Back in June of last year, Ikuo Mori took the helm as Fuji Heavy Industries' CEO. His task: end Subaru's five-year long sales slump. Subaru's retail efforts have not lived up the automaker's expectations set in 2002, with a failed attempt at moving the brand up market and the slow sales of its visually challenged B9 Tribeca SUV (does the backend remind anyone else of a Morlock?) doing little to improve the brand's bottom line.
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 twisted and a bit pathetic, but I will be shedding a tear next week in honor of the Ford Taurus officially and finally going out of production. It had a 21-year run that in retrospect is the longest fall from grace in history. During that time Ford sold 7 million Tauruses and another 2 million Mercury Sables. Since January 1st of this year, however, Ford had halted sales of the Taurus to the public, accepting orders only from fleet and rental companies. Despite that, the Taurus remained For
Reuters is reporting that Ford will be shrinking its dealer base over the next three years in order to better align its distribution network with a market share that is smaller than it has been in the past. Dealers were told of the planned reduction at the dealer meeting in Las Vegas last month. The East Coast and California have the highest saturation of Ford dealerships and are likely to see the largest reduction in numbers. At the moment there are about 4,300 Ford dealerships operating in the
Billed as the best warranty of any full-lined automaker (sorry Hyundai/Kia), the new coverage for all General Motors vehicles is now a fully transferable five-year, 100,000 mile powertrain warranty with no deductible. The new warranty will cover all 2007 model and beyond cars and light-duty trucks sold in the U.S. and Canada, and any 2007 model already sold will receive the new warranty retroactively. In addition, GM has expanded its roadside assistance and courtesy transportation programs to fi
In an effort to assuage the fear of his employees over the current direction of Ford Motor Company, Bill Ford sent out a company-wide memo on Friday that details a three-point strategy for ushering the Blue Oval out of hard times. The Detroit News describes the strategy in a nutshell as 1) fixing Ford's North American business, 2) leveraging the company's global assets, and 3) bolstering its leadership team from within and outside the company. Easier said than done, right?
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
General Motors chairman and CEO Rick Wagoner chose to fill us in on GM's turnaround progress via the company's FastLane Blog, a soapbox usually reserved for one Bob Lutz.