Hyundai’s 2010 Goal in the US is 500,000 sales and 4.5% Market Share
Feb16

Hyundai’s 2010 Goal in the US is 500,000 sales and 4.5% Market Share

Korean automaker has seven new model launches in 2010, plans aggressive marketing campaigns this year, and, although this wasn’t in the plan, is also benefiting from Toyota’s troubles

By Brendan Moore

02.16.2010

Hyundai logoHyundai sales went up in a decidedly down US market in 2009, and the company sees blue skies in an improving market in 2010. Their sunny prediction is that Hyundai will go from 4.2% percent market share last year to 4.5% this year. To do so, the Korean manufacturer will need to hit 500,000 unit sales.

Hyundai sales in the US jumped 8% last year, going to 435,064 units in a market that crashed downward 21% overall. The company jumped an amazing 1.2% in market share, going from 3% to 4.2% in a single year.

Company officials are quick to say that they don’t think they can match that sort of market share growth this year, but that they feel that there is a “really good chance” that they will hit 500,000 sales this year for the first time ever, according to Dave Zuchowski, US sales chief of Hyundai.

Zuchowski went on to say that, “The 500,000 number is a magical number for us.”

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Marchionne Says Alfa Romeo Return to US Probable in 2012
Feb15

Marchionne Says Alfa Romeo Return to US Probable in 2012

No, really…

By Brendan Moore

02.15.2010

Alfa Romeo logoFiat CEO Sergio Marchionne has told reporters in Toronto that he sees the Alfa Romeo brand returning to the United States in 2012. He made the remarks last Friday, but there was some confusion about just what was said over the weekend until a Chrysler Media Relations spokesman confirmed Marchionne’s statement earlier today.

According to those present, the Fiat CEO said, when asked about Alfa showing up in North America again, “I’m a lot more confident now that Alfa Romeo will reconstitute a product offering that is acceptable globally, and more in particular in the United States and Canada. There is a strong likelihood that the brand will be back here within the next 24 months.”

Alfa had an ignominious departure from the United States in 1995, after struggling to convince American consumers that a warmed-over Spyder and the expensive 164 sedan were worth passing up those German performance offerings when it came time to put something new in the garage.

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Lawsuits Planned Over Toyota’s Dropped Resale Values
Feb12

Lawsuits Planned Over Toyota’s Dropped Resale Values

By Brendan Moore

02.12.2010

Toyota logo-smallAt least 60 consumer class-action lawsuits have been filed in at least thirty-two states so far over the precipitous drop in resale values of Toyotas, according to public statements from some attorneys representing the plaintiffs.

As if Toyota doesn’t have enough legal problems with the forthcoming personal injury suits stemming from the unintended acceleration issues in their cars, now they face suits in United States federal court for economic damages for diminished value or lost use of transportation suffered by owners of Toyota vehicles.

Simply put, the lawsuits over diminished value exist as a result of the fact that anyone with a used late-model Toyota has a vehicle that is now worth quite a bit less than it was worth only two weeks ago.

Toyota vehicles have dropped in resale value since the recalls involving 8.5 million vehicles were announced, with more decreases expected in the future. It has been suggested that the average Toyota may lose an extra 5% – 8% of its original projected residual value this year. As an example of what that could mean to the average consumer, 5% of a $15,000 USD used Toyota is $750.

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Putin Presents Fiat with a 2.4 Billion Euro Gift
Feb11

Putin Presents Fiat with a 2.4 Billion Euro Gift

By Brendan Moore

02.11.2010

Fiat logoIn a surprise move, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin told Fiat and Sollers executives that the Russian government would provide the major portion of a 2.4 billion euro ($3.29 billion USD) financing package for their proposed joint venture intended to become Russia’s second-largest auto manufacturer. The Russian government will also act as guarantor for loans made by any other lenders, thereby effectively making the government the default lender for the joint venture capitalization.

Fiat plans to manufacture up to 500,000 Fiat and Chrysler brand vehicles a year in the plant by 2016, in tandem with its local partner, Sollers. Fiat and Sollers currently produce vehicles together in Russia, but the annual production is only around 19,000 units annually.

The forecasted production of the joint venture would enable Sollers to leap from their current 18th place in the ranks of Russian vehicle manufacturers to a firm 2nd place, right behind AvtoVAZ. Fiat owns a large stake in AvtoVAZ, by virtue of a billion dollar investment two years ago in the struggling Russian automaker. AvtoVAZ has production capacity of approximately 750,000 vehicles per year.

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BMW Offers Greater Warranty Coverage Time on Certified Pre-Owned 2007 Models
Feb08

BMW Offers Greater Warranty Coverage Time on Certified Pre-Owned 2007 Models

By Brendan Moore

02.08.2010

BMW logo smallFor those of you that are interested in purchasing a late-model used BMW in North America, BMW is offering optional longer warranty coverage on its certified 2007 pre-owned model vehicles at no charge, but only for a short time during a promotional period.

The offer is good between February 2 and March 31, and can be taken by a retail buyer in lieu of the 0.9% financing being offered on the 2007 models by BMW Financial Services. And, this is an important caveat, even if you take a pass on the special financing from BMW Financial Services, you still have to finance the vehicle through BMW Financial Services using their regular financing in order to get the warranty offer. You cannot pay cash, or, get financed through another source, and be eligible for the extended warranty.

The longer coverage period for the certified vehicles is for two years or 50,000 miles, whichever comes first, and extends the new car factory warranty, which covers everything.

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