While America Slept. Friday, December 19, 2008

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
while america slept friday december 19 2008
A short overview of what happened in other parts of the world while you were in bed. TTAC provides round-the-clock coverage of everything that has wheels. Or has its wheels coming off.

Bridge loan, possibly today: According to Reuters, “General Motors Corp and Chrysler are close to securing emergency loans as part of a U.S. government aid package that would demand sweeping restructuring at the troubled automakers, according to sources familiar with the talks.” Reuter’s sources say that bridge loans could be announced today, staving off – for the time being – the prospect of a bankruptcy. The aid package being spearheaded by the White House demands that both automakers restructure by seeking new concessions from unions and creditors.

Japan aghast: The shocks of Toyota’s announcement of a loss were so great in Japan, that there are no auto related news out of the country today while they crawl out from under the financial rubble.

Detroit Grand Prix nixed: The Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix was dropped from the Indy Racing League (IRL) schedule on Thursday because of the deepening economic crisis in the Motor City, Reuters says. After talks with the city of Detroit, the state, sponsors and the race’s sanctioning body, the IRL decided to postpone next year’s event.

China lowers price at the pump, raises car tax: China will cut their – regulated -prices for gasoline, diesel and jet fuel starting Dec. 19. The price of diesel will fall by 18 percent while the price of gasoline is cut by 13.8 percent. The government had come under criticism because the regulated prices did not reflect the fall of crude. The government also announced a rise in fuel taxes to take effect Jan. 1, but they appeared to be small enough that consumers still should see significant savings. The tax on gasoline will rise to 14 cents per liter, Gasgoo reports.

Lotus blossoms in China: Chinese carmaker Youngman Auto will sell its self-developed Lotus RCR in March 2009, at a price possibly below $14,700, Gasgoo says. Youngman Lotus is a joint venture between Youngman Auto and British Lotus. Another Lotus car, the Proton Persona sedan model (“Jingyue”), will also be specially built by Youngman Lotus for the Chinese market.

Porsche down, but not out at all: Porsche saw their August through September deliveries drop by 19 percent, while revenues from sales declined 9.7 percent to $3.07 billion, Bloomberg reports. One of the reasons for the difference was that their output of Cayennes actually rose by 6.7 percent. Their stock rose on the bad news, as “traders realized that the news aren’t different from what they had predicted last November. Profits will mostly be made from dealing with options. Contrary to other manufacturers, Porsche should be able to make operative profits even if sales get worse,” Automobilwoche (sub) writes. Porsche reiterated their goal to raise their holdings in Volkswagen to above 50 percent as soon as possible, and to 75 percent in 2009.

Check brakes: The world market for cars will drop from 55m in 2007 to 50m in 2009, the German Institut für Automobilwirtschaft (IFA) prognosticates. They think the US will be hit hardest, Europe second hard. The see a small growth for Asia. By 2012, there should be worldwide overcapacities of 30 percent. IFA figures that in Europe, only 55 percent of capacities will be utilized, Automobilwoche (sub) writes.

Audi performs miracle: For the first time in history, Audi will make more than one million units this year, their 13th consecutive sales record, Automobilwoche (sub) says.

No hurry for German help for Opel: The talks between Opel and the German government about credit guarantees will be “continued in January,” Autohaus reports. Berlin is ready to help Opel. However, there must be certainty that “German money will not end up in the empty accounts of General Motors.” Two law firms already said this is not doable under current circumstances. The government also demanded more information on how Opel would want to use the funds.

Celebrate and die: A 60-year-old man who was thrown into the air in celebration at his retirement party died after his colleagues failed to catch him and he fell to the floor, reports Reuters. The man died 10 months after the party attended by around 40 people at an unnamed transport company at an inn in Ritto, near the ancient capital of Kyoto in central Japan. It is being denied that this was a test run to reduce the number of pension recipients in a festive manner.

Join the conversation
2 of 3 comments
  • KeithBates KeithBates on Dec 19, 2008

    [Berlin is ready to help Opel. However, there must be certainty that “German money will not end up in the empty accounts of General Motors.” ] Yep, our Government is helping GM out of the shitter, but don't expect the Germans to do likewise, maybe Opal can score some cash from GM?? SteveL

  • B.C. B.C. on Dec 19, 2008

    Who knows, maybe one day people will forget that PorscheBank AG used to make cars, much like how nobody knows what 3M or IBM used to do.

  • Donald More stuff to break god I love having a nanny in my truck... find a good tuner and you can remove most of the stupid stuff they add like this and auto park when the doors open stupid stuff like that
  • John Williams Sounds like a Burnout Special you can put together on any 5.0 F150. Whoever said this was Cars and Coffee bait is right on the money.
  • ToolGuy Question: F-150 FP700 (  Bronze or  Black) supercharger kit is legal in 50 states, while the  Mustang supercharger kit is banned in California -- why??
  • Scott "It may not be the ideal hauler to take the clan cross-country to Wally World considering range anxiety "Range Anxiety is a chosen term that conceals as much as it discloses. You don't care about range that much if you can recharge quickly and current BV's (battery vehicles) can't, no matter how good the chargers are. From what I've been reading it is likely that within 5 years there will be batteries in cars, most likely Tesla's, that can charge fast enough with no harm to the batteries to satisfy all of us with no need to increase range beyond a real world 300-ish miles.And that's when I buy one.
  • Charles I had one and loved it . Seated 7 people . Easy to park , great van