March 29th, 2011 at 12:02pm
The news coming out of Japan isn’t getting any better. Deutsche Bank says production will not return to normal until October! Chrysler got back some 700 vehicles that were being held hostage by car-hauling company Allied Holdings. Nissan of Canada has turned down the Murano Crosscabriolet and this drop-top crossover will not be offered in the country. All that and more, plus John sits down with author and former Ford executive Anne Doyle to talk about enemies in the workplace.
This is Autoline Daily for March 29, 2011. And now, the news.
MORE BAD NEWS FROM JAPAN
And the news out of Japan isn’t getting any better. Bloomberg reports that Toyota says the recovery is going to take a long time and that the impact on certain models is going to be significant. Nissan says everything will be cleaned up by the end of the first quarter, but remember, Japanese companies operate on a March 31st fiscal cycle, meaning that the end of the first quarter for Nissan isn’t until the end of June. But a report from Deutsche Bank says production will not return to normal until October. It also says Japanese automakers are going to rack up big losses in the first half of their fiscal year. And all this will ripple through the global auto industry, which will have a negative impact on global suppliers.
RENAULT ESPIONAGE UPDATE
Now for the latest on the alleged espionage scandal involving Renault. A private investigator who Renault had hired was arrested. He’s the guy who charged the French automaker well over $400,000 for information suggesting some of its employees were selling secrets about electric cars to the Chinese. Earlier this month, a security official who worked for Renault was also arrested in connection with this fraud.
SMART PARKING METERS
When he isn’t the chairman of Ford, Bill Ford Jr. is investing in small startup companies with an investment firm he co-founded, Fontinalis Partners. According to The Detroit News, one of those companies is Parkmobile USA, which created a free service that allows you to pay a parking meter with your smartphone. The app will also alert you to let you know if the meter is about to run out. The company is also considering using its technology to help drivers locate parking spaces or let a driver know how many spaces are available in a parking garage. The service is available in about 30 U.S. cities. Bill Ford Jr. created the firm to invest in companies that help improve the mobility and transportation infrastructure.
Last week we reported that GM and Chrysler vehicles were being held hostage by a car-hauling company. Now Bloomberg reports that Chrysler got back 700 of its vehicles from Allied Holdings. The automaker sued Allied in a Canadian court last week because the vehicles were being held in its Windsor, Ontario facility.
NO CROSSCABRIOLET FOR CANADA
The Nissan Murano Crosscabriolet is one funky product. Who would have ever thought an automaker would introduce a drop-top crossover? Crazy talk. I’d bet the sales volumes on this thing are going to be tiny given its weird looks and nearly $50,000 starting price. Limiting its appeal even further, The Globe and Mail says that this open-air two-door WILL NOT be sold in Canada. Evidently Nissan of the North – my name, not theirs – looked at it and said “no thanks.” If this is your kind of vehicle, the Murano Crosscabriolet should start showing up at dealerships next month . . . unless you’re in Canada, of course.
RIGHTY TIGHTY, LEFTY LOOSY
Righty tighty, lefty loosy. Keep this in mind the next time you work on anything with wheels. One motorcycle racer may have learned this lesson the hard way. We found this video on Autoblog but it comes courtesy of European TV network Eurosport. Here you can see two bikes duke-ing it out during a race when suddenly the front runner’s rear hub snaps, sending the wheel and tire flying off like a 50-pound Frisbee. Luckily the racer, Maxime Berger, doesn’t appear injured from the fall. The motorcycle’s paint job on the other hand probably didn’t fare quite as well. Pretty funny to watch.
Have you ever found out that you had an enemy in the workplace? Someone who is going to try to make life miserable for you? How do you deal with that? We’ll get into that, right after this.
Anne Doyle is a former executive at the Ford Motor Company and the author of the book “Powering Up.” She’s got great advice for anyone trying to guide their career through all the pitfalls you can encounter in a large corporation. She came into our studios to share some of that advice in what we’re calling “The Ah-Ha Moment.”
Be sure to tune in to Autoline After Hours this Thursday night when our guest will be Joel Piaskowski. If you want to know where Ford is headed with its future exterior design in the Americas this is your chance to ask the designer who’s in charge of all that.
And that’s today’s report on the top news in the global auto industry. Thanks for watching, we’ll see you tomorrow.