By on February 20, 2009

An 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. WAS is being filed from Beijing until further notice.

Opel needs more money: Up until now, Opel had mentioned that they may need €1.8b in loan guarantees “just in case.” Now Manager Magazin reports that Opel will definitely need twice the amount. There are mounting indications that the German government will only part with the money if Opel is spun off and totally separate from GM. States where Opel has plants have indicated that they would take a stake. Also, there is pressure from Berlin that GM finally transfers the €1b which it owes Opel. Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel is still waiting for a viability concept promised, but not delivered, by Opel.

Nissan’s Chinese CVT plans: Nissan plans to roll out vehicles with higher fuel economy in China, using a local venture to manufacture cars installed with continuously variable transmissions (CVT) the Nikkei [sub] writes. Nissan plans to equip (by 2012) 50 percent of the cars sold in China with a CVT. Affiliate firm Jatco Ltd. is set to open a CVT factory with an annual capacity of 140,000 units in China’s Guangzhou municipality at midyear.

Daimler imports hybrid to Japan: Daimler plans to import the hybrid version of the Mercedes S-Class to Japan, starting in October, the Nikkei [sub] reports. Daimler AG plans to release the hybrid S-Class in Europe during the first half of this year. The S-Class would become the first imported hybrid passenger car sold in Japan. It could also end up being the first imported car to take advantage of the tax breaks on eco-friendly cars coming into effect this April.

Plug-in Chery: China’s largest homegrown car maker, Chery Automobile, has rolled out its first own-brand plug-in electric car model, Gasgoo writes. Chery says the electric car can run up to 150 km (94 miles) on a single charge. The Chery S18 has a top speed of 120 kmh. It can be fully charged at a home electrical outlet within 4-6 hours and 80 percent charged in half an hour. The car uses iron-phosphate-based lithium-ion batteries. The Chery S18 electric model reportedly will come to the market within a year for less than 100,000 yuan ($14,600).

Taiwan gets cars from mainland China: As part of the cross-strait thaw, Taiwan’s Prince Motors plans to introduce cars made by China’s Chery, Gasgoo reports. As Taiwan doesn’t allow importation of completed cars from the mainland, the cars will be imported as kits and assembled in Taiwan.

Cerberus in the reds: The German Manager Magazin reports that Cerberus closed out 2008 with their first loss in history. Mostly due to Chrysler: Chrysler’s sales fell 16 percent in 2008. In previous years, investors enjoyed returns between 16 and 27 percent.

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7 Comments on “While America Slept. Friday, February 20th, 2009...”

  • avatar

    Why hasn’t the US come up with a “Plug-in Chery S18”?

  • avatar

    @ Bertel

    Not only that but Cerberus seems to be caught up in the Madoff Scam via a Japanese bank it owns.

    Sucking in GMAC money with it!

  • avatar

    @PeteMoran: True dat, and the Japanese are P.O.

  • avatar

    Latest news regarding Opel:

    The government does not want a stake in Opel, but they’ll give loan guarantees to someone who’ll buy Opel (but of course no options are completely off the table).

    The Bavarian conservatives demand a “German solution”, which is quite unlikely. VW has better things to do than to coddle up its arch enemy, while Mercedes and BMW just agreed to work together and certainly don’t need another risky investment. Especially after they’ve burnt their fingers on Chrysler/Rover.

    However, the latest rumor is PSA. They could kinda benefit from a share in Opel and are about to get money from the French government, so they’ll have the cash as well.

    Also willing to get a share are the Opel dealers. The Unions might also come up with some money, this is an old idea that hasn’t been discussed for a while, but back in 2008, the Opel workers offered to work for less money if they get Opel stock in return. So I guess this is still a possibility.

  • avatar

    So the Chinese are going to get the same lousy Nissan CVT trannies that are available here in the Dodge Caliber (Jatco). Bet they’ll love that.

  • avatar

    Wow, it seems that everybody who touches Chrysler is getting ill. Daimler lost 1.8 billion in Q4, 1.4 billion came from their stake in Chrysler.

  • avatar
    John Horner

    GM has been parting itself out slow-motion style for about two decades. Now the pace is accelerating.

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