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Economic

  • Audi R8

    Accurate crystal balls were in short supply a year ago, but this year predictions of recovery are flying. The latest to join the side of the optimists are Audi and Lamborghini, predicting the market to reach its lowest point this year and start recovery in 2010. The Volkswagen Group's luxury and super-luxury brands aren't saying all is well, however. "Global markets will bottom out this year," Audi chief financial officer Axel Strotbek said in an interview with Bloomberg. “By and large, we expect a slight recovery in 2010.” The uptick is already being seen in Germany, where Audi...

  • 2010 subaru legacy liberty 007
    2010 Subaru Legacy scores 31mpg highway in EPA tests

    Subaru has been curiously unaffected - or nearly so - by the tremors shaking the foundations of so many other carmakers' sales figures. And despite the 2010 Legacy's not-so-adorable face, it's developing its own following already. Today, that following will have a fairly tough pill to swallow with...

  • A UAW worker assembling a Hummer H3T
    Report: UAW agrees to 17.5% stake in restructured GM, bondholders reject tender offer

    In a hugely positive step for General Motors, the carmaker, together with the U.S. Treasury and United Auto Workers (UAW), reached a tentative bargain on how they'll deal with changes to the current agreement in the face of the industry's problems and GM's increasingly probably bankruptcy. The...

  • 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid
    U.S. raises fuel economy floor to 27.3mpg for 2011

    You might disagree with his methods, but you can't deny President Obama's determination to improve the U.S. car industry's situation and to remedy the nation's current energy policy. Part of both plans is a rise in the fuel economy requirements to 27.3mpg fleet-wide by 2011. It's actually a step...

  • Lamborghini Murcielago LP-640 Roadster
    Shocker: Women find expensive cars more attractive

    Readers, you may want to hold on to your rocking chairs as the following news will likely come as a stunning shock to you. There's no easy way to put it, but women find men with expensive cars more attractive than those with cheaper cars. The 'groundbreaking' study, led by a UK university, revealed...

  • The Chevy Aveo is already built in Mexico
    Small car, hybrid sales taking a long drive off a short pier

    The short-sightedness of the car-buying public is breathtaking. It was just months ago that fears over $4 gas prices had people scurrying about, dumping loaded SUVs for a fraction of their purchase price and replacing them with smaller, more efficient vehicles. But today, with fuel well under $2...

  • Ford's Joe Hinrichs talks with workers

    Taking care of its retirees is one of the things the American auto industry prides itself on, and for good reason. But it's also one of the things that are making it hard to compete with foreign carmakers - the expenses are getting out of control. To help keep both Ford and the UAW operating in the current market, a new deal has been struck that changes the way retiree health care is funded, and most critically, Ford says it could help save up to $500 million annually. The new terms also significantly improves Ford’s competitiveness and will allow it to restructure its U.S. outfit into...

  • Jaguar XF assembly line
    UK auto aid approved by EU, now accepting bids for share of £2.3 billion

    The weak economy knows no borders, rampaging across the globe taking its toll in lost jobs and bankruptcies. The car industry in particular is no stranger to this strife, and some might say Great Britain's carmakers most of all, considering their rocky history. In late January UK Business Secretary...

  • 2009 lamborghini gallardo lp 560 motorauthority 013
    Lamborghini sales drop 40%, Winkelmann fighting to stay in the black

    Luxury sports car manufacturers are having a tough year in 2009, despite their successes last year. Earlier this month we heard from Porsche, who had experienced a massive drop in sales for the first six months of fiscal 2008/2009 following their record profits last year and now a similar story is...

  • Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche speaks at the press conference
    Chrysler cost Daimler $1.75 billion in 2008

    The divorce of Daimler from Chrysler in 2007 wasn't complete - the German company Daimler still holds 19.9% of Chrysler - and now that lingering relationship has come back with a vengeance. Despite a year that would be only moderately unsuccessful for Daimler, Chrysler's involvement more than...

  • Chrysler co-president Jim Press
    Chrysler co-president: You can either help us or burn us all down

    Chrysler has come out with its second sales plea in as little two weeks, urging dealers to order more than 15,000 cars by Monday to keep the company viable. Not one to mince his words, Chrysler co-president Jim Press told dealers over a conference call that they basically have two choices: "You can...

  • An Aston rolling off the line at the Gaydon plant
    Three day working week for 600 Aston Martin staff

    The tough times facing the car industry are not new, but the extended duration is beginning to take its toll on even the most luxurious carmakers. Having already announced that it would be cutting its 1,850-member workforce by up to 600 jobs, Aston Martin has now revealed that it will put its...

  • Jim Press

    The recently announced alliance to be forged with Fiat notwithstanding, Chrysler's current position in the market is regarded as precarious by buyers and analysts alike. Vice Chairman Jim Press is more optimistic, however, stating that Chrysler will be 'viable' during the first half of the year. He carefully defines viability as the ability to avoid bankruptcy and develop new products, reports MSNBC, but he cautions that profitability is still too far off to predict. The viability claim - definitionally tenuous though it may be - rests on an assumption of just 10 million cars being sold in...

  • 2010 Toyota Prius
    Toyota to build more cars in North America than Chrysler

    Toyota's North American car output will surpass Chrysler's for the first time during the first quarter of 2009. The two companies' downward trajectories will soon cross, leaving Toyota as the third largest domestic producer behind Ford and General Motors. Both Chrysler and Toyota are sharply...

  • Ford CEO Alan Mulally
    Ford confirms it won't need any loan money

    As the economy and the car industry transform to lighter, more compact versions of their previous selves, the primary agent of change is cash. Ford CEO Alan Mulally took an opportunity this weekend to re-affirm his company's ability to stand on its own, without government-backed loans, however...

  • Toyota production facility
    Report: Toyota to halve Japanese production

    The global downturn in car sales is a familiar topic these days, and even the production juggernaut of Toyota is facing unseen declines in demand for its products. To help realign output with that demand, the carmaker recently announced plans to shut down all 12 of its Japanese plants for a total...

  • 2009 honda insight hybrid 001
    Honda announces new round of job and production cuts

    Slumping sales and surplus supply are old hat by now, but the ongoing effects of the poor economy mean carmakers must continue to adjust their capacity and output to remain viable. Honda's readjustment, like its American counterparts, is unfinished, and today it revealed another 3,100 temporary...

  • The White House
    Bush administration defers CAFE decision to Obama

    In a reversal on Bush's prior commitment to make a decision on the issue of Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) today revealed it will not make a decision before President-Elect Barack Obama takes office later this month. Proposed CAFE...

  • 09acurarl front s

    Tough times in terms of sales and profits are hitting the entire industry hard, but Honda appears to be taking it particularly badly if the latest report from Japan proves true. News of the cancellation of Honda's V8 program, its CR-Z convertible, and perhaps most lamentably, its next-gen S2000 roadster, has emerged today. The report indicates that Honda's drastic reshaping of its future product lineup is being done with an eye to a leaner, greener brand image, according to AutoWeek. These factors would certainly toll the death knell of a planned RWD Acura V8 - possibly a heavily redesigned...

  • Toyota Prius production
    Toyota halting Japanese production for 11 days

    The global downturn in car sales is a familiar topic these days, and even the production juggernaut of Toyota is facing unseen declines in demand for its products. To help realign output with that demand, the company has planned to shut down all 12 of its Japanese plants for a total of 11 days in...

  • Mercedes' C-Class wagon production line in Bremen, Germany
    Daimler suspends production for 1 month

    Even the upper tier of the mass-market luxury car manufacturers are facing troubled times this year. Sales are down, inventories are up and there appears to be no end in sight. In response to this situation, Daimler has decided the right move is to cut all production for at least one month...

  • U.S. auto sales follow credit market to new lows
    U.S. auto industry sales follow credit availability to new lows

    There were no winners in September's sales totals, with every major manufacturer in the market down against the same month last year. The tale is as much one of the U.S. economy and the finance industry's condition as it is of the carmakers', but the effect it will have on bottom lines and future...

  • Honda Fit
    U.S. average fuel economy climbs to 20.8mpg

    Shifting from SUVs and pickup trucks toward smaller cars may already be having an effect on the overall average fuel economy in the U.S. Figures released today by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reveal that the actual increase in fuel economy may be even higher than the 0.2mpg bump...

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