Episode 12 – Cerberus is in Talks with Nissan, Volkswagen Stock Skyrockets, More from São Paulo

October 29th, 2008 at 12:00pm

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Cerberus is still exploring all options as to what to do with Chrysler, including talks with Nissan. Volkswagen stock skyrockets, thanks to Porsche buying up VW shares in a bid to take control of the company. Dodge unveils a new production vehicle, the Trazo, at the Sao Paulo auto show. All that and more plus, John answers viewer questions in the “You Said It!” segment.

Transcript and Story Links after the jump . . .

Here are today’s top headlines. Cerberus is still talking to Nissan about Chrysler. Volkswagen stock skyrockets. And more new product from the Sao Paulo auto show.

Up next, we’ll be back with the news behind the headlines.

This is Autoline Daily for Wednesday, October 29, 2008. And now, the news.

The whole GM, Cerberus, Chrysler, GMAC saga continues to dominate the news. Now Cerberus wants to convert GMAC from a privately held company into a bank holding company. It needs to do that to be eligible for any of the $700 billion bailout the U.S. Government is offering to financial institutions. Funny, private equity companies like Cerberus brag that they are nimbler and can act faster because they are not held up to federal or public oversight. But first sign of trouble, and they more than welcome that kind of scrutiny.

Meanwhile the Detroit Free Press reports Cerberus is still in discussions with Nissan about possibly reaching a deal regarding Chrysler. The Freep says Cerberus is still exploring all options as to what to do with Chrysler.

While the world’s stock markets are taking a beating, shares in Volkswagen are hitting sky-high levels. Here’s why. One, Porsche is buying up VW shares in a bid to take control of the company. Two, there are not that many shares available to buy, what they call the float. And when something is in short supply and people really want it, the price goes up. On top of that short sellers are heavily involved in this. So far this year VW stock is up by more than 350 percent! But once Porsche takes control, the price is expected to drop by quite a bit.

Here is a first look at the upcoming 2009 Nissan 370Z Coupe, which will make its world debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November. The all-new 370Z, is the first full redesign of the Nissan Z since its reintroduction as a 2003 model. The Z goes on sale in early 2009.

Dodge unveiled a new production vehicle for the Latin American market at the Sao Paulo auto show yesterday. Called the Trazo, it’s the brand’s latest entry into the fast-growing compact segment. Essentially the Trazo is a rebranded Nissan Versa, but it’s the second product exchange between Chrysler and Nissan. JATCO, a subsidiary of Nissan, has been supplying CVTs to Chrysler. Also, the next-generation Nissan Titan will be built off the Dodge Ram.

Ford’s hybrid versions of the Fusion and Milan midsize sedans will get what they’re calling “Smartgauge with EcoDrive.” The instrument cluster displays various types of information — like battery charge, fuel economy and vehicle range. It even features leaves and vines that “grow” to encourage thrifty driving. The instrument cluster is designed to teach you how to drive as efficiently as possible.

Coming up next, it’s time for “You Said It!”

And now it’s time for some of your feedback.

This is “You Said It!” Every day we get dozens of comments and questions from you, our viewers. “You Said It!” gives me a chance to respond.

First up, Sam Zuech writes in to ask about a story we reported on Monday’s edition of Autoline Daily:

“I cannot believe the government would finance GM’s takeover of Chrysler.
That would guarantee a massive loss of jobs and the end of the Chrysler and Dodge brands. Is there any chance Kerkorian might make a bid for the company now that he has dumped his Ford stock?”

And the answer is No. Kerkorian lost a ton of money on Ford. He probably didn’t make any on GM, and it’s unlikely he’d want to get back into the auto sector at this time. And it’s also possible that Kerkorian faced margin calls like so many other high-rolling financiers, needed quick cash, and that’s why he’s dumping his Ford holdings.

Next, a question asked anonymously:

“Any news on the new Toyota CNG car?”

Yes, as a matter of fact. Toyota is going to unveil a concept version of the Camry hybrid that runs on natural gas at the LA auto show in a couple of weeks. Why are they doing this? Interestingly, Toyota says that building up a CNG network could be a precursor to building a hydrogen infrastructure.

Finally, Rick Sutherland writes:

Will the handling of Routan be VW-like as well, and does Routan have a meaning?

Answer – The Routan will be more VW-like. And the name Routan is a combination of “Route” and “an”. Goes with other VW names, like Touran. And Touareg. It’s the Routan, Touran, Touareg!

Remember, we call this segment “You Said It!” So, please leave your questions or comments on autolinedaily.tv, or send an e-mail to viewermail@autolinedetroit.tv.

But what we’d really like to see, is YOU. Simply post your video question or comment to YouTube and send the link to viewermail@autolinedetroit.tv. Make sure to include “Video Comment” in the subject line so we don’t miss it. Please, send us your videos! We’d love to SEE you on the next installment of “You Said It!”

And that’s it for today’s top news in the global automotive industry, but don’t forget you can get podcasts, transcripts and a whole lot more on our website, AutolineDaily.TV. Thanks for watching, we’ll see you tomorrow.

4 Comments to “Episode 12 – Cerberus is in Talks with Nissan, Volkswagen Stock Skyrockets, More from São Paulo”

  1. Ed Arlin Says:

    John,

    This is great stuff. Love the energy!

    Regards,

    Ed

  2. jim Says:

    John, I received an email yesterday from Pontiac about the 2009 G8 ST. What a cool looking car. What can you tell us about it?

    Jim Schultz
    Sioux Falls, SD

  3. Matthew Hesketh Says:

    Hey i have a question john. If Chrysler is sold to ether GM or Nissan. What do you think will happen to Chrysler’s EV’s?

  4. Richard Tait Says:

    How is it that Cerberus is deciding what to do with Chrysler? They just bought the thing (and in the process made it extremely difficult for other investors to get funding to purchase automotive stocks). If they had no idea what to do with it from day one then they should not have gotten involved with it. Careless investment once again. And frankly, I hope the Federal Government denies them any assistance with GMAC. Chrysler and Dodge brands have allowed well-selling products (300 and Ram) to influence the design of their other vehicles with disastrous effects. What they need is individuality and to find a place in the market. They are indeed lost.