Auto News for July 5 – Volvo – End of an Era

  Back after a relaxing Fourth of July. Hope everyone enjoyed their weekend, with low prices for gas and hamburg.

Volvo electric

 Volvo announced this morning that every car it launches from 2019 will have an electric motor. This marks the “historic end of cars that only (have) an internal combustion engine…” the company said.

 It added that “electrification is paving the way for a new chapter in automotive history.”

 Volvo will introduce a portfolio of electrified cars across its model range, embracing fully electric cars, plug in hybrid cars and mild hybrid cars.

 It will launch five fully electric cars between 2019 and 2021, three of which will be Volvo models and two of which will be high performance electrified cars from Polestar, its performance car arm. Full details of these models will be announced at a later date.

 While you were grilling automakers were releasing their sales figures for June and the story was much the same. Sagging demand for cars brought down overall sales figures to a degree that even hot demand for trucks, SUV’s and crossovers could not boost.

 But analysts seem to agree that total sales figures for the year, while not record setting, will still be strong.  

 GM sales fell 4.8 percent, Ford was down 5 percent and Fiat Chrysler saw a 7.4 percent setback.

 Subaru, Toyota, and VW enjoyed stronger sales with demand for Subaru’s up a zesty 10.8 percent. Gains were also reported at Honda and Nissan.

 The headline caught my eye – “New Cars Unaffordable for Most Americans.” said that in only one of the 25 largest metropolitan areas can a family with a median income afford an “average-priced new car.”

 The long exception was Washington D.C.

 This involves a transaction of 20% down, a four year loan and principal/interest/insurance payments comprising 10% of a household’s gross income.

 “The main point of this research is to illustrate how Americans are having to overextend themselves to pay for a new car at today’s prices,” says analyst Claes Bell.

 Along that line … As car buyers’ appetites for bigger and more expensive vehicles grows, so does their willingness to take longer paying for them, according to a new analysis from Edmunds. The average auto loan length reached an all-time high of 69.3 months in June — up 6.8 percent from five years ago. The average amount buyers financed recorded the biggest uptick for the year, hitting $30,945 (up $631 from May), also leading to the highest monthly payments for the year, now averaging $517 (up from $510 in May).

 “Stretching out loan terms to secure a monthly payment they’re comfortable with is becoming buyers’ go-to way to get the cars they want, equipped the way they want them,” said Edmunds Executive Director of Industry Analysis Jessica Caldwell. “It’s financially risky, leaving borrowers exposed to being upside down on their vehicles for a large chunk of their loans, but it’s also a sign that consumers are still confident enough in the economy to spend more on their vehicles and commit to paying for them longer.”

 Speaking of being underwater, another report concludes that the unmanned underwater vehicle market will be worth $5.2 billion by the year 2022.


 Elon Musk said the first Tesla Model 3 will be completed this Friday now that it has passed all regulatory requirements. The company plans a party to mark the first models to be presented to owners with production being ramped up to 1,500 Model 3’s by September.






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