Daimler AG has decided not to hold the company’s Annual Shareholders’ Meeting as scheduled on April 1, but to postpone it to a later date in 2020, according to a press release. The company stated this will inevitably lead to a corresponding postponement of the resolution on the allocation of profit and of the dividend payment. 

The meeting is tentatively rescheduled for July. The decision was made by Daimler AG in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to a forecast released by Cox Automotive, new light-vehicle sales volume is expected to rise nearly 6 percent compared to last February and 16 percent compared to last month. With leap year providing an extra selling day – 25 this year versus 24 last year, the gain is less impressive. After incorporating seasonal adjustments, the sales pace is expected to rise just slightly, from 16.5 million in February 2019 to 16.6 million this year.

According to Charlie Chesbrough, senior economist with Cox Automotive: “We’ve settled at a slower pace over the last few months, and our expectation is the new pace will continue this month and through 2020. We are in the late stage of the sales cycle, and demand is weakening even though incentives are relatively high.”

There are upside and downside risks to the forecast this month as sales in February can be greatly influenced by many factors, including harsh winter weather, according to Cox. Another risk to the vehicle market remains credit availability, particularly in subprime lending. Auto financing continues to remain strong, but a downturn in the economy will impact credit availability.

Cox reported that a higher than forecasted SAAR is possible given the strength of the underlying economy. Unemployment is at 50-year lows and the stock markets are at near all-time record highs. While fear around coronavirus is growing, it is unlikely to impact the auto market in February. The vehicle sales pace is expected to trend lower in 2020, even though economic and consumer conditions remain strong.

In February, new light-vehicle sales, including fleet, are forecast to rise to 1.33 million units, up about 75,000, or 5.9 percent compared to February 2019. When compared to last month, sales are expected to increase over 185,000 units, or 16 percent.

Study: GM Boosts Economy

February 25, 2020

 

A new study from the Center for Automotive Research (CAR) finds that General Motors - the largest automaker in terms of U.S. market share and second-largest in terms of U.S. production volume - is a significant contributor to the U.S. economy, and the economies of the nine states in which GM has manufacturing facilities.

The total employment contribution of GM’s 83,860 jobs is 681,000 jobs in the U.S. economy. With an employment multiplier of 8.1, the company supports an additional 7.1 jobs elsewhere in the economy.

GM’s U.S. employment provides an estimated $51.6 billion in private non-farm earnings and $13.7 billion in government receipts from personal income taxes and contributions for government social insurance and transfer payments.

“General Motors anchors the economies in the nine states where the company manufacturers vehicles, parts, and components,” said Kristin Dziczek, CAR’s vice president of research and lead author of the study, “and GM jobs pay better-than-average wages - boosting the company’s economic contribution even more.”

Ford Falls Short in 2019

February 07, 2020

 

Ford saw strong overseas performance, but also a $1.7 billion net loss in Q4.

Fourth quarter adjusted free cash flow was $498 million, down 67 percent. The company reported a Q4 net loss of $1.7 billion, or negative 42 cents per share, which includes a previously disclosed $2.2 billion pension and OPEB remeasurement loss.

“Financially, the company’s 2019 performance was short of our original expectations,” said Jim Hackett, Ford president and chief executive officer, “mostly because our operational execution – which we usually do very well – wasn’t nearly good enough. We recognize, take accountability for and have made changes because of this.

“We made great strategic progress this past year with a fundamental redesign of Ford that is setting us up to compete and win in this emerging era of Smart Vehicles for a Smart World – with great products, services and long-term value.”

Adjusted earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) were $485 million, down 67 percent, with improved results in China and Europe more than offset by a decline in North America. Revenue was $39.7 billion, down 5 percent. Ford’s Automotive EBIT for the quarter was $215 million, 81 percent lower. Gains in net pricing and product mix, particularly in North America, were more than offset by lower launch-related volumes; higher costs for new products; unfavorable currency exchange; and UAW contract-related costs.

For full-year 2019, Ford’s adjusted free cash flow was $2.8 billion, flat compared to 2018. Revenue was $155.9 billion, down 3 percent. Adjusted EBIT was $6.4 billion and adjusted EPS was $1.19. Ford Credit had an exceptional year, posting its best results in nine years, with $3 billion in earnings before taxes.

Among 2019 strategic highlights were the November reveal of the Mustang Mach-E, a zero-emissions battery-electric vehicle that will be digitally connected, enabling constant improvement through real-time over-the-air updates.

Subaru of America, Inc. reported 46,285 vehicle sales in January, a 0.5 percent increase compared to January 2019, and the best January in the history of the company. These results continue the automaker’s sales momentum from 2019 where Subaru recorded 11 consecutive years of record sales and exceeded 700,000 annual sales – a first in company history.

January marked the 71st consecutive month of 40,000-plus vehicle sales for the automaker. Ascent achieved its best January ever with 5,606 vehicle sales. Outback posted a 4 percent increase, while Legacy posted a 2.8 percent increase compared to January 2019.

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