Auto News for July 5 – Tesla Production Comes Up Short – Fiat 124 Returns

Tesla is still cranking out a lot of vehicles, delivering 14,370 of them to customers in the second quarter, but that was below its forecast of 17,000. It cited a number of custom ordered vehicles still in the pipeline and what it called an “extreme production ramp up.” For the second half of the year, Tesla said it will most likely deliver 50,000 vehicles or about what it delivered all of last year as it ramps up production in Fremont, California.


The first shipments of the Fiat 124 Spider have arrived at ports in Baltimore and San Diego. Thus, Fiat revives a nameplate that first appeared some 50 years ago when the Fiat 124 Spider was introduced at the Turin Auto Show. This latest iteration is made by Mazda and is based on the MX-5 Miata but gets a 1.4-liter turbo rated at 160 horsepower or an Abarth model at 164 horsepower. Prices start at $25,990 with the first 124’s appearing in showrooms shortly.

In the world of autonomous cars, BMW announced it is teaming with Intel and Mobileye “to bring solutions for highly and fully automated driving into series production by 2021.”  The goal of the collaboration is to develop solutions that enable the drivers to not only take their hands off the steering wheel, but reach the so called “eyes off” (level 3) and ultimately the “mind off” (level 4) level transforming the driver’s in-car time into leisure or work time. This level of autonomy would enable the vehicle, on a technical level, to achieve the final stage of traveling “driver off” (level 5) without a human driver inside. This establishes the opportunity for self-driving fleets by 2021 and lays the foundation for entirely new business models in a connected, mobile world, the three firms said.

In case you missed it, here is a wrap up for June auto sales. Some did well, some did not.

Fiat Chrysler recorded its best June sales since 2005 as its Jeep line continued to be a brisk seller, up 17 percent. Ram truck sales were also hot posting a gain of 14 percent. Overall FCA sales increased 7 percent.

Over at Ford, June sales rose 6 percent while first-half sales were up 5 percent thanks in part to strong demand for its Edge and Escape models. June truck sales rose 24 percent at the Blue Oval while Lincoln sales were up 6 percent last month.

GM continues to trim its less profitable fleet sales, so overall demand in June fell 1.6 percent. Demand was lower for GMC and Buick models, but Cadillac posted a 5.5 percent gain last month. Chevrolet was up a fraction.

Sales fell 5.6 percent at Toyota year over year and Lexus slipped 1.3 percent mainly, some experts said, due to slowing demand for its automobiles.

Nissan reported a 13 per cent sales increase last month as overall sales of crossovers, trucks and SUV’s set a monthly record, up 14 percent.

Light trucks led the charge at Honda where sales rose 3 percent thanks to the CR-V, Pilot and Odyssey. But it sold a lot of the redesigned Civic – sales were up a strong 10.7 percent in June. Acura saw its sales fall 26.9 percent. It is hoping that things will turn around with the 2017 MDX now hitting showrooms.

That wild child Subaru, at least sales wise, did it again. The company reported a sales increase of 5.1 percent to mark 55 consecutive months of month-over-month growth. It was the best June ever for the Outback, WRX/STI and Crosstrek.

Volkswagen saw demand fall 21.7 percent with only the Tiguan and the GTI showing sales increases.

Hyundai sales were basically flat year-over-year despite nice gains for the Tucson and Santa Fe models.

On the other hand, Kia racked up a 15.6 percent sales increase, the brand’s fifth monthly sales record in six months. The Forte, Sportage and Sorento enjoyed their best June ever.


Mazda reported sales fell 3.8 percent.

Sales were up 1 percent at Audi, the brand’s 66th consecutive monthly sales gain thanks again to two SUV’s, the Q3 and the Q7.

Mercedes said demand was up 2.3 percent with a “major highpoint” being the new E-Class sedan. Also in demand were the C-Class models and GLE.

June was not kind to BMW. Sales of BMW brand vehicles fell 10.3 percent while Mini sales dropped 20.4 percent. There was one bright note: Sales of BMW Certified Pre-Owned vehicles rose 8.9 percent.










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