We talk a lot about global platforms and global powertrains, but the truly global corporation is much stronger in idea than in practice. General Motors CEO Dan Akerson is the latest to take a stab at creating a truly international company, preparing to stir up the entire organization with sweeping mission statements like "We've got to get this company and its culture into the 21st century," and "We need to take the bureaucracy out of the business."
General Motors is having a hard time nailing down its European operations. The automaker reported its first-quarter earnings slid by $1 billion, down from $3.2 billion in the first quarter of last year. The drop was partially attributable to a one-time loss that included changes in accounting for the automaker's European pensions.
General Motors is busy putting the finishing touches on its third (or is it fourth?) viability plan, part of which involves the sale or shut down of the Saturn division. While many were expecting GM to close down Saturn, GM has released a press release to tell the world that the fledgling marquee is on the block, and there are several suitors in hot pursuit. The new owner will inherit the Saturn name and its 400 dealer-strong retail network. Advisory firm S.J. Girsky & Co. has been retained
According to General Motors spokesman Tom Wilkinson, the struggling automaker will shed 1,600 white-collar jobs by May 1 as part of its continuing restructuring efforts. The cuts, which are scheduled to begin this week, are part of a larger action to shed 3,400 white-collar jobs this year.
It boils down to this: In 12 days, Chrysler's fate is likely to be sealed, one way or another. Both the United States and Canadian federal governments have told the automaker that in order to get continued funding, it must restructure dramatically. After consulting with his task force on the auto industry, President Obama made it abundantly clear at the end of March that this meant a Fiat deal needed to be in place within 30 days, otherwise it's basically curtains for Chrysler as we all know it.
Amidst all the recent bailout talk, one question being asked is what role GM's Opel division will serve in a new-and-hopefully-improved General Motors. More succinctly, will Vauxhall and Saturn soldier on unchanged or will they simply fade into automotive landscape? Automotive News seems to think the question of Opel and how it relates to Vauxhall and Saturn is so important that it's worth devoting three separate editorials to the issue, with varying levels of clarity.
Following a slew of labor problems including the American Axle strike that cost an estimated $2 billion, General Motors is restructuring to accommodate the declining U.S. auto market. Following the lead of Ford and Chrysler, the move will likely include further cost cutting and layoffs, as production of thirsty truck and sport-utility vehicles is wound down to make room for more fuel efficient vehicles. Information is sketchy at this stage, but plan on learning the details when the restructuring
Perhaps 'fired' is the wrong word, as that does imply that these white collar workers did something wrong. The only thing some 12% of Ford's salaried workforce did wrong is get hired by a company that dug itself into a hole relying on strong truck and SUV sales during the 1990s. Now, with consumers avoiding gas-hungry vehicles, the restructuring effort faltering amidst high gas prices, and news that the company has abandoned its goal of returning to profitability in 2009... cutting more salaried
Two days ago we told you about Cerberus head Stephen Feinberg's rather sanguine thoughts on Chrysler. Cerberus' other big auto investment, GMAC, is having a few issues of its own. Last year GMAC's auto lending division posted a profit of $1.77 billion, but losses in the mortgage loan division turned that into a $2.33 billion for the entire company. So, GMAC is doing what companies often do in these situations: positioning itself "with a more competitive cost structure and greater operational fle
In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that surfaced yesterday, Ford estimated that it the accelerated restructuring plan announced last September will cost $11.2 billion when the books are finally balanced. In other words, it will cost Ford$11.2 billion to let go of 38,000 hourly and 10,000 salaried workers. The estimate includes ongoing costs for health care for any workers that didn't take the lump-sum buyout. Who knew it was that expensive to reduce your workforce?
We have more details on the rumored restructuring plan that the Chrysler Group is expected to announce on February 14th. First, it's dubbed internally as "Project X", which must mean it involves chimpanzees and large doses of radiation. In addition to radiated chimps (we're kidding, click the link for the punchline), Automotive News is reporting that the plan will likely involve cutting 10,000 factory jobs and closing the Newark Assembly Plant that builds the Dodge Durango and Chrysler Aspen, as
Changes are coming to the family as the Fiat automotive empire alters its structure to give several of its divisions more autonomy. While the Lancia, Alfa Romeo, Fiat auto and Fiat light commercial vehicles have all been divisions within the same corporate hierarchy (not unlike the structure at its one-time potential partners at General Motors), each of those brands is now being spun off and individually incorporated.
Chrysler Group CEO Tom LaSorda travelled to DaimlerChrysler's headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany, last Wednesday to present a restructuring plan to the company's management board. The Detroit News reports that the plan will involve job cuts and and the closing of at least two plants in the U.S. The plan will be reviewed by the DCX management board and likely announced in February when the company reveals its performance numbers for 2006, which analysts expect to be billions in the red.
It's been a year since Delphi filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, and the supplier is still trying to find ways to return to profitability. One of the things it's identified as a way to get back into the black is ridding themselves of unprofitable contracts with General Motors. They have been quietly shifting some of these orders to outside firms. One example is the contract for GM full-sized pickup truck steering knuckles that recently went to EaglePicher Corp., which is no stranger to
As part of its accelerated "Way Forward" turnaround strategy, Ford Motor announced today that it will cut North American production by 21 percent (168,000 vehicles) in the fourth quarter of this year. Third quarter production will by cut by 20,000 units.
An analyst with Bear Stearns delivered an interesting assessment of the domestic automakers today, stating that Ford's credit rating deserves a boost on the basis of its upcoming expected turnaround performance. The stock's rating was cranked up two notches from "underperform" to "overperform", and indeed its value has enjoyed an increase of nearly 15% in the last month (granted, it's coming off a slump that saw it nearly touch on its 52-week low, and it's still over 20% down from its peak in th