July 30th, 2010 at 12:02pm
Could your next Ferrari be built in China?!? Breathe deep: Nissan’s next concept provides your daily dose of Vitamin C through the air vents. President Obama tours GM and Chrysler plants today and says the government will get its bailout money back. All that and more, plus John gives us a styling analysis of the new VW Jetta.
Transcript and Story Links after the jump . . .
This is Autoline Daily for July 30th, 2010. And now, the news.
FERRARI: MADE IN CHINA?!?
And talk about news! In a stunning report coming out of China, Gasgoo says that the Guangzhou Auto Group, which has a joint venture with Fiat, could end up making Ferrari’s in China. It says Fiat wants to change its image in China as only making low-end small cars. And part of Guangzhou’s joint venture deal with Fiat allows it to make any vehicle of any brand that Fiat owns, including Ferrari, as long as there’s a need for it. With the way car sales are booming in China, there could be a need. Now, call me old fashioned, but I just can’t see Ferrari’s being built anywhere but in Maranello, where they’ve always been built.
BOTTOM LINES LOOK BETTER
More earnings reports are pouring in from car companies all over the world, and for the most part they look pretty good. Renault made over a billion dollars for the quarter, easily beating analysts expectations. At Honda, the news is even better. It posted a record quarterly profit of $2.7 billion. Mazda is making progress, but it lost money, posting a loss of $23 million for the quarter. Even so, that’s one-tenth the size of the loss it posted a year ago.
SUPPLIERS ON THE MEND
And some of the good financial news is now starting to spread to the supplier sector. Dana, the company that makes axles, amongst other things reported a profit of $9 million for the quarter. And Federal-Mogul surprised the analysts by posting a $49 million profit. Maybe these aren’t big numbers, but they are a clear sign that the supplier industry is on the mend.
NISSAN WANTS YOU HEALTHY
Earlier this week Nissan unveiled its “Health & Well-Being” concept which is designed to increase the comfort inside the vehicle and the automaker found some creative solutions to do so. According to the Economic Times, air conditioners will pump breathable vitamin C into the vehicle to help moisturize the skin and reduce airborne bacteria and mold. The concept also features heated seats that improve blood circulation which Nissan says can reduce driver fatigue. It also features seats with leg rests, articulated backs and three layers of cushion, designed to help your posture. Like your mother always told you, “Sit up straight and eat your vegetables.”
President Obama will be in Michigan today to visit GM’s Hamtramck Plant which will build the Chevy Volt and then he’ll make his way over to Chrysler’s Jefferson North plant which makes the Grand Cherokee. Obama will be touting all the improvements at the two companies and yesterday he said the government will recover all the bailout money poured into GM & Chrysler. Although he is only referring to the $60 billion his administration spent and not the $25 billion the Bush administration gave to the automakers. The President also plans to visit a Ford plant in Chicago next week which builds the Taurus and soon, the new Explorer.
Have you seen the new Volkswagen Jetta yet? When we come back from the break I’ll give you my own personal tour of the car.
Volkswagen made significant changes to the new Jetta. It is the first VW specifically designed for the North American market I was out on the global press launch of the vehicle and here are some of my styling impressions that we shot while I was at that event.
Thanks for that report John. You’re more than welcome!
And that’s it for today’s top news in the global automotive industry. Thanks for watching, we’ll see you next month.