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Daimler AG Profits Fall as Car, Van Division Sales Drop

Mercedes fails to meet last year's profit, sales marks.

by on Feb.08, 2019

Daimler AG Chairman Dieter Zetsche fields questions from the media during the company's annual earnings press conference.

Daimler AG said its fourth-quarter operating profit fell 22% as trade wars and ballooning costs for developing electric and self-driving cars took a bit out of the company’s profits.

The German automaker’s earnings before interest and tax or EBIT dropped to 2.67 billion euros in the fourth quarter, falling short of analyst expectations of 2.92 billion euros.

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Mercedes-Benz said increased tariffs on vehicles imported from the United States to China and delivery stoppages for individual diesel models hit demand and resulted in weaker prices. (more…)

Toyota Profits Up in 3Q, But Miss Analysts’ Mark

Automaker cuts forecast for rest of year.

by on Feb.07, 2019

Toyota's Masayoshi Shirayanagi said the automaker is looking for ways to further cut costs.

Toyota Motor Co., Japan’s largest automaker, posted a profit of 676.1 billion yen, or $6.16 billion, for the third quarter, up from 673.64 billion yen in the same period a year earlier.

However, the result fell short of the street’s expectations of the 680.84 billion yen median of 10 analyst estimates compiled by Refinitiv.

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The automaker saw rising sales in Asia, particularly China, offset a decline in the company’s largest market: the United States. (more…)

Pickups, SUVs Push GM Profit Well Above Expectations

Automaker betting numbers will look even better as truck production ramps up in 2019.

by on Feb.06, 2019

GM reported stronger than expected earnings as Chairman and CEO Mary Barra continues to reshape the company.

General Motors handily beat Wall Street’s earnings forecast for the fourth quarter and full year a strong performance that reflects both booming truck demand and the payoff of shedding the company’s long-struggling European operations.

For the final quarter of 2018, GM delivered earnings of $1.43 a share — $1.40 after excluding special items. The consensus, according to Zacks Investment Research, was $1.24. For the full year, earnings came to $6.54 a share, well ahead of the consensus forecast of $6.29. After special charges, the figure dropped to $5.58 per share.

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GM’s overall $8.1 billion profit for all of 2018 was more than double the $3.9 billion number from the year before, but the 2017 figure reflected a significant hit from the sell-off of the company’s long-troubled European Opel-Vauxhall subsidiary. It was acquired by PSA Group, parent of the Peugeot and Citroen brands. (more…)

Compact Mazda CUV to Break Cover in Geneva

CX-3? CX-4? We do know it will get a breakthrough engine.

by on Feb.05, 2019

Mazda is preparing to show off a new crossover at the Geneva Motor Show, but if its a CX-3 or CX-4 is anyone's guess.

Mazda has released a very well-camouflaged teaser image of a “new compact SUV” coming to the Geneva Motor Show a month from now.

Problem is, the accompanying text opens up more questions than it answers, including the most basic: will it go by the name Mazda CX-3, replacing the current small crossover, or be dubbed the CX-4? There seems to be a fairly big split among industry-watchers as to which will prove to be correct.

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But it does appear that we have an answer to two other questions. For one thing, the new crossover will be “the first production car to feature Mazda’s innovative SPCCI technology,” the company confirms, a reference to what is more often referred to as the SkyActiv-X engine. (more…)

Recalls and Incentives Hammer Honda’s Earnings

Automaker also prepping for impact of Brexit on UK operations.

by on Feb.01, 2019

Honda COO Seiji Kuraishi said the automaker was making plans to deal with the issues surrounding Brexit.

Honda Motor Co.’s earnings tumbled 71% during the company’s fiscal third quarter, a downturn driven by relatively flat sales, retail incentives and a surge of airbag-related recalls.

Honda was one of the largest customers for airbags provided by Japanese supplier Takata. Defects can cause those components to explode during an accident, sending shrapnel into the passenger compartment. At least 23 people, most in the U.S., have been killed as a result of the defective bags.

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The third-largest of the Japanese automakers reported a profit of 168 billion yen for the quarter ending Dec. 31, or $1.5 billion. That was down from 570.3 billion yen a year earlier and fell well below analysts’ consensus forecast according to polling by Refinitiv. (more…)

Unifor Plans to Advertise GM Boycott With Super Bowl Ad

Canada-only ad pushes boycott of GM Mexican-made vehicles.

by on Feb.01, 2019

Unifor's Jerry Dias is pushing for a trans-Canada boycott of GM vehicles made in Mexico.

The union representing auto workers in Canada is expanding its call for a trans-Canadian boycott of GM vehicles built in Mexico by advertising during the Super Bowl, traditionally one of the high points of the year for automotive advertising.

Unifor, which was formerly known as the Canadian Auto Workers union or CAW, is fighting to block General Motors’ plan to shut down an assembly plant in Oshawa, Ontario.

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Jerry Dias, president of Unifor, tweeted this week that the union has prepared a special Super Bowl ad as part of its ongoing fight to upend GM’s plans to close the Oshawa plant, which currently employs 2,500 Unifor members. The site of the plant outside Toronto has built vehicles for more than a century. (more…)

VW Plugs In With New Dune Buggy Concept

Retro design, futuristic powertrain; concept to debut in Geneva.

by on Jan.31, 2019

Volkswagen is bringing a new electric concept to the Geneva Motor Show in March – what's old is new again!

Volkswagen is going back to the future with a ‘60s-tinged concept coming to the Geneva Motor Show in a little more than a month.

The show car is modelled after the classic dune buggies that hit American roads and beaches back in the 1960s and 1970s. But the new iteration offers something very different under the hood – or, more accurately, under the floorboards, the buggy concept making use of the same, modular electric drivetrain that will power an assortment of upcoming Volkswagen products.

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“A buggy is more than a car. It is vibrancy and energy on four wheels,” suggested VW’s global design chief Klaus Bischoff. “These attributes are embodied by the new e-buggy, which demonstrates how a modern, non-retro interpretation of a classic can look and, more than anything else, the emotional bond that electric mobility can create.” (more…)

With More Product Coming, Tesla CEO Musk Promises Good Earnings Even In a Global Recession

Musk outlines plans for Tesla Model Y, Semi and Pickup in hour-long earnings call.

by on Jan.31, 2019

Tesla's Elon Musk spent much of his time on a call with analysts and media painting a rosy picture for 2019.

Tesla’s weak fourth-quarter earnings failed to impress industry analysts and investors, despite an optimistic, hour-long presentation by CEO Elon Musk who promised that the battery-electric automaker is ready to deliver solid profits “even if there’s a global recession.”

Speaking to reports and analysts, Musk presented an upbeat vision that anticipates a huge surge in both production and demand for the Model 3 sedan, while noting that two other products, the Model Y SUV and battery-powered Semi will go into production in 2020. The 47-year-old entrepreneur fended off concerns that Tesla won’t be able to cover an upcoming bond payment of more than $900 million without seeking new equity.

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“2019 is going to be an amazing year for Tesla,” Musk said, later adding that he is “optimistic about being profitable in Q1. Not by a lot, but I’m optimistic about being profitable in Q1 and for all quarters going forward.” (more…)

Tesla Misses With Q4 Earnings, Raising New Concerns

Automaker plans to ramp up Model 3 output in bid for bigger earnings.

by on Jan.30, 2019

Tesla's Elon Musk said the company faced significant headwinds in the previous quarter and will continue to do so.

Tesla delivered its second consecutive quarterly profit on Wednesday, but hit by various headwinds, including weak sales in China, the world’s largest battery-car market, the numbers fell well below the Wall Street consensus forecast, triggering a pushback from nervous investors.

The automaker said it would push to boost production of its mainstream Model 3 battery-electric vehicle in the months ahead, but whether that can kick-start momentum remains uncertain, Tesla CEO Elon Musk earlier this week warning that the automaker faces a “very difficult” road ahead, something potentially complicated by a nearly $1 billion bond payment due near the end of the first quarter.

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Referring to 2018 as “the most pivotal year in Tesla’s history,” the automaker tried to put a positive spin on its Q1 results, noting that sales came in stronger than expected with strong revenues. But the initial response was far from upbeat, despite Tesla shares regaining some of the losses of recent weeks during the regular Wednesday trading session. (more…)

Ginetta Prepping New Entry into Supercar Segment

Motorsport leader looks to return to the road.

by on Jan.30, 2019

Ginetta plans to return to the supercar realm with a new 600-plus horsepower model that will ready for road and track.

There will soon be a new sort of rumbling coming from northern England as race car maker Ginetta announced it plans to produce a street-legal, track-ready supercar, releasing two teaser photos to give some insight into what’s coming.

Laden with carbon fiber, the not-yet-named supercar will feature a racing-inspired naturally aspirated V8 alloy engine putting out more than 600 horsepower, officials claim, adding that it will be manufactured at its 75,000-square-foot facility in Leeds.

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“We’ve come a long way in 60 years but we still believe Ginetta has great untapped potential,” said Chairman Lawrence Tomlinson, a former Le Mans winner, who bought the company in 2005. (more…)