Touting $2B profit, Ford drives home its status as automaker that didn’t fail

Ford posts $2B profit for first quarter 2010 then jacks up production! Hopefully this is a sign of better things to come in the NA auto industry. Ford is launching the all new Fiesta this year with the redesigned Focus coming in early 2011 so this might be the beginning of a healthy run as both new vehicles have potential to be big sellers!

From the Detroit Free Press:

America’s renewed enthusiasm for Ford continues unabated, as reflected in today’s eye-popping numbers from the Dearborn automaker’s first-quarter report.

While an improving U.S. economy pushed up the pace of overall car and truck sales by 14% in early 2010, Ford’s deliveries in North America zoomed 56% — up to 547,000 vehicles from 350,000 in the first three months of 2009.

The bottom-line result: a $2-billion pretax profit, reversing a loss of the same size a year ago.

Read the full article here.

  

Fiat designs should surprise

If quality and price are equal, what will be the deciding factor in an auto purchase? Fiat/Chrysler hopes you said “design” because look for their new cars to have plenty of “flair”. This is a smart move and it takes advantage of Fiats tools in their toolbox with top designers in house from all of those stylish brands at their disposal. If Fiat pulls this off look for marketing and design to lead them through this lull of new product and excitement.

From the Detroit Free Press:

TURIN, Italy — The world is still waiting to see what kind of auto design emerges from the alliance of Italy’s Fiat and U.S. Chrysler. One thing is clear: There’s a lot of Italian flair to draw on, in the person of Fiat’s design chief Lorenzo Ramaciotti.

Ramaciotti helped design everything from the high-end Ferrari Enzo to the economical Peugeot 407 during his career at independent styling house Pininfarina. Expect some surprises ahead.

“Italian design can’t be repetitive. It must be a design that is a little surprising, with something innovative from one model to the next,” said Ramaciotti during an interview in his modest office at Fiat’s Centro Stile, decorated with logos of the six Fiat brands whose style he commands.

Read the full article here.


Photo from fOTOGLIF

  

Cadillac XTS Concept Shown at Beijing Auto Show

Cadillac has one sleek and elegant ride in the upcoming XTS if it’s to be real close to the concept. The Beijing auto show was fortunate to have this beauty in it’s presence and when it hits the road my guess is that sales will be strong. The interior is off the charts and hopefully an engine that resonates with buyers is part of the package.

From AutoGuide.com:

Ever since a report a few weeks back that Cadillac had signed off on production of the XTS Concept, execs at GM’s luxury arm have tried to deny any such thing. But last week GM decided to showcase the car at the Beijing Auto Show, and have released a gallery of new photos – indicating the XTS is moving ahead.

Read the full article here.

  

Nissan collects $650,000 from buyers who just want to be first

Looks like demand is there for the new Nissan Leaf but how many can they build? With this type of excitement and demand around vehicles like the Leaf and the upcoming Chevy Volt electric cars might finally be for real in the marketplace. Both companies need to answer the call and get these machines rolling off the assembly lines early and often.

From AutoNews.com:

In three days, U.S. consumers gave $656,865 to Nissan for the chance to buy a Leaf electric sedan when it arrives in December.

Ain’t capitalism grand.

Starting on Tuesday, April 20, consumers could pony up $99 for what was called a refundable reservation fee. By Friday morning, 6,635 would-be buyers had charged the fee to their credit cards.

For their money, they got…well, nothing, really.

This is not a deposit on the car. It doesn’t count against the $32,780 sticker price.

Read the full article here.


Photo from fOTOGLIF

  

Ford unveils minicar for China at Beijing show

This new minicar from Ford shows us just how important the Chinese market has become. The Ford Start compact will go after the fast growing minicar segment in China that the Blue Oval needs to play a larger role to be a major player in China.

From the Detroit Free Press:

Ford said Thursday it plans to build what may be its first-ever three-cylinder engine for a car in China and is showing the engine in a concept car called the Ford Start at the Beijing Auto Show.

The Ford Start showcases a 1.0-liter, direct-injection, turbocharged engine that Ford said it plans to begin building in the “near future.”

Eventually, Ford expects to introduce the engine, which will be part of Ford’s EcoBoost engine family, in all regions, including the U.S., said Ford spokesman Mark Schirmer.

Read the full article here.

  

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