March 24th, 2009 at 12:00pm
Chrysler and the CAW began concession talks yesterday and the two sides are closer than thought. A Chinese supplier is interested in buying some of Delphi’s assets. Mazda has come up with a new way to recycle polypropylene bumpers on cars. All that and more, plus a look at the 2009 Cadillac CTS-V.
Transcript and Story Links after the jump . . .
Here are today’s top headlines. Chrysler and the CAW are closer to an agreement. A Chinese supplier is interested in Delphi. Mazda figures out a new way to recycle bumpers.
Up next, we’ll be back with the news behind the headlines.
This is Autoline Daily for Tuesday, March 24, 2009. And now, the news.
Chrysler and the CAW began concession talks yesterday and the two sides are closer than thought. According to Ward’s, the union and Chrysler are only $5.75 Canadian or under $5 dollars American off on reducing pay (subscription required). Chrysler is trying to get wage concessions to get government funding. The company is seeking $3 billion Canadian dollars and has threatened to pull its operations out of Canada if it doesn’t get labor concessions.
The Detroit Free Press reports that a survey from RL Polk reveals 61 percent of Americans are opposed to giving any more government aid to General Motors or Chrysler, even though most of them recognize this will cause dire economic consequences. The Freep points out that the poll came out only a day after President Obama said the only thing less popular than putting money into the banks is putting it into the auto industry.
Gasgoo.com reports that the Beijing Automotive Industry Holding Corporation may buy part of Delphi. The giant U.S. supplier is rumored to be getting rid of non-core businesses like its brake and suspension divisions. Beijing Auto aims to bolster its position as a supplier by acquiring technology and production facilities. And it has not ruled out acquiring all of Delphi.
Mazda has come up with a new way to recycle polypropylene bumpers on cars. The process can recycle the bumpers from any car from any manufacturer. And it automatically removes metal attachments and other pieces, by crushing the plastic into pellets then separating them by blowing them away with air. It also automatically strips away any paint without heating the plastic. All this makes this process a lot more efficient than others.
Chinese auto company Jinzhou Wonder and Korean electric car maker CT&T rolled out its first electric car at their joint venture plant in China yesterday. According to Gasgoo.com, the car is a mini two-seater which has a range of 110 kilometers or nearly 70 miles on a single charge. The car’s top speed is only 43 MPH or 70 km/h and it is expected to be sold at just under $6,000. The plant will have an annual output of 50,000 vehicles and deliveries are expected to begin this June.
Autoblog is carrying this interesting story. Rumors are swirling that retail giant IKEA is preparing to sell an environmentally-friendly car. Not much is known about the LEKO. It’s speculated that it could be a production version of Gordon Murray’s T-25 city car, which is said to flat-packable like just about everything else IKEA sells. Oddly, the source of the news is a French website. This whole thing is suspicious; especially given the vehicles reveal date of April 1st, April Fool’s Day. Whether this is actual news or a PR stunt we’ll just have to wait the six or so days to find out.
Coming up next, a look at Cadillac’s hot new CTS-V, we’ll be back right after this.
The latest car to wear the brand’s chrome and checkered flag logo is the new CTS. Just like the last generation of the car, GM has again dropped a powerful Corvette V8 between its front fenders. Shared with the new ZR1, this supercharged 6.2-liter engine delivers 556 horsepower – enough to make the 2009 CTS-V the most powerful production Cadillac ever. Rounding out the drivetrain, Caddy offers either a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic transmission.
Putting all that power to use, GM says the car is capable of rocketing from zero to 60 in less than four seconds. If things get out of hand, the company put huge, multi-piston Brembo brakes at all four corners to slow things down.
Helping keep the CTS-V planted while driving is Cadillac’s magnetic ride control. Whether you’re cruising on the freeway or tearing around a race track, this adaptive suspension adjusts the shock dampening depending on road conditions to keep the car stable.
Building on the standard CTS’ already excellent interior, the V offers several upgrades, like optional 14-way performance seats and an Alcantera trim package.
The 2009 Cadillac CTS-V offers world-class performance for a lot less money than its competition. Go light on the options and the car can be had for right around $61,000. But even when it’s loaded up with extras, that number only climbs to about 70 grand. Either way it’s a great value compared to a BMW M5, which starts at $87,000.
And that’s it for today’s top news in the global automotive industry. But one more message before we go.