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Auto News 12/2008

Autoworkers Worry More Givebacks Are in Store (New York Times)
If the Detroit automakers are to win over Congress this week, it may require big cost-saving concessions from the United Automobile Workers.

Brazil's Auto Industry Feels Impact of Financial Crisis (Washington Post)
SAO CAETANO, Brazil -- The car builders wistfully recall those heady days.

As Car Sales Decline, New Efforts to Encourage Automobile Purchaces Arise (WYPR Maryland)
It's not just the automakers who are looking for a helping hand. Empty showrooms are squeezing dealers and the Maryland Automobile Dealers Association is pushing a federal tax break for car buyers to spur sales. WYPR's Georgia Samios reports.

Perspectives: Keith Whann (BizJournals)
Keith Whann’s projections on the automobile industry’s slump carry a caveat common to economic forecasts these days.

New-car sales slow, but used still moving (Gloucester Daily Times)
Steam is coming from the radiator, the tires are deflated and the horn won't work. At least, that's the picture many have of today's automobile industry. Yet, you couldn't confirm it by talking to North Shore dealers. Times are tough, they declare, but not as bad as you've heard.

Japan November auto sales plunge (Moldova.org)
Japan's November domestic auto sales, hit by the recession, fell 27.3 percent to 215,783 units from year-ago levels, the industry group said Monday.It was the fourth consecutive month of decline and the lowest for any November in 39 years, the Japan Automobile Dealers Association said.November sales of new passenger cars fell 27.9 percent to 186,554 units and those of trucks were off 23.8 ...

Autoworkers Worry More Givebacks Are in Store (New York Times)
Two years ago, Ron Gettelfinger, president of the United Automobile Workers union, offered a grim prognosis for the auto industry to union members at the group’s convention in Las Vegas.

German Econ Min: German Car Industry Situation "Worrying" (Nasdaq)
BERLIN -(Dow Jones)- The situation in Germany's car industry is a reason for concern, with lower car sales set to hurt employment figures, German Economics Minister Michael Glos said Monday.

Research Report Examines the Electric Vehicle Industry and its Major Players (The Auto Channel)
According to the Electric Drive Transportation Association, the number of battery powered vehicles in the US grew to 76,000 in 2006 from 56,000 in 2004. From 1992 to 2006, the average growth for electric cars was around 28.5%. Automobile manufacturers are motivated to pursue battery powered technology due to the demand to reduce dependency on petroleum, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and ...

Sweden to bail out Saab and Volvo (Daily Telegraph)
SWEDEN will come to the rescue of its US-owned carmakers crippled by the financial crisis, Saab and Volvo, to secure the future of an automobile industry which accounts for 15 percent of exports, officials say.

Sweden to come to rescue of struggling carmakers Saab and Volvo (AFP via Yahoo! News)
Sweden will come to the rescue of its US-owned carmakers crippled by the financial crisis, Saab and Volvo, to secure the future of an automobile industry which accounts for 15 percent of exports, officials say.

Auto industry woes ripple through state's economy (The Fayetteville Observer)
Car and truck suppliers across the state will have much at stake when Congress decides how to handle Detroit’s struggling auto industry. The N.C. Commerce Department says more than 160 companies in the state employ more than 17,000 workers who make parts for cars, trucks and heavy equipment.

Japan's car industry 'in freefall' (Daily Telegraph)
Japan's car industry is in crisis as sales fall to lowest levels in 39 years.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Government shouldn’t bail out auto industry (Florence Morning News)
Can you believe the American auto industry?

Levin Calls For Bolstering U.S. Auto Industry (NPR)
Detroit's automakers are due to present their restructuring plans to Congress on Tuesday — before lawmakers will consider approving a possible bailout for the troubled industry. Democratic Sen. Carl Levin of Michigan says a bailout is needed to help America's auto industry survive.

A closer look at the Karma:
Designers are known to carp about their ideas being blunted when cars go from concept to reality. For Fisker Automotive's first production car, the plug-in hybrid Karma, that wasn't a problem.

Sweden to Come to Rescue of Saab and Volvo (Industry Week)
The automobile industry in Sweden accounts for 15% of the country's exports.

Update: Auto Dealers to Rally in Support of U.S. Relief of Domestic Auto Industry (PR Newswire via Yahoo! Finance)
The Washington Area New Automobile Dealers Association will rally its new automobile dealer members in support of financial assistance from the U.S. government for the domestic auto industry in a key industry event from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Wed., Dec. 3 at DARCARS Chrysler Jeep Dodge, New Carrollton, MD.

Local auto industry supports Big 3 bailout (BizJournals)
Dallas-area automotive industry representatives and North Texas city leaders gathered at a Carrollton auto dealership Tuesday to express support for the proposed $25 billion congressional bailout of the auto industry.

Magna parts plant in Nova Scotia closing (Toronto Star)
A Magna International auto parts plant employing 260 in Cape Breton is shutting down, another victim of North America's slumping automobile industry.

German auto industry predicts grim 2009 (AP via Yahoo! News)
The German auto industry's leading trade group said Wednesday it expects next year's car sales to be the worst since the reunification of the country in 1990.

MCOT Public Company Limited.2008 (MCOT - English News By Thai News Agency)
BANGKOK, Dec 3 (TNA) - Automobile exports by Thailand in 2009 are expected to retreat about 20 per cent due to the global financial crisis and recession which are hitting key importing countries, according to Suparat Sirisuwannangkura, president of the Thai Automotive Industry Association.

German auto industry predicts grim 2009 (San Francisco Chronicle)
The German auto industry's leading trade group said Wednesday it expects next year's car sales to be the worst since the reunification of the country in 1990. The German Association of the Automotive Industry said it expects 2.9 million new car registrations...

German auto industry predicts grim 2009 (Lexington Herald-Leader)
The German auto industry's leading trade group said Wednesday it expects next year's car sales to be the worst since the reunification of the country in 1990. The German Association of the Automotive Industry said it expects 2.9 million new car registrations in 2009, down from the 3.1 million registrations it anticipates in the current year. "The automobile market has taken a downward ...

John R. Price: The Automobile Bailout Solution: Unique and Simple (HuffingtonPost)
It makes more sense for Congress to tell ExxonMobil, ARCO, Chevron, ConocoPhillips and their fellow travelers that they should lend the automobile industry $25 billion

New England Auto Show Opens Amid Industry Turmoil (WBUR Boston)
The New England Auto Show opens today amid turmoil in the domestic automobile industry.

Honda gives first look at production Insight:
Ahead of its scheduled rollout at next month's Detroit auto show, Honda on Tuesday released a photo of the production version of the new Insight hybrid.

Automobile industry necessitates bailout, increased responsibility (The Optimist)
Merriam-Webster ' s Online Dictionary named "bailout" as the No. 1 Word of the Year for 2008 last week. This announcement came near the end of tumultuous financial year that witnessed the U.S. Congress allocate nearly $7 trillion of taxpayer money to struggling companies and government institutions, according to a CNBC article.

German auto industry predicts grim 2009 (Washington Post)
FRANKFURT, Germany -- The German auto industry's leading trade group said Wednesday it expects 2009 car sales to be the worst since the reunification of the country in 1990 as the global financial crisis takes its toll on consumers and economic growth.

International Automobile Dealers Announce Monthly Sales (The Auto Channel)
ALEXANDRIA, Va., Dec. 3, 2008; The American International Automobile Dealers Association (AIADA) released November 2008 sales figures for the international automobile industry.

Union makes concessions in bid to help U.S. auto companies (International Herald Tribune)
The United Automobile Workers union's surprise move to accept concessions could be critical in helping the auto industry secure $34 billion in U.S. government aid.

Baosteel Says Automobile Steel Demand Plunges in Second Half (Bloomberg)
Dec. 4 (Bloomberg) -- Baosteel Group Corp. , China’s biggest steelmaker, said there was a “drastic shrinkage” of automobile sheet sales in the second half as the economy slowed.

Sarkozy's €20 Bn Stimulus For Auto Industry (Nasdaq)
(RTTNews) - French President Nicolas Sarkozy is to announce a €20 billion ($25 billion)--nearly 1 percent of the gross domestic product--stimulus package Thursday to prop up the ailing automobile and construction industries besides the housing sector, to stave off a looming recession, media reports said.

U.A.W. Makes Concessions in Bid to Help Automakers (New York Times)
The surprise move by the United Automobile Workers to accept concessions could be critical in helping the auto industry secure $34 billion in federal aid.

First Hearing on Auto Bailout Does Little to Clarify Its Chances (CQPolitics.com via Yahoo! News)
Although a Senate committee chairman is crafting legislation to rescue the automobile industry, the political viability of a bailout remained uncertain Thursday amid disagreement over where the money should come from and whether bankruptcy would be a better option.

Democrats Step Up Calls for Treasury, Fed Aid to Auto Industry (CQPolitics.com via Yahoo! News)
Democrats on Thursday intensified their efforts to get the Bush administration to provide the funding for an automotive industry bailout, calling into question whether they have enough votes to aid the industry legislatively.

Honda exit shocks F1 world:
The Formula One world has been turned upside down by Honda's decision to pull out of the sport effective immediately.

Audi pulls out of the ALMS:
In what can best be described as a surprise, Audi said on Friday that it will not be represented by its factory team, Audi Sport North America, in the 2009 American Le Mans Series.

Gothenburg Mayor Renews Call for State Aid to Car Industry (Bloomberg)
Dec. 5 (Bloomberg) -- Gothenburg Mayor Goeran Johansson renewed his call for the Swedish state to help the country’s auto industry and said he is dismayed the government did not include measures for car companies in a stimulus plan it unveiled today.

Auto Industry's Financial Crisis To Hit Home (CBS 13 Baltimore)
Thousands of Maryland workers and retirees are tied to the fortunes of the auto industry.

Little chance of bail-out for automobile giants (Sydney Morning Herald)
THE chances of the US car industry obtaining a $US34 billion ($52 billion) bail-out from Congress before Christmas have dimmed amid opposition from fiscal hawks within the Republican Party and reservations among the Democrats about whether the car makers can become viable.

McConnell undecided on auto industry assistance (Lexington Herald-Leader)
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said U.S. automakers are facing a financial crisis but steered clear Friday of endorsing a congressional plan to rescue the industry. "We would all like to save the American domestic automobile industry, the question is how best to do that," McConnell, R-Ky., told reporters after speaking at the annual Kentucky Farm Bureau convention. He said options ...

Little chance of bail-out for automobile giants (The Age)
THE chances of the US car industry obtaining a $US34 billion ($52 billion) bail-out from Congress before Christmas have dimmed amid opposition from fiscal hawks within the Republican Party and reservations among the Democrats about whether the car makers can become viable.

Leaders near short-term deal over ailing auto industry (The Arizona Republic)
Friday night brought a key breakthrough to long-stalled talks on how to help the auto industry.

$15B aid compromise possible for auto industry (The Indianapolis Star)
WASHINGTON -- Stunned by the loss of 500,000 jobs, congressional Democrats and the White House reached for agreement Friday on about $15 billion in bailout loans for the beleaguered auto industry. President George W. Bush warned that at least one of the Big Three carmakers might not survive the current economic crisis.

Automotive Rescue Is Threatened By Impasse (Washington Post)
Senate Democrats yesterday unveiled a plan to speed $25 billion in emergency loans to the imperiled automobile industry, but they acknowledged that its chances of passage are slim without a breakthrough in talks with the Bush administration.

Why were Wall Street workers not asked for concessions? (Los Angeles Times)
Autoworkers stepped up to the plate to save the car industry. White-collar workers, on the other hand, weren't expected to do the same when financial firms went to Congress with hat in hand. The president of the United Automobile Workers union, Ron Gettelfinger, cut right to the chase when he announced last week that autoworkers were prepared to sacrifice job security, funding for retiree ...

Time to Change Gears for a Fuel-Efficient Future (Washington Post)
We have the chance to remake the automobile industry, to strengthen America's technological muscle. But we are frittering away the opportunity.

House to Consider Auto Aid (Washington Post)
The House will convene next week to vote on a plan to provide emergency cash to the nation's battered automobile industry, Speaker Nancy Pelosi said yesterday, but a federal bailout for Detroit faces an uphill battle in the Senate and an uncertain fate at the White House.

Pundits Unfairly Target American Automakers (Washington Post)
The Mob of Pundits (MOP) is out to lynch the domestic automobile industry.


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