On the surface, the massive number of models recalled and the threat of vehicle fires has people asking, "Are GM and Chrysler now going down the same path as Toyota earlier this year?"
You'd think by now the message would be clear: Ed Whitacre Jr. is not going to stop making changes. Once again, he shook up the management at the automaker. And once again, people are asking why Whitacre keeps moving executives around—and whether or not he knows what he's doing.
There has long been a belief in the auto industry that as pick-up truck sales go, so goes the broader economy. After all, as business and spending picks up, the folks who drive pickups (contractors, builders, small business operators) are likely to buys a new work truck. And for the most part, the historical evidence points to truck sales and housing starts trending up or down together.
As brand deaths go, the demise of Mercury is being met with a collective shrug of the shoulders. Aside from the 276 Lincoln/Mercury dealers who are losing half their sales, few others will care that Mercury is leaving the Ford orbit.
You are a member of the Senate, and you’re starting to get spooked by the deficit. Polls show that voters are worried about it. Economists are, too. Something needs to change.
A year ago, who would have thought GM would be where it is today? A year ago, as then GM CEO Fritz Henderson walked into bankruptcy court, who thought GM would be profitable, and still #1 in the U.S. in the middle of 2010? A year ago, who figured the people guiding GM would be a former analyst on Wall Street and the former CFO of Microsoft?
Remember when Ford CEO Alan Mulally took the top job at America's number two automaker in 2006? Four years later, Mulally is delivering better results than many ever expected, and he's transformed Ford into a company that looks (and runs) a lot like Toyota in the late 90's.
Today in Washington, a group of lawmakers will roll out their plan to get the Department of Energy to spend billions of dollars nurturing the electric vehicle market.
Today in Smyrna, Tennessee, Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn will be on hand for the start of production for the battery packs that will power the Leaf.
Ask Ford President of the Americas Mark Fields if he expects strong sales in the month of May, and you get an interesting response. Yes, he expects double-digit industry growth and Ford should have a relatively strong month, but his interest has already shifted to June.
It's not every day one of the Big 3 decides to take work it contracted to a foreign supplier and bring it in house back in Detroit.
As Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne unveiled the new Jeep Grand Cherokee he flashed a smile that said just how far the troubled automaker has come in the last year.
At first glance, it looks like a win/win situation. The partnership of Tesla and Toyota should, on paper, help both companies.
Once again, Toyota executives are on Capitol Hill getting grilled about unintended acceleration. Once again, the hearing will end without an understanding of what's behind complaints of Toyota's racing suddenly speeding up. Once again, I can hear supporters and critics saying these hearings are a joke. Both are right.
They want to move forward. But making sure they don't repeat past mistakes keeps reminding them (and the public) of where they've been. It's the yin and yang of where Toyota executives find themselves this spring and summer.
With a first quarter profit of nearly $900 million dollars ($1.66 per share), GM not only showed it is back in the black, but more importantly, laid another brick in the foundation needed for an IPO.
This year, Ford shareholders will have a little giddy up in their step. And for good reason. In the last year, the Mulally makeover has kicked in gear and revved up Ford's once idling profit engine and stock price.
The real appeal of GM owning the old GMAC would be in making the company more attractive for an IPO.
Let's see if this makes sense. In the fiscal year that ended in March of 2009, Toyota lost $4.4 billion. A year later, after what was arguably the worst crisis in the company's history, Toyota swung to a profit of just over $2.2 billion. How did that happen?
Four months after calling Toyota "safety deaf," Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood says the Japanese automaker is getting the message. "I think their attitude has changed," said Secretary LaHood after spending more than hour meeting with Toyota leaders including CEO Akio Toyoda. "I came away with the idea Mr. Toyoda has listened to us," said LaHood.