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Honda Insight and Civic won the International Achievement

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Honda Insight and Civic won the International Achievement
Two variants of Honda Motor Co. Ltd. of international achievement in each of two different countries. Both cars are hybrid Honda Insight and Civic small sedan.

Honda Insight was selected as “Car of the Year 2009-2010” from the Japan Automotive Hall of Fame. Carrying i-VTEC engine 1.3L hybrid system, this vehicle offers several advantages such as value for money, technology supported IMA (Integrated Motor Assist), as well as environmentally friendly.

In Japan, the Insight sold 1.890 million yen, or about 200 million per unit. In addition, Insight also successfully won the title of “best selling” in Japan in April 2009.

“This award provides an opportunity to help preserve the environment by putting a hybrid vehicle with environmental performance and support affordable for many people,” said Takanobu Ito, president and CEO of Honda Motor Co. Ltd. world.honda.com quoted as saying.

Besides Insight, Honda’s other products is the Civic earned the title of ‘Most Reliable Car’ “in the UK from a survey conducted Fleet News. This survey of 50 companies involving a fleet of vehicles (fleet) the largest in the UK to provide an assessment of 840,000 cars. While in Indonesia, the City had won the title as The Best Small Sedan Auto build Award in 2009.

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July Sales: Cash for Clunkers Spurs FoMoCo; Toyota Regains Second-Place

DETROIT – Ford Motor Company is ebullient about its first year-over-year sales increase since November 2007. Total Ford-Lincoln-Mercury sales, including fleet, rose 2 percent in July 2009 compared with July 2008, and of that, retail sales rose 9 percent. Still, it’s too early to party. The Great Recession isn’t over yet.”Right now, the legs under the economy are not strong enough to sustain a 14-16 million sales rate as we saw at the end of July,” says Ford analyst George Pipas. “A sales increase in July is not the end of the journey.”Aside from the minor increase compared with a very weak July ’08, when gasoline averaged $4.11 per gallon, Ford proved through individual model sales that the Cash for Clunkers program helped move fuel-efficient metal. Probably not coincidentally, the low-priced cars and trucks that consumers who until now were driving clunkers could afford to buy moved the most. Ford Focus sales surpassed Fusion sales, although both models were up compared with last year. Even though a four-cylinder Fusion is within a couple mpg city/highway, the smaller, cheaper Focus easily outsold the Fusion, 21,830 (up 43.6 percent) to 17,610 (up 66 percent).The redesigned-for-2009 Focus became Ford’s darling when gas topped $4 per gallon. Earlier this year, the facelifted 2010 Fusion was Ford’s savior in some of the slowest sales months in decades. Advertising dollars targeting new models helps.If Cash for Clunkers money drew a lot of prospective buyers to Ford lots in the last week, I’ve got to bet that some of those consumers trading in ’90s Explorers chose, say an $18,000-list Focus over a $23,000-list Fusion because it better met their budgets. Many of those clunkers undoubtedly were third or even fourth cars, driven by the high schoolers in the family. Estimates of how much oil the program saves may be a bit of a stretch.No matter. The program is a success for bringing consumers back into the market — either those who have been holding off or those who figured credit had dried up so much, it wasn’t worth it to walk into a showroom. General Motors estimates July sales for all makers totaled an annual rate that would equal about 11.3-million vehicles, marking the first month in 2009 above the 10-million level.And GM has just announced a lease program with U.S. Bank for Chevrolets, Buicks, GMCs and Cadillacs (its core four in North America) for New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Michigan and Ohio through August 31. U.S. Bank leases for the new Cadillac SRX are available nationwide.Meanwhile, Chrysler says that The Wall Street Journal got it wrong Monday morning. Chrysler will continue to offer matching incentives of up to $4500 on certain models whether you bring in a clunker or not. Obviously, if your local dealer is out of, say, 2009 PT Cruisers, you’re not going to get $4500 off a 2010 model. And so, to the numbers:GM: 189,443, off 19.4 percent.Inventory of about 466,000 is the lowest on record, says sales veep Mark LaNeve.With inventories dropping for all automakers, the deals aren’t likely to get any more desperate.Chevy division sales were relatively strong, at 124,948, still down 9.3 percent.Equinox was a rare gainer, up 77.8 percent to 10,834. About 60 percent were ’10 models, and most of those were four-bangers.Buick Enclave remains strong, selling 3,797, off 2.5 percent.Cadillac, at 6,171, off 52.6 percent, was the biggest loser of the core four.Saab was off 71.7 percent to 574 and Hummer was off 57.4 percent to 799.Impala was up 9.6 percent to 14,649 but Malibu was off 7.8 percent to 15,339.Modern wagon wars continues: Toyota sold 9,407 Highlanders, (+39.1 percent), Chevy sold 6,690 Traverses, Honda sold 6,430 Pilots (-15.3 percent), Dodge sold 4,165 Journeys (+21 percent) and Ford sold 3,631 Flexes (+64.7 percent).The new Camaro continues to be in short supply. Chevy sold 7,113, vs. 6,686 Ford Mustangs (-37.6 percent) and 886 Dodge Challengers (-69 percent).GM will build some 2010 G6s for fleet customers, LaNeve said, making it the last Pontiac.The New GM of Chevy, Buick, GMC and Cadillac, sold 160,078 vehicles, a couple thousand more than Ford/Lincoln/Mercury but short of Toyota.Toyota-Scion-Lexus: 174,872, off 11.4 percent.Toyota division accounted for 156,355 (including Scions), off 10.8 percent, making Toyota the U.S.’ best-selling brand.Lexus fell 16.5 percent to 18,517.Prius jumped 29.7 percent to 19,173. Camry sales fell 19.4 percent to a still-strong 33,974.RAV4 may have benefited from the clunkers credit, up 32.5 percent to 15,912.Midsize pickups also are doing well. Tacoma was up 7.6 percent to 12,552.Monthly Scion numbers: 6,754, vs. 11,906 in July ’08.Ford-Lincoln-Mercury: 158,838, up 2 percent.Focus was Ford’s best-selling car, up 43.6 percent to 21,830.Fusion was up 66 percent to 17,610.F-150 remains Ford’s best-selling vehicle, off 19 percent to 36,327.Escape was up 94.2 percent to 20,241.Ranger was up 64.5 percent to 7,695. Looks like another Cash for Clunkers winner.Taurus was off 57.1 percent to 1,760 as Ford ramped down the old model.Mercury Milan was up 59.8 percent to 2,934 while Mariner was up 70.5 percent to 3,682 as the Lincoln side of the showroom suffered a 24.3 percent drop.Inventory of 295,000 vehicles, averaging less than a 50-day supply, is 41 percent thinner than at the end of July ’08.Honda-Acura: 114,690, off 17.3 percent.That’s 106,028 Hondas, off 15.8 percent, and 8,662 Acuras, off 32.5 percent.Civic was up 3.1 percent to 30,037.Accord was off 28.1 percent to 29,774.Fit was off 27.6 percent to 8,876 but CR-V was up 9.9 percent to 19,151.Acura RDX was off 62.5 percent to 519 and TSX was off 35.8 percent to 2,232.Chrysler LLC: 88,900, off 9 percent.Winners were small models, helped by heavy incentives. Chrysler PT Cruiser was up 24 percent to 4,092 sold.Jeep Patriot was up 134 percent to 8,084 and Compass was up 95 percent.Jeep Wrangler, which posted increases for the first five months of the year, was down for the second month in a row, off 25 percent to 4,540.Dodge Caliber was up 63 percent to 7,814.Avenger was up 30 percent to 5,616.Sebring was off 27 percent to 2,781. Chrysler has sold 13,466 for the entire year so far, well below Ford Fusion’s monthly sales.Chrysler Town & Country fell 15 percent to 6,837. Dodge Caravan was up 15 percent to 8,405, however.Ram was off 17 percent to 17,723.Nissan-Infiniti: 71,847, off 24.6 percent.Nissan division was off 24.8 percent to 64,751.Infiniti was off 23.3 percent to 7,096.Nissan Versa was off just 2 percent to 8,530, though Sentra fell 13.5 percent to 9,496.Rogue sales were up 3.8 percent to 6,770.Z was up 11.9 percent to 890. Inexplicably, Infiniti QX56 was up 0.4 percent to 553.Nissan GT-R was off by 19 units to 128.OTHERS …Hyundai says 22 percent of its trade-ins were “clunkers.” Sales rose 12 percent, to 45,553. Accent, Sonata, Elantra and Genesis all posted gains and Santa Fe was down very slightly.Kia sold 29,345 units, up 1,324 units from last July. Subaru was up an impressive 34 percent, to 21,839. Mazda sold 19,032, off 15.1 percent.BMW Group, including Mini, was off 26.7 percent, to 21,253. BMW brand sold 16,381, off 31.5 percent. Mini was off 3.8 percent, to 4,872. Only all-ne
w models gained sales last month; BMW Z4 (up 33.8-percent) and 7 Series (up 14.5 percent), and Mini Cooper convertible (up 45.1 percent).Cash for Clunkers helped Volkswagen, which was up 0.7 percent, to 20,590 while Audi says it outperformed the premium segment, dropping just 5.8 percent, to 6,407. The clunkers program does not help with new cars north of $45,000.Mercedes-Benz USA, sold 17,646, including 16,228 Mercedes (off 21.7 percent) and 1,418 smarts, off 44.6 percent.Jaguar Land Rover fell 25 percent, to 2,607. Jaguar was down 45 percent, to 785 cars and Land Rover was down 11 percent, to 1,822.
Source : blogs.motortrend.com/6564996/car-news/july-sales-cash-for-clunkers-spurs-fomoco-toyota-regains-second-place/index.html

May Sales: Hummer Outsells Civic … to Chinese Heavy Duty Truck Manufacturer

DETROIT – In my May sales blog a year ago, I wrote that Honda Civic sales for the month would top Hummer sales for the entire year. My previous post that day was “Wagoner to Hummer: Go Away.” Then-CEO and Chairman Rick Wagoner announced that GM would find a buyer for Hummer — which seemed improbable even that early in the recession — or would close it. Tuesday afternoon, GM confirmed a story in The New York Times that it is in talks to sell Hummer to Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machinery Company.

Tengzhong gets Hummer’s senior management, including the division’s president, Jim Taylor, and GM expects to enter into a long-term contract to sell key components and material supplies, and continues to assemble Hummers for the long-term. Which may not do much for GM’s reputation as purveyor of big, thirsty SUVs. That’s another post.

That post on June 3 of last year said that American Honda sales rose 11.3-percent for the month. Civics (which posted sales of 52,299, versus Hummer division’s 27,485 for all of ’08) and Fits were sold out because gas was nearly $4 per gallon. Toyota sales fell 7.9 percent, only because it didn’t have enough Priuses to meet demand. General Motors, Ford Motor and Chrysler all were off by fairly large double-digits.

Why is this important today?

Because someone, somewhere, is going to misreport that Toyota, with sales down 38.4 percent, and American Honda, which recorded a 39.2-percent drop, did worse than GM, down just 29.6 percent, and Ford Motor Company, down 24.2 percent. Remember, these are May ’09 versus May ’08 sales for the U.S. market. Thanks to gas prices last year, the Japanese manufacturers were stronger a year ago than the domestics. They had more space to fall.

That said, there was a lot of optimism about May ’09 sales, even at Chrysler, which was off 47 percent. Chrysler’s retail sales fell just 30 percent, said sales and marketing VP Steven Landry, to help the company to its best month in 2009 so far. Selling cars during a full month of Chapter 11 bankruptcy proved easier than expected, Chrysler said.

“I don’t know of any of our dealers that have had a fire sale,” Landry said.

Where bankruptcy was considered a dealer-killer a couple of months ago, Chrysler and GM seem to have moved well beyond that, with even Chrysler claiming a relative uptick in last month’s sales. Both companies cited the Obama administration’s pledge to back up new car warranties with federal guarantees.

Increased seasonally adjusted rates, both in the U.S. and globally, “indicates that we did find the bottom as an industry in the spring,” said Mark LaNeve, GM’s vice president for North American sales, service and marketing. He sees “consumers somewhat de-sensitized to bankruptcy. They’re moving past it.”

According to each of the Detroit Three’s calculations, May’s Seasonally Adjusted Average Rate was in the 10.1- to 10.2-million range, slightly higher than GM’s break-even point assuming it can hold on to 18.5-percent market share with Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac. With outgoing Hummer, Saab, Saturn and Pontiac, it held on to 20.5 percent in May. Break it down to the four brands that will survive and its market share was just 16 percent.

That’s where better distribution of marketing funding to the four core brands will come in. If GM can redirect Pontiac and Saturn buyers mostly to Chevy, with some going to Buick, it may be able to maintain that crucial 18.5-percent market share.

Total sales of GM’s Core Four was 168,623, still ahead of Ford-Mercury-Lincoln’s 155,954 and Toyota-Lexus-Scion’s 152,583. Chevrolet alone sold 127,510, still below Toyota division’s 135,661 and the Ford brand’s 137,167.

Ford execs were ecstatic about that company’s relative success, its best sales month since last July. They touted reduced sales incentives, even though Ford just launched its “Drive the Ford Difference” promotion, which makes the first three payments for buyers, during the summer. Sounds like a lot of money on the hood, to me.

With that, let’s go to the numbers:

GM: 191,875, off 29.6 percent.
*Sales were up 19,000 units, or 11 percent, over April ’09 (which was up 11 percent over March)
*Chevy retail sales up 28 percent, Buick retail up 17 percent.
*Toyota Highlander (7,556) and Honda Pilot (7,412) passed Chevy Traverse (7,045). And Ford Flex was up more than 1,100 units at 4,305 to pass Dodge Journey (4,023).
*Chevy Malibu was off just 10.7 percent, to 14,098, about 5k short of Fusion.
*Chevy Express/G Sportvan, was GM’s best year-over-year performer, up 149.6 percent to 2,194, Cadillac Escalade was second, up 21.3-percent, to 1,831.
*Chevy delivered 5,463 Camaros in its first full month, “well beyond expectations,” according to LaNeve. Chevrolet has 8,000 to 10,000 unfilled orders at 0 incentives.
*Hummer sold 1,094 trucks, off 40.6 percent, but better than last month’s 913. Saab sold 783 vehicles, off 63.5 percent and Saturn sold 8,046 vehicles, off 55.5 percent.
*Pontiac sales fell 52.3 percent. It sold 4,630 bread-and-butter G6s, off 66.7 percent. “Pontiac was a brand we leaned on for fleet,” LaNeve said, with 24-percent of its year-to-date sales going to fleet. G6, especially, was a rental car favorite.

Ford-Lincoln-Mercury: 155,954, off 24.3 percent.
*With lots of new product, it gained market share again and topped Toyota Motor Sales USA by 3,371 units. Last month’s lead was 3,358 units.
*Mustang sales is starting to rebound with a trickling of ’10 models. It was down just 8.5 percent, to 8,812.
*Fusion was up 9.4 percent, to 19,786.
*Fusion proves the sales power of a new model. Focus, last year’s champ, was down 53.9 percent from last year’s fuel economy boom, to 15,034.
*Fleet alert: the other two gainers were Lincoln Town Car, up 103.3 percent to 1,553 and Mercury Grand Marquis, up 6.0 percent, to 3,272.
*F-Series was off 22.3 percent, to 33,381. Toyota Tundra was off 45.2 percent, to 6,414.

Toyota-Scion-Lexus: 152,583, off 38.4 percent.
*Toyota division accounted for 135,661, off 39.0 percent.
*Lexus fell 33.9 percent, to 16,922.
*Toyota Prius was off 30.2 percent, to 10,091.
*Camry is still ahead of Fusion, with 31,325 units, off 36.6 percent.
*Toyota doesn’t total up sales of all Scion models.
*I did: Scion total sales were off 65 percent, to 5,095 versus May ’08’s 14,854.

Honda-Acura: 98,344, off 39.2 percent.
*Unlike the competition, its sales fell from April, by about 3,000 units.
*That’s 88,875 Hondas, off 39.7 percent, and 9,469 Acuras, off 34 percent.
*Accord was off 46.3 percent, to 22,597. Ford Fusion is catching up.
*Civic was off 59.6 percent from its record May ’08, to 20,723.
*Fit was off 27.5 percent, to 5,730.
*2,780 Insights sold.

Chrysler LLC: 79,010, off 47 percent.
*Chrysler Sebring was 1,977, off 72 percent.
*Town & Country fell 38 percent to 7,972.
*Jeep Compass dropped 70 percent to 936.
*Dodge Caliber was off 77 percent, to 2,991.
*2,695 Challengers sold.
*Ram was off 21 percent, to 15,516.
*Jeep Wrangler remains the only winner, up 34 units for 9,294 total.

Nissan-Infiniti: 67,489, of 33. 1 percent.
*Nissan division was off 32.5 percent, to 60,993.
*Infiniti was off 38.1 percent, to 6,496.

OTHERS …

Hyundai posted its second 14-percent decline in a row, to 33,952. Gainers included Accent, Sonata, Tiburon and Veracruz.

BMW Group, including Mini, was off 27.7 percent, to 22,993. BMW brand sold 18,383, off 27.8 percent. Mini was off 27 percent, to 4,610.

Mercedes-Benz USA, sold 16,479, including 15,134 Mercedes (off 27.9 percent) and 1,345 smarts.

Jaguar Land Rover saw a 29-percent drop, to 3,391. Jaguar fell 34 percent, to 1,168 and Land Rover dropped 26 percent, to 2,223, but LR2 was up 23 percent, to 613 units.

Source : blogs.motortrend.com/6519298/earnings/may-sales-hummer-outsells-civic-to-chinese-heavy-duty-truck-manufacturer/index.html