Category: High Finance

By on October 9, 2015


The supercar maker may be valued at more than $12.4 billion ahead of its initial public offering, which could happen as early as Friday, Bloomberg (via Automotive News) reported.

Ferrari may price its shares Friday night when it offers 10 percent of the Maranello-based automaker to the public. The remaining ownership of the carmaker will remain largely with the same ownership group, comprised mostly of the Agnelli family and Piero Lardi Ferrari.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne said in July that Ferrari would be worth roughly $11 billion, which analysts balked at being a little ambitious. Since then, Ferrari’s value may have climbed as Marchionne told investors that Ferrari wasn’t necessarily an automaker, but rather a luxury brand that could be more profitable than a traditional carmaker.

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By on October 8, 2015


Bloomberg reported (via Automotive News) Thursday that a proposed contract brokered Wednesday night between the United Auto Workers and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles would raise Tier 2 workers’ pay to $29 per hour, up from $25 per hour, after an eight-year, “grow-in” period.

The separation between the two classifications of union employees — veteran Tier 1 and more recently hired Tier 2 — was a major point of contention for the workers, who voted down the proposed contract last week by a margin of nearly 2-to-1.

Roughly 40 percent of FCA’s union employees are Tier 2 workers, a much higher proportion than General Motors and Ford. On average, those employees are paid $9 to $12 less per hour less than workers hired before the recession. The proposed contract, according to the report, would not eliminate the tiered system, but instead bring closer the two pay scales. The contract also wouldn’t cap the number of Tier 2 workers hired by the automaker.

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By on October 6, 2015

Tesla Model X

Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas issued a lower target for Tesla on Wednesday, saying the automaker’s SUV price tag is too hefty for the carmaker to meet its production volume goal for 2016.

Jonas wrote that the $130,000 SUV is just too pricey (via Business Insider):

Even allowing the Model X (average transaction price) to decline over time through the introduction of lower-spec models leaves what we believe to be a higher-priced vehicle than we expected that may struggle to meet the volume expectations of the market and our forecasts.

If you remember correctly, Jonas was the analyst that called for Tesla’s stock to effectively double because he had a good idea for the automaker, which he said was the world’s most important.

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By on October 5, 2015

Subaru Sambar

Twelve countries, including the United States, reached an agreement Monday on an historic trade agreement that could economically tie together more than 400 million people in Asian Pacific and American countries. The pact would cover trade for wide ranging products, from rice to pharmaceutical drugs to cars.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership, which negotiators have been working on for eight years, would thaw trade relations among countries included in the regional zone, including Japan and the United States. For automakers in both countries, the tentative deal includes provisions for Japanese automakers to (eventually) bring light-duty trucks to the U.S. For American automakers, part of the proposed agreement included a side deal between America and Japan to allow access for U.S. automakers to traditionally closed Japanese markets.

The agreement faces an uphill battle to get congressional approval; House Republicans and presidential candidates already have roundly dismissed the deal.

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By on October 5, 2015

Kansas City Assembly Plant

A late-night deal reached between Ford and Kansas City, Missouri auto workers averted a strike over the weekend.

United Auto Workers Vice President Jimmy Settles in a letter to workers said negotiators reached an agreement late Friday night.

As you know, earlier this week, I gave Ford Motor Company 120-hour notice of our intention to strike at the Kansas City facility if a tentative agreement for their local contract could not be reached. Thankfully, with this evenings (sic) announcement, that action has been averted.

The UAW hasn’t yet announced if it will shift its focus to negotiations with Ford after a majority of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles union workers rejected their proposed deal with the automaker.  Read More >

By on October 3, 2015

Der neue Volkswagen XL1/XL1 ? Drive Luzern nach Genf

Volkswagen has a very steep, very tough hill to climb, and Volkswagen’s incoming chairman said the emissions scandal that affects 11 million cars is “a threat to the firm’s viability albeit a surmountable one,” reports Reuters.

Dieter Pötsch, who will soon take the chairman spot at Volkswagen Group AG, described the challenges ahead as an “existence-threatening crisis for the company” during a corporate meeting with employees in Wolfsburg, Germany’s Welt am Sonntag reported.

In order to take on those challenges, Volkswagen needs to fund the repairs of some 11 million vehicles, meaning cuts may be made to the company’s 100 billion euro R&D investment budget that was expected to last until 2018.

A cut in R&D spending is seen as a way to avoid a downgrade of the company’s credit ratings, a source close to the company’s board told Reuters.

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By on October 1, 2015

02 Volkswagen Golf family

Volkswagen may issue preferred shares to help raise money to deal with its growing diesel scandal, Reuters reported.

The German automaker may cut costs and boost cash flow before resorting to offering parts of the company to outside investors. According to the report, VW may find some willing investors to help bail the company out of its dire straights thanks to its healthy balance sheet and assets. However, if no one is willing to take the bait, the company may resort to more extreme cash-raising strategies that include selling ordinary stock, or even perhaps selling off some of its brands.

Reuters reported that sources said Volkswagen wasn’t considering selling any of its brands now. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles spun off luxury carmaker Ferrari this year, in part, to raise capital for other investments at the global automaker.

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By on October 1, 2015

Volkswagen Wolfsburg

Volkswagen suspended hiring at its finance arm and cut a shift at its Salzgitter engine factory to prepare its business for fallout from the largest business crisis that company has faced.

According to Reuters (via Automotive News), senior officials at Volkswagen will review Thursday findings from an internal investigation into the scandal that the automaker installed illegal emissions “defeat devices” on 11 million cars. The finance division said it would implement a hiring freeze through the end of this year.

“We are reacting to the current situation. It is a purely precautionary measure,” a spokesman told Reuters. Read More >

By on September 30, 2015

Kansas City Assembly Plant

United Auto Workers at the Kansas City, Missouri plant that produces Ford F-150s may strike as early as Sunday if the automaker doesn’t “negotiate in good faith,” according to Jimmy Settles, UAW vice president:

The challenges we face may not be easy, and I certainly cannot predict the future, but I would rather die fighting than to do an injustice to this membership or our institution.

Settles wrote to union members that issues such as “manpower provisions, the national heat stress program, and skilled trades scheduling amongst others” prompted the threatened strike at the Kansas City plant.
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By on September 30, 2015

UAW Wages

it’s probably dead.

The Detroit Free Press reported that the deal appears to be mathematically impossible after several large locals voted down the proposed contract this week.

The margins of defeat have been growing since Mopar and axle operators workers voted down the proposal by just over 50 percent and 65 percent last week, according to reports. Workers in Toledo, which builds the Jeep Wrangler and may lose the Cherokee to Sterling Heights, Michigan in order to build more Wranglers, voted overwhelmingly against the proposal; 87 percent declined the contract according to the Free Press.

Union workers at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles plants say that the contract, which does not specify production sites or moving plans — such as shifting truck and car production — doesn’t assuage concerns that more jobs will be lost to Mexico.

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