Pontiac GTO Forum banner
1 - 1 of 1 Posts

· Premium Member
5,150 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Weak dollar may put more U.S. cars in other markets

PUBLISHED: February 22, 2005

By Dave Zoia
Ward's Automotive Reports​

Thanks to its depreciation against the euro, yen and other foreign currencies, the dollar may not go as far these days, but the cars and trucks being built with it may begin to go even farther.
Auto makers are looking to step up production here and ship more U.S.-built vehicles to non-North American markets, in part due to recent currency swings.

Currently, U.S. exports remain minimal. In a good year, about 400,000 cars are shipped to non-North American markets.

But there are now several programs afoot that could boost that total, a healthy sign for a U.S. auto industry that has been struggling for decades to strike a better balance between imports and exports, worldwide capacity utilization and what it earns here and abroad.

Among programs being kicked about:

General Motors, which has aggressive plans to sell more U.S.-made Cadillacs around the world, also will build a version of its Pontiac Solstice/Saturn Sky 2-seat roadster for export to Europe under the Opel/Vauxhall brands. Both the Solstice (bowing this year) and Sky (due in 2006) will be assembled at GM's Wilmington, DE, plant, where the Opel version likely will enter the mix by 2007.

GM also is considering producing cars here for its Holden subsidiary in Australia. Holden is running its main assembly plant around the clock and still can't meet demand in a market that has been on fire of late.
A new U.S.-Australia free-trade agreement - and the U.S. dollar's continued decline against the Australian dollar - reportedly could pave the way for exports as early as 2007. An all-new rear- and all-wheel-drive platform, dubbed Zeta, is under development and will serve as the basis for future Holden models, as well as the next Pontiac GTO, Chevrolet Monte Carlo and several U.S. fullsize cars. Building some of the Australian vehicles here would allow GM to maximize North American capacity, better meet demand in Oz and possibly even save a few bucks.

BMW's Spartanburg, S.C., assembly plant may become the global source for a new multipurpose vehicle to be spun off the X5 cross/utility platform. The facility also may be a candidate to add output of the smaller X3 CUV, currently built only in Austria.

Subaru of Indiana will begin building a new CUV for Saab Automobile next year - presumably for worldwide distribution.

Ford reportedly is weighing whether to export U.S.-built models to Europe, beginning with its new Mustang.
In the end volumes will be small - a few thousand units here and there. But if the U.S. can become a more viable export base, it will allow auto makers such as GM, Ford and Chrysler and local suppliers to maximize U.S. efficiency, strategically balance their global production footprints and neutralize the effects of future currency swings.

"We really are working hard to leverage General Motors much better than in the past," GM Europe President Carl Peter Forster says of the plan to build Opels in Delaware. And American labor just might be the beneficiary.
1 - 1 of 1 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.