TCC's Daily Edition: 9/14/01

September 14, 2001

BIG 3 RALLY MONEY, EQUIPMENT FOR RESCUE EFFORTS
General Motors, Ford Motor Company and DaimlerChrysler are each pulling their massive resources together to aid the victims and the rescue efforts from Tuesday’s terrorist attacks in New York and Washington D.C. GM’s General Motors Foundation has donated $250,000 to the American Red Cross and is matching all employee contributions to the Red Cross on a dollar-for-dollar basis. Additionally, GM has fielded a fleet of trucks, vans and SUVs to aid workers in the recovery and clean-up efforts. The DaimlerChrysler Foundation has made a $10 million donation to help children who have lost parents in the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. DCAG Chairman Juergen Schrempp said, "The attacks have deeply affected the lives and futures of many children who have lost a mother or father. While this can never replace the void in these children’s' lives, it can help give them renewed hope." Ford is stepping up to the volunteer plate as well, with Red Cross donations and vehicles, including sending 10 Excursion SUVs out to assist the New York Fire Department.
Day of Terror: Big 3 Shut Down by Joseph Szczesny

 

GM MAKES ITS MOVE IN FUEL CELL FUTURES
At a technical conference in London, General Motors made two significant fuel cell announcements. In the first, GM introduced the world’s most powerful fuel cell "stack," producing 1.75 kilowatts per liter of gasoline. GM’s fuel cell system uses gasoline as the primary fuel (because it is readily available at the pump), transforming it into hydrogen. The hydrogen feeds into the fuel cell stack, which converts it into electricity (for power), heat and water. The new GM fuel cell stack sets the industry benchmark for volumetric efficiency. It weighs 180 pounds and offers a continuous power output of about 134 horsepower. "Reducing the size and weight of the fuel cell stack while maintaining or improving its power output is important for packaging, design and affordability," said Matthew Fronk, chief engineer of fuel cell systems for GM’s Global Alternative Propulsion Center. Fronk also made the second significant GM fuel cell announcement at the conference in the form of a prediction: "We see a path to volume production [of fuel cell vehicles] within this decade, probably around 2008 to 2010," he said.
GM Driving Fuel Cells Home by TCC Team (8/7/2001)
Auto Tech Talk: Fuel Cells by TCC Team (6/18/2001)

 

HONDA, STANFORD SUCCEED IN CREATION OF "MINI" FUEL CELLS
Working together in a joint research project, Honda Motor Company and Stanford University have succeeded in refining electricity-producing miniature fuel cells. Not only are the new fuel cells compact, they can be stacked on the same horizontal plane (as opposed to vertical stacking as is the norm). Honda says that the horizontally stacked fuel cells offer higher output density (see above story) and a simpler manufacturing process.

 

GM/FIAT SAVINGS EXCEED EXPECTATIONS
Partners General Motors and Fiat Auto now expect to achieve significantly greater savings than they originally forecasted, says Dan Hancock, CEO of Fiat General Motors Powertrain. That’s one of two joint ventures teaming the two companies. When the deal was originally inked last year, Fiat and GM expected to save just over $1 billion through 2007 by combining powertrain operations. They’re now forecasting savings of well over $1.8 billion. Meanwhile, Mike Burns, head of General Motors Europe, told TheCarConnection.com "You will see more efforts" linking Fiat and GM. Not all will take the formal shape of a joint venture, however. Among other things, GM is likely to help Fiat re-launch its Alfa-Romeo brand in the U.S. by 2004. Burns cautioned not to expect his company to acquire Fiat, despite the so-called "put" included in the joint venture agreement. Technically, it could be used by Fiat to force an acquisition.

 

NISSAN, RENAULT TO SHARE DEALER NETWORK IN EUROPE
Plans are underway for a joint European dealership network between Nissan Motor Company and Renault SA. Sources at Nissan say that the target is to establish 350 shared Renault/Nissan dealers in seven countries and 150 additional stand-alone (Nissan or Renault) outlets in Europe, all by 2005. The idea is to cut costs by sharing certain sales and production areas with an eye towards improving competitiveness in Europe. Renault owns a 37-percent stake in Nissan, which makes such cooperative alliances possible and potentially profitable.
Preview: 2002 Nissan Altima by Bob Storck (8/6/2001)

 

FIAT FORECASTS THIRD-WORLD GROWTH
Though sales have slipped in recent years, Fiat is looking for significant growth before the decade is out, with emerging markets providing most of the momentum. The Italian automaker expects to push sales from about 2.5 million this year to 3 million in 2003, CEO Roberto Testore told TheCarConnection.com. And by 2008, that could reach 4 million. The bulk of that growth is expected to come from the world’s smaller but fast-growing markets, including India, Brazil, Egypt, China and Southeast Asia. Some of that growth will depend on the assistance of General Motors, with which Fiat is linked by two joint ventures. Among other things, production will shortly begin on Fiat’s Alfa 156 model at the new assembly plant GM is running near Bangkok.

 

GM BUYPOWER GOES JAPANESE
General Motors, Suzuki, Subaru and Isuzu are joining together to form an Asian version of GM’s e-commerce shopping initiative, BuyPower. Called "BuyPower Japan," the online service allows Japanese consumers to search for, configure and get a price on any passenger vehicle offered by the four automakers, all via the Internet. BuyPower Japan is part of a bigger GM initiative in the Pacific Rim called "Japan AutoWeb Services" created to develop "e-business synergies and [to] leverage Internet-based technologies on behalf of General Motors Corporation." GM owns 20 percent of both Suzuki and Fuji Heavy Industries (Subaru’s parent company), and a 49-percent share of Isuzu. Combined, the four automakers are second only to Toyota in total vehicle sales in the Japanese market.
GM, ABT Join in Ordering by TCC Team (2/26/2001)
eGM’s Mark Hogan by TCC Team (10/30/2000)

 

FACTOIDS:
Find Out What Your Car Did In Its Previous Life

Many vehicles work hard for a living, but fleet cars and trucks have exceptionally tough careers. When many of these vehicles are retired from fleet service they are sold to the public. According to Experian Automotive's National Vehicle Database, approximately one in 91 vehicles on the road are fleet vehicles. For more information on how to gather crucial vehicle information, please go to www.e-autohistory.com.

FROM THE SOURCE:

From PR Newswire The Michelin Group (France) announced today its contribution of $1 million to assist the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund . . . Michelin North America, Inc. is donating round-the-clock, on-site service and up to $250,000 in tires for emergency vehicles involved in the recovery efforts in lower Manhattan . . . Participating Shell and Texaco stations in the state of New York will donate two cents for every gallon of gasoline sold through the end of September to the Red Cross . . . Valero Energy Corporation and Ultramar Diamond Shamrock Corporation have teamed up to contribute $500,000 to the American Red Cross to assist with relief efforts

THE TICKER:
Note—These closing prices are from Monday, September 10.

Autoliv (ALV), Closed 19.40, down 0.38

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ArvinMeritor (ARM), Closed 16.10, down 0.07

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American Axle (AXL), Closed 17.40, down 0.49

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Ballard Power Systems (BLDP), Closed 17.40, up 0.74

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Dana (DCN), Closed 18.24, down 0.71

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DaimlerChrysler (DCX), Closed 39.60, down 1.18

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Donnelly (DON), Closed 15.32, up 0.07

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Delphi Automotive (DPH), Closed 14.05, up 0.01

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Eaton (ETN), Closed 69.95, up 0.35

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Ford (F), Closed 19.40, up 0.64

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General Motors (GM), Closed 51.58, up 0.18

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Gentex (GNTX), Closed 28.00, down 1.31

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Goodyear (GT), Closed 22.92, down 0.58

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Johnson Controls (JCI), Closed 70.05, down 0.05

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Lear (LEA), Closed 33.85, down 1.10

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Magna International (MGA), Closed 55.49, up 0.59

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Nissan (NSANY), Closed 11.50, up 0.50

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Toyota (TM), Closed 60.40, down 0.60

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TRW (TRW), Closed 33.89, up 0.65

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Visteon (VC), Closed 16.15, down 0.47

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