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.

27 September 2016

Tesla Production History: 2008-15

Is Tesla on a slippery slope or a gold medal winner? 

Some companies are different. Everything about Tesla seems different. The way it markets its cars for one. Some people are attracted to different and they are the people that are keeping Tesla going. What it has done taking on car manufacturing was outrageous in scope but so far so good. I must confess I thought the whole approach was too risky and unlikely to succeed. However, as long as investors keep the faith, anything is possible.

Being a car manufacturer isn't easy. You have to watch for trends that may lead to where you need to be several years away. Jump into something that doesn't take off and that's costly. So is missing a trend or being very late to the party. Tesla has created something that is different and working. Will it ultimately succeed? Time will tell.

For now production hasn't been as large numerically as hoped but from nothing to now is a huge leap for the company. As they move into more volume and lower priced cars, maintaining quality and ensuring reliability will be so important.

I have put together some figures which I think are about right. If anyone can add clarification, please do so. It starts with the roadster model from Lotus, a steep learning curve. When that finished it was on to its own cars. The company doesn't release data so what is below is gleaned as best I can.

Year USA Netherl UK/US Total

2008 - - 200 200

2009 - - 600 600

2010 - - 900 900

2011 - - 650 650

2012 3,100 - - 3,100

2013 24,300 - - 24,300

2014 35,100 4,300 - 39,400

2015 50,700 6,300 - 57,000

Total 113,200 10,600 2,350 126,150

Picture source: Tesla.

26 September 2016

Cadillac Global Sales By Model : 2015

The Escalade 

Cadillac is an old marque going back to 1902, becoming part of the GM family seven years later. It is reputed to be sold in 37 markets around the world (Wiki Cadillac) but only a few of note. The USA takes over 60% of sales and combined with China more than 90%. Once Canada enters the mix, the rest take less than 4%.

14 15 Nation 2015 % +/-

1 1 USA 175,267 63.1% 3%

2 2 China 79,779 28.7% 17%

3 3 Canada 12,249 4.4% 16%

4 4 Mid East 5,136 1.8% 20%

6 5 Mexico 1,806 0.6% 28%

5 6 Europe 1,748 0.6% 5%

Others 1,883 0.7% 16%

Total 277,868

2015: The brand is based around six models. The best selling model in 2015 was the SRX mid-sized crossover (to be replaced by the XT5 in 2016). This is followed by the compact ATS which is a coupé/sedan, part of the range since 2012. Then the large XTS 4-door sedan came along also in 2012, now the third best selling. The full sized SUV (Escalade) is next and has been around since 1999. The CTS midsized car was introduced back in 2002 and is 5th. Finally the ELR compact 2-door coupé which ended its run altogether in early 2016.

14 15 Model 2015 % +/-

1 1 SRX 99,397 35.8% 13%

3 2 ATS 63,049 22.7% 35%

2 3 XTS 48,851 17.6% -10%

5 4 Escalade 42,274 15.2% 24%

4 5 CTS 23,167 8.3% -32%

6 6 ELR 1,049 0.4% -23%

Others 81 0.0% 138%

Total 277,868

What's new for 2016: The CT6 is a full sized luxury car that carries over from the Fleetwood, that ceased in 1996. The XT5 replaces the SRX mid-sized crossover.

US Dealer rationalisation: Cadillac has over 900 dealers in the US and is offering to the smallest 400 that sell less than 50 cars per year a payout (averaging $120,000) to stop selling the brand. That will cost some sales initially but overall add sales to the larger dealers who can afford to invest money in upgrading sales and service.

Summary: Compared to most other premium marques, Cadillac isn't exactly global. They don't sell in New Zealand for example (shock, horror). To catch up now would be quite a task, so GM isn't trying to change the situation it seems to me. A 7.5% increase for 2015 was good and it secured sales of just over a quarter of a million.

Data source: Cadillac.

The new XT5

25 September 2016

Chrysler Production (Nation) : 2015

The Chrysler 200 is to go

This company lacks global presence. Four countries provided the vehicles in 2015, with China added in 2016 but too late to make the list here. Total production volume was up +5%, which was impressive. The 3 million hasn't been broken since at least back the the year 2000.

USA. It contributes 61% of the total, based around trucks. Volume was up 8%. No one model made a big difference.

Canada. Numbers were down 14%, the lowest since 2011. The Town & Country and Grand Caravan were both down while the Charger did OK.

Mexico. With units produced up 18%, that was the highest total since the year 2000 at least. It's all trucks, based around Ram and the Journey.

Italy. Only in its second year, the facility ramped up production by 172%. Its all about the Renegade and a reason for Chrylser's strong production year.

14 15 Nation 2015 % +/- 2014 %

1 1 USA 1,847,700 61% 8% 1,718,300 62%

2 2 Canada 512,600 17% -14% 599,000 22%

3 3 Mexico 484,000 16% 18% 411,700 15%

4 4 Italy 172,700 6% 172% 26,700 1%

Total 3,017,000
9% 2,755,700

Summary. While the figures look good, talk around about FCA isn't as positive. The Chrysler 200 and Dodge Dart cars are being dropped. Numbers made for each respectively in 2015 were 182,000 and 98,000, both made in the US. They were probably not making much money, unlike the truck side of the business. I think a partnership with someone to make cars for them could be a cost effective option.

The Dodge Journey is trucking on 

24 September 2016

SAIC MG Gone From UK Manufacturing

When I did some research for an article on the subject of MG production in the UK, it became apparent that whether there was car production at all was a source of much speculation - often leading to friction on certain forums. Part of the problem was cars were assembled (from kits) in batches as there wasn't enough volume to have ongoing production. So whenever the assembly line stopped, some said that was the end while others said not so. Then another batch would be processed.

The cars were only for the UK and many noted the dealer network and sales promotion was poor. Budget brand Dacia could use Renault dealerships but MG had to build its dealer network from scratch. This slow build up process and stop-start assembly style didn't make the operation cost effective. I said this in a recent article on the subject (which can be seen by clicking here): It amazes me that in the 21st century, where everything is hurried and has to be of enormous scale, this small assembly operation exists at all. Yet it is working and is growing. 

Now we know such a small assembly operation and limited sales didn't add up at all. Future cars will be imported from Asia. I would never have tried what SAIC did. Surely a better way would have been build up the dealer network and sales before considering the feasibility of local assembly.

It will hardly impact on the local economy as few were involved in such a basic and limited arrangement of production. Most staff employed by SAIC in the UK are in design and engineering and that will remain. It had more of a symbolic meaning. At least now the warring factions who seemed to be irritated over whether car assembly is happening or not can now return to peaceful co-existence.

Picture source: Autocar.

23 September 2016

(BMW) MINI Production By Nation : 2000-2015

I haven't in the past highlighted MINI production by nation before. However, three nations are now involved MINI production so there is something to talk about. The UK is obviously the main centre, with Austria and the Netherlands added progressively. The latter two are plants not owned by BMW but assembly is done for them.

In the UK at the Oxford plant the 3 and 5 door models are made, as well as the Clubman. The Magna Steyr owned facility in Graz, Austria makes the Countryman and Paceman (the latter about to end) for BMW MINI. Finally VDL Nedcar at Born, The Netherlands assembles the 3 door hatch and is the exclusive location for convertible manufacturing.

The BMW MINI came to life in the year 2000, but really 2001 and it wasn't until 2002 that serious numbers were being made. The success over the years is a testament to the cachet the original had. BMW's effort has got rather large but that is the case with many cars today.

The UK was the exclusive assembly location until 2010, when Austria was added due to capacity constraints in the UK. More recently in 2014, The Netherlands was the third nation to join the club, so to speak. The UK accounts for nearly 60% of the total volume produced.

Yr UK % tot Austria % tot Netherl % tot Total
00 109 - - - - - 109
01 42,395 - - - - - 42,395
02 160,037 - - - - - 160,037
03 174,868 - - - - - 174,868
04 189,136 - - - - - 189,136
05 200,811 - - - - - 200,811
06 187,521 - - - - - 187,521
07 237,700 - - - - - 237,700
08 235,019 - - - - - 235,019
09 214,588 - - - - - 214,588
10 216,302 79% 56,478 21% - - 272,780
11 195,199 66% 102,646 34% - - 297,845
12 207,530 67% 103,700 33% - - 311,230
13 179,340 59% 127,191 41% - - 306,531
14 183,813 56% 114,289 35% 29,196 9% 327,298
15 201,207 59% 83,783 24% 57,019 17% 342,009

2,825,575 81% 588,087 17% 86,215 2% 3,499,877

2.8 million have been made in the UK, nearly 600,000 in Austria and The Netherlands approaching 100,000. That adds up to 3.5 million.

Pic source: Netcarshow.