(Yesterday, we profiled European Car Makers in Part Four of our ongoing Auto Maker Shakeup Series)
This is one area of the globe where a few auto makers are finding solace in these economic troubles. But not every car maker is doing well.
In China, auto makers are looking to acquire new brands and are enjoying a boost in sales. Conversely, Japan is feeling the economic crunch, and its car makers are being forced to find ways to out-do the competition.
In this struggling market, let us take a look at car manufacturers from the Far East in Part Five of our Auto Maker Shakeup Series.
Honda Motor Co.
Things are looking up for alternative fuel cars, even in this economic downturn, as Honda said sales orders for the recently launched Insight hybrid automobile are triple what its own experts predicted.
According to the Wall Street Journal, this data is a rare bright spot for what has been a struggling Japanese auto market, one expected to plunge to a 31-year low in profits.
The secret to the Insight hybrid’s success: a lower price than the competition. Currently, the Insight is selling for between $19,120 and $22,360 whereas its chief rival, the Toyota Prius hybrid, sells for anywhere between $22,000 and $24,270. When the buyers’ wallets get tight, Honda is right to assume that they will flock to a lower priced alternative when purchasing an automobile.
Our car accident lawyers know that Hondas and Toyotas have continually produced some of the world’s best cars. We can only hope that trend continues amid this economic crisis. We do remain cautious and watchful that safety standards are not sacrificed causing preventable product liability and defective auto parts-caused auto accidents.
Chinese Auto Makers
Amid reports of Chinese car maker Geely’s attempts to purchase Volvo from Ford (link to Part 2), it is no surprise that auto makers in China are thriving in this economic downturn.
Now, there is proof.
According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, China’s automobile sales have risen 25% in February 2009 after a tax cut was implemented for smaller cars. The purchase tax on automobiles with 1.6-liter engines and smaller was cut in half.
While the growth is unlikely sustainable, BNP Paribas analyst Charles Huang expects the Chinese auto industry to grow by 8% in 2009.
Tomorrow, we will conclude the Auto Maker Shakeup Series with a look to the future car market in Part Six.
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