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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.
 |  Oct 07 2011, 4:15 PM

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Toyota‘s rush to cut costs amid a rising yen is leading them towards a confrontation with parts suppliers, with the automaker demanding that Japanese parts makers slash costs or face being replaced with overseas companies.

Toyota is still reeling from lost production during March’s tsunami and earthquake, and is estimated to lose $443 million for every 1 yen appreciation against the U.S. dollar. Automotive News reports Toyota telling suppliers that it would source parts from emerging markets if Japanese parts companies like Denso and Aisin fail to provide Toyota with agreeable terms.

Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn warned of severe economic consequences should the Japanese government fail to take adequate action against the yen’s rapid rise.

[Source: Automotive News]

 |  Aug 26 2011, 12:40 PM

Debt ridden Saab is to apply for court protection from its creditors in a bid to stave off bankruptcy get again. For months, the automaker has struggled to raise finances to pay off suppliers, and as a result, has halted production. Saab was rescued from bankruptcy last year by Dutch owner, Swedish Automobile (formerly Spyker), as former owner General Motors prepared to shut the company down

Saab has declined to comment on the issue but, spokeswoman Gunilla Gustavs said that the company is continuing to work on raising the necessary funds. The Swedish automaker’s most recent statement said, ” Saab Automobile AB is now working on other options to secure bridge funding which would allow us to stabilize  operations, finalize negotiations with suppliers on payment and delivery terms and restart production”.

If Saab obtains a court creditor protection order, it would place the company into a process of corporate restructuring. Under this process, which Saab entered in 2009 after GM made clear its intention to cease funding the company and exited later that year, the company is granted temporary protection from creditors while an administrator and management seeks to restructure the company into a viable business.

[Source: Automotive News]

 |  Aug 12 2011, 4:15 PM

Swedish Automobile, owner of financially-stricken Saab, is being pressured by European suppliers to declare bankruptcy, hoping the threat will pressure the automaker to pay back debts.

Saab production came to a halt in April, with suppliers refusing to deliver components because they were not being properly paid. Spanish auto panels maker Matrici S. Coop prepared a bankruptcy request, after being owed $2.8 million by Saab.

Lars Holmqvist, head of the European Association of Automotive Suppliers said, ”Some companies are waiting and having no answer. Now, some have heard that other companies have been paid partially. Then they are getting very upset. They realize there is no other way but to try to demand bankruptcy because obviously then Saab pays.” Lars also explained that he had been contacted by some German companies that were owed more than 5 million euros each. They too are also interested in pursuing the process to demand Saab bankruptcy.

Saab spokesman Eric Geers explained, “We know the situation we are in. We are working very hard to resolve this and to get a more stable financing in place.”

Earlier this year Saab’s employee union threatened to push the automaker to the bring of bankruptcy over unpaid wages to workers.

[Source: Automotive News]

 |  Mar 25 2011, 2:05 PM

The latest hiccup deriving from Japan’s earthquake may cause global automotive production to fall by as much as 30 percent, as parts suppliers remain crippled by the quake and subsequent tsunami that devastated Japan.

“We could lose up to 5 million vehicles in a worst-case scenario,” said Michael Robinet of IHS, in an interview with Bloomberg. “This will affect income for the entire year if this continues for an extended period of time.” Robinet said that global production levels are currently off by 13 percent, and a projected disruption of 12 weeks could cause that number to more than double. Companies are currently searching for alternative parts sources, but analysts have highlighted the third week of April as a critical point at which production could drop dramatically.

Currently, Honda and Toyota have extended their plant shut-downs, while domestic automakers like GM have closed plants across the globe due to a shortage of parts.

[Source: Bloomberg]

 |  Mar 24 2011, 12:29 PM

Honda‘s manufacturing plants will remain closed, while the heart of their company, the research & development facility in Tochigi, Japan, will undergo months of repairs after being severely damaged by the earthquake that devastated Japan earlier in March.

Honda originally planned to keep their plants closed until March 27th but has decided to extend the closures until April 3rd. Workers at Tochigi will be transferred to other locations.  The company released a statement claiming “based on the expectation that it will take several months until the complete recovery of these facilities, Honda decided to temporally transfer some functions such as the automobile product development, development of manufacturing technologies and procurement to Honda operations in other locations such as Sayama, Suzuka, and Wako.”

Supplies of vehicles like the Honda Fit, CR-V and Acura TSX will be affected by the production delays. One person died and 30 were injuried when a wall at a cafeteria at the Tochigi facility collapsed. Honda held meetings at a nearby restaurant after employees were barred from entering the building for safety reasons. Honda’s parts suppliers have also told the company that it will take a week for them to resume normal production schedules.

[Source: Automotive News]