August 2, 2010
After months of protracted negotiations, Ford has officially sold Volvo to Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Company Limited – aka Geely – for $1.8 billion.
The Chinese automaker originally included a $200 million note and the balance in cash, and today, it paid the remaining $1.3 billion to wrap up the sale, although the final sale price won’t be released until later this year and could put more cash in the pockets of FoMoCo.
Under the terms of the sale, Ford will continue to supply Volvo with everything from power-trains to stamping systems and other vehicle components for differing periods of time. Additionally, Ford and Geely have come to an agreement on intellectual property usage, with Volvo allowed to grant sub-licenses to specific systems to third parties, including Geely.
Stefan Jacoby – formerly of Volkswagen – will take the helm as the new President and Chief Executive of Volvo Cars, and under the new ownership, the automaker will continue to keep it headquarters and manufacturing centers in Sweden and Belgium.
I wonder what the Swedes think?
February 25, 2010
Despite this Congressional kabuki theater, Consumer Reports ranked Toyota as the third best car manufacturer. Not a single American manufacturer cracked the top 10 of overall best manufacturers including Government Motors.
Congressional hearing, short form.
The New York Post reported:
Honda and Subaru were ranked the best overall car manufacturers in the new Consumer Reports auto survey released yesterday — but recall-battered Toyota did surprising well, too, coming in a close third.
Honda and Subaru tied for first place with a total score of 77 based on reliability, performance, comfort and utility — while Toyota was next with a score of 74, the report said…
February 24, 2010
WSJ: Toyota Motor Corp.’s top U.S. executive told Congress on Tuesday that the company’s recent safety recalls may not totally solve sudden unintended acceleration in its cars, as the transportation secretary said he would expand a federal probe to other auto makers.
The speculation is there is something still wrong in the computer controls, exposing another potential quality defect.
February 4, 2010
Be a shame if anything happened to it.
What is it about the automotive industry that inspires such thuggish attitudes in the Obama administration? The Examiner’s Michael Barone coined the term “gangster government” to describe threats by the White House last spring against Chrysler creditors who had the temerity to insist that bankruptcy laws be followed in the bailout of the perennially ailing third member of the once-fabled Detroit Big Three. Now along comes Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood muttering darkly that “we’re not finished with Toyota” in the controversy over sticking gas pedals in vehicles made and sold in America by the Japanese automaker.
October 3, 2009
On to our best-sellers. The list is nearly the same as last month with lower overall sales and mostly the same players.
Top 10 Best-Sellers
- Ford F -Series: 33,877
- Toyota Camry: 25,745
- Honda Accord: 20,826
- Toyota Corolla; 20,741
- Chevy Silverado: 19,401
- Honda Civic: 16,093
- Honda CR-V: 14,554
- Dodge Ram: 13,452
- Chevy Impala: 13,047
- Nissan Altima: 12,149
2009 model year overall sales:
Auto sales tumbled 41 percent from August’s buoyant levels, to 745,997 cars and light trucks. Compared with last September, they were down 22.7 percent. On a seasonally adjusted, annual basis, the selling pace fell to 9.22 million vehicles last month, from 12.57 million a year earlier.
However, stripping out the effects of the “cash for clunkers program,” which pulled ahead some sales and depleted inventories, auto executives said underlying demand appeared to be increasing gradually, in line with the fragile economic recovery.
“We feel the economy (and) the ‘cash for clunkers’ stimulus is moving the industry in the right direction,” said Michael DiGiovanni, General Motors Co.’s director of global market analysis.
“We’re cautiously optimistic about the fourth quarter,” he added. “Clearly, the economy’s gaining momentum.”
But GM and Chrysler Group LLC, which have both been through bankruptcy this year, registered the steepest declines in the market last month. Chrysler’s sales fell 42.1 percent, while GM’s dropped 45 percent, from very high levels a year earlier.
Helped by rising demand for its passenger cars, including the new Taurus, Ford limited its sales decline to just 5.1 percent.
That was less than the declines registered by Japan’s leading automakers. Toyota Motor Corp.’s U.S. sales were down 12.6 percent, Honda Motor Co.’s were 20.1 percent lower and Nissan Motor Co.’s sales fell 7 percent.
October 2, 2009
The government’s Cash For Clunkers party mess cleanup is getting uglier by the minute. From Citigroup:
September Auto Sales Currently Running at an 8.9 Million Unit SAAR (64.8% reporting)
With 64.8% of the industry now reporting, we are seeing a sales rate for September of 8.9 million units SAAR. This lower pace appears to be heavily influenced by the pay back from the cash-for-clunkers program as luxury brands do not appear to be having the same large drop as more utilitarian vehicle makers.
And this is what disastrous government policy looks like when charted — annual auto sales rate (SAAR):
The net appears to be it cannibalized future sales, just like most people in the know said it would. The transient nature of government intervention in markets becomes obvious. I wonder what GM will look like in a few years.
September 3, 2009
Get very good mileage, something you don’t see in America because of congressional laws against ‘the dirty diesel engines. But not so fast, diesels aren’t ‘dirty’ anymore. In fact they can be very fuel efficient.
Volkswagen’s electric-free diesel offerings are putting hybrids to shame — New Volkswagen Polo, Golf, Passat Diesels to get 71.3, 61.9, 53.4 MPG respectively.
This week at a Automotive Press Association luncheon in Detroit, Jim O’Donnell, chairman and CEO of BMW’s U.S. operations reaffirmed his company’s strong commitment to pushing diesel in the U.S. as an alternative or supplement to hybrid vehicles. BMW is jumping into electrics as well with the electric MINI E and its new X6 and 7 ActiveHybrids. However, he says that diesel’s impressive performance is driving sales of the 335ds and X5s. He also hinted that a 5-Series diesel may be coming next year as well.
Among the ways Volkswagen has fine-tuned its diesel performance to sip fuel is its recalibration of these engines and reductions to their idle speed. To further reduce idle losses, it’s vehicles include an automatic start-stop system, low rolling resistance tires and reduced aerodynamic drag thanks to lower front air dams and rocker panel extensions.