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Ford, GM Making Inroads with Buyers in California

Asian brands introduce new vehicles to defend turf.

by on Feb.04, 2015

Ford is enjoying a more than 130% increase in Ford Mustang sales in California in January.

Ford and General Motors want and need to grow sales in California: territory long dominated by their Japanese rivals. Recent sales of each maker’s more popular models suggest they may have found the secret to success in the Golden State.

Erich Merkle, Ford’s North American sales analyst, noted that sales of the Mustang nationally more than doubled last month to 8,694 vehicles: a 124% increase that marks Mustang’s best January sales since 2007.

By the Numbers!

While the national results were impressive, Mustang sales grew by 131% in California and by 146% in the Southern California region around Los Angeles where many trends in automotive fashion begin and take root. More often than not, the seeds planted don’t involve domestic automakers. (more…)

New California Rules Could Push Millions More “Clean” Cars on the Road

Industry officials largely supporting new plan.

by on Jan.27, 2012

New California rules would put millions of plug-ins, like this Ford C-Max Energi, battery and hydrogen cars on the state's roads by 2025.

California’s environmental regulators have announced plans to tighten already strict emissions rules that were previously aimed at putting at least 1.4 million plug-in hybrids and battery cars on the state’s roads by 2025 – a move that could add millions more “clean cars” to the total.

Though industry officials have expressed concerns for the technical and cost implications, a wide range of companies, including General Motors, Ford, Chrysler and Nissan, told the California Air Resources Board, or CARB, that they’ll support the latest mandates.

The Final Word!

The new rules would require that by 2025 at least one of every seven vehicles sold in California would have to be a plug-in hybrid, extended-range electric vehicle or pure battery-electric vehicle, or BEV.

“We can’t afford to wait. We have to act on these issues now,” said CARB Chairman Mary Nichols during hearings on the proposed new rules. “Our projections show continued growth in population and vehicle miles traveled, which will affect air quality for years to come.”

(more…)

California Dreaming: Big 3 Struggle to Win Back West Coast Buyers

To succeed, domestics must win back jaded import owners.

by on Jul.21, 2009

California Dreamin'? Potential buyers check out the 2010 Chevrolet Camaro, parked here by a San Diego beach.

California Dreamin'? Passersby check out a 2010 Chevrolet Camaro, parked by a San Diego beach.

“Why would I even consider buying a car from Detroit,” says Leslie Hamilton, a successful author living in Seattle, “when I’ve been completely happy with my Toyota – and the one I had before and the one before that?”

It’s the same sort of question millions of other motorists keep asking themselves, nowhere more frequently than along the import-friendly East and West Coasts.  Unless and until Detroit’s Big Three automakers can come up with the right answer, their ability to stage a significant comeback will be limited, industry analysts warn.

Coast-to-Coast...and Free!

Coast-to-Coast...and Free!

“How to get through to people in those markets is our number one challenge,” says Bob Lutz, the 77-year-old General Motors vice chairman who recently decided to postpone retirement but shift his duties from product development to marketing.  “If I had the answer, I’d probably have done it yesterday.

(more…)