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 |  Aug 30 2011, 1:00 PM

Our neighbors in the North want to see green in their future. No, not just money, but also green energy. Hence the Government of Ontario (Canada) has teamed up with one of the worlds largest automotive parts manufacturer Magna International Inc. to develop electric vehicle technologies.

The project is said to cost $441-million and will take about six-years to develop. The Ontario government will contribute $50-million towards this green project.

Ontario wants to be taken seriously about its plans for a greener future and is attracting car companies to move it towards this goal. Earlier this year, Toyota announced that it will produce the RAV4 EV model in Ontario, which will be the first electric vehicle produced by Toyota outside of Japan.

The project with Magna will help develop electric car parts and lightweight materials which will be used by other manufacturers. The Ford Focus EV was partly developed by Magna.

Frank Stronach, the founder of Magna owns a 27% stake in a electric car company called E-Car Venture, a connection that will surely help in moving this new project forward.

[Source: Automotive News]


 |  Jun 06 2011, 12:19 PM

Fiat, has offered Canadian government $125 million for its 1.7 percent stake in Chrysler. Last week, Fiat made a $500 million offer to the U.S Treasury to buy out the remaining 6 percent stake held in Chrysler, according to Reuters.

With the involvement of the U.S Treasury, Fiat hopes to increase its ownership of Chrysler from its current 52 percent stake in the company to 53.7 percent.

Fiat and Chrysler CEO, Sergio Marchionne, has also approached VEBA, an affiliate of the United Auto Workers Union to strike a deal to buy out their share. VEBA was given a 45.7 percent stake in the automaker during the bankruptcy restructuring. Marchionne explained that if a deal was secured to buy out the VEBA share, Chrysler may not even hold an initial public offering as it would not be necessary.

“We purchased that right (to buy out VEBA) to make sure no one else would sit at the table,” said Marchionne. “All options are open. The objective is to monetize VEBA’s position, so we need to find a way to give them the money.”

So far, Fiat has already secured an option to buy out 40 percent of VEBA’s holdings in Chrysler.

[Source: Reuters]