January 30th, 2013 at 11:41am
Chrysler posted strong financial earnings last year but the company is still too reliant on the U.S. market. Speaking of financial earnings, Ford’s UAW employees are going to reap the benefits of the company’s positive results. Find out how much they’ll receive in profit sharing checks. Fisker just hired a consulting group to help it figure out how to save cash as it looks for a partner or a buyer. All that and more, plus John responds to your questions and comments in “You Said It!”
Thanks for joining us for Autoline Daily, where we bring you the latest news in the wonderful world of automobiles.
CHRYSLER SALES SOAR… IN THE U.S.
Chrysler announced its financial earnings for 2012, and not unexpectedly the news is really good. The company boosted its worldwide sales by 300,000 vehicles to a total of 2.2 million units. However, Chrysler remains a company very much dependent on the U.S. market. Vehicle sales outside the U.S. came to about 558,000 vehicles, up by only 20,000 units, and they now actually account for a smaller percentage of the company’s total sales compared to 2011. If Chrysler is going to survive in the long run it has to dramatically grow its sales outside of the American market. But for now, it’s making hay while the sun is shining. Revenue jumped by nearly $11 billion to a total of $65.8 billion. Net income hit nearly $1.7 billion, up nearly $1.5 billion from the year before. Chrysler forecasts that sales will jump by another half a million units this year, with revenue jumping another $10 billion which should put another half a billion to the bottom line.
NO BLUES FOR THESE BLUE COLLARS
As we reported yesterday, Ford posted strong financial earnings and now its UAW employees are going to reap the benefits. They’ll get $8,300 profit sharing checks. After taxes that drops to about $6,000. Economists say that will pump $380 million into the American economy, because thanks to the multiplier effect, that $8,300 will generate a total of $20,000 in economic activity. Next up, salaried workers will learn what their bonuses are going to be.
THE END IS NIGH FOR FISKER
And speaking of automakers and earnings, Fisker just hired a consulting group to help it figure out how to save cash as it looks for a partner or a buyer. Think about that. You pay a company to come in and help you not spend so much money. Why would anyone do that? Because they’re desperate. No doubt about it, Fisker is in deep trouble and desperately needs to find a partner because the company could start running out of cash in a matter of months.
RAY LEAVES THE ‘HOOD
After hinting that he would stay on for at least part of President Obama’s second term, U.S. Transportation Secretary, Ray LaHood abruptly announced he will leave his position but will remain at his post until a successor is named. Autoline viewers will remember I interviewed LaHood a year ago when he told me then that he didn’t plan to remain as Transportation Secretary for a second term. I get the feeling the president did not ask him to stay on, even though secretly Mr. LaHood would have preferred to stay in Washington. Remember, Mr. LaHood is a Republican and the president has some patronage to pay off for his Democrat compadres.
Coming up next, it’s time for You Said It!
YOU SAID IT!
And now it’s time for some of your feedback.
Wayne M. Brehob saw our report on hydraulic hybrids from NRG Dynamix and Peugeot and points out, “On the subject of hydraulic hybrids, no one seems to be pointing out that the energy that can be stored in a reasonably sized hydraulic system is a small fraction of what can be stored in an electric system.”
Wayne, you’re right, but hydraulic hybrids allow much more of that energy to be used all at once, which is perfect for launching a vehicle, especially big heavy ones. And the fact that it costs much less than a battery system makes it attractive. The one downside? It’s harder to package in a vehicle.
Dave Foley loved my report on all the cars that have the letter X in their names. “Your X-emplary X-hibition of the X-treme overuse of the “X” in model naming was X-cellent! You didn’t X-clude any of them either. I’m no X-pert, but it X-asperates me too. I wish I could X-trapolate on X-actly where it all came from. You should repost the “X” story as it’s own X-cerpt. I could see it becoming a viral video X-plosion!!”
Love the suggestion!
Lex heard our report on the diesel version of the Chevrolet Cruze in the US market and wants to know what the price will be. “I believe pricing will determine whether this vehicle makes it in North America.”
Right now diesels seem to be cost about $1,500 over comparably equipped cars with gasoline engines. If the Chevy Cruze diesel falls in that range it ought to do fairly well.
And a bunch of you weighed in on whether the Corvette should stay within the Chevrolet brand or go off on its own as proposed by Peter De Lorenzo. Victor Castaneda Jr. says, “I think the Corvette should remain a Chevy, but I do agree with Peter’s three models.”
Cliff 59 says, “The Corvette definitely needs to be its own brand.”
jet Says, “A price point of 60K is not going to get in younger new Corvette owners no matter how great the car is. That’s why a real Stingray is needed, as opposed to just a Stingray.”
Yep, as Peter proposed, a Stingray with a base price just under forty grand.
Bradley admits that, “I voted for spinning off ‘Corvette,’ but I have reservations. Not that I don’t think the idea is good, but rather GM historically doesn’t manage separate brands well.”
Ouch, great point, Bradley.
Kit Gerhart also has mixed views. He says making Corvette a stand-alone brand…”Would make sense for Europe and other non-U.S. regions where Chevrolet mainly means minicars from Korea. For the U.S. and Canada, Corvette should remain a Chevy.”
Thanks for all these letters and comments. I know we only get to a fraction of them every week, but we do enjoy going through them all.
And that wraps up today’s report, thanks for watching, we’ll see you tomorrow.