German wheel manufacturer BBS is, once again, confronting bankruptcy. However, it’s likely to come out on the other side intact if its own history is anything to go by. During its quest for global dominance, BBS found itself out of money in 2007. Decades of expansion crippled the company’s finances, but not before it became one of the most recognizable wheel brands on the tarmac. In fact, few vehicles from the the tail end of the 20th century suffer from having a set wrapped in rubber.
What would Subaru even be without its World Rally Blue paint and gold BBS wheels? How many racing video games bother to launch without the brand having its best styles represented in the customization menu? Who dares claim the BBS RS isn’t the most iconic mesh wheel in the history of tuning culture?
Last week, Rueters reported that Wanxiang, a Chinese parts supplier, had won the bankruptcy auction for Fisker Automotive. The bid was valued around $149.2 million. The deal comes to close after a bidding war between Wanxiang and Hybrid LLC — a group who includes Richard Li, a Fisker investor and Hong Kong billionaire. In November, Fisker asked for Hybrid Technology LLC to purchase the bankrupt company for $25 million, but creditors objected the deal in November and brought Wanxiang into the case in December.
Today Delaware, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Kevin Gross approved of the sale to Wanxiang. He stated that the auction “shows that a fair process is a good thing.”
Electric car startup Coda is the latest in a series of greenm dreams to go down the drain – and it won’t be the last. Coda filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection today, writes Reuters, “after selling just 100 of its all-electric sedans, another example of battery-powered vehicles’ failure to break into the mass market.”
This time on Ur-turn, reader Erikstrawn weighs in on an issue that kept TTAC busy for years: Will GM go bankrupt? After all those years, Forbes woke up to the issue and wrote a long article on same.
While we are at it: Parts of the Forbes article was written with generous help from TTAC. What bedeviled the magazine to quote an article on Volkswagen’s Winterkorn checking a Hyundai at a motor show is anybody’s guess. While Forbes acknowledged TTAC as a source, the magazine did so without adding a link, which is considered both common and professional courtesy in the business. Also, the rather generous “quote” from a TTAC article was more generous than the formatting at Forbes made believe. Letters to Forbes were not returned. Both common and professional courtesy must run short at the magazine.
With that said, now it’s Ur-turn:
There’s a big argument online this last week over whether or not GM is really going bankrupt again, and it seems to have been started by a politically motivated piece on Forbes.com. I’ve been keeping an eye on GM’s situation, and I don’t think GM’s going bankrupt any time soon, but I think they eventually will if they don’t change what they’re doing.
When I met Uwe Gemballa the first time, he looked like he could be the manager of the local strip club down the road: Shoulder long bleach blond hair, a flashy watch, a suit to match the watch, the shirt unbuttoned down to the chest. I then found out that he had brought a Porsche 911, that made upward of 750hp, to a friend of mine, to make it street legal. Gemballa had one of the hottest tuner shops in Germany. His mods to the Porsche Cayenne produced the fastest SUV in the world – at least that’s what Uwe told me. Last I heard from him was some two months ago. He wanted to import Gemballas to China, and could I help him? Then it became quiet. Now I know why.
If you’re familiar with Delphi—a former GM division with the words “bankrupt since October 10, 2005” over the door—then you’ll know that they’re a not-so-hidden cancer on GM cancerous corpse. Even as The General seeks to survive with a federal IV stuck in its metaphorical artery, it continues to peel off just enough cash—now your cash—to keep the parts maker making parts. For vehicles no one’s buying; but that’s how the industry doesn’t roll these days. So, some bad news from the oracle then. First, GM’s told their pals at the SEC (accounting scandal forgotten) that they’re accelerating a $50m payment to Delphi. [NB: Delphi had asked GM for a $100m hurry-up.] Can you say running on fumes? Delphi can. “The Company believes the amendment and accelerated GM support will enable it to preserve available liquidity given the difficult economic environment, particularly in the global automotive industry,” Delphi said in a filing with their pals over at the federal bankruptcy court. Judge Robert Drain, no less. And the cutbacks keep on happening!
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