July 23rd, 2010 at 12:00pm
Ford posted a higher than expected net income of $2.6 billion in the second quarter of the year. Sources say General Motors will file an initial public offering next month after it releases its second-quarter earnings. Earlier this month Italian engineers launched two autonomous electric vehicles that will travel from Rome to Shanghai. All that and more, plus a preview of this week’s Autoline Detroit about the state of the automotive industry.
Transcript and Story Links after the jump . . .
This is Autoline Daily for Friday, the 23rd of July, 2010. I’m Murray Feldman, Fox 2 News, Detroit, taking another turn in the Autoline Daily anchor chair for John McElroy who will be back next week. Here are today’s top stories.
FORD POSTS Q2 PROFIT
There are some glimmers of hope that the economy is recovering. Yesterday we reported that Chrysler will announce a second-quarter profit sometime next month, and today it’s Ford’s turn. The blue oval posted a higher-than-expected net income of $2.6 billion for Q2. Its pre-tax operating profit totaled $2.9 billion, or 68 cents per share, which blew-by analysts’ estimates of 40 cents. Adding to the bottom line, each of the company’s business units posted a profit for the quarter. Its North American operations made $1.9 billion while Ford Credit brought-in nearly $890 million. The company expects the second-half of the year to be less profitable than the first, but it estimates 2011 will be better than 2010. Behind the numbers–people! People talking. It’s the power or perception. When I talk with people all over the country about autos–the guy on the street knows Ford..as the company that did not go bankrupt. That kind of talk goes along way..today it’s worth more than 2 billion bucks.
MORE EXPLORER NEWS
In a related story, Ford continues to taunt us with photos of its redesigned Explorer. The company released yet another teaser shot of the 2011 model on Facebook, this time giving us a peek of the grille. The new Explorer will be built in Ford’s Chicago Assembly Plant alongside the Taurus and the Lincoln MKS. The company estimates that production will create around 1200 jobs at the factory and another 600 jobs at parts suppliers around the country. The 2011 Explorer will be exported to more than 90 countries when it goes on sale this winter.
GM TO FILE IPO IN AUGUST
There’s been a lot of speculation as to when GM will go public again, and according to Reuters, it will happen next month. Sources with knowledge say the company will file its IPO the week of August 16th which will be right after the company releases its second-quarter results which are expected to show it generated cash for a second-consecutive quarter.
LEASING INDUSTRY LOSES BILLIONS
A new report says the auto leasing industry in the U.S. has been hit hard over the last several years. According to Reuters, a study done by CNW Research says the leasing industry has lost over $10 billion dollars since 2005 because they overestimated the resale values of vehicles that were leased.
NEW KIA SPORTAGE
The already crowded crossover segment just lost a little more elbow room this week as Kia took the wraps off its all-new sub-compact CUV, the Sportage. With the Kias all poised to go exploring the streets of San Francisco and beyond, journalists got a deep dive on not only this latest new product, but also the continuing evolution of Kia here in North America. But the best way to sell a car is to get it out there and put it through its paces so that’s just where the Sportage went … driving around Chinatown … climbing up to the Russian Hill area … and even taking a break at a luxury hotel to brag about its latest package of features and technology.
COUPLE ACCUSED OF STEALING GM SECRETS
Less than one year after a Ford engineer was accused of stealing trade secrets and selling them to Chinese companies, GM may be the victim of similar industrial espionage. According to The Detroit News, a Chinese engineer and her husband were charged in federal court with conspiring to steal more than $40 million worth of hybrid technology secrets. Allegedly they intended to sell them to Chery Automobile, but none of the documents and papers ever made it to the Automaker.
AUTONOMOUS ELECTRIC VEHICLES
Earlier this month Italian engineers from Vislab, a spin-off company from the University of Parma, launched two autonomous electric vehicles that will travel from Rome to Shanghai. The trip will take three months and cover over 8,000 miles, that’s 13,000 kilometers. A solar panel on the roof powers the autonomous driving system, which includes things like cameras, computers, and laser scanners. The first vehicle will have limited human intervention to define the route and make any other adjustments. The second vehicle follows the first and requires no human intervention. The vehicles can travel around 100 kilometers, that’s a little over 60 miles at about 40 miles an hour on a single charge. If you want to learn more…. or follow the team’s progress just click the link in today’s transcript.
After the break, a preview of this week’s episode of Autoline Detroit. We’ll be back in just a few seconds.
Joining John McElroy in-studio this week to discuss the state of the automotive industry is a panel of experts including Rebecca Lindland from IHS Global Insight, Erich Merkel from Autoconomy and John Wolkonowicz, also from IHS Global Insight. Together they talk about some of the big trends affecting the business. In the following preview they get into some of the forces at work in the used-vehicle market and why premium small cars may prove to be a dud in North America.
As always you can watch that entire episode of Autoline Detroit on our website AutolineDetroit.tv.
And that wraps things up for this week. I’m Murray Feldman from Fox 2 News, Detroit, signing off. Take care, have a great weekend … and as his company expense account runs dry, I imagine John will be back … maybe Tuesday.