AutoPacific in the News

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May 22, 2017

Ford to fire CEO Mark Fields
Ford to fire CEO Mark Fields Ford CEO Mark Fields is out and Jim Hackett, who used to lead company’s self-driving car unit, is in. The company’s stock price and U.S. market share have been falling, last week it announced plans to lay off 1,400 people, and investors said Fields wasn’t paying enough attention to Ford’s core business in the present: selling trucks and SUVs. AutoPacific's Dave Sullivan shares his thoughts.

May 15, 2017

Nvidia, Intel battle to supply autonomous cars
Nvidia, Intel battle to supply autonomous cars Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang recently announced that their autonomous driving platform would be in the self-driving vehicles of one of the largest automakers in the world — Toyota, positioning them as the dominant supplier of the brains of self-driving vehicles. AutoPacific's Dave Sullivan explained that "because self-driving vehicles are still in development and not turning profits, automakers are limited to how much money they can spend on suppliers...companies are choosing one chipmaker to power their autonomous operations. Nvidia's platform allows automakers to competitively bid for other parts of the car."

May 10, 2017

America's Diesel Car Market Gets Even Smaller
America's Diesel Car Market Gets Even Smaller Mercedes-Benz pauses its U.S. diesel plans. AutoPacific's Dave Sullivan shares his thoughts on the challenges automakers will face trying to meet increasingly stringent regulations, as well as the future of the U.S. diesel market. "Diesel’s future has been relegated back to what it was about 20 years ago -- an engine choice for pickup trucks."

April 10, 2017

Lincoln focused on ‘experience’ as brand sales grow
Lincoln focused on ‘experience’ as brand sales grow The Lincoln brand has been changing its image, and it's working. With sales up 10% in 2016 and up 7.5% through March 2017, it seems the brand's strategy is paying off. Regarding the new Continental, AutoPacific's Dave Sullivan says, "The Continental is the first Lincoln in a very long time that doesn’t look like the Ford interior designer was loaned out to the Lincoln team."

April 3, 2017

Tesla’s market value tops Ford’s
Tesla’s market value tops Ford’s Tesla’s stock-market value has surpassed Ford’s by about $3 billion, supplanting Ford even though it delivered fewer than 80,000 vehicles globally last year. AutoPacific's Dave Sullivan says, “It’s mind-boggling that a company that has the global breadth and depth that Ford has is suddenly valued at less than or equal to Tesla...It does not compute.” Analysts believe things may change as Tesla enters a more mainstream EV market with the Model 3 and pushes beyond luxury buyers. Sullivan says “By the end of this decade, there’s going to be some significant choice for consumers looking for an electric vehicle."

March 27, 2017

Ford's health plan: Slim down inventory
Ford's health plan: Slim down inventory Ford CFO Bob Shanks warned analysts and investors, "don't be surprised" if Ford cuts production or temporarily idles assembly lines across North America in the coming months. The strategy, meant to avoid bloated inventory, will also eat into revenue. AutoPacific's Dave Sullivan says it's a dangerous plan. "Closing a plant down for a week or reducing a shift reduces the amount of vehicles made and therefore reduces revenue....That's what makes it dangerous; when you know your revenue is what you push out the door. If there is no demand, you can continue to push, and that's when bad things happen."

March 19, 2017

Rollbacks unlikely on fuel standards
Rollbacks unlikely on fuel standards Is President Trump's pledge to review U.S. fuel economy standards the first step in returning to unregulated, high-pollution gas guzzlers? Industry experts say no. While there may be some recalibration, most automakers compete globally, meaning they face strict emissions standards in other markets. There’s also California, whose statewide standards are stronger than the rules in the United States. Carmakers have made significant progress in making more-efficient vehicles. AutoPacific's Ed Kim says, "These technologies have appreciably made new vehicles better. I don’t think people are going to want to go backwards.”

January 26, 2017

Trump's Big Border Tax: Answers for Car Shoppers
Trump's Big Border Tax: Answers for Car Shoppers President Trump has threatened escalations in tariffs on foreign-made goods if U.S. manufacturers, including automakers, don't bring more manufacturing stateside. About 60% percent of U.S. light-vehicle sales in 2016 came from cars and trucks built in the U.S. AutoPacific's Dave Sullivan says "[a] 35% tariff on anything — [even a] 10% tariff on an $11,990 car, takes away from a car, from having a new car that people can afford."

January 25, 2017

Hefty Truck, SUV Profits Fuel U.S. Auto Industry Investment, Jobs
Hefty Truck, SUV Profits Fuel U.S. Auto Industry Investment, Jobs Automakers are pushing new investment in U.S. production of trucks, crossover and SUVs to tap into the higher profit margins they yield. The reason: they make automakers a lot of money. AutoPacific's Dave Sullivan says automakers spend about the same amount to make a vehicle, whether it’s a crossover or truck or sedan. Additionally, says Sullivan, “We haven’t really hit the theoretical ceiling for what consumers are willing to pay for pickup trucks. So the margins just keep growing.”

January 16, 2017

2018 Camry: The more things change …
2018 Camry: The more things change … Toyota's Akio Toyoda introduced the 2018 Toyota Camry at the NAIAS in January, saying "We view this as an opportunity to reignite the midsize sedan market...why should SUVs get all the glory?" Calling the vehicle "sexy," and the sport model "very sexy," drew some laughs from the crowd. AutoPacific's Dave Sullivan said, "It is a very evolutionary change...a vehicle design for what Camry buyers know and love. They are definitely pushing the envelope in how far they can take the Camry without it looking like a wild child."


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