Ford Reports Best Third Quarter Ever On Higher Prices And Lower Costs At Home

Shaking off a $468 million loss in Europe, Ford reports better-than-expected profits for the third quarter.

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Volt High Tension: GM Says Reuters Wrong, Ignores Suggestions By TTAC Commentariat

“The estimate of the current loss per unit for each Volt sold is grossly wrong,” GM says as a retort to the Reuters story that GM loses around $49,000 on every Volt. GM says that “it allocates Volt development costs across lifetime volume, not across the current number of Volts sold.” TTAC commenters that rushed to the aid of the beleaguered company suggested the same. Oddly enough, GM passed on a much stronger argument that would have turned the Volt into a money machine. If not immediately, then much earlier than suggested by Reuters.

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BMW Slays European Dragon In China And America

It’s not all blood and tears in Europe. Actually, the bloodier Europe looks, and the more Marchionne & Co do cry, the bigger the smiles at European carmakers with heavy exposure to foreign markets. The Euro is way down, and a low Euro means heavy profits from abroad – if you have business abroad. BMW sure does, and it posted its second best quarterly earnings in company history. Profit before financial result (EBIT) amounted to € 2.27 billion in the April-June 2012 quarter.

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Watch Out: Your Dealer Is In Trouble, And He Needs Your Money

Five years ago, car dealers throughout the country were hit hard by carmageddon. Now, they are about to get hit again where it really hurts: In the workshop, where the real money is being made. The auto sales collapse of 2008 winds its way through the years like a diet through an anaconda. While showrooms were empty five years ago, now it’s the service bays that are deserted.

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Prepare For Years Of Hemmorhage: Opel In No Hurry To Stop The Bleeding

If you are anxious to hear what Opel is going to do to stop the bleeding of money (just in case you are holding GM stock,) then you need a lot of patience. GM Europe CEO Karl-Friedrich Stracke thinks he might have a plan within two to three months. He might have a plan. Setting the plan in motion may take longer.

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Volkswagen Said To Report Monster Profits This Week

Germany’s Hannoversche Allgemeine, usually well-informed in Volkswagen matters, got its hands on hot data: Volkswagen’s 2011 balance sheet , which will be presented to the Supervisory Board on Monday. According to the paper, Volkswagen more than doubled its annual profit to €16 billion ($21.4 billion.)

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Fixing Opel Will Cost More Than A Billion And More Than A Couple Of Months

Opel Chief Karl-Friedrich Stracke told reporters that an agreement with unions about a fix of money-losing Opel is a while away. “I expect this not to happen in a month or so, rather than in a couple of months, that’s at least how I see the timetable,” Stracke told Reuters.

Analysts think that Stracke is an optimist, and that restructuring Opel won’t come cheap. The guesstimate is more than $1 billion, and the payback will take a while.

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Opel Eats GM's Profits Alive

When GM will announce 4th quarter and year-end earnings tomorrow, a lot of fingers will be pointed at Opel, and on GM CEO Dan Akerson who decided to keep the hemorrhaging unit instead of selling it off to Magna and the Russians. Bloomberg expects that tomorrow’s quarterly profit will be “GM’s lowest since it emerged from bankruptcy in 2009,” despite record sales in the U.S. and China. According to Bloomberg,

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Still Generous With Incentives, GM Sheds Market Share Nonetheless

GM’s turn-around hinges on a market share above 19 percent, board member Stephen Girsky said at an industry meeting in October 2009. “The public plan is 19 percent and change. That is what everything is being based on,” Girsky said during a panel discussion at a conference at Columbia Business School. Reuters was taking notes.

In the 3rd quarter of 2009, GM had a market share of 19.5 percent. The share climbed to 21.8 percent in January 2011, and eroded ever since.

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Japanese Carmakers Lose Most Important Race Ever: The Race For Money

Toyota will still be #3 in cars made this year, but in terms of profitability, it has become an also-ran. Toyota shares that fate with their Japanese peers at Nissan and Honda. The Nikkei[sub] tabulated yen-denominated group earnings of 10 major automakers worldwide for the July-September quarter and comes to the conclusion:

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Scary Chinese Experiment Proves: Swedish Cars Can Make Money

Volvo, given up as beyond salvage by former owner Ford, was sold off to China’s Geely in the automotive equivalent of a yardsale at $1.8 billion. Saying no is always easier than saying yes (well, there are certain exceptions), so most augurs said: “This won’t work.” Asked why, they answered: “It was tried it before, and it failed.”

Wonders of wonders, it appears to be working: Volvo Cars reported an EBIT of 600 million kronor (about 93 million U.S. dollars) in the second quarter, 40 percent more than in the same period of the previous year, a statement from Volvo Cars says.

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Volkswagen's 6 Month Profit Likely To Exceed Combined Detroit 3

While natural and man-made disasters rattled the globe, Volkswagen, Europe’s largest and by the end of the year most likely the world’s second largest auto manufacturer, reports eye-popping numbers for the first half year of 2011.

Including China, Volkswagen made $13.5 billion in the first half of 2011. How did they pull off that economic miracle?

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May Auto Sales: Fewer And Smaller

May sales estimates are out, and the analysts are seeing slowdown in their crystal balls. Reuters reports that its survey of leading auto analysts projects a 12.6m SAAR (Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate) for the month, while Bloomberg is projecting a 12.1m rate. Wherever the actual number lands, it is likely to be the first month this year below a 13m SAAR, as Japanese supply interruptions as well as model changeovers lower overall supply. But, reports the WSJ [sub], there’s evidence that perceptions of undersupply are possibly keeping consumers away from showrooms as much as an actual shortage of vehicles. A Honda dealer who says he has plenty of cars for sale is quoted as saying

Traffic is down and I think it’s the media effect. People think there’s no cars and they think there’s no incentives, so they’re waiting.

And that’s not all: it turns out that May’s downbeat forecasts could have an even deeper cause…

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Volkswagen Announces $12 Billion Profit

Volkswagen looks back at its best year in history. At a press conference today, Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn announced a consolidated group profit before tax of €9 billion ($12.45 billion). €1.9 billion ($2.6 billion) of that is Volkswagen’s share out of their China businesses.

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BMW Profits Up More Than Tenfold

Luxury cars, pronounced an endangered species two years ago, are back with a vengeance and enrich their makers. After reporting record sales, BMW follows with record profits. The Bavarian Motor Works are looking at a 2010 pre-tax profit of €4.8 billion ($6.7 billion) on sales of €60 billion ($83 billion). Not bad for a company that delivered only 1,461,166 BMWs, MINIs and a few Rolls-Royces last year.

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  • MaintenanceCosts This looks really surprisingly different from the Blazer EV. It's more boring, but it's also more Honda, and for that reason alone it will be taken a lot more seriously in US markets.
  • ToolGuy I found this interesting; you might too:
  • SCE to AUX Q: "How do you fix automotive media?A: The same way you fix the auto show.That is to say: Don't live in the past, believing every story is original with you. Offer something insightful and useful to your audience that they can't get anywhere else.The auto show allows consumers to sit inside many vehicles under one roof, without sales pressure - something unavailable anywhere else. That's it. The media should accept that the auto show offers nothing new for them anymore, and the auto show should stop pretending that it does.Good examples:[list][*]I've flamed Posky many times, but his long background stories can be thought-provoking and informative. I may not always agree with some of the posturing, but at least they dig deeper than someone's press release.[/*][*]Alex on Autos has some of the best video reviews. He wastes absolutely no time getting to the substance, and his formula is reliable. He packs a lot into 25 minutes.[/*][*]Everyday Reviews: This likeable couple/family covers the daily life aspects of new cars they test - child car seats, user interface, fuel economy, and so on. No hype - just useful.[/*][/list]Bad examples:[list][*]DragTimes: In a 20-minute video, you get 1 minute of racing and 19 minutes of bromance talk. I keep hoping it will improve, but it doesn't.[/*][*]Road and Track's web page is heavily tilted toward unaffordable niche sports cars and racing, with a few feature articles on daily drivers. I visit, but it feels like I'm in a Porsche dealership.[/*][/list]
  • BSttac Honestly automotive journalism is all but dead. Its mostly bloggers with a left based agenda. Cnet and the Drive especially had some really horrible bloggers. Road and Track also has some terrible bloggers so it would not surprise me if they are next. Just look at most bloggers complain about going to an automotive show when they dont realize its not even for them. Very spoiled and out of touch individuals
  • Jkross22 I forgot to include Bring a Trailer. It's so enjoyable to revisit cars from different eras and to read what the most knowlegable have to say about those types of cars.