Episode 33 – Big 3 Back in DC, Silicon Valley Worries About Big 3, Ghosn Says Autos Need Aid

December 1st, 2008 at 12:00pm

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The Big 3 and the UAW head back to Washington with their plans to get a bridge loan. Silicon Valley worries about a Big 3 bankruptcy since lots of chip makers are heavily dependent on the auto industry. Carlos Ghosn warns that automakers around the world need financial assistance or there will be massive job losses. All that and more, plus a look at the Chevrolet Orlando concept vehicle.

Transcript and Story Links after the jump . . .

Here are today’s top headlines. The Big 3 and the UAW head back to Washington with their plans. Silicon Valley worries about a Big 3 bankruptcy. And Carlos Ghosn warns that automakers around the world need financial assistance.

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

This is Autoline Daily for Monday, December 1, 2008. And now, the news.

The Big 3 and the UAW are back in Washington looking for a bridge loan and it’s one of the dominant topics in the media. Various sources say GM is considering cutting as many as four of its brands. They say the UAW is prepared to give up the Jobs Bank. And all three automakers will propose salary cuts for top managers and seek concessions from lenders. We’ll learn more of the details when they’re officially announced because the only thing we know for certain right now is that the CEOs will not be flying in on their corporate jets.

The San Jose Mercury News reports that Silicon Valley is getting nervous about a Big 3 collapse. Today’s cars use integrated circuits to control just about anything that has a wire running into it. And lots of chip makers in the Bay area are heavily dependent on the auto industry and are worried what will happen to GM, Ford and Chrysler. Let that be a warning to those who say we should not help the Big 3.

Carlos Ghosn, the CEO of Nissan and Renault is warning that countries involved in automotive production face massive job losses unless they move quickly to provide financial assistance to carmakers. The AFP says, Ghosn told a symposium in Japan that the job losses won’t be immediately apparent but will manifest themselves over the next few years.

On top of reports of automakers pulling out of the Detroit auto show, WardsAuto.com reports that the 2009 Brisbane International Motor Show in Australia has been canceled (subscription required). The tipping point came when both Toyota and Volkswagen decided not to show up.

In Europe, GM and Ford are cutting back production. Wards reports that GM will eliminate the third shift at a plant in Poland (subscription required) early next year. Ford will idle some 5,000 workers (subscription required) at its operation in Valencia, Spain. The cutback will also hold up the launch of the new Fiesta, which was scheduled for January 20.

Suzuki just unveiled the new Alto Lapin, a minivehicle for the Japanese market. According to Autoblog, the styling is about the only thing that Suzuki hasn’t changed on the Alto Lapin. There are upgrades to the platform, powertrain, and interior. The Alto Lapin achieves 58 MPG and costs between 11 and 15 grand. And it kind of looks like the Nissan Cube, doesn’t it?

Coming up in our feature story we’ll take a brief look at the Chevy Orlando concept vehicle. We’ll be back right after this.

Chevrolet is a brand that is growing by leaps and bounds, outside of its home market in the United States. Recently, Chevy unveiled a seven-seat multi-purpose vehicle, called the Orlando that will be sold in Europe and other markets outside of North America. It’s based on the all-new Cruze and was designed to combine the versatility attributes of a SUV, a mini-van and a wagon.

Here’s what GM’s Vice President of Global Design, Ed Welburn had to say to journalists about the Orlando.

Under the hood the Orlando is equipped with Chevrolet’s 2.0-liter turbo diesel, that delivers 150 hp. And even though the Orlando has the look of an SUV, the Cruze architecture it’s built on will offer the ride and handling of a car as well as better fuel efficiency. No word yet from GM when or if the Orlando will be available.

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.com. Thanks for watching, we’ll see you tomorrow.

8 Comments to “Episode 33 – Big 3 Back in DC, Silicon Valley Worries About Big 3, Ghosn Says Autos Need Aid”

  1. Chris Terry Says:

    John, is the Orlando too heavy to fit with the 1.4turbo? When gas prices go back up, why not sell the Orlando here?

    Cheers, Chris

  2. William R. Walling Says:

    “Let’s review, ALL automakers GLOBALLY are today demanding Government(s) help!”
    Appears to reflect an emerging ‘community’ transportation paradigm commonly termed PUBLIC ‘mass’ transit.
    As ‘The Who’ sing – ‘GOT to be a ‘better’ way!’

  3. Merv Peters Says:

    Chevy needs to think “Orlando” here in N.A.

  4. Mark Johnson Says:

    With the big 3 producing a large amount of the North American cars and trucks in Canada, why are they not asking the Canadian government for help also?

  5. D A Lewis Says:

    WOW! I had just thought to submit a video for You Said It with thoughts of GM to down size to three brands for the US market; Saturn (entry Brand) Chevy (mid Brand) and Cadillac (luxury Brand). Since Pontiac would be dropped, Chevy could a performance injection; rebadge the G8 to Impala, drop HHR and rebage the Vibe to Chevy. As for GMC make it strictly Pickups (regular and heavy duty) and drop the truck line from Chevy. And being that Buick is successful in the Asian market, keep it over there. Then keep Opel (entry) and Vauxhall (mid) and Sabb (lux) for the European market.

    Is there anyway you can forward this to Mr. Lutz?

  6. Jay Says:

    As always a great daily news update. Keep it up!!!



  8. Richard Tait Says:

    Chevrolet Orlando is a step in the right direction. I can envision it replacing the ageing HHR (they could call it that for all I care too) and add to the killer products that Chevy now is offering. Is it too big for a 1.4L turbo? According to VW philosophy, it’s just fine. VW’s 1.4L TSI engine (turbo and supercharged direct injection) puts out 180PS in top tune. GM’s own 1.4L turbo puts out 140hp. That’s 2 more than the 1.8L currently offered in the Saturn Astra. You do the math.