November 5th, 2010 at 12:10pm
Over the last 6 months Toyota racked up $3.6 billion in profits. BMW announced it will build a sports car with plug-in hybrid technology based on its Vision EfficientDynamics. Chinese automaker BYD is delaying EV sales in China because it says the infrastructure isn’t sufficient yet. All that and more, plus a look at the Mid-Term Election results and how that will affect the auto industry.
This is Autoline Daily for November 5, 2010. And now the news.
WINDFALL FOR THE GENERAL
In a stunning announcement, General Motors says it could generate as much as $19 billion in pre-tax profits. It also says it can generate $16 billion in free cash flow. Bloomberg reports that GM slashed its hourly labor costs from $16 billion a year to only $5 billion. Of course I would add that GM is about to do an Initial Public Offering, or IPO, and wants to start selling stock again. So all this is a sales pitch. It means they could hit these numbers if everything goes perfect, it does not necessarily mean they will hit them.
But GM must be feeling pretty good about itself. The Detroit News reports that it just started chartering private jets for its executives to use as they take their IPO show on the road. GM says its expense policy allows it to rent the jets for business purposes.
Toyota reported strong profits for the first half of its fiscal year. Over the last 6 months the company racked up $3.6 billion in profits. That’s much better compared to last year, when it lost money. But it’s not as good as other automakers that have been reporting this year. And Bloomberg reports that Toyota expects it profit to plunge 77% for the rest of its fiscal year that ends in March.
THE ULTIMATE DRIVING HYBRID
BMW announced it will build a sports car with plug-in hybrid technology based on its Vision EfficientDynamics concept for sale in 2013. It’s a four seat vehicle that uses a 3 liter diesel and electric motor to power the front wheels and an electric for the rear. It’s able to travel 50 kilometers, that’s about 31 miles, on electric power only and the diesel engine extends the range to 700km or 435 miles. Fuel economy comes out to 3.8 l/100km or about 63 miles per gallon. It can go from 0-100km/h in just 4.8 seconds. Bloomberg also reports that the company will invest over half a billion euros to set up production of its all-electric Megacity car. The four seat vehicle will also go on sale in 2013.
WHAT’S WITH BYD?
Chinese automaker BYD had said it would start selling electric vehicles in the U.S. by the end of this year. But now that is not going to happen. In fact, according to Gasgoo it doesn’t look like BYD will even be selling EV’s in China anytime soon. BYD says the infrastructure in China isn’t ready for electrics. Wait a minute! Nobody’s infrastructure is ready. Sounds to me like some sort of excuse because their car just isn’t ready.
SEMA: RTR-X MUSTANG
Our friends at Autoblog are having a field day at the SEMA show, and we wanted to show you some of the coolest cars they uncovered at the show. Check out this 1969 RTR-X Mustang from Vaughn Gittin and the video game company Need For Speed. Vaughn Gittin, as those who watch Autoline After Hours will know is a drifting champion and was a guest on the show earlier this year.
SEMA: LINGENFELTER FIREBIRD
And while Pontiac may be dead, the Firebird Trans Am lives on, at least in the form of this Lingenfelter conversion based on the current Chevrolet Camaro. Looks like a pretty faithful version of the car.
SEMA: TOYOTA C&A PRIUS
And who says hybrids have to look homely? Toyota’s Conversions & Accessories group took a Toyota Prius and transformed it into this outrageous looking machine that seems to feature the ultimate in ground effects add-ons. Toyota says this shows the unlimited potential for sports car modification to its best selling hybrid.
SEMA: CORVETTE ZO6X
And finally, there’s this beautiful Corvette ZO6X, built by the wizards at Pratt & Miller. It comes with a full race cage, an adjustable rear wing, and all kinds of carbon fiber bits and pieces. It’s a concept, but it’s designed to go directly to the race track.
We saw a big political shift in the United States this week with the mid-term elections. That is going to both help and maybe hurt the car industry. I’ll show you what I’m talking about, right after this.
The mid-term elections completely shifted the political landscape in the United States. So what does this mean for the automotive industry? That’s the topic on Autoline Detroit this weekend. My guests for that show are Nolan Finley, the editorial page editor for the Detroit News, and Edward Lapham, the executive editor of Automotive News.
You can watch that entire show on our website right now at autolinedetroit.tv
But that brings us to the end of another week of covering the top news in the global automotive industry. Thanks for watching, we’ll see you on Monday.