Marchionne: Chrysler Will Break Even This Year. Really.
Poor Sergio Marchionne… the man can’t go anywhere without being interrupted. The Fiat/Chrysler CEO’s speech today in the buildup to the New York Auto Show was interrupted twice, once by the the ubiquitous Teamster protesters, and once by a test of the hotel’s fire alarm system. But then, maybe people would let him speak if he had more to offer than the same lukewarm assurances that everything is going marvelously in Chrysler-land. The Detroit News summarizes his speech by saying Marchionne believes Chrysler will sell the 1.1m vehicles in needs to break even this year, and that it will do so without getting pulled into an incentive war.Which would be hard to do anyway, considering Chrysler spends more on incentives at “normal” levels than any of its competitors.
BYD Charges Ahead
Chinese battery maker and aspiring automaker BYD earned $215m in the fourth quarter of 2009, bringing its net profit for last year to $555.2m, reports Automotive News [sub]. BYD’s performance outstripped analyst estimates, which projected fourth quarter profits of $130.5m, and full-year profits of $473.2m. Though the Chinese auto market grew 46 percent to 1.6m vehicles, 47 percent of BYD’s 2009 sales came from the firm’s cell phone battery business, which is expected to give back recent gains as the global economic crisis takes its toll. Not so with BYD’s auto business: the firm has raised its 2010 car sales projections 14 percent, with sales of 800k foreseen. And as China’s car market takes off, BYD, which has one of the nation’s best-selling cars in its F3 compact, is expected to keep growing. Says one JP Morgan analyst:
BYD is a company that can’t be underestimated. If the Chinese vehicle market expands 10 percent this year BYD’s sales will grow at least 40 percent — 50 or even 60 percent is also a possibility.
Toyota: Recall To Cost $2b This Quarter, Dent Improved Financial Outlook
Agressive cost-cutting and improved sales yielded $1.68b in net profit for Toyota in the three months ending December 31, reports a press release in the WSJ. Sales revenue climbed 10 percent to $58.2b in the October-December quarter, boosting operating profit to about $2b. This quarter alone though, Toyota reckons the recall could cost the company $2b in repair costs and lost sales. For the fiscal year, ending on March 31, Toyota says the final impact should be limited to about $900m in losses on an operating basis, and has revised its fiscal year net profit projection to about $900m (compared to a $2.2b loss projected in November).
Hyundai Quadruples Fourth Quarter Profit
Ford, Ford Credit Record 2009 Profit
The Ford Motor Company [full results in PDF format here] earned net income of $2.7b last year, on pre-tax operating profits of $454m. The company enjoyed a strong fourth quarter with $868m in net income and an after-tax operating profit of $1.6b (excluding special items). Ford Motor Credit [full release in PDF format here] earned $1.3b in net income and $2b in pre-tax operating profit last year. Ford Credit’s receivables were down at the end of 2009 compared to 2008, with $93b receivable compared to $116b at the end of 2008, and leverage of 7.3 to 1.