Zach Bowman returns, Detroit Auto Show, Fiat buys all of Chrysler, mandatory backup cameras, best-selling vehicles of 2013
Episode #363 of the Autoblog podcast is here, and this week, Dan Roth and Steven Ewing welcome Zach Bowman, now with Road & Track, back for the first podcast of 2014. Topics include the 2014 North American International Auto Show next week in Detroit, Fiat purchasing all of Chrysler, the possible mandating of backup cameras and the best-selling vehicles of 2013. There's even a Project Ugly Horse update. We start with what's in the garage and finish up with some of your questions, and for tho
Detroit Auto Show preview, 2013 best-sellers, mandated backup cameras, Fiat buys Chrysler
We're set to record Autoblog Podcast #363 tonight, where prodigal host Zach Bowman will return to join Dan Roth and Steven Ewing. Check out the topics below, drop us your questions and comments via our Q&A module, and don't forget to subscribe to the Autoblog Podcast in iTunes if you haven't already done so. To take it all in live, tune in to our UStream (audio only) channel at 10:00 PM Eastern tonight.
Chrysler will now become a wholly owned member of the Fiat family, as it's been announced that the 41.46-percent stake in the Auburn Hills, MI-based manufacturer owned by the United Auto Workers' VEBA trust fund will be sold to the Italian company. Concluding the agreement will mark the closure of a piecemeal purchase process that could have resulted in an initial public offering.
There will not be a Chrysler IPO in 2013. Fiat, according to a report from Forbes, has announced that it will not be able to make the American brand's initial public offering before the end of the year, saying that the short, five-week window that makes up the rest of 2013 is "not practicable."
A Bloomberg report from last month said that if Chrysler ends up offering an IPO, it could jeopardize the entire alliance between the Auburn Hills-based automaker and Fiat, but the outlet now says that an IPO could crush the dreams of hopeful Alfa Romeo 4C owners in the US. As the latest Bloomberg report indicates, publically traded shares would prevent Fiat from gaining full control of Chrysler. This would leave Fiat without the full access to Chrysler's cash flow, technology and manufacturing
The four-year relationship between Fiat and Chrysler has thus far been beneficial for both automakers, but it has also proven to be a complicated battle between Sergio Marchionne and the United Auto Workers – the latter controlling the remaining 41.5 percent of Chrysler. With the recent filing for a US IPO, it looks like Marchionne and the UAW appear to be playing a billion-dollar game of chicken, with both sides far apart on how much the union's shares are worth. If it comes down to Chrys
An initial public offering for the Chrysler Group could happen this week, following Sergio Marchionne's comments to Financial Times in London, according to a report from The Detroit News. Fiat, which owns 58.5 percent of Chrysler, has been in a battle with the UAW retiree healthcare trust over its minority stake in the company. While the automotive union recognizes its role as a temporary shareholder, the two couldn't come to an agreement on how the shares should be priced.
At the moment, Fiat is in court with the United Auto Workers, waiting for the justice system to provide some guidance on a fair price for 41.5-percent of Chrysler it doesn't own. Fiat owns 58.5 percent of the company and wishes to buy the remainder, which is owned by the union's VEBA retiree trust, but the Italian company and the UAW are on different sides of the galaxy when it comes to assigning a fair price to that outstanding stake.
The United Auto Workers union is pushing Chrysler to sell 16.6 percent of its stock to investors in an attempt to establish the value of the shares. The UAW is currently locked in a lawsuit with Chrysler parent company Fiat over how much the Italian automaker should pay to buy shares from the trust fund. Last year, Fiat told the trust it intended to exercise its right to purchase 3.3 percent of the union's shares at issue. But the union contended the 54,154 shares were worth closer to $381 milli
Automotive News is reporting that Fiat has paid $1.27 billion for an additional slice of Chrysler. The news follows a move by the Italian automaker last week that saw its total ownership jump to 30 percent. The newest acquisition increases that total to 46 percent, and analysts are predicting that the Pentastar's latest partner may make the jump for a majority stake sometime soon. Fiat's CEO, Sergio Marchionne, has already been quoted as saying that his company would like to eventually have cont
According to Automotive News, Fiat may be looking to increase its stake in Chrysler from 20 percent to 51 percent before the Pentastar goes public. If true, that would mean that Fiat intends to repay Chrysler's federal loans before their 2013 due date. Doing so would allow the Italian automaker to sink its teeth into its American property by an additional 16 percent.
General Motors and Chrysler LLC will lead automakers to "gushing profits" when annual U.S. sales reach 15 million vehicles, said Steven Rattner, the former head of the federal government's auto task force, on Bloomberg TV last Friday.
The federal government spent roughly $86 billion in taxpayer money to bail out the auto industry. That's a lot of Monopoly money, folks, and when the industry we know and love was at its weakest point, early projections suggested that that the U.S. government and American taxpayers would never see $30 billion of that money. But as the economy slowly crawls back to life and cars and trucks are beginning to move with greater regularity, those forecasts are being adjusted downward.
The timeline for Chrysler's IPO is gradually coming into focus. Four months ago Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne said he expected to Chrysler's offering to happen "probably" in 2011. Now he's narrowed that down to becoming "a second-part-of-the-year event."
Everyone is watching General Motors CEO Ed Whitacre, Jr. to see what he'll be able to pull of this year with respect to his plans, including a possible IPO. Count Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne among the interested. While the Fiat 500's introduction will likely result in Fiat upping its Chrysler stake to 25 percent, when it comes to a Chrysler IPO, Marchionne is thinking 2011, and he wants GM to go first, according to Automotive News.
From Monday's 'More Good News' edition, this nugget from Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne: "It is clear that if we continue to perform at this rate we're going to be in excess of the guidance that was provided in 2009." What does that mean? It means that Chrysler is making more money and using that money more efficiently than expected. If such performance keeps up, the Pentastar will put up better than expected numbers this year, and could be ripe for an IPO ahead of anyone's schedule.