» Chrysler’s best quarterly profit in 13 years: Just a couple years away from a bailout that shook the company to the core and the merger with Fiat that saved it, Chrysler is on a little bit of a winning streak, with several car models posting their best monthly results ever.
» What a record to break! One year removed from bankruptcy, American automaker General Motors posted record-setting earnings for the 2011 fiscal year. In recent weeks/months many investors worried that GM’s overseas operations would drag down the company’s year-end totals. GM lost a total of $747 million in European markets, with $562 million of the losses occurring in the fourth quarter alone. In South America, where the company reported $818 million in earnings for 2010, GM reported a net loss of $122 million. However, not only did the company defy global expectations, GM managed to break its former $6.7 billion earnings record, set in 1996.
» Pulling out the big guns: This week’s Detroit Auto Show is a giant coming-out party for an auto industry that was struggling to keep the engine running just a couple of years ago. But, while those times are certainly not gone entirely, they’ve certainly improved in recent years, which reflects in the boldness of this year’s models. In fact Chrysler, the weakest of the the three auto companies, is actually looking like a bright spot for Fiat, whose Chief Executive, Sergio Marchionne, invested in the company at its weakest point. ”He entered Chrysler at rock bottom and will now capitalize on a U.S. recovery — the timing was perfect,” said automotive analyst Philippe Barrier. But maybe you’re like us and you don’t care about the specifics of the recovery and just want to see cool new cars. Well, the Detroit Free Press has you covered.
As America struggles with record levels of unemployment, we aimed to protect the jobs of our members - to guarantee good American jobs at a good American company. And we have done that. This contract will get our members who have been laid off back to work, will create new jobs in our communities and will bring work back to the United States from other countries.UAW President Bob King • Announcing an agreement with General Motors on a new four-year contract. They haven’t made specifics available, but the UAW says they successfully fought back on retirement plan and health care changes, while improving profit-sharing.
» It’s not all up-and-up, though: At $510 million, the company’s fourth-quarter numbers, while still profitable, paled in comparison to the rest of the year. Still though, the fact that it’s a profit is definitely Dougie-worthy, no matter how you look at it.
I haven’t gotten any questions yet today like, ‘Will you be here next year?’Chrysler chief executive Sergio Marchionne • On the company’s slow bounceback. Chrysler hasn’t had the dramatic turnaround that Ford and GM have had since the nadir of the financial crisis, but they appear to be making headway with a new generation of vehicles – particularly the newest Jeep Grand Cherokee, which has done well despite the fact that SUVs have fallen out of fashion lately. The company’s collaboration with Fiat has also helped buoy Chrysler. So, how about paying back those loans from the bailout and other sources? “We are going to repay one hundred cents on every dollar of loans we received,” Marchionne said. source (via • follow)
» What’s needed next? If the government hopes to break even on its huge investment in GM, the stock needs to hit around $50 a share. It’s currently at $33.80, but if, say, the Chevy Volt is a huge success on the market, it could definitely hit that mark.
I don’t know where the market is going to be a year or two down the road, so I can’t make such a bold statement. Sure, I’m hopeful, and I’m not saying it can’t happen. I think the company is well positioned … so things look good for General Motors.GM CEO Dan Akerson • Not committing to a full repayment of the taxpayers’ money from the bailout. It sounds like a hedging of the bets, honestly. If he says it now and the stock goes south, he’s on the record offering a promise he can’t keep. For what it’s worth, though, GM’s stock is doing boffo so far in its first day of trading, already up six percent in early-morning trading. source (via • follow)