Summit Notebook

AUDIO – Mornings with Ron: A Reuters Autos Summit tradition

November 3, 2009

A few years ago, there was a book out called “Tuesdays with Morrie.” At Reuters, though, we spend our Tuesday mornings during Auto Summits with Ron.

Upstarts!

November 3, 2009

The U.S. government has pumped more than $100 billion into Detroit over the past year to keep automakers General Motors and Chrysler alive. But some of the sector’s remaining capitalists are having a hard time stomaching a $25 billion Department of Energy loan program intended to spark new developments in electric cars. 

Toyota’s Arashima on Reuters Financial Television

November 3, 2009

Toyota Motor Europe President and CEO Tadashi Arashima talked to Reuters Financial Television during the Auto Summit in Paris. See here.

Toyota will not freeze out Iceland, bets on Russia bounce

November 3, 2009

The world’s biggest carmaker, Toyota, will not follow the road of McDonald’s and abandon Iceland even though it is selling ‘very few’ cars there at the moment and its distributor has been seized by the banks as its owner went belly-up, Toyota Motor Europe President and CEO Tadashi Arashima told the Reuters Auto Summit in Paris on Tuesday.
“We have a big market share there, of 25 percent, and it is good for our after-sales,” Arashima said.
The banks are trying to sell the distributor but Toyota does not plan to take ownership like it does in its key European markets of Germany, France, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom, and some Scandinavian countries.
 

AUDIO – Commercial real estate: The auto industry’s next big (bad) thing

November 3, 2009

The U.S. auto industry has had one heck of a year.Sales have fallen off, credit has been pretty much nonexistant and two of the major U.S. automakers were bankrupt. Other that all that, things were fine.But Bill Diehl, chief executive of advisory firm BBK, said at the first day of this year’s Reuters Autos Summit, that one of the main concerns for 2010 (if it’s not THE main concern) is the industry’s overall exposure to commercial real estate.We have been hearing about the problems with commercial real estate in many other sectors of the U.S. economy and Diehl gave the strongest statement so far about the auto side.(To hear Diehl\’s comments, please click here)The Reuters Autos Summit continues through Thursday in Detroit and Paris.

The secret lives of auto executives

November 3, 2009

Ed Whitacre sneaks off to breakfast at a Detroit greasy spoon. Sergio Marchionne’s attention to detail extends to the condition of his factories’ bathrooms. And Bill Ford helped save his great-grandfather’s company by hocking the blue oval. 

Diehl: Ford & UAW need to “work at it” a little more…

November 3, 2009

William Diehl, chief executive of advisory firm BBK says Ford and the United Auto Workers union need to work a little harder to come to some sort of agreement that puts the automaker on a more level playing field with its rivals. Click here to listen to what he had to say at the 2009 Reuters Autos Summit.

Diehl on Ford-UAW contract talks from Reuters TV on Vimeo.

Investors do not realise Valeo’s Asian potential-CEO

November 3, 2009

Valeo generates 18 percent of its sales in Asia, and 7 percent in China alone, and that percentage will increase due to fast organic growth in these booming markets, but investors still see Valeo as a company anchored in mature European markets.

Reports of the death of the car industry are premature-Valeo

November 3, 2009

A glimmer of light in a world of darkness for stressed-out car industry managers. Jacques Aschenbroich (pronounce Ashenbrough), the new CEO at French car supplier Valeo has been visiting the Frankfurt and Tokyo motorshows, as well as travelling to places such as China.

AUDIO – The ‘new normal’ for the U.S. auto industry

November 2, 2009

A few years ago, one of the guests at our annual Reuters Autos Summit — Tom Stallkamp from Ripplewood — pretty much stopped everyone dead in their tracks by predicting that auto sales in the United States was likely to fall to an obscenely low level of 14.5 million.