When Toyota teamed with General Motors, they gave us the Vibe/Matrix twins. With Subaru, a trio of rear-driven sports cars with boxer power up front. So, what will Toyota deliver in its partnership with BMW? How about the ultimate hybrid supercar based off the bones of the Lexus LFA, for starters.
It was one of the worst-kept secrets: Two weeks ago, Reuters reporters had picked up the scent of Daimler planning a big investment into China’s BAIC. This week, rumors started flying around in Beijing that it is true. Today, Daimler announces, as expected, that “Daimler AG is going to invest in BAIC Motor, the passenger car unit of BAIC Group, one of the leading automotive companies in China.” (Read More…)
Now about those Benz-BAIC rumors: While Beijing is going gaga, Reuters has been suspiciously quiet about an upcoming deal between Daimler and its Chinese partner BAIC. Reuters, which has good ears and feet on the ground in China, had reported two weeks ago that something might be happening. Today, Reuters breaks its silence and says: (Read More…)
How do you beat the Dow? Occasionally, by reading TTAC. Yesterday, we wrote about Beijing rumors that Daimler and China’s BAIC are planning a big tie-up.
Hong Kong, and I speak from experience, is a great place to incorporate, to save taxes, and to throw a cloak of secrecy over financial operations which otherwise would be out in the open. In the case of GM, it is also a great place to save their Korean behinds. In December 2009, GM sold a 1% stake in its Shanghai-GM (SGM) joint venture to the Hong Kong part of its Chinese partner SAIC for the paltry sum of $85m. GM also put its India business into a Hong Kong based joint venture (HKJV). GM provided the India business, SAIC provided cash. As it turned out later, unearthed in Ed Niedermeyer’s seminal oeuvre about the mystery golden share, SAIC also underwrote a $400 million loan. In its darkest hour at the end of 2009, GM was kept afloat by the Chinese. Now, history seems to repeat itself in some convoluted way. (Read More…)
The excitement about battery electric vehicles seems to die down amidst disappointing uptake. Range, weight and cost are in the way. At the same time, dormant interest in fuel cell vehicles is being rekindled. A month ago, we had a new look at the technology from the perspective of the Toyota/BMW linkup. Today, The Nikkei [sub] takes a broader view and says that carmakers are in the final lap of the fuel cell race. Let’s have a look at the contestants and where they stand.
The intensified alliance between Toyota and BMW shines a new light on a technology that has been discussed for decades, but that never quite made it: Hydrogen fuel cells. BMW will get access to Toyota’s fuel cell technologies. This most likely spells the end of the fuel cell cooperation between BMW and GM. Let’s take another look. (Read More…)
Here some background on the GM/Isuzu tie-up. Japanese wire services such as The Nikkei [sub] and Jiji report that GM approached Isuzu and “informally proposed acquiring a stake” in the Japanese truck maker. The source is an unnamed executive of Isuzu.
According to The Nikkei [sub], GM and Isuzu will start negotiations in early May for a roughly 10 percent share. If the negotiations are successful, Isuzu President Susumu Hosoi and GM CEO Dan Akerson could meet this summer to sign the agreement. (Read More…)
Coda Automotive, a Southern California start-up that assembles EVs with Chinese components, announced at today’s Beijing Auto Show that it would partner with the Chinese OEM Great Wall to develop a new, lower-cost EV. Says Coda CEO Phil Murtaugh (who you might remember as a key character in American Wheels, Chinese Roads) explains in a press release
When I wrote that PSA and Toyota are exploring their sado-masochistic tendencies a tie-up of production in PSA’s ab- under-used Sevelnord plant in northern France, commenters said it will never happen. Others complained about the choice of choice illustrations.
France’s President Nicolas Sarkozy rode to the rescue of embattled TTAC, and confirmed the tie-up. (Read More…)