April 27, 2012 | By Bernard Swiecki
2012 has the markings of a transitional year for the automotive industry. If the sales and efficiency gains achieved by the industry, which began in 2009, can be sustained, there is ample reason to believe that salad days lie ahead of automakers, suppliers, and dealers alike.
May 11, 2011 | By Bernard Swiecki
The automotive suppliers who survived the recent economic crisis are smaller than before and their capability to add capacity has been reduced. With predictions of 15 million cars sold in 2011, this is a big concern.
March 10, 2011 | By Bernard Swiecki
Automakers have held the ground on the sales incentives that had eaten away at the industry's profitability for a decade. As a result, many suppliers are reporting positive financial performances, revenue growth, and a return to functioning outside the panic mode of the last two years.
August 1, 2009 | By Bernard Swiecki
With GM and Chrysler both undergoing bankruptcy restructuring procedures, the North American automotive industry of late 2009 and beyond will be forever different from that which preceded it.The Detroit Three that emerge from this crisis will be smaller but infinitely more focused. GM has...
July 10, 2007 | By Bernard Swiecki
Selling Chrysler only nine years after the merger is a de facto admission that it was a mistake. While some analysts publicly wondered if Daimler would not eventually sell Chrysler, the suddenness of the declaration was unexpected.
May 8, 2007 | By Bernard Swiecki
Facing deep structural problems and mounting financial stress, Big Three executives publicly sought a meeting with President Bush to discuss how the federal government could assist the automotive industry, and the hundreds of thousands of Americans it employs.
October 10, 2006 | By Bernard Swiecki
All automotive suppliers, regardless of size, find themselves facing a business environment more challenging than any they have previously experienced. Size with the economies of scale it brings is just one of numerous strategies that can be used to cope with the demanding nature of today's automotive industry.
September 12, 2006 | By Bernard Swiecki
Vehicles running on E85, a fuel that blends traditional gasoline with ethanol, are receiving considerable attention. While proponents claim the benefits of E85 range from environmental friendliness to improved national security, critics argue that the widespread adoption of E85 will be a tremendous challenge.
August 8, 2006 | By Bernard Swiecki
Soaring fuel prices caused by Hurricane Katrina and turmoil in the Middle East have turned U.S. tastes toward passenger cars. Rather than trying to catch up with the competition, the Big Three are using global partners to speed their response to international automakers' passenger car success.
July 11, 2006 | By Bernard Swiecki
While the Midwest has not lagged as far behind in international investment as many believe, the financial struggles of the Big Three have been a substantial economic burden for the region over the last three decades.
June 13, 2006 | By Bernard Swiecki
As oil hovers around $60 per barrel, SUVs aren't that cool anymore. Many view them as dinosaurs, remnants of '90s excess that have no place in a thriftier, more environmentally conscious century.
May 9, 2006 | By Bernard Swiecki
Automakers are racing to introduce green technologies. Toyota is the leader in hybrid sales and plans to introduce two new models even though it will continue to lose money in the short and medium term. Instead of trying to outsell Toyota, GM has introduced flexible-fuel vehicles that run on E-85, an ethanol and gasoline mix.
April 11, 2006 | By Bernard Swiecki
The North American International Auto Show held in Detroit is a stage for automakers to display their latest and greatest; it also serves as a harbinger of what's coming at suppliers over the next few years.
October 11, 2005 | By Bernard Swiecki
The automaker's relentless focus on cost cutting has made few friends in the supplier community. GM recently made several announcements that may signal an even greater focus on price.
April 11, 2005 | By Bernard Swiecki
A decline in the Big Three's market share, combined with rising health care and retiree costs, is contributing to extreme cost pressures for the Big Three and their suppliers.The Sales Situation2004 was a tough year in Detroit. The overall U.S. market for light-vehicle sales increased more than 1.4...