30 June 2015
29 June 2015
|The GM Holden Commodore was a popular car|
In the 1980's, New Zealand deregulated it's economy and the initial effects were extremely negative. We see that in the chart below as both new and used car sales tumbled until 1993. The market then benefited by the reforms and sales rebounded with gusto in 1994, especially used imports.
The fight for the top spot was intense at this time, with Toyota managing to stave off Ford. Japanese brands were dominating with European marques were largely ignored. Taking Russian cars in exchange for NZ dairy products had run its course and Lada was now on the way out.
27 June 2015
|The new 650 model|
The Mclaren sports car firm is doing well. It's first car was the F1 which was made from 1992 to 1998 with just over 100 made. Between 2011 and 2014 Mclaren produced the 12C (MP4-12C), which has been replaced by the 650 model. The P1 was released in 2013 as a plug-in hybrid sports car with a limited production run of 375, which was already fully subscribed by late 2013.
Below is a list of deliveries for 2014 with 2013 figures added based on a percentage increase and sales figure(s) provided by Mclaren. Numbers are up 18% with the new 650 driving up the main volume model 11%. The P1, which could be seen as a successor to the long departed F1, is now being made to meet the advanced orders with nearly 300 delivered.
As for production numbers, I have the following. There were some made in 2011 I assume but I do not have that figure. It shows consistent increase and will no doubt continue to the anticipated ceiling of 4,000 units per annum, with new models such as the 570 below.
The goal of making superb cars that are easy to live with as well has been met by all accounts. I say 'by all accounts' because I personally haven't got one in my garage, nor even driven one (yet ... OK never). I rely in motoring journalists to reach that conclusion. I do think they are the most exquisitely designed and built sports cars.
|The 570 'entry' model, up against the likes of the 911 Turbo.|
I know which one I would prefer
25 June 2015
Fiat cars were marketed by Tata in India until recently, when Fiat took control of that itself. Indications are that the change hasn't gone as well as Fiat had hoped.
Alfa Romeo/Jaguar: Jaguar wants to go smaller but it is costly going it alone. AR wants a new range of sporty vehicles, full stop. There must be some mutual benefit here as both brands have a similar emphasis on good handling cars. There would be massive savings for Fiat if they could work with Jaguar. On the other hand the 'leaping cat' brand is well ahead of where AR is presently, so where is the equal gain in that? Jaguar sharing the cost of R&D, new technologies and receiving royalties from AR for all that would be passed over to them.
Jeep, Ram/Land Rover: These don't align ideally, with LR clearly a more premium offering. Jeep could do with taking it's larger vehicles more upmarket and Land Rover would help with that. LR would gain access to production facilities in the US, which it has been mulling over anyway. Ram could do a high quality truck for Land Rover with not that much cost associated with bringing it to market.
|A little less bling and a bit more substance, and well, maybe|
Summary: All this is from a layman, but from a distance it has the potential to work. Fiat wearing all the cost of AR's revival is almost certainly too much for FCA to stand. Muscling in on established premium marques is a long term proposition. Carrying the burden of AR while slowly eating away at other premium car makers sales does not seem viable, without some cost sharing.
The rest of FCA also needs plenty of money to move forward and the less AR takes, the more they will benefit. No wonder Sergio is concerned about FCA standing alone. A partnership seems the better solution than a merger as you can always extricate yourself quite easily if things don't go to plan. Tata/JLR is the best suggestion I can think of and there seems to be mutual benefit on offer.
23 June 2015
|Car assembly plant Petone, Wellington, NZ. |
Hillman then Mitsubishi cars were assembled there.
Things were changing in the 1980's for the NZ car industry. Import duty on new cars started to be progressively removed and there was a relaxing of restrictions on used cars being imported. The bottom of the chart below shows used import numbers starting to impact on the market. The used cars were mainly from Japan who drive on the same side of the road.
Toyota muscled itself into top spot past both Ford and Mitsubishi. European makes started to make a bit of a comeback as fully built up tariffs were slowly being removed. Assemblers started to assess their operations and GM closed its plants in 1984 and 1990. Lada benefited with a deal between the NZ dairy board and Russia. Butter and meat was exchanged for vehicles. Peugeot was just about in the top 10 by 1989 and Fiat was close behind.
Data source: MIA.
For the start of the series, simply click here for 1975-84.
1990-94 can be accessed here.