Summit Notebook

Exclusive outtakes from industry leaders

Audio – Conti wants market solution to CO2 emission limits

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Manfred WennemerManfred Wennemer, the chief executive of German car parts group Continental AG, told the Reuters Autos Summit in Frankfurt he was for a market solution to reducing CO2 emissions in cars and against mandatory steps.

 

Audio — Ford says relations with suppliers have been battered

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kuzak.jpgFord Motor Co acknowledges that it has a poor relationship with its U.S. suppliers and it plans to do something about it.

Global product chief Derrick Kuzak told the Reuters Autos Summit that he and purchasing boss Tony Brown will hold focus groups with chief executives from auto suppliers early next year in an attempt to improve relations, though he doesn’t expect change to come easily.

Audio – Lutz says U.S. needs to wake up to loss of global economic impact

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lutz.jpgGeneral Motors Vice-Chairman and head of global product development Bob Lutz said it is time the United States woke up to its lack of influence over the global economy and commodity prices in particular.

He told the Reuters Autos Summit in Detroit on Tuesday that in the past when there was an economic downturn in the U.S., the prices of steel, aluminum, rubber and plastic, would fall and margins could begin to recover.

Audio – S&P analyst worries about C02 costs

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rtx3qjr.jpgMaria Bissinger, a credit analyst at Standard & Poor’s, said that while the car companies she follows are all investment grade or on the brink of returning to investment grade, she still had some worries.

One of these worries was about the costs of CO2 emission rules. But then, credit analysts are by nature pessimistic people, she told the Reuters Autos Summit in Frankfurt.

Audio – Internal combustion engine seen King for another 15-20 years

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Germany’s ErlingKlinger may not be the world’s best-known car parts maker but it is a global power house in engine gaskets.

Chief Executive Officer Stefan Wolf told the Reuters Autos Summit in Frankfurt that the firm was working on products for fuel cells to prepare for the moment when there would be electric vehicles to replace the fossil fuel-burning internal combustion engine.Stefan Wolf

Audio – Gettelfinger still sees buyout firms as “vultures”

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gettelfinger.jpgUnited Auto Workers union chief Ron Gettelfinger still has difficulty in saying nice things about the private equity business.

Sure, he accepts that Cerberus kept its commitment to the union to largely stay out of labor talks over the new contract with Chrysler after buying the automaker and he is prepared to see subsequent job cuts as understandable adjustments given the weak U.S. autos market. But at the Reuters Autos Summit in Detroit on Tuesday, he still had time to rip into the behaviour of the buyout firms.

Audio – Americans love Italian super sports cars

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Stephan WinkelmanWest Coast Americans just love Italian luxury super sports cars, just as they like French luxury goods or Swiss watches.

Lamborghini President and Chief Executive Officer Stephan Winkelmann told the Reuters Autos Summit in Frankfurt that despite strict environmental rules, there was so much wealth in California that it would remain a big market for the top end sports carmaker.

Audio – Ferrari owners use their car more often

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rtx3gtj.jpgGuess what, owners of Ferrari sports cars use their vehicles more and more. The car is no longer a prized asset on the forecourt or in the garage, but people actually drive in them.

Amedeo Felisa, the general manager of the Italian firm majority-owned by Fiat, said the company was doing its best to make driving more comfortable as well.

Audio – Tenneco CEO says negative cash flow shortlived

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greggsherrill.jpgAuto-parts maker Tenneco Inc expects that negative cash flow it suffered in the third quarter will be reversed in the current quarter. 

“From a cash point of view today I feel pretty doggone good about the fourth quarter,” the company’s CEO Gregg Sherrill told the Reuters Autos Summit in Detroit. 

Audio – Home price slide stopping job moves

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house.jpgsherrill.jpgThe housing crisis is starting to prevent companies from hiring staff from areas where home prices have fallen most, a top auto-parts company executive warned.

“We are already beginning to see housing as a major blockage in the mobility of people,” said Gregg Sherrill,  the CEO of Tenneco Inc at the Reuters Autos Summit in Detroit.

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