It's the one thing auto execs constantly worry about. Making sure the launch of a new or re-designed model hits the target. It sounds simple, but historically there are numerous cases where an auto maker puts a new car or truck in showrooms and it falls short of expectations. Sometimes woefully short.
Whatever you think, and I know many of you reading this believe the guy ran GM into the ground and is now gone so who cares about him, what Wagoner thinks remains a mystery. Ever since the White House fired him at the end of March, Wagoner has been silent. As GM went in and out of bankruptcy, he said nothing publicly.
Taking full advantage of bankruptcy court, and the ability to drop contracts it no longer wants, GM is dumping dozens of sponsorships around the country.
Like the whirlwind trips in and out of bankruptcy for GM and Chrysler, Steve Rattner is leaving Washington just a few months after stepping into a high profile position with the Treasury Department. Rattner is leaving the Auto Task Force and heading back to private life in the investment world. Talk about making a splash and then getting out of town.
Today in Detroit, GM Vice Chair Bob Lutz is hitting the ground running in his move to change the image of the auto maker. Everything is up for review.
As GM emerges from bankruptcy Vice Chairman Bob Lutz, who had been scheduled to retire at the end of this year, will take over GM's marketing and communications. His mandate: change the perception of GM, its brands and models. Talk about taking on a tough job.
Now comes the hard part. After 39 days in bankruptcy, shedding thousands of jobs, closing more plants, and writing off billions in debt, GM is about to exit chapter 11 protection and try to show it can finally thrive. On paper it should succeed. In reality, it still has to prove itself.
Can diesel replace hybrids as the most attractive option for those who want a car powered by something other than unleaded gasoline.....The latest Intellichoice study is reason for optimism among diesel fans.
When you have a car company going through the great unknown of bankruptcy, you take the good news when it pops up. For Chrysler, the good news is the way residual values for new Chrysler vehicles are not only holding up, but actually rebounding a bit from when the company first filed for bankruptcy. It is the kind of proof the supports the arguments from the White House and elsewhere that bankruptcy would help, not hurt, Chrysler and GM.
If all goes as planned and GM comes out of bankruptcy Thursday afternoon the country's largest auto maker will have gone in and out of Chapter 11 in 40 days.
Hyundai is trying to ease consumer fears about rising gas prices by running a new promotion where buyers of most Hyundai models join a program where they never pay more than a $1.49 a gallon for the next year. As promotions go, I think it's a smart move. It will get Hyundai in the conversation with many buyers.
It's been a long time coming. Roughly two years if you're keeping score. That's the last time Ford was locked in as the #2 automaker in the U.S. Well, after the first six months of 2009 Ford as once again pulled ahead of Toyota in U.S. sales year-to-date.
After we get the June auto sales today, we will be halfway through a year that has thrown the auto makers and American car buyers for loop. Some thoughts on what's changed, what's the same, and some trends/ideas worth examining.
If you have, you've probably noticed things are a little different. Those deals that we've seen for months (ok, in many cases years) offering huge discounts are harder and harder to find. It's a little early to say we are done with the days when the buyer could call the shot on most models. You still, have some leverage, but not as much as in the past.
It may not emerge from bankruptcy as quick as Chrysler, but GM is entering the stretch run, and can see the finish line. Tomorrow, the country's largest auto maker will be back in bankruptcy court to finalize plans to sell the "good assets" to a new GM that will emerge from bankruptcy with a clean balance sheet.
It's a regular question around Detroit and in the auto industry: When will we finally here from new Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne?
The folks at Car and Driver Magazine have now documented just dangerous it can be. Rigging a car with a red light to alert drivers when to brake, the magazine tested how long it takes to hit the brake when sober, when legally drunk at .08, when reading and e-mail, and when sending a text. The results are scary.
If actions speak louder than words, watch how the Obama administration is dealing with Ford lately.
U.S. stocks turned mixed Tuesday after a quick boost from a well-received Treasury auction. U.S. Treasurys rallied, adding slightly to their earlier gains after a solid auction of two-year notes. But it was a see-saw day, with any boost or dip quickly fizzling. Read and listen to what the experts had to say...
Jack Ablin, CIO of Harris Private Bank and Thomas Lee, chief US equity strategist of JPMorgan, discussed whether the recent rally is over or whether this snap-back is an invitation for investors to get back into the game.