Will the Marriage Last?
John Zeng, Director, China Forecasting
20 April 2018
The impact of China lifting foreign ownership limits on the auto sector
Following Chinese President Xi’s speech at the Boao Forum on 10 April on deepening reforms and opening up China’s economy, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) released further details of its plans to open up China’s automotive industry. The ministry announced the removal of foreign equity restrictions on special-purpose vehicles and New Energy Vehicles (NEVs) this year, on Commercial Vehicles in 2020 and on Passenger Vehicles in 2022. The rule that currently prohibits foreign automakers from setting up more than two joint ventures in China will also be relaxed. In fact, within the next five years, all restrictions on the industry will have been completely eliminated.
Kevin Riddell, Senior Manager, Americas Powertrain Forecast
19 April 2018
CAFE/CO2 requirements set to change in the US
As expected, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt recently announced that the CO2 regulations currently enforced in the US are unacceptable, disagreeing with the initial assessment released in January 2017. In a press conference on 2 April, Pruitt also stressed the importance of a unified, national set of standards.
“car biz is hell”
Jeff Schuster, Senior Vice President of Forecasting
17 April 2018
Is there finally a scratch in Tesla’s Teflon® image?
As we have been saying since Tesla’s plan to move into the mainstream and launch the Model 3, designing and then manufacturing a vehicle at scale is a tough and complex business. Elon Musk is certainly finding that out the hard way, as are all the consumers that parted with US$1,000 nearly two years ago and are still waiting for their vehicle.
Pete Kelly, Managing Director
12 April 2018
Question to Autonomous Vehicle developers: why run tests in big cities first?
The underlying rationale for choosing to do testing and deployment of Autonomous Vehicles (AVs) in large cities seems fairly clear. Such locations offer significant complexity to validate AV technology and high population densities present obvious scale advantages. Other infrastructure – connectivity, charging, presence of mobility service providers, and so on – is also likely to be more advanced than in more rural locations. And, once the technology is proven, it would be a major, and highly visible, milestone along the way to convincing people that AVs can work well.
A World full of Pessimists
Jonathon Poskitt, Director, Global Sales Forecasting
10 April 2018
A global Light Vehicle market outlook
Although global Light Vehicle sales contracted in February – a fairly rare phenomenon this decade and, in this case, related to the timing of Chinese New Year – the general picture remains rosy.
Pete Kelly, Managing Director
5 April 2018
Why we need automotive industry scenarios
Making forecasts about automotive (or any) markets can be difficult at the best of times. Right now, we are faced with a complex array of new and evolving political-economic trends that only serve to highlight the difficulties of the task. However, making balanced projections for the industry is what we, at LMC Automotive, have to do every day – and it is what our clients have to do as they make important binary decisions on how they will manage their businesses.
25% tariffs on EU car imports to the US: biggest losers?
Justin Cox, Director, Global Production
3 April 2018
President Trump’s recent talk of imposing a 25% tariff on EU car imports to the US has certainly caused a stir. But while most reports tend to focus on the large exposure of Germany’s Big 3 Premium brands to the US market, it is important not to forget the potential plight of both Honda’s and FCA’s European operations should this trade ‘war of words’ develop into something more concrete.
Moving in the Wrong Direction
Al Bedwell, Director, Global Powertrain
29 March 2018
As a central plank of EU policy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the region’s road transport sector, average new car CO2 emissions targets have been a huge driver of technical change as well as vehicle tax regimes for many years. Since the targets became a legal requirement (rather than a gentleman’s agreement) in 2007, the average figure has fallen from 158 gm/Km (2007) to 118 gm/Km (2016) and many millions of tons of CO2 have been prevented from entering the atmosphere. Debate can be had about the absolute toughness of the targets, but there is little doubt that without this scheme, vehicle efficiency gains would have stalled as they did during the pre-enforcement period. Since the carrot became a stick in 2007, CO2 emissions have typically fallen by 3-4% year-on-year.