TODAY’S TOP STORIES
Q4 DOESN’T LOOK GOOD AT FORD, EITHER
A day after the company reported its second losing quarter in a row, Ford executives are now saying the fourth quarter doesn’t look particularly rosy, either. Martin Inglis, Ford’s CFO, says that even current estimates on Q4 earnings are high: “It will be difficult to earn a profit in the fourth quarter,'' he admitted. Analysts are predicting an average of 6 cents a share earnings at the world’s number-two automaker. While sales have been strong in October since the company matched GM’s zero-percent financing on most of its vehicles, those cheap financing deals are eroding further the chances that Ford will show black ink in the fourth quarter. Ford announced yesterday that it lost $692 million during the third quarter, down from $88 million the year before, and the first time Ford had posted a back-to-back quarterly loss since 1992.
No Bonus for Top Ford Execs by Joseph Szczesny (9/3/2001)
GM Q3 LOSES $368 MILLION; COMPANY STICKS BY ZERO PERCENT
Meanwhile, at GM, the news was a little better -- but not by much. The company lost $368 million, after taking some $750 million in one-time charges for plant closings, etc. Also yesterday, the automaker said it has extended the zero-percent financing on most of its cars and trucks that it launched in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks. The company will extend its “Keep America Rolling” financing deals until Nov. 18; the deals were set to expire on Oct. 31. As of 9 p.m. Wednesday, neither Ford nor Chrysler had matched the extension. In September, GM experienced a sales drop of just three percent, while Ford dropped nearly 10 percent and Chrysler plummeted by 28 percent; the combined financing moves by the Big Three have helped boost October’s sales rate to the best so far this year.
Sept. Sales Slump, Recover by Joseph Szczesny (10/8/2001)
POLL PUTS DC Q3 AT $306 MILLION
Meanwhile, the third of the Big Three may turn a decent profit in the most recent financial term. A Reuters poll of twelve analysts estimates that DaimlerChrysler will earn about $306 million in the third quarter, down 37 percent from last year’s figures. In the second quarter, the company’s profits plunged 72 percent to $634 million, which was better than the estimates of most analysts. DaimlerChrysler reports its Q3 results on Oct. 23.
Big Three Outearn Estimates by Joseph Szczesny (7/23/2001)
HOLDEN RESURFACES AT SIRIUS
Former Chrysler president Jim Holden has reappeared, this time on the board of directors of Sirius Satellite Radio. Holden, 50, was a 19-year veteran of Chrysler when he was fired in late 2000 and replaced by Mercedes-Benz’ Dieter Zetsche. Under Holden’s tenure, Chrysler’s cash reserves had dwindled to near zero. Sirius, like its competitor XM Radio, plans to offer satellite radio services across the country.
Implosion at Chrysler by TCC Team (11/15/2000)
MAGNA STEYR IN LINE TO BUILD BMW X3
Austria’s Magna Steyr said on Wednesday that it’s near a deal to build the upcoming BMW X3 sport-utility vehicle. The company, which plans to build the compact BMW off-roader in a plant near Graz, Austria, says a final announcement is close: "The talks are going very well,” President and Chief Executive Siegfried Wolf told Reuters. Currently, Steyr builds the European versions of Chrysler’s Jeep Grand Cherokee and the Mercedes-Benz M-Class and G-Class. According to our sources, the X3 will offer a choice of four and six‑cylinder gasoline and diesel engines (for some markets). All-wheel drive, featuring the sophisticated electronic systems ASC+T and DSC-3 to optimize its off‑road ability, will be standard, together with independent suspension for refined driving dynamics.
Spy Shots: 2004 BMW X3 by Brenda Priddy (5/20/2001)