Revving Up Production in US Market and Abroad

Several automakers announced during press previews at the L.A. Auto Show more aggressive plans to increase production at US assembly plants, partly to offset currency fluctuations and also to meet demand in the US and overseas. Highlights include:

• Volkswagen Group, which has a relatively new plant in Chattanooga, TN, where it builds the Passat that was named “Motor Trend Car of the Year,” is investing in the US market, according to Jonathan Browning, CEO and president, because VW expects to sell more than 300,000 vehicles in the United States this year. VW’s new CC, which will go on sale in the first quarter of 2012, is expected to be a “Top Safety Pick” with the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), Browning said. Continue reading ›

Crossovers Bolster US Light-Vehicle Sales Market This Year

Dave Cutting

Consumer demand for crossovers (CUVs) in the US market was especially strong during the first 8 months of 2011. In fact, nearly one of every four new vehicles purchased or leased this year was a CUV. Combined sales of all four CUV segments, including compact and midsize models, increased by nearly 326,400 units from sales in the same 8-month period a year ago. More than 2 million CUVs have been sold so far this year, representing nearly one-fourth (23.71%) of industry sales, which was up 1.78 percentage points from a 21.93% market share in the same period of 2010.

Compact CUVs, including mass-market and premium compact models, significantly outperformed the industry’s nearly 10% year-to-date sales gain from last year. Continue reading ›