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Apr/10 - Lincoln focused on ‘experience’ as brand sales grow
The Lincoln brand has been changing its image, and it's working. With sales up 10% in 2016 and up 7.5% through March 2017, it seems the brand's strategy is paying off. Regarding the new Continental, AutoPacific's Dave Sullivan says, "The Continental is the first Lincoln in a very long time that doesn’t look like the Ford interior designer was loaned out to the Lincoln team."
Apr/03 - Tesla’s market value tops Ford’s
Tesla’s stock-market value has surpassed Ford’s by about $3 billion, supplanting Ford even though it delivered fewer than 80,000 vehicles globally last year. AutoPacific's Dave Sullivan says, “It’s mind-boggling that a company that has the global breadth and depth that Ford has is suddenly valued at less than or equal to Tesla...It does not compute.” Analysts believe things may change as Tesla enters a more mainstream EV market with the Model 3 and pushes beyond luxury buyers. Sullivan says “By the end of this decade, there’s going to be some significant choice for consumers looking for an electric vehicle."
Mar/27 - Ford's health plan: Slim down inventory
Ford CFO Bob Shanks warned analysts and investors, "don't be surprised" if Ford cuts production or temporarily idles assembly lines across North America in the coming months. The strategy, meant to avoid bloated inventory, will also eat into revenue. AutoPacific's Dave Sullivan says it's a dangerous plan. "Closing a plant down for a week or reducing a shift reduces the amount of vehicles made and therefore reduces revenue....That's what makes it dangerous; when you know your revenue is what you push out the door. If there is no demand, you can continue to push, and that's when bad things happen."
Mar/19 - Rollbacks unlikely on fuel standards
Is President Trump's pledge to review U.S. fuel economy standards the first step in returning to unregulated, high-pollution gas guzzlers? Industry experts say no. While there may be some recalibration, most automakers compete globally, meaning they face strict emissions standards in other markets. There’s also California, whose statewide standards are stronger than the rules in the United States. Carmakers have made significant progress in making more-efficient vehicles. AutoPacific's Ed Kim says, "These technologies have appreciably made new vehicles better. I don’t think people are going to want to go backwards.”
Feb/08 - AutoPacific Forecasts 17.4 Million U.S. Light Vehicle Sales in 2017
AutoPacific today officially announced its forecast for 2017 U.S. light vehicle sales. Down approximately 200,000 units from 2016 sales, AutoPacific forecasts 2017 will see 17.4 million units sold. “We are simply seeing a plateau of demand following years of recovery after the recession,” explains Ed Kim, AutoPacific Vice President of Industry Analysis.