Episode 263 – Ford Earns More Per Car, Nissan Invests In Batteries, New Cobra Jet Mustang

November 3rd, 2009 at 12:00pm

Runtime 7:20

Ford is now getting $2,700 more per vehicle than before, largely through cutting back on sales incentives. Nissan will invest over half a billion dollars to boost battery production for its partner Renault. All that and more, plus a look at Ford Racing’s new Cobra Jet Mustang.

Transcript and Story Links after the jump . . .

Here are today’s top headlines. Ford earns $2,700 more per car. Nissan dumps half a billion dollars into more battery production. And a first look at the new Cobra Jet Mustang.

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

This is Autoline Daily for Tuesday, November 3, 2009. And now, the news.

Yesterday we reported that Ford earned nearly $1 billion in net profit for the third quarter, now we have some more details. Bloomberg reports that Ford is now getting $2,700 more per vehicle than before, largely through cutting back on sales incentives. The AP reports Ford wants extra time to pay back some of the $10 billion it borrowed and is offering higher interest payments. It also wants to sell $3.3 billion in stock, all with the idea of maintaining and growing its cash hoard.

In Brazil, Fiat is asking the government to continue tax incentives for cars, which have greatly boosted sales. Fiat says sales in all of Brazil would grow 3 percent to 10 percent next year if those incentives continue, Bloomberg reports, which would total 3.1 to 3.4 million units. Fiat is the largest automaker in Brazil. It also has one of the largest car factories in the world there. The Fiat plant in Betim produces about 1 million cars a year.

A state-owned Chinese oil company is considering building battery charging stations throughout China (subscription required). According to the Wall Street Journal, the China National Offshore Oil Company, is looking at creating a network of charging stations where drivers would swap out batteries for a fully charged one. The plan is similar to a company called Better Place which is developing swapping stations in Israel and Denmark. Chinese oil companies have been encouraged by the government to seek alternative-energy initiatives in order to reduce emissions and to become more energy independent.

And speaking of batteries, Nissan will invest over half a billion dollars to boost battery production for its partner Renault. According to the AFP, Nissan will use part of the money to upgrade a plant in Japan to make lithium-ion batteries for Renault and the rest of the money will be invested to build a new battery plant in France. The plant is expected to open in 2012 and will supply batteries for up to 60,000 vehicles.

Over the last decade Hyundai has relentlessly expanded. Continuing its push, Autoblog reports that the company just opened its fourth R&D center outside of Korea. Located in India, it will focus on developing small cars. In other Hyundai news, Autoblog reports the company is “THINKING ABOUT” advanced telematics systems like GM’s OnStar and Ford’s SYNC. The company is using focus groups to come up with a name for such a system. Hyundai came up with a couple including Ring, Fuse and Emerge. This new technology could debut on the upcoming Equus sedan.

Ward’s reports GM is adding VVT – variable valve timing – to base V-8s (subscription required)  in 2010 model year pickup trucks. 4.8- and 5.3-liter engines finally get the technology, which has been offered on the company’s larger power plants for some time. The automaker estimates that VVT cuts fuel consumption by around 2 percent. In other V-8 news, Ford finally announced output numbers for its all-new 6.2-liter engine, which will be offered as an option on the Raptor F-150 early next year. It should deliver 411 horsepower and 434 pound-feet of torque.

And speaking of V-8 power let’s give you the first look Ford Racing’s new Cobra Jet Mustang.

Ford is doing a limited-production version of the Cobra Jet Mustang that’s going to debut at the SEMA show. But they pulled the wraps off the car to give us a sneak preview and Jeff Gilbert from WWJ Newsradio 950 gave us this report on what it’s all about.

The SEMA show opens today so you’ll start seeing all kinds of reports about this car. And thanks again to Jeff Gilbert from WWJ for providing us his report.

And that’s it for today’s top news in the global automotive industry. Thanks for watching, we’ll see you tomorrow.

Thanks to our Partners for embedding Autoline Daily on their websites: Autoblog, The Auto Channel, vLane, WardsAuto.com and WWJ Newsradio 950

29 Comments to “Episode 263 – Ford Earns More Per Car, Nissan Invests In Batteries, New Cobra Jet Mustang”

  1. G.A.Branigan Says:

    Ford is rockin’.I love the new mustangs,especially the Cobra Jet.takes me back to the old days when I had a 65 1/2 K model droptop.Best and most fun car I have ever had.Them’s wuz th’ daze ;}>

  2. Tony Gray Says:

    Just about the time I start thinking about a Ford, they jack up the price on me.

    Story of my life.

  3. Nick Stevens Says:

    October sales are just in, and Ford reported first (maybe because it had good news? LOL)

    “Ford, Lincoln and Mercury October U.S. sales totaled 132,483, up 3 percent versus a year ago and 21 percent higher than September”

  4. Nick Stevens Says:

    Actually, SUBARU did much, much better, up 41% (!!!!)

    However, Audi’s U.S. sales slipped 1%

  5. Nick Stevens Says:

    Mercedes-Benz Cars Division in the U.S. Sales Summary Through October 2009

    Mercedes-Benz USA 18,193 up 21.3%

    smart USA 661 2,236 -70.4% !!

  6. Jim Thykeson Says:

    China will win the technological battle because it has no hampering industries like we do. I worked in a GM warehouse where the whole operation ran 24/5 all powered by electric forklifts. We had the battery charging stations, plus when a lift was running out of juice they would come to the station to have their battery changed to a fresh one while theirs was put into a cradle to re-charge; musical batteries if you will. This type of technology is proven and can work, but it will infringe on the petroleum companies toes, not to count the many suppliers of combustion-engined cars that will be hurt. Pickens has the best solution, and that would be to create a new industry of technicians converting your car to burn natural-gas. We have unlimited supply, plus it’s 97% cleaner than gasoline. Unfortunately, because of our involved industries and their bent on free-market capitalism we’ll lose again.

  7. Nick Stevens Says:

    Chrysler U.S. sales fall 30% in October; Nissan NA up 6%

    These are PROPER comparisons, Oct 09 vs Oct 08, and not, as John McELroy finds convenient to do, the apples vs oranges Oct 09 vs Sept 09 comparisons!

  8. Alex Kajdi Says:


    You said that Hyundai came up with a couple including Ring, Fuse and Emerge, and that this new technology could debut on the upcoming Equus sedan. I have a name “HIT” Hyundai In-Vehicle Telematics, or “KIT” KIA In-Vehicle Telematics. All OEM’s should have atleast Blue Tooth, USB and IPod hookups built into them.

  9. Nick Stevens Says:

    and Toyota Motor Sales (TMS),
    U.S.A., Inc., today reported October sales of 152,165 vehicles, a decrease
    of 3.5 percent from last October, on a daily selling rate basis.

  10. Jim Sachetti Says:

    GM U.S. sales rise 5% in October;


    Toyota also up, but under 1% (the above -3.5% was on a DSR basis!)

  11. Jim Sachetti Says:

    Honda was down less than 1%, but KIA was up 45%!!!!

    I bet the cute new Kia FORTE had something to do with this %!

  12. Dave Says:

    I know that Ford did not take Gov. $$ so that is good, but as a Ford owner in the last few years. Fords service SUX and the car was ok at best. Also I just drove a new company car, Fuzion, granted a base 4 cyl, what junk. And the new F150s and 250s are just ugly. So Ford better be banking the cash we will see what happens.

  13. Nick Stevens Says:


    I fully agree. And Lincolns are even worse, all three Lincoln cars and crossovers are butt-ugly and cost twice as much as similar fords. The only reason Ford is doing well (=did not go broke) is that they had the smarts to realize that they were no good and hired an Outsider from Boeing who at least put their finances in order.

  14. Jim Sachetti Says:

    After Kia’s 45% rise, Hyundai did even better, at a whopping 49%! Honda and Toyota better take the Koreans seriously!

    I hope John Mc Elroy tomorrow tells it to us like it is,

    that Ford and GM did OK, Chrysler clearly did NOT, it fell 30%, and it has been in free fall most of this year, the only one among major makers,

    That Honda and TOyota basically broke even,

    and that the Koreans and Subaru really did well, far better than any other makers.

  15. Pedro Fernandez Says:

    At this point we might as well get used to the fact that we will have only 2 American car companies left. Chrysler isn’t gonna make it, they don’t have the products now or in the future. Fiat is not going to be any help once Americans realize how unreliable they really are. If there was no competition, then maybe, but just look at Kia/Hyundai people are realizing they offer a lot for the money

  16. Pedro Fernandez Says:

    Does anybody know where I can look at how well different models did in sales? I’m curious to see if the biggest gains were in smaller vehicles and how SUV and trucks did. I suppose by the figures for Kia /Hyundai and Subaru, the smaller vehicles did much better, if that’s the case then all those who keep insisting Americans won’t buy small are mistaken.

  17. Jeff Mohr Says:

    At this point Pedro we need a Sergio miracle, you are right—- maybe the question is as to whether or not we realy have American auto company’s anymore — global at this point?

  18. Dave Says:

    Like I have said in the past I am a Kia Sorento owner and tow my legends car with it, 6×12 haulmark, and the Kia has been great for 4 years now. I would buy another and am looking at the the bigger SUV that Kia has. Great products, great warr., at a fair price..WOW what a neat idea.

  19. Dave Says:

    Hay I lake my Fusion 4cyl it runs great and has good mpg

  20. dave Says:

    Well this is great the new courier vehicle, a brand new Ford escape 2010,was used for the 1st time yesterday. After about 2 hours on the road the check engine lite came on and has not turned off. Back to the dealer. Ford quality is getting better,,ya right!!!

  21. Nick Stevens Says:

    ” Pedro Fernandez Says:
    November 3rd, 2009 at 7:15 pm

    Does anybody know where I can look at how well different models did in sales? ”

    Paid sites like Automotive news have the best organized databanks. But you can get full data for free and as early as they are released from the following site. After you go thru the usual company spin, they give you the per model sales and %s and year to date nos too.

    For those cos not reporting in the site below, you can go to their web pages and click on latest company news. I get GMs from their site.


  22. Nick Stevens Says:

    PS Today is the day Sergio is supposed to give a 5-hour speech (!) outlining in full detail his 5-year plan for CHrysler. I assume by the end of it most of our questions will be answered?

  23. Jim Sachetti Says:


    Here are the Top 20 vehicles in Oct 09, % change, 10 months 09, % change (from Det Free Press)

    Ford F-Series 39,496 -8.8% 334,922 -23.2%
    Chevrolet Silverado 31,754 0.2% 261,142 -35.1%
    Toyota Camry 30,136 -1.4% 294,493 -23.7%
    Toyota Corolla/Matrix 25,717 -6.1% 240,755 -21.6%
    Honda Accord 23,210 17.3% 244,579 -26.6%
    Honda Civic 15,868 -14.6% 223,751 -26.5%
    Honda CR-V 15,667 19% 158,573 -7.4%
    Nissan Altima 14,773 -16.8% 169,435 -29.8%
    Toyota RAV4 13,971 14.3% 120,834 1.6%
    Toyota Prius 13,496 14.3% 118,290 -16.9%
    Ford Fusion 13,445 24.1% 148,045 15.3%
    Chevrolet Impala 12,721 -42.5% 139,577 -39.8%
    Ford Escape 12,471 26.1% 138,739 2.3%
    Dodge Ram 12,262 -30.4% 155,467 -27.2%
    Chevrolet Malibu 12,086 11.1% 131,081 -13.4%
    GMC Sierra 11,894 5.7% 91,327 -37%
    Ford Focus 10,119 -4.3% 136,032 -22.7%
    Subaru Legacy 9,705 149.7% 65,026 14.5%
    Chevrolet Traverse 9,459 596% 75,156 999.9%
    Volkswagen Jetta 9,076 25% 90,237 8.8%

  24. Pedro Fernandez Says:

    Thanks, Jim. Fusion could have been fleet sales, but Subaru Lagacy? I know it’s a new model that doesn’t follow the “Camry/Accord they’re all over the place” mold. But that’s impressive for a Subaru. I wonder what the data was for the Kia and Hyundai models. I’ll bet the Forte did very well.

  25. Jim Sachetti Says:


    The legacy’s huge rise (150%) is due to being a new model and especially some really sweet leases.

    You can see the detailed Kia-Hyundai data using the link Nick posted above. I took a look and the Forte was Kia’s top selling model,but had less than 5,000 in sales. Kia sells a lot of models, each had less or much less than 5,000 sales in Oct.

  26. Jim Sachetti Says:


    Very nice detailed summaries tables and charts by market segment in the WSJ

  27. Pedro Fernandez Says:

    Large SUV’s were up that much? don’t people learn their lessons. Maybe they had a crapload of rebates and incentives to move them out. I did not notice because I pay no attention to that market segment, as far as I’m concerned, it should just go away forever.

  28. Jim Sachetti Says:

    No they were not up! Everything was down, don’t you see the sea of red ink on the right?

    and SUVs in particular! Crossovers were also down but by less.

  29. Jim Sachetti Says:

    I see, you were looking at just oct 09 vs oct 08, I was looking at the first 10 months of 09 vs 10 mo 08.

    Even tho they rose, large SUVS are far, far smaller in numbers than crossovers and cars.