Archives: July 2008

S&P Downgrades Big Three: Warns of Dire 2009

Posted by: David Kiley on July 31

GM, Ford and Chrysler all had their credit ratings lowered a step further into junk status today by Standard & Poor’s (which, like BusinessWeek), is owned by McGraw-Hill). The chief...

Jack Nicholson Pushes Hydrogen Cars: Can We Handle The Truth?

Posted by: David Kiley on July 31

Actor ("What If This is as good as its gets?") Nicholson is promoting hydrogen cars in California. Thanks to colleague Roben Farzad for digging out the story from www.youtube.com...

Back to the Future: The Leasing Mess

Posted by: David Welch on July 30

General Motors and Ford are pulling back on leasing. Chrysler and Wells Fargo Bank will stop writing new car leases altogether. Ford and BMW have already taken charges because...

Redefining The Dream Car....Not Putting It Out To Pasture

Posted by: David Kiley on July 29

What exactly is a dream car? The New York Times’ story on July 27, “Putting the Dream Car Out To Pasture,” in the overly precious and often annoying Sunday Style...

GM's Euro Electric Car Plans

Posted by: David Kiley on July 29

With some help from the British taxpayers, General Motors is bullish about the U.K. market for its E-Flex vehicles that can be engineered for electric propulsion or petrol. How many...

Chrysler's Exit From Leasing Spells Trouble

Posted by: David Kiley on July 28

http://www.chrysler.comChrysler’s decision Friday to exit the leasing business is perhaps the most ominous indication of the automaker’s future. Chrysler is facing huge losses this year because of the falling residual...

Ford's 64 mpg Car---For Europe. Not U.S.

Posted by: David Kiley on July 25

Ford unveiled a road-ready car at the auto show in London this week that gets 64 mpg. That’s better than a Prius or Civic Hybrid and alamost twice the...

Are Japanese carmakers mulling carbon fiber cars?

Posted by: Ian Rowley on July 24

One of the benefits of soaring commodity prices is that alternative technologies, often superior but more costly, edge closer to becoming viable. But surely reports that coming out of Japan...

Auto Sales Worsen: JD Power says 14.2M this year.

Posted by: David Kiley on July 23

J.D. Power and Associates (owned by BusinessWeek parent McGraw-Hill) forecasts that auto sales will come in this year at 14.2 million units, down from 16.1 million last year and more...

Here We Go Again: Riding The Detroit Wave.

Posted by: David Kiley on July 23

Are you sitting down? If you have the stomach for it, and have some mad money, you could have been making a tidy some to make up for 401k fund...

Ford To Bring More Car Designs From Europe

Posted by: David Kiley on July 21

Ford this Thursday is expected to announce it will fast-track at least one of its European passenger cars for U.S. production. The announcement will come amidst Ford’s second quarter earnings...

Costs rising for Tata's Nano

Posted by: Ian Rowley on July 18

With the October launch of Tata's 100,000 rupee (about $2,400) Nano getting closer, expect the hype surrounding the world's cheapest car to soon revisit January levels. Back then, the Nano's...

GM cuts back on NASCAR and it's about time

Posted by: David Welch on July 17

Here’s something that’s long overdue. The Associated Press today reports that General Motors is cutting back spending on NASCAR. It’s about time. Here’s a company in crisis that can’t...

GM Like a Presidential Candidate In Silly Season

Posted by: David Kiley on July 16

I did not attend the GM press conference as my colleague David Welch did. But I was sruck by two soundbites I heard from CEO G. Richard Wagoner Jr. In...

GM Cuts back, Again

Posted by: David Welch on July 14

The U.S. auto industry is deep in the throes of a massive restructuring. General Motors Chairman and CEO Rick Wagoner will tell the next chapter this morning. GM won’t...

Ford Turning Over The Couch Cushions

Posted by: David Kiley on July 14

I don't want to say Ford is turning over the couch cushions looking for cash to see it through the Recession that former Senator Phil Gramm says in out heads...But...

Two Beetles for VW?

Posted by: David Kiley on July 14

Despite the falloff in popularity of the aging New Beetle at Volkswagen, the company may be considering two Beetles in the next decade. According to an item in Motor Trend,...

Chevy Cruze is Coming. But Not Until 2010.

Posted by: David Kiley on July 10

General Motors will call a new “mini” car the Cruze. GM will unveil the car at the Paris Auto Show in September. It will go into production in 2010...

Chery After Volvo? Why Not Try Buick, Pontiac or Saab?

Posted by: David Kiley on July 07

Caijing Magazine quotes unidentified sources as saying Chinese automaker Chery is looking for bank and equity investor help for a possible bid for Volvo, Ford’s Swedish nameplate. Hmmm. Chery...

GM's Brand Dilemma

Posted by: David Welch on July 07

Of all of the problems facing General Motors, the most intractable is its group of eight brands. The company simply doesn’t have the cash to fund new models and...

Solar power for the new Prius?

Posted by: Ian Rowley on July 06

I can't be the only person to have been slightly underwhelmed after reading headlines in Japan today stating that the next generation Prius will use solar power, making Toyota the...

Shrinking GM, Part 2

Posted by: David Welch on July 02

GM is shrinking again. And this time, I’m not talking about its sales, market share or payrolls. The stock price dropped 15% to under $10 a share today, a...

Chrysler's Image Problem is a Reality for Cerberus

Posted by: David Kiley on July 02

Chrysler is in a bad way. Sure, there are the basic metrics that don’t bode well for the automaker. Sales were down around 36% in June, the biggest decline in...

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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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