Key to the Highway

Observations about cars and the auto industry

Posts Tagged GM

Only 52.25 Percent from Here to the Good Ol’ Days

Half the year is gone, and with June’s auto sales figures out the annualized number for the U.S. market is 11.1 million vehicles. Sure, a lot of automakers posted big increases from June of last year, but the reality is the industry has a long way to go.

We Bet You Can Hum Along With This Tune

GM announced today that the deal to sell mega-SUV brand Hummer to Chinese-based Sichuan Tengzhong has fallen through.

Deal to Buy Saab Falls Through

General Motors announced this week that the preliminary deal to sell Saab has fallen apart. Swedish super-car maker Koenigsegg withdrew its offer to buy Saab from GM, leaving the 62-year-old brand’s future very much in doubt.

The King Is Dead. Long Live the King!

The common utterance of loyal subjects of a monarchy applies as readily to General Motors changing of the guard as it did when being King of the Britons meant something. Out is GM lifer Rick Wagoner, in is GM lifer Fritz Henderson. Mr. Henderson is charged with pushing another restructuring boulder up the hill and keeping it from rolling off.

2008 Auto Sales: Skid Marks Before the Cliff

Most automakers announced December sales figures today, and once again the news is dismal. However, the annual declines are what deserve our attention. GM and Ford haven’t seen sales figures this low since the late 1950s and early 1960s, respectively. The General realized a 22.7 percent decline in sales for 2008 vs. 2007; Ford notched 22.8 percent, however that factors in Land Rover and Jaguar, which were sold to Tata Motors in mid-2007. [Full data from Automotive News]

That Cold Wind in Detroit Is Nothing New

As cab rides go, the one I took the other day wasn’t all that interesting despite the pastoral scenery of rural eastern Pennsylvania. What really caught my attention was the blast of cold air coming through the door handle of the previous generation Chevrolet Malibu. The last time I felt a draft like that was in a 1946 MG TC, a car that didn’t have roll-up windows. The MG had side curtains, which only approximate a seal against the weather. While I could take the easy-cheesy way out and turn that drafty Malibu into another trite weather analogy for what ails Detroit, I won’t. There’s a far more direct point to made.

Come Fly with Me

Bloomberg reports today that General Motors has asked the FAA. to remove its planes from the voluntary tracking system that allows the public to follow an aircraft’s movements. This comes on the heels of criticism leveled at the chief executives of all three Detroit-based automakers for flying to D.C. in private jets to ask Congress for a publicly funded loan/bailout/monthly allowance.

2008 L.A. Auto Show Rundown

They’ve got the world on a string

Yesterday’s overview of the upcoming L.A. Auto Show might have sounded a tad too enthusiastic. Apologies. The reality is that the show is a reflection of the dire situation automakers find themselves in, only it’s representative of a few months ago with the exception of GM’s recent cancellation of its press conference and display of anything significant.

GM Is Nearing Crush Depth

The dire circumstances that General Motors finds itself in have been compared to the English-speaking peoples’ favorite epic failure–the sinking of the Titanic. While that tragedy and GM’s troubles to date share such similarities as the rush of water through the luxury liner’s hull and the gush of red ink from the Renaissance Center, the latest turn of events is more like a submarine sinking toward inevitable implosion.