By on February 11, 2014

Hyundai production line Alabama plant

After a two-year break in expansion mandated by Hyundai Motor Company Chairman Chung Mong-koo in order to avoid quality issues experienced by Toyota during their aggressive growing spurt in the 2000s, Hyundai and Kia are both looking through feasibilities studies to determine where to invest in expanding their manufacturing footprint.

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By on February 1, 2014

Audis at an Oil Pump

Audi’s bio-fuel initiative is expanding into France through an investment by the automaker to Global Bioenergies, whose bio-isooctane could be the replacement for petroleum gasoline when the time comes to make the switch.

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By on January 28, 2014

opel-cascada-cabriolet-2013-001-1350468054

Appearing before Opel’s best and brightest in Germany, General Motors CEO Mary Barra proclaimed her company’s European brand, though unprofitable, is a vital one for the General.

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By on December 10, 2013

gmstock

It’s official: the United States government has sold off its remaining $49.5 billion investment in General Motors.

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By on November 25, 2013

2013 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible 70s, Exterior, Side 3/4, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes

With plans to give the world more of their wonders, such as the XL1, Twin Up! and Jetta, through 2018, Volkswagen has opted to shield their product spending from cost-cutting.

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By on November 25, 2013

Fisker Karma Courtesy tumblr.com

What do Justin Bieber, Ashton Kutcher and Al Gore all have in common? They may soon — baring a miracle — become the proud owners of the first orphan cars made in the 21st century for well-moneyed consumers by an automaker born in the 21st century, as Fisker Automotive has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

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By on November 14, 2013

Canadian Autoworker

The land of Canadian Tire, Tim Hortons and Michelle Creber has yet another thing going for it: Their auto workers have a cost advantage over their two-tiered brothers and sisters down south according to a study from Toronto, Ontario-based Scotiabank.

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By on September 17, 2011

One of the reasons why Volkswagen is hitting on all cylinders (don’t be U.S. myopic – always measure a car company by global success) is that they did not stop investing in the wake of the 2008 crash. They did not have to: Sales in the U.S. were low, and where you don’t have a lot, you can’t lose a lot. At the same time, VW had the big luck of being a major player in China. While  U.S. and Japanese car companies stopped or severely dialed back their investments into R&D and capacities, Volkswagen kept on spending. This has a delayed effect of 3 to 5 years, and what we are seeing now is just the beginning of this effect. It is also the beginning of an even greater spending spree. (Read More…)

By on June 3, 2011

The Russian government offered foreign automakers a deal which would be very costly to refuse: Invest heavily into the Russian auto industry, and Mother Russia will let you import parts and components at negligible or zero duty rates. Present your plans no later than July 1. Miss the deadline, and you may as well kiss the Russian auto market good-bye. Ti ponemaesh? (Read More…)

By on November 26, 2010

The rescue of Chrysler is making great strides. Sergio Marchionne today presented union officials an audacious plan. Powered by an investment of $1.3b, Chrysler and Fiat will build Alfa Romeos and Jeeps under one huge roof. The roof is in Mirafiori, Italy. Also known as the Fiat factory in Torino. And who will pay for all that? Fiat will pay 60 percent. Chrysler will pay 40 percent. (Read More…)

By on June 13, 2010

GM is tired of playing third fiddle in the growth market of Brazil. Come on, being outdone by Italians and Germans? Gotta pay to play, so GM do Brasil announced a new investment package for operations in Brazil. That according to car site Webmotors. The money will be pouring in to the tune of R$2 billion or US$1.1b. GM corporate honchos said R$1.4 billion (US$777 million) will go to raise production capacity and modernize its plant in Gravataí, Rio Grande do Sul. The gaúcho plant now produces the Celta and derivatives. The objective, according to the suits, is to (finally!) retire the Celta line in Brazil and other emerging markets and substitute it with the Onyx family line. Will that get GM ahead? (Read More…)

By on April 26, 2010

Volkswagen, China’s largest car brand, is undeterred by rumors that the Chinese might lose interest in foreign joint ventures. As someone who has been there since 1984, Volkswagen probably knows better. Volkswagen just said: “I see your 1.3 billion people and raise you by 1.6 billion.” Euros, to be invested into plants in China. (Read More…)

By on March 26, 2010

In the world of automobiles, it appears that China isn’t the only fruit ripe for the plucking. Brazil is buzzing. They’re weathering the current economic fragility very well, and companies are looking to invest in there. Down in Brazil, economically speaking, it’s car-naval time! (Read More…)

By on December 18, 2009

Ready to tango? Picture courtesy artshole.co.uk

For some weeks, we have been following the steamy nampa between Japanese and European auto makers with more than prurient interest. First Mitsubishi and PSA (TBD), then Suzuki and VW (marriage consummated.) Now what? Now who? Suddenly, all eyes are on Mazda, the former wallflower of Nipponese car makers.
(Read More…)

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