Nov 02

- Fisker Karma Is First Car To Burn Underwater (ZeroHedge, Nov 1, 2012):

The plight of the infamous, and quite inflammable, Fisker Karma (not to mention its now defaulted battery vendor A123) has been extensively documented on these pages in the past. Today, we bring it up again, to observe a curious extra feature which its proud buyers may have been unaware of. It appears that, as Jalopnik reports, the car only free government loans with a 0% (or even negative) IRR hurdle rate could conceive, is now the first one to proudly announce it is the only one of its type that merrily burns down… while submerged underwater. We fully expect that the next generation of Fiskers will charge at least $995 for this non-optional standard feature. In other news, perhaps it is time for Karma to issue yet another comprehensive total recall of all of its cars due to “fire risk” – the last one seems to have missed a spark plug or two: they can say this is a recall for the risk of burning down alive while fully submerged underwater.

From Jalopnik:

Approximately 16 of the $100,000+ Fisker Karma extended-range luxury hybrids were parked in Port Newark, New Jersey last night when water from Hurricane Sandy’s storm surge apparently breached the port and submerged the vehicles. As Jalopnik has exclusively learned, the cars then caught fire and burned to the ground. Continue reading »

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Sep 21

- Porsche, Daimler Indicate Europe’s Car Crisis Spreading (Bloomberg, Sep, 21, 2012)

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Aug 30

- More Bad News Imminent: August US Auto Production Set To Plunge By Most In 16 Months (ZeroHedge, Aug 20, 2012)

Over the past several months, many pundits were scratching their heads at the peculiar patterns in summer hiring and layoff trends, which threw all NFP, claims, and JOLTs forecasts in a loop making a mockery of even the best forecasters. The reality is that there was a very specific reason for this abnormal seasonal pattern: numerous car plants worked throughout the summer, avoiding traditional temporary shutdowns and furloughs, in an attempt to provide an optical boost to the Union-endorsed administration. And as always happens (see Cash for Clunkers), every attempt to pull demand or supply from the future to the present results in an eventual collapse in either of these two. Sure enough, with June and July reaping the benefits of advance demand, August is set be an absolutely abysmal month for US auto assemblies and for Industrial Production. Because as Stone McCarthy calculates, based on projections provided by Wards Autos, the U.S. motor vehicle assembly rate for August is projected to decline by 8% to a 10.1 million annualized rate after rising by 4.4% in July. This would be the biggest monthly percentage decline in the assembly rate in about a year and a half, since April 2011′s 9.5% drop.

SMRA continues: Continue reading »

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Aug 24

- Palestinians design solar car not to buy petrol from Israel (PHOTOS, VIDEO) (RT, Aug 23, 2012):

Necessity is the mother of invention, and for Palestinians living on the West Bank trying to break their dependence on Israel for energy has resulted in a new solar powered vehicle.

­The four-seater is covered in solar panels to convert the suns rays into energy to power a small electric motor which pushes the vehicle along at 20 Kph for about 10 hours. And if the sun doesn’t shine it can be plugged into the wall, and the battery recharged from the mains.

It looks a bit like an over-sized golf cart and took the Royal Industrial Trading Company around two months and $5000 to develop. Continue reading »

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Aug 13

- Contaminated Japanese cars rejected by Russian custom office (Fukushima Diary, Aug 12, 2012):

Series of cars from Japan are seized at port in Russia.

On 7/27/2012, Ria Novosti reported radioactive contaminated cars from Japan were seized by Russian custom at Korsakov port in the south part of Sakhalin.

Continue reading »

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Aug 02

America’s largest car firm made $1.5bn in the second quarter of 2012, with European division reporting operating loss of $361m

GM’s CEO Dan Akerson said: ‘We have more work to do to offset the headwinds we face.’ Photograph: Jeff Kowalsky/EPA

- GM profits slip 41% as European struggles take their toll (Guardian, Aug 2, 2012):

General Motors’ profits fell 41% in the second quarter as troubles in Europe undercut strong sales in North America.

America’s largest automaker made $1.5bn in the second quarter of 2012, compared with $2.5bn for the same period last year. Revenue fell to $37.6bn from $39.4bn in the second quarter of 2011. The results exceeded analysts’ estimates, but further underlined Europe’s drag on the US economy.

“Our results in North America were solid, but we clearly have more work to do to offset the headwinds we face, especially in regions like Europe and South America,” said GM chairman and CEO Dan Akerson. “Despite the challenging environment, GM has now achieved 10 consecutive quarters of profitability, which is a milestone the company has not achieved in more than a decade.”

Continue reading »

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Aug 01

- Chinese Ultra-Luxury Car Bubble Pops As 1 Year Old Used Lambo Gallardo Sells 70% Off Sticker (ZeroHedge, July 31, 2012):

Rumors are circulating that reports of the demise of the Chinese auto market may be exaggerated now that even David Einhorn is forced to defend his GM long (because it “has a strong cash position” – sure, and stuffs channels like no other) however stripped of stereotypes and hype, the reality is that even the one time impregnable ultra luxury car market in China is now faltering at an ever faster pace. BusinessWeek reports: “Waiting lists for ultra-luxury cars in Hong Kong are getting shorter and used-car lots are cutting prices on Lamborghinis, Ferraris and Bentleys in the latest sign of China’s slowdown. At first glance, the numbers are deceiving: Sales of very expensive new autos surged 47 percent in the first six months, according to industry analyst IHS Automotive. Look more deeply, however, and another picture emerges, especially in the city’s used-car lots.” The picture is ugly: ““The more expensive the car, the more dry the business,” said Tommy Siu at the Causeway Bay showroom of Vin’s Motors Co., the used-car dealership he founded two decades ago. Sales of ultra-luxury cars have halved in the past two or three months, he said. “A lot of bankers don’t want to spend too much money for a car now. At this moment, they don’t know if they’ll have a big bonus.”” Sad: they should all just go to Singapore and manipulate Libor. Oh wait, too soon?

Curiously, unlike virtually every other manipulated asset class, Hong Kong car sales provide a somewhat insulated view into the heart of China’s beating economy: Continue reading »

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Aug 01

- GM’s Channel Stuffing Goes To Germany: Is Europe’s Largest Economy A Fraud? (ZeroHedge, July 31, 2012)

We have long argued that auto manufacturers have been channel-stuffing (and subprime-lending) themselves back into a disaster and as such class-action lawsuits have begun. Recently we also pointed out the epidemic of dealer-inventory-stuffing in China (and again this morning the Chinese luxury car market’s over-stuffing). So today’s report from Reuters that German auto manufacturers have been stuffing dealer channels just like the rest of the world as Europe’s largest car market is in recession even if few outside of the industry would know it. “Essentially, the carmakers are deceiving their shareholders, since they make it look as if the vehicles were actually sold. They want to pull the wool over their eyes,” as three in every ten new vehicles in Germany are sold not to customers, but to carmakers and their dealers – a type of automotive industry pump priming known as “self-registration”. At nearly half a million such registrations in the six months through June, the total is greater than the entire new car market in Spain. Is Germany’s economy really what it is reported to be given all this fake demand pull-forward – or is it a total fraud?

Via Reuters

Reality versus ‘official’ figures: Continue reading »

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Jun 15


- Who Killed The Electric Car? (Documentary)

- U.S. Government blocks sales of fuel-efficient cars (Natural News, June 15, 2012):

The development of affordable “green” cars and trucks – electric vehicles or hybrids designed to dramatically curb the nation’s reliance on fossil fuels – is supposed to be a primary goal for the Obama administration and a number of government and industry leaders. But what about diesel-burning vehicles that already get more than 70 miles a gallon?

Yes, you read that right. There are already vehicles on the road – nice vehicles, not bread boxes with weed-eater motors on wheels – that get better than 70 miles to a gallon of diesel fuel. Only, you can’t buy one here in the United States. More on that later.

Continue reading »

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May 30

- Volvo’s self-drive ‘convoy’ hits the Spanish motorway (BBC News, May 29, 2012):

A convoy of self-driven cars has completed a 200km (125-mile) journey on a Spanish motorway, in the first public test of such vehicles.

The cars were wirelessly linked to each other and “mimicked” a lead vehicle, driven by a professional driver.

The so-called road train has been developed by Volvo. The firm is confident that they will be widely available in future.

The project aims to herald a new age of relaxed driving.

Continue reading »

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Apr 19

- Hate To Break It To You, But Your Car Likely Has A Black Box ‘Spying’ On You Already (Forbes, April 19, 2012):

The big news in automotive privacy this week is that Congress is on the verge of passing a transportation bill that will make “big brother” black boxes mandatory in all new cars. InfoWars is encouraging drivers to freak out about the horrific invasion of privacy represented by the government’s insisting that all Americans have event data recorders that reveal exactly what happened before and after a crash. But the truth of the matter is that most Americans already have black boxes in their cars. They’ve been around since 1996, are found in at least 60 million vehicles, and are a feature in 85% of new cars every year.

“Virtually every car that has an air bag has some kind of recording ability,” says James Casassa, of Wolf Forensics which specializes in downloading crash information from vehicles made by GM, Ford, Chrysler, Toyota and Honda. The recorders capture information about how fast you were going and whether you slammed on the brakes in the seconds before and after a crash. They capture just a snapshot, not a continual record of your driving activity — which would be far more concerning for privacy. (But don’t worry! You can get a far more invasive event recorder from your insurance company if you’re looking to lower your car insurance rates.)

Continue reading »

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Feb 26

- 500 Used Cars to Be Shipped from Nagoya Port Have Exceeded Radiation Limit Since August Last Year (EX-SKF, Feb. 25, 2012):

That’s when they started testing, and 500 used cars from Nagoya Port alone.

Japanese used cars are popular in Russia, Southeast Asia, and Africa. Despite the nuclear accident, the number of exported used cars in 2011 increased slightly over 2010 to 857,779 cars according to the Used Car Export Industry News, with Russia at the top with over 110K followed by the United Arab Emirates.

Kyodo News (2/25/2012):


Nagoya Port Authority disclosed on February 25 that 500 used cars were found with radiation levels at or exceeding 0.3 microsievert/hour, the standard set by the [used car] industry from August last year to January this year, and that the cars were returned to the shippers.

Continue reading »

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Feb 24

- Starting March 1st, A Red License Plate in Nevada Means the Driver is a Robot! (Singularity Hub, Feb. 22, 2012):

An extended campaign in Nevada by Google has led to a new host of provisions which will allow automated cars to legally drive in the state. Starting March 1st, 2012 innovators like Google can officially apply for a new kind of robot driver’s license that will give them permission to openly test their cars on the road. Automated vehicles will be able to travel the same streets and highways as human drivers, with only a red license plate marking them as robots. Once research on those automated cars is complete (which may take years), the Nevada Department of Motorized Vehicles will issue them a neon green license plate – an indication that the robot drivers are good to go. Google, whose robotic Prius cars have already driven 200,000+ miles in California quasi-legally, will undoubtedly take full advantage of Nevada’s openness and further develop their technology for general use. Just as important, other states like Hawaii, Florida, and Oklahoma may follow Nevada’s example, paving the way for robot cars to operate all across the United States.

Continue reading »

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Dec 31

- #Radioactive Car Emitting 279 Microsieverts/Hr, Reports Asahi Shinbun (EX-SKF, Dec. 30, 2011):

I don’t know why Asahi is putting out this lame article right now, as it sure looks like the information was there already back in June.

(What surprised me more about the article was that there were over 6,400 workers at the plant at the time of the earthquake/tsunami on March 11.)

All through the summer, as I wrote in my previous post on another radioactive car, there were rumors of cars inside the 20-kilometer “no-entry zone” being shipped outside the zone without any testing, either to the owners or to the used car dealers who sold the cars inside Japan. There is no standard for radiation for used cars sold inside Japan. Back in those days, people who raised the issue of radioactive cars and trucks out of Fukushima were often branded as “racist” discriminating against people in and from Fukushima in both the alternative media and in the MSM.

This blog already reported on the truck in Iwaki City that was emitting 1 millisieverts/hour (1,000 microsieverts/hour) radiation back in August.

From Asahi Shinbun digital version (12/31/2011):

東 京電力福島第一原発の事故当時、原発敷地内に駐車していて高濃度に汚染された東電社員らの車について、東電が適切な管理を怠っていた。なかには、中古車市 場に流通したり、近隣住民との間でトラブルを起こしたりしている車も出ている。専門家は「放射線量の高い車は、敷地内で発生したがれきと同様に扱うべき だ」と指摘している。

TEPCO didn’t do a proper management of cars belonging to TEPCO employees parked inside Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant at the time of the accident and heavily contaminated with radiation. Some of the cars have been sold in the used car market, others causing problems with the neighbors where the cars are parked. Experts say “Highly radioactive cars should be treated in the same manner as the debris inside the plant compound”.

Continue reading »

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Dec 30

- #Radioactive Car Emitting Over 30 Microsieverts/Hr in Musashino City in Tokyo Was Returned to Fukushima (EX-SKF, Dec. 30, 2011):

The owner of the car got it from his friend in July and the car was from (guess where) the 20-kilometer radius “no entry zone” in Fukushima Prefecture.

The 20-kilometer “no-entry zone” was officially off-limit until June and the residents weren’t allowed to use their own cars until September. Unofficially, there were “rumors” (i.e. not reported in the media) during the summer that people were hired to go and retrieve vehicles inside the 20-kilometer zone. There were also “rumors” of sudden deaths among people who were doing exactly that. The existence of this car in Musashino City, Tokyo is a proof that these reports may have been true.

The car was found emitting over 30 microsieverts/hour radiation at the front grill and inside the engine room. At the perimeter of the parking lot at 1 meter high, the air radiation was 3 microsieverts/hour. Judging by the way the city crafted the announcement, their survey meter went overscale at 30 microsieverts/hour, and the actual radiation level could be much higher.

It was only on December 21 that a citizen finally alerted the city about this radioactivity on wheels.

From the announcement at the Musashino City website:


Regarding the automobile in a parking garage in Nakacho 2-chome, we were notified by a resident on December 21 of the high radioactivity. We measured the radiation level and confirmed it to be high. Therefore we did the following in response:

Continue reading »

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Dec 05

Japan will ‘crash’:

- Of Imminent Defaults And Self Deception: Hedge Fund Manager Kyle Bass Prepares For The Worst


- The £2.5million motorway smash involving 8 Ferraris, 3 Mercedes, a Lamborghini, a Skyline and a humble Toyota Prius (which was in the wrong place at the wrong time) (Daily Mail, dec. 5, 2011):

Thirteen high-end sports car owners – and one driver of a Toyota Prius – were probably close to tears last night after a £2.5million motorway pile-up.

Continue reading »

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Nov 25

- Mongolia banned importing cars from Japan (Fukushima Diary, Nov. 24, 2011):

Having measured radiation from imported cars, Ulan Bator custom office and nuclear energy department of Mongolia decided to ban importing cars from Japan.

They will start stopping importing cars from Japan as of 11/30/2011.

Mongolian government have been checking imported cars since May,and 18 cars turned to be irradiated.


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Nov 17

- U.S. boosts estimate of auto bailout losses to $23.6B (Detroit News, Nov. 14, 2011):

The Treasury Department dramatically boosted its estimate of losses from its $85 billion auto industry bailout by more than $9 billion in the face of General Motors Co.’s steep stock decline.

In its monthly report to Congress, the Treasury Department now says it expects to lose $23.6 billion, up from its previous estimate of $14.33 billion.

Continue reading »

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Oct 26

- Radiation Detected in Used Vehicle for Exports near Tokyo (JIJI PRESS, Oct. 25, 2011):

Kawasaki, Kanagawa Pref., Oct. 25 (Jiji Press)–Radiation levels of up to 58.86 microsieverts per hour have been detected in a used vehicle stored in a port facility here for exports, local authorities said Tuesday.

The vehicle was brought to the port facility in Kawasaki, Kanagawa Prefecture, southwest of Tokyo, Monday after being auctioned in Chiba Prefecture, east of Tokyo. The vehicle is now kept by its owner.

The vehicle measured between 6.034 and 58.86 microsieverts in radiation, Kawasaki city government officials said. The amount of radiation in the air around the vehicle was at 0.163 microsievert per hour.

Continue reading »

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Oct 26

- Radioactive second-hand cars dog Japan (The Australian/The Times, Oct. 26, 2011):

RUSTING hulks disguised with new paint, and mileage clocks reset – the wiles of the second-hand car dealer are well known.

However, motorists in Japan are facing an unfamiliar peril. They are being offered used cars with low mileage, well-maintained engines and sound bodywork. The only flaw is that they are dangerously radioactive.

Continue reading »

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Oct 19

- #Radioactive Used Car: 20.38 Microsieverts/Hr Car Destined for Kenya Stopped (EX-SKF, Oct. 17, 2011):

at a car exporter in Kawasaki City, in Kanagawa Prefecture.

At least, used cars for export get tested for radiation. And those cars rejected for export for high radiation? Where will they go? (Anecdotal evidence suggests they are simply sold inside Japan.)

From Sankei Shinbun (10/17/2011):


Kawasaki City announced on October 17 that a used car brought in to a used car exporter in Higashi Ogijima in Kawasaki-ku, Kawasaki City tested 20.38 microsieverts/hr radiation. According to the city, “That level of radiation does not have immediate effect on human body.”

Continue reading »

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Oct 15

From the article:

As the New York Times reported September 5, “For General Motors and the Obama administration, the new Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid represents the automotive future, the culmination of decades of high-tech research financed partly with federal dollars.”

Flashback (A MUST-SEE!!!):

- Who Killed The Electric Car? (Documentary)

- Man Builds Electric Car for $4750, Costs $7 For Every 300 Miles (Video)

Related info:

- Electric Vehicle Called ‘Schluckspecht’ (‘Boozer’) Sets New 1,013.8 Miles Record On Single Battery Charge

- Green Car Made From Hemp And Powered By An Electric Motor

- EU Rules: Silent Electric Cars Must Make Noise!

- New Nanoscale Material Developed For Electric Cars

- Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu Throws $1.4 Billion Loan To Nissan Leaf

- World’s first electric car built by Victorian inventor in 1884

… and General Motors CEO Dan Akerson called the Chevy Volt “not a step forward, but a leap forward” ???

Just more BS they want us to believe in!

- 115-year-old electric car gets same 40 miles to the charge as Chevy Volt (Daily Caller, Oct. 14, 2011):

Meet the Roberts electric car. Built in 1896, it gets a solid 40 miles to the charge — exactly the mileage Chevrolet advertises for the Volt, the highly touted $31,645 electric car General Motors CEO Dan Akerson called “not a step forward, but a leap forward.”

The executives at Chevrolet can rest easy for now. Since the Roberts was constructed in an age before Henry Ford’s mass production, the 115-year-old electric car is one of a kind.

But don’t let the car’s advanced age let you think it isn’t tough: Its present-day owner, who prefers not to be named, told The Daily Caller it still runs like a charm, and has even completed the roughly 60-mile London to Brighton Vintage Car Race.

If you didn’t know there are electric cars as old as the Roberts, you aren’t alone. Prior to today’s electric v. gas skirmishes, there was another battle: electric v. gas v. steam. This contest was fought in the market place, and history shows gas gave electric and steam an even more thorough whooping than Coca-Cola gave Moxie.

But while the Roberts electric car clearly lacked GPS, power steering and, yes, air bags, the distance it could achieve on a charge, when compared with its modern equivalent, provides a telling example of the slow pace of the electric car.

Driven by a tiller instead of a wheel, the Roberts car was built seven years before the Wright brothers’ first flight, 12 years before the Ford Model T, 16 years before Chevrolet was founded and 114 years before the first Chevy Volt was delivered to a customer.

As the New York Times reported September 5, “For General Motors and the Obama administration, the new Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid represents the automotive future, the culmination of decades of high-tech research financed partly with federal dollars.”

Continue reading »

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Jul 22

- U.S. loses $1.3 billion in exiting Chrysler (CNNMoney, July 21, 2011):

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — U.S. taxpayers likely lost $1.3 billion in the government bailout of Chrysler, the Treasury Department announced Thursday.

The government recently sold its remaining 6% stake in the company to Italian automaker Fiat. It wrapped up the 2009 bailout that was part of the Troubled Asset Relief Program six years early.

Continue reading »

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Jul 02

- India: Rajasthan in ‘cars for sterilisation’ drive (BBC NEWS, July 1, 2011):

Health officials in the Indian state of Rajasthan are launching a new campaign to try reduce the high population growth in the area.

They are encouraging men and women to volunteer for sterilisation, and in return are offering a car and other prizes for those who come forward.

Among the rewards on offer is the Indian-made Tata Nano – the world’s cheapest car.

Continue reading »

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Apr 11

Published: 11 April, 2011, 19:19

Source: Russia Today

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Apr 07

The devastating earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan last month is slowly starting to have a bigger impact on U.S. manufacturing.

Toyota announced Monday that its North American plants would likely have to close later this month due to supply disruptions in Japan. Honda, Nissan and Ford have already announced temporary plant shutdowns and Chrysler could be next in line.

But the impact of Japan’s disaster on U.S. manufacturing has been vastly underestimated and goes far beyond the auto and electronics industries, says Alan Tonelson, research fellow at the U.S. Business and Industry Council and author of Race to the Bottom.

A new report by the Council found that “many of the highest rates of dependence on Japan are found in non-electronics capital goods sectors — industrial machinery and components vital to high-value production throughout the domestic U.S. manufacturing base.”

The report — entitled A Supply-Chain Earthquake? American Industrial Dependence on Japanese Manufactures — cites these market-share figures for the sectors unrelated to electronics and automobiles that come from Japanese imports:

  • Metal cutting machine tools = 21% of U.S. market-share comes from Japan
  • Turbines for generating energy = 14.8%
  • Metal-forming machine tools = 12.7%
  • Plastic and rubber making machinery = 11.2%

“If you go to most small- and medium-sized factories in this country in particular, you are going to see a wealth of foreign made machine tools many of which are coming from Japan,” Tonelson tells Aaron in the accompanying interview. “[Therefore] if we have supply chain disruptions due to the Japanese earthquake … that is likely to affect much of the advanced high-value manufacturing sector because these machine tools and bearings and forgings, etc. are such an integral of advanced manufacturing today.”

Continue reading »

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Mar 26

Toyota’s U.S. manufacturing arm is preparing for a possible shutdown because of parts shortages from Japan, a Toyota spokesman said. Word has gone out to all 13 of Toyota’s factories in the United States, Canada and Mexico. This does not mean that the plants will stop working, Toyota spokesman Mike Goss said, but that they should be ready in case the need arises.

“We expect some kind of interruptions,” he said.

While Toyota’s car factories in Japan have stopped working since the March 11 earthquake in Japan, the automaker was able to resume production of some auto parts on March 17.

Toyota employs 25,000 manufacturing and R&D workers in North America.

Continue reading »

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Mar 18

A 2011 Chevrolet Colorado ZQ8 Crew Cab. GM is suspending production at the Shreveport, La., plant that makes it and the sibling GMC Canyon because of a parts shortage due to the Japanese earthquake.

General Motors plans to halt production Monday of the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon compact pickups made at Shreveport, La., because some parts come from Japan and aren’t available now.

The GM move is the first production halt directly linked to the March 11 earthquake and tsunami that wiped out portions of the northeast coast of Japan.

“We have suspended production at Shreveport for next week due to parts shortages due to the crisis in Japan. We will resume operations as soon as we can,” GM manufacturing spokesman Chris Lee tells Drive On. He wouldn’t identify the parts involved. Japanese companies often are the sole suppliers of electronics part for many vehicles.

Continue reading »

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Feb 26

Congratulations Centrally Planned Garbage Motors: GM slides to below its IPO price, hitting $32.75. And now we get to see if GETCO has been swimming with no bathing suit on the entire time.

(Click on iimages to enlarge.)

As a reminder, 112 hedge funds hold GM stock. Oops.

And time to remind the retarded market making robots of what we posted a week ago:

And some bad news for the world’s worst car maker (recently bankrupt), which has bet its entire “growth” platform as per the recent IPO on the one market that is so far unfamiliar with said carmaker’s “quality” reputation. In January, the Shanghai-based China Passenger Car Association reported that sales of passenger cars fell 10.3 percent in January from the month before to 965,238. Per “Chinese bought 13.7 million passenger vehicles last year, up by a third from 2009. But that robust growth is forecast to cool this year due to the expiration of tax incentives for some vehicle purchases and a renewed effort by cities to bring traffic under control.”Is the recent collectivist action to cool off purchasing actually going to have an adverse impact not only on GM’s margins but its sales as well? Why yes. But the market will be stunned when this is publicly announced shortly.

Furthermore, the deterioration in car sales is accelerating:

Continue reading »

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Jan 27

Added: 25. Januar 2011

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