Wagoner Rumors Start to Swirl
For General Motors' Rick Wagoner, March ought to be a good if not a great month. His beloved Duke Blue Devils are an odds-on favorite to sweep through the NCAA Tournament, and GM's retail sales are showing signs of moving in a positive direction after two years of enormous difficulty.
However, while no one is predicting that GM's board of
directors has asked Wagoner to prepare a resignation letter, the gossip around
Until recently, Wagoner had been viewed as GM's one
indispensable executive. He was the one guy who could keep everyone inside the
company focused on the key objectives of turning around the struggling giant and
fend off the challenge from
Wagoner Rumors Start to Swirl (3/6/2006)
Will GM lose its CEO to financial churn?
Ford Adds Details to "Way Forward"
Ford Motor Co. has offered few details about the recovery plan that the company put in place in January - and the new 10K report the company filed with the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) offered only a few additional insights.
The most significant disclosure
was that the company doesn't expect its automotive business to make a profit in
2006 as it continues to struggle with declining
Ford also conceded that Ford Credit is under significant pressure and the report also noted that more than 28 percent of all Ford's sales are now wrapped up in one product line, the F-Series pickup truck.
Ford Adds Details to "Way
Tiny piece by piece, company outlines recovery strategy.
Dana Plunges Into Bankruptcy
Following a path worn by big
suppliers such as Delphi, Tower,
Dana, which had total sales of $9 billion in 2004, cited a combination of factors from production cuts by General Motors Corp., Ford Motor Co., and the Chrysler Group to the rise in commodity and energy prices, which have outpaced cost savings efforts, the company said.
The general financial condition of the industry, together with an inability to renew or expand its credit facilities, also has undercut the company's liquidity, Dana said in a statement.
John Murphy, an analyst with Merrill Lynch, said in research note earlier this week Dana's troubles in its heavy truck business have exacerbated the pressure it is already feeling in its light-vehicle segment.
Dana Plunges Into Bankruptcy (3/6/2006)
Quick filing for major supplier adds to
Gas Prices Heading Up
The drop in gasoline prices over the past few weeks appears to have come to an end, as the price of oil continued to trade at more than $63 per barrel on New York Mercantile Exchange.
There seems to be relatively little optimism that gasoline prices will decline in any significant way any time soon. Political unrest in Nigeria and the international community's continuing standoff with Iran over the development of nuclear power, coupled with the continuing guerilla activity against pipelines in Iraq has left crude prices slightly above the what global demand would justify, experts suggest.
high prices for crude also continue to show up at the neighborhood fuel
stations. The national average for regular self-serve gasoline is $2.255 a gallon,
an increase of one penny from last week. -Joe Szczesny
Vanzura Takes Reins at Cadillac
It took barely a month for Liz Vanzura to put her mark on the Cadillac brand. On Friday, GM announced what had been rumored; that some or all of the Cadillac advertising work would move from Leo Burnett. Vanzura moved half the business to HUMMER's agency, Boston-based Modernista. Vanzura had been running HUMMER marketing before she took over at Cadillac.
will handle ad work for the CTS sedan, SRX crossover, performance V-Series
models, and other unnamed cross-brand projects. Leo Burnett will keep the ad work
for Escalade, DTS, STS, and the XLR. If Modernista does well with the assignment,
though, Burnett could easily lose it all inside of a year. Burnett also handles
Vanzura, say sources, had been sent to Cadillac by GM sales and marketing chief Mark LaNeve to fix what has been a sliding advertising effort at his former brand. When Vanzura arrived in mid-January, she was disgusted with the ad that had been created for Cadillac in the Super Bowl, a mock fashion show for the Escalade. It was a dud on all the Super Bowl ad meters measuring how much the audience liked the ads in the big game. Meantime, Modernista had created a Super Bowl ad for the HUMMER H3 that was very well received by the audience and the critics.
Vanzura worked at Volkswagen as head of advertising in the late 1990s when the automaker was producing ads that helped set the brand on fire, and were the talk of the ad world. Remember "Da Da Da"? Her agency then was Arnold Worldwide, and the most talented creative on the account was Lance Jensen, who went on to found Modernista. -Jim Burt
FROM THE SOURCE headlines from the latest press releases
BMW Manufacturing Co., has manufactured its one
millionth car, 12 years after the first car rolled off the production line. The
millionth vehicle, which came off the line on February 28, 2006, is a Z4 M
Roadster in Interlagos Blue with a Champagne Leather individual interior, custom
Ash-Walnut wood trim, 18-inch alloy wheels, and an engine that takes the vehicle
from 0-60 mph in 4.9 seconds. Due to its historical significance to BMW and the
|American Axle & Mfr. Holdings Inc.||AXL||15.50|
|Ballard Power Systems Inc.||BLDP||6.56|
|DaimlerChrysler AG (ADR)||DCX||54.40|
|Dura Automotive Systems||DRRA||2.13|
|Ford Motor Company||F||7.57|
|General Motors Corporation||GM||19.21|
|Goodyear Tire & Rubber||GT||13.42|
|Honda Motor Co. Ltd. (ADR)||HMC||28.96|
|Johnson Controls Inc.||JCI||70.80|
|Magna International Inc.||MGA||73.99|
|Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. (ADR)||NSANY||23.13|
|Sonic Automotive Inc.||SAH||26.65|
|Sirius Satellite Radio||SIRI||5.01|
|Toyota Motor Corporation (ADR)||TM||105.72|
|TRW Automotive Holdings||TRW||24.78|
|Tower Automotive Inc.||TWRAQ.PK||0.06|
|United Auto Group Inc.||UAG||43.64|
|XM Satellite Radio Hold.||XMSR||21.53|