TCC's Daily Edition: 9/17/01

September 17, 2001

MILLION-DOLLAR MISSIONS: INDUSTRY AID CONTINUES IN TIME OF TRAGEDY
In contrast to the auto industry’s downturn in the North American market, but completely in accord with the spirit of giving that followed last week’s terrorist attacks on the United States, gifts of aid continue to pour forth from industry coffers. From Detroit, Michigan comes word that the UAW and DaimlerChrysler are jointly donating $1 million to the American Red Cross supporting victims and assist relief efforts in the wake of the attacks on New York and Washington D.C. In Spartanburg, South Carolina, the BMW Group has committed $1 million and ten new BMW X5 SUVs to the Red Cross. BMW is also donating 100 police motorcycles to the city of New York to replace those lost in the NYPD motor pool located near the World Trade Center. Top-tier automotive supplier Johnson Controls has also announced a $1 million donation to the Red Cross.
Carmakers Stunned by Attack by Joseph Szczesny (9/17/2001)

AUTO PLANTS FEEL REPERCUSSIONS FROM ATTACKS
U.S. factories are feeling the supply squeeze resulting from air-freight traffic and international border delays following increased security clampdowns amid terrorist fears. Carmakers have been especially hard hit. The downside of "just-in-time" delivery—minimal back stock of parts—caused auto plants on both sides of the U.S./Canada border to close up shop on Thursday. Air deliveries of parts—halted since Tuesday—started up again on Thursday, and things began, slowly, to return to normal at most plants on Friday. The slow border traffic also began to improve on Friday, but heavy truck traffic continued throughout the weekend.

FORD LOWERS THIRD-QUARTER ESTIMATES
In the dim light of slower sales and the consequences of production slowed by terrorism (see the above story), Ford Motor Company has trimmed back its earnings and production predictions for the third quarter of this year. When the quarter closes at the end of this month, Ford estimates that it will fall short of the current earnings expectations of ten cents a share. And the company says its factories, which anticipated a build of around 930,000 vehicles in the third quarter, are now expected to produce only between 810,000 and 820,000. A year ago, that build number was up over the one million mark.

August Nightmare for Big 3 by Joseph Szczesny (9/10/2001)

PIRELLI BUILDING REVOLUTIONARY TIRE FACTORY IN GEORGIA
Pirelli Tire North America has begun construction on a $140 million tire plant in Rome, Georgia. The 400,000-square-foot facility will showcase Pirelli’s innovative MIRS (Modular Integrated Robotized System) tire-production system, featuring between four and 15 completely automated, self-contained production stations. Each station is capable of building a tire every 72 minutes. The site, which will also house Pirelli’s North American headquarters, is set to be up and running by sometime next summer.

GRAND CHEROKEES NOT AT FAULT ACCORDING TO DAIMLERCHRYSLER
In answering inquiries posed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), DaimlerChrysler AG says it can find no mechanical defects associated with the automated transmissions in 1995-1998 Jeep Grand Cherokees. At issue is a series of 48 complaints to NHTSA alleging that the Jeeps shifted out of Park and into Reverse without any bidding from their drivers. NHTSA, which began its investigation in July, has reported that the mysterious phenomenon of "inadvertent rollaway in reverse" has led to 32 crashes and 14 injuries. Chrysler is now concentrating its efforts on human factors, studying the driver’s interaction with the vehicle and its gearbox, which may offer some answers.

VERSATILITY RULES: 2002 CHEVROLET AVALANCHE
Part of it thinks it’s a truck. Part of it thinks it’s a five-passenger sport-utility vehicle. Chevy likes to think of it as both, depending on what your needs are at any given moment. TheCarConnection.com’s Dan Lyons takes the 2002 Chevrolet Avalanche through its paces, and makes a few observations about the niche SUV segment along the way. Read all about it.

FACTOIDS:
Next Stop on the Fuel Cell Train: Lower Costs
Fuel cells have tremendous potential to revolutionize the auto industry and tremendous hurdles to get there. A recent study by the Center for Automotive Research in Ann Arbor, Michigan reports that current powertrains cost approximately $30 per kilowatt of energy output. Fuel cells, which currently are in the $1,000 per kilowatt of output arena, will likely enter transportation mass-market production when manufacturing costs drop to $200 per kilowatt output. The path to this cost reduction is increased manufacturing volumes as specialty and stationary power generation markets develop.
GM Driving Fuel Cells Home by TCC Team (8/7/2001)
Auto Tech Talk: Fuel Cells by TCC Team (6/18/2001)

FROM THE SOURCE:

From PR Newswire ArvinMeritor Inc. launched its first Air2Air exhaust system, combining air induction and exhaust development into an integrated airflow solution for automotive OEM customers . . . Dana Corporation is sponsoring the National Society of Black Engineers leadership conference in Toledo, Ohio

THE TICKER:
Note—These closing prices are from Monday, September 10. The markets are scheduled to re-open for business today.

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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