What’s The Auto Industry Look Like For 2011

Hey Cool Car Fans,

2010 was an interesting year for automobile sales that’s for sure. Mark Fields, Ford’s President of the Americas had this to say about 2010…“This is definitely a year we’d all like to put behind us,” and Toyota is feeling the same way for sure after their recall of more than 11 million vehicles last year.

After striving to beat GM as the world’s largest automaker, the Japanese giant has seen its stellar reputation for quality and reliability whacked. They had their executives pulled before Congress and hit with fines, while even being poked fun at by Saturday Night Live with this video that is pretty funny…

Toyota is hoping that it has seen the end of its recall issues and that it can turn things around in 2011, but it looks like sales in the United States may continue to decline.  VW on the other hand is making a move to become number one and knock Toyota off the throne.  It’s CEO Martin Winterkorn is telling the world that his plan is to make VW the world’s largest automaker.

The Volkswagen family includes:  VW, Porsche, Audi, Skoda, SEAT, Spyker, Scania, Bugatti, Bentley,and Lamborghini. It also owns the Auto Union name.  The big deal is that VW plans to open a new plant in Tennessee in 2011, which will be the first time that the German manufacturer has manufactured cars in the United States.  They shouldn’t have the same problems they had when they started putting the New Beetle together in Mexico.  People like myself in the auto industry joked around that the check engine light coming on was a feature!  It’s not just Toyota that has had recall issues or quality control problems.

2011 should be an interesting year as the challenges of 2010 will persist, which include rising fuel prices, increasing costs of raw materials, challenging economic times and increased competition from countries like India with Tata Motors, Italy with Fiat and their acquisition of Chrysler, and soon the Chinese will be arriving as well.

There are also discussions about fuel prices jumping to $4 a gallon that will create major problems for people once again, if it happens, like fuel prices did a few years ago that sent the auto industry into a tailspin.  I really think we’re going to need to see a change in the U.S. moving off our total dependence on foreign oil, with the Nissan Leaf leading the way, along with the Chevy Volt.  They are not going to solve the problems we’re facing in the automotive industry overnight, but what has always made America great is improvements in technology and good old fashioned ingenuity.

John Boyd

Auto Consultant – John Boyd: The Cool Car Guy

John is an auto consultant with his license at a car dealership in Denver, Colorado. He can help you save time and money on any make or model, new or used, lease or purchase – nationwide! Call or email John about your next vehicle! jboyd@coolcarguy.com or Twitter @coolcarguy