If TTAC would headline “Doldrums in U.S. electric car sales could linger indefinitely,” we’d come under screeching attacks by electric propulsion proponents, screaming “bias,” “slow newsday,” and “faux news,” along with choice invectives that would overpower our bad word filter. Well, we are sorry to disturb the peace again, but before the screeching starts, be advised that it’s not our headline. The headline is from buttoned-down Reuters. The wire doubts EVs will become a serious factor anytime soon, despite rounds of aggressive pricing.
Yesterday, battery acolytes who hate to see stories of EV makers going bankrupt complained about a TTAC story of another EV maker going bankrupt. They said the story was unfair, because Miles Electric made electric essential services vehicles, used for parking enforcement and the like, whereas bankrupt EV makers such as Coda tried to sell real cars,so where’s the connection?
Our story actually went to great pains trying to explain this promising niche, in an attempt to say “well, if it doesn’t work here, where will it?”
Wire services such as Reuters are less subtle. (Read More…)
After accumulating some $9 billion in losses, Mitsubishi Motors is bringing its financial house in order. According to Reuters, “Mitsubishi Motors is considering asking shareholders to approve plans for a 10-for-1 reverse stock split. At the same time, the company may ask shareholders to approve a capital reorganization – a change in accounting that would make it possible to resume paying dividends.” (Read More…)
Fisker is worth around 200 Karmas at retail. “A team including former General Motors Co executive Bob Lutz and China’s largest parts maker is looking to buy Fisker Automotive for $20 million, a fraction of the “green” car company’s estimated worth almost a year and a half ago,” Reuters says. (Read More…)
Ford has long been at the forefront of the currency debate, claiming currency manipulation when the yen went to levels that nearly killed the Japanese auto industry, and shouting “currency manipulation” now that the yen is back to normal levels. Now, Ford itself experiences the devastating effects of changing exchange rates: Ford is shutting down all its manufacturing operations in Australia. The reason: A strong Australian dollar. Says Reuters: (Read More…)
Former Wall Street banker turned GM CFO Dan Ammann put the fear of a higher being into Reuters’ Detroit correspondent Ben Klayman. To drive home the point that bean counters can be car guys too, Ammann raced his gray-metallic Corvette Z06 around GM’s Michigan test track – with a nauseated Klayman in the passenger’s seat. (Read More…)
Reuters is widely considered the best in the business when it comes to the auto beat. They were that before Paul Ingrassia joined Reuters as Deputy Editor-in-Chief. That someone who won the Pulitzer-prize for his coverage of the turmoil at GM took the helm at Reuters only made their coverage better. Amongst the Tokyo auto press corps, Chang-Ran Kim of Reuters reigns supreme.
However, even the best journalists can become a bit territorial, and an aging TTAC blogger who air-drops into Tokyo every other month can become an irritant. After a little back and forth ribbing, we decided: “Let’s settle this like, well, persons.” And a grudge match was arranged:
Ran Kim of Reuters races BS of TTAC. Full race coverage after the jump …. (Read More…)
The Chinese quest to own a large Chinese automaker with global reach fell on sympathetic ears with someone who should be scared of the yellow peril: Carlos Ghosn. After all,Ghosn is in charge of two automakers. Nissan is the largest Japanese brand in China. Renault is trying to get traction in China. At the Thomson Reuters Newsmaker event in Tokyo today, Ghosn said he does not only expect one or two large Chinese automakers to emerge on the global market, he also understands why.
First, Ghosn had interesting news for those who think there is no money to be made in China: (Read More…)
Nearly two months ago, American senators complained that China is continuing its “long history of breaking international trade rules” and that there is a “trade barrier that is designed to prevent U.S. automakers from accessing the Chinese market” for electric vehicles.
As Ed Niedermeyer said it back when, there were no new rules. There still aren’t any. If there is one man who should be up to date on rules on electric vehicles around the world and especially in China, then it’s Carlos Ghosn. After all, he did bet the future of two companies, Renault and Nissan on the future of the EV. Also, Nissan is the largest Japanese brand in China, and Nissan’s joint venture partner is Dongfeng, a company owned by China’s central government. So he should know what the rules are.
The trouble is: Carlos Ghosn has no idea. (Read More…)
A beaming and relaxed Carlos Ghosn dispensed a little insider knowledge tonight in Tokyo and let (surely not involuntarily) slip that there will be “significantly higher numbers tomorrow” when Nissan announces its predictions for the current fiscal year. (Read More…)
While Julian Assange fights extradition proceedings to Sweden on charges of a ripped condom (note to Jack Baruth: Never get close to a Svenska flicka), the Wikileak cablegate haul is being used to do a hatchet job on a down and out car company that should qualify for a handicapped parking sticker. (Read More…)
Sweden’s prime minister Fredrik Reinfeldt had his fill of failed negotiations. Returning home from round-the-clock talks at the Copenhagen climate conference, he said that he saw the Saab collapse coming. Sweden’s prime minister is “unsurprised” by the collapse of the sale, says Reuters. Asked if he was surprised, Reinfeldt said: “No, the process was built around a loss-making company and an American owner that owned Saab for 20 years and made a profit in one of the 20. It’s clear that it was not successful enough.” Sweden’s head blames GM for the failure.