Auto Sector

First Quarter Operating Profit of BMW 20.6% higher

First Quarter Operating Profit of BMW 20.6% higher

BMW announced that its first-quarter operating profit rose by a forecast-beating 20.6%. The profits of the German car maker was supported by strong demand for large offroaders in Europe and the United States.

Earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) came in at 2.52 billion euros ($2.83 billion), above the 2.191 billion euros forecast in a Reuters poll.

The Munich-based company said on Wednesday that its automotive EBIT margin was 9.5% in the quarter, remaining at the same level to the year-earlier quarter and at the upper end of its target range of between 8% and 10%.

On the other hand, the quarterly return on sales from ongoing business at rival Mercedes-Benz Cars jumped to 9.2% from 7% a year ago. Audi's operating margin slipped to 9.7 % from 10.1 %.

Tesla Ventures into Solar Panel-Connected Batteries for Homes

Tesla Ventures into Solar Panel-Connected Batteries for Homes

Last week, billionaire entrepreneur and Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk unveiled at the Tesla's design studio, his yet another ambitious mission of solar panel-connected batteries for homes and businesses.

Elon Musk, stated, "Our goal here is to fundamentally change the way the world uses energy". The long-term goal is to create regional networks of home batteries in order to reduce the reliance on fossil fuels to generate energy.

Musk enthusiastically claimed that Tesla and other future entrants in the market will be able to sell 2 billion battery packs around the world. The 'Powerwall' batteries would be used in conjunction with solar panels, so that they can be recharged during the day.

GM Korea to introduce Next-Gen 2016 Chevrolet Volt in 2016

GM Korea to introduce Next-Gen 2016 Chevrolet Volt in 2016

On Monday, GM Korea, the local unit of US automaker General Motors, said that it will roll out the next-generation Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid to the South Korean market next year.

The Volt was first launched in 2010 in the United States and later in the European market. Approximately 75,000 units of the model have been sold in the US market since its debut.

The Volt runs as a 100-percent battery-powered electric vehicle. It switches to an internal combustion engine until the battery drops to a certain level.

The second-generation Volt was unveiled at the Chicago Auto Show in January. It can alone travel for about 80 kilometers on a fully-charged battery. According to the company, its range-extending gasoline engine pushes the driving range to more than 650 kilometers.

Tesla Motors unveils a series of batteries to help store more renewable energy

Tesla Motors unveils a series of batteries to help store more renewable energy

Tesla Motors has come up a series of batteries, which will help store renewable energy better at homes and offices. Last week, the announcement was made by Elon Musk, Tesla's founder and chief executive; it confirmed that the new modular Powerwall system would be selling at $3,000 for a 7kWh battery, increasing to $3,500 for a 10kWh unit. It is expected that deliveries will begin in late summer in the US.

According to Musk, the new Tesla Energy division indicated a 'critical step' in his ambition for moving the global energy systems in the direction of greater use of renewable power. Musk said at the launch that they look forward to changing the fundamental energy infrastructure of the world. He added that it is possible to achieve.

US automakers report strongest sales in April

US automakers report strongest sales in April

US SUVs and trucks powered auto sales rose 4.6% in April after several automakers reported their best totals in years.

The stylish and practical new SUVs are forcing automakers to discount sedans. A big drop in gas prices, to an average of $2.60 a gallon from $3.69 a year ago also worked in favor of SUVs.

Overall, sales were mostly in line with analysts' predictions of a 6% increase compared with a year ago. According to Eric Lyman, vice president of industry insights for Santa Monica, April's sales results may be the best since 2005. Sales of large and luxury sport utility vehicles soared 31% in the first quarter.

Lyman said, "Even if we're a little short of expectations, it's still a great month for the industry. It continues to lead the broader economic recovery".

Elon Musk reveals Powerwall Home Battery

Elon Musk reveals Powerwall Home Battery

Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk has launched Powerwall home battery and the company is already offering the devices to SolarCity Corp.'s customers looking for backup supply at the time the grid go down. It is expected that SolarCity will deliver them in October.

It is a new stackable battery system meant to store electricity for homes, businesses and the grid. It is a product that the company will shortly bring in billions of dollars in annual revenue.

Musk, also chairman of the San Mateo-based solar supplier, revealed that the home battery version is not expensive. Powerwall costs $3,500 for a 10-kilowatt-hour version that will enable to run a handful of home appliances for a few days in case of an outage. Particularly, that doesn't involve the cost of the inverter or installation.

GM to spend $5.4B to improve its facilities in US

GM to spend $5.4B to improve its facilities in US

General Motors (GM) has planned to spend $5.4 billion and create about 650 jobs to improve its US factories during the next three years.

The company announced about its $783.5 million of the investments and said the remaining will be announced in the coming months.

The investments come when Detroit automakers are prepared for contract talks with the United Auto Workers union that will start this summer.

GM like other automakers wants to build or expand factories in lower-cost Mexico. It want to move more production south of the border and of keep the union happy with additional investments in the US.

Exxon earns $4.94 billion in First Quarter

Exxon earns $4.94 billion in First Quarter

Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk has launched Powerwall home battery and the company is already offering the devices to SolarCity Corp.'s customers looking for backup supply at the time the grid go down. It is expected that SolarCity will deliver them in October.

It is a new stackable battery system meant to store electricity for homes, businesses and the grid. It is a product that the company will shortly bring in billions of dollars in annual revenue.

Musk, also chairman of the San Mateo-based solar supplier, revealed that the home battery version is not expensive. Powerwall costs $3,500 for a 10-kilowatt-hour version that will enable to run a handful of home appliances for a few days in case of an outage. Particularly, that doesn't involve the cost of the inverter or installation.

Tesla Motors to Unveil its Plans about Investing in Charging Infrastructure

Tesla Motors to Unveil its Plans about Investing in Charging Infrastructure

US electric carmaker Tesla Motors is planning to make a big investment in charging infrastructure throughout Japan.

Elon Musk, CEO of the company told the Nikkei in an interview that all the charging stations will be either directly or indirectly solar powered.

He said, "We'll buy utility power that's coming from solar panels, or we'll have solar panels on the charge station itself. There will be no impact to the electrical grid in Japan".

The much highly anticipated Tesla announcement scheduled for Thursday night raised the company's shares by 7%.

So far, very little details as to what Tesla CEO Elon Musk will announce are known to people, but still there are major clues available.

Volkswagen first quarter profit rises 19%

Volkswagen first quarter profit rises 19%

First quarter profit of automaker Volkswagen increased 19% because cost cutting improved profit margins and also its namesake brand and European auto sales show a modest improvement.

Net profit climbed to 2.93 billion euros in the January-March quarter. Efforts of Volkswagen AG to decrease costs had saved over 100 million euros in the quarter alone at the Volkswagen brand and raised the profit margin to 2.0% from 1.8 %.

The brand gained ground in Britain, Spain and Germany during the quarter. According to experts, European auto sales in general are improving gradually as the economy is showing strength after the crisis over high government and bank debt in the 19 countries that use the euro currency.

Honda’s Q4 Profit drops due to recall costs

Honda’s Q4 Profit drops due to recall costs

Japan's third-largest automaker Honda, reported a drop in its net profit for the fiscal fourth quarter.

According to Honda, recall costs and a decline in auto sales in Japan dragged profits down. Quality problems delayed vehicle development and hampered sales.

The air bag recalls led to 43% drop in profit. The net profit shrank to 97.8 billion yen ($897 million), versus a year-ago profit of 170.5 billion yen.

The air bags were manufactured by Takata Corp. of Japan, which supplied air bags for a wide range of Honda models. In the defect, the air bag inflators can explode with too much force. The problem proved fatal to six people worldwide.

Daimler’s Q1 profit surges with strong sales of Mercedes-Benz

Daimler’s Q1 profit surges with strong sales of Mercedes-Benz

On Tuesday, German auto group Daimler AG said that it took a good start in 2015 as the company’s sales and profits surged strongly in the first three months.

The maker of Mercedes-Benz said that its net profit during the period from January to March rose to 2.05 billion euros ($2.23 billion) from 1.086 billion in the same quarter a year ago. Operating profit grew 63% to 2.906 billion euros on a 16% increase in revenues to 34.236 billion euros.

The overall revenue of the company rose to 16% percent during the quarter to 34.2 billion euros. The improvement in sales has been noticed after the company invested in renewing its model line, including a new C-Class sedan. It also expanded range of smaller vehicles.

Texans are paying more for car insurance

Texans are paying more for car insurance

According to a new report, Texans are paying more for car insurance as compared to drivers in other parts of the country. Rates have been analyzed by InsuranceQuotes.com and it was found that Texas has the 10th highest rates in the country with drivers paying about 6% more for the same policy.

Rates in more densely populated counties are normally higher as more people mean more probability for crashes and higher crime rate. According to website’s senior analyst, there is another issue that affects Texas that is uninsured drivers.

Texas Department of Insurance shows that about 1 in 7 Texas drivers, does not have insurance. Some in the country live unlawfully and get difficulty to get insurance without a license. The remaining Texas drivers pretty much subsidize those people.

VW Group Chairman Ferdinand Piëch resigns

VW Group Chairman Ferdinand Piëch resigns

After the steering committee's decision to back current CEO Martin Winterkorn over Ferdinand Piëch, VW chairman and patriarch of the Porsche family, Piëch has announced his resignation.

Piëch along with the Porsche family controls 51% of the VW Group, which is the second largest car maker in the world.

Earlier this month, Piëch was quoted as saying that he had ‘distanced’ himself from CEO Winterkorn, and has brought into public a row over the levels of profits within the VW Group, and its failure to make inroads in to the American market.

In a big step for the company, the VW steering committee has decided to back Martin Winterkorn as the ‘best possible CEO for Volkswagen’ over Piëch’s move to have him replaced.

Ford cutting around 700 jobs at its small-car factory in Southeast Michigan

Ford cutting around 700 jobs at its small-car factory in Southeast Michigan

Ford Motor Co. has decided to cut around 700 jobs at its small-car factory in southeast Michigan. This factory was the auto maker's first major US manufacturing layoff since 2009 as Americans shunned smaller vehicles amid low gasoline prices.

The workers were notified on Thursday, regarding the workforce cuts at the plant, which builds Ford's compact Focus, as well as electric and hybrid models. By the end of the June, the layoffs will begin and the Dearborn, Mich., company said that it could reassign many of the employees.

The action has taken place months before Ford executives kicked off labor negotiations with the United Auto Workers union.

Hyundai to boost production of sport utility vehicles in US and China

Hyundai to boost production of sport utility vehicles in US and China

South Korea's Hyundai Motor Co. reported a decline in profit for a fifth consecutive quarter.
The profits declined in China and United States due to the cost of promotions that were done to strengthen car sales and unfavorable foreign exchange trends.

Net income fell 1% to 1.91 trillion won ($1.76 billion) in the quarter that ended in March. It has beaten the 1.71 trillion won average of 23 analyst estimates that were compiled by Bloomberg.

The Seoul-based company's operating profit declined 18% to 1.59 trillion won, missing the 1.71 trillion won average of analyst estimates.

Foreign automakers continue investing in China despite slow growth

Foreign automakers continue investing in China despite slow growth

Foreign automakers are investing more money into factories in China irrespective of fact that the biggest economic slowdown affected sales growth adversely. It seems that Volkswagen AG and General Motors will not cut their planned investments, whereas Toyota Motor and Ford Motor Co. are also working in this direction.

This is being done by the companies instead of the economic slowdown, which affected the car market in January-March. During that time sales increased only 3.9%, compared to 9.2% a year ago and below the 7% growth estimated by the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM) for this year.

General Motors protected from Billions of Dollars in Death and Injury Claims

General Motors protected from Billions of Dollars in Death and Injury Claims

According to a federal judge ruling, a 2009 bankruptcy order protects General Motors (GM) from billions of dollars in death and injury claims over defective ignition switches in older small cars.

Judge Robert Gerber ruled that plaintiffs who claim a loss in the value of their cars can still take legal action against General Motors Co. Back in 2009, Gerber enabled new GM to come out from bankruptcy protection free from liabilities of the company before bankruptcy. Recently, the plaintiffs said that GM misled the court six years ago as it knew about but unsuccessful to disclose the ignition switch problem.

Erik Buell Racing closes Operations

Erik Buell Racing closes Operations

Erik Buell Racing (EBR), an American motorcycle sport company which manufactures street and racing motorcycles, has closed operations. Two-wheeler giant Hero Motocorp Ltd holds a 49% stake in the company. EBR has also filed for bankruptcy protection from creditors.

Back in 2013, Hero MotoCorp, an Indian motorcycle giant, purchased stake in the company for $30 million. One of the products, New Delhi-based Hero developed in partnership with EBR is a sports bike HX. This product is scheduled to be launched in the second half of this fiscal year.

A Hero spokesperson said, “The Company is confident that its future product line-up would not be affected despite EBR ceasing operations”.

Canada agrees to sell its Remaining Stake in General Motors

Canada agrees to sell its Remaining Stake in General Motors

An announcement has been made that Canada will sell its remaining stake in General Motors Co. Canada will sell its stake to Goldman Sachs for an undisclosed amount.

As per market experts, it is a deal that helps bolster the Conservative government's promise to balance the books before elections. According to Canada GEN Investment Corp., a federal agency, this transaction includes the sale of 73.4 million shares. It has revealed that as a result the Canadian government will no longer hold any shares of General Motors once the deal closes Friday.




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