DETROIT, Dec. 17, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- Two page one stories from the December 20 issue of Automotive News are previewed below.
Automotive News Reporter Lindsay Chappell says that suppliers — who are leaner than they ever thought they could be — struggle to rebuild capacity that could chill the sales recovery. Also, many suppliers are profitable in their slimmed-down state, making them wary of adding costs.
Martin Schueble, BMW's North American vice president of procurement, says some of his suppliers cut too deeply during the recession. Now that a recovery is stirring, Schueble says, they can't meet demand.
"It's tragic. They survived the crisis, and now that food is available, they can't manage it," he says. "But it's only a very, very few companies that are struggling."
That scenario worries many in the industry as they contemplate increased consumer demand in 2011. U.S. sales forecasts for 2011 hover around 12.7 million vehicles, up from a 10 percent increase over a likely 11.7 million finish this year. Some analysts predict sales of more than 13 million.
Finally, Automotive News Reporter Diana Kurylko shares that two European luxury brands are tiptoeing into car sharing, a radical move for carmakers whose business for the past 100 years has been selling to individuals. German archrivals Daimler AG and BMW AG have launched sharing programs. The automakers say the move was prompted by changing attitudes about car ownership, especially among young buyers, and increased urban congestion.
Daimler's Car2go program is running in Austin, Texas, and Ulm, Germany. BMW has launched a one-year car sharing pilot in Munich.
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