As PR gaffes go, it was a pretty large one. Top executives from GM, Ford and Chrysler did themselves no favours last week by going cap in hand to Washington for financial help – and arriving in private ‘planes.Read more
GKN has issued its second profits warning in four weeks, a further sign, if one were needed, of how quickly the outlook for the auto industry is worsening.Read more
President-elect Barack Obama has said the US auto industry is too vital to disappear, but he also emphasised his support for Congress’ approach in asking Detroit for a plan and said that there could be no blank cheques.Read more
Spanish car sales for all manufacturers will fall 50 percent in the fourth quarter and the struggling sector needs government support to promote car loans, the head of Renault in Spain said on Tuesday.Read more
While the Swedish government has ruled out any immediate financial support for local subsidiaries of crisis hit American companies, it is also keeping a close eye on the situation.Read more
Russian truck maker Kamaz has placed most of its workers on two-week mandatory leave starting Monday because of lower demand.Read more
Renault will soon begin selling low-cost Logan vans and pickup trucks manufactured by its Romanian unit Dacia across western Europe.Read more
The Dutch government has agreed a 1.5 billion euro guarantee for LeasePlan, Europe’s largest fleet and vehicle management company. LeasePlan is one of the car industry’s largest single customers. The company buys about 300,000 new cars a year.Read more
It reminds you how much fun we used to have behind the wheel-how satisfying it was to rev the bejeezus out of a willing little four-banger; how exciting it used to be to drive at crazy high speeds like 75 mph; and how much fun it was to go forty miles on a single gallon of gasoline.
No one is better than Americans at blurring the lines between wants and needs, and the sudden upheaval in the car market is proof of that. In the past few months of this year, small-car sales have shot up, while sales of large SUVs and pickups have dropped sharply. American car buyers’ needs haven’t changed; consumers have just realized that they never actually needed those gas guzzlers in the first place. And now they’re seeking ways to contain their fuel bills.
A fun, affordable fuel-sipper would be the perfect addition to the Opel-sired Astra, Aura, and Vue models already gracing Saturn showrooms and an excellent alternative to the Korean-built Chevy Aveo and Pontiac G3 at the gimme-mileage end of GM’s product range.
The visionary who slipped an Opel Corsa onto General Motors’ stand at last January’s North American International Auto Show in Detroit is the individual currently strutting corporate halls with the “I told you so!” look on his face. If only Saturn‘s general manager, Jill Lajdziak, had mustered the courage to splash an ARRIVING THIS FALL banner over the electric-blue Corsa OPC hatchback. A fun, affordable fuel-sipper would be the perfect addition to the Opel-sired Astra, Aura, and Vue models already gracing Saturn showrooms and an excellent alternative to the Korean-built Chevy Aveo and Pontiac G3 at the gimme-mileage end of GM’s product range.
Aston Martin has told just-auto that it is to extend its planned Christmas shutdown for another two weeks ‘based on current economic conditions’.Read more
French President Nicolas Sarkozy has pledged support for the auto industry in France and said that France and Germany are determined to help their car industry weather the economic storm.Read more
The UK’s auto industry trade association, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), has said it supports the substantial, but temporary, economic stimulus package announced in yesterday’s ‘pre-Budget report’. It says it provides positive incentives for consumers to begin spending, but ‘will need to be accompanied by a more active approach to lending by banks and financial institutions’.Read more
Volvo has unveiled more details of its new S60, which will be unveiled in January at the Detroit auto show. The Swedish carmaker issued a teaser picture that offers a hint of how the new S60 sedan will look when it launches in 2010.Read more
Car parts supplier Bosch will temporarily close down select production areas or shops at its Nashik plant from November 28-29, it said on Tuesday.Read more
The Government of Portugal and the Renault-Nissan Alliance have announced a partnership to deliver zero emission mobility to Portugal from 2010. The plan will utilise electric vehicles supplied by the Alliance, and will leverage an extensive charging network that will be built across Portugal over the next three years.Read more
Toyota Motor Thailand (TMT) plans to terminate 350 short-term workers’ contracts out of 5,500 across its Thai operations as it prepares for falling worldwide demand for its vehicles. The company this month revised down its Thai vehicle production forecasts for next year from 500,000 to 450,000 units, compared with a planned 570,000 units in 2008.Read more
The six automakers that have pulled out of this year’s Detroit auto show do not affect the long-term need for a Cobo Center expansion, says the show’s co-chairman.Read more
Nissan North America has dropped out of next year’s Detroit and Chicago auto shows, citing depressed economic conditions. The decision makes Nissan the biggest automaker to skip out on Detroit’s North American International Auto Show.Read more
President-elect Barack Obama said today that he — like members of Congress — was surprised that the Detroit 3 CEOs were so ill-prepared for their crucial hearings last week on federal aid to the industry.Read more