Category: Consolidation

By on November 2, 2016

2016 Subaru Outback

It was a bombshell decision that Fuji Heavy Industries describes as “extraordinary.”

Subaru’s parent company announced today that its board of directors has decided to eliminate its industrial division to free up resources for its car division. FHI built its empire on small industrial powerplants, spawning a quirky car company in the process, but that car brand is now the corporation’s main focus.

What does the new love mean for Subaru? Read More >

By on October 9, 2016

1993 Mitsubishi Diamante wagon, Image: © 2015 Murilee Martin/The Truth About Cars

Carlos Ghosn, the synergizing executive that Sergio Marchionne only wishes he could be, isn’t mincing words when it comes to Nissan’s plans for fledgling automaker Mitsubishi.

According to the Renault-Nissan top boss, the deal between Nissan and Mitsubishi is “massive.”

Read More >

By on September 30, 2016

2015 Volkswagen Golf family, Image: Volkswagen of America

After the awkward auto show apologies of the past year, Volkswagen executives are looking forward to a rosy time in the near future after the brand stabilizes itself.

Those “good times” will return, according to global brand chief Herbert Diess, but not before three to four years of rough slogging. In a Bloomberg TV interview from the Paris Auto Show, Diess mulled adding new models to its U.S. lineup. Read More >

By on September 23, 2016

2017 Cadillac XT5, Image: © 2016 Matthew Guy/The Truth About Cars

If dealership owners spring for a recent offer by the president of Cadillac, expect to see a vastly reduced brand presence in towns and cities across the U.S.

Johan de Nysschen is offering 400 low-volume Cadillac dealers cash to close up shop and walk away, Automotive News reports. Read More >

By on June 23, 2016

2013 Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid, Exterior, Rear

If you’ve long since erased the Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid from your memory bank, don’t worry. Buyers forgot about it at the same time, and the automaker is prepared to do the same.

When Volkswagen rolled out a list of changes to its 2017 year vehicles today, the Jetta Hybrid was nowhere to be seen. Instead, the automaker placed a note in its empty chair, reading “Jetta Hybrid no longer available.”

It was an undignified (but not unexpected) end for a very unpopular model — one the automaker doesn’t need weighing it down as it tries to streamline its operations in a bid to save cash. Read More >

By on June 16, 2016

BMW i3 and Volkswagen e-Golf DC Charging

Volkswagen Group wants to give its operation a top-to-bottom shakeup, which means ditching the bureaucratic, centralized ways of the past and positioning itself as a lean, nimble player in a rapidly evolving marketplace.

Oh, and there will be tons of electric vehicles. Piles and piles of them.

In its announcement of the TOGETHER – Strategy 2025 plan, the automaker came off sounding more like a tech startup, touting a newfound “entrepreneurial mindset and approach” that will bring the company out of the long shadow of the emissions scandal. Read More >

By on June 15, 2016

Volkswagen Wolfsburg

With its expansion dreams fading fast in the rear-view, Volkswagen needs to shrink and streamline its operations in a hurry, meaning unwanted brands could soon be priced to sell in its driveway.

According to Bloomberg, the automaker plans to conduct a wide-ranging strategy and portfolio review, with details of the strategy expected to go public tomorrow. An asset sale could be in the works, and insiders are already hinting at which brands will be dropped. Read More >

By on May 13, 2016

2016 Nissan Titan XD PRO-4X Grille, Image: © 2015 Mark Stevenson/The Truth About Cars

Yesterday’s news that Nissan will buy a 34-percent controlling stake in Mitsubishi for $2.2 billion was the latest win for Carlos Ghosn, the man behind the Renault-Nissan Alliance of 1999 and possessor of many fingers in many pies.

Ghosn, CEO of both Nissan and Renault, inked the agreement with Mitsubishi as the other automaker battles a misleading gas-mileage scandal. At a price of 468.52 yen/share, Ghosn’s purchase of new shares was a smoking deal. Mitsubishi shares traded for 1,100 yen just last December.

What becomes of the two companies now? And how will Ghosn’s world-straddling empire benefit by snapping up beleaguered Mitsubishi? Read More >

By on May 12, 2016

Subaru badge

Subaru’s parent company plans to change its name from Fuji Heavy Industries to, simply, Subaru Corporation. Why? Because #branding, of course.

In an effort to leverage the recognition of its Subaru brand, the transportation giant says the move away from its long-winded company name will help grow Subaru as a distinctive global presence in the automotive and aerospace industries.

Fuji Heavy Industries currently has four divisions: Automobile, Aerospace, Industrial Power Products, and Eco Technology.

Read More >

By on May 9, 2016

2015 Buick Verano Turbo

Buick is poised to take the Verano behind the barn and vacate the compact car market in North America, according to sources familiar with the automaker’s plans.

The Verano’s dwindling sales share and the popularity of the automaker’s crossovers and SUVs is behind the decision to phase out the entry-level luxury compact, Automotive News reports. Read More >

By on May 4, 2016

2015 Volkswagen eGolf Motor

“Do those non-diesel things, only better,” seems to be Volkswagen’s mantra these days.

The aftermath of the continuing diesel emissions scandal saw the embattled automaker dive deep into cleaner technology, and it now looks like VW wants its name on a relatively cheap electric vehicle, Autocar reports (via Carscoops). Read More >

By on April 28, 2016

Bentley Bentayga

Rival automakers salivating at the thought of snapping up a castoff from Volkswagen’s brand portfolio will have to sit and wait.

Amid grim fourth-quarter financial data and ongoing expenses linked to the diesel emissions scandal, the company is standing by its assets, but admits they might have to jettison some if unexpected expenses crop up. Read More >

By on April 24, 2016

sergio-marchionne

Sergio Marchionne, CEO of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, could shed light on the company’s uncertain future this Tuesday when the company reports earnings. However, as the Detroit Free Press reports, Marchionne may not take the opportunity to clear the air, which would leave employees at FCA plants wondering about their futures for months to come.

The sweatered one has already stated in no uncertain terms that the Chrysler 200 and Dodge Dart will get the axe. Just when that will happen, and what product will fill freed-up plant capacity and dealer lots, remains a guessing game.

Read More >

By on April 14, 2016

Tango dancing

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles chairman John Elkann, like the company’s sweatered CEO, is making come-hither eyes in the hopes of luring a suitor.

FCA needs a partner to turn its lofty debt pile into capital, so Elkann wants other automakers to know just how thrilled he’d be if they helped FCA save $10 billion a year, he told shareholders of the investment company controlling FCA (via Bloomberg).

The problem, he lamented, is that other automakers are all wrapped up in trying to develop autonomous technology, often with outsider help. Like a wallflower with a heart of gold, FCA feels ignored despite having a lot to offer.

Read More >

By on April 13, 2016

Ford headquarters concept

Referring to one’s corporate buildings as a campus is en vogue, from Apple’s planned Spaceship HQ to the Googleplex in Mountain View, California. Yesterday, Ford Motor Company announced plans to transform its facilities in Dearborn into a green, modern, and high-tech work environment.

The 10-year plan will co-locate over 20,000 employees in the Dearborn area. Ford currently has a hodgepodge of more than 70 disconnected buildings along Oakwood Boulevard, many of which have been around since the Falcon and Galaxie were being sold in showrooms.

Read More >

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