The government bought a piece of Chrysler in a 2009 bailout that turned out to be a costly investment in an automaker deemed too big to fail. Now that the government has sold its remaining interest in the company to Fiat, the U.S. Treasury Department announced the arrangement cost taxpayers $1.3 billion. [More]
To try to lure customers back into the dealership, GM is trying out a novel idea. They’re giving new car buyers a free year of car insurance with their purchase. [More]
Massive hiring by several vehicle manufacturers is a telling sign that the auto industry has straightened out of its skid. General Motors and Honda are looking for a combined 3,500 new workers, and Volkswagen added 2,000 employees at a new plant. [More]
Toyota says it will take until the end of the year before post-quake production levels return to normal. [More]
The rallying cry of “Detroit, What?” may have to be changed to “Detroit, Who?” following US Census results that show the Motor City has lost 25% of its population from 2000 to 2010. [More]
Not that you necessarily need convincing that GM is doomed no matter how much cash is thrown at it, but here’s a cool graphic that shows all of the auto company’s problems as piles of shipping containers. The designer points out that “many aspects of this graphic can apply to the rest of the Big Three but I focused on GM since they are in the most dire position.”
What do you do when your industry starts to go belly up and you can’t make enough revenue to stay afloat? If you’re a short-sighted U.S. auto maker, you beg the government for $25-50 billion in immediate, low-interest loans in order to retool your plants, so you can start producing the hybrid cars you should have been planning years ago.
Auto industry investors are warning that automotive sales could hit a 15-year low in 2008, but that auto makers will probably cut production before they offer steep discounts. [Reuters]