automotive industry

The Details of the October 2012 Employment Report Show Payrolls Paint Not Such a Rosy Picture

The BLS unemployment report shows total nonfarm payroll jobs gained were 171,000 for October 2012. September payrolls were revised from 114,000 to 148,000 and August was also revised upward, from 142,000 to 192,000. The below graph shows the monthly change in nonfarm payrolls employment.


Don't Let the Big Fat Zero for January 2012 Industrial Production Fool You

The Federal Reserve's Industrial Production & Capacity Utilization report, G.17, shows zero change in industrial production for January 2012. The culprit was utilities and the Fed blames the weather. Warming temperatures in winter cause home energy production to drop beyond their typical output levels. The big fat industrial production zero hides some very promising changes.

Chrysler Bail Out Loss - $1.3 Billion

The Treasury has just exited, stage left, from the Chrysler Bail Out. The probable loss? $1.3 billion dollars or 10% of the bail out. Even more ridiculous, if Treasury had just held onto the stock exchanges until 2017, they would have made a profit. Oh well, what's few billion here and there.

The government has received $560 million from Italian auto company Fiat in exchange for the 6 percent stake it held in the company. Treasury expects the U.S. will ultimately lose $1.3 billion from the effort to save Chrysler.

Fiat, which is implementing plans to merge with Chrysler, in May agreed to buy the government's stake in the company. Thursday's transaction marks the end of Treasury's financial backing for the auto manufacturer, which was on the verge of collapse at the height of the financial crisis.

While the government ultimately lost money in its efforts to save Chrysler, Treasury touted the end of the bailout as happening earlier than expected and said it saved American jobs.

“With today's closing, the US government has exited its investment in Chrysler at least six years earlier than expected,” said the Treasury's assistant secretary for financial stability, Tim Massad. “This is a major accomplishment and further evidence of the success of the Administration’s actions to assist the US auto industry, which helped save a million jobs during the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.”

A tale of two continents - Europe Helps Workers, U.S. Squeezes Workers

From Open Left, one commentator put it succinctly:

A tale of two continents
In Europe, state aid is contingent on the firms preserving jobs. In the US, state aid is contingent on the firms cutting their workers wages and benefits.

The story is about government expenditures being used for the benefit of it's citizens, their workers.


France unveiled a plan on Monday to give €6 billion ($7.8 billion) in low-interest loans to Renault SA and PSA Peugeot-Citroën in exchange for promises that they won't close factories in France or lay off workers for the duration of the loans. The government also will offer €500 million in loans to auto-sector firms with operations in France.

65 mpg from Ford- Not for US

Americans don't do diesel, or so we've been told. At the same time that hybrids have become the darling here in the United States, cars with even more impressive fuel efficiency and no need for battery packs are being produced by the big three in the UK and elsewhere in Europe.

The new diesel version of the Ford Fiesta being sold in the UK gets 65 mpg. But it's not for us.

Yet while half of all cars sold in Europe last year ran on diesel, the U.S. market remains relatively unfriendly to the fuel. Taxes aimed at commercial trucks mean diesel costs anywhere from 40 cents to $1 more per gallon than gasoline. Add to this the success of the Toyota Prius, and you can see why only 3% of cars in the U.S. use diesel. "Americans see hybrids as the darling," says Global Insight auto analyst Philip Gott, "and diesel as old-tech."