While America Slept. Monday, December 15, 2008

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
while america slept monday december 15 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.

Asia bourses bullish on bail-out, Bush not sure: Tokyo stocks rebounded Monday morning, with the key Nikkei index climbing more than 4 percent, “as investors reacted to hope that the U.S. government will eventually save the embattled top U.S. automakers,” the Nikkei (sub) says. Japanese traders also liked that the yen dropped against the dollar, which makes Japanese goods less expensive in dollar terms. The market ignored remarks by Bush that an auto industry rescue is far from imminent. “We’re not quite ready to announce that yet,” Bush told Reuters on Air Force One during a flight from Baghdad on an unannounced visit to Afghanistan.

What can happen if a company actually owns its real estate: Mitsubishi plans to raise its office rents in Tokyo’s Marunouchi business district by an average of 15 percent despite the economic downturn the Nikkei (sub) reports. Overall demand for office space is weak in Japan, but remains strong in downtown Tokyo. Mitsubishi is confident that its offices in central Tokyo will remain highly sought-after because most are equipped with state-of-the-art IT networks and feature cutting-edge, energy-saving technology.

Chinese VW JVs say slow-down not true: Spokespeople of Volkswagen’s two Chinese joint-ventures denied reports that they were suspending production, Gasgoo says. On Sunday, Chinese state television had reports that FAW-Volkswagen and Shanghai Volkswagen were planning to partly suspend production lines “to conduct maintenance work.” SVW told Xinhua that they already accomplished their 2008 sales goal in November and postponed the maintenance work to the end of the year as the production lines had been operating at full capacity to meet market demand. FAW-VW, said production was “normal” and they would not suspend production even at the end of the year as usual. Even the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM) weighed in on the issue. From January to November, auto makers in China produced about 8.7 million automobiles and sold more than 8.6 million, says CAAM. Inventories are “at a reasonable level.”

Chinese makers still get credit: BYD Auto signed a Development Finance agreement with China Development Bank today, Gasgoo says. Sums have not been specified. Today, BYD released its first electric hybrid car F3DM to the public. 50 units of the hybrid cars were sold to the Shenzhen municipal government and China Construction Bank. Last week, China’s Export and Import Bank agreed to grant Chery Automobile, one of the country’s Top 5 automakers, a loan of $1.5b. According to Gasgoo, “the moves indicate that China is helping its auto industry in policy and the home-brand carmakers are likely to get benefit first.” Joint ventures, apply to your own governments.

Bide Your Dime, Europe and US: BYD chairman Wang Chuan Fu told reporters that plans to sell their electric cars to Europe and the U.S. have been pushed back to 2011. According to Reuters, Wang did not give reasons for the delay.

Slow-down in Seoul: South Korea’s Kia announced plans to cut working hours amid weakening auto demand, following similar moves by sister firm Hyundai Motor Co , Reuters says. Hyundai Motor has suspended daily overtime work at some domestic lines. Kia is reducing each shift at its Gwangju plant to five to six hours from eight to ten.

VeeDub’s Winterkorn expects world market to tank in 2009: VW’s CEO Martin Winterkorn is preparing for worldwide auto sales to sink by 20 percent in 2009, Germany’s Autohaus reports. He thinks VW will outperform the market, but redies his company for a 10 percent reduction compared to 2008. The VW plant in Chattanooga will be built, damn the torpedoes. “The U.S.A. will continue to need cars. Our timing is spot-on. We want to be there for the re-bound.”

Abandon ship! Belay that, abandon crew! Fourteen crew and officers, mostly from the Philippines, have been stranded for three months in an Argentine river on a cargo ship abandoned by its owner, surviving on charity donations of food and water, Reuters reports. “The shipping company left the crew to its fate. The boat is out of fuel, food and drinking water,” said Manuel Romero, head of operations for the La Plata Coast Guard. It has been denied that this is a dress rehearsal for what will happen when Detroit abandons its ships.

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  • Tesla deathwatcher Tesla deathwatcher on Dec 15, 2008

    I'm pretty sure Bush blinks on this one and bails out the carmakers. Stupid as that is. I can still remember back in 2003 when I was sure that Bush was bluffing about invading Iraq. I could not believe that he would really do it. Now I don't underestimate George W. Bush on any issue.

  • HPE HPE on Dec 15, 2008

    tesla deathwatcher: Surely you mean you don't misunderestimate him.

  • Namesakeone The seller is asking someone to pay $5500 for a parts car--with one of the rarest and most valuable parts (the rear window) apparently not included.
  • Jkross22 "Biden desperate to not lose a pillar of mindless Democratic party loyalists" This would have been a more accurate headline. That plank of wood doesn't give a rip about labor unions, other than their historic, one way blind loyalty to the blue tie/white collar party.The minimal synaptic activity in that dementia riddled mind of his probably went like this:"Burgers, hair sniff, jello, hairy legs, wait.... gotta win re-election. Where do I stand, you stupid SOBs. C'mon man."
  • Danddd I remember building the 1966 Barracuda Hemi under glass model when I was a kid. I didn't really like it then. Yeah, I'm old, LOL. Here's a link to a replica to what I built: https://www.ebay.com/itm/185911224235?var=0&mkevt=1&mkcid=1&mkrid=711-53200-19255-0&campid=5338590836&toolid=10044&customid=a1163ff45707136a2bbf5ae01ab300ef
  • FreedMike Love the engine, zero interest in a SUV. Thankfully, the engine is available in a CT5 Blackwing for about fifty grand less. Now all I need is about a hundred K for the CT5 Blackwing...
  • Dukeisduke Sorry, lady - in the state of Ohio, your son first needs to smash your skull with a cast iron skillet, then stab you in the neck 30+ with a steak knife, then maybe they'll arrest him: Sydney Powell found guilty of murdering mother in Akron | wkyc.com