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Chrysler

The Takeaway

Chrysler Revs Up to File IPO

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Chrysler is a company that has recovered dramatically since the recession brought the American auto industry to near ruin. Now the company has plans to proceed with a public offering of shares before the year’s end. And for Chrysler, IPO success could be a milestone following the company’s 2009 bankruptcy. Joining The Takeaway to explain is Michelle Krebs, a senior analyst for Edmunds.com, a car shopping website.

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Transportation Nation

While Detroit Gains Ground, Japanese Automakers Stumble in China

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

A Toyota dealership in Qingdao was burned by protestors in a dispute over an island chain claimed by both China and Japan.

(Paul Eisenstein - The Detroit Bureau) General Motors and Ford Motor Co. have ended 2012 with all-time sales records in China — but the news is nowhere near as good for Japanese makers.

Stung by a dispute between China and Japan over a chain of uninhabited islands in the East China Sea, Toyota, Nissan and Honda have all suffered a sharp decline in sales in what has become the world’s largest automotive market.

While General Motors has yet to release its final figures for 2012, the maker already passed its previous peak by the end of November, the 2.59 million vehicles it sold for all of 2011. GM has set a goal of boosting sales in China to 5 million by mid-decade.

[Related story: GM Sets Another New Sales Record in China – And it’s Not Alone.]

Ford, meanwhile, has confirmed its sales in China rose 21% last year, to 626,616, also an all-time high. The maker was a relative latecomer to the Chinese market but has been aggressively expanding both its product portfolio and production capacity over the last several years.

“Record 2012 sales highlight the positive response our customers have for our full portfolio of high-quality, safe, fuel-efficient and smart vehicles,” John Lawler, chairman and CEO of Ford Motor China, said in a statement. “Their enthusiasm for Ford cars validates our aggressive plan to introduce 15 new vehicles, double production capacity and double our China dealership network — all by 2015.”

Chrysler has also been pushing into record territory, though its volumes have been much smaller than its cross-town rivals. That’s ironic because Chrysler was the first Western maker to build vehicles in China, or more precisely through its Jeep subsidiary. But its original operation was assumed by former partner Mercedes-Benz following the break-up of the ill-fated DaimlerChrysler AG.

[Related story: Chinese Reportedly Eyeing Stake in Daimler AG]

Under new partner Fiat SpA, Chrysler is again making an aggressive push to expand in China.

Japanese makers were also slow to enter the Chinese market, in part to long-standing enmity between the two nations dating back to Japan’s brutal occupation of its neighbor during World War II. That simmering disdain came back to a boil when the Japanese government decided to buy what it calls the Senkoku Island chain last September.

That set off rioting in China, the bigger nation also laying claim to what it calls the Daioyu Islands. A number of Japanese-owned vehicles were destroyed and a Toyota dealership was even torched in what many observers believe were government-tolerated, if not sanctioned, riots.

Japanese industry executives had previously telegraphed the likelihood of declining sales in China which, they also cautioned, would hurt their earnings for the rest of the 2012 fiscal year – which closes on March 31, 2013.

Nissan took the biggest hit, sales declining 5.3% for calendar-year 2012, to 1.2 million vehicles. Nissan has been the most aggressive of the Japanese makers operating in China, among other things setting up the new Venucia brand with its partner there, Donfeng Motors.

Toyota suffered a 4.9% drop in volume last year, to 840,000. Honda’s China sales slipped 3.1%, to 599,000. Prior to the dispute over the Senkoku/Daioyu Islands, Toyota had expected to see a 10% jump in sales in China, reaching 1 million for the first time.

The market for Japanese products has begun to improve, Toyota China spokesman Niu Yu telling the Wall Street Journal, “Sales are getting better day by day, but it’s still hard to say when we can get back to the pre-protest level,” said.

But it’s unclear how quickly there will be a full recovery. Nissan, for example, suffered a 41% drop in demand in October, shortly after the dispute began, but sales were still off 24%, year-over-year, in December.

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Transportation Nation

Big Three Automakers Post Double-Digit Sales Gains

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Ford Focus Electric (CC) by Flickr user Kevin Krejci

The recovery has been very good to the U.S. auto industry.

General Motors said Tuesday its August sales were double the company's expectations and are up 10 percent over 2011 numbers. Ford reports its numbers were up 13 percent. And Chrysler had its best August in five years, posting gains of 14 percent.

These numbers come at a fortuitous time for President Obama, who is making the $85 billion bailout of the auto industry a key talking point of his re-election campaign. Speaking Monday at a United Auto Workers rally in Ohio, Obama told the crowd: "If we had turned our backs on you, if we had thrown in the towel like that, GM and Chrysler wouldn’t exist today."

Read more about auto sales at NPR.


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Transportation Nation

China Not Treating U.S. Automakers Fairly, Says Obama Administration

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Shanghai traffic (photo by http2007 via flickr)

The United States filed a complaint against China with the World Trade Organization over what it says are unfair trade practices for imposing new duties on American-made cars.

According to the complaint, which was filed by the United States Trade Representative on Thursday, "the United States has requested dispute settlement consultations with China at the WTO in an attempt to eliminate these unfair duties."

Last year, Beijing imposed import tariffs ranging from 2 percent to 21.5 percent on larger cars and SUVs exported from the U.S. In 2011, the U.S. exported more than $3 billion of these automobiles to China.

China has argued that General Motors and Chrysler have benefited from government subsidies, enabling the companies to sell cars at less than fair market value -- thereby hurting the Chinese auto industry.

Word of the complaint came as President Obama kicked off a two-day bus tour of Pennsylvania and Ohio. Ohio, a swing state, is home to thousands of auto workers.

"Americans aren't afraid to compete," said the president, speaking at a campaign event in Maumee (OH).  "We believe in competition. I believe in trade...so as long as we're competing on a fair playing field instead of an unfair playing field, we'll do just fine. But we're going to make sure that competition is fair."

White House spokesperson Jay Carney noted that this is the seventh such action taken against China, and denied the timing behind the announcement was politically motivated. "The fact is this is an action that has been in development for quite a long time." he said. "It simply can’t suddenly be a political action because it happens during the campaign."

China's once-booming auto industry is decelerating due to its slowing economy -- and its government's own efforts to get a handle on traffic. Earlier this month, Guangzhou became the third Chinese city to put a cap on annual car sales to combat growing traffic jams and pollution.

You can read a copy of the letter the USTR sent the WTO here.

 

 

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The Takeaway

What Did Clint and Chrysler Mean by 'Half Time in America'?

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

On Superbowl Sunday, Clint Eastwood appeared in a two-minute ad that has been dubbed "Half Time in America." Sponsored by the Chrysler car company, it shows a Detroit that escaped the jaws of defeat to become a model for American recovery. Eastwood's narration goes on to suggest that America is in similarly dire straits: “This country can’t be knocked out with one punch. We get right back up again and when we do the world is gonna hear the roar of our engines. It’s half time America, and our second half is about to begin.”

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Transportation Nation

TN MOVING STORIES: Hidden Fare Hike for Commuters, the School Bus Goes Electric, and Chrysler's Big Year

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Top stories on TN:
Medellin gets a mega escalator (link)
To deal with slow walkers, whip out your bike bell (link)
2011 Year in Review, Houston (link)

New Yorkers on a crowded bus (photo courtesy of Brad Lander)

Ray LaHood on new FAA, trucking rules: "Ultimately, we've given pilots and truck drivers the time to rest. Now, they must exercise the personal responsibility to use that time wisely." (USA Today)

The reduction in the federal commuter tax benefit will look like a fare hike to transit users nationwide. (Star-Ledger, San Francisco Examiner)

Baltimore Sun editorial: "If anything, transit ridership ought to be given an advantage over driving — at least the kind that doesn't involve a car pool."

Disability activists hope the transformation of the city's taxi and livery system will also lead to similar change in transportation services already provided to disabled New Yorkers. (Crain's New York)

The school bus is going electric. (Wall Street Journal; subscription req.)

2011 has been very very good to Chrysler. (NPR)

Forget face detection, this Japanese car seat can tell who's sitting in it through butt recognition. (GizMag)

 

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Transportation Nation

TN MOVING STORIES: Christie Says NJ "Will Do Our Share" in Secaucus 7 Plan; Roadway Travel Reaches Lowest Point Since 2003

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Top stories on TN:

Extending the #7 subway to NJ could cost less than the ARC tunnel. (Link)

New York conducts bus inspection crackdowns, nets dozens of violations. (Link)

Specialty license plates generate revenue -- and controversy. (Link)

Should you treat a subway platform like Yosemite? (Link)

U.S. Highway 20, Idaho (photo by J.Labrado via Flickr)

Travel on U.S. roadways through the first eight months of this year is down 1.3% from a year ago -- or 26 billion vehicle miles -- and has reached the lowest level since 2003. (USA Today)

More on extending the #7 to Secaucus: Governor Christie said New Jersey "will do our share...All of this will be able to come together.” (Bloomberg via Stateline)

BP was granted a permit for deepwater drilling in the Gulf. (Politico)

Taxis are allowed to block bike lanes in San Francisco. (Bay Citizen)

UAW members reached a split decision over Chrysler contract. (Changing Gears)

Ten people were arrested in a $1 billion Long Island Rail Road disability scheme. (New York Times)

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder says "continued failure is not an option" for regional transportation efforts in Metro Detroit. (MLive.com)

New York's elevated rail-line-turned-park, the High Line, received a $20 million donation. (New York Times)

A bus operator denies discrimination charges, says women on Brooklyn's B110 don't complain about having to sit in the back. (New York Times)

NY Daily News opinion piece: making all taxis wheelchair-accessible is a worthy goal, but it can't trump other considerations -- like cost.

 

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Transportation Nation

TN MOVING STORIES: FAA Allows NYC Helicopters Into Off-Limits Airspace, NYC Taxis May Get New Roof Lights, Michigan Town Loses Streetlights

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

New York's Tappan Zee Bridge got expedited approval from the feds, but construction is years away. (Link)

(photo by Dino Abatzidis via Flickr)

A House committee will hold a hearing on President Obama's infrastructure bank proposal today. (The Hill)

The UAW reached a tentative deal with Chrysler. (Detroit Free Press)

New York is considering a new roof light system for taxis. (DNA Info, New York Times)

The Federal Aviation Administration said it's allowing some NYC sightseeing helicopters to use airspace that's supposed to be off-limits to local air traffic. (WNYC)

DC's Metro is trying to figure out ways to make parking easier for for riders -- and is also encouraging riders to bike to stations by building bike corrals. (Washington Examiner)

A Michigan town is losing more than half its streetlights as part of a settlement over an unpaid electric bill. (Detroit Free Press, Michigan Messenger)

Transportation Alternatives has compiled a list of NYC's most dangerous intersections for pedestrians and bikers. (New York Daily News)

Reimagining urban flight: an environmental designer creates 'urban fly lines.' (The Takeaway)

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Transportation Nation

TN MOVING STORIES: Virginia Closer to Tolling I-95, BART Wants To Ban Repeat Offenders, and Happy Birthday, Capital Bikeshare

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Top stories on TN:

A new study says more pedestrians are hit by bicyclists than previously thought. (Link)

NYC reduced its carbon emissions in 2010. (Link)

Goodbye parking meter, hello Muni-Meter. (Link)

Police in a BART station during a protest (photo by Ryan Anderson via Flickr)

California lawmakers passed a bill that would give BART the authority to ban those who repeatedly break the law -- fare cheats, vandals or possibly protesters disrupting train service -- from entering its stations. (Contra Costa Times)

The Federal Highway Administration has given preliminary approval for Virginia to impose tolls on Interstate 95 to help fund transportation projects. (WAMU)

General Motors will help China develop electric vehicles -- but it wants to buy back majority control of a joint China - GM company. (Marketplace)

New York's East River bridges now have pedestrian safety managers to keep bikers and pedestrians in line -- and in their lane. (NY Daily News)

DC's Capital Bikeshare turns one today. (AP via WTOP)

The TSA fired 30 employees at Honolulu's airport for improperly screening luggage. (The Hill)

Chrysler and the UAW are close to a deal on a four-year labor contract. (Wall Street Journal)

Another aspect of the Port Authority of NY/NJ's bridge and tunnel toll hike: "peak" hours were extended. (The Star-Ledger)

Fast Company published a list of five transit technologies for a low-carbon economy.

 

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The Takeaway

Auto Contract Negotiations Begin

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Contract negotiations between Chrysler and the United Auto Workers Union kicked off on Monday, as the industry fights to stay competitive with foreign automakers. Fellow "Big Three" companies General Motors and Ford will also begin negotiations with the UAW later this week. Will the parties involved be able to reconcile their demands and reach a suitable agreement before contracts expire in mid-September? Paul Eisenstein, publisher of The Detroit Bureau, has been following the negotiations.

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Transportation Nation

TN Moving Stories: Reauthorization Heats Up, Christie's Transpo Plan Vexes NJ Dems, and Today is Chrysler's "Payoff Day"

Monday, May 23, 2011

A sign at an intersection in Queens, NY (photo by wallyg/Flickr)

As Congress takes up transportation reauthorization, advocates are pushing for more safety for cyclists and pedestrians -- particularly older ones. (NPR)

WNYC's Jim O'Grady will be on the Brian Lehrer Show this morning to talk about his reporting on the barely used -- yet city-subsidized -- Yankees parking garage. Tune in at (about) 10:05 am -- FM 93.9, AM 820, and streaming live on wnyc.org.

A Congressman Nadler opinion piece in Politico about infrastructure funding calls on the federal government to "reverse the decline of their mass-transit systems."

NJ Governor Christie's transportation plan -- which borrows over $4 billion for roads, rails and bridges -- is vexing state Democrats. (AP via The Star-Ledger)

The US Attorney's office has opened an investigation into whether the lack of wheelchair-accessible taxicabs in New York City amounts to a violation of parts of the Americans With Disabilities Act. (NY Times)

Today is "payoff day" for Chrysler, as the automaker will wire the billions in loans that it owes to the governments of the US and Canada. (Detroit Free Press)

'Black boxes' may soon be mandatory for automobiles. (Wired/Autopia)

The NYC DOT will start studying Chinatown's parking this summer. (DNA Info)

Which country has the highest -- and lowest -- gas prices in the world? A Marketplace quiz reveals some surprises.

Follow Transportation Nation on Twitter.

In case you missed it on Transportation Nation:

-- a church on Long Island is giving away bicycles to undocumented immigrants (link)

-- the New York State Senate passed a bill that would require some trucks to have special safety mirrors (link)

-- Maryland's Purple Line faces safety challenges (link)

-- the census says people move for housing (link)

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Transportation Nation

TN Moving Stories: Floodwaters Threaten Refineries, NYC Cabbies Extradited Over Fare Scheme, and DC Will Pay You To Live Near Work

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Mississippi floodwaters are heading south to Louisiana -- home to more than 10% of the nation's oil refining capacity. (Marketplace)

NYC has extradited (from Kansas City and Miami) two former taxi drivers accused of intentionally overcharging passengers by illegally setting their meters to an out-of-town rate. (WNYC)

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution profiles Todd Long, the state’s powerful director of planning for transportation. AJC describes him as "an unelected bureaucrat (who) is the initial gatekeeper for the $8 billion referendum that many say will shape metro Atlanta’s future for decades to come."

NJ Transit unveils its first locomotive powered by an engine that can operate on both diesel and electric lines. (NJ Record)

Want to live near your office? Washington, D.C.'s Office of Planning is launching a pilot program to incentivize it. (Good)

The White House says "tough love" saved General Motors (The Hill). Meanwhile, the Big Three are hiring (Detroit Free Press) -- but Toyota's profit slipped 77% (NY Times).

Breaking: Ray LaHood doesn't know the meaning of the word 'hipster.' (The Atlantic )

Cruiser culture in Boise: "They have a blue house, they want a blue bike," says a bike shop owner. (Boise Weekly)

More on New York City's "Don't Be A Jerk" bike behavior campaign in the Wall Street Journal, the NY Post, and Streetsblog.

The NY Post says NYC's bike share program plan will "visit perpetual terror" on New Yorkers.

And bikers: is your morning commute less bumpy? One Brooklyn Bridge rider says it's smooth sailing.

From WNYC's Amy Pearl: "Nothing beats the feel of freshly laid blacktop against my bike tires. It looks like they finally repaved the approach to the Brooklyn Bridge!"

Follow Transportation Nation on Twitter.

In case you missed it on Transportation Nation:

--get ready for dueling petro-bills in Congress (link)

--NYC to cyclists: don't be jerks (link)

--Chicago's mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel releases transpo report (link)

--Texas wins $15 million for high-speed rail study (link)

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Transportation Nation

TN Moving Stories: New York Looks At Taxi Refusals and Parking Rules; Boston's Bike Share Program Launches in July

Thursday, April 28, 2011

(photo by Stephen Nessen/WNYC)

New York's City Council members hold a hearing on taxi refusals -- and share some stories of their own. (WNYC)

Speaking of the City Council: it may pass legislation today that reduces alternate side parking rules. (Wall Street Journal)

Denver won't be seeing a FasTracks sales tax increase on the ballot this November because its transit agency has concluded it likely wouldn't pass. The transit expansion project -- which includes six new train lines -- is at least $2 billion short of what is needed to complete the project by the end of this decade.  (Denver Post)

Boston is moving forward on its bike share program; a contract has been signed and "Hubway" will launch in July. (Alt Transport)

Chrysler says it will take out bank loans and sell debt later this quarter to repay $6.6 billion in bailout loans from the U.S. and Canadian governments. (Detroit Free Press)

China is offering incentives for companies to produce electric vehicles in that country -- you just have to hand over your tech secrets first. (Marketplace)

You know about the royal wedding; now the Democrat Congressional Campaign Committee is throwing an "R-Oil Wedding" which "celebrat(es) the sacred and lasting union between the Republican Party and Big Oil." The invitation also takes the opportunity to photoshop John Boehner's head onto what looks like a Medieval gown. (Politico)

What should Oakland do with the spaces under elevated freeways? A city council member is seeking ideas. (Oakland Local)

Follow Transportation Nation on Twitter.

In case you missed it on Transportation Nation:

– a new report found that almost half of NYC's parking placards are used improperly or are outright fakes (link)

– the Twin Cities' Central Corridor got a formal promise for federal funding (link)

– NYC cabbies say they don't want to go to outer boroughs because it costs them more (link)

-- New York's MTA voted to end its contract to provide Long Island Bus (link)

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Transportation Nation

Chrysler Winning Points for Selling Detroit in Super Bowl Ad

Monday, February 07, 2011

(Alex Goldmark, Transportation Nation) In Super Bowl XLV there were more car commercials than beer ads, most out of Detroit and many touting the eco-elements of new models. But the most noteworthy was the classy ad for the new Chrysler 200 featuring Eminem.

"Chrysler 200" was the top trending Google search this morning. Not bad for the new name of what used to be the Sebring, a car the Detroit Free Press called "arguably the most maligned vehicle to ever come out of Auburn Hills."

The ad works because it sells Detroit pride as much as it sells the revamped 200. A gritty baritone announcer apparently speaks for all Detroit intoning, "What does this city know about luxury. Huh? What does a town that's been to hell and back know about the finer things?"

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Transportation Nation

Detroit Automakers See Sales Gains In 2010

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Detroit - Jerome Vaughn, WDET) Detroit’s automakers say their sales began to rebound in 2010.

Industry analysts say consumers who have been waiting for the national economy to improve felt confident enough to make vehicle purchases in the last month of the year.

General Motors sold more than 2.2 million cars and trucks last year. That’s a six percent improvement over 2009 -- the year GM emerged from federal bankruptcy protection.

Ford sold just under two million vehicles in 2010 -- a 15 percent jump in year-over-year figures. The automaker’s F-150 pick-up truck saw sales grow by nearly a third, making it the country’s best selling vehicle. The F-150 has held that title for 34 straight years.

Annual sales at Chrysler rose 17 percent. Company officials say the figures match the goals they set out late in 2009. Demand for the company’s trucks in December showed double digit growth.

Of the major automakers, only Toyota posted lower sales for 2010. They were down about a third of a percent. Throughout the year, the automaker dealt with the negative effects of safety recalls

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Transportation Nation

November Auto Sales: Boy, 2010 Beats 2009

Thursday, December 02, 2010

(Detroit -- Jerome Vaughn, WDET)  Remember the auto bailout? The closing of the dealerships? The miasma of doubt and fear surrounding the future of the American auto manufacturer?

That was then, this is now. Most of the major U.S. automakers are posting double-digit sales gains for the month of November. And some analysts believe the car sales could be even higher next month.

Industry watchers say demand for new vehicles --which had bottled up for months as potential buyers nervously eyed the economy--pushed more consumers into dealer showrooms. General Motors sold more than 168,000 cars and trucks last month--up 11.4% compared to November 2009.

The report comes just days after the Detroit automaker issued its initial public offering of stock, amid international fanfare.

Ford sales jumped 20% compared to year-ago figures.  The automaker saw double-digit increases in demand for both its cars and its trucks. Chrysler sales rose 17%, and demand for the Jeep Grand Cherokee more than tripled from November 2009. November was the eighth consecutive month of sales improvement for the automaker.

Of the major automakers, only Toyota posted lower sales figures for the month, down more than three percent.

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Transportation Nation

TN Moving Stories: John Mica's Phone Is Ringing Off the Hook, The Rise of the Roundabout, and How To Survive a Plane Crash

Monday, November 08, 2010

A newly popular John Mica, who may head the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, is already fielding calls from Ray LaHood and Joe Biden. (St. Augustine Record)

Amtrak officials are looking at resuscitating the ARC tunnel. (AP via WSJ)

Less trains, more buses: Indianapolis's new transit plan tables light rail until the 2030's. (Indianapolis Star)

The rise of the roundabouts: places like Chattanooga, Central Louisiana and Indiana are putting in traffic circles to reduce crashes; the Wall Street Journal talks about why. Meanwhile, there's a traffic circle backlash in Petaluma.

The Great Urban Hack visualizes what taxi rides look like in NYC -- who takes them, how far they go. Their findings: "At least 1 out of every 4 current NYC taxi rides could be shared with another rider."

Chrysler posts operating profit, narrows net loss to $84 million (Detroit Free Press)

Following last week's Qantas A380 engine failure, the Telegraph has some helpful suggestions on "How to Survive a Plane Crash."

Fast and slow lanes come to...the sidewalks of London's Oxford Street, to divide the dawdlers from the power walkers. (Marketplace)

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Transportation Nation

Election Report: Obama bails out GM, Dems tanking in Michigan.....

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Luz Guardarrama voted Obama in 2008, but says shes "tired" of politics and will stay home this year. Nothing particularly impresses her about the Obama tenure, not even the bailout of the auto industry.

(Jackson, Michigan - Andrea Bernstein, Transportation Nation) None of the bailouts have made Americans particularly happy. TARP was a Bush initiative -- supported by Obama, but not of his making. The stimulus was a series of internal compromises which gave a huge part of the spending control to Congress. But the GM bailout was an Obama plan, and one the White House considers an almost unqualified success. "The contrast between where these companies" -- Chrysler and GM -- " and the auto industry are today, and the situation President Obama faced when he took office are stark," the White House wrote in a report of April of this year.

In careful language, the analysis says some 1.1 million jobs had been at risk, but that the bailout had enabled the car companies to stay afloat, restructure, and, in GM's case, repay their loan 5 years ahead of schedule. Obama called the bailout a "success," and analysts agreed.

Writing in Bloomberg Business Week, David Welch noted:

"So far, it is tough to argue that the bailout hasn’t worked. GM is in the black, having reported an $865 million profit in the first quarter with black ink looking likely for the rest of the year.... Chrysler is at least making an operating profit, which puts the company in much better shape than most analysts thought it would be a year ago."

So, you'd think this would be a big selling point for the White House, right? A political plus? Dems should be cruising in Michigan -- if nowhere else? You'd be wrong.

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The Takeaway

Big Three Automakers Fight for Police Car Market

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Ford has been open about its plans to phase out the massively popular Crown Victoria line in 2011, but is inviting stiff competition from both Chrysler and General Motors, who are unveiling vehicles aimed squarely at police fleets. Will Ford be able to keep the 75 percent market-share of the police cruiser market, that the Crown Victoria managed?

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Transportation Nation

Autoline Daily Editor to WDET: Auto Industry Will Rock

Saturday, August 14, 2010

(Detroit -- Jerome Vaughn, WDET).   Detroit is buzzing about word of a leadership change at GM -- it's almost as big news as the Flint serial killer.   The Editor of Autoline Daily John McElroy says GM's new CEO,  Dan Akerson "fits the bill perfectly for what the[U.S] treasury wanted."  But, he adds "if GM is  going to have only finance people running the company-- we saw the trouble that it got into in the last decade by having those kind of officers in charge."

McElroy also notes that the company's 1.3 billion profit this quarter  "is not a surprising number" and that " what everybody seems to forget is that  the Obama administration came into town a year ago, waved a magic wand, and made all of GM's and Chrysler's legacy costs disappear, pouf, they're gone...that was not done by the people who are running GM right now."

McElroy's prediction for the future of the industry: "Three, four years from now the auto industry in Detroit is going to be rocking like we haven't seen in a long, long time."

More on Detroit from today's New York Times "Detroit Goes from Gloom to Economic Bright Spot."

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