November 20th, 2008 at 12:18pm
The Big Three bailout in Washington goes down the drain due to lack of support. Carlos Ghosn says we’re going to see more consolidation soon due to the weakening global market. All that and more plus, a look at the latest cars unveiled by BMW, Nissan and Ford at the LA Auto Show.
Transcript and Story Links after the jump . . .
Here are today’s top headlines. The Big Three bailout in Washington goes down the drain. Carlos Ghosn says we’re going to see more consolidation soon. And a look at the latest cars unveiled at the LA Auto Show.
Up next, we’ll be back with the news behind the headlines.
This is Autoline Daily for Thursday, November 20, 2008. And now, the news.
Well, like we’ve been reporting here all along, the bailout effort for the Big Three in DC is kaput…..for the time being. Democratic Senator Harry Reid, the majority leader, said he didn’t have the votes to provide the automakers with any money and he’s calling the whole thing off.
So what’s next? Like I’ve been saying, now Detroit will have to wait for Barack Obama to be sworn in as president in January. He has stated strongly, on the record, that he is in favor of saving the Big Three and the UAW. But the automakers and the union are going to have to regroup and figure out how they are going to communicate their message, because their testimony in Washington this week was a disaster—-all this mumbling, and stammering and avoiding the questions. That’s not how you sell the Senate on throwing you a lifeline.
What do you think? Should they get the bailout, should there be strings attached? We’re running a poll at AutolineDaily.com, so let us know what you think.
In a related item, Carlos Ghosn, the CEO of Nissan/Renault, says the current crisis in the auto industry will likely lead to consolidation soon. According to WWJ Newsradio 950, Ghosn says the weakening global market that the industry is facing will knock out some competitors. Is he hinting at a collapse of GM or Chrysler, and then consolidating them together? Ghosn isn’t saying, but the timing of the remark is probably not a coincidence.
Hyundai announced it plans to meet the Corporate Average Fuel Economy regulations of 35 MPG by 2015 (subscription required). That’s five years ahead of the deadline. Hyundai will introduce a hybrid version of the Sonata in 2010, offer more fuel-efficient versions of the Accent and Elantra next year; and introduce a new CUV powered by a turbocharged gasoline direct-injection, 4-cylinder engine. By the way, Ford also said it will come in ahead of schedule on CAFE.
Pakistan’s auto industry is suffering (subscription required) along with all other automakers. Yes, Pakistan does have an auto industry. WardsAuto.com reports that there are 8 car companies in Pakistan and 1,600 suppliers. The country makes 160,000 vehicles a year and the major players include Suzuki, Toyota and Honda. Jeez, they’ve got to deal with the Taliban, Al-Qaeda, missile strikes and a 42% drop in car sales. Boy, and we think we’ve got it bad.
Coming up next, a look at a number of the new cars that were unveiled this week at the LA Auto Show. We’ll be back, right after this.
The LA Auto Show opened its doors to the press yesterday. Here are a few of the show’s highlights so far.
BMW unveiled its all-electric, plug-in Mini E. The company is releasing 500 of these cars to the public for testing. It includes a 204 horsepower electric motor and a lithium-ion battery with range of about 150 miles. The company also showed-off its new 7 Series flagship sedan.
Nissan showed off the redesigned Z car and the funky little Cube. The updated 370Z features a larger 3.7-liter V6 with 332 horsepower and an optional seven-speed automatic transmission. The all-new Cube will be coming to the U.S. next spring and promises to offer a flexible interior and terrific gas mileage.
Ford made a splash with its redesigned 2010 Fusion. For the first time the company is offering a sport model with a 3.5-liter V6, there’s also a more powerful and efficient four cylinder engine. Six-speed automatic transmissions are standard across-the-board. But the biggest Fusion news is the availability of a hybrid model. Ford is claiming the Fusion hybrid will beat the Camry hybrid by six miles per gallon in the city.
The redesigned 2010 Mazda3 was also revealed. The new car features a restyled exterior and better performance. A new 2.5-liter, 167 horsepower four cylinder engine replaces last year’s 2.3.
Those are just some of the highlights from the LA show, but we’ll be bringing you more details in the coming days.
And don’t forget, sign up to win a special-edition 10th anniversary Autoline DVD and Autoline coffee mug. All you have to do is sign-up for our free e-mail newsletter. I’ll be picking the winner tomorrow on “Autoline Daily” so sign-up now!