Luxury Revival Prompts BMW, Mercedes to Add Shifts

Discussion in 'Economics' started by ASusilovic, Jul 3, 2010.

  1. Mercedes-Benz, Bayerische Motoren Werke AG and Audi AG are adding staff and cutting summer factory breaks to boost production as demand for luxury cars returns quicker than they had planned.

    Daimler AG, the parent of Mercedes, has hired 1,800 temporary workers and added Saturday shifts at German assembly plants making the SLS gull-wing sports car, GLK sport-utility vehicle and E-Class convertible, spokeswoman Dominique Albrecht said. BMW has hired 5,000 temporary workers, while Volkswagen AG’s Audi is adding extra shifts, the automakers said.

    German luxury-car makers have been riding surging demand in China and a rebound in the U.S. and Europe. BMW’s sales rose 11 percent in May, buoyed by deliveries of the 5-Series sedan and Z4 roadster. Mercedes’s sales climbed 17 percent as E-Class demand surged 84 percent, while Audi deliveries advanced 15 percent. BMW said the new 5-Series is sold out in all markets.

    “The recovery in luxury-car demand has been a bit faster than expected as confidence returns,” said Colin Couchman, an analyst at IHS Global Insight in London. “The growth is sustainable, because these companies have continued to invest in new products and expand into new markets.”

    The extra shifts are a turnaround from a year ago, when Daimler reduced hours for as many as 68,000 German employees to slash car production 23 percent. BMW, the world’s largest maker of luxury vehicles, cut shifts for as many as 24,000 workers as it lowered output 13 percent.

    Restoring Profit

    Daimler and BMW, which recorded losses in their car divisions last year, are both predicting the units will return to profit on higher sales. Audi, whose profit fell last year, is forecasting “above average” growth in results this year as it targets record sales, Chief Financial Officer Axel Strotbek said this week.

    “We’re now seeing in the U.S. that SUVs and everything else that’s big and nice-looking is being sought after again,” Strotbek said at a June 22 briefing in Berlin.
  2. DETROIT — General Motors Co. will increase production by 56,000 vehicles by keeping most of its U.S. plants open through its traditional summer shutdown period, the company said Thursday.

    GM said nine of its 11 U.S. assembly plants would forgo two-week summer shutdowns and continue to operate through the June 28 to July 9 period to help meet strong demand for vehicles like the Buick LaCrosse and Chevrolet Traverse.

    Most of GM's U.S. stamping and powertrain plants will also work to support assembly operations.

    "Our manufacturing teams are taking creative approaches to increase production and reduce the wait times for our dealers and customers," Mark Reuss, president of GM North America, said in a statement.

    GM's U.S. sales rose 15 percent in the first five months of this year from the same period last year, slightly underperforming the 17 percent increase in U.S. industry sales.

    Excluding four brands GM has sold or closed, U.S. sales for its remaining Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac brands were up more than 30 percent this year through May.

    Automakers have traditionally used summer shutdowns to help complete the annual model changeover and support maintenance operations.
  3. PRINCETON, Ind. — A decision by Toyota Motor Corp. to transfer a portion of its Highlander SUV production to the United States from its Kyushu, Japan, plant, is expected to be a windfall for Toyota Motor Manufacturing Indiana in Gibson County.

    TMMI currently produces about 7,000 of the Highlander vehicles a month, but in the near future it will increase the number significantly when the Japan plant sends its production there.

    “We then will produce all the Highlanders for the North American market,” said Kelly Dillon, TMMI spokeswoman.

    She said she was uncertain how many more of the vehicles will be produced, however.

    “It will be based on the demand in North America.”

    The increase in production will not impact the current employment, Dillon said.

    “We have the capacity already to produce a larger number,” she said.

    “Any additional volume is very positive news for our plant. ... We have the extra capacity to take on more production.”

    About half of TMMI's roughly 4,100 workers are involved in Highlander production.
  4. I imagine there will be quite a bit of good "automotive" news over the next few weeks, as the GM IPO gets into high selling gear.
  5. I have posted these headlines because I cannot hear anymore this bullsh1t of double dip recession and gloom and doom reports.

    Macroeconomists around the world and media outlets like Bloomberg, Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, businessweek are spreading fear mongering stories en masse. When you read Nikkei, Xinhuanet, Handelsblatt, LeFigaro and Prime Tass ( Russian tabloid ) it´s a totally different point of view.

    It´s about time to start a "good news" media outlet.
  6. Well, someone's making money, it just ain't you.
  7. Don't we already have that? Huffington Post? Putting a positive (Liberal) spin on everything?
  8. I can´t complain about my profitability this year. Up over 100 % in currency trading and over 40 % in derivatives. So I guess, I know what I am talking about, or ? ;=)
  9. I don't mean "you" as in you personally
  10. ECRI numbers heading into recession territory in the US. Why do you post this propaganda?
    #10     Jul 4, 2010