Geneva Eye Candy, GM's Subprime Worries
Geneva Auto Show Eye Candy
If you've seen as many auto show's as I have, you rarely are impressed by the new models, displays, and "shows" put on by the automakers. Well, Geneva has changed that.
This show is different. It is a truly global show with new models from the regular list of automakers, plus a whole host of specialty design firms like Italy's Zagato. It's showing the Diatto, a 500 horsepower custom sports coupe. Gorgeous.
There are others as well, including Morgan from England which has a
small, but elegant roadster-type model. Russo-Baltique from Russia is making an impression with it's futuristic looking "impression" model. And of course, all the Italian design firms are here.
Geneva has long been known as a buyer's show where the wealthy are likely to see a model and literally try to buy it off the floor. And that reputation continues. Bentley debuted is new $320,000 Brooklands coupe on Tuesday morning. By Wednesday morning Bentley told me that it had taken numerous orders for the limited edition luxury car.
GM's GMAC sup-prime worries
A number of analysts on Wall Street have written research reports speculating on how much "exposure" GM faces because of GMAC's ResCap business writing subprime quality mortgages. The estimates on Wall Street range from $800 million to $1 billion. When GM finally reports 4Q earnings, we'll see the extent of that exposure. And GM will be able handle the hit financially. But it's another example, where GM's "non-auto" business operations continue to overshadow the turnaround it's engineered with cars trucks and suv's.
If those "non-auto" issues ever go away (not likely with UAW negotiations and Chrysler talks going through the summer and fall) the public might see the GM is getting it's act together on the auto side of the business.
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