AD #1605 – VW Battle Far From Over, Acura’s New Casting Process, Q1 Not Good to GM

April 23rd, 2015 at 11:51am

Runtime: 6:51

- VW Executive Battle Far From Over
- Renault Maps Out China Plan
- GM Back to #3
- Acura’s New Casting Process
- Q1 Not So Good for GM

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24 Comments to “AD #1605 – VW Battle Far From Over, Acura’s New Casting Process, Q1 Not Good to GM”

  1. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Isn’t it way past time for Piech to be out of there? He’s 78 years old.

  2. HtG Says:

    Something tells me Johan deNysschen is making popcorn for this fight at VW. How can he lose?

  3. Brett Says:

    Henry Ford was rather problematic during the final days of his being at the helm of FMC, too.

    Time for Piech to go.

  4. G.A.Branigan Says:

    Instead of VW’s execs having a pissing contest over what amounts to a personality clash,they should focus their energy in improving their sales in the NA market.

  5. HtG Says:

    Lunchline HtG

    Here’s a link to an ARM Holdings* press release about the rise of computing power in cars. ARM foresees that,…”Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) equipped vehicles will require at least 100x more compute performance by 2024 compared to 2016 models, with functional safety an industry priority.”

    ARM has a unique position in the computer industry, since it supplies IP and to so many of the firms that make chips, and must understand and plan for their needs a decade into the future. My reading of the press release is that just like in the mobile space, ARM’s value proposition is that its designs allow firms to concentrate on differentiating their products and get to market faster. Same for the auto space.

    *I own yada yada shares of ARM, I do disclose.

  6. Mike Says:

    I have this theory that you can tell a lot about today’s new models by looking at older products from the same manufacturer. I looked a 10 year old VW Passat wagon in Florida last week. This one would have needed a complete paint job and the replacement of a bunch of little, broken interior parts to be salable. For a car with less than a 100K miles on it, this one was way too close to junkyard ready.

  7. Kit Gerhart Says:

    In Florida, and other places where it is often hot and sunny, the condition of paint, interior, and headlight lenses of a 10-15 year old car can vary from perfect to horrible, depending on whether the car is always outside, or usually garaged.

    If that Passat had an extraordinary number of broken interior parts, yeah, that indicates something.

  8. Wim van Acker Says:

    “but we’re seeing an erosion of the fortress-like balance sheet management set out to build”: no, management has not set out to build that balance sheet. The government has done that by bailing them out of their self-inflicted bankruptcy, the executives were mere by-standing beneficiaries.

    And GM and Autoline TV continue to think that GM is formidable, being the number 3 or 4 automaker based on the number of vehicles they produce. They are actually probably number 8 or worse if you would look at GM as a business instead of a set of plants: measuring revenues, profits, or market capitalization instead of production figures. Businesses produce money and are judged based on how much they manage to generate based on an intelligent mix of good products, financing, after market sales, etc.

    Look at other sectors: is GE judged based on how many jet engines they produce? Is Procter & Gamble judged based on how many tons of detergent they produce? Is Apple judged based on how many computers they produce?

    I don’t think so.

  9. Brett Says:

    I don’t think that you can apply identical metrics to disparate industries. “When all you have is a hammer, everything starts looking like a nail.”

    It seems to me that John did discuss profit and loss figures, not simply production. Oh, he did mention ranking based on vehicle sales, but he also discussed the rest.

    Somehow I suspect that you’d agree that “Government Motors” should’ve been allowed to fail and been dismembered in an orgy of capitalist “creative destruction”.

    I don’t, because GM isn’t just a bunch of incompetent executives and production facilities. It is also thousands of real people who were not responsible for what happened at GM.

  10. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Isn’t GE judged mainly on being good at tax evasion, and actually making almost nothing EXCEPT jet engines, now that they have sold their appliance division to Electrolux?

  11. Kit Gerhart Says:

    9 Exactly. Well said.

  12. Wim van Acker Says:

    @10: You should know for yourself, of course, but if I were you I would not accuse a company like GE of tax evasion. Unless you can prove that in a lawsuit, just in case GE would consider you worthy of a lawsuit for a false accusation and damage to their reputation.

  13. Kit Gerhart Says:

    12 I’m not worried about being sued by GE. I did exaggerate their not making anything except jet engines, though. They are big in medical equipment, and certain industrial and power plant equipment. Their “bringing good things to life,” at least with consumer products, is long gone.

  14. cwolf Says:

    Call it tax evasion or legal tax evasion,but it no secret GE and Apple manage/hide their profits overseas for the very purpose of avoiding taxes. Business has no moral or ethical values….just the bottom line!

  15. cwolf Says:

    I heard somewhere today that Piech is denying efforts to remove Winterkorn. How can he be believed when holding a knife for a good back stabbing?

  16. Wim van Acker Says:

    13,14: Tax evasion is a crime. Accusing somebody or a company of a crime should be done with proper evidence at hand IMHO.

    It seems like what you are referring to is tax avoidance. The businesses I know avoid paying unnecessary taxes, so do all individuals I know.

    I do not know you, and you may be different. You may calculate how much you owe the IRS and add a scoop or two. I and everybody I know calculate what is owed and pay exactly that. Not more, not less.

  17. Kit Gerhart Says:

    16 Yes, unethical tax avoidance might be a better term for what GE, Apple and other companies are doing in hiding their profits off-shore. Yes, the tax “system” is certainly flawed.

  18. cwolf Says:

    Kit, you summed it up pretty well. Many corporations are flooded with profits, yet still are given numerous tax breaks and gov’t money towards various adventures,… unlike individuals. Maybe WvA would thus, then, agree these incentives are not needed he believes it is O.K. for these businesses to use unintended loop-holes to avoid what is just and fair.

  19. XA351GT Says:

    I had to reread the transcript to make sure I didn’t hear John wrong . So after Losing $4 Billion GM still has $24 Billion. Uh okay can someone explain again why they needed the bailout? Seems like they got to keep their money and spent the taxpayers instead.

  20. Kit Gerhart Says:

    With the 3 trillion or so, and counting, spent on the Iraq invasion, I’m not too worried about what the GM and Chrysler bailouts might, or might not have cost.

  21. HtG Says:

    I think I’m done explaining. In another landscape where I play, it astonishes me when argument fails to persuade even elites if their careers and identities are challenged. They just can’t.

    So it goes

  22. blueovalblood Says:

    …so how ling ’til GM files for bankruptcy again…?

  23. Chuck Grenci Says:

    If you haven’t seen the latest AAH (with Sandy Monroe); I give it two thumbs up………….Outstanding this week. If you lean towards the engineering side of the business this is a not to be missed show.

  24. jmann Says:

    Perhaps the character of the base VW Golf sums up the entire situation at VW. 5 spd gearbox, 15″ wheels with no options. Compare to previous “Rabbit” offerings. Boring – trying to push customers into upscale models. We drivers simply want a good chassis, great gear box and engine – skip the glitz. I notice the whole line is pushing the luxury stuff. They lost me. Maybe Piech still digs simple sports cars, you think? Isn’t that what VW is supposed to be all about?