February 19th, 2009 at 11:11am
GM bondholders are not happy with the company’s plan, saying it does not go far enough to cut costs. European governments react coolly to GM’s request for $6 billion in bailout money. Senator Bob Corker is telling GM it should consider merging with Chrysler. All that and more, plus a glimpse of what it’s like driving Tesla’s all-electric roadster.
Transcript and Story Links after the jump . . .
Here are today’s top headlines. The viability plans are already under attack. European governments react coolly to GM’s request for money. And calls are coming up again to merge GM with Chrysler.
Up next, we’ll be back with the news behind the headlines.
This is Autoline Daily for Thursday, February 19, 2009. And now, the news.
Yesterday they presented their viability plans and today the sniping is already underway. The Wall Street Journal reports that GM bondholders are not happy with the company’s plan (subscription required), saying it does not go far enough to cut costs, even though it gets rid of another 47,000 jobs. They want GM to become immediately competitive, not get there in 2012. And it sure sounds like the bondholders are gearing up for a big fight with the UAW for more concessions.
Meanwhile, over in Europe, governments there are reacting very coolly to GM’s request for $6 billion in bailout money. The Swedish government flat-out refused to put money into Saab, and GM warned it could go into reorganization as early as this month. And I think they mean bankruptcy by that. The Journal reports that labor leaders at Opel want the German government to nationalize Opel to save its jobs.
There Detroit News reports Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee is telling GM it should seriously consider merging with Chrysler. Even in its viability plan, Chrysler said its best scenario involves merging with GM but that GM took that proposal off the table. My guess is we’ll here a lot more about this in the coming weeks.
Speaking of its viability plan, Chrysler revealed the names of two Alfa Romeos that it will sell in its dealerships. AutoWeek reports the two cars will be called the Milano and Giulia, which could also be built in Chrysler plants.
And speaking of Alfa, Autoblog reports it will unveil an updated version of its 159 at the Geneva show. Little is known about this model beyond the rumors and handful of “leaked” photos. We’ll just have to wait a couple of weeks until the show starts.
Also debuting at the Geneva show is a brand new version of the Ford Ranger, that will be built in Thailand and arrive in European showrooms staring in April. No official word when or even if this compact pickup will make it to the Americas.
Coming up next, we’ll give you a glimpse of what it’s like driving Tesla’s all-electric roadster. We’ll be back right after this.
As we’ve already shown you, Tesla’s battery-powered sports car is a real GEM, no pun intended, but it has a huge price tag. In his final report, Autoline Daily west coast correspondent Isaac Bouchard fills us in on what it’s like behind the wheel of eco-friendly roadster.
Thanks for that, Isaac. I can’t wait to get a chance to drive it myself.
Anyway, that’s it for today’s top news in the global automotive industry, but before we go I want to remind you that we’re hosting another live webcast at noon today, Eastern Standard Time. Jump on over to our homepage, AutolineDetroit.tv, and tune in to the broadcast. For the first time ever you’ll be able to watch in real time as we tape Autoline Detroit. After the show is finished we’ll continue our discussion and you can ask questions and post comments. Again, that’s today starting at noon. Also, we’ll be posting the chat box a little early so you can interact with other participants before the live discussion starts.
That does it for today’s show, thanks for watching.