Nissan CEO Saikawa to Resign to Improve Alliance

No timetable set for his departure.

by on Jan.25, 2019

Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa plans to resign in the near future to ease the tensions between Renault and Nissan.

Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa plans to step down from his post now that Carlos Ghosn has resigned as chairman and CEO of Renault. The move is designed to make the transition into the next phase of the partnership between Nissan and Renault easier.

Ghosn, who has been in jail on financial corruption charges, resigned two days ago after the French government began to apply pressure to Renault’s governing board to replace him. In the wake of his arrest last November, Ghosn was fired from his position as chairman of Nissan and Mitsubishi.

The Last Word!

Saikawa, a former Ghosn protégé, is thought to have played a critical role in bringing the charges leveled against Ghosn to authorities, hoping to use the case to leverage greater autonomy from Renault, as TheDetroitBureau.com previously reported. The French company holds a controlling 43.4% stake in its alliance partner and has been exploring the idea of merging the two manufacturers entirely. Read the rest of this entry »

Analysts Forecasting Strong Auto Sales in January

Uptick comes despite government shutdown.

by on Jan.25, 2019

Analysts are predicting that January new vehicle sales will be up compared with last year's results.

Automakers and analysts alike have predicted that new vehicle sales in the U.S. for 2019 will be lower than they were in 2018. Of course, we now know they were happily wrong, and the early predictions have 2019 ahead of last year’s sales pace.

Edmunds predicts that 1,169,804 new cars and trucks will be sold in the U.S. in January for an estimated seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 17.2 million. This reflects a 28.1% decrease in sales from December 2018, but a 1.3% increase from January 2018.

Business News!

“January’s sales strength shows car shoppers are still feeling optimistic, even in the midst of the government shutdown and talk of a slowing economy,” said Jeremy Acevedo, Edmunds’ manager of industry analysis.  Read the rest of this entry »

Government Shutdown May Hurt Automakers Soon

FCA delayed intro of new Ram 3500 HD due to EPA closure.

by on Jan.25, 2019

FCA CEO Mike Manley said the government shutdown is delaying the sale of the new Ram 3500 HD.

The government shutdown is now in its 34thday. The longest-ever shutdown has impacted 800,000 government employees, making it difficult for them to pay bills, buy groceries and meet day-to-day financial obligations.

The ongoing fight between President Donald Trump and Democrats has also impacted the public at-large through longer lines at airports, closure of National Parks and the delay of at least one new vehicle model.

News You Can Trust!

Environmental Protection Agency employees are part of the shutdown, including those responsible for performing the various tests necessary for new vehicle models in the EPA labs in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Without the certifications, the vehicles don’t meet federal regulations and cannot be sold. Read the rest of this entry »

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%. Read the rest of this entry »

First Drive: 2019 Genesis G90

Luxury and performance with a lower price tag.

by on Jan.25, 2019

The Genesis G90 full-size sedan provides plenty of luxury appointments with an impressive driving experience for a lower price than its competitors.

Genesis, the luxury brand from Hyundai, hasn’t sold many cars yet but it has won an ample and growing number of plaudits from any number of judges of automotive metal.

The accolades, by the way, are well deserved since cars such as the G90 from Genesis that I recently had the opportunity to drive, are well-designed inside and out, loaded with technology, handle well and provide almost all the power anyone would ever really need away from a racetrack.

Reviews to Trust!

With its 124.4-inch wheelbase, the G90 is something of a disappearing breed — a genuine full-sized sedan with ample room in both the front seat for the driver and a passenger and the rear seats where the passengers can relax in comfort almost as if they were riding in a vehicle driven by chauffer, which probably is the point. Read the rest of this entry »

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

GM Investing $22 Million in Spring Hill Engine Plant

New Cadillac gets new engine.

by on Jan.24, 2019

The Spring Hill plant will build the new 6.2-liter V8 for GM's full-size trucks.

(This story has been updated for clarity.)

General Motors plans to invest $22 million at its plant in Spring Hill, Tennessee plant to build its newest fuel-efficient engines.

Additionally, GM will add more than 200 jobs at the plant to make its new three-row Cadillac crossover, the XT6. The new crossover is expected to hit showrooms in late spring.

Plant News!

The plant employs about 3,800 people. Read the rest of this entry »

Mercedes-Benz Eyes Construction of New Plant in Egypt

Open to working with the government on other projects too.

by on Jan.24, 2019

Markus Schäfer, Member of the Divisional Board of Management of Mercedes-Benz Cars, Production and Supply Chain, and the President of the Arab Republi c of Egypt H.E. Abdel Fattah El-Sisi spoke about plans to start a new assembly plant in Egypt.

Mercedes-Benz Cars is considering construction of a new assembly plant in Egypt.

“Egypt is an attractive and competitive location for production and supporting logistics,” said Markus Schaefer, the executive responsible for Mercedes-Benz Cars, Production.

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Schaefer said local assembly enables Mercedes-Benz to expand its market position. Read the rest of this entry »

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. Read the rest of this entry »

Apple Cuts Over 200 Jobs at Autonomous Vehicle Project

Move raises questions about what will remain of Project Titan.

by on Jan.24, 2019

Apple Tim Cook had called self-driving vehicles "the mother of all AI projects."

Apple has cut at least 200 jobs at Project Titan, its autonomous vehicle project, sources told TheDetroitBureau.com, a report now confirmed by CNBC.

The operation has been underway in near secrecy for several years and had previously gone through several upheavals, according to sources, as the tech giant tried to figure out exactly what its long-term goals would be. While it appeared committed to the idea of developing self-driving vehicle technology, the big question was whether Apple should also build the cars that would use that technology and, if so, how they would be used.

Breaking News!

“We have an incredibly talented team working on autonomous systems and associated technologies at Apple,” a company spokesperson told CNBC overnight. “As the team focuses their work on several key areas for 2019, some groups are being moved to projects in other parts of the company, where they will support machine learning and other initiatives, across all of Apple.”

Read the rest of this entry »

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