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The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
While many businesses had been hurt badly by the tough economic times, some of which have never recovered, British luxury and sports car manufacturer Aston Martin is thriving.
The company just released its full year results for the 12-months ending on December 31, 2011 and are happy to report that the numbers are in the black.
Aston Martin’s revenues increased by 7 percent, to $817.3-million, its highest since 2008. Aston’s earnings before interest,taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) works out to be $112.8-million.
Aston Martin managed to make this profit by shifting 4200 vehicles in these 12-months, which also included selling all 77-examples of the One-77 supercar.
“Our 2011 results demonstrate the energy, passion and ongoing resilience of Aston Martin – a truly unique, independent manufacturer. We are on track with our expansion plans around the world, especially in China, and are investing in new models,” said Aston Martin’s CEO Dr. Ulrich Bez.
The Aston Martin brand is stronger than ever. This is demonstrated by intense interest in the new V12 Zagato, recently shown at the Geneva Motor Show, and our $1.93-million One-77 supercar – all 77 of which are now sold.”
Aston Martin has also accrued $122-million in projected sales since last months Geneva Motor Show, so the future is looking very bright indeed.
While many car enthusiasts have complained in recent years that Aston Martin has not come out with an all-new car in quite some time (apart from the mega-bucks One-77), it seems those who can afford such high-priced items are buying them and the people running the company know what they are doing.
While General Motors seemed desperate to sell Opel back in 2009, GM CEO Dan Akerson now says that the terms of the sale were a “bad deal” and that Opel, along with GM’s other global divisions, are now profitable.
Nick Reilly, GM’s European president, said that GM Europe will be profitable – albeit not by much more than the break-even point – once the 2011 restructuring plan has finished at the end of the year. ”In 2012, we won’t have those restructuring charges,” Reilly said. “They’re mostly done. We’ll get the full 12 month benefit of the restructuring that we’ve done.”
[Source: Automotive News]
General Motors cruised to their fifth straight quarter in the black, announcing a gross profit of $3.2 billion, helped along by a sale of GM subsidiary Delphi for $1.6 billion in March.
In a prepared statement, General Motors CEO Dan Akerson said “GM has delivered five consecutive profitable quarters, thanks to strong customer demand for our new fuel-efficient vehicles and a competitive cost structure that allows us to leverage our strong brands around the world and focus on driving profitable automotive growth.”
GM CFO Dan Ammann cited a strengthening market and an attractive lineup of fuel efficient vehicles as some of the reasons behind GM’s strong financial showing. While GM’s South American and International divisions were profitable (with China counted as part of the International sector), GM Europe reported a loss, and is hoping to break even by year’s end.
[Source: Automotive News]
Hyundai may arguably be the hottest mainstream brand in the auto industry, but when it comes to dealer profitability, Hyundai dealers seem to lag behind their less popular rivals.
In a report by Automotive News, the CEO of a large dealer group told the paper that Hyundai “not yet a good business equation for dealers”. Even though the product is red hot, used car sales are weak, traffic through the service department is low and supply of the hot new cars being sold is said to be tight. These three factors are the most crucial when it comes to helping dealers turn a profit, and some potential franchisees are turning away from Hyundai as a result.
While service and used cars can cover as much as 85 percent of costs at a Chevrolet dealership, Hyundai can only count on those for 35 to 40 percent of costs, putting the onus on dealers to move new cars, which have much slimmer margins. Hyundai, for their part, has ambitious goals, aiming to become one of the most profitable dealer franchises around, but acknowledges that some of the factors that have fueled their success, like low sticker prices and reliable vehicles, may actually be hindering their progress.
[Source: Automotive News]
General Motors today announced its first full-year numbers after emerging from bankruptcy, posting a $4.7 billion profit after a massive bailout by the U.S. and Canadian governments.
Profits for the fourth quarter were a slim percentage of that, however, at just $510 million, due to significant reinvesting in production, marketing and research and development.
“Last year was one of foundation building,” said Dan Akerson, chairman and chief executive officer in a statement. “Particularly pleasing was that we demonstrated GM’s ability to achieve sustainable profitability near the bottom of the U.S. industry cycle, with four consecutive profitable quarters.”
For hourly workers who took concessions in order to keep GM afloat, the news means a big bonus in the form of profit sharing that will see GM pay, on average, $4,300 to 45,000 eligible employees.
Chrysler recorded it’s third straight profitable quarter, raking in $239 million in Q3, as the company rode a wave of optimism regarding increased sales and a new product lineup.
Chrysler is due to launch roughly 16 new products by 2012. “We are not only living up to our commitments, but we are exceeding our 2010 financial objectives,” Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne said in a statement. “Our 2010 accomplishments are just the beginning of building Chrysler into a vibrant and competitive automaker.”
Sales in the United States rose 20 percent this quarter, amid strong demand for the Chrysler Town & Country minivan and the Jeep Grand Cherokee.
[Source: Automotive News]
Just a few years ago it would have been hard to imagine, but with much of the country still struggling to pull itself from a recession the Ford Motor Company has just posted a record Q3 profit of $1.7 billion. The American automaker has said it will use the funds to being reducing debt in a move to further improve its economic standing, with debut payments totaling $10.8 billion for the year, resulting in a zero ‘net debut’ situation (the same amount of debut as cash) by 2011.
Ford will also push ahead with plans to increase production by 20,000 vehicles as demand for the automaker’s products rise.
“Delivering world class products and aggressively restructuring our business has enabled us to profitably grow even at low industry volumes in key regions,” said CEO Alan Mulally in a statement. “The key drivers for improvement in 2011 will be our growing product strength, a gradually strengthening economy and an unrelenting focus on improving the competitiveness of all our operations.”
This latest news makes for six straight quarters of profit for Ford and is the result of numerous factors that include taking extraordinary measures to leverage the company’s assets (including their own logo); the roll-out of impressive new products and a plan to sell off the company’s other divisions (including Volvo, Land Rover, Jaguar and Aston Martin) that helped it avoid filing for bankruptcy.
[Source: Automotive News]
General Motors is expected to file for an Initial Public Offering tomorrow as the company recorded a $1.3 billion profit. GM is hoping to use the positive momentum of two consecutive quarters of profit to help move its IPO filing along.
Currently, the United States government owns 61 percent of GM. Taxpayers would have to see GM valued at $70 billion before they can break even on the $50 billion bailout given to GM during the financial crisis. GM has currently paid back $7 billion, and President Barack Obama is riding on GM’s continued financial success to vindicate his decision to bail out the company.
The IPO is expected to be worth around $20 billion, the largest since Visa’s $19.7 billion IPO in 2008.
New models, strong sales and cost cutting measures have put General Motors in the black for the first quarter of 2010. GM posted a $865 million Q1 net profit, after posting staggering losses for five straight years in a row.
“We’re pleased with our first quarter performance, in particular achieving profitability,” said Chris Liddell, vice chairman and chief financial officer. “In North America we are adding production to keep up with strong demand for new products in our four brands. We’re also steadily growing in emerging markets, keeping our costs under control, generating positive cash flow and maintaining a strong balance sheet. These are all important steps as we lay the foundation for a successful GM.”
Recently GM announced it had paid back the almost $8 billion in loans from the Canadian and U.S. governments, however, the U.S. Treasury also fronted $43 billion to save the American auto giant from solvency. If GM can sustain profits then the U.S. government may look to sell-off its shares of the automaker by the end of the year.
[Source: Automotive News]
Official release after the jump:
SEAT, Volkswagen‘s Spanish subsidiary, has been given five years to restructure or else VW will be forced to shut down or sell the ailing Spanish brand. While SEAT’s cars are known for offering excellent value with an emphasis on performance rather than luxury. But despite positive reviews from auto journalists, this hasn’t translated into sales for the brand, with sales falling 8.5 percent in 2009. SEAT’s Spanish factory is only working at 60 percent capacity, something VW considers unacceptable. The factory is capable of producing 500,000 cars a year and must be run at 80 percent capacity to turn a profit.
After losing $140 million year-to date, Volkswagen is at the end of its patience with the group, and SEAT head James Muir is aware, describing the last-ditch effort as “the last attempt for SEAT as a brand.”
Fuji Heavy Industries, the maker of Subaru cars, forecasted a 57% increase in quarterly profits, as sales in the United States grew while costs were reduced.
Fuji Heavy also said that they will boost production at its Indiana plant from 100,000 to 131,000 units. The plant builds Subarus as well as Toyota Camrys, as Toyota owns a 16.5 stake in Fuji Heavy.
Speaking to Reuters, Chief Executive Ikuo Mori said that Subaru may need to take further steps if it keeps growing in the United States. “It’s not that simple to add capacity, but we may have to consider some steps if sales keep growing at this pace,” he said, adding suggesting that the India plant has the potential to be expanded.
Fuji Heavy is on track for an annual profit of $474 million, with shares up 15% since last year, making it one of the best performing auto industry companies in Japan.
Strong demand in emerging markets like India and China, as well as a recovering U.S. economy helped Honda post a quarterly profit of $774 million. The Japanese automaker reported a 28 percent increase in sales, to $24.5 billion. Honda is forecasting a $3.7 billion profit through the coming fiscal year (which ends March 31, 2011), and sales of $100.4 billion, a 9 percent jump.
The strong results come days after Honda’s CEO admitted that the company had become “complacent”. However, strong demand for small, energy efficient models like the Fit and the upcoming CR-Z hybrid sports car helped the company back into the black. Honda’s motorcycle division also reported strong sales, adding to the company’s fortune.
[Source: Detroit News]
Ford posted a $2.1 billion profit for this quarter, beating market expectations by a full year despite a lull in the new vehicle market. Ford has undergone a series of cost-cutting measures, including plant closures and layoffs, but has also introduced a torrent of new product in nearly every segment.
Ford hasn’t earned $2 billion profit since 2004, when the company sold 17 million vehicles. Expectations for this year include sales of fewer than 12 million cars and trucks. Ford’s strong performance has been attributed to a number of factors. New products like the Fiesta, Mustang, Edge and Fusion have been extremely well received by the automotive press and well as consumers. Sales of the full-size Taurus are up 96 percent from the previous generation. Ford’s image has also remained strong, as it avoided taking government loans (unlike rivals GM and Chrysler), and avoided the quality problems that have plagued Toyota.
However, Ford’s executive chairman told the New York Times that the success of the company was attributable to its own strengths, not the weaknesses of its competitors.
“I don’t know how much it really helped because it’s all about the product,” Mr. Ford told reporters after a speech in Detroit this month. “People will come into our showrooms but if they don’t see anything they like, they’ll go elsewhere.”
Between sticking accelerator pedals and rollover-prone SUVs, this year has not been kind to Toyota. However the Japanese automaker is poised to return a handsome $532 million profit, despite expectations to the contrary.
Toyota had initially forecasted a loss of $213, but a weak yen and a series of cost-cutting measures meant that Toyota is likely to beat expectations. On the other hand, Toyotas sales were down 5 percent, or about 7.2 million vehicles. All in all, Toyota’s earnings are admirable in a year where the Japanese auto giant was forced to recall some 10 million vehicles, forced to testify before Congress and endure a series of devastating quality control problems. Toyota will report its earnings on May 11th.
[Source: Automotive News via Autoblog]