The Truth About Cars » loss The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Mon, 28 Jul 2014 21:27:46 +0000 en-US hourly 1 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » loss GM Execs Want Their Jets Back, Want Taxpayers Take A Bath Mon, 17 Sep 2012 11:54:01 +0000

GM wants the Treasury to sell its GM shares at a huge loss, says the Wall Street Journal.  Nothing doing, says the Department of the Treasury. It does not appear to need the cash (it can have it printed if needed) and is holding out for a slightly smaller loss.

Reportedly, GM offered to repurchase 200 million of the roughly 500 million shares the U.S. holds. The remaining shares would have been sold through a public stock offering.

According to the report, GM’s attempt to talk DC into dumping its stock is driven by image reasons. U.S. taxpayers kept GM afloat with a $50 billion bailout in 2009 and now own 26.5% of the Detroit company, says the WSJ, and it continues:

“But GM executives have grown increasingly frustrated with that ownership, and the stigma of being known as “Government Motors.” Executives have said the U.S.’s shadow is a drag on its reputation and hurts the company’s ability to recruit talent because of pay restrictions. Privately, executives are also irked at the continued curbs on corporate jet use.”

The folks at the RenCen will have to fly commercial and wait for pay raises a little longer. According to the Journal’s information, Washington has written off breaking even at $53 a share, but “Treasury officials would consider selling at a price in the $30s.”

At around the time the plan was floated, the GM share traded at around  $20. Selling then would have incurred a loss of around $16 billion. Selling at above $30 would bring the loss into single digit billion territory.

]]> 57
Toyota’s Final Numbers: Gain Or Loss? Sun, 25 Apr 2010 14:12:19 +0000

One would think that with all the recalls, Toyota would be looking at a hefty loss for fiscal 2009, which ended on March 2010. Toyota itself thought the same. Well, not hefty, but last projections saw a loss in the neighborhood of $200m. A loss is a loss, and it would have been the 3rd lost year in a row. Toyota bean counters went over the books with a fine tooth comb. And guess what they found?

A likely profit of around $500m! “Cost reductions and a weaker yen staved off another year in the red,” reports The Nikkei [sub]. The full whammy of recall costs will hit this fiscal anyway, so it is doubly good that half a billion dollars were found. This way, if or when they write a loss in the current 2010 fiscal, nobody can say that Toyota “lost money for the fourth year in a row.” That would be devastating for the all-important hyo-ban (reputation) of Toyota and Toyoda. The yen, which had been frighteningly strong for most of the year, lost some of its strength just in time for the end of the fiscal year, only to get stronger again. Looks like someone helped out the hyo-ban of the whole Japanese export industry. Doesn’t change the facts much, but appearances are everything.

]]> 11
5 Year Plan Day At Fiat: “Only A War Could Have Been More Devastating.” Wed, 21 Apr 2010 14:28:10 +0000

Let's carry out the five year plan in 4 years! Picture courtesy nhikmetran at

Today is the day. Today, Sergio Marchionne will present his 5 year plan for Fiat. 5 year plans are usually reserved for a reunion of unreformed communist party elders. But Fiat respects traditional values.

In his opening remarks, Marchionne took a shot at the mongers of gloom and doom. He had two words for analyst reports that dissed Chrysler’s operating profits: “Boulevard press.” This is Euro-slang for tabloids, or the business section of the National Enquirer.

“As we all know,” said Sergio, “in business it is ultimately only facts that prevail.”

Then, the facts were presented.

Fiat Group, which controls Chrysler, posted an unexpected first-quarter loss of €25m ($34m), reports USA Today from Turin. What’s worse, Sergio Marchionne’s crystal ball says that auto demand in Europe will drop 15 percent this year as governments phase out the cash-for-clunker programs.

Fiat generates about half of its worldwide sales in Europe. At home in Italy, Premier Silvio Berlusconi dropped any plans to extend Euros for jalopies, because Marchionne wasn’t interested. Marchionne fired back that he was interested. But it was too late: Basta soldi! As far as the 15 percent drop is concerned, some think Marchionne is an optimist. Germany dropped nearly 23 percent in the first quarter.

Oh, right, that. Marchionne predicted that Italy would outdo the Germans. He said, the Italian market would fall by around 30 percent in the next three quarters. Take that.

Want more prevailing facts? How about this one:

“The crisis which erupted in the latter part of 2008 swung the pendulum of the markets back to the Middle Ages,” said Marchionne, while Reuters was taking notes. Want more? “The shockwave it created hit the world so hard that only a war could have been more devastating.”

He can scold them all day long, but the boulevard press writers love Marchionne. Always good for a quote. Or two. Or three.

The 5 year plan will be presented later in the day. I yield to the Ed’s expertise on that. He sat through seven hours of PowerPoint presentations on Chrysler’s 5 year plan. He knows the 5 year plan beat best.

]]> 4
Lack Of BS Causes Big Loss At Brilliance Thu, 25 Mar 2010 15:14:33 +0000

2009 was a great year for China’s auto makers with a record growth of 45 percent that propelled the market to 13.6 million units and gave it unassailable #1 status. It wasn’t all roses for everybody. For China’s Brilliance, joint venture partner of BMW, 2009 was downright rotten.

Brilliance expects “to record a substantial loss for 2009,” says Global Times, the English speaking arm of China’s People’s Daily.

In its filing with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, Brilliance says the loss was incurred because “the sales volume of Zhonghua sedans did not reach the break-even level.”

Apart from the BMW joint venture, Brilliance sells under at least seven brand names. There are minibuses under the Jinbei and Granse brands. Sedans are sold as Zhonghua, Zunchi, Junjie, and Kubao. (Don’t ask me why the brand inflation.)

The troublesome Zhonghua brand is home to the ill-fated BS6 and BS4 cars (no relation with me) that were supposed to be the Brilliance export break-through. First their BS6, then their BS4 were crash tested in Germany, with horrible results. Some claimed, foul play was involved. However, Brilliance turned into a meteorite: Sparkle, sparkle, poof.

In November 2009, their European importer MSO went bankrupt. Which most likely was one of the reasons for the loss. Thankfully, prior attempts to market cars with a “BS” badge in America were scrapped.

]]> 11