List of carmakers poisoned by Russia’s toxic market

Like a BRIC into the wall

Like a BRIC into the wall

“Hit by a plunge in the Russian rouble and increased buying incentives in the United States,” (an interesting combination of events, presented by Reuters) Hyundai’s net profit took a 19 percent plunge for the October to December quarter. Will other carmakers meet a similar fate? Check out their exposure to the double toxic Russian market. [Continue Reading]

Toyota prepares for sanctions in Russia. Other makers would be harder hit

Picture courtesty

“We have to be very careful about the developments in Russia,” warned Toyota’s Managing Officer Takuo Sasaki today during the Q1 earnings conference in Tokyo. “There may be some sanctions imposed.”

Russia and the West are both ratcheting up pressure. The EU passed a basket of sanctions. The first Russian accounts are frozen. Russia stopped imports of American chicken and Bourbon, along with Polish apples. This is just the beginning of a tit-for-tat that is beginning to have real bite. Russia threatens to increase gas prices, and to terminate overfly rights for foreign airlines. A Russian magazine figures this could cost Lufthansa, British Airways and Air France four billion euro a year. Western carmakers are heavily invested in Russia, and have quietly prepared for a Russian crisis. Toyota broke the silence today, and said it out loud. [Continue Reading]

Nissan’s currency gains in Japan evaporate in Russia

Nissan Q1 - Picture courtesy Bertel Schmitt

Nissan presented a stellar quarter today to the media assembled at the Yokohama headquarters. Forex gains had a big impact on the earnings of Japan’s automakers in the past quarters. Not this time, at least not at Nissan. [Continue Reading]

Who will lose the war in the Ukraine? Renault, Hyundai, GM, and Volkswagen

The green men

The green men

I had been warning about an overexposure of carmakers to China, and of severe consequences if China’s saber-rattling over the island issue would give way to the rattling of tank tracks. Well, wrong country. OEMs are looking with apprehension towards Russia, where sanctions have already been threatened over the Russia’s crypto-invasion of parts of Ukraine. “Russia is an important market for foreign car brands,” writes Financial Times.  Sure is. Let’s take a look.

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GM brings Opel on the road to profitability – with a Russian shell game

Astra - Picture courtesy

For the past three years, Russia was a part of China, at least in the world of GM. In January, GM’s Russian operations will be put “back under the control of its European wing,” as Reuters reports. “This will allow GM Europe to emerge more quickly from the red,” said Ferdinand Dudenhoeffer, head of the CAR automotive research institute at the University of Duisburg-Essen. At least as far as the books go. [Continue Reading]