Archives: March 2009

Ford Expected To Post Increased Retail Share in March

Posted by: David Kiley on March 31

Ford's gameplan seems to be working. The automaker has stayed clear so far of government TARP loans. Nobody is tossing around the word bankruptcy in connection with Ford. It...

GM CEO Fritz Henderson Speaks: Live blog

Posted by: David Kiley on March 31

Acting General Motors CEO Fritz Henderson conducted his first press conference this morning in Detroit. He has been at GM for more than 20 years, and has been a very...

Chrysler's Fiat Plans Will Have To Beat History To Work

Posted by: David Kiley on March 30

In the evolving alliance plans between Chrysler and Fiat, the strategy calls for Chrysler to take existing small cars, car platforms and engines from Fiat to produce Dodge and...

The Essence of Why The Feds Are Bailing Out Detroit

Posted by: David Kiley on March 30

Lots of people are fed up with lending money to GM and Chrysler. President Obama today made it pretty clear that Chrysler is pretty much at the end of the...

Investors Think GM Is Headed For Bankruptcy

Posted by: David Kiley on March 30

Investors soaking in President Obama's plans for GM think the automaker is headed for a quickie 30-day bankruptcy handled by the Feds starting in June. GM shares were down 22%...

Chrysler Has 30 Days

Posted by: David Kiley on March 30

White House officials will make it plain today that the only chance Chrysler LLCC has of remaining an independent company is if it knits together a formal alliance with Italian...

GM Bailout: 60 Days to Show Results

Posted by: David Welch on March 30

President Obama has a clear message for General Motors and Chrysler. Come back with a better plan or the funds are cut off. Senior Administration officials said on Sunday...

Wagoner's ouster is the right move

Posted by: David Welch on March 29

General Motors Chairman and CEO Rick Wagoner is out. Treasury Department officials confirm that he was asked to step down and he accepted. And it is the right thing...

Wagoner Out at GM

Posted by: Dan Beucke on March 29

Rick Wagoner has agreed to step down as CEO of General Motors. BusinessWeek's Detroit bureau chief David Welch confirms that after eight tumultuous years of running the largest automaker, Wagoner...

Obama Says He Will Speak On Auto Bailout Future

Posted by: David Kiley on March 26

President Obama said Thursday that he will have a statement regarding how much more financial support the U.S. government will extend to the auto industry—chiefly General Motors, Chrysler and the...

Ford's Mulally Is The $13 Million Man

Posted by: David Kiley on March 24

Ford Motor Co. CEO Alan Mulally’s total compensation for 2008 dropped by 37% to $13.6 million last year. That's still a hefty sum, considering Ford’s record losses and continued financial...

Insight versus Prius

Posted by: David Welch on March 18

In this corner, the challenger, weighing 2,700 pounds, the Honda Insight. Honda is taking aim at Toyota’s hybrid crown with its new Insight, a five-passenger gasoline-electric hybrid that will...

Congressional Scrappage Bills Invite Protectionism Criticism

Posted by: David Kiley on March 18

On March 17, Rep. Betty Sutton (D-Ohio) and Rep. Candice Miller (R-MI) introduced a bill that would give car buyers thousands of dollars in vouchers for replacing vehicles at least...

What Are You Willing To Trade Down To?

Posted by: David Kiley on March 18

Your lease is up on your BMW, Mercedes, Lexus or Range Rover. Your stock portfolio is way down. You have either lost your job, or are worried about losing your...

New House Bill Would Pay Consumers To Buy Greener Vehicles

Posted by: David Kiley on March 17

A bill introduced in the House today would provide consumers with between $3,000 and $5,000 in incentives to scrap vehicles at least eight years old and buy fuel efficient cars...

Auto Loan Delinquency Forecasts Point to Lack of Consensus About the Economy's Bottom

Posted by: David Kiley on March 17

The percentage of auto loans past due 60 days or more rose 8.9 percent in the 4th quarter of 2008, according to credit reporting agency TransUnion. And the numbers, says...

Toyota to offer cheaper Prius in Japan?

Posted by: Ian Rowley on March 16

If reports in Japan prove to be correct, the battle between Honda's new Insight and the Toyota Prius is about to get a little rougher. Today's Nikkei newspaper is reporting...

GM's bondholders say they want to deal

Posted by: David Welch on March 16

General Motors is inching toward a few deals that it needs to restructure the company and stay out of bankruptcy. A committee representing its bondholders said on Monday night...

Nardelli: Chrysler can stand alone

Posted by: David Welch on March 16

Here’s a message from Chrysler CEO Robert Nardelli to the company’s employees. Chrysler is viable as a stand-alone company. The company doesn’t need an alliance with Italy’s Fiat to...

Mazda's stock surges

Posted by: Ian Rowley on March 16

It's been a miserable few months for Japan's automakers and Mazda is no exception. On Mar. 3, its stock reached a three-decade low amid concerns over its finances. Like all...

Auto Task Force taps a bankruptcy expert

Posted by: David Welch on March 14

The Obama Administration’s plan for the automakers, specifically General Motors, took an interesting little twist yesterday. The President’s Auto Task Force hired Wilkie, Farr & Gallagher partner Matthew Feldman,...

GM: $30 billion minus $2 billion is still $30 billion

Posted by: David Welch on March 12

Here’s a little public relations maneuver for you. General Motors said today that the company won’t need $2 billion in credit this month from the Treasury Department. GM says...

World Car Nominees: Fiesta, Golf and iQ.

Posted by: David Kiley on March 11

The winner of the 2009 World Car Award will be named at The New York International Auto Show in April. From a list of 51 nominees voted on by...

Used-car sales rebound, but carmakers don't

Posted by: David Welch on March 11

To hear auto industry executives tell it, a bump in used-car sales is a good sign. When General Motors turned its fix-it plan in to the Treasury Department last...

Honda's Insight makes a solid start in Japan

Posted by: Ian Rowley on March 11

The new Honda Insight hybrid is doing well in Japan. Since going on sale on Feb. 6, Honda has received 18,000 orders or about three times its initial target. Of...

Dropping GM From The Dow 30?

Posted by: David Kiley on March 10

There is buzz on Wall Street that General Motors may soon be dropped from the Dow Jones Industrial Average, made up of 30 bellwether companies. Citi is also rumored...

Commentary: Mulally Led Ford Seems Like A Good Risk For Taxpayers

Posted by: David Kiley on March 05

The headline of my feature on Ford Motor Co. and its CEO Alan Mulally in this week's magazine is "Ford’s Savior?" I wasn’t so sure about the headline, and...

Ford Continues To Make Progress Without Government Gun To Its Head

Posted by: David Kiley on March 04

Ford Motor Co. said today it will eliminate up to $10.4 billion of its debt by offering debtholders cash and stock instead, as the automaker continues to restructure amid a...

A government program that actually werkes!

Posted by: David Welch on March 04

Maybe those crafty Germans are onto something. The German government is giving consumers an incentive worth about $3,100 to buy a car if they trade in a clunker that’s...

Geneva Auto Show: VW Polo

Posted by: David Kiley on March 03

Volkswagen is showing its new sub-compact this week. I show a picture of the interior here because VW does the sharpest interiors in the land, especially for econo-cars. This...

Geneva Auto Show: Magna Takes Matters Into Its Own Hands

Posted by: David Kiley on March 03

If you are an auato supplier these days, you have to be pretty tired of waiting for your next margin cut from an automaker. Austrian automaker Magna Steyr is...

Geneva Auto Show: Ford Iosis Shows New Focus

Posted by: David Kiley on March 03

At the Geneva Auto Show, Ford Motor Co. showed the Iosis Concept. The car is pretty close to the new global Focus that Ford will unleash next year. For...

Toyota wants a government loan. Let the outrage begin.

Posted by: David Welch on March 03

In yet another sign that Toyota Motor Corp. is run by human beings, the company’s finance unit is asking the Japanese government for a $2 billion loan, writes my...

Now Toyota wants a government loan

Posted by: Ian Rowley on March 02

Even after recent downgrades Toyota's credit rating remains the envy of other automakers. After all, before Moody's and S&P cut its ratings in February, the company was one of only...

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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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