News Briefs: Jan. 30, 2012

Here’s what we have our eye on today:

  • Despite higher fuel-economy standards by 2016 and likely again by 2025, carmakers remain cold on diesel engines in the U.S. Diesel fuel’s higher energy density can render up to 40% better gas mileage versus a same-size gasoline engine, but the fuel remains pricey — $3.87 per gallon compared with $3.43 for regular unleaded, according to AAA. That leads hybrids to outsell diesels by more than two to one, Automotive News reports.
  • A restructured Chrysler may report its first annual profit since 1997, The Associated Press reports. The Fiat-owned company will report fourth-quarter results Wednesday, when CEO Sergio Marchionne expects the company to post a $600 million profit, excluding a midyear $551 million refinancing charge. That’s a huge shift from 2010, when Chrysler lost $652 million. The Michigan automaker employs 57,200 people, up 9,400 from 2009.
  • Nissan’s midpack performance in J.D. Power and Associates’ latest Sales Satisfaction Survey, which measures customer satisfaction when buying a new car, may not seem like anything to crow about. However, it has company officials celebrating, according to Automotive News. Nissan placed last among major non-luxury brands in the previous study, leading the automaker to commission a task force that orchestrated some 10,000 small improvements across some 1,100 Nissan dealerships.
  • Ford’s full-year earnings have each of its 41,600 hourly employees earning $6,200 in profit-sharing bonuses. But the company’s stock price dipped on Friday — and remains depressed this morning — on underperforming fourth-quarter results, plus uncertainty with commodity prices and a debt crisis in Europe, notes The Detroit News.
  • A lower-emissions version of the Chevrolet Volt will get carpool-lane access in California, as well as a $1,500 state tax rebate on top of up to $7,500 in federal tax credits, Automotive News reports. GM sold nearly 2,000 Volts in California last year, nearly 25% of national Volt sales. The specialized version goes on sale in March.
By Kelsey Mays | January 30, 2012 | Comments (16)



@Kelsey Mays,

can you guys provide some additional information about fleet sales? i read a forbs article that stated ford led in fleet sales and that 45% of focuses went to fleet customers. it would be nice to get the real numbers (excluding the full size trucks), since people love to bash automakers based on perceived fleet sales.

From AN, 2011 fleet share for the Big Seven are as follows:

Ford: 32%
Chrysler: 28%
GM: 26%
Nissan: 15%
Hyundai-Kia: 10%
Toyota: 8%
Honda: 2%


Amuro Ray

Holy Smoke!

"since people love to bash automakers based on perceived fleet sales."

See Cody, sometimes people asked the wrong question and got stabbed by it, w/o knowing, but I guess that it isn't "perceived" anymore.



thnx! understanding that a large number of F150s/silverados/rams/tundras go to fleet, (and that other manufacturers don't sale a full sized truck), would it be possible to see the numbers without full sized trucks?



not yet...i want to see the numbers without the trucks.


Not that I'm aware of. Automakers disclose numbers for certain models in their monthly sales results, but I've never seen a full account of non-truck fleet sales.




It doesn't matter what the numbers are. Fleet sales in and of themselves are not bad. It's a significant part of the industry and an important part of the industry. For instance the cancer-curing Nissan Leaf is sold heavily to fleets - power utilities, municipalities, corporations, even rental car companies. Further to that Nissan has invested millions to bring fleet-only products to market. Is Nissan making a mistake? People continue to make outdated assumptions about the fleet market and the media continues to perpetuate these assumptions particularly one fleet sale equates to one rental car.

Amuro Ray

Ah, see how the experts have spoken?

Problem is, it does matter, when you are a vehicle owner. Case in point - have you ever heard or seen any Chevy Malibu owner who cheerfully celebrate the high resale value of his/her vehicle?

Fleet sale's not bad unless you put a "brand" - like a fanboy - well before you personal financial health, of course, as the EXPERT wanted you to believe.


Typical ignorance personified.


Consider the size of GM and Ford compared to Honda. Although their percentage of fleet sales is disproportionately higher, they are much larger companies that sell a lot more vehicles. And, you also have to consider municipalities and the federal government that have to purchase from Ford, GM, and Chrysler.

Amuro Ray

Contributing to the discussion again with worthless WTF's BS again. Just as usual.

@ Bowrider,

What about comparing to Toyota? Or Nissan? CEO wrote a short piece on the good and bad on Fleet Sales. In short,
Good to the company.
Bad to consumers (resales value and less retail incentives).


I have to agree with you regarding Toyota, AR. Very low. As for Nissan, I'm on the fence.

Matt C.


I agree with your point about resale for the most part, the exception would be light duty trucks. Try to buy a used F150 that is only a couple of years old. You often end up paying close to a discounted new truck.


Diesels will be outsold, because there are no diesels for sale (except VW and a few giant SUVs)

A business owner’s policy is an insurance package that includes property and liability coverage’s to protect every aspect of your business. A BOP is generally designed to cover the needs of small to medium sized companies and is not suitable for larger businesses. Because a BOP is a package policy, Brayer Insurance Services is able to offer it at a very reasonable rate.

Richard Joash Tan

AR, remember the Captiva Sport?

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