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The Takeaway

Shady Auto Warranties Running out of Gas

Monday, December 21, 2009

Advertisements for extended auto warranties are everywhere on television and in mailboxes, but some customers have been complaining that when the repair bills come due, the warranty guarantors are nowhere to be found. Consumer watchdogs are looking sharply at some of the warranty companies, and reporter Scott Graf, from WFAE in Charlotte, NC, says it looks like the boom times for bogus insurance may be ending. 

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The Takeaway

Chevy Volt, Game Changer?

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Cash for Clunkers program heats up and people across America are trading in their gas guzzlers for new fuel efficient models. Adding fuel to the fire, General Motors announced yesterday that their electric car, the Chevy Volt, will get 230 miles per gallon during city driving. The car is expected to cost $40,000 and be on the market in November of next year. GM is calling it a "game changer," but is it too late for GM's game? Or could the Volt save GM and save the planet at the same time? We talk to Garry Golden, futurist and energy blogger, about fuel efficiency and the future of cars.

Here's how Chevy is selling its Volt:

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The Takeaway

Don't Text and Drive: Study Shows the Dangers

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

A new study, whose findings will be released later today, says that driving while texting makes you 23 times more likely to get into an accident. This morning we're joined by Dr. Rich Hanowski, Director for the Center of Truck and Bus Safety at Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, which conducted the study. Also joining the discussion is Adam Bryant, Deputy Business Editor of The New York Times, who's been working on the “Driven to Distraction” series.

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The Takeaway

Help, but no bailout, for auto suppliers

Friday, March 20, 2009

The U.S. Treasury will give five billion dollars to auto suppliers in a bid to inject liquidity into the struggling industry that employs 500,000 people in the U.S. But you can’t call this one a bailout. Automakers GM and Chrysler now have to decide which suppliers will survive and which will fail. The Takeaway talks to Justin Hyde, Washington Correspondent for the Detroit Free Press.

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The Takeaway

In restructuring, G.M. bids farewell to brands

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

As part of their grand reconstruction plan, GM announced yesterday it was ending production of four car brands, including Saturn. This would seem to go against GM’s entire marketing platform that has been in place since the 1920’s, where the brand of the car fits the car buyer. Is variety no longer the spice of GM's life? Joining us this morning to talk about GM’s limiting its image is Micheline Maynard, senior business correspondent for The New York Times.

For more, read Micheline Maynard's article, A Painful Departure for G.M. Brands, in today's New York Times.

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The Takeaway

Detroit's last stand

Monday, January 12, 2009

All eyes are on Detroit this week as the annual North American International Auto Show starts its engines. As the American auto industry struggles, with dismal car sales and a skeptical Washington doling out bridge loans, this show is considered by many as Detroit's last stand. Joining us now for an insider's view of the Detroit car show is Lawrence Ulrich, a Detroit native and writer for the New York Times.

An advertisement for the Detroit auto show in better times.

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The Takeaway

Rattle rattle beep beep: U. S. car industry sales sink

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

The final car sales numbers for 2008 are abysmal, especially for Chrysler whose sales dropped more than 50%. Vehicle sales at the Ford Motor Company fell 32.4 percent and 31.4 percent at General Motors from this time last year. The silver lining for the automakers is that they get to start the year with billions from the government. John Wolkonowicz studies consumer purchase motivation for Global Insight, an economic and financial analysis firm in Lexington, Massachusetts.

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The Takeaway

Toyota forecasts its first annual loss in 71 years

Monday, December 22, 2008

Toyota Motor Corp. warns that it will post an operating loss for the first time in its history. Garel Rhys joins The Takeaway to discuss the future of Toyota and what it means for the U.S. auto industry.

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The Takeaway

President Bush offers loans to Big Three automakers

Friday, December 19, 2008

President Bush offered the American auto industry $13.4 billion dollars in short-term financing that will be drawn from the $700 billion dollar Wall Street rescue program. Another $4 billion dollars will be added later. The President said that the only way to avoid a collapse of the U.S. auto industry was for the executive branch to step in. However, there are some serious stipulations attached to the loan. Joining The Takeaway is Micheline Maynard, Senior Business Correspondent for The New York Times, based in Michigan, and Todd Zwillich with Capitol News Connection.

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The Takeaway

Live from Kokomo, the frontline of the auto bailout

Friday, December 19, 2008

After news that the White House is offering the U.S. auto industry $17.4 billion in short term financing, we check in with an earlier guest, Greg Goodnight the Mayor of Kokomo, Indiana. 14% of Kokomo's population is employed by Chrysler.

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The Takeaway

An orderly bankruptcy may be in the works

Friday, December 19, 2008

What is an “orderly” bankruptcy? It's the phrase that the Big Three U.S. automakers were throwing around yesterday with the White House. Apparently it’s one option available to aide GM and Chrysler. White House. The White House confirmed yesterday that Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson was considering the unusual option to help bail out the auto industry. The Takeaway talks to David Sanger, Chief Washington Correspondent for the New York Times, to explain this new option.

“You don’t want a bridge loan to nowhere.”
— New York Times’ Chief Washington Correspondent David Sanger on the potential White House loan to the auto industry

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The Takeaway

Chrysler is in crisis, plans to close manufacturing plants for a month

Thursday, December 18, 2008

U.S. automaker Chrysler is in crisis mode. In the face of increasing economic turmoil and financial instability, it has announced plans to close its manufacturing plants for at least a month. While Chrysler may be holding its breath waiting for the White House to pass a bailout bill, their decision has a big impact on workers. Micheline Maynard, the Michigan-based New York Times business correspondent, joins The Takeaway to discuss the auto industry in hard times.

"If a company is in trouble, there is nothing that says it like shutting down 30 plants for an extra couple weeks."
— The New York Times' Micheline Maynard on Chrysler's decision to close its manufacturing plants for at least a month

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The Takeaway

Auto bailout faces resistance from Senate Republicans

Thursday, December 11, 2008

"It should frighten everyone that we have a federal government with a Car Czar."
— Sen. Jim DeMint

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