Episode 8 – Chrysler Loses 1.7 Billion, Tesla Partners with Daimler, Toyota Brand No. 1

October 23rd, 2008 at 12:00pm

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Chrysler lost 1.7 billion euro last quarter, including Daimler’s share in the company. Tesla is working on EVs with Mercedes to develop an electric drivetrain for the smart car. Toyota has the highest brand value of any automaker in the world and Hyundai is climbing fast. All that and more, plus a look at Volkswagen’s new minivan, the Routan.

Transcript and Story Links after the jump . . .

Here are today’s top headlines. Chrysler lost 1.7 billion euro last quarter. Tesla is working on EVs with Mercedes. And Toyota has the highest brand value of any automaker in the world.

Up next, we’ll be back with the news behind the headlines.

This is Autoline Daily for Thursday, October 23, 2008. And now, the news.

Daimler released third quarter earnings today and reports that it lost 351 million euro for the 19.9 percent it owns of Chrysler. In turn, Chrysler says that’s because Daimler uses International Accounting Standards. If you use GAAP standards, which is what’s used in the U.S., then Chrysler says Daimler only lost 88 million euro on its Chrysler holdings. But if you apply that to all of Chrysler then the company either lost 1.7 billion euro for the third quarter using International Accounting Standards, or 440 million using U.S. ones.

Speaking of Chrysler, Jim Press, the company’s vice chairman, spoke to reporters in Detroit last night. He said talks of a merger are just speculation and that it’s not productive to talk about it. Here’s part of what Press said.

We want to thank WWJ automotive reporter Jeff Gilbert for sending us that clip. WWJ is one of Autoline Daily’s media partners.

The European Commission is set to launch a billion-euro Fuel Cell project (subscription required), aimed to help automakers get hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles on the road. But according to Ward’s, the project is meeting some criticism from a fuel-cell and hydrogen association, because the European Commission only intends to provide about half of the one billion Euro project and the industry feels more money is needed to make the project a success.

Audi of America announced plans to offer HD Radio as a standard feature (accreditation required) in many of its vehicles beginning with 2011 models. Audi currently offers Sirius satellite radio as a standard feature and will continue to do so, once HD Radio becomes available. HD radio is making slow progress, but more and more automakers do seem interested in it.

Tesla, the automaker that’s developing an all-electric sports car is rumored to be sharing its drivetrain technology. According to an Autoblog report, the company is allegedly working with the giant German automaker Daimler to develop an electric drivetrain for the smart car. Reading between the lines, it seems like Tesla could be supplying the lithium-ion battery packs to Daimler, in exchange for investment capital.

Which car companies have the greatest brand value? According to Interbrand, Toyota has the most value in its brand of any automaker in the world. Mercedes is in second place, BMW is in third. But Hyundai is climbing up the list fast and is now ahead of Porsche and Lexus.

Coming up next in our feature story we’ll take a look at Volkswagen’s all-new minivan. We’ll be back, right after this.

It’s been a busy year at Volkswagen. Earlier this year the company introduced the all-new Jetta Sportwagen, a new crossover…the Tiguan, and its new fifty state clean diesels. And joining the line-up is the Routan minivan.

Volkswagen partnered with Chrysler to produce the Routan because of Chrysler’s minivan reputation, but interestingly VW sees the Honda Odyssey as its main competition.

Aside from the design, the only difference between Chrysler’s minivans and the Routan is the tuning of the suspension and steering, to make it look and feel like a VW.

The Routan comes with the amenities and safety features you’d expect in a minivan, such as front and side airbags, electronic stability control, rear seat entertainment and fold flat seats for the third row.

In other words, it’s just like the Chrysler minivans. In fact the Routan will be built in the same plant as the Chrysler ones, which will give Chrysler additional manufacturing volume.

VW hopes the Routan will sell 35 to 40 thousand vehicles per year. And that is part of Volkswagen’s broader goal of reaching 800,000 in sales annually in the United States by 2018.

And that’s it for today’s top news in the global automotive industry, but don’t forget you can get podcasts, transcripts and a whole lot more on our website, AutolineDaily.TV. Thanks for watching, we’ll see you tomorrow.

4 Comments to “Episode 8 – Chrysler Loses 1.7 Billion, Tesla Partners with Daimler, Toyota Brand No. 1”

  1. Ed Arlin Says:

    There is a typo. it should read 351 million euro, not billion.

  2. John McElroy Says:

    Thanks for the notice! The errors has been corrected.

  3. Rick Sutherland Says:


    Will the handling of Routan be VW-like as well, and does Routan have a meaning?

  4. richard eaton Says:

    if volkswagon builds a sucessful diesel car which they have in the past, then ford should be exporting their 46mpg escort back to the states. eaton