOP TWENTY SELLERS
The following are the 20 top-selling vehicles in the United States for the calendar year through September 2001, as reported by the automakers.
1 Ford F-Series pickup 650,856
2 Chevrolet Silverado 502,343
3 Honda Accord 319,841
4 Ford Explorer 303,455
5 Toyota Camry 293,350
6 Ford Taurus 275,082
7 Honda Civic 259,358
8 Dodge Ram pickup 257,089
9 Ford Ranger 217,670
10 Ford Focus 200,615
11 Dodge Caravan 184,642
12 Toyota Corolla 180,066
13 Chevrolet Cavalier 174,109
14 Jeep Grand Cherokee 158,541
15 Chevrolet Impala 150,599
16 Pontiac Grand Am 148,565
17 Chevrolet Malibu 145,575
18 Chevrolet Tahoe 144,506
19 GMC Sierra pickup 144,320
20 Ford Windstar 134,431
WILL FOSSIL FUEL GO THE WAY OF THE DINOSAUR?
The chairman of world’s second largest energy firm said Big Oil must prepare itself for the end of oil as the basis for the world economy as consumers embrace alternative energies. Royal Dutch/Shell chairman Phil Watts said that oil giants will need to adapt as motorists move towards hydrogen-powered vehicles and other forms of non-oil based energy. ``One thing I am convinced of is that the next 50 years is not going to be more of the same. An energy company had better make sure it has the necessary expertise and knowledge,'' Watts said. Shell says it will spend more than $500 million over the next five years to develop new energy businesses, concentrating on wind and solar.
Read which family cars can be enviro-friendly”
DELPHI TO EXPAND IN INDIA
Delphi Automotive plans to offer free auto service check-ups for 50,000 car owners in India, in a push to reach car owners looking for quality replacement parts. Delphi hopes to sell aftermarket products including air-conditioning parts, batteries, filters and shocks. Delphi’s worldwide aftermarket sales totaled $2.1 billion last year, but the company’s share of the Indian aftermarket was insignificant. Delphi sold $68.5 million worth of products in India last year, but most were to automakers.
BMW MAY BUY TOYOTA DIESELS FOR MINI
Toyota and BMW are close to a deal to have Toyota produce diesel engines for BMW’s new Mini. The deal would be for a 1400-cc diesel engine that is a modified version of the engine used in the Yaris compact car Toyota makes in France. If finalized, this would be the first time Toyota would supply diesel engines to a company outside its group. Toyota would supply more than 20,000 engines annually.
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FROM THE SOURCE:
Yazaki North America announced the appointment of Bryan Jinnett as vice president of quality. … For the second consecutive year, Chrysler Group has won the most prestigious awards given to corporations by the Michigan Minority Business Development Council. … Textron Automotive had two of its North American plants selected by IndustryWeek as winners in the manufacturing management magazine's 12th annual Best Plants competition. It is the first time in the competition's 12-year history that the 10-best list included two plants from the same company. … American Axle & Manufacturing Holdings announced that Albion Automotive Ltd., its United Kingdom subsidiary, has secured an extension of its contract to supply crankshafts to MG Rover Group, the UK's remaining high volume independent car maker. … Porsche Cars North America announced the Porsche 50-State Drive For Hope will begin on Oct. 18, in Honolulu, Hawaii. The event will benefit The Hope Foundation, a cancer research organization. Twenty percent of all proceeds raised from the event will be given to the New York Firefighters 9-11 Disaster Relief Fund. … Cooper Tire and Rubber Co. cut its earnings expectations for its third quarter, saying that slower automotive production and tire sales had hurt results.
New-vehicle shoppers are 59 percent more likely to use the Internet in automotive shopping process than are late-model, used-vehicle shoppers (54 percent vs. 34 percent). This is partially because 91 percent of new-vehicle shoppers have access to the Internet, as opposed to only 62 percent of used-vehicle shoppers. Source: 2000 New Autoshopper.com and 2000 Used Autoshopper.com.
Autoliv (ALV), Closed 15.28, down 0.39
ArvinMeritor (ARM), Closed 15.60, up 0.58
American Axel (AXL), Closed 12.61, up 0.21
Ballard Power Systems (BLDP), Closed 24.78, up 1.84
Borg-Warner (BWA), Closed 42.47, up 1.47
Collins & Aikman (CKC), 5.70, up 0.50
Cummins (CUM), Closed 33.68, up 0.19
Dana (DCN) Closed 14.65, down 1.05
DaimlerChrysler (DCX) Closed 33.28, up 1.02
Donnelly (DON) Closed 13.15, down 0.20
Delphi Automotive (DPH), Closed 11.62, up 0.17
Eaton (ETN), Closed 63.08, up 1.85
Ford Motor Co. (F), Closed 17.95, up 0.15
General Motors (GM), Closed 42.64, down 0.31
Gentex (GNTX), Closed 23.04, up 0.07
Goodyear (GT), Closed 18.30, up 0.01
Johnson Controls (JCI), Closed 67.57, up 0.12
Lear (LEA), Closed 28.05, up 1.48
Magna International (MGA), Closed 51.84, up 1.19
Motorola (MOT), Closed 15.40, up 0.17
Nissan (NSANY), Closed 8.55, down 0.16
Tower Automotive (TWR), Closed 6.97, up 0.22
Toyota (TM), Closed 55.59, up 0.14
TRW (TRW), Closed 32.09, up 1.06
Visteon (VC), Closed 13.23, up 0.03