Posts tagged ‘Detroit’


Maruti Suzuki Q1 profit jumps 56 percent; lower costs, higher sales | Reuters

Maruti Suzuki India Ltd(MRTI.NS), India’s top-selling carmaker, said on Tuesday first-quarter net profit rose 56 percent helped by lower costs, favourable foreign exchange rates and higher sales, but still missed bullish analyst estimates.

A Suzuki badge is reflected on the body of a Maruti Suzuki Eeco car at a Maruti Suzuki stockyard on the outskirts of Ahmedabad April 26, 2013. REUTERS/Amit Dave/Files

Maruti, controlled by Japan’s Suzuki Motor Corp (7269.T), said profit for the April-June quarter was 11.9 billion rupees ($185.94 million), up from 7.6 billion rupees in the same period a year earlier. Analysts had expected a profit of 12.35 billion rupees, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Net sales rose about 18 percent to 130.8 billion rupees, the company said, as India’s car trade continues to grow. India is expected to become the world’s third-largest car market by 2020, moving up three places.

“During the quarter, higher volumes, cost reduction efforts, lower sales promotion expenses, and favourable foreign exchange helped improve the performance,” the company said in a stock exchange statement.

Total expenses as a percentage of net sales fell to 91 percent during the quarter from about 96 percent in the year ago period, while finance costs were halved to 190.4 million rupees. Maruti, which imports certain car components from Japan and also pays royalty to its Japanese parent, Suzuki, is benefiting from the yen’s weakening.

The carmaker, which sells about one in every two cars in India, wants to increase its share of the premium car segment at a time when rivals like Honda Motor Co (7267.T) and Ford Motor Co (F.N) are launching cheaper, compact cars – Maruti’s mainstay.

Maruti has had little prior success in the premium segment and is now planning an aggressive rollout of new vehicles and dealerships to capture buyers with deeper pockets – a move that is expected to boost margins and profits, say analysts.

Next week Maruti will launch the S-Cross – a crossover between a sport-utility vehicle and a hatchback – the first car to be sold at its new Nexa showrooms. These spruced-up showrooms will differ from existing dealerships in design and service, managing director Kenichi Ayukawa said recently.

“It is a very good strategy because as income levels rise we will see that more and more consumers will prefer premium vehicles,” said Nitesh Sharma, auto analyst at Mumbai-based brokerage, Phillip Capital, adding that it will boost margins.

Shares in Maruti, valued by the market at about $20 billion at Monday’s close, were trading 0.5 percent higher at 4,200 rupees a share at 0850 GMT in a weak Mumbai market.

Maruti’s shares have risen more than 25 percent since January – the highest among major automobile companies in India.

($1 = 64.0000 rupees)

via Maruti Suzuki Q1 profit jumps 56 percent; lower costs, higher sales | Reuters.


Indian and Chinese Car Makers Out-Earn U.S. Rivals – India Real Time – WSJ

U.S. auto makers’ ability to finance costly technology and emissions requirements from earnings will be tested by a broader group of strong competitors that for the first time include more profitable Indian and Chinese car makers.

Top auto makers in China and India earned 37.5% more profit excluding preferred dividends in fiscal 2014 than their U.S. counterparts, joining European and Japanese auto companies in out-earning the Detroit Three, said AlixPartners LLP, a New York-based consulting firm with a global automotive practice. Its 2015 automotive outlook, released on Tuesday, shows emerging Asian auto makers last year generated margins that were about double those of General Motors Co., Ford Motor Co. and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV’s Chrysler unit.

The emergence of Asian powerhouses—notably India’s Tata Motors Ltd. and China’s SAIC Motor Corp. and Great Wall Motor Co.—represents the latest dent in Detroit’s once-global dominance. Over the past 15 years, U.S. auto makers went from delivering more than 60% of world-wide car-company profit to delivering about 17%, the consulting firm said.

The trend raises questions about the global competitiveness of GM, Ford and Fiat Chrysler on the eve of labor negotiations with the United Auto Workers union and amid an aggressive push by Fiat Chrysler Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne for industry consolidation. The U.S. market is on pace for 17 million light-vehicle sales in 2015, the best year in more than a decade, but Detroit needs better returns to develop self-driving cars and electric powertrains and to combat new entrants like Google Inc. and Tesla Motors Inc.

via Indian and Chinese Car Makers Out-Earn U.S. Rivals – India Real Time – WSJ.


U.S. engine maker backed by Bill Gates forms second China venture | Reuters

The FAW subsidiary, First Auto Works Jingye Engine Company, is investing more than $200 million in the venture, BEM (Shanxi) Co, which aims to begin building an advanced engine designed by EcoMotors in 2015 in China’s Shanxi province.

Image representing EcoMotors as depicted in Cr...

Image via CrunchBase

FAW’s manufacturing partners in China include Volkswagen AG (VOWG_p.DE), Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T) and General Motors Co (GM.N).

It is the second China venture for EcoMotors, a suburban Detroit startup, which announced a similar deal last April with China’s Zhongding Power. The privately held Chinese firm plans to ramp up production this year in Anhui province, supplying engines for use in commercial and off-road vehicles.

Both China ventures will build EcoMotors’ OPOC engine, which is more compact than conventional gas and diesel engines of similar power. It is also said to be cheaper and to deliver higher fuel economy and fewer emissions.

via U.S. engine maker backed by Bill Gates forms second China venture | Reuters.

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* Detroit’s Wages Take on China’s “For the past four weeks, a team of 45 workers in gray smocks have been doing something here that hasn’t been attempted on a large scale in America for at least four years. They’re making TVs.

The new assembly line is tucked inside a cavernous factory in this Detroit suburb that once made old-style tube televisions. Their first product: a 46-inch flat-screen model going on sale soon at Target stores for $499. The project is the unusual result of a partnership between a U.S. branding company and a Chinese producer and is as much about marketing a U.S.-made television as it is about a global shift in manufacturing costs.

“We think the economics favor this,” says Michael OShaughnessy, chief executive of Element Electronics Corp., the Eden Prairie, Minn., company that has sold Chinese-made televisions in the U.S. under its Element brand name for six years. To be sure, costs in China are going up as worker pay and other expenses, such as transportation, rise. Meanwhile, muted wage gains in the U.S. and fast productivity advances have reshaped many U.S. factories into tougher competitors.

A recent survey of large U.S.-based producers by the Boston Consulting Group found more than a third plan to or actively considering bringing work home from China. But Elements televisions also illustrate the limitations in restoring some types of production on U.S. soil. The only other domestically assembled televisions today come from a tiny California producer of waterproof models designed for use outdoors and there is virtually no domestic supply base for crucial parts, such as glass screens. The upshot: Virtually all the key parts needed to make a television today are imported.Few industries have fallen as hard as television manufacturing.

In the 1950s, there were some 150 domestic producers and with employment peaking at about 100,000 people in the 1960s. Then came the imports, first from Japan and later from other parts of Asia. TV manufacturing in the U.S. went all but extinct in the last decade. Syntax-Brillian Corp., a Tempe, Ariz.-based, company opened a production facility in Ontario, Calif., in 2006 to much fanfare—but that operation lasted only two years.

Flat screens tipped the scales even more in favor of the Far East, because as tube televisions grew bigger, the weight and size of the glass made shipping increasingly costly. That was the one thing that kept U.S. production going even in the face of imports. Flat screens, however, are a fraction of the weight and much more compact. Element says the decision to produce in Detroit hinges on savings they gained by avoiding the roughly 5% duty on imported televisions and the reduced cost of shipping final products from the heartland of the U.S. to retailers. All the parts are initially being imported—which is one reason the products can only be marketed as “U.S. assembled. “Mr. OShaughnessy estimates the average savings on duties is about $27 for a 46-inch television—enough “to account for the increase in labor costs” in Detroit. The company declined to give more specifics, but noted that production methods in the U.S. are streamlined, involving component assemblies that in China might be separate steps on the production line.

The first televisions being made for Target have 52 pieces and require 24 production steps, including testing and final packaging.Mickey Cho, chief operating officer of Tongfang-Global, the television-making arm of state-owned Tsinghua Tongfang Co., the Chinese partner, says Canton is only its first move toward what he calls global localization, making more products closer to where they are sold.”

via Detroits Wages Take on Chinas –

Ironically, the US TVs are being made in CANTON, Michigan!


* GM to Add 600 China Dealerships

WSJ: “General Motors Co. plans to add 600 dealerships in China this year, about a 20% increase, as the auto maker looks to bolster its presence here amid growing competition and an economic-growth slowdown.Chief Executive Dan Akerson on Monday outlined steps GM is taking to boost sales and market share in China, where it is the largest foreign auto maker.

The addition of 600 dealerships would bring the companys dealer network in China to 3,500 stores, up from 2,900 at the end of 2011.  At that size, Chinas dealers would begin to rival the companys U.S. network of 4,400.

GM is adding new models and factory capacity and expanding a technology center near its China headquarters in Shanghai, which will soon be its second-largest global development center. The largest is in Warren, Mich., near its Detroit headquarters. Like GM, many of the worlds major auto makers are expanding in China, concentrating on a market expected to grow to more than 30 million vehicle sales by the end of the decade from 18.5 million last year.”

via GM to Add 600 China Dealerships –

If you are looking for a business opportunity in China, go for a tyre franchise. The vast majority of Chinese cars have yet to have their first set of tyres replaced!

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