The GM saga:
- These words to haunt GM: ‘Acceptable business case’ – DetN: No matter how many times General Motors Co. CEO Mary Barra uttered the words ‘unacceptable’ and ‘not the way we do business’ to the House Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee on Tuesday, nine words echoed in a nauseating loop: ‘None of the solutions represents an acceptable business case.’
- GM avoided defective switch redesign in 2005 to save a dollar each – Reuters: General Motors Co in 2005 decided not to change an ignition switch eventually linked to the deaths of at least 13 people because it would have added about a dollar to the cost of each car, according to an internal GM document provided to U.S. congressional investigators.
- GM ignition recall-suit consolidation sought before Toyota judge in Calif. – Automotive News: GM’s growing number of lawsuits over the recalls of now 2.59 million small cars for faulty ignition switches should be consolidated before the same judge overseeing Toyota’s acceleration cases, a lawyer for vehicle owners said.
- US: Recall controversy hasn’t hit GM sales – yet – Just-auto: Publicity over a spate of recalls including the ignition switch event for which CEO Mary Barra was called to testify to a Congressional committee, doesn’t appear to be affecting General Motors sales, US analysts said.
- GM’s Barra keeps cool under tough questions from Congress – DetN: General Motors CEO Mary Barra faced rough questioning from a House committee Tuesday, taking responsibility for the company’s massive recall of 2.6 million cars for ignition switch failures, but dodging many questions about what went wrong.
- GM’s Barra: ‘I cannot tell you why it took years for a safety defect to be announced’ – Washington Post: General Motors chief executive Mary T. Barra on Tuesday deflected a barrage of questions on Capitol Hill about the automaker’s failure to fix a deadly ignition-switch flaw, telling lawmakers that she was unaware of the decade-old problem until early this year.
- Barra survives ordeal by committee – FT: Chief questioned over botched recall. Debate revolved around why GM fitted ignition switches it knew fell short of its own specifications
- GM hires attorney who handled compensation for 9/11 victims – DetN: General Motors Co. has hired Kenneth Feinberg, the attorney who managed the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund and other high-profile issues, to help determine how to compensate families of those injured or killed while driving now-recalled Saturn Ions and Chevrolet Cobalts.
- GM puts margins before sales by not matching truck discounts – DetN: Chevrolet dealer Gordon Stewart knows what it takes to sell a truck: cash discounts. Yet General Motors Co. won’t increase incentives to match its U.S. rivals.
In other news:
- US: Corroded brake boosters prompt 868,000-vehicle Chrysler recall – Just-auto: Chrysler Group said it would recall an estimated 867,795 SUVs to install a shield that protects their brake boosters from corrosion caused by undue water exposure.
- SMMT report backs UK membership of the EU – Just-auto: The SMMT has published a report that has strongly endorsed the UK’s continued membership of the EU which it says is fundamental to investment, growth and jobs in the UK’s automotive sector
- Ford axes 950 jobs as demand slumps – Just-auto: A weakening ruble and a 20% slump in demand for its cars has forced Ford to axe more than 900 jobs from its joint venture operations in Russia.
- CANADA: March sales up 0.2% year on year – Just-auto: New light vehicle sales in Canada came in at 157,060 units, up 0.2% from a year ago and the second best March on record.
- Chrysler Recalling Nearly 900,000 SUVs – thedetroitbureau.com: The U.S. side of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles plans to recall nearly 900,000 recent sport-utility vehicles because of potential brake problems that could become especially severe in colder climates.
- New Jaguar XE to get F-type’s V6 engine – Autocar: Jaguar confirms its new BMW 3-series rival, due next year, will come with the F-type’s supercharged V6 as well as its new range of Ingenium engines
- Jesse Jackson leads minority trade mission to Japan’s automakers – Automotive News: Jesse Jackson is leading a Rainbow PUSH Coalition trade mission to meet with the heads of Japan’s leading automakers later this week, in order to increase the representation of minority interests in management, suppliers and dealerships.
- SOUTH KOREA: Ghosn reveals new plan for Renault Samsung – Just-auto: Renault chief Carlos Ghosn in Korea has unveiled Renault Samsung Motors (RSM)’s new strategic plan called ‘New Vision’.
- Chrysler recalls 867,795 SUVs worldwide to repair brake system – Automotive News: Chrysler Group is recalling 867,795 Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango SUVs to install a shield to protect brake boosters from water corrosion.
- Hyundai develops new luxury sedan to fight rising imports in S.Korea -source – Reuters:
Hyundai Motor is developing a new luxury sedan for the South Korean market to win back customers who have switched to imported premium auto brands, according to a person with direct knowledge of the matter.
- Russia Spurns Automakers’ Bid for Additional Aid – Wards: While disappointed by the government’s rejection, the automakers say they have no plans to reduce their investment programs in Russia.
- China Mulling More EV Incentives in Wake of Poor Sales – Chinacartimes: As electric vehicles sales remain weak, China is considering adding new measures to entice buyers into buying electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles.
- Tesla seeks N. American raw materials amid pollution concerns abroad – DetN: Tesla Motors Inc., the electric vehicle maker co-founded by Elon Musk, plans to use only raw materials sourced in North America for its proposed $5 billion U.S. battery factory.
- Daimler considering building Mercedes-Benz cars in Russia – DetN: Daimler AG is examining whether to build Mercedes-Benz cars in Russia as part of a plan to widen the automaker’s global production capacity and assemble more vehicles near the markets where they’re purchased.
- UAW, citing anti-union collusion, seeks delay in hearing on VW vote – Automotive News:The UAW asked a U.S. agency to stay an April 21 hearing related to a mid-February union vote it lost at a Tennessee Volkswagen plant, citing what it called new evidence of collusion between Republican lawmakers and anti-union groups.
- UAW asks to delay Volkswagen hearing, cites anti-union collusion – Reuters: The United Auto Workers (UAW) on Tuesday asked a U.S. agency to stay an April 21 hearing related to a mid-February union vote it lost at a Tennessee Volkswagen plant, citing what it called new evidence of collusion between Republican lawmakers and anti-union groups.
- Letter shows Tennessee governor linked VW incentives to rejecting UAW – DetN: Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam told Volkswagen the state would offer the automaker $300M in economic incentives — but only if voters at Volkswagen’s Chattanooga factory voted against joining the UAW.
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