Messy, messy, messy: Can’t even close a proper deal with the unions. GM and the unions have an agreement. It is basically as reported this morning. The deal has the signatures of management and unions. One signature is missing, reports Die Welt: That of Bochum works council chief Rainer Einenkel. (Read More…)
If you think that GM will get a handle on its abundant capacity problems in Europe – abandon all hope. Or rather: Postpone hope for until after 2016, or maybe later. Also, write off any expectations that Steve Girksy would successfully play hardball with German Metalworker Unions. Deadball is more likely. With the decision to move the production of Opel’s Astra volume model from Rüsselsheim to Ellesmere Port, and to shift production from Bochum to Rüsselsheim, the fate of the Bochum plant appeared to be sealed.
German unions declared war. Minutes ago, Opel works council chief Wolfgang Schäfer-Klug announced “an armistice” (Das Handelsblatt) and told German media that Opel will continue making cars in Bochum through 2016. Nobody can be fired, no plants can be closed at Opel until January 1, 2017. Even then, Bochum will remain open. (Read More…)
Yesterday, the House Oversight and Government Reform subcommittee held a hearing to look into executive compensation “at bailed-out firms that is egregiously out of line with what the President committed to the American people,” as Chairman Jim Jordan said. Jordan recalled that the President had committed “that top executives at firms that receive extraordinary help from U.S. tax payers will have their compensation capped at half a million dollars.” That clearly wasn’t the truth. Yesterday, we heard that GM CEO Dan Akerson, for example, made $9 million in 2012 and wanted $11.1 this year. Jordan said that “Treasury’s failure to protect tax payers is part of a disturbing pattern in which this administration makes promises to the public but the does not live up to them.” That’s not the only pattern that is disturbing. (Read More…)
Toyota released global sales and production numbers for January 2013 today. Toyota is making good on its plans to catch its breath after a breakneck race back to the top of the pile. Toyota said its 2013 production would be flat, and flat it was with an 0.3 percent gain over January 2012. Let’s have a look at the other contenders. (Read More…)
The U.S. Treasury has begun a sale of its remaining stake in General Motors, with a goal of selling its remaining shares by March 2014. Currently, the government owns more than 300 million shares in the auto maker, equivalent to a 19 percent stake.
Yesterday, we wrote about Susan Docherty’s grand strategy for Cadillac: Make Cadillac great in Europe to convince the Chinese to buy Cadillac. Clever strategy. But what if it fails in Europe? Trust me, its European failure is assured. In the meantime, the story has landed in Europe. Germany’s premiere car dealer magazine Der Kfz-Betrieb runs with the story today (with a nice shout-out to TTAC, Danke.)
The experts at Der KFz-Betrieb give the grand Cadillac strategy only passing mention and recommend to check with TTAC if someone wants an assessment. What the magazine is most interested in are Docherty’s comments about the “lackluster performance of Chevrolet in Europe.” (Read More…)
GM’s CEO Dan Akerson asked for a big raise. He thinks his work at GM is worth a paycheck of $11.1 million this year, up 20 percent from last year, Reuters reports, citing documents. The embarrassing part: Akerson and GM have to ask its white House sugar daddy for approval.
As part of GM’s government-funded bailout, the salaries of GM executives must be authorized by a special paymaster from the federal government. The request for a raise comes at an inopportune time. (Read More…)
Myanmar was once a pariah state known for its brutal military government and mistreatment of human rights activists like Aung San Suu Kyi. But democratic reforms and an easing of trade sanctions by Western governments means that doing business in Myanmar is now feasible – and GM is the latest automaker looking to establish a footing in the Asian country.
Uh-oh: Susan Docherty, dispatched from China to Europe to teach the Eurotrash the proper appreciation and respect for Chevrolet and Cadillac, has come up with a strategy that assures the destruction of Cadillac outside of the U.S. Cadillac’s global aspirations hinge on its success in Europe, Docherty told WardsAuto. Again: To be successful in China, Cadillac must first be successful in Europe. No blond jokes please, show some respect. (Read More…)
Not only will GM’s OnStar switch from the allegedly ultra-reliable and most dense Verizon network to the allegedly not-so reliable and not-so-dense AT &T network, as Reuters reports. It will also “make each of its cars an Internet hotspot with a high-speed broadband connection,” as Automotive News has it. (Read More…)
Toyota will make in the neighborhood of 10 million units this year, but plans on a big push for 2014 that will propel it way beyond the 10 million mark. (Read More…)
The popular wisdom among folks in the auto-biz of my generation (1970s) is that Buick only exists because of China. Why didn’t GM kill Buick in America and keep it in China? The answer is obvious: you can’t sell your brand on its “Americanness” if it isn’t also sold in America to Americans. Buick then is a brand hunting for a mission. It’s also a brand hunting for fresh customers that don’t remember the Century and Skylark, two abominations firmly burnt into my mind. In attempt to solve these problems Buick has ditched their badge-engineering mantra and is rolling out new products targeted at folks from the 80s and 90s. Forced induction and a manual transmission aren’t new to Buick, but the possibility of a desirable small sedan from the triple-shield is earth shattering. Have they managed it? GM tossed us a set of keys to find out.
GM’s European dealers had their run-ins with the company lately, but wait until their read GM’s annual report to the Security and Exchange Commission. In its 2012 10K, GM writes about its European dealer network:
“To determine the estimated fair value of the dealer network, we used the cost approach with adjustments in value for the overcapacity of dealers and the sales environment in the region. We determined the fair value to be $0.
Wait, there is less … (Read More…)
Here’s our first look at the Chevrolet SS. Silly moniker aside, it looks like a home run.