Episode 75 – No Car Czar = Problems, More Action with Volvo, First Peek: Citroen DS3

February 6th, 2009 at 11:30am

Runtime 5:55

The failure to name a car czar is hampering efforts by Chrysler and GM to get concessions from bondholders and the UAW. More news surrounding the sale of Volvo. Photos of the new DS3 concept have been leaked on the internet. All that and more, plus a preview of this week’s episode of Autoline Detroit with Jim Farley, the Group VP of Marketing and Communications at Ford.

Transcript and Story Links after the jump . . .

Here are today’s top headlines. GM and Chrysler face problems getting more money from the government. More action surrounding the sale of Volvo. And the first look at the Citroen DS3.

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

This is Autoline Daily for Friday, February 6, 2009. And now, the news.

More trouble on the bailout front. The Wall Street Journal says that the failure so far to name a car czar is hampering efforts by Chrysler and General Motors to get concessions from bondholders and from the UAW. It looks like bondholders are reluctant to compromise until they know what the U.S. Treasury is going to do, and the union is not going to compromise unless everyone else does. And with time running out this means GM and Chrysler have just taken another step closer to a possible bankruptcy.

Yesterday we reported Chinese automaker Geely was interested in getting Volvo, but today, the company denies it. But Swedish newspaper Dagens Industri reports Ford will meet with investment banks in London next week to discuss the possible sale of Volvo. The paper says Chinese automakers Changan and Dongfeng, along with a European alliance and “an unidentified” consortium are interested. The paper says the selling price for Volvo will be $3 to $4 billion dollars.

And in other Ford news, while the company likes to talk about how new its product line-up is, it’s going to upgrade the oldest vehicle it makes. The Ford Ranger compact pickup will get roll stability control, as well as head-and-chest side impact airbags as standard equipment to the 2010 Ranger.

A while back we reported that Korean automaker Ssangyong was forced to stop production because it couldn’t make payroll or meet supplier contracts. Now Autoblog reports that the company has restarted five of its assembly lines, but it has to wait until February 9 to see if Korean courts will allow it to enter bankruptcy protection since it hasn’t reached a deal with its owner, Chinese automaker SAIC, or with its creditors.

As we reported Tuesday, French automaker Citroen is planning on bringing back its famous DS nameplate. The company is expected to formally debut the vehicles at next month’s Geneva Motor Show, but photos of the new DS3 concept have been leaked on the internet by German car magazine AutoBild. From the pictures it looks like it’ll be a stylish, premium compact hatchback.

Coming up next, a preview of this week’s episode of Autoline Detroit with Ford’s Jim Farley. We’ll be back right after this.

This week on Autoline Detroit I’m joined by Jim Farley, Ford’s Group Vice President of Marketing and Communications. In the following preview Farley talks about the U.S. economic stimulus package and how that could help consumers purchase new vehicles.

If you want to hear the rest of our discussion, you can watch the entire episode of Autoline Detroit on our website later today.

And that’s it for today’s top news in the global automotive industry, but before we go I need to announce the winner of this week’s trivia contest. We asked you to name the vehicle pictured here and tell us who designed it.

And the correct answer is… it’s the Dymaxion car. Initially released in 1933 this aerodynamic concept vehicle was built by U.S. architect and inventor Buckminster Fuller.

As always my crack team has randomly selected today’s winner from the pool of correct responses. Pookie, the envelope please! And this week’s winner is… Michael Whelan of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania! Congratulations Mike, you’ve just won this terrific prize combo! It’s a Bridgestone Backpack with matching Baseball Hat and a Ferrari T-Shirt.

And that’s it for today’s show. Thanks for watching, we’ll see you next week.

9 Comments to “Episode 75 – No Car Czar = Problems, More Action with Volvo, First Peek: Citroen DS3”

  1. Drew Says:

    Let the laws of the normal business cycle take it’s course.
    If it means bankruptcy, so be it.
    No pain, no gain.

  2. pedro Fernandez Says:

    How much more of out taxpayers monies are gonna be given to GM an Chrysler? its obvious they have no plans loike Ford does, every month news get worse for these people, where does it end. Imagine after all the mony wasted and they still go broke and then what?

  3. Drew Says:

    I still can’t believe Chrysler hired that ex-bozo CEO from Home Depot as their CEO.
    They deserve to go under.

  4. Kim B. Foster Says:

    As a ’98 Ranger owner, I’m looking forward to all of the changes in the 2010 Ranger and also hoping for the 2.5l four cylinder to replace the existing 2.3l. Rangers are a popular vehicle in Canada. They are a tough little buggy, more than adequate for weekend jobs and give good enough gas mileage to be used as commuter truck during the week. Easy to drive and park, and one of Ford’s more reliable products considering the abuse that some owners put these trucks through.

  5. G.A.Branigan Says:

    Yet another lame update for the already lame and outdated Ford Ranger.Somebody there realized that they STILL don’t have a viable replacement for the ranger so again they tack on stuff hopeing nobody will notice and die from boredom.Somebody wake me when ford actually comes out with a new MODERN ranger….yawn.

  6. Johan Says:

    I live in Sweden and im worried about Saab..I think GM has abused and destroyed the brand..We need new modells and smaller cars from Saab like the 96 V4..It doesnt look good for Saab and many jobs here in Sweden are at stake. Same with Volvo they already fired 16000 people last year..I hope it works out for GM for Saab sake and Cadillac is also a cult brand.

  7. Johan Says:

    I live in Sweden and im worried about the situation with GM..I think they have destroyed the brand Saab..And Ford has done the same with Volvo..Volvo fired 16000 people in the last months of 2008 and more to come i think.Saab is in a more worse condition and may be terminated and many people her in sweden works for Saab and Volvo..You may say that if these two disapears the industrila sweden dies out and leaves the country for dead.I really lie Saab as abrand but i think that they have too come out with some new smaller cars like the 96 v4 from the past..they have great concepts out but i guess GM are holding them back.And Volvos S60 concept looks great although i think volvo has had to americanized modells..(Big sedans) and i think bouth of these swedish brand should go back to the scandinavian and euopean style of cars.

  8. Bill in Winnipeg Says:

    Just this week a dealer here announced that if you pay full price for a new F-250 they will throw in an ’08 Ranger for free.
    I checked window stickers just last summer and the mileage on the Ranger was only 1 – 2 mpg better than the F-150′s mileage.

  9. Jude Says:

    John,

    The Ranger isn’t Ford’s oldest currently produced vehicle, at a ALL. Having come to market for the 1983 model year, it’s #3, actually.

    The Crown Victoria/Grand Marquis are older, with their Panther platform having debuted in the fall of 1978. They’ve only received one major facelift, and a host of minor ones along their 31-season life on the market.

    But even the old Panther pales in comparison to Ford’s oldest currently produced platform: The Econoline van line. Initially introduced in the Fall of 1974 (around the time Ford pardoned Nixon), it’s endured only one major re-skin, and has only occasionally been facelifted, as well.

    So while the Ranger is, at its core, in its 27th season for 2009 on that platform, the Crown Vic/Grand Marquis are 31 (the Town Car, having been put on the Panter in for ’80, turns 30), while the Econoline is a whopping 35 seasons old on the same old platform.