With Subaru understocked in the segment, nearly all automakers selling midsize cars, including Ford, GM, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Mazda, Nissan and Toyota, could withstand some trimming to inventory in the segment.
Inventory of domestically made LVs is where most of March’s excess inventory exists. There could be some production slowdowns, but higher retail incentives in place in March are likely to continue in April, and possibly increase.
GM’s March deliveries rose a respectable 8.1% from year-ago, but its share fell to one of its lowest ever for any month to 16.7%. The drop coincided with widely publicized recalls that occurred during the month.
WardsAuto estimates inventory is about 300,000 to 400,000 units higher than the optimum level to meet current market demand, but much of the excess appears related to January’s weather-dampened sales and to model changeovers.
Some suppliers are investing in additional facilities because they are confident current production levels will be sustained and because they have exhausted most of their avenues to stretch available capacity.
Domestic sales fell after the national consumption tax was increased April 1, but the decline was offset by brisk demand in North America and the effects of the weaker yen against the dollar, among other pluses....More
Dennis Williams does not seem convinced complete wage parity will occur, as he talks about “bridging” the gap between the two levels and stresses that the automakers must continue to be successful....More