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Archives: January 2006

And Then There's Gaul

Posted by: David Kiley on January 31

While we're on the subject of auto companies and their corporate communications chiefs, it seems a good time to wish BMW AG's Richard Gaul good hunting after he rides...

GM Changes Band Leaders

Posted by: David Kiley on January 31

I wouldn't say that GM is re-arranging deck chairs on the Titanic, but they did decide to change band leaders as the water is washing over the deck. The...

Honda and hedging

Posted by: Ian Rowley on January 31

Normally a weaker yen is great news for a company like Honda. All those Accords, Civics, and Ridgelines sold in the U.S. help dollar sales account for around 70% of...

To Launch The New Expedition SUV, Ford Goes To...Houston?

Posted by: David Kiley on January 27

I don't want to say that Ford is trying to slip its new Expedition SUV in the witness protection program, but it did strike us odd that it chose...

I bet you didn't see this at the Detroit Auto Show....

Posted by: Dexter Roberts on January 26

No, this car isn't sinking, in fact it's China's newest invention, dubbed by its inventor the "water speed car" In what at first glance (last glance? every glance?) seems...

Too Much Information Bill

Posted by: David Kiley on January 25

Ford, going through a rought time of it, is leaning a bit on its advertsing to maintain goodwill with customers. But does the company really know how to use...

DaimlerChrysler's legacy boosts Mitsubishi

Posted by: Ian Rowley on January 21

DaimlerChrysler may have sold off what was left of its stake in loss-making Mitsubishi Motors in November, but the fruits of the ill-fated venture keep coming. On Tuesday, Mitsubishi...

JD Power's Denove...Too Much Info.....But Good Info

Posted by: David Kiley on January 19

J.D. Power and Associate's Chris Denove today addressed the International Motor Press Association in New York kicking off a series of events that will tout a new book by...

Volkswagen's Malibu Gambit

Posted by: Gail Edmondson on January 18

How many Volkswagen employees does it take to realize Americans prefer cars with cupholders and big trunks? Apparently 23 fulltime engineering, marketing, design and sales experts living together in a...

Is Mazda the Design Leader?

Posted by: David Welch on January 17

Of America’s carmakers, there is no doubt that DaimlerChrysler’s Chrysler Group is the healthiest and strongest. But as I have written before, their turnaround is on fragile footing. Witness their...

Fiat revs up after GM divorce

Posted by: Gail Edmondson on January 13

After five years of heavy losses topping $14 billion, Italian automaker Fiat may finally be nearing a turnaround. That would be the ultimate irony after last year's divorce with General...

GM execs: No pay cuts for me

Posted by: David Welch on January 13

When Jerome York--whose boss, billionaire Kirk Kerkorian, owns 7.8% of General Motors--made his heavily-anticipated speech on Jan. 10 suggesting how GM could turn things around, he made a few...

What price success for Japan's automakers?

Posted by: Ian Rowley on January 13

It had to happen sooner or later, but Japan's automakers are facing the prospect of wage hikes at home. This week the Confederation of Japan Automobile Workers' Unions said it...

Chinese autos abroad?

Posted by: Dexter Roberts on January 13

Well, Geely's coming out ceremony at the Detroit Auto Show certainly created a buzz. China's only competitive private auto maker thinks big and plans by chairman Li Shufu to export...

Chris Bangle: Damned by success

Posted by: Gail Edmondson on January 12

Leftlane news notes today that BMW Group Chief Designer Christopher Bangle has gone from car design pariah to messiah, based on the fleet of BMW look-alike models cropping up on...

Can Saab survive?

Posted by: David Welch on January 11

There is little doubt that the future of Swedish carmaker Saab AB is in question. In addition to the fact that its sales are a paltry 130,000 or so a...

Camaro Trumps Dodge Challenger

Posted by: David Kiley on January 10

On Sunday afternoon, the floor of the North American International Show in Detroit was abuzz over the unveiling of the Dodge Challenger concept that was also on magazine covers...

Agitating Shareholder Jerry York Asks GM To Shutter Saab

Posted by: David Kiley on January 10

Jerry York, who represents GM shareholder Kirk Kerkorian, addressed Wall Street analysts in Detroit January 10 and recommended, among other things, that GM jettison its Saab Cars division. It's...

"Buy American Is The Last Reason To Buy GM"

Posted by: David Kiley on January 10

General Motors sales and marketing chief Mark LaNeve says he has considered an ad that would say "Buy American" is the last reason you should buy a GM car. LaNeve,...

How High Will VW's Share Price Fly?

Posted by: Gail Edmondson on January 10

Volkswagen's shares enjoyed a turbo-charged ride in 2005, sprinting 34% thanks to market confidence that restructuring would accelerate under VW's talented new brand chief Wolfgang Bernhard. Then in October, Porsche...

Nissan's new Sentra--worth the wait?

Posted by: Ian Rowley on January 09

The new Nissan Sentra (above) is unveiled today at the Detroit motor show. Click here and here for some more shots. The sedan, which won't go on sale until...

Lexus LS460 A Techno Marvel For Perfectionists

Posted by: David Kiley on January 08

Lexus introduced the LS460 here, a replacement for its flagship LS430 now in showrooms. All I have to say is...what could they possibly have left out. -The industry's first...

General Motors' China success

Posted by: Dexter Roberts on January 08

Given how grim things are looking for General Motors at home, it's no surprise that the company is touting what was a very successful last year here in China....

Volvo Goes Small. But Is It A Safe Bet To Succeed?

Posted by: David Kiley on January 06

Volvo will unveil a new small car at The North American International Show next week, the C30 coupe. The car is built off the same very good and versatile...

Japan's shrinking auto market

Posted by: Ian Rowley on January 06

Japan’s automakers might be ramping up sales and market share in the U.S. quicker than you can say Prius Hybrid, but things aren't quite so rosy back home. Despite...

Its Official. Chrysler Will Build VW's Bus

Posted by: David Kiley on January 05

After kicking around the mill for a few months, Volkswagen confirmed today that Chrysler will build VW a minivan it can sell for around $30,000 off Chrysler's successful Caravan/Town...

Voulez-vous un Buick?

Posted by: David Welch on January 05

The good news for General Motors Corp's long-suffering Buick division is that it has a couple of good vehicles joining its lineup. The Lucerne sedan has already hit showrooms,...

Mazda Readies The CX-7. But Will Anyone Notice?

Posted by: David Kiley on January 05

Mazda North American Operations has revealed pictures and details of its CX-7 crossover SUV. The pictures certainly show that Mazda, which is controlled by Ford, is sticking to its...

Ford's Swipe At Toyota Sounds "Desperate"

Posted by: David Kiley on January 05

Ford Motor Co. President of the Americas Mark Fields (pictured above)gave a speech at The Greater Los Angeles Auto Show on Jan 4 in which he laid out some...


Want the straight scoop on the auto industry? Our man in Detroit David Welch, brings keen observations and provocative perspective on the auto business.

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