September 21st, 2009 at 12:28pm
Goldman Sachs will invest $250 million in Chinese automaker Geely, which could allow Geely to purchase Volvo from Ford. Auto supplier Visteon, has decided to cut executive bonuses by 85 percent. All that and more, plus Canada considers limiting the top speed of cars to 93 miles an hour.
Transcript and Story Links after the jump . . .
Here are today’s top headlines. Geely could be getting the money it needs to buy Volvo. A judge orders Visteon to cut its bonuses to management. And Canada considers limiting the top speed of cars to 93 miles an hour.
Up next, we’ll be back with the news behind the headlines.
This is Autoline Daily for Monday, September 21, 2009. And now, the news.
Goldman Sachs has a private equity group that is investing $250 million in Chinese automaker Geely. The Wall Street Journal reports that this could free up capital so that Geely’s parent company could purchase Volvo from Ford. Even though $250 million doesn’t sound like much money in automotive terms, the Journal says this is much larger than most private equity deals in China.
Unless Cadillac can get back in the leasing business, it’s going to have a hard time getting back on its feet. The Wall Street Journal reports that Cadillac is losing more sales and market share than other luxury brands (subscription required). Last month only 6 percent of Cadillac customers were able to lease a car, while most luxury brands average 32 percent. Even though GM started to get back into leasing through GMAC and U.S. Bancorp, Cadillac still isn’t able to offer leases as competitive as other luxury brands.
Auto supplier Visteon, has decided to cut executive bonuses by 85 percent. According to the Detroit Free Press, the company, which is bankruptcy, will pay $11.4 million in bonuses to 95 executives through a plan that is based on meeting financial goals and other milestones. Originally, Visteon planned on paying $80 million in bonuses to over 2,400 employees.
Audi will hit its sales target in China two years ahead of schedule. According to Reuters, the company had planned to reach 200,000 in sales by 2015, now Audi expects to get to that figure by 2013. This year, the company expects to sell around 136,000 vehicles in China.
Coming up after the break, a look at a wild and crazy-looking mini-minvan from Suzuki, and this week’s guest on Autoline After Hours.
The Japanese love Kei cars. No, not the front-wheel-drive models that saved Chrysler in the 1980s, but the wacky-looking micro vehicles sold with motorcycle engines. With an eye on design, Suzuki has restyled its Palette mini-minivan. The Palette SW offers a stylish new front end that’s more aggressive than the standard version and a new two-mode CVT. If you thought the original Scion xB was square you haven’t seen this thing yet! Talk about boxy! I think my Frigidaire freezer at home has more curves!
An interesting bit of news coming out of Canada. Apparently a few years ago the government of Ontario passed a law that lets the police confiscate your vehicle if you exceed the speed limit by more than 50 kilometers an hour, or 31 miles an hour. This was done to crack down on street racing. Now, according to Autoblog, an MP has introduced a bill to limit the top speed of vehicles to 150 kilometers an hour – that’s 93 miles an hour – so it’s impossible to drive fast enough to lose your car. The proposed legislation would make it illegal to SELL, IMPORT, BUILD or even LOAN a vehicle to someone if it’s not equipped with a speed limiter. So far the bill hasn’t even made it out of committee.
Don’t forget to tune in to Autoline After Hours this Thursday. Our guest will be Tim Leuliette, the chairman of Dura Automotive, but Tim has a slew of experience in running a variety of different supplier companies, and even did a stint with Roger Penske. He’s one of the most product-savvy executives in the supplier community and I think you’re really going to enjoy this show. That’s this Thursday night, live at 7 p.m. Eastern, or 2300 hours GMT.
And that’s it for today’s top news in the global automotive industry. Thanks for watching, we’ll see you tomorrow.