While America Slept. Tuesday, February 3rd, 2009

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
while america slept tuesday february 3rd 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 Tokyo this week.

Here they come: China’s SAIC will sell its homegrown cars to Spain, UK, and Israel beginning in 2010, Gasgoo reports. Some of the cars will come directly from SAIC’s assembly plants in Shanghai and Nanjing, while others will come from the company’s UK assembly plants, which SAIC acquired from Rover. The UK will get domesticated Chinese. All cars will comply with EU Euro-5 emission standards.

Germany down 14 percent in January: Not quite 19 percent as feared yesterday, but close. Germany sold 14 percent fewer cars in January 2009 than in January 2007, Automobilwoche [sub] reports. If you are looking for a statistical savior: Adjusted for buying days, the drop is only 8 percent. All eyes on the clunker culling money, €2.5K. It was introduced 1/27, too late to save the first week of the year.

Sania rejects Porsche, Porsche happy: Much to the relief of Porsche, Sweden’s truckmaker, Scania, rejected a bid Porsche had to make after taking over VW, the Wall Street Journal [sub] writes.

Y’all come back now: Toyota wants to rekindle the flame with the man credited with its rapid growth in the U.S. market, Yoshimi Inaba, the Nikkei [sub] reports. Inaba is now the president of Central Japan International Airport Co. Inaba is expected to leave his current post in June, but his position at Toyota has not been determined. The highest position he held at the automaker was executive vice president.

Tata in the red: Tata Motors reported a loss of $53m in the October–December (Q3) 2008 period due to foreign exchange loss and a massive decline in sales, India Times reports. Net sales revenue for the company in Q3 fell 35 percent and sales volume dropped 32 percent.

Mitsubishi sees red: Mitsubishi Motors Corp. is likely to log a group net loss of around 20 billion yen for the year ending March 31, the Nikkei [sub] says. The red ink will be the carmaker’s first in three years. It could swell further depending on how sales in the January–March quarter pan out.

Red Maos for green cars: Consumers in 13 Chinese cities will receive a financial subsidy if they buy energy-saving and new energy cars, Gasgoo reports. No details on the subsidies were released.

Chinese profits down: Many Chinese automakers, including Changan Auto, SAIC, FAW Xiali and Jianghuai, have warned that their net profit for 2008 may have dropped by 50 to 100 percent due to sluggish demand and higher material costs, Gasgoo writes.

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  • Seth L Seth L on Feb 03, 2009

    I can't wait to read the Top Gear review of the home-fried SAICs. They're going to be brutal.

  • Hazard Hazard on Feb 03, 2009

    What are the Euro-SAICs going to be called? Roewe, the name given to the Chinese Rovers after BMW asserted ownership over that brand or MG, since the Chinese own that brand and call some of their cars that too?

  • Kat Laneaux Agree with Michael500, we wasted all that money just to bail out GM and they are developing these cars in China and other countries. What the heck. I understand the cheap labor but that is just another foothold the government has on their citizens and they already treat them like crap. That is pretty disgusting to go forward to put other peoples health and mental stability on a crazy crazed, control freak, leader, who is in bed with Russia. Thought about getting a buick but that just shot that one out of the park. All of this for the greed. They get what they lay in bed with. Disgusting.
  • Michael500 Good thing Obama used $50 billion of taxpayer money to bail them out and give unions a big stake. GM is headed to BK again with their Hail Mary hope of EVs. Hopefully a Republican in office will let them go BK the next time, and it's coming. The US economy is not related/dependent on GM and their Chinese made Buicks.
  • MaintenanceCosts "Rural areas hardly noticed COVID at all."I very much doubt that is true in places like the Navajo Nation or the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska, some of which lost 2% or more of their population to COVID.No city had a death rate in the same order of magnitude.Low-density living is a very modern invention. Before cars, people, even in agricultural areas, needed to live densely to survive.
  • Wjtinfwb Always liked these MN12 cars and the subsequent Lincoln variant. But Ford, apparently strapped for resources or cash, introduced these half-baked. Very sophisticated chassis and styling, let down but antiquated old pushrod engines and cheap interiors. The 4.6L Modular V8 helped a bit, no faster than the 5.0 but extremely smooth and quiet. The interior came next, nicer wrap-around dash, airbags instead of the mouse belts and refined exterior styling. The Supercharged 3.8L V6 was potent, but kind of crude and had an appetite for head gaskets early on. Most were bolted to the AOD automatic, a sturdy but slow shifting gearbox made much better with electronic controls in the later days. Nice cars that in the right color, evoked the 6 series BMW, at least the Thunderbird did. Could have been great cars and maybe should have been a swoopy CLS style sedan. Pretty hard to find a decent one these days.
  • Inside Looking Out You should care. With GM will die America. All signs are there. How about the Arsenal of Democracy? Toyota?