Toyota Says Retail Demand Bouncing Back, Inventory Remains 'Lumpy'
Toyota's U.S. dealers are coming off their best weekend since the coronavirus pandemic hit in late March in a continuing display that buyers are once again ready to purchase new vehicles, executives said Monday. But while retail demand is still down about 15 percent from the same point a year ago, the industry is likely to go through several "lumpy" months this summer as automakers continue to ramp up plants after extended shutdowns and reconfigure output in the face of anemic fleet demand, said Bob Carter, head of sales for Toyota Motor North America.
Source: Automotive News
GM CEO Barra Hints at New Product, Promises Full Production Soon
General Motors CEO Mary Barra plans more visits to factories to ensure worker safety, hinted at new products coming and driving the growth of electric vehicles. She also assured workers there are no job cuts anticipated. Barra made the comments on the eve of GM's annual shareholder meeting, during an hour-long Automotive Press Association's fireside chat with reporters. Despite the pandemic, Barra said GM is on track to be at full production by month's end. She will continue to visit plants to check on safety as the company frantically works to restock inventory of its hot-selling pickups and SUVs.
Source: Detroit Free Press
Ford May Scrap Edge SUV, Puts Canada Vehicle Plant
Ford Motor Co. is scrapping plans to make a next-generation Edge SUV, putting a Canadian assembly plant that produces the crossover at risk of closure, according to industry forecaster AutoForecast Solutions. The assembly plant in Oakville, Ontario, used to make the Ford Flex and Lincoln MKT, and currently makes only two models: the Lincoln Nautilus and Ford Edge. The Flex and MKT were canceled last year, and Nautilus production is scheduled to move to China after 2023, said Sam Fiorani, vice president at AutoForecast Solutions in Chester Springs, Pennsylvania. The demise of the Edge, which debuted in 2006 and received a facelift in 2019, would leave the plant with no new product to anchor it, Fiorani said, citing industry sources.
U.S. Expected to Report Record Rise in Monthly
U.S. retail sales likely experienced a record rise in May as 2.5 million Americans went back to work, although any rebound will retrace only a fraction of the historic drops in March and April amid the coronavirus lockdowns. The monthly report, due to be released by the Commerce Department on Tuesday, is expected to show overall receipts at U.S. retailers jumped 8.0% last month, according to a Reuters poll of economists. That would exceed the previous record increase of 6.7% in October 2001 as Americans resumed spending following what was then a record pullback in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States.