US Government new majority owner of GMAC

The US Government will now be the new majority owner of GMAC after pumping another $3.8 billion into the struggling company. Let’s hope it works!

From Auto News.com:

GMAC Financial Services said today it will get $3.79 billion in additional aid from the U.S. government, on top of the $12.5 billion already received since December 2008.

GMAC, in a statement released late this afternoon, said that with the infusion it achieved the capital levels required by the Federal Reserve to meet the company’s “worse-than-expected economic scenario.”

GMAC said the $3.79 billion cash infusion was less than the $5.6 billion originally expected by the Fed in May 2009 because of lower-than-expected losses related to the General Motors Co. bankruptcy proceedings, which concluded in July.

As part of the latest bailout, the government also increased its equity stake in GMAC from 35.4 percent to about 56.3 percent, the statement said.

Read the full article here.


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Chrysler, Maserati, Ferrari to be at DAS

Talk about bringing a sharp date to town! Chrysler will be sharing the stage with Maserati and Ferrari at the Detroit Auto Show. That is one good looking group, my friends! This will also give us a first look at some rebadged Lancia’s and the electric Fiat 500.

From the Detroit News:

Ferrari and Maserati are moving into a new neighborhood at the North American International Auto Show — the Chrysler Group LLC stand, where they’ll be nestled between the Dodge and Jeep brands.

In the past, the high-end marques have leased real estate in the show’s luxury row with the likes of Lamborghini, Bentley and Rolls-Royce, although last year Ferrari didn’t have a display in Detroit.

But since last year’s auto show in Detroit, Chrysler formed a partnership with Italian automaker Fiat SpA, which is part of the Fiat Group that includes Ferrari and Maserati but also Alfa Romeo, Lancia, Iveco commercial vehicles, and CNH agricultural and construction equipment.

Read the entire article here.


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2010 Porsche Boxster gets solid review

Another strong review of a car everyone already loves! Will the strong reviews continue with the all new sports sedan Panamera next year? We think so!

From the Detroit News:

nullChristmas came early this year: Porsche agreed to let me test drive the 2010 Boxster S.

Who am I to question Porsche? Does anyone ever question them?

Well, with the Boxster, many people have. It’s one of the vehicles in Porsche’s lineup that some have derided for not possessing Porsche’s soul. Silly purests. For most people, if it says Porsche on the hood, it’s a Porsche. Do you really need a 911 for twice the price? The Boxster does the job quite well and carries just as much weight as any other Porsche for 99 percent of the population out there.

Read the full article here.

Lancia-based car to be shown at Detroit Auto Show

We are very interested to check out the new offering from Fiat/Chrysler with a Lancia badge. If it’s anything like the Delta that would be a great first step in introducing the new brand to potential U.S. customers.

From AutoGuide.com:

Contrary to previous reports that Chrysler will not present any new models at the Detroit Auto Show in just a few weeks, there is now word that the struggling U.S. automaker will show a new car based on a Lancia platform. The Lancia badge is a sub-brand under Fiat, which now runs Chrysler.

There is no word on what sort of a vehicle it will be, but Fiat is eager to help Chrysler where it needs help most – in the small and mid-size car market. This new model would be the first idea of how Fiat intends to integrate its European designs into the North American marketplace.

Read the full article here.

Trouble for Ford?

Is this writer from Car and Driver out of touch or does he see something we don’t? Ford is starting to get into gear but he sees things with their product line that could spell trouble.

The Ford Escape may be selling well, but just came in bottom of the heap (as a nearly identical Mercury Mariner) in our latest small SUV comparison test. The Ford Fusion is solid, but it’s not a Honda Accord or a Mazda6. The Ford Flex and the Edge are merely OK. The Taurus and SHO? Ho-hum, and a packaging disaster. The Focus is well past its sell by-date. Only the Fusion hybrid and the Mustang are top of their classes. As for the Lincoln lineup, the MKT is way too expensive, while the MKS is overpriced and underbaked.

OUCH!!!

From Car and Driver:

I’m not quite sure when the media collectively decided that Ford is the only American car company that knows what it’s doing, but it’s certainly the prevailing wisdom right now. A Detroit News editorial by Bryce G. Hoffman summed up the sentiment: “But the Dearborn automaker also scored major points with American consumers by foregoing a federal bailout and avoiding bankruptcy. That good will, together with a strong lineup of new cars and trucks, meant Ford fell neither as far nor as fast as the rest of the industry.”

Read the full article here.


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Ford expects Volvo deal with Geely

This is good news for Ford as they will finally move on from the disastrous “Premium Automotive Group” dream of years gone by! But the bigger news in the aggressive Chinese auto firms that include Volvo suitor Geely Automotive. The Volvo move is another round of the Chinese building distribution in the North American market that should pay off big time when they hit the ground running. This whole market will change once the Chinese arrive!

From the Detroit News:

Ford Motor Co. today said it is close to finalizing a deal to sell its Swedish luxury brand, Volvo, to China’s Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co.

In a statement released this morning, the Dearborn automaker confirmed that “all substantive commercial terms relating to the potential sale of (Volvo) have been settled,” but added that “some work still remains to be completed before signing — including final documentation, financing and government approvals.”

Geely released its own statement today — one that sought to reassure Volvo employees and the Swedish government.

Read the full article here.

GM hires Chris Liddell as new finance chief

The General makes an aggressive move here! Best of luck to Mr. Liddell and hopes that he can be part of an American comeback story. Next in line: A new CEO!!

From Detroit Free Press:

General Motors Co. said today it has hired the former chief financial officer of Microsoft Corp. as its new CFO, a key part of GM’s plan to rebuild its finances following bankruptcy.

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Chris Liddell, a native of New Zealand whose background includes an engineering degree, had worked as Microsoft’s CFO since May 2005. In announcing his departure last month, Microsoft said Liddell wanted to “expand his career beyond being a CFO.”

Liddell, 51, will start with GM in January. GM’s current CFO Ray Young is transferring to a new job in international operations.

Read the full article here.


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Six insurgent automakers outmaneuvering “Big Three”

These six insurgent automakers are outmaneuvering the “Big Three” to shape the future of the automobile. No one knows what the future holds, but some great ideas are coming out of this last recession and near collapse of the domestic auto industry. Will any of these companies ever become household names?

From Money.CNN.com:

Paul Guzyk and Daniel Sherwood are computer geeks who co-founded 3Prong Power, a Berkeley business that transforms standard Toyota Priuses into all-electric green machines.

In 1999, Guzyk moved to California and rediscovered an old passion for cars after tinkering with a Prius. He found that in many ways the Toyota hybrid was more like a computer than an automobile. Notably, it ran on recognizable computer standards similar to those found in an office network.

“I found that modifying the Prius is like getting your computer to do what you want it to do,” says Guzyk.

Read the full article here.

2010 Mustang Unleashed – Mustang Spellbinder

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I was pretty excited when Mustang invited me to experience the last installment of the Mustang Unleashed campaign in Las Vegas for Dashboard News and Bullz-Eye.com. We stayed at Planet Hollywood on the Las Vegas Strip and were witnesses for an incredible illusion.

The 10th experience of the Mustang Unleashed campaign featured famous Las Vegas magician Steve Wyrick, who regularly performs at Planet Hollywood. We met Steve the night of the event and he peaked our interest right away with some incredible illusions as we enjoyed our drinks around the dinner table.

We also met world champion drifter Vaughn Gittin Jr., who kicked off Ford Mustang’s ‘10 Unleashed campaign by taking the American muscle car to the streets of Japan to drift the streets where drifting was born. Vaughn is a Mustang fanatic and he was pretty pumped about his role in Steve’s plans.

Ford and Wyrick shut down the Las Vegas strip to perform what was one of Wyrick’s biggest illusions yet. In front of Planet Hollywood in the middle of the night, Wyrick shackled himself in the middle of the Las Vegas strip and asked Vaughn to come racing down the street in the 2010 Mustang and slam into him. Check out the video below and you can see what happened next. Vaughn’s driving alone was a site the see, but that just set the stage for Wyrick’s big surprise. I have to admit it was just as spectacular seeing it live. The crowd that waited late into the night to see it wasn’t disappointed.

This was the last of 10 dream Mustang experiences Ford brought to life this year with the Mustang ‘10 Unleashed campaign. Famous drifter Vaughn Gittin Jr. slid sideways around Japan, consumer Roger Keeney drove blindly, 18-year-old consumer Derek Murrell drag raced his high school shop teacher, Queen Latifah hit the track with NASCAR racing phenom Colin Braun and Los Angeles resident Daniel Verlarde got inked and customized his own 2010 Ford Mustang. Videos were created for each event and you can see them here.

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Chrysler to invest $179 million in its Dundee engine

Fiat/Chrysler is beginning to invest in the U.S. with this great news for Michigan! I still say if they (Fiat/Chrysler) can survive the next 12 – 18 months great things can happen under Marchionne.

From the Detroit News:

Auburn Hills — Chrysler Group LLC CEO Sergio Marchionne on Thursday morning confirmed plans to invest $179 million in its Dundee engine plant to build a fuel-efficient, four-cylinder Fiat SpA engine for use in the subcompact Fiat 500 and other cars.

The investment will create 155 Chrysler jobs on a single shift and another 573 spinoff jobs. It is too soon to begin hiring, executives said.

The automaker’s Global Engine Manufacturing Alliance LLC plant in Dundee currently employs 66 salaried and 184 hourly workers on two shifts.

To read the article in full, click here.


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