Inside the Industry

Toyota seeks to cut costs for auto parts by 30 percent

(December 23, 2009) Toyota plans to cut auto parts procurement costs by around 30 percent over three years to help it regain profitability, media reports said today.

Toyota has asked its suppliers to cut prices of some parts by 30-40 percent for cars that will hit the market by 2013, the Asahi daily said. The Nikkei business daily also said Toyota plans to switch to less expensive materials and parts.

Ford, China's Geely agree on sale of Volvo

(December 23, 2009) Ford confirmed today that all substantive commercial terms relating to the potential sale of Volvo Car Corporation have been settled between Ford and Geely Holding Group of China.

While some work still remains to be completed before signing — including final documentation, financing and government approvals — Ford and Geely anticipate that a definitive sale agreement will be signed in the first quarter of 2010, with closing of the sale likely to occur in the second quarter 2010, subject to appropriate regulatory approvals.

Chevrolet Camaro returns as pace car for the 2010 Indianapolis 500

(December 22, 20090 In 2009, the Chevrolet Camaro SS paced both the Daytona 500 and the Indianapolis 500.  Now, the Camaro returns to the 2010 Indianapolis 500 with a brand-new orange edition.

Ford Fiesta wins 26th European award

(December 22, 2009) Ford is celebrating a year of success for its best-selling small car, recently collecting the 26th major European award for the Ford Fiesta in Bucharest — the Romanian Car of the Year award.

Ford leads industry in fuel economy improvement

(December 22, 2009) DETROIT — Ford Motor Company has improved in fuel economy more than any other major automaker since 2004, according to a recent report by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA rated Ford’s combined car and truck fuel economy improvement at nearly 20 percent, almost double the next closest competitor.

Ford vehicles show largest increase in residual value from 2009 to 2010

(December 19, 2009) Ford Motor Company vehicles, bolstered by improved quality, fuel economy and popular redesigned models, recorded the largest increase in residual values from the 2009 to the 2010 model year among full-line manufacturers.

Report says Spyker Cars has asked GM to reconsider its bid for Saab brand

(December 19, 2009) Automotive News, an automotive trade paper, reported on Sunday that Spyker Cars has submitted a new offer to General Motors for purchase of the Saab brand. GM said last week that Saab would be terminated, a new deal would take too much time.

Spyker CEO Victor Muller said an 11-point proposal had been handed to GM addressing each of the issues that arose during due diligence after the Dutch company originally bid for Saab.

GM names outsider as finance chief

(December 21, 2009) DETROIT —  General Motors has appointed Chris Liddell, Microsoft Corp.'s finance chief, as vice chairman and CFO, replacing Ray Young.

Liddell, 51, has served as Microsoft's CFO since May 2005. He had previously announced he was leaving the software company on Dec. 31.

Saab retreats into automotive history as GM pulls the plug

(December 19, 2009) DETROIT — General Motors announced today that the intended sale of Saab Automobile AB would not be concluded. After the withdrawal of Koenigsegg Group AB last month, GM had been in discussions with Spyker Cars about its interest in acquiring Saab. During the due diligence, certain issues arose that both parties believe could not be resolved.  As a result, GM will start an orderly wind-down of Saab operations.

Ford comes up short on Taurus SHO, Ford F-150 double-cab

(December 19, 2009) Ford dealers are having trouble getting some versions of the 2010 Taurus, such as SEL and SHO trims, according to trade publication Automotive News. That's because Ford misjudged which variants of the vehicle would be popular and how many should be built, says a top executive. The 2010 Taurus went on sale in August.

“It's a problem for our dealers,” said Jim Farley, Ford's group vice president of global marketing, at a press event here Friday.