Bernie's Feed
Apr 30, 2012

Chrysler CEO warns of tough talks with CAW

DETROIT (Reuters) – Negotiations between Chrysler Group LLC and the Canadian Auto Workers union this summer may be difficult, said Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne, pointing to a short-lived strike at an auto-parts supplier that caused Chrysler’s minivan plant in Windsor, Ontario, to close for a few hours.

Marchionne told reporters on Monday morning in Detroit, that he had “zero empathy” for the striking CAW workers, at a Dakkota Integrated Systems plant near the Windsor assembly plant.

Apr 27, 2012

Ford Motor says resin shortage won’t cut production

DETROIT, April 27 (Reuters) – Ford does not expect any
production disruptions due to a shortage of a rare nylon resin
used in auto manufacturing, its chief financial officer said on

“We think we are going to get through this without having
any issues,” Ford CFO Bob Shanks said during Ford’s
first-quarter earnings conference call.

Apr 26, 2012

Fiat-Chrysler Q1 beats forecasts as Europe weighs

DETROIT/MILAN (Reuters) – Italian carmaker Fiat (FIA.MI: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) beat analysts’ forecasts for first quarter earnings as its U.S. unit Chrysler Group LLC posted its best quarterly profit since its 2009 bankruptcy, once again compensating for declining sales in Europe.

Without profits from Chrysler, Fiat would be just breaking even in the first quarter because of volume declines in Europe, compared with a trading profit of 251 million euros in the first quarter of 2011, it said in a statement.

Apr 25, 2012

Fuel-efficient vehicles boost U.S. dealership profits

By Deepa Seetharaman and Bernie Woodall

(Reuters) – U.S. dealership groups reported higher-than-expected first-quarter profits, helped by Americans’ need to replace older cars and trucks with more fuel-efficient models as prices at the pump approached record highs.

Rising fuel prices typically hurt vehicle demand, but dealers sold more vehicles at higher prices during the quarter in contrast with previous times when gas prices spiked, AutoNation Inc (AN.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), Penske Automotive Group (PAG.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Lithia Motors Inc (LAD.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) told analysts during conference calls on Wednesday.

Apr 25, 2012

Strong U.S. auto sales boost dealer groups

DETROIT, April 25 (Reuters) – U.S. dealership groups
reported higher-than-expected first-quarter profits on
Wednesday, helped by the need for Americans to replace their
aging cars and trucks with more fuel-efficient vehicles as
prices at the pump neared record highs.

AutoNation Inc, Penske Automotive Group and
Lithia Motors Inc all reported an increase in retail
sales and new vehicle prices for the quarter.

Apr 25, 2012

AutoNation beats expectations on strong sales

By Bernie Woodall

(Reuters) – AutoNation Inc (AN.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), the No. 1 U.S. auto retail group, posted better-than-expected earnings on Wednesday driven by a 10 percent increase in revenue due to strong new-vehicle sales, the company said.

AutoNation is the beneficiary of industry-wide strong auto sales and its Chief Executive Mike Jackson said he expects the strong sales to continue through 2012.

Apr 20, 2012

Dupont, Dow to help global automakers avoid output crunch

DETROIT (Reuters) – Dupont (DD.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Dow Chemical (DOW.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) are among chemical firms working with global automakers who are bracing for a crunch in production, after a German chemical plant explosion cut a chunk of supply of a nylon resin used in brake and fuel systems.

The risk of production cuts is greater for car markers in the United States and France, and less in Japan and Germany, UBS said in a research note.

Apr 11, 2012

One injured in GM battery lab explosion

By Bernie Woodall

(Reuters) – One person was seriously injured Wednesday morning by an explosion at a General Motors Co laboratory near Detroit during a test of lithium-ion batteries for electric cars not yet in production, city and company sources said.

Five people received medical attention after the incident at the GM Technical Center in Warren, Michigan and one person was taken to a local hospital, GM said.

Apr 4, 2012

GM’s Girsky sees 2012 profit in South America

April 4 (Reuters) – General Motors Co will reverse
2011 losses in South America and turn a profit in the region
this year, GM Vice Chairman Steve Girsky told an industry
conference on Wednesday.

Girsky said GM will make money in South America partly
because of a refreshed product portfolio that was allowed to
become stodgy in recent years.

Apr 4, 2012

Ford raises forecast for 2012 total U.S. auto sales

By Bernie Woodall

(Reuters) – Ford Motor Co (F.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) has raised its forecast for total 2012 U.S. auto sales after the industry’s solid first quarter, Ford President for the Americas Mark Fields said on Wednesday.

Ford now expects the U.S. auto industry sales for the year to be 14.5 million to 15 million vehicles, including medium and heavy trucks. That is up from its previous forecast of 13.5 million to 14.5 million.