October 26th, 2012 at 12:05pm
While one manufacturer fails to meet profit expectations, Hyundai reports a 3rd quarter profit jump. Although somewhat controversial, could fracking be the answer to lower fuel costs? A vehicle meant to compete with the likes of the Tesla Roadster gets put on the back burner. All that and more, plus on Autoline This Week John sits down to talk with Mary Barra, the head of General Motors Global Product Development.
Hello and welcome to a brand spanking new episode of Autoline Daily. It’s Friday, Friday, Friday the 26th of October. I’m Jim Hall of 2953 Analytics filling in for John today. Anyways, onward and upward, it’s time for the news… shall we get started?
DROP IN REVENUE
There’s more earnings to report today. Not surprisingly with slumping sales in Europe, Renault reported that its third quarter revenue dropped 13 percent compared to last year, to eleven billion dollars. And the company expects that its full-year revenue will be below last year.
PROFIT JUMP FOR HYUNDAI
But it’s a different story over at Hyundai. Bloomberg reports that the company’s third quarter net profit jumped to two billion dollars, a 13 percent gain compared to last year. Anti-Japanese sentiment in China helped boost sales in the PRC and unlike most automakers, Hyundai was able to grow market share in Europe thanks to demand for the Tuscon and its new mini-car the i10. But the news wasn’t quite as good at Kia. Even though the company’s net profit in the third quarter rose to 750 million dollars, it missed analyst’s expectations. Strikes in Korea over the summer stopped the production of nearly 63,000 vehicles.
WHAT THE FRACK?!
Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is somewhat controversial but it could lead to lower fuel prices. According to Bloomberg, a number of companies are taking advantage of the excess of natural gas from shale rock, to turn it into gasoline, diesel and jet fuel. Oxford Catalysts says it costs $2.95 a gallon to make premium diesel from oil. But the price drops to a $1.57 a gallon with gas at a small plant.
Plans to build the Audi R8 E-Tron seem to have been placed on the back burner pending a project review. With a range of 150 miles and a 0 to 60 time under 5 seconds, the E-Tron was set to take on the likes of the Tesla Roadster and the upcoming Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Electric Drive. The hold-up was ordered due to a lack of advanced and inexpensive batteries to power the car along with generally poor EV sales.
PLANT PRODUCTION HALTED
In related electric news, battery supplier LG Chem has halted production at a battery plant in Holland, Michigan. The plant was supposed to make batteries for the Chevy Volt but still hasn’t produced any. However, if demand increases the plant is ready to be fully operational.
And speaking of electric vehicles, that’s the subject of this week’s Autoline Poll. What sort of electrified vehicle would you consider buying when it’s time for a new car? Hybrid, plug-in hybrid, pure EV or none of the above? Click the link below today’s show on Autoline.tv to make your voice heard. John McElroy will be back on Monday with the results of the survey.
Coming up next, GM’s head of global product development explains how the company is able to manage the complexity of all of its product centers around the globe.
AUTOLINE THIS WEEK
On Autoline This Week, John sits down to talk with Mary Barra, the head of General Motors Global Product Development. GM has more product development centers than any car company around the world and in the following clip Mary explains how the company is able to manage the complexity of so many programs being developed at the same time.
Also joining John for that show is Michelle Krebs from Edmunds.com and Jeff Bennett of the Wall Street Journal. And you can watch the whole episode right now at Autoline.tv.
But that brings us to the end of this week’s episodes. I’m Jim Hall from 2953 Analytics, thanks for watching and have a great weekend.