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Archives: January 2009

Amid the gloom, Honda at least stays profitable

Posted by: Ian Rowley on January 30

Today was another grim day in Tokyo as the Japanese government revealed some horrific economic numbers. In December, industrial production dropped 9.6%, the biggest fall ever. The same month, unemployment...

Chevy Traverse is a winner, at a price

Posted by: David Welch on January 29

I test drove a Chevrolet Traverse this week to see if the new big crossover suv from General Motors is all it’s cracked up to be. And honestly, there's...

Consumers have proven it. We need a gasoline tax.

Posted by: David Welch on January 28

You heard a lot of hubbub after December sales results about how Americans went trooping back to big trucks because gasoline prices stayed below $2 a gallon for the...

At Ford, A Daughter Also Rises

Posted by: David Kiley on January 28

At Ford, a daughter also rises. Ford Motor Co. said Tuesday that Elena Ford is assuming a new post as director of global marketing, sales and service. In the newly...

2010 Ford Taurus Has Tough Road Ahead

Posted by: David Kiley on January 23

Okay, I haven't driven the car yet. But pawing over the 2010 Ford Taurus at the North American International Auto Show this week gives me some reason for hope for...

Will Toyota Cut U.S., British workers?

Posted by: Ian Rowley on January 22

Last summer Toyota won plaudits for not laying off workers when it shuttered plants to reorganize U.S. production. Instead of cutting its headcount, workers undertook extra training, helped out at...

Cash Strapped Fiat Dating Others Besides Chrysler?

Posted by: David Kiley on January 22

There is a reason why Fiat SpA says it is not putting any cash into a deal that could eventually give it a stake in Chrysler LLC. It is running...

Want To Know Who Is Brand Loyal? Talk To a Cab Driver.

Posted by: David Kiley on January 21

I think General Motors saw my blog item about brand loyalty and dispatched a particular cab driver to pick me up at my house to rebut my item. It’s...

Loyalty More Than Skin Deep For Some Automotive Brands

Posted by: David Kiley on January 21

Loyalty to cars has not gone out of style as the annual Polk Loyalty Awards prove. General Motors, despite the bad press, led all manufacturers by retaining 62.5% of its...

It's Official—Toyota Scion to Become New Chief

Posted by: Ian Rowley on January 20

After weeks of rumors, Toyota today confirmed that Akio Toyoda, a member of the company's founding family, is to become its next president. The change, to be rubber stamped after...

China's FAW Cars U.S. Ambitions Run Through Mexico

Posted by: David Kiley on January 20

Chinese designed vehicles that are built in Mexico will likely hit the U.S. market within five years, according to Kathleen Ligocki, the former CEO of auto supplier Tower Automotive...

Fiat and Chrysler: Not a winning pair

Posted by: David Welch on January 19

The last time Chrysler and Fiat talked about some kind of engagement, GM Vice Chairman Bob Lutz—then Chrysler’s President--called the Italian carmaker “a bride...lying on her deathbed." Well, there...

Saturn Seems Like a Good Deal For Fiat or the Chinese

Posted by: David Kiley on January 19

General Motors is known to be looking for an arrangement with some company to buy or otherwise take Saturn off its hands. Sources say not too many entities have come...

Chrysler gets government aid, but not much help

Posted by: David Welch on January 16

Here’s the good news for Chrysler. The Treasury Department gave the company’s finance arm, which is owned by Cerberus Capital Management, a cheap loan of $1.5 billion to help...

Ford wants government money, too.

Posted by: David Welch on January 15

To hear Ford tell the story, the Dearborn (Mich.) company is the smart one that is getting its house in order and doesn’t need government loans like more troubled...

GM's Sales Forecast Sinks With Consumer Confidence

Posted by: David Kiley on January 15

It looks like the worst-case scenario for 2009 auto sales are catching on. General Motors, which last month predicted sales of about 12 million vehicles this year, with a...

Obama Gets New Caddy

Posted by: David Kiley on January 15

President-elect Obama traded his Chrysler 300C for a Ford Escape Hybrid during the campaign as his personal ride, though he was most often seen in a protective Secret Service...

VW: No Interest in Chrysler Minivan Business

Posted by: David Kiley on January 15

VW's U.S. chief Stefan Jacoby says the German automaker has no interest in acquiring Chrysler's minivan business. Chrysler manufactures the Volkswagen Routan minivan in one of its Canadian plants....

Chrysler's Denials Sound Hollow

Posted by: David Kiley on January 15

Chrysler LLC says it has ruled out selling an individual plant or brand, but said it would look to sell equipment and could license production of some of its current...

All eyes on GM. They made the most of it.

Posted by: David Welch on January 14

It’s hard to find a company in America that took a bigger public beating than General Motors did over the past three months. But with all eyes on the...

Chrysler drops the ball

Posted by: David Welch on January 13

I’ll dispense with the pleasantries first. Chrysler’s 200C electric vehicle concept is one hot car. It’s exactly what the company needs to do with its Chrysler Sebring family car....

Tesla Is Partner With Daimler for eSmart--Detroit Auto Show

Posted by: David Kiley on January 13

Tesla Motors founder Elon Musk said Tuesday morning that the company, which makes expensive electric roadster vehicles, has been working with German carmaker Daimler-Benz for the last 18 months, and...

Ford's Mulally Still Likes Ka for U.S.--Detroit Auto Show

Posted by: David Kiley on January 12

Ford CEO Alan Mulally says he still likes the tiny European Ka for the U.S. portfolio. His senior staff isn't so sure. Global product chief Derrick Kuzak and chief...

BMW: 2009 Has To be Better Than Forecasts--Detroit Auto Show

Posted by: David Kiley on January 12

Don't tell BMW's U.S. Chief James O'Donnell that 2009 is going to be as bad as the 4th quarter of 2008. The Scottish-born optimist says that President Obama's stimulus package...

Ford's Electrifying Future and Taxi Hopes-Detroit Auto Show

Posted by: David Kiley on January 12

Within the next three years, Ford said this week at the North American International Auto Show, the automaker is planning to release two electric-vehicle projects, along with its next...

Are These The Last Days of Chrysler?

Posted by: David Kiley on January 09

Is this the end of days for Chrysler…finally? I don’t wish it so. But it has been coming on for some time. And it’s like watching a loved one...

Toyota: Change at the Top Looks Closer

Posted by: Ian Rowley on January 09

More news on the possible replacement of Toyota chief Katsuaki Watanabe with Akio Toyoda, grandson of the company's founder. Today's Nikkei newspaper reckons Toyoda's appointment could be decided as early...

And now, GM says it has a hybrid that can beat Toyota

Posted by: David Welch on January 07

Every throne has its challengers, or pretenders in some cases, and Toyota’s hybrid crown is finally getting a bit of a test. Not only has Ford said its Fusion...

Porsche Takeover of VW Done But For The Law

Posted by: David Kiley on January 06

Porsche AG took step closer to controlling the much larger Volkswagen AG by upping its share holdings to 50.8% in late Monday trading. But actual formal control of management...

The Recession Proof Car. And It's Not a Mini. It's a Fini'

Posted by: David Kiley on January 06

My favorite e-mail of the day: Hi David, I just wanted to share this story with you…it makes for a relevant and very interesting topic! With the American auto...

Who needs a hybrid?

Posted by: David Welch on January 06

Green is for sale. But who’s buying? Seriously, who needs a hybrid? Without question, fuel-saving technology is essential both for automakers who hope to compete in the next decade...


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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