TCC's Daily Edition:10/17/01

October 16, 2001

TODAY’S TOP STORIES

FORD EARNINGS FALL
The number two automaker announced it lost $692 million during the third-quarter. That's down from $88 million the year before, and marks the first time Ford has posted a back-to-back quarterly loss-it had a $752 million deficit in the second quarter-since 1992. "The U.S. economy continues to be marked by uncertainty, making it difficult to predict future vehicle demand," declared Ford CEO Jacques Nasser, whose long-term tenure has become a point of increasing speculation in light of the automaker's ongoing problems. Ford officials acknowledged earnings will be "under pressure" for at least the next quarter, though many analysts expect Ford to face problems for some time to come. Ford's third-quarter deficit totaled $502 million before adding in various one-time losses. General Motors is expected to post a sharp decline in its own earnings on Thursday.

SPY SHOTS: 2003 MG-F
Almost a full year before the Paris Motor Show, TCC has obtained photos of 2003 MG-F. Known as project X40, the facelifted MG-F has many of the same styling cues as the upcoming Qvale Mangusta-based MG X80. The teardrop headlamps as well as the grille will link the brand signature styling. The rear bumpers will also change, giving the MG-F a well-rounded look. In addition to the styling changes, MG will introduce a turbocharged 1.8-liter engine with 230 hp. The “ultimate” MG-F will sport beefier steel suspension, bigger brakes, a modified chassis and various reinforcements to be able to handle the car’s additional performance and power.
Spy Shots: 2003 MG-F by Brenda Priddy (10/15/2001)

FUEL CELLS VIABLE, STUDY FINDS
A new study commissioned for the California Fuel Cell Partnership says that vehicles powered by the new technology can be commercially viable, but will only succeed with help from the federal government. The study, cited by a Reuters report, says that commercial applications for fuel cells will come along sooner if carmakers agree to use compressed hydrogen and agree on ways to reformulate hydrogen from liquid fuels such as gasoline. Fuel cells release electric energy from hydrogen, usually by passing the hydrogen through a membrane that breaks hydrogen molecules apart and captures the electricity generated during the chemical process, converting it into mechanical energy and emitting only water vapor. Each of the Big Three automakers, as well as many of the Japanese and German brands, have predicted fuel cells will be in service sometime in this decade.
DC, Ford Boost Ballard Share by TCC Team (10/8/2001)

HOLDING NOTHING? GHOSN QUASHES BIZ TALK
Nissan President Carlos Ghosn is throwing cold water on suggestions that his company and Renault would create a holding company to manage their gradual integration. Those suggestions, Ghosn is quoted by the wire services, have been "totally discarded….there is no discussion and nothing will happen along those lines," Ghosn told reporters at a Nissan product introduction. While they continue to discuss how to integrate some pieces of the companies, Ghosn says any restructuring would have to maintain the integrity of the two companies, would have to offer synergies, and would have to balance the needs of the two partners. "Everything you hear--the rumors and speculation--that is compatible with this, is probable," Ghosn said.
Ghosn Extends Nissan Stay by Joseph Szczesny (3/26/2001)

CART SETTLES WITH TEXAS SPEEDWAY
A lawsuit filed by Texas Motor Speedway against CART has been settled. In April, CART cancelled what would have been the inaugural Firestone Firehawk 600 two hours before race time, in response to concerns raised by drivers in the series. The racing organization says that 21 of 25 drivers practicing on the speedway, which is banked to an unusually steep 24 degree, experienced dizziness as they reached speeds nearing 230 mph. Bruton Smith, owner of the speedway, said both sides were happy to put an end to the controversy: "We have reached a favorable agreement and are glad to have this behind us," Smith said. Terms of the settlement were not made public; at this point, no CART race is scheduled for 2002 at the Texas track.

DODGE BACK IN UNIFORM
After a twelve-year absence from the police-car market, Dodge will once again don police markings in 2002 with a version of the ’02 Intrepid R/T. In the past, Dodge fielded many of the nation’s police cars, spun off from various Plymouth, Dodge and Chrysler passenger sedans. The new police R/T, with its 242-hp V-6 and front-wheel drive, has been undergoing testing with the Auburn Hills, Mich., police department. The company hopes to sell as many as 60,000 copies each year.
Review: American Police Cars by Eric Peters (8/27/2001)

DELPHI DROPS 82 PERCENT IN Q3
Delphi, the independent supplier spun off from General Motors in 1999, is reporting an 82-percent drop in its third-quarter earnings for this year, the company said on Tuesday. The world’s largest automotive parts and systems supplier said Q3 earnings took a dive to $26 million, down from $148 million for the third quarter of 2000. The company also warns that its fourth-quarter earnings are likely to equal Q3’s 5 cents a share or rise only slightly higher, due to softening demand and production cuts by the nation’s automakers.
Delphi Cuts 11,500 Jobs by Joseph Szczesny (4/2/2001)

HONDA, NTT IN TELEMATICS DEAL
Reuters reports that Honda Motor Co. and Japanese telecom Nippon Telegraph and Telephone have created a telematics system that allows drivers to send e-mail without taking their hands off the steering wheel. The system, the news service reports, uses voice recognition to take dictation and reads back e-mail downloaded into the car’s computers. The new system is integrated into a GPS navigation system.

CHEVY PREPS INTIMIDATOR MONTE CARLO
Dale Earnhardt’s the subject of another commemorative edition — only this one’s on wheels. The Intimidator will be honored in the ’02 model year by a special Monte Carlo SS Dale Earnhardt Signature Edition that is now in production. The special Montes will be black with a red racing stripe and Earnhardt’s signature inside and out; other equipment includes leather seats, special gauges, 16-inch wheels and traction control. The model had been planned with Earnhardt in early 2000: "Dale's magnificent NASCAR career earned him not only respect on the track but also many friends in daily life," said Kurt Ritter, Chevrolet's general manager. "When we started discussing this project with him, he took it as an honor to have his legendary status commemorated with such a special vehicle." Chevrolet says 3,333 copies will be made; Earnhardt ran under the number 3 until his fatal crash at Daytona in February 2001.

TODAY’S AUTO FACT

The older a used vehicle is, the less likely it is to be purchased through a new-vehicle dealer, according to J.D. Power’s 200 Used Vehicle Market Assessment. While 79 percent of one- year-old vehicles are purchased through a new-vehicle dealer, only 46 percent of five-year-old vehicles are purchased through this distribution channel. Those who benefit from this are used-vehicle dealers and private party sellers. The chance that a used vehicle will be sold through either of these distribution channels increases as the vehicle ages.

FROM THE SOURCE

From PR Newswire: AAA Washington and CarsDirect.com recently announced an alliance that will enable AAA Washington members to conduct research and purchase new vehicles via the Internet. When visitors to AAA Washington's Web site (http://www.chevroletreports.com) click through to CarsDirect.com, they will be able to select, order and finance the vehicle of their choice…Some of America's leading technology professionals were honored recently at the sixth annual Women ofColor Technology Awards Conference in Atlanta, Ga. Among the honorees, Diana Mercer-Pryor, Chrysler Group Director of North American Operations Non-Production Procurement, who was presented the 2001 Technology Corporate Responsibility Award. The Women of Color Technology Awards Program annually recognizes women who excel in fields such as engineering, sciences and information technology…Goodyear has a new pickup line this year: You don't need to use a pickup tire on your SUV. The company has introduced the Goodyear Fortera HL tire -- a cross between passenger-car and light-truck tires. Shipments of 10 of the 16 tire sizes are scheduled to begin Nov. 1…Mercedes-Benz USA (MBUSA) has announced the appointment of Bernard Kuhnt to the position of vice president of sales - west, effective immediately. The newly defined position is responsible for sales operations for the western portion of the United States covered by MBUSA's Los Angeles and San Francisco regions. In this position, Kuhnt reports to Keith May, vice president of sales at the company's Montvale, N.J., headquarters.

THE TICKER

Autoliv (ALV), Closed 16.44, up 0.23

ArvinMeritor (ARM), Closed 15.94, down 0.26

American Axel (AXL), Closed 15.12, down 0.13

Ballard Power Systems (BLDP), Closed 24.8, up 0.88

Borg-Warner (BWA), Closed 44.90, up 0.63

Collins & Aikman (CKC), 7.74, up 0.24

Cummins (CUM), Closed 34.00, up 0.23

Dana (DCN) Closed 14.56, down 0.34

DaimlerChrysler (DCX) Closed 34.83, up 0.43

Donnelly (DON) Closed 12.95, down 0.10

Delphi Automotive (DPH), Closed 12.90, down 0.27

Eaton (ETN), Closed 68.86, up 0.26

Ford Motor Co. (F), Closed 17.68, down 0.05

General Motors (GM), Closed 43.97, down 0.93

Gentex (GNTX), Closed 25.90, down 1.31

Goodyear (GT), Closed 19.27, up 0.12

Johnson Controls (JCI), Closed 72.76, down 0.16

Lear (LEA), Closed 31.27, down 0.08

Magna International (MGA), Closed 54.32, down 0.72

Motorola (MOT), Closed 17.50, down 0.08

Nissan (NSANY), Closed 9.81, up 0.25

Tower Automotive (TWR), Closed 6.50, unchanged

Toyota (TM), Closed 51.90, down 0.33

TRW (TRW), Closed 33.35, down 0.21

Visteon (VC), Closed 14.33, up 0.27

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