The "American Leyland" News Thread

gaasc

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Renault's last offerings in the US were not that great and are not fondly remembered.


i quite liked that one

And my personal 'favorite', the Fuego. Fuego means 'fire' in Spanish and the car was prophetically named, as it quite often spontaneously burst into flames due to its questionable wiring and electrics:

i can relate :p
 

Blind_Io

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http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/as...st-gm-and-chrysler-gone-tomorrow/#more-331057

Chrysler, the U.S.-funded, Italian-run, formerly bankrupt American automaker is leaking its product plans, ahead of their official unveiling in November. Automotive News [sub] confirms that Sergio Marchionne?s minions have decided to spin off Ram trucks into a separate brand, removing the company?s most profitable product from underneath the Dodge umbrella. For once, AN (or at least its mysterious person of interest) understands the full implications. ?The separation of the Ram truck brand will allow Fiat to make Dodge more of a performance car brand, the person said. But the move could also make it easier for Chrysler to spin off its truck business down the road if a continuing slump forced Fiat or U.S. officials to consider such a step.? Did you see that? ?U.S. officials.? Pay some attention to the Presidential Task Force behind that curtain! In any case, Chrysler and GM are heading into a perfect storm: continued market share erosion, new product constipation and chaos and, sopra tutti, cash burn.

Never mind that GM IPO FUD, or the back door billions shoveled GM and Chrysler?s way via subsidies, low-cost loans, union health care bailouts, the PBGC Delphi dance and tax breaks. Both automakers? only real hope of long-term survival is the same as it?s been since last spring: your taxes. What are the odds that Uncle Sam will re-up? Of course, timing is. Everything.

Questions, questions, questions. Does either carmaker have enough cash in the kitty to make it past the mid-term elections without a fresh federal infusion? And if the Democrats get their asses kicked, will the new, fiscally conservative Republicans bailout Motown again (not forgetting that it was George W. Bush who started this whole debacle)?

For those of you who say the Obama?s army never really intended to rescue either automaker, that they were simply subsidizing the companies to facilitate a soft landing, I say bullshit. Washington?s big swinging dicks, led by private equity money men with a similar anatomical affliction, honestly thought they could ?fix? Detroit. Any other reading of the situation would be deeply cynical, and you know how I feel about that.
In any case, it?s only a matter of time before Chrysler, and then GM, are parted out. Without a new new new round of bailouts, look for the Big Two to go down by the end of next year. Your take?
And from another blog:
GM's sales are down 45% from last September (when sales were already bad enough to drive the company into banrkuptcy). Chrysler is down 42%. Ford is only down 5%. Car buyers are clearly punishing the two bailout recipients brutally.
 

thevictor390

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Don't worry, there'll be another round. And sales will drop even further. And no one will make the correlation.
 

Twerp128

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Robert Farago is an ass.

He's a critic, and the worst kind. People like Robert Farago are the ones that brought down the Big Three. Negative, egotistical, quick to judge and closed from criticism. People with the Farago attitude were certainly not the ones that built the American auto industry (or any for that matter), and they will not be the ones who resurrect it. Top Gear didn't want him, Truth about Cars doesn't want him. Actions speak much louder than words.
 
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CrzRsn

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Officially Official:

PRESS RELEASE

General Motors and Tengzhong Sign Definitive Agreement For Sale of HUMMER

DETROIT and SICHUAN, Oct. 9, 2009 - General Motors (GM) and Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machinery Co., Ltd (Tengzhong), today announced that the companies have entered into a definitive agreement that will allow Tengzhong to acquire GM's premium all-terrain HUMMER brand.


Under the terms of the definitive agreement, the buyer will acquire the ownership of the HUMMER brand, trademark and tradenames, as well as specific IP license rights necessary for the manufacture of HUMMER vehicles. The buyer will also assume the existing dealer agreements relating to HUMMER's dealership network.

Tengzhong intends to purchase HUMMER through an investment entity, in which it will hold an 80 percent stake. Mr. Suolang Duoji, a private entrepreneur with holdings that include the Hong Kong-listed thenardite producer Lumena, will hold the remaining 20 percent stake. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals and/or review by government agencies in the U.S. and China. The completion of the definitive agreement enables the companies to continue and further the overall regulatory review process.

"HUMMER is a strong global niche brand and this agreement signifies another important milestone in writing the next chapter for both GM and HUMMER," said Fritz Henderson, GM President and CEO. "For HUMMER, the combination of its knowledgeable leadership team, vehicle design expertise and the capital financing of Tengzhong portend a successful future."

Under the agreement, HUMMER would contract vehicle manufacturing, key components and business services from GM during a defined transitional time period. For example, GM's Shreveport assembly plant would continue to contract assemble the H3 and H3T and AM General's Mishawaka assembly plant will continue to assemble the H2. Both facilities will produce the specified vehicles until June 2011, with an optional one year extension until June 2012. The deal is expected to secure more than 3,000 jobs in the U.S. related to the sale and manufacturing of HUMMER vehicles.

HUMMER will continue to be managed by members of its existing leadership team including James Taylor, who will remain in his current role as HUMMER's chief executive officer. Prior to joining HUMMER, Taylor was General Manager of Cadillac where he oversaw a reinvigoration of the brand, leading key innovations in design and technology as well as the development of new models.

"We are fortunate to have a partner who understands and recognizes the importance of continuing investment in HUMMER's heritage as a U.S.-based and branded company with a view toward capitalizing on global opportunities," said Taylor. "Backed by a privately owned and well-capitalized company, we are going to be able to focus on providing customers with more efficient models that deliver HUMMER's promise of authentic, purpose-built design and engineering."

Once the transaction is complete, HUMMER will become the first automaker to offer an alternative fuel powertrain in every model, with the addition of E85 FlexFuel capability in the 2010 H3 and H3T. HUMMER is also in the process of obtaining emissions certification for a diesel H3 that will be introduced in markets outside of North America. The brand's future product development will focus on improving efficiency and performance in current HUMMER models with alternative fuel powertrains, more efficient gas engines, 6-speed transmissions and diesel engines.

"This transaction marks an exciting step for both Tengzhong and HUMMER, as we invest in a business that has significant opportunity in the U.S. and around the globe," said Yang Yi, chief executive officer of Tengzhong. "We are excited about some of the initiatives already underway at HUMMER that we believe our investment will be able to accelerate, particularly related to the creation of the next generation of more fuel-efficient vehicles to meet not only future regulations but also customer expectations."

Credit Suisse is acting as exclusive financial advisor and Shearman & Sterling is acting as international legal counsel to Tengzhong on this transaction. Citi is acting as financial advisor to GM.
 

argatoga

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150M wow, that not much at all. But GM does get to off load dealers and development at least.
 

BlaRo

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So the Chinese officially own the AMERICA, FUCK YEAH company.

Ho boy. I would have never made that up in a million years. :lol:
 

NecroJoe

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So the Ram will no longer be a Dodge, if I'm understanding that correctly?

I wonder if the ramshead logo will still be used on other dodges...

Will the other trucks join this Ram brand? Ram Dakota? Ram Durango...Ram Ram?
 

Blind_Io

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All American Chinese!





Shamelessly stolen.
 
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Blind_Io

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The Chinese are buying cheaply made, overpriced crap from the US for a change.
 

Spectre

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From Jalopnik:

First GM 60-Day Money Back Return A Manual Transmission Corvette

Since GM's 60-day money-back return policy started, there've been around 150,000 retail sales and only one confirmed return. A manual transmission Corvette was returned after the driver tired of rowing gears. What'd he get instead? An automatic model.
 

gaasc

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^Oh for god's sake, i'm down to driving a automatic, but in a corvette it's just....wrong
 
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Spectre

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I'll be curious to see how many more people return their GM cars (and are able to thread the minefield that is the disclaimers and such that can disqualify you from being able to return the car.) The program started 9/14, so the first day you could return a GM car was yesterday.
 

argatoga

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Personally I think the man should have been punched in the face for trading in a proper Corvette for a gimped one. Hell that would be my policy for anyone who was about to buy an auto Corvette.

Probably a good think I don't work for GM.
 

Spectre

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I would make an exception for those who are not physically able to drive a manual - those missing legs or who have a medical problem prohibiting left-leg clutch use. I know two guys with automatic M5s from a couple generations back that I wouldn't punch in the face for buying them; one of them has a bad hip that means he can't drive a stick, the other one doesn't *have* a left leg.
 

argatoga

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Yes there may need to be some tweaks done to my face punching policy of car selling.

That this guy drove it for a month suggests that physical limitations weren't a factor in this case. And thus he qualifies for GM fist to face servicing.
 

argatoga

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http://www.autoblog.com/2009/10/16/report-ford-and-uaw-contract-changes-begin-to-leak-out/
The UAW has reportedly agreed to freeze the wages of entry level workers making $14 per hour until the agreement ends in 2011. The UAW also lifted a cap that limits the amount of low-cost workers in the plants until 2015, when those jobs are limited to 20% of the workforce. Any workers above 20% will be given traditional union wages in order of seniority. The union will also limit the amount of jobs that are classified as a skilled trade and submit the 2007 contract to binding arbitration when the contract expires in 2011. The UAW has also reportedly agreed to not strike over wage and benefit-related issues, a big win for Ford that virtually guarantees that production stoppages won't be labor-related.

The Blue Oval also had to do some bending of its own. If its 41,000 UAW workers approve the contract changes, every worker will receive a $1,000 bonus for their troubles. Perhaps even more importantly, Ford made production guarantees of facilities in Ohio, Kansas, Michigan, Illinois and Kentucky. Ford is also reportedly guaranteeing to build hybrid batteries in its Rawsonville, MI facility, adding a new vehicle to its Michigan Assembly plant and adding a vehicle at Louisville Assembly that could be exported to other markets. Ford has also promised to build the Transit Connect in the U.S. if Ford decides to move production to North America to supplement production in Turkey. Ratification of the contract is expected later today or early next week, so we'll soon find out if these contract changes are the real deal.
 

Blind_Io

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That's good news for both parties, in my opinion. The UAW gets to keep jobs and Ford gets the cuts they need to stay in business.

Most importantly it puts more Americans to work and right now that's what we need. Even at $14 an hour it's better than unemployment.
 

Spectre

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Good news, everyone! Now nobody with any talent whatsoever is going to want to work at American Leyland and they'll be run by appointees!

From the Our Dear Leader 'I don't want to be running a car company but I'm going to do it anyway' Obama Motors and the "You're going to pay what???" departments and CNN:

Pay czar ready to drop hammer

Kenneth Feinberg will demand average 50% cut in compensation for top earners at seven firms that received the most bailout funds.

By David Ellis, CNNMoney.com staff writer
Last Updated: October 21, 2009: 9:25 PM ET

Washington attorney Kenneth Feinberg has been actively reviewing pay plans for the top 25 highest-paid employees at the seven biggest bailout firms as the Obama administration's pay czar.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- The Obama administration will soon order the nation's biggest bailed-out companies to drastically cut the pay packages of 175 top executives, a senior administration official confirmed to CNN Wednesday.

Kenneth Feinberg, who was named the White House's pay czar in June, will demand that each of the seven largest bailout recipients lower the total compensation for their top 25 highest paid employees by 50%, on average, the official told CNN.

For the past two months, Feinberg has been reviewing pay plans at Citigroup (C, Fortune 500), AIG (AIG, Fortune 500), Bank of America (BAC, Fortune 500), General Motors, Chrysler, GMAC and Chrysler Financial in an effort to put these firms in a position to pay back bailout money as soon as possible.

Under the plan, which is expected to be officially released by the Treasury Department next week, annual salaries for executives at those seven firms are expected to fall 90%, on average, the official said.


Another source in the Treasury Department told CNN that Feinberg is "trying to strike the balance" between protecting taxpayers and allowing companies to have the ability to "grow their way out of TARP."

Some compensation experts have worried that the firms that have received the most bailout funds could wind up losing top talent to companies that have already paid back the government and are not subject to Feinberg's pay restrictions, such as JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs.

According to other reports, the plan will come down particularly harsh on embattled insurer AIG. Within AIG's controversial Financial Products division, the unit that led to the company's near collapse, no employee is expected to receive more than $200,000 in total compensation, several reports indicated.

The Wall Street Journal also reported Feinberg is expected to demand a series of governance changes at the seven firms -- including splitting the role of chief executive officer and chairman.

The Treasury Department had no comment. AIG, Bank of America, Chrysler Financial and GM also declined to comment. Chrysler, Citigroup and GMAC were not immediately available for comment.

But the moves by Feinberg should not come as a major surprise. Last week, outgoing Bank of America CEO Ken Lewis said he would not accept a salary or bonus for 2009, and the bank said the decision came after Feinberg "suggested" it to Lewis.

Lewis' decision followed an uproar over indications that he is poised to walk away with a minimum of $53 million in pension benefits after he retires.

Lewis' cash salary has been $1.5 million annually since he took over as CEO in 2001. But he actually made $63 million in pay and perks over the past three years, according to filings -- including almost $10 million last year.

Other high-profile CEOs have also taken it upon themselves to act before the government did. Citigroup chief Vikram Pandit, for example, declared earlier this year that he would accept pay of just $1 a year and no bonus until his firm returned to profitability. Just a year ago, Pandit took home $10.8 million in salary, stock and options.

CNN's Jessica Yellin, Gloria Borger, Miguel Susana, CNNMoney.com's Jennifer Liberto and Fortune's Colin Barr contributed to this report. To top of page
So, let's see. Government now has hire/fire power at American Leyland, and they can now set salaries. That means, that's right, that American Leyland is now more unelected bureaucracy!

Edit: I think the spin put on this by CNN was hilarious, considering that the Treasury Department has already said that the money loaned to GM and Chrysler is gone and not getting paid back. This is also amusing in that GM just 'restored' the 10% pay cut that execs had taken for the bailout.
 
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