As IPO's go, A123 has elicited a fair amount of discussion, much of it boiling down to this question: Is buying into the promise of the Massachusetts-based battery maker the same as buying into the hype that surrounded ethanol related stocks a few years back?
They are the moves, comments, and reflections of a struggling auto industry finally getting back on its feet. In the last week several major automakers and their executives have sent clear signs they are preparing for better times.
My blog about Chrysler deciding to kill the owner's manual and replace it with a DVD and a small quick reference user guide prompted many of you to blast me for saying it seems like a smart move.
In the world of advancing the auto business, this doesn't rank up there with side curtain airbags in terms of importance. Heck, it's a change most people won't even notice. Still, Chrysler's decision to replace the bulky owner's manual with a DVD and small user's guide is one that a few folks out there will see as a no-brainer that is long overdue.
Every once in a while, you go to an auto show, and the future of the industry crystallizes before your eyes... ow there is another wave of vehicles that will drive the auto industry over the next 10-15 years. They are the electric, plug-in hybrids, and extended range electric cars.
Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne candidly admits the troubled American auto maker was far weaker than expected when he finally took over as CEO. I caught up with him at the Frankfurt Auto Show, and he pulled no punches in assessing what he found at Chrysler when he became CEO.
Renault/Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn is not a man to tiptoe into anything. When he leads his company into a new arena, he likes to go in charging. When Nissan stepped up to the U.S. full size pick-up truck market a few years back, he made a big splash in Detroit. Now, in Frankfurt, he's doing it again.
After a year of going to auto shows that felt more like wakes, there's a sense the Frankfurt Auto Show starting Tuesday will bring optimism back to the industry. Call it premature. Call it wishful thinking. Call it whatever you like. But for those who relish auto shows because of the new models, styles, and trends they unveil, this could be the start of seeing the car business focus on cars.
Bob Lutz is swinging for the fences. Knowing he has to move quickly to change the perception of GM cars and trucks, the head marketing man is putting his money where his mouth is. General Motors is offering a 60 day money back guarantee on the company line-up of '09 and '10 models.
Conventional wisdom says the very well off go through recessions with little or no impact...This fall, conventional wisdom will be tested. There are a slew of new models either hitting showrooms or being introduced for hitting the street next year
For as long as I've been covering the auto industry, I've seen some variation of this story on a regular basis. Every so often, there is a survey that shows a growing percentage of car buyers would be willing to consider sliding behind the wheel of a Big 3 car. Despite these encouraging reports, the Big 3 market share continues to slide.
While most of us fixate upon GM gaining or losing market share here in the U.S., the company's success in China is a huge story that deserves more attention. Especially when you look at the latest report. In August, GM doubled sales in the country, selling more than 152,000. And this year GM's China sales are up 49% with 1.11 million vehicles sold.
As expected, several auto makers posted their best monthly sales of the year as the industry report August results. The sales pace is expected to be close to 15 million thanks to Cash for Clunkers bringing in throngs of buyers. But for individual auto makers the results were wildly different.
When auto makers report August sales later today, don't be surprised by the whopping numbers they put up.
These are fun days at Ford. After staring bankruptcy in the eye and surviving a horrific slump in sales, the auto maker is rolling. Sure, it's not yet back in the black, but it has the big "MO". It's adding production, cutting losses, and is in the sweet spot of new product cadence with models like the Edge and Taurus bringing back buyers.
It sounds strange to say it, but it's true. The auto industry still has too many plants with the capacity to crank out millions more cars and trucks than needed.
I thought the final numbers on the Cash for Clunkers program were fairly straight forward. The Department of Transportation released the top 10 selling models and what percentage of vehicles were sold by each auto maker. But those numbers don't make sense to many of you.
The popular Cash for Clunkers program generated nearly 700,000 new car sales during the past month, giving the U.S. auto industry a badly needed jolt of activity during the deepest decline in auto sales in two decades.
This is one of those weeks when the auto industry is slowly but surely showing that its darkest days have passed. The three year downturn in production is giving way to small, but important increases in the number of cars and trucks rolling off assembly lines.
Get used to seeing more triple digit fuel economy ratings as Toyota, Ford, Chrysler, and other niche players start rolling out the electric line-ups over the next 3-4 years.