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Categories: Companies Under Fire

Toyota Recalls Another 2 Million Cars. Apology Needed.

Posted by: David Welch on February 24

When NASA released the results of a 10-month study on Toyota vehicles on Feb. 8 concluding that the automaker's cars did not have an electronics problem that caused unintended acceleration,...

GM's loan payment sparks criticism, but boosts the company's image

Posted by: David Welch on May 14

Surprise, surprise. After all of the nattering by Congressional Republicans and the anti-bailout crowd, General Motors' image got a nice bump from the April 21 announcement that the company...

Consumer Reports Calls Lexus GX 460 a Safety Risk

Posted by: David Welch on April 13

By now, Toyota executives must be afraid to go to their inboxes or turn on the news. These days, doing either is likely to reveal yet another challenge to...

GM's Whitacre writes to the troops. Profit may not be far off

Posted by: David Welch on April 12

General Motors Chairman and CEO Ed Whitacre has sent out his second memo in two weeks in an effort to make his rank-and-file staffers feel better about working at...

GM pushes for buzz, but market share fizzles

Posted by: David Welch on April 01

They came one after the other over the course of about 15 minutes, four press releases teasing us with big sales gains made by General Motors. First, a press...

Toyota's incentive deals drive interest. Can the company drive pricing back up?

Posted by: David Welch on March 10

Toyota is looking more like Detroit’s Big Three all the time. First the quality problems and now the company has a big incentive campaign to win back loyalty. Toyota...

With Toyota reeling, Ford and GM can grab the wheel

Posted by: David Welch on February 11

Toyota is on the ropes. Some in the commentariat think that the recall issues will blow over like sooty blast of diesel emissions. But I don’t believe it will....

Toyota recall just keeps getting uglier

Posted by: David Welch on January 29

Toyota’s big recall problem just keeps getting worse by the day. The latest blow to the company, which stopped the sale of eight models that it said are “involved...

Toyota suspends sale of eight models.

Posted by: David Welch on January 26

Toyota’s image problems just keep getting worse. Toyota said today that it will suspend sales of the eight models that the company stated it would recall on Jan. 21...

Saab dies--again.

Posted by: David Welch on December 18

Not far from my childhood home in Syracuse, N.Y. lives a family I have always called the “Saab people.” I never knew them but for as long as I can...

More shakeup at GM. Chevy chief Dewar out.

Posted by: David Welch on December 09

Here goes the merry-go-round. Two more executives are heading out at General Motors. Chevrolet General Manager W.W. Brent Dewar is quitting his job, the company said. He will be...

GM fires CEO Henderson. The board wants an outsider.

Posted by: David Welch on December 01

The new General Motors Board has struck. CEO Fritz Henderson is out after six months on the job. Now the commentariat will start questioning whether it’s a fair decision....

Opel drama drags on. Forster out, Lutz in.

Posted by: David Welch on November 09

The drama in Germany between General Motors and Europe just keeps dragging on. Now, its top European executive, Carl-Peter Forster, is leaving the company and GM Vice Chairman Bob...

Marchionne speaks: Chrysler's financial woes are overblown.

Posted by: David Welch on November 04

Contrary to popular view, Chrysler isn’t flat broke. That was the first thing Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne said when kicking off a six-hour presentation that seeks to convince the...

Sergio speaks: Chrysler's future will be better

Posted by: David Welch on October 02

New Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne hasn’t been talking much since the company emerged from bankruptcy on June 2. While rival General Motors has come out with an aggressive advertising...

Sergio Marchionne on Chrysler: "Little had been done"

Posted by: David Welch on September 16

Surprise, surprise. When Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne took over operations at Chrysler upon its emergence from bankruptcy in June, he found something of a mess, he told reporters at...

GM to deal Opel to Magna

Posted by: David Welch on September 10

The long saga surrounding the fate of General Motors Corp’s European strategy appears to be drawing to a close. After all the wrangling and hard ball played by GM’s...

GM CFO Ray Young to Leave. More to follow?

Posted by: David Welch on September 09

General Motors CFO Ray Young will soon be headed for the door. Sources in the company said he has been looking to leave for some time. But he was...

Porsche Loses Independence to VW: Launches Panamera Sedan.

Posted by: David Kiley on August 14

Volkswagen AG reached terms with Porsche SE to acquire a controlling stake in the iconic sports carmaker. The Persian Gulf State of Qatar is also part of the deal...

GM Talking New BMW-Fighter for Cadillac

Posted by: David Kiley on August 10

General Motors is not losing any time telling its story and trying to show “green shoots” coming out of the New GM. Tomorrow morning at 8:00 AM EST, GM CEO...

GM Chairman Whitacre: The culture doesn't need changing

Posted by: David Welch on August 05

New General Motors Chairman Edward Whitacre is every bit a Detroit outsider. He’s a lanky Texan who ran a phone company. He speaks plainly in a drawl. He went...

Pontiac G8 goes away, and with it a short-lived hit for GM

Posted by: David Welch on July 07

Here’s an example of throwing the baby out with the bath water. As General Motors barrels through bankruptcy and ditches the long-troubled Pontiac brand, along with it goes the...

Porsche and Volkswagen Showdown is Looming

Posted by: David Kiley on July 07

Top management of German auto companies Porsche AG and Volkswagen will come to the table in the next two weeks to discuss an investment by the Qatar sovereign wealth fund...

Tesla's electric Vaudeville

Posted by: David Welch on June 22

By some accounts, Silicon Valley’s Tesla Motors makes a pretty neat electric sports car. But even if they get the cost of that gasoline-free tire ripper down to $25,000...

Saab finds a buyer

Posted by: David Welch on June 16

General Motors found a buyer for its long-struggling Saab business. Koenigsegg Group AB, a consortium led by Koenigsegg Automobile AB, a Swedish producer of super-exclusive sports cars. The performance...

Supreme Court Clears The Way For Chrysler Fiat Marriage

Posted by: David Kiley on June 09

The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday denied a hearing to pension funds objecting to the White House-assisted reorganization of Chrysler that would transfer assets and management control of the troubled...

Toyota's teflon image shows cracks

Posted by: David Welch on May 28

Toyota’s surprising $7.7 billion fourth-quarter loss isn’t the company’s only headache. Its image has taken a hit, too. The Reputation Institute, which ranks the corporate image of the 600...

UAW cuts a deal with GM, but bankruptcy looms

Posted by: David Welch on May 22

The United Auto Workers reached a tentative deal with General Motors yesterday on some more concessions. The deal is supposed to mirror the one ratified by union workers at...

Toyota Set For Major Shakeup

Posted by: David Kiley on May 15

Toyota is planning a sweeping management overhaul next month when Akio Toyoda, grandson of the Japanese car company's founder, takes over as president, the Financial Times reported on its Web...

Chrysler holdouts face a bit of a backlash

Posted by: David Welch on May 01

It was just a handful of firms who pushed Chrysler into bankruptcy. And they may feel the wrath of politicians whose states rely on Chrysler for jobs. A few...

UAW Goes From Rivetheads to Owners in Detroit

Posted by: David Kiley on April 27

In cutting major concession deals with General Motors and Chrysler this week, the United Auto Workers are walking a whole new line as it goes from being just a labor...

Chrysler executives downplay bankruptcy talk

Posted by: David Welch on April 24

With news reports pounding a loud drumbeat that a Chrysler bankruptcy is likely, the company’s top sales and marketing executives held a conference call with their dealers to quell...

GM Idles 13 Plants. What A Bad Omen

Posted by: David Welch on April 23

General Motors’ decision to idle 13 assembly plants for two to nine weeks is a really bad omen. And, no, I haven’t come down with a case of triscadecaphobia....

Will Fiat rescue GM, too?

Posted by: David Welch on April 20

It’s ironic enough that Italy’s Fiat Auto could end up being the savior for Chrysler. After all, former Chrysler President Bob Lutz once likened Fiat to a dead bride...

GM recalls 1.5 million cars. Can it recall its image?

Posted by: David Welch on April 14

Talk about bad timing. Right when General Motors is trying to deflect the bad press about a possible bankruptcy filing, the company has a massive recall. GM said it...

Chrysler Talks Bogged Down On Issues of Equity for Banks

Posted by: David Kiley on April 14

The White House auto industry task force and negotiators for Chrysler are asking banks holding some $6.9 billion in secured debt to take just $1 billion as the automaker tries...

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...

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...

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,...

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...

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...

GM Buys 8.6 Days By Selling Suzuki Stake

Posted by: David Kiley on November 17

GM is selling its 3% stake in Japanese automaker Suzuki, which will raise about $230 million. Gm has had an investment in Suzuki since 1981. At one point, it held...


Posted by: David Kiley on November 06

I was searching for something via Google and came across this passage from a 1954 edition of Time Magazine. Given all the "rationale" surrounding a GM-Chrysler merger, it is worth...

Let's Have Public Hearings On Auto Industry Bailout

Posted by: David Kiley on November 04

If the U.S. Big Three automakers want bailout help from the Federal government they should submit to at least an afternoon of new public hearings. Automakers were heard from in...

GM falls further behind Toyota. Who cares?

Posted by: David Welch on October 29

Here’s an irrelevant bit of news. Global sales at General Motors fell 11% in the third quarter to 2.1 million vehicles, knocking it further behind Toyota. The Japanese juggernaut beat...

The big winner in a GM-Chrysler merger

Posted by: David Welch on October 21

Who’s the real winner if a General Motors-Chrysler merger goes down? Well, it won’t be the United Auto Workers, who stand to lose jobs when GM combines product lines...

Ford to Sell Mazda?

Posted by: Ian Rowley on October 11

Back in August, I wrote a piece asking if Ford's woes would mean that it might have to sell off its stake in Mazda. According to reports today in Japan,...

Could Uncle Sam Save Detroit?

Posted by: David Welch on October 10

With stocks in both General Motors and Ford sinking to historic lows, it’s clear that Wall Street thinks bankruptcy is a serious possibility. While no one is calling Wall...

Is Tata's Nano the new Austin Mini?

Posted by: Ian Rowley on August 27

Earlier this week, I wrote a story for about the protests enveloping the plant which is slated to soon commence production of the $2,500 Tata Nano, the world's...

Uh guys, about those company cars

Posted by: David Welch on August 06

As General Motors scrimps and scratches to save cash, some white-collar perks are coming under close scrutiny. The latest: company cars for managers. Right now, GM’s top 9,600 managers,...

Chrysler's Exit From Leasing Spells Trouble

Posted by: David Kiley on July 28’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...

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...

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...

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...

GM in the Barrel, Again

Posted by: David Welch on June 24

Here we go again. With truck sales in an out-and-out freefall, we once again have talk that General Motors will lose another sales crown. This one would be trailing...

Kerkorian's Ford Tender A Puzzling Move

Posted by: David Kiley on June 10

Kirk Kerkorian's Tracinda Corp. says that more than one billion shares of Ford's common stock were offered as a result of the finacier's tender of $8.50 a share. That's about...

Nissan and Chrysler. Can't We Get These Two Kids Together?

Posted by: David Kiley on May 01

Sitting with Carlos Ghosn, CEO of both Renault and Nissan, this week at our offices, I became pretty sure I was looking at the future CEO of Chrysler. He told...

Toyota zips past Ford

Posted by: David Welch on January 04

Few industries revel in statistics, sales crowns and defining moments the way the car business does. So when Toyota passed General Motors last year for the global sales crown,...

For Detroit, it's prove it time

Posted by: David Welch on September 28

Make no mistake. General Motors Corp. executives are ecstatic about the tentative agreement they have reached with the United Auto Workers. Not only did they get to offload $51...

It's a walkout!

Posted by: David Welch on September 24

When the United Auto Workers walked off the job at General Motors, one UAW local president told me he lost a bet. “I didn’t think they’d walk out,” says...

Bargaining Breaks Down

Posted by: David Welch on September 20

Talks between General Motors and the United Auto Workers hit a big stumbling block yesterday. The two sides came to an impasse over how many billions GM would give the...

Which Nardelli?

Posted by: David Welch on August 13

It is prove-it time for Robert Nardelli. It has been barely a week since he was named the new CEO at Chrysler and already the whispering, questioning and speculating...


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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