USMotor Industry struggling to keep their head above water?

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Chrysler - Fiat announce future direction ............

Postby peter » Mon Apr 26, 2010 4:39 pm

In an interview with www.autonews.com, Chrysler - Fiat reveal their global vision :


Travel by time machine to a large Chrysler Group dealership in 2014, and you'll find radical changes.

In one corner is an Alfa Romeo boutique where two U.S.-built crossovers sit next to a sleek new Giulia sedan assembled in Turin, Italy.

Nearby, a Chrysler 300C built in Canada shares space with a midsized Chrysler brand sedan designed in Auburn Hills, Mich., but built on the same Turin line as the Giulia.

In the Dodge brand space, customers browse American rear-drive muscle cars, such as the Hemi-powered Challenger, and a front-drive compact sedan built in Italy.

In the Ram area, a massive 3500 Ram pickup built in Mexico sits alongside a small European-style commercial van developed by Fiat and built in Turkey.

A salesperson shows a Mexico-built Fiat 500 minicar that gets 40 mpg, powered by an engine with advanced breathing technology from Fiat.

If the vision that Sergio Marchionne, CEO of Fiat and Chrysler, laid out last week in Turin comes to pass, the multinational offerings will all be sold under one roof at select Chrysler Group dealerships.

As Chrysler marks the one-year anniversary of its bankruptcy filing, Marchionne is guiding the two carmakers into a far-reaching trans-Atlantic interdependence that Daimler, Chrysler's previous owner, never dreamed of.

“It's going to be kind of a World's Fair of auto brands,” says John Wolkonowicz, analyst for IHS Global Insight.

The plan faces steep challenges:

-- Chrysler must attract young customers who appreciate small cars and imports. Most shoppers consider Chrysler a seller of pickups, minivans, big cars and SUVs.

-- Fiat and Chrysler must overcome cultural differences to combine purchasing, product development and manufacturing.

-- And Marchionne wants to launch more than 40 new and redesigned models from 2011 to 2014, increasing global volumes to 6 million vehicles for the Chrysler and Fiat groups. Last year they sold 3.5 million.

That's a tall order in a brutally competitive industry -- even if Marchionne creates the “inextricably intertwined” Fiat-Chrysler organization that he envisions.

Last week Chrysler posted an operating profit of $143 million in the first quarter, despite lower sales. And Chrysler boosted its cash position by $1.5 billion, to $7.4 billion, by the end of March, giving it more financial leeway to survive until the integration starts to pay off in two years.

Operating factories at full capacity is a key part of Marchionne's plan. Fiat Auto and Chrysler Group vehicles will be made in each other's factories and shipped both ways across the Atlantic.

For instance, a large Alfa Romeo SUV will be built in the United States on the same platform as the Jeep Liberty starting in 2014 for sale in the United States and Europe. Chrysler also will build a compact Alfa SUV starting in 2012.

Fiat now plans to sell four vehicles in North America, all variants on the 500: the hatchback, convertible, sporty Abarth and a four-door hatchback with a high roof.

Marchionne's plan calls for consolidating Chrysler's and Fiat's smaller and mid-sized vehicles onto three main platforms: small, medium and compact. Each platform will account for a million units by 2014. For comparison, Fiat's mini- and small platforms each generated about 500,000 units in 2009.

Other platforms will be used for pickups, minivans, large cars, large SUVs and commercial vans.

The often-delayed revival of Alfa, in which Chrysler would play a significant role, would also help Marchionne fill factories and showroom floors.

Cutting costs is another key to Marchionne's plan. The companies are even saving on executive salaries. Olivier Francois, a native of France, is CEO of both Lancia and Chrysler and runs marketing globally for all Fiat and Chrysler brands. Under his leadership, the two brands will share their entire lineup. Francois' salary, like Marchionne's, is paid entirely by Fiat.

Meanwhile, by combining purchasing, Fiat and Chrysler expect to save about $1.0 billion between now and 2014, according to Marchionne.

Fiat and Chrysler will save another combined $1.1 billion over the period, mainly in the engineering and powertrain areas, Marchionne said.

Chrysler and Fiat want to speed products to market by standardizing more components and subsystems in Chrysler and Fiat vehicles.

Harald Wester, Fiat head of engineering and design, said it took Fiat 26 months to take the Fiat Stilo from design freeze to production in 2001. That time had been slashed to 15 months with the recent introduction of the Alfa Romeo MiTo, a sporty subcompact sold in Europe.

The MiTo shares 65 percent of its parts with other Fiat models, a much higher percent than earlier models.

A lot of things must go right for Marchionne's bold plan to become a reality in Chrysler dealerships by 2014. But he has already shown he can motivate the Chrysler work force. And he's under no illusions the job will get any easier.

As he said during a Detroit auto show interview: “The to-do list for us -- it's enough to choke a horse."

IT'S ALL ABOUT SHARING
Efficiency efforts planned by Fiat and Chrysler
• Chrysler Sebring replacement will be assembled in Turin alongside Alfa Romeo Giulia.
• Factory in Dundee, Mich., will build Fiat's 1.4-liter engine for Fiat 500 and Chrysler vehicles.
• Savings of about $1.0 billion are expected between now and 2014 from joint purchasing.
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Chaos at GM ...

Postby peter » Mon May 31, 2010 7:53 am

Things are not going well at GM ............


THE STORM AT GENERAL MOTORS

Ewanick must restore order -- but still drive creativity -- at marketing operations buffeted by change

DETROIT -- New U.S. marketing chief Joel Ewanick is accelerating the churn of advertising messages at General Motors Co.

Ewanick has scrapped Chevrolet's weeks-old print advertising tag line, "Excellence for All." And the "Mark of Leadership" slogan on Cadillac's new commercials will probably miss the cut for the next round of ads.

In the past year, at least 17 GM marketing leaders have changed jobs or left the company. Three of GM's four remaining U.S. brands underwent major ad campaign changes -- Buick more than once. Ewanick is the fourth U.S. marketing chief in the last year.

The turmoil has spooked marketing staffers and sent inconsistent messages to consumers when post-bankruptcy GM's brands are desperate for clear identities to spark sales.

Ewanick's top priority now is to make compelling changes that last, cementing order and purpose for GM's brands.

Wide review

Ewanick, the 49-year-old marketer behind the Hyundai Assurance campaign, arrived this month at GM after less than two months at Nissan North America.

Ewanick's operating style was formed largely as general marketing manager at nimble Porsche Cars North America -- a far cry from bureaucratic, cautious GM. At GM, he has shown himself decisive and open to reviewing every facet of GM marketing.

GM declined to make Ewanick available for an interview. Four people familiar with his work at GM spoke with Automotive News, but declined to be identified.

Right away at GM, he told staffers that "he needed the freedom to do his own thing," one source says. "So that's what he's doing. There's a clear understanding that if things aren't working, things are going to change."

GM marketers already had spent a year reeling from change before Ewanick arrived.

Mark LaNeve, vice president of U.S. sales, service and marketing, lost control of U.S. marketing in July and left GM in October. Next came then-Vice Chairman Bob Lutz, whose marketing tenure lasted five months, and then-U.S. sales and marketing boss Susan Docherty, who lasted five months and now is transferring to GM's Shanghai office.

They wrestled with the fallout from GM's bankruptcy last year while the automaker focused on restructuring and generating cash. Now, the sources say, Ewanick is concentrating on strategies for each brand. He wants to turn away from marketing the whole corporation.

At Cadillac, for instance, he is keeping the positioning that GM's marketers had already chosen, targeting German luxury brands. But the next round of advertising, due in late summer or early fall, will inaugurate a new campaign instead of continuing the one launched this month, two sources say.

The new commercials likely will omit the "Mark of Leadership" tag line that has appeared at the end of this month's new TV spots and may have another slogan in its place, one of the sources says.

Ewanick's primary focus is Chevrolet, two sources say, which has accounted for 72 percent of GM's U.S. light-vehicle 2010 sales through April.

Two weeks after GM announced Ewanick's appointment, the automaker said Chevrolet would change advertising agencies for the second time in a month. Publicis Worldwide was out, despite having won the account in April over 91-year Chevrolet ad partner Campbell-Ewald. The San Francisco shop Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, which took Ewanick's Hyundai Assurance campaign from concept to air in 37 days, was in.

Ewanick has also nixed the print-only "Excellence for All" tag line."It's not something you're going to see for much longer," says Chevrolet spokesman Klaus-Peter Martin.

Ewanick also will try to improve GM's use of social media -- connecting customers through online campaigns that use blogs, Facebook and YouTube. That's an area where GM trails Ford Motor Co. and other competitors.

"We are light-years behind," one insider says. "That's where we need help."

Churning ad messages

Ewanick must avoid the miscues that plagued his predecessors.

Take Buick, for instance. While Hyundai was riding the momentum of Hyundai Assurance, which allows customers to return their car if they lose their income, Buick last June launched its "Take a look at me now" campaign and tag line.

When the spots, which portrayed vehicles as supermodels and featured a stuck-up Hollywood director, missed their mark, a new tag line and campaign debuted in September. Buick now stands for "The new class of world class."

Chevrolet similarly has decided to switch marketing messages twice in the last year. After the "American Revolution" tag line was declared dead in July, the brand ran a few commercials created both by Campbell-Ewald and Publicis. The new campaign was officially launched last week, with commercials from Publicis touting Chevrolet's "Red X" quality engineers. But Chevrolet is changing messages again, with Goodby on board and "Excellence for All" in the wastebasket.

The turmoil at least requires a fresh round of bonding between GM marketing staffers and new brand chiefs. Chevrolet, Cadillac and Buick-GMC each have had at least three head marketers in the past 12 months.

"It's like a clean slate, since all our leaders on the brand are new," one insider says. "We're trying to work with them and trying to understand them.

"Everybody here in GM wants to be successful, but all the turmoil of management changes makes it very difficult."

With so many ideas and managers canned in recent months, some sources say GM's marketing staff is nervous or "hunkered down."

"We were told a week before we knew Joel was coming that 'this is our team; now, let's go,'" one insider says. "But the latest changes have cut the wind out of everybody's sails. Now we have to climb the mountain again to the new leader, scrap stuff and start over."

But others say staffers finally feel they're free to move forward and build brand strategies that last.

"I'm pretty comfortable that this is the last change," one person says. "Now if we have problems with executions, we'll do what we need to do. But we're going forward."

OUT WITH THE OLD, OUT WITH THE NEW
Since May 2009, GM has churned marketing executives, ad agencies and ad campaigns. Here is a sampling.

U.S. marketing chiefs' revolving door
Mark LaNeve: 2005 to July 2009
Bob Lutz: July to December
Susan Docherty: December to May
Joel Ewanick: Arrived from Nissan in May

Churn among Cadillac marketing heads
Mark McNabb: 2008 until June 1, 2009.our story said he'd "leave on June 1"
Steve Hill: Interim had that specific title in June 1 and July 31 2009.
Bryan Nesbitt: August 1 to March 2
Don Butler: Took over in March


Read more: www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article? ... 19963/1018
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Postby peter » Sun Jul 04, 2010 10:32 am

DETROIT - General Motors Co. is seeking a line of credit of at least $5 billion with a group of banks to enable it to repay debt and prepare for another decline in U.S. auto sales, said a person familiar with the talks.

GM had $23.3 billion of cash and about $14 billion of debt as of March 31, according to its first-quarter financial report.

It repaid the final $5.8 billion of government loans in April. The company is preparing to pay back the remainder of the government assistance through a public stock offering that could happen later this year. That offering would enable the federal government to sell at least part of its 61 percent stake in GM.


More : http://www.lansingstatejournal.com/article/20100703/NEWS03/7030310/1004/news03
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Postby peter » Mon Oct 04, 2010 6:07 pm

The fallout from this is still going on.

GM are closing their Antwerp Astra factory having not found any buyers.


More :
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/79d88dea-cfbb ... ab49a.html
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Postby peter » Tue Nov 23, 2010 1:27 pm

The ripples continue to spread ...

Mahindra will acquire SSang Yong

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Mahindra is an Indian manufacturing group who commenced car manufacture after the war with Jeep assembly, later moving into small cars and assembly/development of the Suzuki Jeep/Jimni range. They also currently produce the Logan jointly with Renault.


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Ssang Yong is a South Korean manufacturer of cars established in the 1960's. They are best known for large cars and 4WD vehicles. They had a technology agreement with MB in the 90's, but suffered financially during the Asian recession of the late 90's. They were acquired by Daewoo, who then disposed of Ssang Yong as Daewoo themselves headed for bankruptcy (Daewoo is now owned by GM and manufactures the low end Chevrolet products sold in Europe). After a brief flirtation with SAIC (a Chinese car Co who bought a 51% holding) they went into receivership.
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Postby peter » Tue Apr 05, 2011 4:22 pm

Saab factory production has stopped for the 4th time in a week due to non delivery of components.

It has not been a PR triumph for Saab who have given various spurious explanations before admitting that they have a severe cash flow crisis and suppliers haven't been promptly paid.

The suppliers are aware that Saab is only paying the most important accounts to keep production running and are afraid that they will become unsecured creditors for larger amounts if they continue deliveries.

Latest report from BBC : http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-12965295

An extract from The Local - an English language Swedish newspaper - is rather more direct : "What Saab is saying is pure bullshit", Svenåke Berglie, CEO for FKG, the trade association for the Swedish automotive business, said.

More : http://www.thelocal.se/33028/20110405
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Postby peter » Thu Jul 28, 2011 3:44 pm

Fiat are improving Chrysler and integrating key functions :

http://www.businessweek.com/ap/financialnews/D9ONI32G1.htm
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Postby peter » Thu Jul 28, 2011 3:49 pm

Meanwhile Saab are bouncing ever closer towards bankruptcy :

Swedish Automobile NV (SWAN.AE), the Netherlands-listed owner of troubled car maker Saab Automobile, has 14 days to pay their workers or risk bankruptcy.

The general counsel at labor union Unionen issued the report after the cash-starved company failed to pay employees on time. This is the 2nd consecutive month that Saab has been unable to pay employees on time. Wages were paid last month after Saab secured EUR13 million in short-term funding by selling 582 cars to a Chinese company.

Unionen's Martin Wastfelt said, "We're not doing this because our members want to see Saab Automobile bankrupt, we're doing this to guarantee their income and make sure they can take part in the state wage fund."

In April, production was halted due to a lack of components after suppliers that hadn't been paid stopped delivering parts.

The Swedish enforcement authority reported they had received demands for debt collection from Saab Automobile totaling 5 million Swedish kronor ($794,000) from three different companies. Hans Ryberg, head of the collection department at the enforcement authority, said he expects further requests from Saab Automobile's creditors in the coming days. Saab Automobile has possibly up to three weeks to pay the SEK5 million, or the enforcement authority will start seizing assets.

Provided supplier problems are resolved, Saab expects to restart production August 29.

http://www.stockmarketsreview.com/reports/us_stock_market_daily_report_20110727_159220/
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Postby peter » Thu Sep 01, 2011 8:50 am

Ripples ...

The latest Saab financials are available here :

http://media.saab.com/press-releases/2011-08-31/swedish-automobile-nv-reports-semi-annual-results-2011

The accounts are presented on the going concern basis assuming sufficient additional funds will become available to resume trading.

Net equity is €-397m represented by accumulated losses of €562m less share capital & premium of €165m

To the €-397m of net equity should be added the intangible fixed assets (capitalised development costs, technology, trademarks, etc) amounting to €260m that would be valueless in the event of a breakup.

It is also likely that Plant and Machinery, raw materials, work in progress etc would not realise their current value of around €250m.

There are prepayments of around €60m in respect of future car sales which are secured on group assets.

Any investing govt/EU body/venture capitalist/corporate investor/bank would have to be very brave on the basis of todays information.

Mr Muller no longer talks of having a "fully funded business plan"

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Postby peter » Tue Oct 11, 2011 9:26 pm

More Saab .........


You can fool all of the people some of the time, and some of the people all time, but ...


http://www.autocar.co.uk/News/NewsArtic ... rs/259520/
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Postby Brian and Helen » Tue Oct 11, 2011 10:42 pm

They're not daft, the Chinese, I had some bloody tough negotiations with them last year - they take you right to the wire (and then some).

Professionally speaking, from those brief figures, I would let SAAB go - sad indeed but it really isn't viable any more - and it's not as if you can see any future upturn - their quirky but outmoded cars just don't have a niche in the world today.

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Re: USMotor Industry struggling to keep their head above wat

Postby peter » Sat Nov 26, 2011 9:30 am

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Maybach to cease production : http://www.autocar.co.uk/News/NewsArtic ... ars/260228

Due to the long gestation period of cars, it is very difficult to forecast market swings ahead of launch. As the first Gulf War recession ended manufacturers aimed to capitalise on the forecast new affluent, feel good factor in the marketplace. At the end of the 1990's Bentley was acquired by VW, BMW bought Rolls Royce and, not to be outdone, Mercedes relaunched the long defunct Maybach brand with an "entry" model priced at around €250,000.

The Maybach brand was largely unknown to the potential customers for cars in that price bracket (and perhaps more importantly the man on the street) resulting in worldwide sales of around 200.

The latest recession reduced demand and any possible "cheap" Maybach offering would compete with the top end Mercedes S class which shared engineering features and was built on the same production lines. For most people Mercedes has more cachet than Maybach, so it became a pointless exercise.

Fortunately, the S class itself is not too shabby ?

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Re: USMotor Industry struggling to keep their head above wat

Postby peter » Tue Dec 27, 2011 3:32 pm

Motor Industry top 2011 cock ups from Automotiove News :

http://www.autonews.com/article/2011122 ... 79999/1439
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Re: USMotor Industry struggling to keep their head above wat

Postby peter » Wed Jan 11, 2012 10:18 pm

GMstill struggling :

DETROIT -- General Motors Vice Chairman Steve Girsky says Opel is not for sale.

"We're developing plans to make Opel work," he said at the Automotive News World Congress here on Tuesday.

Opel and PSA/Peugeot-Citroen were mentioned as possible targets of Fiat-Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne, who said on Monday he may seek to combine his company with another automaker to increase efficiencies and cut development costs.

Marchionne made a run at Opel in 2009 but pulled out of the bidding. GM decided in late 2009 to keep Opel and UK-based sister brand Vauxhall rather than sell them to supplier Magna International Inc.

Europe needs consolidation among carmakers to compete with Volkswagen, which has more than 20 percent market share in the region, Marchionne said, adding that he's not in talks with anyone.

An Italian newspaper reported on Tuesday that PSA, Europe's second-largest carmaker after Volkswagen, is ready to discuss a possible alliance with Fiat. Marchionne denied that any partnership discussions have taken place with PSA.

Opel duties

In November 2011, GM CEO Dan Akerson made Girsky chairman of Opel's supervisory board, handing him the assignment of reviving a unit that has lost roughly $13 billion since 1999. GM in November reversed an earlier prediction that its European operations would break even in 2011 for the first time in many years because of the sagging economy.

"We're committed to returning our European business to sustained profitability," Girsky told the Congress. "We need to be prepared for a challenging demand environment for the foreseeable future."

Also in his speech, Girsky, a former Wall Street analyst, said it will take four or five more months before it's clear whether U.S. sales of GM's Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid will take off.

"I think it'll be May or June before we know whether this thing really has legs," Girsky said.

GM sold 7,671 Volts in the United States in 2011, short of its 10,000-unit target. Sales were hit by a federal investigation of fires that occurred after Volt crashes. GM says it has found a fix for the problem, but executives at the auto show here this week have downplayed expectations for 2012 Volt sales.

Asked whether GM is sticking by its previously declared production target of 60,000 Volts this year -- 45,000 of which would be allocated to the United States -- both CEO Dan Akerson and Mark Reuss, president of North America, said the automaker will make enough to satisfy demand.

Opel/Vauxhall will begin deliveries of the Volt-based Ampera in February. Opel said that the Ampera has been enhanced to further reduce the potential of a battery fire days or weeks after a severe accident.

The enhancements have been incorporated into Ampera production since the start of 2012. Cars produced earlier will be retrofitted in Europe before being delivered to customers, Opel said in a release.

Restrained sales

Girsky said restrained availability continues to keep a lid on Volt sales. GM launched the car in seven key markets in late 2010, but didn't roll it out nationally until late last year.

"There's still dealer orders that are getting filled, there's customers that are still getting out there," Girsky said. "I don't think the dealers are really pushing this car yet because most of them only have one or two."

Nonetheless, the Volt is serving as a halo vehicle by drawing in a new breed of customers, Girsky said. He said the median income of Volt buyers is $175,000 and the car "is bringing more BMW customers to GM than Cadillac is."

He added that his wife, mother and aunt each own a Volt.

Girsky has been a GM vice chairman since 2010, initially in charge of corporate strategy and alliances. Last year, Akerson expanded Girsky's role by giving him oversight of product planning, purchasing and GM's OnStar telematics unit.

Girsky also touched on these issues during his presentation:

• GM's financial performance: "We know our margins are well below our peers," he said. "We still have work to do."

• Changing GM's culture: "I think it's evolving," Girsky said. "It's about putting up wins, whether it's product wins, … profitability wins, reducing costs in a certain area, taking down sacred cows," he said. "I think it feeds off itself."

• GM's relations with suppliers: Girsky, whose direct reports include GM purchasing chief Bob Socia, acknowledged that GM historically pressed suppliers for the lowest possible price, without much collaboration on technology. "Socia spends a lot of time," he said, "on 'What do we have to do to be a part of supplier relations, supplier innovations?' It's really a different mode



Read more: http://www.autonews.com/article/2012011 ... z1jBdzm6ml
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Re: USMotor Industry struggling to keep their head above wat

Postby peter » Wed Jan 11, 2012 10:20 pm

Very curious ?

NYT Published: January 10, 2012

DETROIT — After a humbling bankruptcy and $50 billion government bailout in 2009, General Motors has rebounded with steady profits and a fresh lineup of competitive vehicles.

But the next stage of the comeback poses new challenges for the nation’s largest automaker as it tries to make up for lost time when it suspended many of its product programs. The company started to catch up last year by turning out new small cars and mainstream sport utility vehicles. Now G.M. is focusing on beefing up its roster of higher-profit, luxury models for its Buick and Cadillac divisions.

More :http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/11/business/general-motors-looks-to-luxury-cars-for-higher-profit.html

They probably need a global, European premium brand ?

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Re: USMotor Industry struggling to keep their head above wat

Postby peter » Thu Feb 09, 2012 10:34 pm

GM tried to sell European Opel during "the troubles" but failed to secure a deal. Once the US govt confirmed the bailout they announced that Opel was no longer for sale. Opel has continued its downhill slide - industry insiders refer to enormous losses , and GM must be wishing they had given it away.

http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2012/02/09/a-major-overhaul-for-general-motors.aspx
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Re: USMotor Industry struggling to keep their head above wat

Postby peter » Mon Mar 05, 2012 7:47 pm

The European recession bites hard : http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/05/busin ... urope.html

Note that GM / Opel missed a chance to be in the only profitable volume sector - as the world recognised that Korea was the new Japan, and their small cars were great value, GM bought Daewoo and changed the name to Chevrolet.

Now people are rushing to buy Kia, Hyundai etc but predictably customers in Europe don't know what a Chevrolet is supposed to be. I guess the brand image is US, heavy, old fashioned, big engines, poor roadholding, cheap, nasty - Daewoo, from the new Japan, would have been a better bet.

GM cost cutting has even destroyed the Opel brand. In the 80's it was competing with VW. Opel people still think it does. In reality, it now it struggles against Skoda. Opel / Vauxhall is mainly sold to fleet buyers at huge discounts.

And GM US has been stagnant in a booming US market so far this year.

There is a European solution. Merge Vauxhall - Opel, close the loss making European factories and assemble the product in Korea.

Oh yes, change Chevrolet back to Daewoo !
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Re: USMotor Industry struggling to keep their head above wat

Postby peter » Wed Mar 28, 2012 7:02 pm

The European impact continues ....


The management of General Motors Company’s European arm, Opel, will present a business plan to its board today about closing two plants in order to trim the manufacturing capacity of the unit by 30%. So far, the management has been cutting production hours at the plants located in Bochum, Germany and Ellesmere Port in the UK.

However, GM has to deal with the heavy cost resulting from the plant closures. The severance package could go up to €500 million ($665 million). But on the other hand, dealing with increasing losses at the European operations also poses major threat to the company.

Opel’s sales slashed 20% in the first two months of the year. Overall, GM’s European operations lost $747 million last year, resulting in a total loss of more than $12 billion in 12 years.

A few months back, Opel revealed that it expects to report an operating loss of €1 billion ($1.3 billion) in 2012 due to fewer-than-anticipated car sales. The unit expects to sell 1.4 million vehicles in 2012, which are about 100,000 units less than the earlier projected sales. In order to reverse the 12 years of losses in Europe (totaling more than $12 billion), particularly from the Opel brand, GM has recently formed a pact with PSA Peugeot Citroen (Other OTC:PEUGY.PK - News). The alliance will help both the automakers reduce at least $2 billion in costs.

The present Euro-zone financial crisis has affected the operations of many global automakers, especially GM and Ford Motor Co. (NYSE:F - News). Both the automakers have a significant exposure to the market. The car dealers in Europe are trying very hard to entice consumers with the help of steep discounts and other sales promotions, which will put downward pressure on their margins. The West European car market is expected to decline to 11 million units in 2012.

Recently, Ford revealed that it is likely to lose between $500 million and $600 million in 2012 in the 19 European markets covered by the automaker owing to the ongoing debt crisis in the region. The figure compared with a meager $27 million loss recorded by the company in 2011. In the fourth quarter of last year, the loss amounted to $190 million.

While releasing the fourth quarter results, Ford projected industry volume (including medium and heavy trucks) of 14.0 million units–15.0 million units for full year 2012 in Europe. However, industry-wide sales in the region are expected to reach the lower end of the forecast, according to the Chief Financial Officer of the company, Lewis Booth.


More, and links : http://finance.yahoo.com/news/gm-opel-s ... 24547.html
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Re: USMotor Industry struggling to keep their head above wat

Postby peter » Wed Apr 11, 2012 4:23 pm

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Audi plans to announce the acquisition of Ducati next week, having completed a due diligence assessment of the Italian motorcycle maker, two people familiar with the matter said.

Audi encountered no major stumbling blocks when checking Ducati's books, the people said on Wednesday. The purchase could be announced as early as April 18, the day before VW's annual shareholders' meeting in Hamburg.

One of the sources said that Ducati's main shareholder, Italian buyout firm Investindustrial, agreed to talk with Audi exclusively.

Volkswagen, Audi and Investindustrial declined to comment.

A successful deal would fuel Audi's long-standing rivalry with BMW in superbikes, and add expertise in high-revving light engines to VW's engineering portfolio, which ranges from cars and heavy trucks to ship engines.

Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera also reported on Wednesday that an accord between Ducati and Audi was expected to be signed next week, citing no sources.

The paper noted that Audi had the right to negotiate exclusively until April 15, after which Investindustrial was free to talk to other potential buyers.

In 2005, Audi tried to buy Ducati from former owner Texas Pacific Group but was trumped by rival bidder Investindustrial, Corriere della Sera added.

Ducati was founded in 1926, and over the past 60 years it scored 17 manufacturer's World Championship titles, most recently winning the 2011 World Superbike Championship title.

Investindustrial's chairman Andrea Bonomi told The Financial Times in February the firm was looking to sell Ducati.

Last month the paper cited sources as saying the price could be about 850 million euros ($1.1 billion) including 800 million in acquired debt.

The two sources on Wednesday declined to comment on the purchase price or give more specifics of the planned acquisition.

For Audi, whose Ingolstadt headquarters have become a key research and development center for lightweight fuel saving technologies, Ducati's engine technology could add a new development dimension.

Audi has also owned Lamborghini since 1998 and together with the Italian supercar maker aims to produce lower weight vehicles by increasing the share of components made of carbon fiber.



Read more: http://www.autonews.com/article/2012041 ... z1rkHAWynp
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Re: USMotor Industry struggling to keep their head above wat

Postby peter » Thu Jul 12, 2012 12:05 pm

Recession starting to bite here :

PEUGEOT Citroën - the No1 French car-maker - is to cut 8,000 jobs and close its factory at Aulnay-sous-Bois in 2014.

More than 3,000 jobs will go at Aulnay, 1,400 from its factory at Rennes in Brittany and another 3,600 from various administrative, research and commercial functions. It is feared this could include 1,400 jobs in research and development of new models.

Social Affairs Minister Marisol Touraine said the government would be looking closely at the private company's figures. "We cannot accept something like this." She added that the firm had received e4billion in state aid in the past few years.

Work Minister Arnaud Montebourg said before the announcement it was a "shock for the nation".

Union leader Bernard Thibault of the CGT said on France Inter the union planned to take action, and added: "Once Peugeot announces the cutting of 8,000 to 10,000 jobs you can triple or quadruple that number to gauge the real impact in terms of jobs in the rest of the country."

Peugeot Citroën says it is working to find alternatives for each Aulnay worker. Up to 1,500 could find different jobs at the factory at Poissy and a similar number, it said, could find new work in the Aulnay area. The site, which has been open since 1973, hosts the company's unofficial museum.

As for Rennes, the company did not have any firm numbers but talked about a "redeployment of staff". The factory employs 5,600.

The cuts were announced this morning at a meeting of PSA Peugeot-Citroën's central works committee. They were blamed on a 15% slump in car sales across Europe in the first three months of the year which caused operational losses of €700million in the automobile division. The division lost €92m in 2011.
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Re: USMotor Industry struggling to keep their head above wat

Postby gurubarry » Thu Jul 12, 2012 1:16 pm

Another sad day as reality bites here.
It's B.L. all over again ?
I do hope the government is up to the job, it is a real national disaster .
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Re: USMotor Industry struggling to keep their head above wat

Postby peter » Thu Jul 12, 2012 1:27 pm

There is also a secret in house global review process running.

Likely changes being considered are :

joint Citroen/Peugeot channels at retail level (separate showrooms, joint workshop and parts)
restructure network footprint to optimise fewer, larger outlets with satellite operations
joint Citroen/Peugeot wholesale operations (merge the present separate importerships and staff)
rationalise model offerings
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Re: USMotor Industry struggling to keep their head above wat

Postby peter » Thu Jul 12, 2012 1:27 pm

There is also a secret in house global review process running.

Likely changes being considered are :

joint Citroen/Peugeot channels at retail level (separate showrooms, joint workshop and parts)
restructure network footprint to optimise fewer, larger outlets with satellite operations
joint Citroen/Peugeot wholesale operations (merge the present separate importerships and staff)
rationalise model offerings
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Re: USMotor Industry struggling to keep their head above wat

Postby Brian and Helen » Thu Jul 12, 2012 6:27 pm

As a new strategy, how about, "start making reliable cars"? VW have substantially increased their market share, I believe.

Peugeot and Citroen regularly prop up the bottom of the Which? car-reliability guide, and people nowadays don't expect to have to live with that sort of hassle.

I remember the C5 we hired last year - a disaster on 4 wheels; 17,000 kms on the clock and the clutch died on us (in a cloud of smoke) at 9.00 at night on a hill in a strange town . . . :evil:

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Re: USMotor Industry struggling to keep their head above wat

Postby peter » Thu Jul 12, 2012 8:19 pm

Brian and Helen wrote:As a new strategy, how about, "start making reliable cars"? VW have substantially increased their market share, I believe.

Peugeot and Citroen regularly prop up the bottom of the Which? car-reliability guide, and people nowadays don't expect to have to live with that sort of hassle.

I remember the C5 we hired last year - a disaster on 4 wheels; 17,000 kms on the clock and the clutch died on us (in a cloud of smoke) at 9.00 at night on a hill in a strange town . . . :evil:

Brian



It may have been bad luck ?

I bought a new tax free Peugeot 406 HDI in Sweden, imported it into France and did 70,000 km in about 18months. Only problem was a failed rear light bulb.

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