01 October 2016

British Car Industry - Enough

I see the greedy, self serving commercial system is well and truly well reflected in the car industry. Mr Ghosn who runs Renault/Nissan wants the UK tax payer to stump up for any loss of sales to the EU due to tariffs. What unbelievable arrogance. How could one quantify a sales loss anyway? Nissan sales have been falling heavily in Europe all through 2016 and that's just because less people want his cars. Is he trying to put the blame elsewhere? Change is part of business so deal with it Carlos.

I also see UK journalism's 'smoke & mirrors' tactics at work on the subject. A headline at The Guardian website said "some EU customers are boycotting UK cars". The article then almost straight away said "Jaguar Land Rover has said some customers in Europe may be boycotting British cars following the UK’s vote to leave the European Union". Sensationalist rubbish! I hope when you read headlines, note if the article backs up the bold title. I call it willful deception.

If there is anti UK sentiment affecting car sales in Europe, then European car brands can rest easy that there won't be retaliation. The British don't have a national sense of purpose or loyalty anyway. With something like only 14% of UK car sales for locally made products - despite several car producers - confirms that. Many UK car buyers proudly buy European brands and loudly proclaim that. Which begs the question does Britain deserve a car industry?

Nissan have threatened not to invest in future models in the UK. That will hurt factory profitability and Nissan. Duh. JLR would “realign its thinking” on investment after Brexit and possible compensation to Nissan would have to be for all car makers. JLR has already moved away from Britain, with factories to be used in Austria and Slovakia for future models. JLR's investment in the UK was going to be limited in future anyway.

Summary: The media circus revs up the whole situation and car makers feed it with their appalling comments. Talk privately to those who need to know but going public with inflammatory statements is pathetic. It also seems that some car makers are queuing up for tax payer handouts. I don't want any part of this nonsense. I now feel bad writing about and promoting an industry like this. Time to move on.

29 September 2016

Ferrari Production (Model) : 2015

The 488 doing what it does best

The marque known for its prancing horse logo is doing just fine. 2015 production was close to 8,000 cars, which would be a record. There has been a policy of not chasing too many sales to retain exclusivity but at what point a luxury car takes volume too far is open to debate.

458/488: Currently the 488 mid-engine sports car is replacing the 458 model. Between them they account for 48% of total Ferrari production. An exceptional supercar.

California: The 2-door, 2+2 coupé cabriolet is a popular addition to the range with the updated T model released in 2014 adding to that. A 43% increase in production was registered. Great long distance cruiser.

F12: It's a grand tourer model that's a smaller than the FF. more focused and less practical as a result. Powerful, yet usable.

FF: This 4-seater, 4wd model is a grand tourer model with shooting brake versatility. Production has fallen to 300 from a high of 1,000 in 2012. A supercar for the family (a well heeled one).

LaFerrari: Lastly the 2-door hybrid sports car which can be also had as a soft top too. Very quick and very expensive.

Summary: How far can and should Ferrari go with production volume? Not diluting exclusivity would be a good place to start. This is a limited market so it's a fine line to walk. Plus there is some quality competition out there too but Ferrari does have unique attributes and a very loyal patronage.

Model 2015 % +/-

458/488 3,754 47.7% 5%

458 2,423

488 1,331

California 2,629 33.4% 43%

F12 903 11.5% -29%

FF 311 4.0% -21%

LaFerrari 276 3.5% n/a

Total 7,873

Data source: ANFIA.

28 September 2016

Maserati Production (Model) : 2015

The trident marque made 6,200 cars in 2012. That was quite a high figure historically. However, things changed in 2013, for the better. The 6th generation Quattroporte large car arrived and on top of that the 3rd Ghibli mid-sized model was also introduced, different from the grand tourer that bore that name in the 1990's. It went from being a 2-door coupé to a 4-door car, widening the vehicle's versatility and appeal.

So for 2013, the production numbers were up to 19,000 and 40,000 by 2014. Obviously the lower priced Ghibli was mainly responsible for the higher volumes. The initial surge was followed by a dip in 2015 to 29,500 units made. The new Levante SUV is coming out now and 30,000 sales are anticipated in 2017, so that will give production another spike. It would surely take some sales off the other models but overall a solid increase can be anticipated.

Model 2015 % +/-

Ghibli 20,986 71.3% -18%

Quarttroporte 5,631 19.1% -44%

Gran Turismo 2,820 9.6% -34%

Total 29,437

To see historical production, simply click here for 1994-2014.
Data source: ANFIA.
Picture source: Maserati.