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Global auto news this week(2007.04.09 - 2007.04.14)

From| April 16,2007

While the big three are busy closing more plants or cutting more costs, Japanese automakers are opening new subsidiaries and boosting productions worldwide. Former Chrysler Chairman Iacocca voices his anger towards the Chrysler bid case in his newly published book and meanwhile offers suggestions for Detroit's automakers to turn their businesses around.

Here are the top news this week:   


Ford CEO: No more closures, cuts loom

From:usatoday                      April 09 2007

Ford Motor (F) won't cut more jobs or close more factories in North America beyond those already announced, CEO Alan Mulally said Wednesday at the New York International Auto Show.

Mulally acknowledged that some analysts have speculated that Ford will need to get even smaller. "There's a lot of work we need to do over the next three years (of the restructuring plan), but we're just about right," he said.

He said Ford should be able to hold 14% to 15% of U.S. sales after slicing low-margin sales to fleets to 3 percentage points of the total share from 5 percentage points last year. Ford's share of new vehicle sales so far this year is 16.4%. 


What's ahead for Mercedes? 
From:detnews                       April 09 2007

Without Chrysler, some say DCX's luxury unit may not be big enough to compete globally.

If DaimlerChrysler AG sells Chrysler, the German company will look much as it did 20 years ago when it was a small, proud, provincial luxury automaker with a heavy-truck business.

By now, however, most DaimlerChrysler investors don't want to find ways to make the tie-up with Chrysler work. "People want just one option -- the sale of Chrysler," said Frankfurt-based analyst Juergen Pieper of Metzler Bank.


Toyota to make compact at 2nd India plant 
From:autonews                         April 10 2007  
Toyota Motor Co. plans to launch a compact car in India by late 2009 and expects to sell 52,000 units in the first year, the Mint paper said today.

The car, which would mark Toyota's entry in the segment that makes up more than two-thirds of passenger vehicle sales in India, would be made at a proposed second plant, the paper said, citing component makers who have been asked to submit bids.

The paper said Toyota would make a new model with a 1.2-liter gasoline engine and a 1.4-liter diesel engine, and the factory will have an output capacity of 100,000 units a year.


Nissan Boosting Engine Production
From:news.moneycentral.msn            April 11 2007 
Nissan is boosting engine production at one of its plants in Japan, earmarking an additional 6.4 billion yen ($53.8 million) in investment by the end of next year, the Japanese automaker said Tuesday.

Nissan Motor Co. has been investing aggressively in the engine plant in Yokohama.

Tuesday's investment comes on top of 11 billion yen ($92.4 million) Nissan invested in that plant for the fiscal year that ended in March. Japan's third-biggest automaker is also investing another 15.7 billion yen ($131.9 million) for the current fiscal year through March 2008, said company spokeswoman Yuko Matsuda.


CAW leader promises to fight Kerkorian's bid
From:freep                           April 11 2007 
 The head of the Canadian Auto Workers Union says he will try to thwart billionaire investor Kirk Kerkorian's bid for Chrysler, fearing Kerkorian will cost thousands of workers their jobs.

CAW President Buzz Hargrove said today that Kerkorian's Tracinda Corp., as well as private equity investors who are studying Chrysler, have a history of hurting workers.

"We don't have much confidence or trust in Mr. Kerkorian," Hargrove said during a telephone interview. "He's made billions by coming in, buying low, cutting jobs and throwing people out of work, then selling."


Iacocca rips auto industry, warns: Don't sell Chrysler
From:freep                                    April 13 2007 
Former Chrysler Chairman Lee Iacocca tears into the Bush administration and the U.S. auto industry in a new book, saying America's political leaders have failed the nation and urging voters to pick more carefully in 2008.

The 82-year-old Iacocca -- who was urged to run for president in the 1980s after turning around Chrysler -- also says he's for higher federal fuel-economy standards, warns that Chrysler could become a "shattered remnant" if sold and offers suggestions for Detroit's automakers to turn their businesses around.

"We've got a gang of clueless bozos steering our ship of state right over a cliff, we've got corporate gangsters stealing us blind and we can't even clean up after a hurricane much less build a hybrid car," Iacocca and coauthor Catherine Whitney write in the first page of "Where Have All the Leaders Gone?"

"I hardly recognize this country anymore," he wrote.

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