AutoPacific experts regularly contribute to publications such as Automotive News, Forbes, NBC News, AutoWeek, USA Today, and more. Here you will find articles with AutoPacific contribution as well as AutoPacific-issued news and press releases.
May 10, 2018
Early on the morning of May 2, a series of explosions occurred at a Meridian Magnesium Products of America plant in Eaton Rapids, MI, leaving the plant badly damaged and halting Ford's production of the F-150 as key parts provided by the supplier were unavailable. AutoPacific's Dave Sullivan talked to NPR about the effects that go far beyond an individual automaker. "It's very stressful for the entire supply chain," says Sullivan. "As Ford shuts down its factories, the orders going to suppliers dry up within a few hours ... that's how efficient things have become."
May 8, 2018
The Jeep Wrangler has sold exceptionally well so far this year and a new 4-cylinder turbo engine will be available soon. With a 20% increase in fuel economy over the currently available 6 cylinder engine, will buyers opt into it? AutoPacific's Dave Sullivan says, "Given the small increase in fuel economy and the requirement for premium fuel, I can’t gather that too many people would be willing to opt into that. I think a 2-liter turbo is a very nice powertrain in the Jeep Cherokee for a premium, but Wrangler buyers are just a different animal. I think the V6 is going to be far more successful, and I think they probably know that.”
May 2, 2018
Elon Musk shared Tesla's earnings report for the 1st quarter of 2018. The conference call started strong, with Musk forecasting an end to Tesla's cash-burning days. However, investors cringed and stocks were down as much as 74 percent after Musk berated analysis for asking "boring" questions about the company's capital requirements. AutoPacific's Dave Sullivan shared his thoughts saying, “The boring questions can also be categorized as the tough ones. I hope the Tesla fans know how to swim, because without the answers to the tough questions, it looks like Musk is leading them straight into the water.”
April 17, 2018
Tesla is temporarily suspending production of the Model 3 sedan for a period of four to five days to improve automation and address bottlenecks that have hindered the production process. This is the second time Tesla has halted production in about two months. According to AutoPacific's Dave Sullivan, "Traditional automakers adjust bottlenecks on the fly during a launch. This is totally out of the ordinary.” Tesla expects the shutdown to ultimately boost production and plans to make three or four times as many Model 3 cars in the second quarter.
April 12, 2018
With a median buyer age of 66 years, the Toyota Avalon aligns with the general market for large sedans and falls between the Buick LaCrosse, with the oldest buyer (median age 75) and the Kia Cadenza, with the youngest buyer (median age 57). But the Avalon's 2019 makeover gets some millennial-fitting features such as AppleCarPlay and Amazon Alexa connectivity, a smartphone-shaped cup holder, a tablet holder and four USB ports. AutoPacific's Ed Kim said, "The new Avalon is quite expressively styled, and keep in mind that its older Baby Boomer audience isn’t necessarily hankering for boring vehicles." Perhaps the new model will keep the boomers while adding the millennials.
March 29, 2018
Japanese automaker Nissan and French automaker Renault are reportedly weighing a deal to fully merge after years of close cooperation and ownership ties. The deal may be necessary to help them afford the increasing costs to develop future technologies, such as electric cars and self-driving vehicles. "The future looks bleak for the small players left without bigger partners," said AutoPacific's Dave Sullivan. "Nissan and Renault really need to move past the engagement and get married in order to force the kind of changes they need to make to take on Volkswagen and Toyota."
March 22, 2018
AutoPacific's George Peterson had fun driving Hyundai's new Kona small crossover SUV on the Kona coast of Hawaii in March. The Kona wades into the fray of an insanely competitive segment that has 45 small XSUVs on sale now. Hyundai is a bit late to the game with this XSUV, but better late than never. Watch for an even smaller XSUV from Hyundai next year, as well as a larger, 3 row, 7 passenger XSUV.
March 7, 2018
AutoPacific's Ed Kim sat down with CNN to discuss Uber's spending and future financial success. How does Uber, at this point in its lifespan, make money and why are people willing to be patient with Uber? "I don't know that there's a short term path to making money," says Kim. "There's the long-term vision of Uber which is revolutionizing transportation partly through autonomous vehicles, but all that stuff is still years away...autonomous cars are really key to Uber turning a profit." Watch Ed's full interview here: http://www.snappytv.com/tc/7334869
AUTOPACIFIC FORECASTS 16.9 MILLION U.S. LIGHT VEHICLE SALES IN 2018 AS AUTO SALES RETURN TO 'NORMAL'
February 22, 2018
Automotive consulting firm AutoPacific today officially announced its forecast for 2018 U.S. light vehicle sales. Down approximately 300,000 units from 2017 sales, AutoPacific forecasts 2018 will see 16.9 million units sold. “As the market continues to return to ‘normal’ after years of pent-up demand and economic recovery, a steady decline in auto sales is expected,” explains Ed Kim, AutoPacific Vice President of Industry Analysis.
February 13, 2018
AutoPacific's Dave Sullivan shares his thoughts on General Motors' closure of an under-performing plant in Gunsan, South Korea. “There appears to be no part of the business that is safe from the microscope,” said Sullivan. “If you’re working at GM and your part of the business isn’t contributing to the company, you can be sure someone is noticing.” Sullivan also notes the difficulty of reducing capacity in Korea due to strained labor relations: “It’s certainly a bold move for GM that sends a clear message that things have to change if plants are going to survive there.”
Michelin Top Brand, Uniroyal, Yokohama and Nitto Surge Upward in AutoPacific’s 2017 Replacement Tire Owner Satisfaction Awards
January 16, 2018
Tire brands Michelin and Pirelli returned to the top two spots in AutoPacific's 2017 Replacement Tire Owner Satisfaction Awards, after being edged out by Goodyear and Bridgestone last year. The study, now in its 7th year, identifies the most satisfying replacement tire brands using owner ratings for 17 different tire attributes. Uniroyal (+8), Yokohama (+8) and Nitto (+5) had the biggest improvement in rankings compared to 2016, while GT Radial (-6), Nexen (-6) and Continental (-6) shared the biggest drop.
January 7, 2018
It's not a matter of if, but when. AutoPacific's Ed Kim talks driverless cars, from the coming years to the coming decades, in an interview with CNN. "We're going to start seeing a lot of autonomous tech in the coming years," says Kim. "By early next decade we'll have several automakers doing pilot programs." A few decades from now Mr. Kim also envisions a consumer movement from private auto ownership to autonomous ride-hailing cars. Click here to watch the complete interview.
January 3, 2018
Palo Alto electric car maker Tesla claimed “major progress” in resolving production bottlenecks for the Model 3, but added another three-month delay to its production target for the car. AutoPacific President George Peterson comments on the delay. “It’s Tesla normal — they’ve had a history of delays,” said Peterson. "Tesla needs to avoid having too many new Model 3 owners acting as beta testers for the car. They need to have all the bugs worked out that they can before they put it on the market."
December 29, 2017
General Motors has received a patent for an airbag on the outside of vehicles designed to "provide protection to a pedestrian." AutoPacific's Dave Sullivan comments on this new development: "GM is looking at the big picture. The company has made a big deal about some of their small cars having 10 airbags to prove they're safer, and break the stereotype of small cars not being safe. GM continues to implement airbag technology in ways we haven't seen from other automakers."
September 27, 2017
Automotive industry research firms IntelliChoice and AutoPacific today announced the winners of the 2017 Motorist Choice Awards. Toyota and General Motors lead; Subaru scores big wins in the important mid-size car and crossover SUV segments. MCA's recognize vehicles that deliver the compelling combination of high consumer satisfaction and lower-than-expected ownership costs.
September 12, 2017
A recently released study by AutoPaciific found 54% of vehicle owners think self-driving vehicles are a "good idea" and 23% are interested in owning one. According to the study, consumers who reject autonomous vehicles do so mainly because they are uncomfortable not being in control of the vehicle and have concerns over reliability.
August 3, 2017
AutoPacific president, George Peterson discusses atomization and the challenges automakers will face with increased nameplates on the market. AutoPacific is forecasting 16,200,000 sales in 2022, but there are 377 nameplates. In an even industry, this would amount to 42,971 sales per nameplate. But...this isn't an evenly distributed industry...
August 1, 2017
July auto sales fell 7% from a year earlier, paving the way for deals on small and mid-size cars as automakers automakers try to clear out excess inventory. AutoPacific's Dave Sullivan says "consumers are going to start to see better incentives, lower financing, possibly more zero-percent-interest rates, more cash on the hood to move these vehicles. You’re not necessarily going to find significant sums of cash to move crossovers right now."
August 1, 2017
Tesla CEO Elon Musk warned that his company could face a half-year of “manufacturing hell” trying to ramp up production of the new Model 3 battery-electric sedan. With a history of falling short of expectations, uneven quality, and Model S issues, AutoPacific's Dave Sullivan explains, "Owners of the more expensive Models S and X are generally more willing to tolerate problems because they have other vehicles they can drive while their Tesla is in the shop. Model 3 owners are likely to have only the Tesla to drive, so any quality issues could pose a serious headache."
June 6, 2017
AutoPacific announces its 21st annual Vehicle Satisfaction Awards. Lincoln is the most satisfying premium brand, regaining leadership from Tesla and nosing out domestic luxury competitor Cadillac. The newcomer Genesis brand from Hyundai ranks third - close behind Lincoln and Cadillac. GMC is the top ranked popular brand, retaking the lead from 2016’s top popular brand, Kia.