Tag: Bertel Schmitt
We can’t help it that there is so much crummy news about GM, but here is something decidedly positive: GM “has no plans to make additional investments in its French partner PSA Peugeot Citroen SA which is subject to the depressed European automobile market,” Dow Jones Newswire says via NASDAQ. The wire heard it from Dan Akerson himself, so it must be true. (Read More…)
After a court in Braunschweig, Germany, dismissed two investor lawsuits against Porsche SE, it didn’t take the third one either. Instead, it delegated a lawsuit that seeks $2.7 billion in damages to a Hanover-based court that specializes in cartel matters, Reuters says. Finally, a decision after a hedge fund’s heart. (Read More…)
When GM announced last week that it wants to increase Cadillac’s share of the global luxury market from 8.5 percent now to 9 percent by 2016, we opined that from “looking at the plan, GM appears to be betting big on the success of its new Chinese assembly plant.” It turns out that Cadillac is betting big on China. Cadillac “aims to quadruple its share of China’s luxury auto market to 10 percent by 2020,” Reuters reports today.
By 2020, GM is “targeting about 250,000 luxury car sales in China,” says Reuters. It will be rough.
Toyota’s main corporate website in Japan has been hacked. According to a Toyota spokesman in Tokyo, Toyota’s main corporate website at www.toyota.co.jp was penetrated by unknown attackers. Data on the site was changed, the hack then led users to a fraudulent website, where they may have caught malware. According to a Toyota statement, the malware should be detected by modern malware checkers. (Read More…)
The sagging EU economy led to the worst car sales since 20 years (cause and effect could also be the other way round.) With so much riding on car sales, France’s La Lettre Auto K7 found a way to predict them with greater certainty: They simply ask car dealers how many orders they received. Most volume brands in Europe are built-to-order, and even in the worst economic climate, that takes a minimum of 4 weeks until the car is ready to be registered. That’s when usual statistics recognize the sale.
Senior members of the German government are leaning heavily on EU member states, warning “that German automakers could scale back or scrap production plans in their countries unless they support weakened carbon emissions rules,” Reuters writes. Cabinet members are said to focus their strong-arming on EU countries that recently have been bailed-out, mostly with German money. “They have tried everything at the highest level to pressure member states, in particular countries in the bailout club, to support their proposals,” a diplomat told Reuters. The EU Parliament is set to finalize rules that set a 95g CO2 / km limit by 2020.
The fight however seems not so much a quest for cleaner air than an underhanded fight for more breathing room for the auto industries of some member states. (Read More…)
Howls of protests ensued when GM stopped disclosing monthly production numbers, touching off, says Automotive News [sub], “concern among industry analysts and economists, as well as suppliers that rely on the data for their production plans.“ The industry paper explains what is wrong with this move: (Read More…)
Hopes of a bottoming of the European have been frustrated, and the small April uptick turned out as a flash in the pan.
We warned in April not to read too much into car data, caused by a curious confluence of calendars. We predicted two weeks ago that the EU market will continue on its downward trajectory. And so it does. (Read More…)
Some folks still desperately stick to the fairy tale that the Japanese car market is closed. The same people became excited when European carmakers complained about different Japanese technical regulations – something that was sold as “proof” for Japan walling up its market against foreign imports. The same people claim the U.S. market is open wider than the happy hooker. Not if you ask European carmakers again. Said the European carmaker association ACEA: (Read More…)
TTAC is owned by Verticalscope, a company that quietly owns hundreds of car sites. This allows for an interesting division of labor. Colum Wood of Autoguide can drive “13 Porsches in 8 hours,” while yours truly has time to visit the Tokyo Toy Show. At work, Mr. Wood “wound up hitting 0-60 mph in three seconds in a 911 Turbo S, sliding sideways in the 2014 Cayman S and winding up on three wheels in a Cayenne… all in the span of just a few hours,” while yours truly wound up in a Tokyo jail for attempted grand theft toy auto. Not just any toy auto. I was caught stealing a prototype that costs somewhere in the neighborhood of the grand total of Colum’s 13 Porsches.
And here is the story.
Fisker is at its last gasp. After burning through $1.4 billion, “the company is out of cash,” writes Reuters, “for months, key investors have been footing the car maker’s day-to-day expenses to keep it alive in diminished form.” Reuters has an in-depth report on what went wrong at Fisker. Reuters also has the one sentence version:
(Note: This story is not for the TL;NR crowd. If you need it in one short sentence: If your car company isn’t working on a kit architecture, kiss them good-bye.)
Call it coincidence, but immediately after TTAC flogged GM for having missed the kit architecture train, and for being chained to the antique platform model well into the next decade and possibly beyond, GM launched operation pushback. It could not be tolerated that the supposedly “New GM” was painted as a company with out-of-touch technology, so Selim Bingol rallied his troops.
The first skirmishes were fought by GM partisans dropped behind the lines of the story. Their comments seemingly were taken from a common sheet of talking points:
(This story intentionally appears on a weekend. This type of partisan usually works 9-5.)
Free trade agreements are great, as long as the trade is really free, and as long as people stick to the agreements. In Korea, foreign automakers and distributors say Korean lawmakers and government agencies try to keep them out. There is talk of “import bashing,” says Reuters.
“Korea is a highly protected market. Despite recent agreements to open up its market, the government is not helping … it’s actually doing its best to keep the barriers in place,” Reuters heard from “a senior global automaker executive.” (Read More…)