Subaru's success departs from its resources, Toyota has a pipe-dream autonomous car in the works, and the battle of the truck is hotter than ever. All this and more on The Morning Shift for Monday, February 11, 2019.
1st Gear: Subaru's Success is a Double-Edged Sword
Subaru is clocking in record sales in the United States for ten years now, and there is no reason to believe that 2019 will prove anything different. But all that success will come with a price to pay, according to Automotive News :
By the end of last month, responding to public accusations that Subaru maintains a pressure-cooker environment, the automaker recognizes several Japanese forced facilities thousands of workers to abandon millions of dollars in unpaid wages by working overtime on the clock.[…]
A rash of production hitches in Japan overthrows Subaru's reputation in the home market, torpedoed its Japanese sales and triggered corporate upheavals. Problems are now in the United States in the form of worries and lost shipments.
"We are constantly concerned that [Subaru] does not make the necessary investments and changes fast enough to ensure that vehicles are made with the quality of the brand and its customers are eligible, "the US National Retail Advisory Board of marque wrote at a resolution of September 18 at the top of Subaru's management in the US and Japan after the launch of last year's US-built Ascent crossover marred by a recall.  The great demand for the Subaru – and the set of next generation Outback to make its return – comes out of supply. Quality control is inadequate, production is stopped, workers leave, and those who are not forced to work on funny amounts of overtime-105 hours a month, in one case
Subaru CFO Toshiaki Okada said that the company should "increase our capacity according to the terms of management and facilities" to match the growing demand, but this has not been done. Today, Subaru is looking for ways to "carefully" begin to expand in the midst of the crisis.  2nd Gear: Toyota Sells Self-Driving Car in One Year
At least, that's what the company is currently presenting.
Toyota, Japan's largest manufacturer has many plans but also has a lot of work to get there, according to Automotive News Europe report. The idea is just the first step.[Toyota] should develop hardware and software for the vehicle, dramatically slash the cost of technology and ramp up the hiring of software engineers to do all this happening.
is the challenge facing James Kuffner, CEO of Toyota Research Institute Advanced Development Inc., or TRI-AD. His Tokyo company was founded in March to lead Toyota's attempt to bridge the gap between research and the showroom floor.
The first milestone came in 2020, when Toyota plans to introduce vehicles capable of driving themselves to the highways. Kuffner said that would be rolling supercomputers.
"Prototypes and preproduction vehicles built by the team here at TRI-AD will be … the most intelligent supercomputer on wheels," says Kuffner late last month at TRI-AD & # 39 ; s temporary office near Tokyo Station. "We have called for this technology in my generation to build this technology and bring it to the market."
"Rolling supercomputers." "Moonshot." Not the phrases you want to hear about a technology that should be sold next year. In order to fulfill this dream, Toyota invested $ 2.8 billion in a partnership with Aisin Seiki and Denso
to create self-driving software, some of which were out of production. They needed to create a "Silicon Valley mindset," Nikos Michalakis, the vice president who manages the software platform. And they need to know how to make new tech affordable if they are going to attract customers.
3rd Gear: Truck Wars is Heating Up
Trucks have proven to be one of the most trustworthy staples in the automotive market today. Companies like Chevrolet and GM offer great discounts (think, Ram Truck Moon and Silverado Sell Down) in an effort to get people to choose their truck over one automaker & # 39; s. As the Automotive News reports:
The pickup battle is expected to continue, if not growing, this year with GM and Ram launching redesign of heavy-duty pickups against the fresh Ford HD models, and rebuilding entering the Ford and Jeep in the midsize segment to compete against GM's savings of Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon and the segment leading Toyota Tacoma.
GM sells the most light-duty pickup (midsize, full-size and HD) for five consecutive years, and it does not plan to allow that title to be non-combat. Gears up for a battle with the resurrected Ford Ranger and the arrival of the Jeep Gladiator.
It's been a tough battle to fight. Brand loyalty runs deep in the truck world, making timely models and incentives very popular:
The average incentive cost for the full-size pickup segment last year was $ 5,670 per vehicle, in JD Power. Incentives for the segment in January were $ 5,560 – slightly lower than last year's average and only $ 81 a year ago.
The small increase is due partly to a seasonal pullback to the incentives in January following the end of the year's huge discounts, including Chevrolet's employee pricing promotion with outgoing pickups and other models in December.
In January, Chevrolet offered an average of nearly $ 4,600 in incentives per Silverado sold, according to JD Power's internal data obtained through out-of-source sources, from more than $ 6,000 in December. Ford's F-series spending dropped 8.3 percent to $ 4,500 in January, and Ram's pickup incentives dropped 5.9 percent to $ 5,178.
GM is determined to stay in the light-duty pickup market this year the Ford Ranger and the Jeep Gladiator will come to give GM a run for its money. It will be a hell of a fight to watch this year's play out.
4th Gear: Nissan and Renault Prepare for Ghosn Blowback
This Sunday is going to really show us what kind of mess the Carlos Ghosn affair has caused Nissan, Renault, and the auto industry as a that's all right, everything. Income outs are out. Pierre Quemener, an analyst at MainFirst Bank AG in Paris, has made it deep: "The automaker starts in 2019 with a hangover."
If you want a little taste of what reports of earnings can be confirmed, Bloomberg [Willbeillustrated:
Nissan's operating profit is expected to fall 10 percent to 517.1 billion yen ($ 4.7 billion) in the fiscal year ending in March, a minimum of five years, according to analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. Renault may report a 8.8 percent decline in operating profit for last year to 3.47 billion euros ($ 3.93 billion).[…]
Shares of both companies have fallen dramatically since Ghosn's arrest on November 19. Renault has changed dramatically in mid-Paris Paris on Monday, losing 31 percent over the past year. The Nissan dropped 1.5 percent before Tokyo and dropped 19 percent over the past 12 months.
That's a tremendous loss-especially in the Nissan's Chinese market (what is expected to be the largest automaker market) selling hemorrhaging, electric and autonomous tech investments, and , of course, Brexit all forms an angry cloud that falls on the head of the Nissan-Renault.
And remember the Nissan plant in Mississippi that cuts 700 workers? Yeah. That is because the sale of trucks and vans also slows the state. If there's a good time for an internal scandal, it's definitely hell that's not it.
5th Gear: UAW Profit Sharing Tips Market Ends
Starting in 2015, automakers have written nearly $ 5 billion in United Union Automobile Workers Union bonuses, including 2018 revenue checks who alone responds to $ 1.8 billion.
But that whole is not one to start applauding somewhat. In fact, it emphasizes the current rejection of the automotive market. Automotive News has more:
But checks for 2018, paid by March, amount to the lowest total payout since Ford, General Motors and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles proved their current deals with the UAW in 2015 and may suggest controversial conversations – and potentially change – this summer and fall as the sides combine a new four-year deal.
The industry is facing a more uncertain outlook than the final round of formal bargaining, when Ford and GM are over the record profits and the industry is about to set a new mark on sales US. Today, GM is in the middle of closing plant assemblies and pouring out employee salaries, Ford is undergoing a global restructuring, and the FCA saves lives after the death of CEO Sergio Marchionne, who became an instrument of taking the company from a net debt position last year for the first time since its bankruptcy.
What does the lower industry income mean for UAW? Lower revenue sharing checks or, to put it in another way, a less stable salary from one year to the next.
While GM, Ford, and FCA are planning an improved net profit in 2019, it is certainly not the exciting number that has been titillated in the market in 2015.
Reverse: GM Signs First Contract Union of Autoworkers
After a six-week sit-down strike of General Motors (GM) autoworkers at Fisher Body Plant No. 2 …
Read more Read
Neutral: the 2019 Market?
All the people and their brothers are drooling in shiny new trucks expected for years to come-trust me, I'm not a pickup truck and I'm really on the new Ram tailgate. Which manufacturer do you see in truck market dominance in 2019?