Getting Down to Business
Automotive Business News 11/24/23
5 Minutes of Fresh Perspective
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VW Hikes Wages
- Volkswagen increases salaries for Chattanooga plant workers by 11%.
- The wage increase will be effective beginning in December, with faster wage progression starting in February.
- Why? UAW's successful negotiations with Detroit Three automakers have influenced other non-union companies.
- Honda and Toyota also raised wages for non-union U.S. workers, and Hyundai announced a 25% wage increase over four years for workers in Alabama and Georgia.
Companies are recognizing the need to offer more competitive pay and benefits to attract and retain skilled workers. This shift underscores the importance of staying attuned to industry standards and employee expectations, especially in a competitive labor market.
Toyoda Steps Down
- Akio Toyoda is retiring as chairman of JAMA, Japan’s Automobile Manufacturers Association, which represents 5.5M employees from 14 automakers.
- Masanori Katayama of Isuzu Motors to succeed Toyoda on January 1st, 2024. It will be the first time a truck company leader heads Japan's automotive industry association.
- Toyoda led Japan’s automotive industry for three terms since 2012.
The appointment of Masanori Katayama as successor signals a broadening of perspectives at the helm of Japan's auto industry. We’ll have to wait to see what that change means for the US.
New Car Sales on the Rise
- U.S. new vehicle sales are expected to rise 10.2% this month.
- Retail inventory levels in November are expected to increase by 7.5% from last month and 43.7% year-over-year.
- The average transaction price of new vehicles fell 1.9% to $45,332.
- Despite falling per-unit profits, dealer profits remain above pre-pandemic levels.
- The 2024 forecast remains at 92.3M units, up 3% from 2023.
The projected increase in new vehicle sales and inventory levels points to a recovering market with robust consumer demand and more affordable prices, despite the recent struggles (looking at you, UAW strike).