Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Sales of the LaCrosse sedan jumped almost threefold in China during the first two full months of sales of the redesigned large sedan compared with last year.
GM sold more than 20,500 LaCrosse sedans in China during August and September, compared with about 7,000 during the same two-month period a year ago, according to company figures.
Those monthly totals are the highest the LaCrosse has had since being introduced to the Chinese market in 2006.
The redesigned LaCrosse has been widely praised by industry analysts but still faces an uphill fight in the United States, where the Buick brand has not been as well received.
In China, however, the brand is considered a premium player and its sales also are helped by a blazing overall sales market.
"You've got a great brand, and you've got a marvelously executed vehicle," said industry analyst Erich Merkle, president of Autoconomy.com. "It's like fire and gasoline, you can get a great explosion out of it."
U.S. sales of the LaCrosse, while down for the year, are also picking up compared with earlier in the year.
While official results will be announced next week, all signs point to a good month, according to Mike DiGiovanni, GM's executive director of global market and industry analysis.
“We’re really having a good October,” he said.
DiGiovanni added that about 95% of the sales for the month are coming from the company’s four core U.S. brands — Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac. A year ago, those brands comprised about 85% of the company’s sales.
GM is in the process of winding down Pontiac and Saturn and selling off Hummer and Saab after emerging from bankruptcy in July.
“We’re clearly getting behind us the brands we’re phasing out,” he said.
GM sold 168,719 vehicles in October 2008, which was a 45.1% decrease from the same month in 2007, according to Autodata Corp.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
The Mazda3's athletic suspension delivers the promise of “zoom zoom” from behind the wheel. The engineers seem to have made the new car more resilient.
Mazda calls the 3 a five-passenger car, but in reality, it is more comfortable with only four onboard.
The Mazda3's crisp, responsive handling and standard anti-lock brakes go a long way toward avoiding a crash.
The original Mazda3 sets itself apart from its competitors in many ways, one being the availability of features that you can’t find in other compacts.
Monday, October 12, 2009
The 2010 Legacy can also score points in fuel economy, with its 23 mpg city/ 31 highway ratings (with the continuously variable transmission, which boosts the base price by about $1,000).
Subaru says that those numbers are also best in class.
Monday, October 5, 2009
Chrysler's new Italian management on Monday announced a surprise shake-up of the automaker's executive team, saying two recently appointed brand CEOs have left and that it was splitting Dodge into two groups, one focusing on trucks and the other on cars.
The moves marked the second management reorganization since Fiat took control of Chrysler on June 10 when it emerged from.
Peter Fong, president and CEO of the Chrysler brand and the company's top sales executive, and Michael Accavitti, president and CEO of the Dodge brand, abruptly left the company, Fong for personal reasons and Accavitti to pursue other interests, Chrysler said in a statement.
Sales of Chrysler Group LLC vehicles, which consist of the Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep brands, are down 39 percent for the first nine months of the year. Chrysler also was caught unprepared for the government'sand had too few small vehicles on dealer lots to benefit much from the rebates.