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BorgWarner Chief to Feds: Let Consumers Choose

Government promoted electric vehicles over other technologies.

by on Aug.05, 2010

other technologies, particularly diesel, also deserve consideration.

Other technologies, particularly diesel, deserve consideration.

Even though many in the auto industry acknowledge that the federal government’s 2009 bailout saved the domestic industry, they said it’s time for Congress and the White House to stop meddling in the industry.

Industry experts said during a session at the Management Briefing Seminars in Traverse City that the government’s grants have essentially chosen a powertrain technology rather than allowing automakers and consumers to figure out what works best.

“What we truly need from the U.S. government is a comprehensive energy policy to use as a guide,” said Tim Manganello, president and CEO of BorgWarner, a U.S.-based supplier of drivetrain parts such as turbochargers and transmissions.

The government has in recent years issued grants aimed at developing battery electric vehicles. But Manganello said other technologies, particularly diesel, also deserve consideration, not without self interest of course.


He said diesels have an uphill battle because of outdated negative stereotypes, higher taxes and the government’s push for electric vehicles. But he said that diesel might be a better solution for many Americans, who typically drive long distances where they excel, while electrics have shown poor performance in that area.

Auto Supplier Comeback Well Underway

Cost cutting and massive firings mean bigger profits from incremental production or sales increases.

by on Aug.04, 2010

BorgWarner supplies its DualTronic transmission and controls for Fiat's Alfa Romeo MiTo.

Early returns from some key automotive suppliers such as Federal Mogul, American Axle, BorgWarner and Tenneco indicate the sector continues to benefit from the modest increase in production and from huge restructuring and cost cutting as results surpassed the expectations of securities analysts.

Federal-Mogul Corp. of Southfield, Michigan has reported a 23% increase in sales and 17.1% increase in net income for the second quarter, beating estimates of analysts by a substantial margin by posting sales of $1.6 billion and earnings of $49 million.

“Federal-Mogul’s results in the second quarter of 2010 show our ability to deliver strong financial performance by converting incremental revenue to profitability due to our continued focus on efficiently managing our cost base established during 2009,” said Jose Maria Alapont, president and chief executive officer.

Federal hit $1.6 billion versus $1.3 billion recorded during the same period one year ago. Net income was $49 million or 49 cents per share.  Analysts’ consensus earnings expectation was 32 cents per share, according to the company’s second quarter financial statement.


Federal Mogul’s stronger sales performance stemmed from share gains in all regions and markets, on top of a significant improvement in global automotive demand, Alapont said.


General Motors U.S. Sales Plunge 34% in April

The "Total Confidence" plan is extended into May, as sales continue to languish.

by on May.01, 2009


There was a glimmer, but just a glimmer of hope. Total sales were up 11% compared to March, as traditional spring selling season begins.

Declining sales continues to be the trend at General Motors in the United States, with sales off -34% in April. The company wholesaled 173,007 vehicles. GM total truck sales (including crossovers) of 102,032 were down 28% and car sales of 71,775 were off 41% compared with a year ago.

Year to date, GM sales have declined 45%, with cars, at -47%, leading the drop.

As a result of a continued weak market, GM’s 2009 second-quarter production forecast is set at 390,000 vehicles (172,000 cars and 218,000 trucks), which is down about 53% compared with a year ago, when GM North America built 834,000 vehicles (382,000 cars and 452,000 trucks) in the second-quarter of 2008. Virtually all of GM’s North American plants will be closed for this summer. 

There was a glimmer, but just a glimmer of hope. Total sales were up 11% compared to March, as traditional spring selling season begins. However the sales increase was largely attributed to an increase in fleet sales. GM’s car sales compared with March were up only 2,900 vehicles (4%), while truck sales increased more than 9,500 vehicles (16%), and crossover sales were up nearly 4,200 vehicles (14%).

Critics of GM, who say that it is too dependent on truck sales, apparently are not talking to buyers. And politicians and others who keep babbling on about the industry’s “green future” should also note the distinctive lack of customer greenbacks supporting hybrids. Only 1,534 hybrid vehicles were delivered in the month. This includes total sales from a wide range of GM hybrid products: the Chevrolet Malibu, Tahoe and Silverado, GMC Yukon and Sierra, Cadillac Escalade, Saturn Aura and Vue hybrids. So far, in 2009, GM has delivered 5,156 hybrid vehicles.

The company tried to put positive face on what remain disastrous results.

“From a retail standpoint, GM and the industry continued at about the same selling rate as February and March. We see that stabilization, along with a firming up of our fleet business and improvement in Silverado and Sierra sales, as an encouraging sign,” said Mark LaNeve, vice president, GM North America Vehicle Sales, Service and Marketing. (more…)