Friday, October 31, 2008

Reuters: Major issues resolved in GM-Chrysler talks
Wagoner said to lead combined automaker if deal gets financed
DETROIT (Reuters) -- General Motors and Cerberus Capital Management LP have resolved the major issues in a proposed GM-Chrysler merger but the final form of any deal will depend on the financing and government support available, sources familiar with the talks said today.
Both sides have agreed that GM CEO Rick Wagoner would lead the combined automaker, the sources said. A merged GM/Chrysler ...
arrow story Published: Oct 29 1:00 pm U.S. Eastern time / Last changed: 10/29/08 4:13 p.m. EDT [REG]

Sources: GM, Chrysler merger on hold
NEW YORK/DETROIT (Reuters) -- A deal to merge General Motors and Chrysler has hit an impasse after the Bush administration ruled out funding for it, three people with direct knowledge of the talks said.
< sources="" presidential="" after="" until="" hold="" on="" automakers="" struggling="" merger="" any="" puts="" this="">arrow story Published: October 31, 2008 07:00 European Central time [REG]

October sales may be lowest in a quarter century
But some data suggests worst may be over
DETROIT -- Detroit's automakers may have dragged U.S. auto sales to their lowest levels in 25 years this month as benefits from plunging gasoline prices failed to make up for tight credit and skittish consumers.
The industry will report sales on an annual basis of as low as 11 million vehicles, George Pipas, a sales analyst at Ford Motor Co., told reporters today. His forecast echoes those of ...
arrow story Published: Oct 31 2:33 pm U.S. Eastern time [REG]

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Consultant: GM merger would eliminate most Chrysler vehicles
Ford wants 'parity' if government gets involved
DETROIT -- A merger between General Motors and Chrysler LLC would result in the closing of as many as half of Chrysler's factories and elimination of all but about seven core models, according to a report by consulting firm Grant Thornton LLP.
A deal also could result in a loss of 100,000 to 200,000 jobs at the two automakers, suppliers and other industry stakeholders, said Kimberly Rodriguez, ...
arrow story Published: Oct 30 2:50 pm U.S. Eastern time / Last changed: 10/30/08 4:00 p.m. EDT [REG]

Fenton plant rolls out its last minivan


For about 1,500 workers at Chrysler's South Assembly Plant in Fenton, the grim reality finally hit when a 2009 Dodge Grand Caravan rolled off the assembly line early Wednesday afternoon — and another didn't follow.

The white Grand Caravan was the last vehicle built before production idled, marking the beginning of an uncertain future for the plant's work force and the 49-year-old plant as well. For the workers, the plant's shutdown means not only the loss of high-paying jobs, but a sense of closeness with one another that won't be easy to replace.

"It was pretty emotional out there today," said United Auto Workers Local 110 President Joe Shields, whose local represents workers at the minivan facility. "It's like losing your family."Four months ago, slumping sales forced Chrysler to announce it would idle indefinitely the minivan plant by the end of October and lay off its workers, who build the Grand Caravan, Caravan cargo van and an export version of the Chrysler Town & Country.

Since then, Chrysler's fortunes have fallen even further as the economy worsened. The sales slump deepened, and the automaker reportedly has been considering a merger with General Motors Corp. Chrysler still says it has no plans to restart production at the Fenton minivan plant. Now, the number of local Chrysler assembly jobs left drops to about 1,100, all in the neighboring pickup plant.

Hours after the Grand Caravan left the line, the prospect of lost jobs weighed heavily on workers.

These were jobs that provided good paychecks, paid for children's colleges and offered security.

"It's something where you knew the next day would come, and you'd have a job," said James Funke, 42, of High Ridge, a trim worker employed by Chrysler for nearly 14 years.


Laid-off workers will get state unemployment and supplemental unemployment benefits provided by Chrysler for up to 48 weeks. Once they've exhausted these benefits, workers will return to Chrysler's payroll and enter the "Jobs Bank" program for up to two years. There they will wait for work or a chance to transfer to another Chrysler plant.

Under the most recent UAW labor contract, Chrysler workers can receive up to four offers to transfer, according to a union official. On the final offer, workers either must accept or are dropped from the payroll.

Trim worker Tyron Cross, 56, of St. Louis, hopes he can continue to work for the automaker until 2014, when he'll have 20 years of service and be eligible for a larger retirement package. He has worked at Fenton for almost 14 years.

Still, many workers don't want to wait around. They're looking for another job — or even career.

Some will take either retirement or severance offers, which Chrysler spokesman Ed Saenz said will be made next month.

Eureka resident Steve Ridenhour, 39, plans to return to school. Ridenhour, a 15-year Chrysler worker, said he wants to earn an associate's degree in building maintenance and find another job outside the auto industry.

"I've got a family. I've got a mortgage," he said.

And Funke said he plans to start his own business, a coin shop to be called High Ridge Coin.

But in this struggling economy, finding comparable work won't be easy.

"It's tough for an autoworker to transition to another industry and be able to make up the wages and benefits they were making in the auto industry," said Russ Signorino, a labor market analyst with United Way of Greater St. Louis.


The assembly plant workers aren't the only ones hurt by the plant idling.

Based on the "multiplier effect," every one auto plant job creates another two indirect jobs, ranging from catering to auto suppliers, Signorino said. An additional 1½ jobs — in restaurants and other businesses close to the plant — also depend on the spending by the autoworkers and suppliers.

So when auto assembly jobs are lost, the other jobs are in jeopardy unless those businesses find different clients, Signorino said.

Integram-St. Louis Seating, a facility in Pacific that builds minivan seats, and Dakkota Integrated Systems, which makes dashboards and door panels at a plant in west St. Louis County, haven't been able to recoup the loss of the minivan business. Both facilities are laying off workers, said Darin Gilley, president of UAW Local 1760, which represents workers at both supplier plants.

The St. Louis area has lost a steady stream of auto industry jobs in the last 30 years.

Auto employment totaled nearly 30,000 in the late 1970s, dropped to 15,000 in 1996 and fell even more to 7,300 a year ago, Signorino said.

Last year, the minivan plant operated on two production shifts. But Chrysler already had plans to cut one of the shifts because minivan sales were falling.

Sales soon sank further. At the end of 2007, combined sales of the Dodge Grand Caravan and Chrysler Town & Country were down 15 percent from a year ago. That came after a 9 percent decline in 2006, according to Automotive News data.

When one shift was eliminated at the start of this year, about 1,080 workers were laid off. At the end of June, Chrysler said it would cut the remaining shift, idle the plant and consolidate all minivan production to a Canadian plant in Windsor, Ontario.

Chrysler has said the Windsor plant is its primary minivan operation, and the Fenton plant has been used for overflow when minivan demand was high. Fenton has been building minivans since 1987.


Since that announcement, workers have lobbied to stave off the plant's shutdown.

Their most elaborate effort was a trip in August to Auburn Hills, Mich. About 500 people, mostly minivan plant workers, rallied outside Chrysler's headquarters. Many wore red or white T-shirts emblazoned with the slogan "Build them where you sell them."

Shields said workers still haven't given up hope for restarting production at the plant. The union set up an online petition to rally community support and lobby for the minivan plant.

What could be hopeful, officials said, is the plant's flexible manufacturing capability. A year ago, Chrysler spent heavily to retool the minivan plant. The plant now can produce multiple vehicles off the same production line.

"We're going to keep going," said Lew Moye, Local 110's shop chairman. "Chrysler is supposed to have seven new vehicles in the pipeline (by 2010), and they have not chosen where they are going to build (them). ... This plant is capable of tooling up for these vehicles."

However, Chrysler's Saenz said the automaker didn't foresee just how strained the auto industry would become this year. It had to make tough decisions that included the idling.

Under the current union contract, Chrysler can only idle — not close — the plant. It would have to negotiate a closure with the UAW in 2011, when the current contract expires.

For now, Saenz said, "we don't have any plans to bring new vehicles into the plant."

And analysts have been skeptical that the plant will ever reopen. Chrysler still has excess production capacity, said Haig Stoddard, an auto industry analyst for IHS Global Insight.

"If (Chrysler) put another product in there, all they would be doing is closing another plant elsewhere," he said.

And a merger between Chrysler and GM or another automaker would likely lead to cuts in the number of makes and models, plant closures and layoffs, according to analysts.


Automobile Quarterly
Automobile Quarterly
This Day in Auto History:

The first Packard engine is completed and found to produce 7.1 horsepower
The fifth Vanderbilt Cup Race is held on Long Island, NY and won by Harry F. Grant in a 90-hp Alco
Percy Wheeler Tracy of Premier dies in Washington, DC at age 39
The 1953 Chryslers are introduced
The 1957 Dodge cars and four-wheel-drive trucks are introduced, with the cars featuring torsion-bar front suspension

Source: Automobile History Day By Day, by Douglas A. Wick

Phelan's Corner: Chrysler to show electric vehicles in Los Angeles


Bob Nardelli, Chrysler chairman and CEO, with electric vehicles.


Chrysler plans to show at least one, and perhaps all three, of the electric vehicles it is developing at the Los Angeles auto show in a few weeks.

Chrysler has said it will have an electric vehicle on sale in 2010. The three candidates for production are the Dodge EV battery-powered sports car and extended-range electric versions of the Jeep Wrangler and Chrysler Town & Country.

Mini's upcoming electric car will also make its first public appearance at the LA show. Mini plans to build 500 of the Mini E cars this year and lease a few of them to selected customers in California, New York and New Jersey. The electric Mini has only two seats because its lithium-ion batteries take up the space where the rear seat normally goes.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Stylish 2009 Dodge Ram delivers power and innovation


As bad news swirls around Chrysler, the 2009 Dodge Ram pickup arrives to remind us that the automaker is very good at some important things.

The sophisticated and stylish full-size pickup could serve as a rolling prospectus as Chrysler's owners shop the company to buyers.

"You want to know why Chrysler's worth owning? Here are the keys; take the 2009 Ram for a spin."

The pickup showcases the styling flair and innovation that have always distinguished Chrysler's best vehicles. It complements them with a high-quality interior that rectifies one of the company's longstanding weaknesses.

Prices for the 2009 Dodge Ram start at $21,270 for a rear-wheel drive regular-cab model with a 210-horsepower 3.7-liter V6 engine and four-speed automatic transmission. Like most pickups, the Ram comes in a bewildering array of models.

Choices include rear- or four-wheel drive, three cab sizes, three bed lengths, three engines and two automatic transmissions.

The least-expensive V8-powered Ram has a 310-horsepower 4.7-liter engine and costs $22,330, while the lowest-priced four-wheel drive runs $25,725.

I tested a near top-of-the-line model, a rear-drive Crew Cab -- the roomier of two four-door models -- with an upgraded 390-horsepower version of Chrysler's 5.7-liter Hemi V8, five-speed automatic transmission and a base price of $40,020.

The well-equipped pickup I drove had a $45,520 sticker price. All prices exclude destination charges, and the Ram's prices compare well with other leading full-size pickups like the Chevrolet Silverado, Ford F-150 and Toyota Tundra.

Some people will argue that introducing a new pickup in the face of high gasoline prices and an economic slowdown is a symptom of the inept management that's crippled Chrysler, but they're mistaken.

There will be a big and profitable market for pickups as long as there are farmers and contractors, or Joe's not a plumber.

Chrysler builds pickups, minivans and big sporty cars as well as anybody in the business. The company's dire state stems from not putting the same effort into building great small and midsize cars.

The solution to Chrysler's problems, if there is one, will come from hooking up with a partner who values vehicles like the Ram and can provide equally good vehicles in the segments where Chrysler suffers.

Pickup owners are among the most studious and loyal buyers in the market. They know their vehicles inside and out. You don't win their business easily, as Nissan and Toyota can testify.

To keep its current owners and win some new ones, Dodge broke the mold with the 2009 Ram, offering a raft of unique new features that make the truck more useful and comfortable than the competition.

Useful new features abound. The Ram I tested had four new optional storage bins: two under the floor in the rear seat and two in the rear fenders.

They are phenomenally handy, particularly the lockable and drainable fender bins, which are like saddlebags on a horse: they increase your ability to carry stuff by using space that was previously wasted.

The twin fender bins -- Dodge calls them the RamBox -- provide 7.4 cubic feet of storage space to hold tools, fishing gear or up to five cases -- 120 cans -- of 12-ounce drinks on ice. The RamBox is only available on Crew Cab models, the Ram with the biggest interior and a 67.9-inch-long, 50-inch-wide bed.

The underfloor compartments can each hold ten 12-ounce drinks and ice, but you can store anything in them. The bins have removable plastic liners for cleaning and are covered by a nicely fitted floor mat.

The rest of the interior of the Crew Cab is spacious, comfortable and attractive. It's trimmed in high-quality, well-fitted pieces and provides limo-like passenger space.

The Ram offers features that aren't available in other pickups, including luxurious touches like heated and cooled front seats and a heated steering wheel.

The Ram I tested boasted the top entertainment system, which included rear-seat video and three channels of kid-friendly TV from Sirius.

The touch-screen control for the entertainment and navigation systems is easy to use, but washes out in bright light. That's a common failing in touch screens, but this one also requires manual intervention to switch to a dimmer night mode.

It would be simple and convenient to have the screen dim automatically when the headlights switch on.

That minor failing aside, however, the Ram's interior is extraordinary, packing more features, room and comfort than some upscale cars.

Mechanically, the Ram is equally impressive. Chrysler reworked its famous Hemi V8 to produce more power and use less gasoline.

The engine's output rises to 390 horsepower and 407 pound-feet of torque, topping the Chevrolet Silverado's 6.0-liter V8, Ford F-150's 5.4-liter V8, Nissan Titan's 5.6-liter and Toyota Tundra's 5.7-liter V8.

At the same time, EPA fuel economy ratings for V6 and Hemi-powered Rams improves to 14 m.p.g. in the city and 20 m.p.g. on the highway. That's about 1 m.p.g. lower than a comparable Silverado or F-150, but considerably better than either the Titan or Tundra.

The Ram's 8,800-pound towing capacity is lower than other full-size pickups offer, but Dodge compensates for that with improved handling thanks to a unique new coil-spring rear suspension.

All the other pickups use rear leaf springs. The Ram's car-like setup provides a smoother ride than most big pickups, but the huge improvement comes in handling: the Ram tracks through corners and smoothly and directly as a sporty sedan.

The Ram's steering is correspondingly fine. Sharp and precise, it nearly lets you forget the steering wheel is connected to a full-size pickup that can tow more than 4 tons.

The Ram looks as good as it feels. The new design combines fuel-saving aerodynamic tweaks with bold styling. A bulging hood and forward-leaning grille are oddly reminiscent of the Chevrolet Corvette Mako Shark concept car, while a flowing lip on the tailgate gives the Ram's rear a modern appearance.

These are dark days at Chrysler, but the new Ram is a shining example of the company's ability.

If Chrysler doesn't get a new lease on life, it won't be the 2009 Dodge Ram's fault. Lay the blame at the feet of lousy management that didn't insist every vehicle Chrysler builds be this good.

skip to main | skip to sidebar Auto/Motor Cars Space 2009 Dodge Trazo C1.8 by Chrysler/Nissan at São Paulo Motor Show

Trazo C1.8 by Dodge is the first sedan for the Dodge brand in key Latin American markets
@2. Offers exceptional value, fuel economy and dependability for customers new to the Dodge brand
@3. Trazo C1.8 is powered by a fuel-efficient, E-100 ethanol-capable 16-valve 1.8-liter DOHC 4-cylinder engine
@4. Exterior and interior designs exemplify elegant simplicity and efficiency
@5. Trazo C1.8 gives Chrysler LLC immediate access to new vehicle segments in high-growth markets

São Paulo, Brazil, Oct 28, 2008 - Chrysler LLC launches into a new segment in Latin America with the introduction of the new Trazo C1.8 by Dodge today at the São Paulo Motor Show.

Trazo C1.8 will be offered as a four-door sedan with exceptional value and fuel efficiency in Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay. The Trazo C1.8 will be built by Nissan Motor Co., providing Chrysler LLC a high-quality entry into these fast-growing markets.

"The new Trazo C1.8 by Dodge allows us to enter into a segment in which we currently do not compete," said Mike Manley, Executive Vice President – International Sales, Marketing and Business Development, Chrysler LLC. "The Trazo C1.8 offers customers a high-quality vehicle with great value and provides our dealers with further opportunities to expand their business."

The exterior of the Trazo C1.8 provides an athletic, yet modern design that is consistent with the rapidly growing Dodge brand. Trazo C1.8's maximized 102.4-inch (260-centimeter) wheelbase and short front- and rear-overhangs create perfect proportions for city streets, while expressively long rooflines highlight the comfortable and spacious interior.

Trazo C1.8's grille features intricate louvers that create a contemporary look while integrating the new Trazo emblem. Large halogen headlamps wrap around to front fenders and provide a striking appearance while improving illumination. These elements, combined with a sporty, integrated body-color front fascia, reinforce Trazo C1.8's youthful looks.

Trazo C1.8's side profile illustrates aerodynamic efficiency while highlighting generous passenger space within. A raked-back windshield improves Trazo C1.8's drag coefficient to a low 0.31 Cd while offering a higher roof height for passengers seated in the front and rear. Clean and crisp body-side forms provide a look of sophistication and give balance to the large side glass that gives Trazo C1.8 passengers great visibility.

A well-tailored rear end completes the exterior design while hinting at Trazo C1.8's cargo versatility. An efficiently shaped deck lid is sandwiched by large jeweled taillamps and provides a strong, integrated look with the wide C-pillar. The deck lid also sits nicely below the large rear window to avoid blocking the driver's rear view. A large chromed license plate brow and centered Trazo line emblem atop the deck lid ensures the Trazo C1.8 is not a bland, run-of-the-mill four-door.

Space utilization and high-quality interior materials provide Trazo C1.8 with a generously sized interior, rewarding its passenger with comfort and craftsmanship.

Utilizing its longer wheelbase, an interior length of more than two meters front to back makes Trazo C1.8 by Dodge roomy and provides the space needed for an active lifestyle. An up-right seat height position in both front and rear seats allows plenty of leg room.

Front-row seats are larger and more comfortable than most C-segment vehicles and deliver comfortable leg room at any position with little compromise to rear-seat passengers. A 60/40 split fold-down rear seat accommodates larger items, while adjustable head rests and a folding arm rest add comfort for up to five passengers on longer road trips.

The instrument panel of the Trazo C1.8 by Dodge duplicates the exterior's elegantly simple design with a horizontal layout and very efficient use of space. The instruments are housed in three chromed ringed pods, nested in clear view through the sporty three-spoke steering wheel. The center stack contains easy-to-reach climate controls and audio system in addition to a covered storage compartment.

A center console, with additional storage features and an ergonomically designed shifter location, flows seamlessly from the instrument panel and defines driver and front-passenger seating areas. Metallic accents on the instrument panel, door panels, steering wheel and other touch points finish off Trazo C1.8's modern look.

The Trazo C1.8 by Dodge will be available with a 1.8-liter DOHC 16-valve four-cylinder gasoline and E100 ethanol-capable engine with both automatic and manual transmissions. The Variable Valve Timing (VVT) powertrain offers fuel efficiency along with fun-to-drive excitement the Dodge brand is known for.

Quality is a priority for the Trazo C1.8 by Dodge. A three-year, 50,000-kilometer limited warranty is standard on Trazo C1.8, providing ownership confidence.

Chrysler will pull plug on hybrid Aspen, Durango
DETROIT -- Chrysler LLC will stop producing its first two hybrid-electric vehicles slightly more than two months after they started arriving in dealerships.
This summer, Chrysler introduced the Chrysler Aspen and Dodge Durango Hemi hybrid SUVs to great fanfare. Production began in August. But the two were doomed to a short lifespan from the beginning. They are made at Chrysler's Newark, Del., plant, originally scheduled to close at the end of 2009.
But slow full-sized SUV sales pushed Chrysler to move the closing up a year. The company announced last week it will close Newark at the end of this year. Chrysler has no plans to produce the hybrid SUVs elsewhere, said spokesman Todd Goyer.
"Keeping the plant open for the hybrid versions isn't a sound business decision," he said. ...
story Published: Oct 28 7:05 pm U.S. Eastern time

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Automobile Quarterly
Automobile Quarterly
This Day in Auto History:

George Chaffee Dillon, Chairman of the Manville Corporation, a Denver, CO automobile parts manufacturer, is born in Kansas City, MO
G. B. Upton, a professor of automotive engineering at Cornell University, dies at age 60
The last 1954 Hudson is produced - many consider this the end of the “real” Hudson, although the marque continued to be produced until 1957 as a badge-engineered Nash
The Chrysler Corporation begins its Consumer Delivery Program as a public hands-on test of the semi-production Chrysler Turbine Car
Sir Alfred Owen of BRM dies at age 67

Source: Automobile History Day By Day, by Douglas A. Wick

2009 Dodge Ram Wins Best New Pickup Truck In Canada

by thesavagepony

Texas just awarded the 2009 Ford F-150 as the Truck of Texas Award. Dodge didn't really like the idea of there truck not being the best so they did the next best thing, go to Canada.

Sure enough there little scheme worked as Canada just chose the 2009 Dodge Ram as the Best New Pickup Truck Award. Naturally, Dodge is pleased with the win. Reid Bigland, President and CEO of Chrysler Canada, said: "we thank AJAC for this recognition which confirms that the all-new 2009 Dodge Ram 1500 is the best pickup truck in Canada."

The 2009 Dodge Ram went up against the 2009 Ford F-150 and the 2009 Chevy Silverado. Congratulations goes to Dodge for a job well done, even if it's not in the U.S.

Win a 2008 Dodge Charger

Enter here for a chance to win a 2008 Dodge Charger. That’s a nice looking ride. It’s come a long way from the old Dukes of Hazzard days. Good Luck!

Entry Frequency: single
Age: 18+

GM, Chrysler seek merger aid

They are asking for a US$10b govt loan

NEW YORK/DETROIT - GENERAL Motors and Cerberus Capital Management have asked the US government for around US$10 billion (S$15 billion) in an unprecedented rescue package to support a merger between GM and Chrysler, two sources with direct knowledge of the talks said on Monday.

The government funding would include roughly US$3 billion in exchange for preferred stock in a merged automaker, according to one of the sources, who was not authorised to discuss the matter publicly.

The US Treasury Department is considering a request for direct aid to facilitate the merger and a decision could come this week, sources familiar with the still-developing government response said earlier on Monday.

GM has been in talks with Cerberus about buying Chrysler since last month but the discussions have been snagged by difficulty in securing investment or financing for a deal at a time when credit is tight and global auto sales are in rapid retreat, others close to the talks have said.

A decision by the Bush administration to provide the government's first funding for the auto sector since the US$1.5 billion bailout of Chrysler in 1980 has been widely seen as the merger's best chance for success.

'The automakers are facing a maelstrom and that's why I think an unprecedented government infusion could happen', said Mr Efraim Levy, an automotive equity analyst with S&P.

An injection of US$3 billion in equity to support a GM acquisition of Chrysler would be roughly equivalent to the current, depressed value of the top US automaker.

It would also give US taxpayers a large stake in the turnaround of a struggling auto industry that employs over 350,000 American workers and is credited with supporting employment for another 4.5 million in related fields.

Analysts see GM, Chrysler and rival Ford Motor having been driven to the brink of failure by a combination of management missteps, slowing global growth and problems in credit markets.

Now, in addition to taking a stake in what would be the world's largest automaker by volume, the US government is also being asked to provide support by taking over some US$3 billion in pension obligations, the first source said.

The final component of the proposed support would be a credit line that could include US government purchases of commercial paper to relieve short-term pressure on liquidity, the person said.

GM could not be immediately reached for comment. Cerberus and Chrysler had no comment.

Too big to fail?
A combined GM-Chrysler would control roughly a third of the US auto market by sales and would face immediate pressure to cut costs stemming from excess capacity in almost every facet of its business.

Those would include a stable of 11 brands, some 10,000 dealers and 97,000 union-represented factory workers.

But one of the conditions of a merger would be that GM-Chrysler would spare as many jobs as possible to win broad political support for the government funding, people familiar with the merger discussions said.

Many analysts are skeptical that balance can be struck.

'I still think they need to make deep cuts to survive', said IHS Global Insight analyst Aaron Bragman.

The roughly US$10 billion in government funds to support a merger would be in addition to whatever funds would be allocated under an already approved US$25 billion program to provide low-interest loans to the auto industry for retooling to make more fuel-efficient cars.

A government rescue package would come at a time when investors and creditors are increasingly concerned about the ability of US automakers to survive a punishing downturn in sales now expected to continue into 2010.

'Nobody reasonable is going to tell you that next year we're going to be out (of this crisis)', Mr Carlos Ghosn, head of Nissan Motor and Renault, told a business seminar in Tokyo, adding the worst is yet to come.

Mr Ghosn predicted US auto sales would stay at an annualised rate of 12.5 million vehicles through March. US car sales slumped 26 per cent last month to that level.

Moody's Investors Service on Monday cut its rating on GM deeper into junk territory on the view that GM's liquidity would continue to erode into 2009.

The ratings agency also cut Chrysler for similar reasons and said it might cut Ford.

GM has a market capitalization of just over US$3 billion based on Monday's close and roughly US$10 billion of outstanding debt.

Chrysler's privately held auto operations were valued at zero last week by Daimler, which holds the 19.9 per cent of the struggling automaker not owned by Cerberus.

Chrysler's US sales have tumbled 25 per cent this year, almost twice the rate of decline for the overall market.

GM's sales had dropped almost 18 per cent through September.

GM's shares have slumped nearly 80 per cent this year and its market value has dropped below what it was in 1929. -- THOMSON REUTERS


Automobile Quarterly
Automobile Quarterly
This Day in Auto History:

The Springfield Motor Car Company incorporates in Springfield, IL with Harry C. Medcraft as President, Rudolph Haas as Vice President, Edward Everett Staley as Secretary, and racer Otis Funderburk as Sales Manager - the new firm was a reorganization of the Med-Bow Automobile Company of Springfield, MA, but actual production was only about ten cars
Racer Bernie Ecclestone is born in St. Peters, Suffolk, England
The first post-World War II English sprint races are held at Filton Aerodrome near Bristol - class winners included Bob Gerard in a E.R.A. and Sir Alec Issigonis in the “Lightweight Special”
Col. Elbert J. Hall, whose Hall-Scott aviation engines powered the super luxury Fageol car of 1917 and in 1930 was a cofounder with Norman DeVaux of the DeVaux-Hall Motors Corporation, manufacturers of the economy DeVaux of 1931-1932, dies in Los Gatos, CA at age 73
The 1982 Pontiac Phoenix and T100 compacts are introduced

Source: Automobile History Day By Day, by Douglas A. Wick

Monday, October 27, 2008


Automobile Quarterly
Automobile Quarterly
This Day in Auto History:

Walter C. Baker marries Fannie Elizabeth White, daughter of Rollin C. White
O. L. Arnold of the Ford Motor Company joins General Motors as Vice President and Director of Truck Sales for the General Motors Truck Company
The 1938 Cadillac Series 90 is introduced featuring a totally redesigned 135-degree V-16
The first major post-World War II race, the revived Pena Rhin Grand Prix staged in Barcelona, Spain, is won by Giorgio Pelassa in a Maserati 4CL
Archibald G. Danielson, Assistant Chief Engineer of the Diamond T Motor Car Company and an employee of the firm for 37 years, dies at age 62

Source: Automobile History Day By Day, by Douglas A. Wick

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