The diesel emissions scandal can’t be blamed for all of Volkswagen’s sales woes.
Today, the automaker announced first-quarter profits fell 86 percent compared to the same time last year, not surprising given its sidelined diesel models, the hit to its reputation, and a hastily cobbled together $18.2 billion scandal fund.
Worldwide sales of Volkswagen passenger cars fell 1.3 percent (year-over-year) this quarter, but the scandal doesn’t tell the whole story. That number would have been in positive territory if select countries weren’t grab-your-money-and-get-out economic disasters. (Read More…)
Henry Ford’s way of building cars was so 20th Century, so Honda tried something new.
Workers at the automaker’s new Thailand plant now stay in motion all day, moving with the vehicle as it travels down the assembly line, Automotive News reports. (Read More…)
News from Dearborn this morning will please recent purchasers of F-150s, Transits, and Fiestas — Ford Motor Company is absolutely on fire financially, earning $2.5 billion in a very large first quarter.
Ford’s pre-tax profit of $3.8 billion was a record for the company. (Read More…)
No matter who you are or what status you hold in society, at some point in the past 34 years you did something in a Chevrolet Cavalier, and it was probably a lackluster experience (barring anything in the backseat, though even then…).
For reasons unknown, the nameplate that once summed up everything that was wrong with domestic compacts will return to the automotive landscape on a China-only Chevrolet model, GMInsideNews reports. (Read More…)
Honda’s Chinese subsidiary is proud of the upcoming Acura CDX compact SUV, as it’s the first Acura designed for, and built in, that expanding car market.
Based on the Honda HR-V, the CDX tries to erase all signs of its body donor’s identity. Among other things, the new model adds shapelier flanks, conventional rear door handles, Acura’s new corporate diamond grille, and taillights that align with the brand. (Read More…)
There’s happy faces inside the Renaissance Center today.
General Motors saw its first-quarter pretax profit rise 28 percent, despite continuing trouble in foreign markets, Automotive News has reported.
A net income of $1.95 billion means investors will reap $32.66 a share, a 1.5 percent increase. Revenue was up four percent in the first quarter, at $37.27 billion. (Read More…)
After partnering with the Russian company Sollers for the past five years and investing more than $1 billion into car and engine factories, Ford Motor Company is betting on a Russian rebound and still sees the beleaguered country as a long-term play.
Amid GM’s retreat from Russia, Ford stuck to its game plan by spending cash on new models and plants in that country, presumably to avoid a catch-up situation similar to the one it faced in China. According to Automotive News, the commitment paid off in the first quarter of 2016, sending sales up by 93 percent in a market that saw a 17 percent decline over the same period. (Read More…)
There are a lot of unhappy union executives in South Korea today after General Motors announced it won’t green light Chevrolet Impala production in the surging Asian market.
The model will continue to be imported from GM’s Hamtramck assembly plant, despite the popularity it has shown since going on sale in September of last year.
The union representing the bulk of GM Korea’s 17,000 workers isn’t taking the news lying down, saying the move threatens the existence of the company itself. Ko Nam-seok, leader of the GM Korea branch of the Korean Metal Workers Union, is expected to pan the decision in a meeting with GM CEO Mary Barra later this month.
Aussies are clearly not in love with the Volkswagen Beetle. The company will scrap sales of the slow-selling vehicle in Mel Gibson’s homeland later this year.
According to Caradvice, Australian sales of the Beetle fell to just 240 units in 2015, a small fraction of what Volkswagen enjoyed when the first-generation New Beetle arrived on its shores in 2000. In contrast, Volkswagen sold 22,667 Beetles in the United States and 2,347 in Canada during 2015, according to GoodCarBadCar.net.
A year ago nearly to the day, I was investigating the connection between Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi and Fiat. With an American-led intervention in Libya underway, Reuters had reported that a Wikileaked State Department document revealed that the Libyan Government owned a two-percent stake in the automaker Fiat as recently as 2006. When I contacted Fiat’s international media relations department for comment, I received this response:
Dear Mr Niedermeyer,
Further to your email, I would mention that the Reuters report you refer to is incorrect. As too are other similar mentions that have appeared recently in the media concerning the LIA’s holdings in Fiat.
The LIA sold all of its 14% shareholding in Fiat SpA in 1986 – ten years after its initial stake was bought. It no longer has a stake in Fiat SpA.
I trust that this clarifies the matter.
It didn’t, actually. In fact the matter remained as clear as mud to me until just now, when I saw Reuters’ report that Italian police have seized $1.46 billion worth of Gaddafi assets, including “stakes in… carmaker Fiat,” under orders from the International Criminal Court.