With memories of the 2008 financial meltdown still fresh, American consumers aren’t borrowing wildly anymore — except when it comes to cars and credit card purchases.
As of the end of June, car buyers racked up the highest auto loan debt in U.S. history — $1.1 trillion, according to a quarterly report from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Also on the rise? Credit risk. (Read More…)
A group of Jeep fans wants Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne to make a Sophie’s Choice-style decision to save their beloved offroader.
To avoid the destruction of the storied brand at the hands of its parent company, FCA must cast it loose, the group states in a strongly-worded Change.org petition.
“As owners and fans of Jeep vehicles, we are calling on Fiat Chrysler Automobiles to separate Jeep from FCA’s stable of failing brands and debt,” the petition states. “We urge FCA to execute a spinoff to save Jeep.”
Millennials are buying Ford SUVs like it’s going out of style, no doubt dismaying the friends who like to lecture people about their lifestyle on Facebook.
That, Chevrolet offers a voyeur package for its full-side pickup, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles grabs a stack of cash with both hands, Mercedes-Benz gives its midsize SUV the AMG treatment, and two more automakers eye the Formula E grid … after the break!
Standard & Poor’s downgraded Volkswagen’s rating on long-term debt Monday, and said the company’s diesel scandal indicates poor management. The financial agency further warned that its debt rating could be cut further if the automaker doesn’t immediately address the deepening scandal, Bloomberg reported (via Automotive News).
“VW has demonstrated material deficiencies in its management and governance and general risk-management framework,” Alex Herbert, a London-based analyst at S&P, said according to Bloomberg. “VW’s internal controls have been shown to be inadequate in preventing or identifying alleged illegal behavior.” Further damage and other violations “represents a significant reputational and financial risk.”
Baby Don’t Hurt Me. (photo courtesy: OP)
Like many of the people who write to you, I am having trouble deciding if I should keep my current car or trade it in for a new one.
I currently own a 2010 Honda Civic EX-L with 140,000 miles. It has been the single most reliable car I have ever owned. I keep it meticulously maintained and generally change its oil every 6 to 8 weeks. Otherwise, I have only paid for a set of brakes and new tires.
A week ago, I test drove a brand new Honda Accord Touring and fell in love. The dealership has offered me an excellent deal that includes trading in my Civic. My dilemma is that I feel an allegiance to the Civic. The car has the soul of a toaster and is not exciting to drive, but like a trusty horse, it gets me everywhere I want to go without any complaints. The Civic will eventually need repairs as it approaches 200K but I feel like I would be letting it down by trading it away. On the other hand, I can easily afford the payments for the Accord, but I generally try to avoid debt.
What should I do Sajeev? Should I cut the Civic loose and replace it or keep on driving until she can carry me no more?
Remember when Saab’s new parent company was close to being taken to court and forced to declare bankruptcy by one of its suppliers? New information may have helped changed course.
I just got a job that involves a fair amount of driving and I am looking to spend about 11-13k on a car that is fun to drive but at the same time practical and reliable.
It’s almost a cliche. Someone mentions the $23.5 loan package that Ford Motor Company presciently took out in 2006, a loan that allowed Ford to develop new products and survive the economic meltdown and credit crunch of 2008 while its crosstown rivals were reduced to begging Washington for a bailout, and almost invariably they will bring up the fact that Ford pawned everything including their “blue oval”. Well, Ford once again owns the famous cerulean logo free and clear. Now that Moody’s has joined Fitch Ratings in restoring the rating on Ford’s debt to investment grade from junk status, the collateral that Ford put up for the loan, which included the logo, Ford’s “glass house” headquarters, several factories, and intellectual property including the Mustang and F-150 trademarks, is no longer security on that debt, per the terms of the loan.
I know I’ve said this several times before, but the end really is near for Saab. The WSJ [sub] reports that Sweden’s Debt Enforcement Agency began auditing Saab’s finances after several debts came due earlier this week, and found only 5.1 Kroner ($796,291) in its Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken account. That’s barely enough to cover the 5.06m Kroner in debts that came due this week alone… and Saab’s total outstanding debt is ten times that amount, around 50m Kroner. And as if the financial trouble weren’t dire enough, key stakeholders are abandoning Saab in embarrassment, like Benny Holmgren, one of Sweden’s largest car dealers. Holmgren tells SvD.se that his contract to sell Saabs has expired and that he won’t renew, explaining
“For me, it is important to be proud of the brands that we have in our halls. Saab does not deliver cars they promised, they do not pay wages to their employees, nor debts to their suppliers while the owners pick out big money. It does not feel right for a [my] car dealers.”
But among the hardcore Saab faithful, today is not a day of sorrowful resignation… but a day of totally overblown and unrealistic hope for their dying brand. Yes, really…