Categories: Cars and Economics

Recession Drives Speeding Tix, "Escort" Business

Posted by: David Kiley on October 16

The recession and economic woes of the automakers has created a lot of discounting of new cars and trucks for those who are in the market for new wheels....

Here comes the clunker hangover

Posted by: David Welch on September 24

Here comes the hangover from the cash for clunkers program. Recall that last month, the seasonally adjusted rate of car sales was 14.1 million vehicles. That was a banner...

Cash For Clunkers Pushes August Sales And Stirs Debate

Posted by: David Kiley on August 28

Helped by Cash for Clunkers, which ended Monday, the annualized selling rate for the auto industry in August is expected to be about 15.5 million, according to Wall Street firm...

NUMMI to close as Toyota reins in expectations

Posted by: David Welch on August 28

Toyota Motor Corp. said that it will shutter its New United Motor Manufacturing Inc. plant in Fremont, Calif, in 2010. The move came almost two months after General Motors...

Cash For Clunkers Need Not Come To An End

Posted by: David Kiley on August 24

As the Cash For Clunkers program comes to an end tonight, I heard a pretty good idea mentioned for some automaker to take advantage of in the coming days and...

Cash For Clunkers Boosts Ford Production: "Eye-Popping" Sales in August

Posted by: David Kiley on August 13

Ford Motor Co. is upping its production of fuel efficient vehicles in the third quarter to meet demand, the company, says for vehicles being purchased under the extended Cash for...

Cash For Clunkers Helps Ford To July Gain

Posted by: David Kiley on August 02

Ford Motor Co. on Monday will post a single-digit sales gain over the same month a year ago, the first monthly sales gain the automaker has posted since 2007. Company...

Cash For Clunkers Bringing Back Car Buyers

Posted by: David Kiley on July 29

http://The controversial and much debated “Cash For Clunkers” bill is having the desired effect of boosting car sales, according to analysts and a few auto executives. Edmunds.com, the auto buying...

How To Rewrite Cash For Clunkers Legislation

Posted by: David Kiley on July 29

Now that the “Cash for Clunkers” bill is ramped up and driving car-buyers into the showroom, let’s start writing the next one, or Phase 2 of the Clunkers bill....

Cash For Clunkers Kicks Off To Cheers and Jeers

Posted by: David Kiley on July 27

The Consumer Assistance to Recycle and Save (CARS) program, otherwise known as “Cash for Clunkers” program, which pays consumers to junk old cars and buy new ones kicked off Monday...

Car Wars: Hyundai, Ford and Honda Big Winners

Posted by: David Kiley on July 15

On the heels of bankruptcy, General Motors and Chrysler will give up a combined 11 points of market share in the next four years, according to a report by Wall...

Uncle Sam Doing More Than Loaning Money To Detroit

Posted by: David Kiley on June 10

From Edmunds.com: The federal General Services Administration said late Tuesday that it purchased $210 million worth of "fuel efficient" vehicles from Ford, GM and Chrysler last week. Ford's Fusion is...

Cash For Clunkers Bill Treats Car Owners Badly

Posted by: David Kiley on May 12

The Cash for Clunker bill winding its way through Congress, and expected to meet passage and the President’s signature within a month or so is written, thus far, in a...

GM leaving Detroit?

Posted by: David Welch on May 11

Could General Motors be headed out of Detroit? These days, nothing is unthinkable. During a briefing with reporters today, General Motors CEO Fritz Henderson was asked if the company...

Incredible Deals Possible With Clunkers Bill

Posted by: David Kiley on April 01

One proposed Clunker bill, introduced by Rep. Betty Sutton (D-OH) would result in some sensational deals on new cars if some version of the bill gets passed in Congress....

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Lexus Red Bow Still Coming

Posted by: David Kiley on November 26

Despite Jean Halliday's story in Ad Age this week talking about how car company advertising this holiday season will be more somber, Lexus plans to reprise its annual "red...

$15-$20 Billion Looking Cheap To Bailout Detroit.

Posted by: David Kiley on November 06

Fifteen billion dollars to sure up Detroit's Big Three automakers is starting to look like a bargain. On top of $25 billion in loans that the Department of Energy is...

GM in survival mode

Posted by: David Welch on November 05

Desperate times call for desperate measures. General Motors Corp. will announce some tough actions this Friday, Nov. 7, when the company announces its third quarter earnings. Losses are expected...

Gas Prices Finding Their Way Below $2.00 Per Gallon.

Posted by: David Kiley on November 05

Don’t look now, but some U.S. drivers are finding gasoline today priced at less than $2.00 per gallon. How’d that happen? I was moved to check the national scene when...

One Scary October

Posted by: David Welch on November 03

October was an ugly month, a very ugly month. Car sales dropped 32% as consumer confidence hit an all-time low (at least, for as long as someone has kept...

Money is Money To GM and Chrysler

Posted by: David Kiley on November 03

Most of the news coverage and rhetoric about the government’s help of General Motors misses the point. Take the “news” over the weekend as reported by Reuters and The...

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Posted by: David Welch on October 16

Have you ever seen the Sergio Leone classic, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly? At the movie’s end, The Good, played by Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef’s Bad...

GM and Ford Burning Furniture To Keep Warm

Posted by: David Kiley on October 09

Ford, General Motors and Chrysler are pretty much burning the furniture to stay warm. And that’s now. Never mind that the economic upturn these companies have been banking on happening...

J.D. Power: Retail Sales To Be 2 Million Lower in 2008.

Posted by: David Kiley on October 08

Las Vegas--Research firm J.D. Power and Associates [a unit of BusinessWeek parent McGraw-Hill] has revised its forecast for 2008 retail sales downward to 10.8 million units. That number removes fleet...

Debtor Nation Falls Behind

Posted by: David Welch on October 07

Want another reason car buyers aren’t racing to dealerships? Many buyers are having trouble paying the balance on the loans they already have. More and more borrowers are falling...

Auto News: 40% in Poll Say Auto Sales Will Be Below 12 million in 2009

Posted by: David Kiley on October 06

An online survey of readers at www.autonews.com showed Monday afternoon that 40% predict that the auto industry will sell fewer than 12 million units next year. Most site visitors are...

Toyota Turns To Zero-Precent

Posted by: David Kiley on October 03

Some will call it the canary in the coal mine for the auto industry--when Toyota resorts to zero-percent financing. Actually, it seems more like a case of matching the right...

Even Toyota gets the blues, part III

Posted by: David Welch on October 01

What a strange month September was. The Yankees didn’t make the playoffs. The Tampa Bay Rays did. And Toyota’s sales fell 32%. Sure, it’s tough all over, but Toyota...

Want quiet time? Find a new-car showroom.

Posted by: David Welch on October 01

Want a quiet place to do some reading? How about a nearby car dealership? Ford’s sales fell 35% this months and GM discounted its way to a less catastrophic...

Senate Passes $7,500 Tax Credit To Boost Volt and Other EVs

Posted by: David Kiley on September 24

The U.S. Senate passed a wide-ranging tax bill that includes everything from extending tax credits for wind energy to a $7,500 credit for consumers who buy extended range electric vehicles...

So Much for Buying GM Low

Posted by: David Kiley on September 22

Goldman Sachs analyst Patrick Archambault put a "sell" rating on General Motors today after GM said late Friday that it was drawing down the remaining $3.5bn of its $4.5bn revolver...

Nissan Buys The Truck Market In August

Posted by: David Kiley on September 12

Nissan's light truck sales were up an astonishing 32.7% in August, according to autodata. Light truck sales for the industry were down 22%. The Japanese company incentivized its dealers...

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...

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...

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...

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...

The Ugly Road Ahead

Posted by: David Welch on June 23

A week after Ford said it would slow down truck production, General Motors followed with a similar move. This time, GM is slowing down production at seven truck and...

Fatuous Forecasts

Posted by: David Welch on June 16

Enough is enough. During the long run up we’ve seen in oil and gas prices, more than a few oil executives and investment firms have predicted a rise in...

Buyers Remorse on my Bimmer

Posted by: David Kiley on June 03

Last January, I bought a new car after months of dithering over the possibilities. I ended up buying a 2006 BMWXiT. Having written a book about BMW, I was...

GM Just Keeps on Shrinking

Posted by: David Welch on May 29

You can’t accuse General Motors Corp. of sitting still. While the company is en route to losing money for the third straight year and its stock languishes at $17...

Ford To Resort To White Collar Layoffs

Posted by: David Kiley on May 28

Thousands of white collar, as well as blue collar, employees at Ford have taken buyout packages in the last year or so. But then the spigot got shut off. Now,...

Don't Look For Big, Smart Energy Ideas This Campaign Season

Posted by: David Kiley on May 28

We won’t hear much in the way of intentionally maintaining high gas prices from Barack Obama and John McCain this year. That sort of talk is toxic to voters, especially...

Hybrid Honda Fit Is Sound Marketing Play

Posted by: David Kiley on May 22

Honda announced it will roll out a gas-electric hybrid version of its Fit sub-compact. The Fit already gets in excess of 30 miles per gallon for combined gas mileage. And...

Chrysler Clings to the Past

Posted by: David Welch on May 06

I’ll concede that Chrysler has hit on a smart marketing move with its “Let’s Refuel America Program.” As Jim Henry details in this blog, Chrysler will give buyers of...

The Pickup Downturn

Posted by: David Welch on April 29

Times have changed. Consumers keep shying away from trucks and it’s taking its toll on General Motors. The company said it’s going to slash pickup truck production by 138,000...

New CAFE Rules Will Create Social Engineering--Good.

Posted by: David Kiley on April 22

A combination of permanently higher oil prices and the CAFE standards announced by the Department of Transportation today--automakers will have to reach higher levels by 2015 on their way to...

Europification of the Automobile

Posted by: David Welch on April 22

Welcome to the era of downsizing. And I’m not just talking about layoffs during the current economic malaise. I’m talking about smaller engines and cars. The Department of Transportation...

McCain's Gas Tax Cut Shows Lack of Leadership

Posted by: David Kiley on April 16

It probably looked good on paper when adviser Charlie Black came up with it. John McCain offered voters an additional "stimulus package" beyond what the Congress approved by suggesting...

A Hiring Binge in Detroit?

Posted by: David Kiley on April 16

Detroit has lost over 100,000 auto jobs in the last two-plus years, devastating the Michigan economy and tax rolls. But a new report by the Center for Automotive Research says...

Seven-year Auto Loans a Terrible Idea

Posted by: David Kiley on April 01

Leasetrader.com spotlights today what an awful idea it is for consumers to take out a seven year auto loan being offered by companies including Toyota’s captive finance company and others....

Labor's Dark Days

Posted by: David Welch on February 26

Here we go again. The United Auto Workers walked out on American Axle yesterday amid a dispute over wages and benefits. UAW President Ron Gettelfinger said in a statement...

Chrysler's Dangerous Game

Posted by: David Welch on February 07

The new Chrysler is playing a dangerous game. When the carmaker’s new management decided to cancel contracts with troubled Plastech Engineered Products—which makes dashboard and cabin parts for Chrysler...

Nissan's small cars hit big

Posted by: David Welch on January 14

How important are small cars? Just look at Nissan. The company that lost momentum during a rough 2006—when sales dropped 5%--regained it last year with a 6.6% jump. Nissan...

Ford Banking on Higher Gas Prices For Years To Come Even Without Higher Cafe Regs

Posted by: David Kiley on January 09

Ford Americas president Mark Fields says that Ford is centering its products plans on gas staying above $3.00 a gallon and probably above $3.50 per gallon. Ford CEO Alan...

Nissan Truck Woes

Posted by: David Kiley on December 19

Remember when the Nissan Titan was going to really put the fear of...well...something...into Ford? Sales are clicking along at an anemic 5,000 trucks or so a month. The company sold...

Chrysler and Renault-Nissan at the Dance

Posted by: David Welch on December 17

It leaked out in the past week that Chrysler is talking to Renault-Nissan about striking up a deal to jointly develop some key models that the struggling American carmaker...

Resale Important For My Next Car Purchase

Posted by: David Kiley on November 14

As I continue to shop for my next car, I am enticed by the fact that Volkswagens are not only terrific cars to drive, but they hold their resale value...

Jury Still Out on GM

Posted by: David Welch on October 30

There are signs that some investors think General Motors is turning things around. The company has gotten to break even this year. GM has a few hit cars, like...

Union Balks, Management Bristles

Posted by: David Welch on October 22

After General Motors Corp. got its union workers to easily accept a concession-laden contract earlier this month, it looked like similar deals and Ford and Chrysler would be a cinch....

Chrysler's Drill Sergeant

Posted by: David Welch on August 06

I’ll go out on a limb and say that Robert Nardelli, the former General Electric and Home Depot exec tapped by Cerberus Capital Management to run troubled Chrysler, has...

Why Detroit is Stuck in Second Gear

Posted by: David Welch on August 03

Just when you thought Detroit was making some progress with surprisingly good profits, July sales gave their comeback efforts a real knee capping. General Motor sales dropped 22%, Ford’s...

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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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