February 26th, 2010 at 12:00pm
American suppliers Lear and Delphi are also under investigation for automotive electronics suppliers by the European Commission. Dealers in China are so ecstatic that Tengzhong lost out on Hummer, that they’ve raised the prices of their vehicles. Jaguar/Land Rover reported its first quarterly profit since being bought out by Tata. All that and more, plus a preview of this week’s Autoline Detroit about how cars and movies go together.
Transcript and Story Links after the jump . . .
Here are today’s top headlines. Lear and Delphi are also under investigation for automotive electronics suppliers. Hummer dealers in Shanghai rejoice that Tengzhong didn’t get to buy it. And Jaguar and Land Rover post a profit for Tata.
Up next, we’ll be back with the news behind the headlines.
This is Autoline Daily for Friday, February 26, 2010. And now, the news.
A little bit more information on that investigation into automotive electronics suppliers is coming out. The Detroit Free Press reports that American suppliers Delphi and Lear are being investigated by the European Commission. It quotes Lear’s chairman Bob Rossiter as saying he’s confident the company is not involved in any anticompetitive practices.
Coskata, the start-up company that makes cellulosic ethanol which General Motors invested in, was named one of the 50 most-innovative companies by Technology Review, the journal of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Other companies on the list include Apple, Google and Twitter. Coskata was named because it is producing ethanol that can be cost-competitive with gasoline unsubsidized almost anywhere in the world.
And in related news, the Detroit news reports that Toyota’s lobbyists in Washington were concerned about mandates for flex-fuel vehicles that can run on blends of gasoline and ethanol. Toyota stated that it would cost it $200 to $300 per vehicle, or up to $600 million a year. I find that strange. GM says it costs about $75 to convert a vehicle for flex-fuel capabilities and that it’s spending $100 million a year.
Thanks to the new six and a resurrected 5.0-liter V-8, The Detroit News reports the 2011 Mustang racked-up almost 11,000 preorders– that’s three-times more than the 2010 model. Surprisingly, the V-6 is accounting for 50 percent of the orders. In related news, Ford announced output numbers for its new Super-Duty pickups. The 6.2-liter gasoline V-8 delivers 385 horsepower and 405 pound-feet of torque, while the brand-new, 6.7-liter Power Stroke diesel puts out 390 horsepower and – get this – 735 pound-feet of torque!
BMW is showing its 5 Series ActiveHybrid model ahead of the Geneva Motor Show. The car uses a derivative of the hybrid 7 Series’ drivetrain with some changes. It features a larger 40 kW electric motor – up from 15 in the 7 – and a larger battery pack, both of which allow the 5 to operate in electric-only mode at low speeds. Instead of a twin-turbo V-8 under the hood it features a force-fed inline six borrowed from the 535i.
Lexus too has pulled the wraps off a new hybrid model it’s showing at Geneva. The hatchback CT 200h is powered by a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine. Toyota hasn’t released output numbers for the powertrain but it’s probably pretty close to the Prius’ combined 134 horsepower. The CT 200h can run up to 1.2 miles in EV mode at speeds up to 28 miles an hour.
GM is looking for potential buyers of Hummer after its deal fell apart with Chinese company Tengzhong. According to Bloomberg, GM won’t comment on who’s interested but its still likely Hummer will be shut down.
In other Hummer news, dealers in China are so ecstatic that Tengzhong lost out on Hummer, that they’ve raised the price of the vehicles. According to Gasgoo, since GM will probably just wind the brand down, dealers are anticipating they’ll become scarce and so they raised prices. An H3 is selling for around $3,000 more and the price for an H2 just went up nearly $15,000.
Jaguar Land Rover reported its first quarterly profit since being bought out by Tata in 2008. According to Bloomberg, the company made a profit of $90 million dollars, thanks to increased sales and laying off over 2,000 workers. Even though it was good news for the company, Tata purchased Jaguar Land Rover for $2.5 billion from Ford, so it still has a ways to go before it pays off.
Coming up next, a look at how cars and movies go together. We’ll be back right after this.
The auto industry and the film industry practically grew up together. Cars have been heavily featured in movies ever since movies were first made. That’s why this week’s Autoline Detroit looks at the role automobiles have played in the movies, the funny ones, the serious ones and the weird ones. Joining me for that show are Jim Hall from 2953 Analytics, Todd Lassa from Motor Trend and the Autoextremist himself, Peter De Lorenzo. Here’s a clip from that show that I hope makes you want to watch the whole thing.
You’ll be able to catch the whole program later today on our website at AutolineDetroit.tv.
Ok, it’s Friday and you know what that means. It’s time to answer this week’s trivia question. We asked you what was the first product the Toyoda family manufactured well before it made cars? And the correct answer is they made looms. Weaving Looms. And the winner is Paul Black from Grafton, Ontario. Congratulations Paul, you’ve just won a Autoline Detroit coffee mug.
And that’s it for today’s top news in the global automotive industry. Thanks for watching, we’ll see you next week.