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Following 2014 Financial Results, Investors Take A Step Back

Because of shipping delays and a strong dollar, TSLA stock dropped $17.80 in premarket trading today.

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An article in the Daily Kanban suggests, the sun is setting on GM Korea, and it could already be well into dusk. GM's move into China, the Chevrolet exit from Europe and years of labor strife are driving the division over the edge.

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Plans To Be Supported By 'Fortress Balance Sheet'

"Our strategic plan is a pathway to earn customers for life and create significant shareholder value in the process." – Mary Barra

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If there is one thing that should be remembered when looking at quarterly and annual earnings, it's that the headline numbers rarely tell the whole story when it comes to an automaker's health. Chrysler's first-quarter earnings are just such an example.

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Chrysler announced its 2013 financial results today and unveiled its new name and decidedly bank-like logo. Amid the announcement, Chrysler posted big gains in income, while Fiat didn't perform to analysts' expectations.

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Good news out of Dearborn today, as Ford announced $3 billion in profit for the last quarter of 2013, a 90-percent increase over the same period of 2012. Net income for all of last year, meanwhile, jumped to $7.2 billion from $5.7 billion in 2012, while pre-tax profits sat at a decade-topping $6.9 billion for all of 2013.

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Ford has released projections for its 2013 profits, along with predictions of its 2014 earnings, and the news has forced the company's stock to stumble, falling over seven percent as of this writing. The Blue Oval is expecting earnings of $8.34 billion for 2013, although the bulk of that is coming largely from its North American operations, as troubles abroad continue to take a toll.

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Mitsubishi has lost money in its North America operations every year since 2007, but in an interview at this week's Tokyo Motor Show, company president Osamu Masuko said, "If things keep going well, it might be the case that we break even this year," Automotive News reports.

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The 16-day government shutdown that dominated newscasts and headlines for the first half of October doesn't look to have had a dramatic impact on monthly sales, according to separately filed reports by Kelley Blue Book and JD Power. The news is even more welcomed following September's sales, which saw the first year-over-year decline in 27 months.

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Ford, General Motors and Chrysler have been living in a world of sunshine and buttercups after their April-through-June financials hit the newswire, and Toyota is doing pretty good as well. Honda? Not so much.

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Chrysler has some good news and some bad news. First, profits were up 16 percent over the second quarter of 2012, bringing the Auburn Hills, Michigan-based manufacturer $507 million on the back of strong demand for trucks and SUVs (a recurring theme this quarter, particularly in the US). Q2 revenue was up as well, from $16.8 billion in 2012 to $18 billion in 2013. The bad news is that the Pentastar's overall earnings forecast for net income in 2013 has been trimmed from $2.2 billion to between $

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Ford isn't the only American automaker that's in the money. General Motors has just reported a second quarter income of $1.2 billion, although that number actually represents a year-to-year drop compared to Q2 2012. This drop can be chalked up to the expense behind launching a new line of full-size pickup trucks (the 2014 GMC Sierra and Chevrolet Silverado), as well as the acquisition of GM Korea. Aside from those one-time costs, GM reported a seven-percent increase in income before interest and

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Ford is rolling along nicely, with a positive second-quarter sales report and a $2.3 billion profit in North America. The Dearborn, Michigan-based manufacturer captured $1.2 billion globally from April to June, with a $177 million profit in Asia. Even in Europe, the land of doom and gloom for automakers not named Mazda, Ford saw some success as it lowered its expected full-year loss from $2 billion to $1.8 billion. The company lost $348 million in Europe during the second quarter, which, believe

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The news for Nissan is good when it comes to the company's results for the 2012 financial year that ended on March 31. Even though the numbers were down in many of the world's major markets, increased sales in the US, Brazil and the Middle East, ten new models and a strong fourth quarter allowed Nissan to hit its target for the year and notch record sales of 4.914 million units globally. On net revenue of $116 billion, Nissan posted net income of $4.13 billion and an operating profit of $6.31 bi

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Ford brought in $5.7 billion in net income during 2012, which is around $307 million less than one year prior. Even so, the automaker closed out 2012 with the highest pre-tax profit for a single quarter in nearly 10 years, earning $1.7 billion in the fourth quarter thanks largely to a higher-than-average truck mix in the US. That's a jump of $577 million over 2011. Likewise, that translated into fourth quarter income of $1.6 billion. All told, Ford set a full-year pre-tax profit record in 2012.

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It's fun to bet against Elon Musk and Tesla – that's the best reason we can find for so many people doing it even though the man, his company and his cars are still here and still very popular. The latest name inscribed in the column labeled "Skeptical of Tesla" is John Shinal at Market Watch who, in year-end commentary on Tesla's financials, says that the "carmaker's financials are reminiscent of a dot-com's." He does not mean that in the good way.

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Good news has been in abundant supply for the domestic automakers the last twelve months, and nowhere is that more evident than in the headline to this press release: "Chrysler Group Reports Full Year 2011 Net Income of $183 Million." Now, $183 million isn't exactly a king's ransom in the auto industry (or elsewhere – Apple made $25.92 billion last year). But if Chrysler is making money again for the first time since emerging from bankruptcy, well, perhaps the U.S. auto industry has finall

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It's official: pay czar Kenneth Feinberg's executive compensation rules for companies yet to return their bailout funds means a cap of $500K for second-tier executives. Importantly, that number represents the total compensation allowed, but only 45 percent of it -- $225,000, can be in cold, hard ducats. Stock remuneration must be held or paid out over at least two years, and extracurricular perks like country club memberships and private jet escapades can be valued at no more than $25,000.

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Beijing Automotive Industry Corporation (BAIC) could still be in the game for Saab, having secured a $2.93 billion line of credit from the Bank of China. On the other hand, BAIC could just be gearing up for its own home-grown expansion plans, with an eye on ramping up production and putting financial and technological legs underneath its partnerships with Mercedes and Hyundai.

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Chrysler's dealers haven't yet entered the portion of the game wherein they can catch a break. As if the dearth of inventory and lack of new vehicles weren't enough, nearly 150 dealers haven't been able to finalize floorplan financing. Since Chrysler Financial has exited that business, GMAC stepped in, but dealers are having a hard time meeting its terms: 85 have been turned down flat, another 60 or so are still working on it.

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