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European Car Market’s Collapse Leaves Industry in “Doo-Doo”

“The stench is overwhelming,” says Marchionne.

by on Jul.02, 2012

Fiat CEO Marchionne: "The stench is overwhelming."

While automakers expect to report a double-digit gain in U.S. sales for June, the situation continues to worsen in Europe where demand fell sharply in key markets including France, Italy and Spain – and where even Germany is expected to see a dip for the month.

Several key makers, including both Ford and General Motors, have warned they will show deep losses for the second quarter on their European operations and most of the rest of the industry isn’t likely to do much better.

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“We’re standing in doo-doo,” Fiat/Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne told reporters in Turin.  “Whether you’re in an inch of it or three inches doesn’t matter.  The stench is still overwhelming.”


Overseas Operations Weakening, GM, Ford Heading for Big International Losses

Ford sees $500 million loss abroad, GM $1 billion in Europe.

by on Jun.29, 2012

Ford CEO Alan Mulally -- the maker now anticipates big losses overseas.

An economic meltdown in Europe, a slowdown in China, weakening currency and new trade barriers in South America. The situation is getting bad for the auto industry, and both General  Motors and Ford, in particular.

The smaller of the Detroit makers now anticipates overseas losses to reach $500 million for the second quarter, a heavy anchor on earnings from the recovering North American market.  GM, meanwhile, expects the red ink from its long-troubled European operations to reach around $1 billion.

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Noting its “operations outside of North America are under increasing pressure,” Ford warned in an SEC filing that “Our combined results for the second quarter for Ford South America, Ford Europe, and Ford Asia Pacific Africa could be a loss of about three times as much as the $190 million pretax loss incurred by these operations in the first quarter.”


GM Posts $4.3 Billion Post-Bankruptcy Loss, But Cautiously Predicts Profits Ahead

New accounting process “building a foundation” for IPO.

by on Apr.07, 2010

No more over-promising and under-delivering at GM, insists CFO Chris Liddell.

General Motors reports it lost $4.3 billion during the nearly six months after it emerged from bankruptcy on June 10, last year, but senior GM officials stressed that during the final quarter of 2009, the company’s finances improved substantially, making it very possible the long-troubled automaker will be back in the black for 2010. ( See GM Has a Chance of being Profitable by Ken Zino)

Using what it described as “fresh start accounting,” GM’s Chief Financial Officer Chris Liddell laid out a cautiously optimistic snapshot of the automaker which, he said, is “building a foundation for this company to return to public ownership.”

But Liddell stressed that there are numerous uncertainties in the way and that prevents GM from setting a specific timetable for both a financial turnaround and for the planned Initial Public Offering that will help raise cash needed to repay the U.S. Treasury for last year’s $52 billion bailout.

In a conference call with reporters and analysts, Liddell and newly appointed Chief Accounting Officer Nick Cyprus stressed that the post-bankruptcy GM is a very different company from the one that went into Chapter 11, last year.  Among other things, it has slashed its debt and liabilities by tens of billions of dollars, ending 2009 with face value debt of less than $8 billion, excluding government money that now gives the U.S. government a 61% stake in the automaker. ( See GM Delays Annual Report Filing by Ken Zino)