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Long before General Motors unveiled its new electric car, the Chevy Volt, there was a buzz around GM that this car should be a winner. That's right, I used the words: should be. Predicting any car will be a hit is often a fool's game.
Today marks the last day of General Motors first 100 years. While the company will mark the occasion tomorrow by unveiling it's new electric car, the Chevy Volt, I have a much more sobering question:
When Ford CEO Alan Mulally sat down with me and the anchors of "Squawk Box" this morning, his candid comments about federal loans to automakers show congress is likely to lend the money. As I've said before, I think it's money well spent.
In May 2008, the Ford F-150 truck, which had been the best-selling vehicle in the country for two decades, lost its title to the fuel-sipping Honda Civic.
Almost every day I get an e-mail from someone that says something along these lines: Why doesn't GM build better quality cars?
Already I've read some blog comments saying the Volt looks "boring" and "too much like a Toyota Prius." While the Volt's design is more conventional, the public forgets that there is a reason for that "softer", "less edgy" design.
Talk about a tough time to come out with a new truck. The economy is struggling, the housing market is in the tank, high gas prices have spooked buyers out buying big rigs, and there's little enthusiasm for new models (unless they're hybrids).
A friend of mine said something the other day that surprised me. He said nothing, and I mean nothing, gets him stoked about the latest models out on the road right now. I suspect it's because he is like many other people and is tired of seeing cars touted for their fuel efficiency more than anything else.
Much of Chryslers slump can be blamed on the fact trucks and SUVs have fallen out of favor because of high gas prices. And since Chrysler has the greatest exposure (percentage wise) to the so-called "gas-guzzlers" among the Big 3, it's suffering big time.
Stocks ended mixed Wednesday as economic worries continued to rain down on the market and dampen the post-Gustav rally. All three major indexes had been negative for most of the day, but the Dow tip-toed over the line at the last minute, helped by a 5% gain in GM.
Stocks wobbled Wednesday as economic worries continued to rain down on the market and dampen the post-Gustav rally.
Stocks wobbled Wednesday as economic worries continued to nag the market and rain on the post-Gustav rally.
This morning BMW's president for North America told me something that might surprise more than a few people in the auto industry.
Filled up the tank lately? I have, and it's nice to see the cost of gas has come down a bit. I wouldn't call it a huge drop, but enough that it's noticeable.
There's an interesting theory when it comes to the SUV market. It goes like this: now is the best time to buy an SUV because the used market has bottomed out and prices will soon start going up. The more I've heard this, the more I've talked with dealers. And you know what their reaction is? A good laugh.
See, even mighty Toyota Motor is shifting into a slower gear. This morning in Tokyo, the company gave its business outlook for 2009 and beyond. It was mixed -- which is not surprising, given the economy. Here's Toyota's plan to stay ahead.
Since I've started this blog I've have had people react strongly to some of the things I've said. But NOTHING compares to the e-mails I've read after advocating the need for Federal loans to help the Big 3 automakers re-tool and rebuild their operations.
They say timing is everything. For Honda nothing could be truer. In the next couple of weeks an updated version of the company's red-hot subcompact, The Fit, will start rolling into showrooms. Talk about having the right model in place at the right time.
Let's get some things straight. As I write this blog, I'm fully aware some of you will scoff at the idea of the Federal government offering billions of dollars to the Big 3 in restructuring loans. I know some of you will say, "Don't give them a bail out. Let'em go under."
Don't look now, but something is coming back: deals. Not just little ones. Pretty decent deals. GM, Toyota and Mazda are currently running some of the more prominent marketing campaigns. But make no mistake, almost all the automakers are throwing more money and more generous financing terms behind their new models.