Archives: December 2008

GMAC gets a government boost

Posted by: David Welch on December 31

Now here’s a government bailout that could achieve some results pretty quickly. The Federal Reserve bought a $5 billion stake in the lender GMAC Financial Services, the lending arm...

Ford Fusion Smokes Camry Hybrid on Fuel Economy

Posted by: David Kiley on December 30

If timing is everything, as the old saying goes, then Ford has all the talent of a hurricane the day of an outdoor wedding. First, the headline. The 2010...

Kerkorian Out of the Ford Business

Posted by: David Kiley on December 29

DETROIT—Billionaire financier Kirk Kerkorian has sold the remainder of his investment in Ford Motor Co. Tracinda, which briefly ranked as Ford's largest outside investor earlier this year, said in a...

Ford Fusion Smokes Camry Hybrid on Fuel Economy

Posted by: David Kiley on December 29

If timing is everything, as the old saying goes, then Ford has all the talent of a hurricane the day of an outdoor wedding. First, the headline. The 2010...

Toyota scion Akio Toyoda reportedly lined up to replace CEO Watanabe

Posted by: Ian Rowley on December 22

Could this week get any worse for Toyota CEO Katsuaki Watanabe? Yesterday, Watanabe took the unusual step of announcing a huge profits revision at a year-end press conference which is...

Ten Things The Taxpayer Should Know About The U.S. Auto Industry Now That They Own It

Posted by: David Kiley on December 19

As of the New Year, taxpayers will pretty much own General Motors, as well as Chrysler until that automaker is stripped or its assets flipped into GM. That’s because...

Will Toyota now make a full year loss?

Posted by: Ian Rowley on December 18

The awful news in autos is unrelenting. There's an article in today's Nikkei newspaper which raises the possibility that Toyota could makes it first ever operating loss (although Toyota once...

Orderly bankruptcy? For carmakers, that's an oxymoron.

Posted by: David Welch on December 18

Ronald Reagan once said that the nine most terrifying words in the English language are, “I’m from the government and I’m here to help.” Detroit’s CEOs and UAW President...

Chrysler Shuts For A Month and Chevy Volt Engines Delayed

Posted by: David Kiley on December 17

Chrysler LLC said Wednesday that it will shut down all its North American production for at least one month starting December 19. Both Chrysler and GM are having to cut...

Bill Ford Prods For Energy Policy: Do I Hear Gas Tax?

Posted by: David Kiley on December 16

DEARBORN,MI--Today, Ford showed some of the wares it will unveil next month at the North American International Auto Show. The details are embargoed until January. But I can say...

As Toyota delays new Prius plant, will exec bonuses be next next to go?

Posted by: Ian Rowley on December 15

As expected, Toyota is delaying the opening of a new Prius plant in Mississippi, highlighting that even gas sippers aren't immune to collapsing auto sales. The plant, near Tupelo, was...

Gettelfinger scores a first-round win for labor

Posted by: David Welch on December 13

Note to Senate Republicans: Don’t underestimate United Auto Workers President Ron Gettelfinger. The wily union president’s game of brinksmanship this week paid off. Last Thursday, he refused to give...

New Pictures of Cerberus's Feinberg Coming?

Posted by: David Kiley on December 12

Reclusive Cerberus Capital Management CEO Stephen A. Feinberg found himself in an uncomfortable position on Thursday. Representatives from General Motors, Ford and Chrysler and the UAW met Thursday with...

The Senate standoff: When brinksmanship is bullheadedness

Posted by: David Welch on December 12

Is this brinksmanship or just plain bullheadedness? The Senate’s efforts to pass a $14 billion assistance bill for Detroit’s carmakers collapsed yesterday as the union and Republicans froze in...

After bailout fails, Japan's auto stocks tank

Posted by: Ian Rowley on December 12

Predictably, news of the failure of the Detroit bailout plan sent Japanese auto stocks crashing in Friday trading. After the Senate rejected the $14 billion loan plan late Thursday, Toyota...

Auto Bailout: Making The Sausage

Posted by: David Kiley on December 11

One of the criticisms that's been leveled against Republican Senators opposing the loan legislation to keep General Motors and Chrysler from going bankrupt is that lawmakers like Alabama Senator Richard...

CSM: Detroit-2 Will Soon Be In Minority of NA Manufacturing

Posted by: David Kiley on December 10

For leading auto industry forecasting firm CSM Worldwide, the Detroit-3 is already the Detroit-2. At a gathering of the Automotive Press Association in Detroit today, the firm’s chief of forecasting...

Ford's Volvo sale could get a frosty reception

Posted by: David Welch on December 10

Ford is buzzing the phones of carmakers around the globe to find a buyer for Volvo in an effort to raise cash and get the money-losing Swedish carmaker off...

At 78, Osamu Suzuki to become Suzuki Motor president once again

Posted by: Ian Rowley on December 10

Eight years after stepping down as Suzuki Motor's president, Osamu Suzuki is to return to the top job at the Japanese automaker. Later today, the company is expected to announce...

Who Wants To be The Car Czar?

Posted by: David Kiley on December 09

The auto bailout, in whatever form it takes, is going to require a car czar. That person will supervise the restructuring of the companies, bring the stakeholders together to make...

Toyota City feels the pain

Posted by: Ian Rowley on December 09

Japan’s automakers aren't seeking bailout, but Toyota's hometown may soon need a helping hand. According to reports in the local media, Toyota City expects its tax income this year to...

Dodd speaks: Wagoner should move on

Posted by: David Welch on December 07

On CBS’ “Face the Nation” today, Senator Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) said that General Motors Chairman and CEO Rick Wagoner should “move on.” That could mean that Dodd and other...

Finally, a deal to help Detroit

Posted by: David Welch on December 06

Finally, the politics has (very temporarily) been put aside and Washington appears poised to help Detroit. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi gave in to strike a deal that will pave...

Honda right to quit Formula One

Posted by: Ian Rowley on December 05

Confirming news reports that broke in the UK on Thursday, Honda CEO Takeo Fukui today said that the Japanese car maker is pulling out of Formula One, blaming the appalling...

Auto Bailout: Live Blog III

Posted by: David Kiley on December 04

Senator Jon Tester: Expressed frustration and disbelief that the TARP money was supposed to free up credit, and that the biggest thing killing auto sales is the inability of consumers...

Auto Bailout Hearings: Live Blog Two

Posted by: David Kiley on December 04

Moody analyst Mark Zandi is killing the automakers. Her says that $34 billion wonl;t be enough and that it will take more like $75 billion to $125 billion because of...

Auto bankruptcy: Just Say No

Posted by: David Welch on December 04

This morning, Brookings Institute economist Robert W. Crandall was on Bloomberg Radio flogging the idea of a prepackaged bankruptcy for Detroit’s carmakers. It’s the best solution, he argued, because...

Auto Bailout Hearings: Live Blog

Posted by: David Kiley on December 04

9:53 AM: CNN reports that a CNN Opinion Poll shows that six in ten Americans are flatly against bailing out the U.S. automakers. The Big Three have a combined...

Saving Detroit is Probably Up To Obama

Posted by: David Kiley on December 04

I'm not sure why they call these Congressional gatherings like the one in the Senate Banking Committee today to consider loanss to the auto companies..."hearings." Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid...

WSJ: Gas Taxes?

Posted by: David Kiley on December 04

Everybody knows....EVERYBODY KNOWS!...that the only reasonable way for the U.S. to transform its auto fleet to more fuel efficient cars is to put a floor under oil and gas prices....

Detroit Didn't Pad It's Bill to $34 billion

Posted by: David Kiley on December 04

More Truth Squad Reporting: In the last 24 hours, TV and radio and even some newspaper columnists who should know better have reported that the Big Three automakers have increased...

Bailout Hearings Take Two. A Checklist of Nonsense Put Forward By The Pundit Class

Posted by: David Kiley on December 03

The debate surrounding the U.S. auto industry has been raging for over a month. One one side are people and lawmakers who say that Detroit is not worthy of saving;...

GM serves up some red meat for Congress

Posted by: David Welch on December 02

Having looked over the plans from Detroit’s three carmakers that will—they hope—get them financing from the federal government, I have to say that General Motors by far had the...

Questions for Ford CEO Alan Mulally??

Posted by: David Kiley on December 02

If I get to talk to Ford CEO Alan Mulally in the next week or so, I want to know what our readers would like to ask him if they...

Messrs. Wagoner and Mulally drive to Washington

Posted by: David Welch on December 01

After being pilloried for flying corporate jets to Washington to beg for public funds to keep their companies afloat, Detroit executives are making the second trip to the capitol...

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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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