Downturn fuels car makers' worries
Globally car manufacturers are starting to feel the full effects of the credit crunch with less new cars being sold.
The Mail and Guardian reports that at the worlds biggest car show, The North American International Auto Show, sales are not looking good for the rest of the year, and companies that are the beneficiaries of huge bailout are still under pressure and struggling to survive.
As one attendee put it 'I have seen a better mood at funerals'.
Apparently the only things causing any sort of buzz and hype, were green and electric related technologies. There were demonstrations outside by disgruntled employees who have lost their jobs, despite the bailouts.
In South Africa the Dispatch reports that according to the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa) new vehicle sales are expected to show an improvement in the back half of 2009. However due to the state of the economy globally, exports of vehicles and components are expected to remain depressed. Exports to other African countries were expected to improve marginally. Naamsa released figures that showed a 27.1% drop in new vehicle sales for December 2008 compared to December 2007.
Business Report tells us that it is not that bad for everyone though. VW the German car manufacturer set a sales record last year and managed to expand its market share regardless of the current economic troubles.
As they put it 'This shows that our group's multi-brand strategy is paying off and our young and attractive model range is popular with customers all over the world.'
A lot of the American car makers problems seem to spring from a lack of adaptivity and a general ignorance about where the rest of the world wants to go. Those massive gas guzzling monsters that may go down in Nowheresville, Idaho, just won't cut it on the streets of Munich.
In August VW had overtaken Ford to become the world's third largest auto manufacturer after GM and Toyota. Fin24 also followed this story.
Business Day came in with a story about McCarthy Motor Holdings, who said that they are feeling the effects of the crisis and will be closing 28 dealerships in the first quarter of this year. They said the cause for this was soft demand and high associated costs. They also said that this was the worst downturn that they could remember. The trend before the crash was for massive investment in the industry with an expectation of it growing further, however now there is an oversupply of dealerships and some are starting to close down.
New vehicles are not expected to drive this market and dealerships are swapping their focus over to the used car market.
The new car market might pick up at the end of the year, so if you really want a snazzy new car, get a savings account now, save up your deposit and buy your self an end of year present later.