The research consortium between GM
Scott Fosgard, GM spokesman, said the change indicates that both companies are satisfied they can move from research into proprietary development of fuel cells that could be used in automobiles. One of the major advantages of fuel cells, which create electricity from a chemical reaction, is that they could help eliminate pollution from private automobiles, advocates of the technology suggest. GM is not backing away from its objective of producing by 2010 a commercially viable fuel cell that could be used in future vehicles, Fosgard added. GM's fuel-cell projects continue to make substantial progress on critical issues such as durability, energy density, and cost, he added.
Feb. Sales: Chrysler, Japanese
Strong by Joseph Szczesny
GM and Ford slip slightly as sales stay flat.
TH!NK Files for Bankruptcy
TH!NK Nordic AS, which was
literally wheeled onto the world stage by former Ford boss Jac Nasser, has
now filed for bankruptcy and under the tough bankruptcy laws that prevail in
Western Europe faces almost certain dissolution. Ford brought almost 300
TH!NK-built electric cars to the
For Rethinks TH!NK Scrapping by Joseph Szczesny
Vehicles will return to
Ford Expects More Losses
Ford expects its basic automotive
business to lose money again in 2006 as it struggles to trim costs.
Ford disclosed the anticipated loss in a 10K report it filed with the U.S.
Securities Exchange Commission. Ford also said the losses in the automotive
business would not extend beyond 2008. In another passage of the
report, Ford cautioned that the bankruptcy of a major competitor could
create problems for Ford. Bankruptcy would give the unnamed competitor an unfair
cost advantage if its labor contracts were wiped out by the bankruptcy judge.
The cryptic comments were dropped into the middle of the report and indicated
Ford executives are concerned about the possible consequences of a bankruptcy
filing by General Motors Corp. However, Rick Wagoner, GM's chief
executive, has said several times that bankruptcy is not an option for
Ford also disclosed that it is considering a $1 billion charge in connection with "The Way Forward" restructuring plan, which calls for eliminating 30,000 jobs and closing 14 facilities by 2012 under the plan outlined in January. As part of the restructuring, Ford plans to close assembly three assembly plants in
Special Report: Ford's Way Forward by TCC Team (1/30/2006)
Volkswagen's Mess Could Eat Pischetsrieder
Volkswagen AG chairman Bernd Pischetsrieder told the Financial Times that his job could be at risk if labor representatives on the company's supervisory board make good on opposing a contract renewal for the 58-year-old Bavarian. Meanwhile, supervisory board chairman Ferdinand Piech, who recruited Pischetsrieder as his replacement, has not exactly been backing up his protégé.
The comments flying around are creating a climate all too reminiscent of that which sunk Pischetsrieder at BMW AG where he was chairman before going to VW, as well as that which preceded the ouster of Jacques Nasser at Ford in 2001. When newspapers like the FT and Wall Street Journal start writing about possible resignations or ousters, few CEOs can withstand the pressure for very long.
root of the problem is the German labor unions who oppose Pischetsrieder's plan
to cut 20,000 jobs from VW at the same time he is proposing to build a plant in
When Piech turned over the
chairman's job to Pischetsrieder in 2002, he also forced on the new chairman a
collection of mistakes, and a culture of fear and paranoia fostered by Piech,
and, in some parts of the company, corruption that was allowed to build during
the former chairman's tumultuous and imperial era. Volkswagen's quality was in
decline. Costs were out of control. Product styling approved by Piech, and
hitting the market in the last two years, has been dull. It had invested heavily
in costly product mistakes like the Phaeton luxury sedan and Audi W8 engine,
while key product segments more fitting for Volkswagen's brand went unfilled.
Pischetsrieder has been in restructuring and reform mode since the day he took over, and the job cutting that analysts and experts say is necessary is overdue and should have been undertaken while Piech was chairman of the management board, the Vorstand.
The ten labor representatives on the supervisory board are using Pischetsrieder's contract renewal as a cudgel to get him to reduce the number of job cuts and perhaps cancel plans to build a Russian plant. Pischetsrieder has said he doesn't intend to change plans. But, he told the FT: "I also don't know of any company where the chief executive can stay against the will of the ten labor representatives."
Piech said this week that Pischetsrieder's contract renewal is an open question because of the current opposition. The FT quoted VW insiders as saying Piech had taken total control of the company by dominating both the management and supervisory boards. The chatter in Germany has been that Piech and Porsche CEO Wendelin Wiedeking (Porsche is now a major shareholder in Volkswagen) have been engineering a Pischetsrieder departure with his replacement likely to be either Audi chief Martin Winterkorn or management board member in charge of the VW brand and production Wolfgang Bernhard. The latter could be a reach because it was the Mercedes-Benz labor union that Bernhard antagonized when he was at Mercedes-Benz, a situation that led to his ouster.
Piech said that VW's two major
shareholders, the automaker Porsche, and the state of
VW Turns To GTI For Juice by Jim Burt
Company pins GTI hopes on a curious new icon.
FROM THE SOURCE headlines from the latest press releases
For decades, lyricists have included Mercedes-Benz in their songs as an icon of aspiration and accomplishment. Now, Mercedes-Benz and another icon of pop culture, AOL, have banded together to spotlight a new generation of artists through the premier online music destination AOL Music (http://music.aol.com).
In preparation for the launch of
the 2007 Audi Q7, Audi of America has launched a pair of
initiatives to spark consumer awareness of the new performance SUV and the Elton
John AIDS Foundation (EJAF). Consumers can register to win a driving trip for
four to the
|American Axle & Mfr. Holdings Inc.||AXL||15.57|
|Ballard Power Systems Inc.||BLDP||6.46|
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|Dura Automotive Systems||DRRA||2.14|
|Ford Motor Company||F||7.66|
|General Motors Corporation||GM||19.41|
|Goodyear Tire & Rubber||GT||14.08|
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|Johnson Controls Inc.||JCI||70.67|
|Magna International Inc.||MGA||73.87|
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