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Honda dealerships really want more cars to sell

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Image: Honda

Honda may have been hit harder by the current supply chain crisis than rivals if dealer stock is any indication, Mitsubishi is another automaker that has lost out in the law’s new EV credit system. on reducing inflation and two other brands are idling production lines in Europe. You’ll have to read on to find out which ones! All that and more in this Friday edition of The morning shift for September 16, 2022.

1st Gear: First you need cars to sell

The National Automotive Dealer Association’s “Attitude Survey,” which takes the temperature of how dealers feel about the brands they work with, found that Honda was rising from its No. 3 in 2021 to No. 6 in 2022. That might not sound like a huge deal, but the brand has long been a mainstay in the top five, and the reason for the slippage is particularly notable. Of Automotive News:

According to Honda spokeswoman Jessica Fini, low product availability is the main reason for the brand’s slippage from the top five. Supply shortages and logistical challenges have left inventory at record highs, with dealers experiencing “incredibly high turnover rates,” Fini said.

Bill Feinstein, president of Planet Honda in Tilton, NH, and general manager of Planet Honda in Union, NJ, as well as chairman emeritus of the Honda National Dealer Advisory Board, agreed.

“The big issue is product availability,” Feinstein said. Automotive News. “Honda dealerships are used to having a much higher level of throughput than other dealerships.”

Although Honda is typically among the top two brands in the industry in terms of throughput or annual new vehicle sales per dealer, “this has obviously been affected by product availability,” he said.

That left Honda in a particularly weak position as it saw sales fall for 13 consecutive months, with vehicle supply days at the end of August languishing in single digits. The chairman emeritus of the Honda National Dealer Advisory Council believes competitors – in particular Hyundai and Kia – have weathered the storm better and are reducing the Japanese manufacturer’s market share.

“There has been some belief that Honda may have been more affected and slower to recover than others [manufacturers]“We all felt the pressure from the Koreans, who clearly didn’t have the same supply chain impacts that we had.”

Hyundai Motor Group, which includes the Hyundai, Kia and Genesis brands, is showing signs of recovery. Hyundai and Kia capped five months of declining sales with double-digit gains in August. Randy Parker, CEO of Hyundai Motor America, said inventories are improving and he expects plant production to increase 30-35% in the second half, which will help replenish dealer inventories. . Genesis set a record in August with 5,102 vehicles sold thanks to continued strong demand for crossovers.

Feinstein said he sees Honda’s shrinking market share as a concern. “It’s disconcerting for retailers because at the end of the day, we’re all competitive and we’d like to win,” he said.

As for the brands that showed an upward trend in the NADA survey, the top five are occupied by Lexus, Toyota, BMW, Porsche and Subaru, in that order.

2nd gear: not what Mitsubishi’s big comeback needed

The new Outlander might not be the most compelling SUV ever or anything, but it’s definitely Mitsubishi’s best product in ages, and people are reacting to it. The next plug-in hybrid variant was well on its way to making the car even more competitive – until the feds introduced legislation that eliminated the crossover’s $7,500 credit, because it’s not built here.

How do Mitsubishi and its dealers feel about this? You can probably guess. Of Automotive News:

Mitsubishi dealership Grant Petersen Jr. said the loss of the redesigned model’s tax credit is “worrying.”

In the short term, Mitsubishi will likely have to absorb some of that $7,500 and lower the compact crossover’s MSRP to keep it competitive, said Petersen, CEO of Bronco Motors Family of Dealerships, which operates Bronco Mitsubishi in the suburb of Boise, Illinois. ‘Idaho.

Mitsubishi Motors North America CEO Mark Chaffin acknowledged the loss and said new incentive rules for electric vehicles complicate product plans for the entire industry.

“There are a lot more questions than answers right now,” Chaffin said. Automotive News. “Like the rest of the OEMs, we are awaiting further clarification and expect to see details coming out of the Treasury Department later this year.”

Chaffin said the loss will not alter launch plans for the redesigned Outlander PHEV. But “in the medium to long term, we will have to monitor market conditions and see where it goes,” he said.

Mitsubishi is also not changing the price of the Outlander PHEV, which has not been disclosed.

“We remain convinced that [losing the tax credit] won’t make a big difference to the sales success of this vehicle,” he said. “We think we’re going to have a hard time keeping up with demand.”

Sure, Mitsubishi might struggle to keep up with demand, but that won’t last forever. The idea that losing a $7,500 credit “won’t make a big difference” to the success or failure of the Outlander PHEV is frankly unbelievable from where I’m sitting, but what other choice does Mitsubishi have than to right now? The company no longer has any auto plants in the United States, and it would take years to restart one. Part of me wonders if the Cut Inflation Act will be the final nail in the coffin that will send Mitsubishi out of North America for good.

3rd gear: the 300C is exhausted

It only took 12 hours, but the 2,200 copies of the last call for Chrysler’s muscle sedan were spoken, Engine trend reports:

The car was unveiled to the public on September 13, on the eve of the North American International Detroit Auto Show. Order books opened at and 12 hours later the car was sold out, said Chrysler brand CEO Chris Feuell. There is now a waiting list.

Interested buyers only had to choose a color, a dealer and leave an undisclosed deposit to secure one of the cars priced at $56,595.

It was a good test of Chrysler’s new digital reservations process. The brand wants to make it easier to buy and own a new vehicle, says Feuell. The 300 may disappear after the 2023 model year, but Feuell says she would like to resurrect the name on a future product. With plans to make the Chrysler brand fully electric by 2028, with the first all-electric model expected in 2025, this future product potentially resurrecting the 300 name will likely be an EV.

I miss the days when buying a hotly anticipated new car didn’t depend on feverishly refreshing a browser window like trying to pick up a PS5. Again, I really have no complaints. Anyway, I can’t afford to buy a new car.

4th Gear: Stamping for the Future

General Motors will invest nearly half a billion dollars in a dedicated steel and aluminum stamping plant in Marion, Indiana. Courtesy of Reuters:

The investment will be used for the purchase and installation of two new press lines, comprehensive press and die upgrades, renovations and expansion of facility space. approximately 6,000 square feet.

The automaker said work on the facility will begin later this year.

GM’s Marion Metal Center, which began in 1956, produces sheet metal parts for several GM assembly plants to support the production of Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac vehicles. The center currently employs over 750 workers.

A company spokesperson told the Detroit Free Press that this influx of cash will prepare the Marion plant for the brand’s “all-electric future”. They didn’t explain how, but if I had to hazard a guess, I’d guess it’s because more parts will have to be made domestically for those sweet, sweet subsidies.

5th gear: Stellantis and Renault pump the brakes

The Spanish factories of the two automakers are partially on hiatus from Friday due to a lack of silicon, Reuters reported:

Two Renault factories in the Spanish region of Castile and Leon will be temporarily halted, with one closing entirely on Saturday and the other canceling shifts for several days this week and the next, a CCOO union representative said.

At the Stellantis factory in Vigo, northwestern Spain, the company has canceled Saturday and Sunday night shifts.

“They stopped production for 15 days in February. The shortage of supply could mean more closures at any time,” a representative of the Stellantis union told Reuters.

One summer, some car manufacturers began to see a light at the end of the semiconductor shortage tunnel. Different brands will come out at their own pace.

Back: Add “William Durant’s middle name” to the list of things I didn’t know

Neutral: Subaru

The 2024 Crosstrek. How does it feel?

The 2024 Crosstrek. How does it feel?
Image: Subaru

The Pleiades star evokes warm feelings for many, but I find it hard to understand why. In fact, I have no beef with the Crosstrek 2024 exterior, but Subaru’s interior design never evolved after 2010, and on paper I don’t see much that sets their products apart. You can get all-wheel drive in almost everything today. Is it a perception of reliability that encourages the faithful to ask for more? Those who love your Subarus, tell me why.