Episode 107 – Chrysler and CAW Bargain, Chinese Supplier Wants Delphi, Mazda Bumper Recycling

March 24th, 2009 at 12:00pm

Runtime 7:09

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.

Mercedes’ AMG and BMW’s M are two of the first high-performance sub-brands that come to mind. But for several years now Cadillac’s V-Series has been making a name for itself with enthusiasts.

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.

10 Comments to “Episode 107 – Chrysler and CAW Bargain, Chinese Supplier Wants Delphi, Mazda Bumper Recycling”

  1. Andy Says:

    Price climbs to ONLY $70,000……wow, what a bargain. I think I will take 2.

  2. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Never mind loans, the government could BUY General Motors and Chrysler for what would be pocket change compared to what they have given to the creeps in the “derivatives” business, and the car companies create a lot more middle-class jobs. They should do so, and create something kind of like when they bought railroads and formed Conrail. Most of Conrail has since been “re-privatized,” and is still operating. Given a few years, that could happen with the car companies. Another semi-successful model is Renault which was mostly nationalized by the French government and has since been mostly re-privatized.

  3. Tom Cain Says:

    Considering its comparables, $70K IS a bargain!

  4. pedro Fernandez Says:

    Confucius ssys: If you can’t beat the west, buy them piece by piece. Also for those who think Tesla is all that, watch this week’s top gear on the BBC, you might have second thoughts. By the way that same shows tested out the CTS-V and they say it rocks!

  5. Alex Kovnat Says:

    About that super-Cadillac with the 0-60 acceleration time of less than 4 seconds: I’m curious as to whether this car will sell well in California. If so, that will be noteworthy because CA is Detroit’s biggest worry right now with regard to demands for 40+ MPG CAFE.

  6. Gary Keselis Says:

    John
    It’s a sad day for future generations when we begin allowing core manufacturers to be sold to forign governments. A slow, methodical, dis-membering of an industry that helped create a middle class that most of us came from.Dis-heartening to say the least.
    Gary Keselis
    Pleasant Vallety Ct

  7. Ed K. Says:

    John,

    Speaking of the Cadillac CTS, what do you know about the stationwagon version of the car, I haven’t seen any mention of it in print but I did see one on my drive to work today, looked pretty sharp if you like that kind of thing.

    Ed

  8. John Says:

    “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.”

    Has the U.S. Auto Industry Lost their MINDS? !

    Yo, Morons, READ “acquiring technology”, “acquiring technology”, “acquiring technology”,

    And just in case you missed it, “acquiring technology”.

    The Commies will BURY YOU WITH YOUR OWN Technology.

    MORONS.

  9. Jeff Says:

    Dear commenter “John”…

    Do you think anyone in the US Auto Industry would like this to happen??? Give your head a shake. It is unfortunate that Delphi and others are in this bad of shape that anyone with actual cash could come in and take our technology away from us. This is why we are trying to fix the domestic business fast as the longer these problems last the more likely others can eat away at the core. Outsourcing was a major concern before the crisis, now it is even easier for jobs to disappear when they can buy it (technology) for cents on the dollar. Please provide a solution instead of being ignorant you MORON.

  10. JFD Hamilton Says:

    John,
    The RL Polk numbers should be alarming to the automotive press, it means you are losing the battle with the uniformed press over what’s going on within the automotive segment. The American public seems to be getting some incredibly inaccurate data regarding who in the automotive business is being “mis-managed”, the perception being that “the big three” (TBT) have been grossly mismanaged for years. Please explain to me just why Americans at large seem to think that having trucks and big SUV’s as their vehicle of choice does not enter into TBT’s choice to build these monsters and that they (the public)have no blame in this…it seems to me that the Japanese build these too ?
    And just where did Polk arrive at this 61%figure; is it a national poll, was it done in the “right to work states” ? How accurate do you consider it and if so how were the Americans polled posed the question ?

    My family is about half American,half Canadian, our friends are mainly in the US and I travel in the USA all summer following the ALMS series. I find it hard to believe that 61% of all Americans feel that TBT are not worth saving ! Wake Up People !! Find out how (and if) you are being manipulated before you irrevocably make change just because “somebody” in the media “tells” you to…I follow the automotive business pretty closely and I don’t see anyone out there doing a much better job than Americans.
    Be certain before you process the plethora of data out there that the information you arrive at, is accurate…the media at large is being quick to criticise President Ombama over trying to do too much at once, yet they put so much data on cable TV, blogs, even twitters (?) that ANYONE could be overcome with all the data, much of it suspect ! Just because you see it in print doesn’t mean it is correct, ANY idiot can get an audience today… Seems to me that what’s needed is QUALITY not quantity ! You have too many “experts” who are mostly about advancing their own agendas and not providing Americans with inciteful, concise, reporting.
    I find your reporting to be amongst the best John, but I fear you’re fighting a losing battle with showmen masquerading as newsmen…
    Data, data, I need more data, to make sense of this mess !!