No Hard Feelings: Ghosn Predicts Nissan Bankruptcy
There’s certainly no love lost between former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn and the automaker he once helmed. After trashing the company’s sales performance in a Lebanon media conference earlier this month, during which he again accused Nissan of conspiring with Japanese officials to orchestrate his arrest, we know hear he gives the automaker maybe two or three years before it hits rock bottom.
“ Rock bottom” is where former CEO Hiroto Saikawa said his company was at last May. Maybe there’s still a ways to go.
Nissan's Finances Still in the Toilet
Fulfilling earlier promises that the company had hit a wall and might require several years to recover, Nissan reported a 70-percent decline in quarterly operating profit on Tuesday. It also pulled back its full-year operating profit forecast by 35 percent to 150 billion yen, representing the automaker’s worst annual performance in 11 years. The business now expects to see global retail volume somewhere around 5.2 million vehicles (down from estimates 5.5 million).
“We are revisiting all our assumptions, and as you can see that is why we revised down our forecast for sales volume for the full year,” incoming CFO Stephen Ma explained to Reuters after releasing its first-half results for 2019 (ending September 30th). That was swiftly followed by the announcement of an extraordinary shareholders meeting to decide on proposals for current directors leaving their positions ( Hiroto Saikawa, Yasuhiro Yamauchi, Thierry Bolloré) and the new director nominees.
Ford Hits a Profit Wall in North America
Ford Motor Company says its profits dropped 9 percent in the second quarter, and warns that leaner times are coming.
Net income, global market share, and earnings per share all fell, but the automaker’s financial news wasn’t all bad. Still, Ford plans to do some cost cutting as the red-hot new vehicle market cools off in North America.
Is Musk Biting Off More Than He Can Chew With SolarCity Proposal?
It was a little terrifying watching the question-and-answer session near the end of Tesla’s livestreamed annual shareholder’s meeting, and it wasn’t just the lady asking about goji berries.
All of the speakers — well, the majority of them — seemed to possess a stratospheric level of admiration for Tesla CEO Elon Musk. Like religious (or political) disciples, the trust they placed in the man’s brilliance and decision-making abilities seemed limitless.
Well, after this week’s announcement that Tesla is offering to buy SolarCity — a solar energy provider co-founded and chaired by Musk — cracks are forming in his circle of supporters, especially in the financial realm.
Volkswagen Isn't Selling Any Brands Just Yet, But It's Still Their 'Plan B'
Rival automakers salivating at the thought of snapping up a castoff from Volkswagen’s brand portfolio will have to sit and wait.
Amid grim fourth-quarter financial data and ongoing expenses linked to the diesel emissions scandal, the company is standing by its assets, but admits they might have to jettison some if unexpected expenses crop up.
J.D. Power Bought by XIO Group; Deal Appears to Have High Initial Quality
J.D. Power and Associates is planning to put more of your possessions under the microscope, now that they’ve taken on new ownership in a deal worth $1.1 billion.
Best known for its vehicle quality ratings, J.D. Power, a unit of McGraw Hill Financial Inc., was snapped up yesterday by London-based XIO Group, according to Reuters (via Automotive News).
The investment firm muscled out a competing private equity firm to land the cash deal, which is expected to close in the third quarter of this year. XIO Group has a strong footprint in China, where it is linked to many high-powered investors.
Petition Demands That Sergio Spin Off Jeep in Order to Save It
A group of Jeep fans wants Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne to make a Sophie’s Choice-style decision to save their beloved offroader.
To avoid the destruction of the storied brand at the hands of its parent company, FCA must cast it loose, the group states in a strongly-worded Change.org petition.
“As owners and fans of Jeep vehicles, we are calling on Fiat Chrysler Automobiles to separate Jeep from FCA’s stable of failing brands and debt,” the petition states. “We urge FCA to execute a spinoff to save Jeep.”
Ford Fueled Record Profits in 2015 With Truck Sales, China Surge
Ford announced Thursday that it had earned a record pre-tax profit of $10.8 billion for 2015 — including $2 billion in the fourth quarter — bolstered by pickup sales in the U.S. and strong growth in China.
The record-setting year for the automaker wasn’t much of a surprise — second- and third-quarter results set records along the way — but Ford’s ability to finally turn a profit in Europe may be the most unexpected news. The automaker had lost money in Europe since 2011.
Latin America, notably Brazil, will continue to be a sore spot for Ford and other automakers. Ford said Thursday it expects to lose more money there in 2016 than the $832 million it lost there in 2015.
Volkswagen CEO Muller Outlines Plan To Save Automaker From Scandal
Speaking for the first time as Volkswagen chief, newly hired CEO Matthias Müller outlined his plan for the automaker’s future in the wake of a growing scandal for its illegally polluting cars.
Müller’s five-point plan includes a significant overhaul of the automaker’s plan to be the world’s largest automaker by 2018. According to Volkswagen, its Strategy 2025 plan — which replaces the Strategy 2018 outline — will be unveiled next year. In its earlier plan, Volkswagen had prioritized 10 million sales by 2018, 8-percent profitability and to position the automaker as “a global economic and environmental leader,” according to the automaker’s plan.
General Motors Posts Largest Quarterly Profit Since Bankruptcy
General Motors announced Wednesday that third quarter, adjusted profit for the company was $3.1 billion, led by truck sales in North America and car sales in China. The net revenue was down $500 million from the same period last year, which GM says is due to currency fluctuations, but the automaker’s profits were decidedly higher.
Automotive News reported that the profit margin was the largest for GM since its 2009 bankruptcy, even after its $1.5 billion charge to settle claims related to its defective ignition switch that resulted in 124 deaths.
The automaker posted an 11.8 percent profit margin — also its largest since 2009 — and said it would end the year above 10 percent.
Report: Tesla Losing $4,000 on Each Car, and is Burning Cash Faster
After Tesla Motors announced last week that it had lost $184 million in the second quarter of this year on lower vehicle deliveries and higher spending on its factory ahead of a new model, analysts say the company could have a bumpier road ahead if it can’t raise cash soon.
According to a Reuters report, Tesla is losing $4,000 on each car it sells, and the company’s ability to raise capital could be severely hampered by its spending now and its inability to create positive cash flow in a luxury market that is extremely favorable.
“A capital raise, given the way they’re burning cash today, given the fact that they have future investment needs, seems very likely at some point,” UBS Securities analyst Colin Langan told Reuters.
GM Financial Double Crosses Their Ally
Following in the footsteps of Spanish bank Santander, GM Financial announced that it would enter the prime lending market in 2014.
GM Reports $1b Q1 Profit, Still Seeking "Competitive Levels Of Profitability"
Once upon a time, GM’s North American operations spewed red ink across the firm’s balance sheet, with the whole mess kept afloat by relatively strong overseas operations. Now GM makes most of its money at home while its international divisions limp along. No, really: in its just-released Q1 financial report, GM reveals that some $1.7b of its $2.2b global EBIT came from its once-troubled home markets. What a difference a bailout makes!
Chrysler Repays Federal Loan
What, you want more context from a headline? It’s not like we’ve lied to you or anything. Technically, every word of it is true. OK, OK, here’s the fine print: CGI Holding, owners of “Old Chrysler” and Chrysler Financial paid $1.9b of a $4b pre-bankruptcy TARP loan, according to Automotive News [sub]. Though far less than face value, that payback “is significantly more” than what Treasury was expecting in return. In other words, this is great news if you thought the bailout would be a complete loss. Otherwise, it means that the various remains of Chrysler have repaid $3.9b of the $14.3 invested by taxpayers into the company pre-bankruptcy… and unless Chrysler’s IPO brings in about $100b, Treasury will still take a bath on the rescue.