In fact, no matter how the exchange rate changes, it will not bring a survival crisis to any multinational car company. From the perspective of multinational car companies, exchange rate changes are not really a serious challenge, because the development of the automotive industry shows that the challenges they have encountered in the past, present and future are about to determine their survival.
Throughout 2014, the US dollar continued to strengthen against the euro and the Japanese yen. In 2015, this trend is even more pronounced, and its impact on the global automotive industry has begun to emerge. According to the Fed data, the US dollar has been in a strong position for 17 consecutive months, which is not good news for US companies with large business volume overseas. The reason is very simple. The profit earned in the weak money market will be shrunk into the US dollar, which will lead to a decline in the overall US manufacturing yield. According to analysis by US financial institutions, if the US dollar continues to strengthen in 2015 and 2016, US GDP will lose 0.15% and 0.3%.
The appreciation of the US dollar is mainly due to strong US demand and weak demand in the EU and Japan. In the past four months, the US dollar has appreciated 15% against the Japanese yen; in the first week of February this year, the euro against the US dollar fell to a new low of 1.14.
In the face of the continued strength of the US dollar, multinational auto companies have begun a new round of strategic adjustment, or the US, German and Japanese-led auto market will be re-divided. The analysis shows that in the past 20 years, the â€œBig Threeâ€ of the United States has gained huge profits from the weak dollar. It can even be argued that their global development strategy is driven by the long-term weak dollar. Nowadays, this trend is over. It is the turn of the German and Japanese cars to counter the US market.
The appreciation of the US dollar has excited American dealers of the three luxury brands of Germany. In the weak dollar era, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Audi-made models exported to Germany or Russia are much more profitable than exports to the United States. As a result, the US market is often out of stock - no matter which country, luxury car owners do not care about the exchange rate. Push up the price of the car. Now that the US dollar is strengthening, not only the three luxury brands of the German system, including the Volkswagen and many Japanese brands, are beginning to sell in the US market.
The data shows that Toyota made the most profit from the appreciation of the US dollar in 2015: selling cars in the United States, regardless of imported cars or locally produced, can earn more yen in Japan for every dollar earned. In the fourth quarter of last year, Toyota's revenue in the US surged 27% to $6.36 billion, 90% of which came from exchange rate gains. Also benefiting from the exchange rate changes are Subaru, Honda and Mazda. Mercedes-Benz predicts that exchange rate gains in US revenues in 2015 are estimated at around $1 billion.
Just five years ago, because the yen was strong against the dollar (the yen was 50% higher than the current one), the imported Japanese cars in the US market were sold at a loss. Ten years ago, due to the strength of the euro against the US dollar, German Volkswagen lost $1 billion in annual sales revenue in the North American market.
In the weak period of the US dollar, since the German and Japanese cars are not exported to the United States, manufacturers will choose North American investment and build assembly plants, and their suppliers will also enter. As of now, the proportion of foreign brands in the US auto market has increased significantly from 25% in 1995 to 55%. According to the US "Automotive News" report, as the lowest cost of investment in North America, the total production capacity of automobiles in 2013-2019 will be doubled.
However, the problem is not so simple. Since the long-term trend of the exchange rate is difficult to grasp, the short- and medium-term global strategies of multinational auto companies generally do not consider the exchange rate factor. However, it should not be overlooked that in the past 20 years, especially in the past 10 years, the changes in the exchange rate of the US dollar against the euro and the Japanese yen have had a profound impact on the global automobile pattern. Multinational auto companies have to begin to pay attention to the possible positive effects of the exchange rate in their long-term strategy. Or a negative effect. However, the adjustment takes time and the pace of adjustment cannot be too fast. Now, the US dollar has entered a long-term appreciation channel, and the Fed has no intention to intervene. Authorities believe that the strategic adjustment direction of German and Japanese manufacturers should be to increase investment in the United States while investing more in North America. However, it is necessary to control production capacity according to market demand. At present, Volvo and Jaguar Land Rover are also making strategic adjustments in the same direction.
For the "big three" in the United States, the continued strength of the US dollar can only make its overseas sales profits shrink sharply. The GM CFO complained to the US media that in 2014, only the exchange rate factor ate a large chunk of GM's profits. The company's response can only be to fine-tune the price system of its product line while compressing internal costs.
According to the analysis of third-party agencies in the United States, it is precisely because of the frequent changes in the exchange rate of the US dollar against the euro and the Japanese yen in the past 10 years that the long-term unbalanced development of the global automobile industry tends to develop in a balanced manner. For the exchange of dollars, euros, and yen, the multinational auto companies can only adapt and not evade. In fact, no matter how the exchange rate changes, it will not bring a survival crisis to any multinational car company. From the perspective of multinational car companies, exchange rate changes are not really a serious challenge, because the development of the automotive industry shows that the challenges they have encountered in the past, present and future are about to determine their survival. Nowadays, the trend is very obvious. In the increasingly fierce competitive environment, multinational auto companies must keep up with the rapid development of auto technology, take the initiative in the trend of new energy vehicles, and fully address the digital challenges of the entire automotive ecosystem.
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