Archive for the ‘Investors’ Category

Ford CEO Hackett Wants to Double Profits After Poor 2018

New target is an 8% operating profit margin.

by on Jan.25, 2019

Ford CEO Jim Hackett has set a new benchmark for the company's profits: an 8% operating profit margin.

Ford CEO Jim Hackett told the company’s employees that it was time to move on from 2018, but that those “mediocre” results will not be acceptable for 2019 and its longer-term goal — doubling last year’s annual profits.

It is “time to bury the year (2018) in a deep grave, grieve over what might have been and become super focused on meeting, and, in fact, exceeding this year’s plan,” Hackett wrote.

News Now!

Hackett relayed his expectations to employees: an operating profit margin of 8%, which equates to an operating profit of nearly $14 billion. In 2018, the company’s operating profit was $7 billion, resulting in a margin of 4.4%. (more…)

Exclusive: GM Looking to Add to Growing List of Electric Pickups

Electric drive could deliver major hp, torque increases.

by on Jan.24, 2019

The GMC Sierra is one of the trucks GM is "considering" for electrification.

General Motors is “considering” options for adding an electric pickup to its line-up, a senior executive told TheDetroitBureau.com, a move that would see it join an expanding list of other manufacturers who are developing all-electric trucks.

How far along the project has gotten is unclear, but it appears to fit into the broader “path to an all-electric future” that GM CEO Mary Barra outlined last March. It would also allow the Detroit automaker to challenge its cross-town rival Ford which announced its own plans for a battery-electric pickup this month, as well as several upstart competitors, Tesla and Rivian.

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Electrifying!

“Certainly, it’s something we’re considering,” Duncan Aldred, the vice president of the GMC brand, said during an interview in San Diego, where the “professional grade” brand was previewing several new products this week, including the off-road AT4 version of the big GMC Sierra pickup.

(more…)

Renault Replaces Ghosn as He Languishes in Tokyo Jail

But Ghosn could get millions – when freed – for leaving company voluntarily.

by on Jan.24, 2019

Jean-Dominique Senard, left, and Thierry Bollore are Renault's new chairman and CEO respectively.

Renault has moved ahead and named both a new chairman and a new CEO, replacing Carlos Ghosn who continues to be held in a Tokyo jail on financial corruption charges.

Jean-Dominique Senard will serve as the French automaker’s new chairman, while Thierry Bollore, a long-time lieutenant of Ghosn’s will become its new CEO. The appointments came just hours after Ghosn formally tendered his resignation as Renault’s chief. Renault and its top shareholder, the French government, had, until recently, stood behind Ghosn despite his arrest in Japan, but the latest move reflects the likelihood the 64-year-old executive won’t be released anytime soon.

Global News!

Ghosn was arrested on Nov. 19, shortly after his corporate jet touched down at Tokyo’s Haneda Airport. He has been accused of multiple crimes, including concealing as much as $88 million in income. But he could stand to earn millions more as a result of his decision to voluntarily resign from Renault, according a Bloomberg report. (more…)

Faraday Future May Have a Future, After All

Start-up settles dispute with primary investor.

by on Jan.07, 2019

Faraday Future has been at death's door for several months now, but a new deal with an investor may clear the way for its return to life.

Only a week ago, it seemed, EV start-up Faraday Future was down for the count. Now, however, it may have a new lease on life, after appearing to resolve a dispute with its primary investor.

That said, the California-based carmaker isn’t out of the woods. That investor, China’s Evergrande Health, has simply agreed to step back on its stake in the company. Faraday must now find a new primary investor that will help it resume operations, starting with bringing back a major portion of its workforce laid off in recent weeks.

Beyond the Headlines!

Under the agreement, the two parties will “terminate the previous investment contract, withdraw and waive all litigation and arbitration proceedings, and release all security including the asset preservation pledge and equity financing rights,” Faraday said in a statement. (more…)

Oil-Rich Norway is the Land of the Battery-Electric Vehicle

BEVs generated a third of country’s new car sales, a record, in 2018.

by on Jan.02, 2019

Picture courtesy Norwegian Electric Vehicle Assoc.

Norwegians have roundly embraced EVs.

It has massive offshore oil reserves that have helped fuel its economy, but as far as millions of Norwegian motorists are concerned, they’d rather spend their money on an electric vehicles.

Battery-cars accounted for a record 31.2% of all new vehicles sold in the Scandinavian nation last year, according to the Norwegian Road Federation, up from 20.8% in 2017. And the shift away from gas and diesel is only expected to accelerate as Norway has set a goal of eliminating sales of vehicles using internal combustion engines by the middle of the decade.

Stay Plugged In!

Last year’s surge “was a small step closer to the 2025 goal,” Oeyvind Solberg Thorsen, head of the NRF, told a news conference in Oslo on Wednesday.

(more…)

Japanese Court Extends Ghosn’s Jail Time into New Year

Former Nissan Chief's custody extended until Jan. 11.

by on Dec.31, 2018

Carlos Ghosn has been ousted at Nissan and Mitsubishi, but Renault has only replaced him temporarily.

Former Nissan Chairman Carlos Ghosn is going to ring in 2019 in the same way he ended 2018: behind bars, after the Tokyo District Court extended his detention 10 days until Jan. 11.

The 64-year-old Ghosn who, according to prosecutors, committed a number of financial crimes. These initially included under-reporting about $36 million in revenue through 2015, using company funds to acquire homes in Lebanon and Brazil. He’s been in custody since Nov. 19.

Global News!

Ghosn’s had additional charges filed against him since then with prosecutors alleging he shifted personal trades to Nissan to cover losses of 1.85 billion yen, or $16.6 million. They have also indicated they may bring charges for concealing income since 2015. (more…)

Nissan Exec Kelly Released; Ghosn Still in Tokyo Detention

Late-night release comes five weeks after arrest.

by on Dec.26, 2018

Greg Kelly's wife told Japanese TV that she believes her husband is a victim of a Nissan power grab.

Greg Kelly, an ousted Nissan Motor Co. executive caught up in a financial corruption scandal, has been released on bail after being held for more than a month in the Tokyo Detention Center.

Kelly was arrested Nov. 19, immediately after arriving in Japan on a corporate jet. He accompanied Carlos Ghosn, then Nissan’s chairman, as well as the head of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance. Ghosn, who is at the center of the scandal, will remain in detention until at least Jan. 1.

Global News!

Prosecutors had also attempted to keep Kelly in custody, arguing he is a flight risk. The court ultimately ruled that he could be released on bail of 70 million yen, or $636,000. The American executive must also abide by restrictions on his movement. (more…)

UAW Contract Talks to Determine Fate of Lordstown Plant

Automaker leaves door open to saving at least one of three threatened assembly plants.

by on Dec.20, 2018

Could the Lordstown, Ohio plant be spared? Contract negotiations between the UAW and GM could bring it back to life.

Workers at General Motors’ Lordstown, Ohio plant may have reason to hope their prayers will be answered.

The automaker is dangling the possibility that the factory – one of five it plans to shutter next year – could be salvaged when GM and the United Auto Workers Union sit down to negotiate a new, five-year contract next summer.

Breaking News!

“Plant closings are a matter of negotiations between GM and the United Auto Workers,” spokesman Pat Morrissey told TheDetroitBureau.com. “At this point, the plants are ‘unallocated,’” which, under the language of the current union/management contract, means there is still the possibility GM will move forward and allocate new product there as part of the next agreement. (more…)

Senators Pressuring GM to Halt $14B Stock Buyback Plan

Stopping buybacks gives company some of $5B saved from closures.

by on Dec.19, 2018

GM CEO Mary Barra is feeling more heat from three U.S. Senators demanding the company stop its $14 billion stock buyback program.

General Motors political woes aren’t getting any better as three members of the U.S. Senate have launched an attack on the company’s stock buybacks.

Senators Chris Van Hollen (D-Maryland), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minnesota) and Tammy Duckworth (D-Illinois) are pressing GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra to eliminate future stock buybacks, in light of recently announced layoffs in the United States.

Business News!

Companies generally buy back shares to improve shareholder returns on their investment. (more…)

Ghosn Scandal Threatens to Fracture Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance

Japanese want Renault to examine evidence against jailed executive.

by on Dec.18, 2018

Carlos Ghosn has been ousted at Nissan and Mitsubishi, but Renault has only replaced him temporarily pending the outcome of his legal proceedings.

Tensions are mounting between the French and Japanese sides of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance, according to various insiders and news reports, in the wake of the arrest of Carlos Ghosn, the man who put the alliance together two decades ago.

While the Brazilian-born executive has been ousted from top management roles by both Nissan and Mitsubishi, Renault has refused to follow suit while Ghosn awaits trial on allegations of financial corruption. He was charged by Japanese prosecutors earlier this month with concealing income and misusing corporate funds, but some sources believe the case really centers around growing concerns by Nissan about its relationship with Renault.

Global News!

The second-largest of the Japanese automakers is pressing its French partner to take a closer look at the evidence it claims to have gathered as part of an investigation triggered earlier this year by a whistleblower. The Reuters news service is reporting that Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa hopes to meet with his Renault counterpart, Thierry Bollore, in Amsterdam next week. (more…)