DETROIT/MILAN, Jan 30 (Reuters) – Fiat said on
Wednesday its debt grew by about 1 billion euros in 2012 as
European car sales tumbled 14 percent, leaving the Italian
carmaker ever more dependent on strong growth at U.S. unit
As Fiat’s management moves to increase spending on new
models in Europe and the United States, investors are keeping a
close watch on its debts for signs that cash-burning European
operations are straining the group’s crucial ability to invest
in products that will win customers in the future.
(Reuters) – Chrysler Group LLC, the U.S. automaker majority owned by Italy’s Fiat (FIA.MI: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), said its 2013 profit would come in toward the low end of its initial business plan, and it cut its 2014 free cash flow forecast by two-thirds.
The No. 3 U.S. automaker, which also reported higher fourth-quarter earnings on Wednesday, now expects free cash flow of $1 billion in 2014. In 2009, Chief Executive Officer Sergio Marchionne had forecast $3 billion as part of his five-year business plan designed to help Chrysler regain its footing after its government-funded bankruptcy nearly four years ago.
DETROIT (Reuters) – Michigan Governor Rick Snyder asked the state Supreme Court to rule whether a law passed last month making payment of union dues voluntary is constitutional, a move critics said was designed to circumvent legal challenges by labor unions.
The new law is expected to make it harder for unions to organize in Michigan, the home of the U.S. auto industry and a major manufacturing center.
DETROIT (Reuters) – At the Detroit Auto Show earlier this month, luxury was in the air. Pricey new Bentleys and Maseratis glittered – including a Maserati 2014 Quattroporte with a $132,000 price tag; U.S. Cabinet Secretaries and dignitaries rubbed shoulders; and many of the well-heeled attendees ponied up for a $300-a-ticket black-tie charity ball.
But in a city that is slowly dying, the glitz didn’t extend much beyond the Cobo Center exhibition hall.
(Reuters) – The percentage of workers belonging to unions tumbled to 11.3 percent in 2012, the lowest percentage in 76 years, led by dramatic declines in states where lawmakers have put organized labor in the political crosshairs, government figures showed on Wednesday.
The total number of union members fell by nearly 400,000, from 11.8 percent of the workforce in 2011, the Labor Department report on union membership said. The rate of 11.3 percent of the workforce was the lowest since 1936, when Franklin Roosevelt was president.
DETROIT, Jan 18 (Reuters) – An Alfa Romeo 4C sports car will
be introduced in the U.S. market late this year, the chief
executive of Fiat SpA and Chrysler Group LLC said on
Friday, adding that further details would come in the next two
to three months.
“For sure it’s coming back this year with the 4C. With the
Alfa Romeo 4C,” CEO Sergio Marchionne said after a speech to a
Detroit businesswomen’s group. “We are finalizing the car now,
so it should be here this year.”
DETROIT, Jan 15 (Reuters) – Zhongsheng Group Holdings Ltd
, a large Chinese auto dealership group, said consumer
financing is fast gaining acceptance in China, which will help
boost the market as well as encourage younger buyers to buy more
Currently only one fifth of car buyers use financing at
Zhongsheng’s 160 dealerships, with the rest paying cash.
Countrywide, that ratio is even less with only 10 percent of
consumers using financing.
DETROIT (Reuters) – Bob Lutz, who championed the Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid, was at the Detroit auto show on Tuesday pitching a new venture that combines an electric car’s exterior with a high-performance gasoline-powered engine.
VL Automotive, a tiny boutique carmaker less than a half-year-old and maker so far of only two cars, is combining the shell of a Fisker Karma with the guts of a Chevrolet Corvette ZR1.
DETROIT, Jan 13 (Reuters) – Members of America’s Corvette
Club can’t wait to see General Motors Corp’s 2014
Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, the first new Corvette in nine
years, which the automaker will unveil this week at the annual
Detroit auto show.
The seventh generation Corvette, called C7 by fans of the
iconic American sportscar, has a front-mounted engine and a
shape like a race car. GM will show it to the media on Sunday
and make pictures and video available to the public.
DETROIT, Jan 9 (Reuters) – The minority owner of Chrysler
Group LLC on Wednesday pushed the U.S. automaker to take the
first step toward becoming a public company again by demanding
that Chrysler register shares with U.S. regulators.
The minority owner, a United Auto Workers union retiree
healthcare trust, on Wednesday demanded that Chrysler register
16.6 percent of company shares with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission. The trust has the right to make the demand
because of the 2009 agreement that brought Chrysler out of
bankruptcy and left Fiat SpA as part-owner.