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The Latest News And Reviews
Throughout The Car Industry

Categories: Miscellaneous

GM Profits Top Toyota, Ford Tops Everyone

On: Thu, Nov 11, 2010 at 11:47AM | By: John Welch

2011 Chevy Cruze test 2

In a storied turn around the likes of which no pessimistic auto scribe was able to predict, the US auto industry has reversed its fortunes in a short two year span. We aren't out of our global economic anemia just yet, but the car market is already bouncing back in a big way. Global sales may go as high as 70 million vehicles this year, and because of smaller work forces, factory closings and fewer actual brands, automakers have positioned themselves to reap higher profits as the world revives its taste for cars.

Not that they aren't working hard for that money. GM has improved its products across the board, Honda is kicking relative ass on the strength of brand loyalty, VW continues its steady march toward world domination and Ford simply shalacks them all! Here are some hard numbers for you: In the first three quarters of 2010 GM has turned a profit of $4.77 billion. Toyota has only managed $4.46 billion in the same nine month period, while VW claims $4.9 billion. Honda is second on the list with $5.34 billion in profits before September 30th, and Ford demolishes them all with $6.37 billion; more than doubling its profit for the entire 2009 calendar year. The Ford Fiesta and Super Duty trucks are raking in the dough, and now Alan Mullay is enjoying the praise and recognition he so rightly deserves. What happened Toyota? Recalls got you down?

London Set to Take a Lead In EV Charging Infrastructure

On: Wed, Nov 10, 2010 at 4:33PM | By: Chris Weiss

London Set to Take a Lead In EV Charging Infrastructure  test 1-1

Here in the United States, we've heard President Obama's goal of getting a million plug-ins on the road by 2015. It's a good goal, but so far the implementation of a charging infrastructure has been rather slow and piecemeal.

London recently revealed its own plan for plug-in vehicle charging infrastructure, a plan that could serve as a model for Europe and other countries worldwide. The plan calls for the addition of 1,300 EV charging stations around the city by 2013. The U.S. might want to watch closely.

Audi Teases Next Generation A6, Production Begins This Year

On: Wed, Nov 10, 2010 at 10:55AM | By: Chris Weiss

Audi Teases Next Generation A6, Production Begins This Year test 1-1

Audi doesn't have any news quite as exciting as BMW's confirmation of a Vision EfficientDynamics production model last week, but BMW's competitive countryman also released some new details about one of its production facilities. Along with the news of the models being built at Audi's plant in Neckarsulm, Germany, Audi showed a new teaser of the next-generation A6 sedan.

GM Goodwrench Getting The Long Kiss Goodnight

On: Tue, Nov 9, 2010 at 12:52PM | By: John Welch

GM Goodwrench Getting The Long Kiss Goodnight test 1-1

In another attempt to differentiate its brand images, GM will be axing the "GM Goodwrench Service Plus" branding it has used for its service arm since 1974. Originally introduced under the "Mr. Goodwrench" name, GM will split the former halo corporations' duties between its four brands, creating Chevrolet Certified Service, Cadillac Certified Service, Buick Certified Service, and GMC Certified Service in its place. Dale Earnhardt fans everywhere could be heard issuing a collective sigh of relief, as they can now rest assured that "Goodwrench" will never be resurrected on another, less worthy driver's stock car. The number "3" is a different story; Richard Childress have commissioned its use on more than one of his grandson's race cars.

Wait, what? I digress . . . “This is another part of the effort to clear out brand clutter,” a GM source said, though the brand will remain in Canada, where it still carries some sort of cachet. In the States, the brand will officially bite the dust February 1st, 2011. It seems that GM dealers have gone against the Mr. Goodwrench credo in recent years, failing to display signage touting "Service for all GM vehicles, at all GM dealerships, using nothing but GM certified replacement parts." The Goodwrench brand, obviously, has lost some of its sway.

Steve Hill, vice president and general manager, GM Customer Care and Aftersales, explains the new branding in a statement released this morning: “Certified Service supports GM's strategy to focus on the four brands—Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac—and is a natural extension of the customer's vehicle purchase experience at the dealership.”

The name change does little to affect the bad rap GM service has earned over the years, needless to say their crappy cars. Here's hoping the recent improvements in product design and execution trickles down to the proverbial service department. The full press release can be found inside this post . . .


Ford Stocks Are Up $16 per Share For First Time In 6 Years

On: Tue, Nov 9, 2010 at 10:53AM | By: Sherry Christiansen

Ford Stocks Are Up $16 per Share For First Time In 6 Years test 1-1

Ford Motor Co. announced that the company’s shares rose above $16 in the New York Stock Exchange trading for the first time in 6 years. It was a 2.2% rise to $16.21 in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. Ford’s stock has not been over $16 per share since June 23, 2004.

The company's rising stock price is a result of its strong October sales and positive investor reaction to the Federal Reserve's bond-buying program, which sent stocks broadly up at the end of the week.

BMW Invests $751 Million In Factory To Build Electric Vehicles

On: Mon, Nov 8, 2010 at 5:27PM | By: Sherry Christiansen

BMW Invests $751 Million In Factory To Build Electric Vehicles test 1-1

BMW's Megacity Vehicle will be the company's first battery-powered vehicle and BMW plans to market the car under a sub-brand. The German automaker recently reported its plans to invest $751 million in a new carbon fiber production plant in the U.S. that will build its Megacity electric-powered urban car. The new BMW factory is projected to create over 1,000 jobs, according to the company. The investment will also fund a $400 million expansion project for BMW’s Leipzig, Germany automotive plant. BMW plans to create 800 jobs at the eastern German site as it adds production of the Megacity Vehicle. The Leipzig factory currently assembles BMW's 1-series entry-premium car and X1 small crossover, and produces as many as 730 vehicles daily.

Chrysler Jumps On the Profit Bandwagon, Up 5.2%

On: Mon, Nov 8, 2010 at 1:05PM | By: John Welch

Significantly Revised 2011 Dodge Journey test 2

It seems good fortune is shing on all three of the established US automakers with Chrysler announcing a $239 million operating profit for the third quarter. On the heels of GM and Ford announcements espousing essentially the same good news, Chrysler  is bringing in more revenue through an improved product line up as well as higher average transaction prices. Chrysler is currently in the process of releasing 16 new or drastically improved models, which should translate to even more success.

Posting a net loss of $84 million, the Pentastar brand is seeing a turnaround in operating costs as well. Down from the $172 million net loss of a quarter ago, this represents Chrysler's smallest quarterly loss since its government-subsidised bankruptcy 17 months ago. This all translates into positive cash flow for Chrysler; the company expects to turn $500 million in positive cash this year. The original company forecast predicted a billion dollar loss for 2010. Not bad!

GM Reveals Details Regarding IPO

On: Mon, Nov 8, 2010 at 10:40AM | By: Sherry Christiansen

GM Reveals Details Regarding IPO test 1-1

General Motors has finally announced its long awaited public offering of stock which the company is hoping will yield $13 billion. GM will issue 356 million shares of common stock priced between $26 and $29 per share. An additional 50 million shares of B-series preferred stock will be sold at $50 per share. General Motors Co. had a disagreement with its government owners regarding the price of the automaker’s IPO before both entities settled on a range between $26 and $29 a share, according to undisclosed sources who stated they were familiar with the matter.

The U.S. Treasury was seeking a split-adjusted price of $30 per share, which was referred to as the “Obama number” by officials in the administration. That was the price the government would be able to recover all the money spent on GM’s bailout under President George W Bush and President Barack Obama. The Canadian government (also shareholders) has been pushing for stock prices in the $30s to maximize return as well.

Cheverolet Accounts for 68% of GM's Third Quarter Profit Gain

On: Fri, Nov 5, 2010 at 10:09AM | By: Sherry Christiansen

Cheverolet Accounts for 68% of GM's Third Quarter Profit Gain test 1-1

In October, GM posted sales of 183,392 units, 13% more than it did in October of last year. Chevrolet sales increased 7%, Buick increased 39%, GMC increased 30%, and Cadillac increased 15%. The majority of the inflated sales numbers were accounted for by crossover and full-sized pickup sales. In fact, over 47,000 of the total vehicles sold were Sierras and Chevrolet Silverado pickup trucks. GM sold 5048 units of the newly launched Chevrolet Cruze. GM picked up 2% of the total market share and Chevy sales made up 68% of the total.

Automotive Industry Offers Great Incentives for Leasing

On: Thu, Nov 4, 2010 at 2:26PM | By: Sherry Christiansen

Automotive Industry Offers Great Incentives for Leasing test 1-1

The U.S. auto market has posted low profits of new car sales for the past couple of years, but according to Automotive News.com, there is a "silver lining" in the weak new car market.  Fewer new cars being sold translates to lower numbers of used cars available on the market for the next 2 or 3 years. Lower used car inventory will enable automakers to promote leasing without concern for whether or not returned lease cars will flood the market in 2012 or 2013.

As a result, automotive leasing has been making a come back in the past few months. In fact, leasing has climbed to approximately 21% of U.S. sales through September 2010, compared to only about 16% for all of 2009, according to Emunds.com.

Toyota Asks For Class-Action Suit To Be Dismissed

On: Wed, Nov 3, 2010 at 4:10PM | By: Sherry Christiansen

Toyota Asks For Class-Action Suit To Be Dismissed test 1-1

Toyota Motor Co. has requested that the judge in a California class-action lawsuit drop the charges of alleged defective parts causing unintended acceleration on the grounds that no electronic throttle defects have ever been identified. Toyota states that while claims have been made on behalf of all Toyota owners with electronic throttle control systems, “only a tiny fraction of the vehicles in question” have accelerated out of control.

Out of thousands of mechanical/technical examinations of Toyota vehicles that allegedly sped out of control, Toyota Motor Co. engineers and federal regulators have been unable to find any evidence of electronic defects that could possibly be the cause of unintended acceleration.