Bernie's Feed
Aug 21, 2014

Honda to modify Fit to boost test score, calls back 12,000 cars

DETROIT (Reuters) – The first 12,000 U.S. customers who bought the 2015 Honda Fit subcompact cars will be asked to have the vehicles retrofitted to attain top marks from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Honda Motor Co (7267.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and the IIHS said Thursday.

The action – which is not a safety recall aligned with U.S. safety regulators – is aimed at allowing all 2015 Fit cars to have the same, more robust front bumpers as cars made after June 9, when Honda changed the way they were produced, Chuck Thomas, chief engineer for vehicle safety at American Honda, said.

Aug 15, 2014

UAW says union membership near majority at VW Tennessee plant

DETROIT, Aug 15 (Reuters) – The United Auto Workers, which
lost a controversial organizing vote in February at a Volkswagen
AG plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee, has nearly enough members in
its newly formed local for the automaker to recognize it as
exclusive bargaining agent for the plant, a top union official
said on Friday.

If the union is able to prove to Volkswagen that
it has support from a majority of the plant’s approximately
1,500 hourly workers, VW can select it as the exclusive
bargaining agent for all of them, despite the loss to UAW foes
in the vote.

Aug 8, 2014

Nissan closes gap with Honda in U.S. thanks to stylish designs, discounts

DETROIT (Reuters) – For more than 25 years, the contest among Japanese car makers in North America has been a two-horse race, led by Toyota with Honda in second place and Nissan in the rear view mirror -trailing far behind. Not anymore.

    Nissan (7201.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), thanks to the launch of models that are getting high marks for styling, its wider range of vehicles and aggressive discounting, is catching up with Honda. In the next couple of years it could easily pass its rival in U.S. car sales for the first time since 1987.

Aug 8, 2014

Analysis – Nissan closes gap with Honda in U.S. thanks to stylish designs, discounts

DETROIT (Reuters) – For more than 25 years, the contest among Japanese car makers in North America has been a two-horse race, led by Toyota with Honda in second place and Nissan in the rear view mirror -trailing far behind. Not anymore.

Nissan (7201.T: Quote, Profile, Research), thanks to the launch of models that are getting high marks for styling, its wider range of vehicles and aggressive discounting, is catching up with Honda. In the next couple of years it could easily pass its rival in U.S. car sales for the first time since 1987.

Aug 6, 2014

Chrysler CEO says no talks, but open to Canada investment pitch

DETROIT (Reuters) – Chrysler Group Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne said on Wednesday the company has not resumed talks with Canadian officials about financial support to help upgrade a minivan plant in Windsor, but would entertain any proposal offered.

Chrysler had reportedly sought $700 million in government support toward a $3.6 billion investment for the plant, but the deal was scuttled when federal and provincial officials pressed Chrysler on how much of its investment would be spent in Ontario, it was reported in March.

Aug 6, 2014

Fiat CEO blames ‘overreaction’ for sell-off threatening merger

MILAN/DETROIT (Reuters) – Fiat (FIA.MI: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne on Wednesday blamed overblown press reports and a “lack of understanding” of the merger with its U.S. unit Chrysler for a share sell-off that threatens to blow the planned tie-up off course.

Marchionne wants to incorporate the two carmakers into Dutch-registered entity Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), paving the way for a U.S. listing key to help fund an ambitious investment plan at the world’s No.7 auto group.

Aug 6, 2014

Chrysler profit up amid investor concerns over merger with Fiat

DETROIT (Reuters) – Amid concerns that Fiat (FIA.MI: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) shareholders will prevent a merger of the Italian automaker with Chrysler Group, the American automaker reported that second-quarter profit was up 22 percent to $619 million.

Fiat shares fell as much as 8.5 percent on Wednesday to their lowest of the year on concerns that investors who voted against the merger with Chrysler would exercise their right to sell the stock, potentially jeopardizing the tie-up.

Aug 1, 2014

U.S. auto sales growth slowed in July

DETROIT (Reuters) – U.S. auto sales growth slowed a bit in July, with healthy gains from some manufacturers falling short of expectations, according to early returns from the major carmakers on Friday.

Ford Motor Co (F.N: Quote, Profile, Research) reported a gain of 10 percent to 212,236 vehicles, slightly beating the analysts’ average estimate of 9 percent. General Motors Co (GM.N: Quote, Profile, Research) said July sales were up 9 percent at 256,160, missing expectations of 11 percent.

Aug 1, 2014

Ford’s U.S. July sales up 10 pct; Chrysler’s up 20 percent

DETROIT (Reuters) – U.S. auto sales look set to show healthy gains for July, but not as much as expected, according to early returns from the major carmakers on Friday.

Ford Motor Co (F.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) reported a gain of 10 percent to 212,236 vehicles, narrowly beating expectations, but both Nissan Motor Co (7201.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Chrysler Group LLC failed to sell as many cars and trucks in July as analysts had expected.

Aug 1, 2014

Analysis – U.S. auto sales party seen increasingly dependent on easy money

DETROIT (Reuters) – The U.S. auto industry hasn’t appeared so healthy for years. Sales hit an eight-year high in June, there appears to be plenty of pent-up demand, and discounting is far from getting out of hand. New plants and production lines are being built, and many auto executives, dealers and securities analysts are optimistic.

And yet, a minority on Wall Street and in the autos business are seeing reasons to be wary. They argue that a combination of cheap loans with extended terms, deep incentives from some dealers, and unsustainably high values for used cars, is making it far too easy for many Americans to buy new vehicles.