18 December 2018

Be Careful In 2019

I read car magazines but if I was going to buy a new car, I would do my own research and basically ignore the journalistic opinion. That is because of two reasons. One is what they say is what they think and I may have reasons to disagree. Secondly, I wonder what influence car makers and personal bias have on their conclusions.

As I have delved into car data, I have found that what I read about the industry is usually tainted by spin and misleading presentation, which at times amounts to outright dishonesty. Subjects such as Brexit has taught me to be very wary of what the largely shonky media or car industry has to say about anything. Self interest is everything and everywhere.

On that basis, I feel the more you can educate yourself with the facts, the better. Not all we are told is wrong or inaccurate but unless we know something about the subject, how can we tell the difference? We can't be an expert in everything so one may wonder how they can avoid being mislead. At least develop a cautious approach. If a source has a vested interest, be suspicious. Also, the media want your attention so look at the title of an article and then if the information doesn't line up with the (often overly sensational) headline, be doubtful of their ethics.

We want to be aware of what is going on in the world. We want the truth, not tricked or lied to.

Be careful.

17 December 2018

Americas Car/Vehicle Production By Nation : 2016-17

I last did this region's production for the 2014-15 years (vehicles by clicking here, and cars by clicking here). For this instalment, I decided to double the value and put them in one article....You're welcome.

Cars: This excludes light trucks and SUVs so is a shrinking segment. For the past two years, the numbers have dropped 7%. Even a surge in Brazil was not enough, as it was nullified with an accelerated fall in the USA.

The x2 count is where numbers are also counted elsewhere. If the content is equally divided between countries, then it is shared. Thankfully, that isn't a major factor, just 0.5% of the total.

Car Production
16 17 Brand Units '17 Share +/- Units '16 Share +/-
1 1 USA 3,033,216 36.9% -23% 3,916,584 44.4% -6%
3 2 Brazil 2,269,468 27.6% 28% 1,778,464 20.2% -12%
2 3 Mexico 1,900,029 23.1% -5% 1,993,178 22.6% 1%
4 4 Canada 749,458 9.1% -7% 803,230 9.1% -10%
5 5 Argentina 203,700 2.5% -16% 241,315 2.7% -22%
6 6 Colombia 73,904 0.9% -5% 77,946 0.9% 2%
7 7 Venezuela 852 0.0% 0% 849 0.0% -91%

Total 8,230,627 -7% 8,811,566 -7%
x2 count -39,950 0.5% 22% -32,790 0.4% -13%

Vehicles: With all the SUVs and pick up trucks, it seems more relevant as each year passes. The only issue is that Argentina stopped including heavy-duty trucks in 2016. Numerically it makes little difference but I mentioned it anyway. 

As with cars, the decrease is the same for the past two years, in this case, a minuscule -0.7%. The USA was down but Mexico and Brazil did well. Call me paranoid, but Ecuador's figures look suspiciously like an estimate. The US still managed to exceed 50% of the total (54%).

Vehicle Production
16 17 Brand Units '17 Share +/- Units '16 Share +/-
1 1 USA 11,189,985 54.0% -8.1% 12,180,301 58.4% 0.6%
2 2 Mexico 4,068,415 19.6% 13.0% 3,600,365 17.3% 1.0%
4 3 Brazil 2,699,672 13.0% 25.2% 2,156,356 10.3% -11.2%
3 4 Canada 2,199,789 10.6% -7.2% 2,370,656 11.4% 3.8%
5 5 Argentina 472,158 2.3% -0.1% 472,776 2.3% -11.4%
6 6 Colombia 74,994 0.4% -5.1% 79,036 0.4% 1.2%
8 7 Ecuador 2,700 0.0% 0.0% 2,700 0.0% -43.8%
7 8 Venezuela 1,774 0.0% -37.8% 2,850 0.0% -84.4%

Total 20,709,487 -0.7% 20,865,040 -0.7%
x2 count -39,950 0.2% -7.9% -43,370 0.2% -10.9%

Source: OICA.

03 December 2018

The Cynical Car Industry

Capitalism is doomed to fail. Any system that panders to greed is inherently flawed and will destroy as it prospers. Companies exist to prosper and those that cheat - especially without being caught - win. Commerce has huge financial resources which give it tremendous potential to influence or bully in order to get its way.

I have written about such in the past, such as Bullies 1Bullies 2Cynical crash tests, Class action (VW),  and Fuel consumption disparities. I guess one can be sympathetic with those competing in a system that seems to favour a cynical win at all costs thinking. There is no medal for being moral and going broke, while competitors play all their tricks and prosper.

So why do I write about cars, when clearly disillusioned with the car industry and commerce generally? Well, I've always liked cars and statistics, so brought both together to do this blog. It's strictly non-commercial (no advertising here) so the many hours are spent for my pleasure and those who share what I like. However, watching the industry has opened my eyes to its self serving actions, and at times, corrupt ways.

One thing I will say is don't get hooked into this system of constantly changing cars unless that is what you want, or have, to do. As much as I like cars, I'm not wasting money on them. I bought a new car 14 years ago (a good price too) and still have it. I haven't done a huge mileage, have had no mechanical problems, and it still serves our needs. It doesn't have the latest bells and whistles but that is why it is so reliable and easy to own.

I believe cars could and should be cheaper but lack of co-operation between makers, overly complicated features, getting oversized and in the case of NZ, profit margins too big scuppers that. So I watch with increasing detachment.