Yesterday, 10:52 AM
- Incoming Volkswagen (OTCQX:VLKAY) chairman Hans Dieter Poetsch called the crisis surrounding the company as "existence-threatening" in an interview with a German publication, although he still thinks VW will survive.
- One of the biggest challenges for Poetsch and the VW board is how deeply to cut into Volkswagen's investment budget in order to try to stave off credit agency downgrades. Number-crunching on the benefit of lower debt costs against missed R&D opportunities is expected to hit overdrive.
- There's also been some speculation that Volkswagen might consider asset sales (Bugatti, Ducati, Man, Seat, Lamborghini) in order to improve its balance sheet in the face of emissions scandal costs. A smaller Volkswagen runs counter to Fiat Chrysler (NYSE:FCAU) CEO Sergio Marchionne's thesis (Confessions of a Capital Junkie) that major manufacturers need to scale up off of shared platforms, but could also create some intriguing M&A potential.
- Previously: Spurned Fiat Chrysler to wait for right merger deal (July 15)
Thu, Oct. 1, 3:39 PM
- U.S. auto sales sizzled in September as the combination of low gas prices and subdued auto loan rates motivated consumers to make a move. The monthly tally was influence a bit by an extra selling day and a comparison to last year when part of the Labor Day weekend was in August.
- The Detroit Three led the way with strong sales volume and solid pricing in a development that takes some of the sting off the Volkswagen scandal which rocked the sector.
- The industry-wide run rate for the month is estimated to be 18.7M annual sale to match the highest level of activity since 2005.
- Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCAU +1.9%) is the only major automaker putting in a strong gain on the day, although most automaker stocks are ahead of the DJIA.
- A large number of auto parts stocks are also beating market averages on enthusiasm over the strong numbers. Lydall (NYSE:LDL), Delphi Automotive (NYSE:DLPH), Modine Manufacturing (NYSE:MOD), and Tenneco (NYSE:TEN) are leading the mini-charge.
Thu, Oct. 1, 12:13 PM
- New car prices rose 2.0% Y/Y to an average transaction price of $33,730, according to Kelley Blue Book.
- Prices were 0.5% from the level seen in August.
- The Detroit Three (GM, F, FCAU) led the way on pricing gains to make their impressive sales growth reported earlier today look even stronger. GM's average price was up 3.7% to $38,656. Ford came in with a 3.8% rise to $36,803. Fiat Chrysler's ATP was up 4.1% to $34,809.
- A higher mix of passenger cars impacted pricing at Toyota. ATP +0.6% to $30,733.
- Volkswagen (OTCQX:VLKAY) was the only major automaker with a drop in ATP, presumably impacted at the end of the month with its emissions cheating scandal. Next month could be even dicier for the German automaker.
- Previously: Strong Jeep demand paces Fiat Chrysler in Sep. (Oct. 01 2015)
- Previously: GM higher after powerhouse month of U.S. sales (Oct. 01 2015)
- Previously: Ford swoops up U.S. market share in Sep. (Oct. 01 2015)
Thu, Oct. 1, 8:31 AM
- Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (NYSE:FCAU) rode a strong month by the Jeep brand to its 66th straight month of positive sales growth.
- Brand sales growth: Fiat +1% to 3,398; Chrysler -5% to 27,250; Jeep +40% to 77,201; Dodge +3% to 45,170; Ram +4% to 39,946; Alfa Romeo 54 (new).
- Model sales growth: Jeep Patriot -6% to 8,533; Jeep Wrangler +26% to 17,583; Jeep Cherokee +38% to 20,224; Chrysler 200 +3% to 11,364; Dodge Journey +45% to 10,457; Ram P/U flat at 36,598; Chrysler Town & Country -30% to 9,163; Fiat 500 -30% to 1,926; Alfa Romeo 4C (new) 54.
- The automaker says it ended the month with 76 days supply of inventory vs. 74 days in August.
- YTD Fiat Chrysler U.S. automobile sales +6% to 1.654M units.
Thu, Oct. 1, 8:24 AM
Thu, Oct. 1, 7:45 AM
- United Auto Workers union members reject a tentative contract offered by Fiat Chrysler (NYSE:FCAU), the first time a tentative national labor contract has been rejected by UAW members in 30 years.
- UAW President Dennis Williams is scheduled to meet with hundreds of UAW local officials today in Warren, Mich., to discuss the union's next step and whether issues such as two-tier pay structure can be resolved if he were to return to bargaining with FCAU CEO Sergio Marchionne.
- Williams had hoped to use a contract to wring higher payouts from the financially stronger Ford (NYSE:F) and GM, who already balked at the FCAU contract.
Wed, Sep. 30, 3:12 PM
- The upcoming Ferrari (Pending:FRARI) IPO is on track to meet expectations, sources tell Bloomberg.
- Early demand for shares of the luxury automaker appears strong enough to help the company reach the €10B ($11.2B) valuation mark promised by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (NYSE:FCAU) EO Sergio Marchionne.
- The Ferrari spinoff will help Fiat reduce its heavy debt load.
- Previously: CNBC: Ferrari IPO could launch on Friday, price on Oct. 12 (Sep. 29 2015)
Wed, Sep. 30, 11:32 AM
- UAW workers at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (NYSE:FCAU) appear likely to reject the new four-year agreement hashed out with labor reps earlier this month.
- Sources tell The Detroit Free Press that the voting came in strongly against ratifying the deal at key plants in Toledo and Sterling Heights. Not all the separate UAW votes have been counted yet.
- If the UAW goes back to the negotiating table with Fiat, it will push talks with Ford (NYSE:F) and GM (NYSE:GM) further down the calendar.
Tue, Sep. 29, 4:47 PM
- CNBC reports Ferrari's (Pending:FRARI) anticipated IPO could launch as soon as Friday before pricing in two weeks. The iconic sports car brand is reportedly looking to raise ~$1B, a figure that could imply a $10B+ IPO valuation.
- Ferrari had 2014 revenue of $3.09B (flat Y/Y), and net income of $263M. 1H15 revenue totaled $1.55B (+3% Y/Y), and net income $158M.
- Fiat Chrysler (NYSE:FCAU) expects to have an 80%-81% post-IPO stake - Piero Ferrari will own 10%, and public investors 9%-10%. Fiat plans to fully distribute its Ferrari stake to shareholders in early 2016.
- FCAU +2.4% after hours to $12.50.
- Prior Ferrari coverage
Tue, Sep. 29, 2:11 PM
- Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCAU -1.1%) discloses that it didn't properly notify federal safety authorities about issues with its certain models, including resulting deaths and injuries in crashes.
- The automaker says it will work closely with the NHTSA to resolve the matter.
- Earlier this year, Fiat was fined $105M by the NHTSA in a negotiated settlement over mishandling recalls. Increased scrutiny on Fiat after that issue led to today's development.
Tue, Sep. 29, 8:36 AM
- The U.S. Postal Service orders 9,113 Ram ProMaster 2500 cargo vans to help it delivery large packages. It's another solid win for the ProMaster which has seen U.S. sales increase 95% Y/Y through the end of August.
- Still at stake is a massive order by the USPS of 180K normal-sized mail delivery vehicles to replace a good portion of its fleet. The USPS is expected to award that contract in 2017.
- The Ram brand is owned by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (NYSE:FCAU).
Tue, Sep. 29, 7:29 AM
- Automobile workers at several Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (NYSE:FCAU) plants have turned down a new labor deal, reports The Wall Street Journal.
- The early rejections could foreshadow a new round of negotiations between the UAW and Fiat Chrysler will be required.
- Fiat's plan to move some key production to Mexico appears to be one of the sticking points with workers.
Mon, Sep. 28, 9:56 AM
- European automobile stocks and some associated suppliers are under pressure as the news over the weekend on the Volkswagen scandal wasn't encouraging - including word German prosecutors are probing the actions of high-level VW execs.
- There are fears in the sector over heightened regulatory oversight on emissions standards.
- Previously: Audi says 2.1M vehicles impacted by emissions scandal (Sep. 28 2015)
- Previously: Volkswagen -35% in two-day drubbing after cheating scandal (Sep. 22 2015)
- Decliners: Volkswagen (OTCQX:VLKAY) -7.0%, Tata Motors (NYSE:TTM) -5.1%, Daimler (OTCPK:DDAIF) -3.0%, BMW (OTCPK:BAMXY) -2.8%, Peugeot (OTCPK:PEUGF) -4.8%, Renault (OTCPK:RNLSY, OTC:RNSDF) -4.7%, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (NYSE:FCAU) -3.5%, Navistar (NYSE:NAV) -2.2%, Autoliv (NYSE:ALV) -1.7%, Toyota (NYSE:TM) -1.5%,
Mon, Sep. 28, 7:40 AM
- Kelley Blue Book forecasts new car sales in the U.S. will jump 11.9% Y/Y in September to 1.39M units. The KBB estimate marks the highest September sales volume since 2006 with a later Labor Day weekend providing a boost.
- Forecasts by major manufacturers are posted below.
- General Motors (NYSE:GM): +10.1% Y/Y to 246K units, market share of 17.7%.
- Ford (NYSE:F): +14.2% to 205K, market share of 14.7%.
- Toyota (NYSE:TM): +13.6% to 190K units, market share 13.7%.
- Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (NYSE:FCAU): +10.7% to 188K units, market share of 13.5%.
- Honda (NYSE:HMC): +14.2% to 135K units, market share 9.7%.
- Nissan (OTCPK:NSANY): +2.7% to 116K units, market share 8.3%.
- Hyundai/Kia (OTC:HYMLF): +12.7% to 114K, market share 8.2%.
- Volkswagen/Audi(OTCQX:VLKAY): +7.8% to 48K, market share 3.5%. The Volkswagen emission scandal hit near the end of the month.
Thu, Sep. 24, 7:36 AM
- Fiat Chrysler (NYSE:FCAU) slides in early trading as the Volkswagen scandal hangs very heavy over the automobile sector.
- Investors are concerned that increased regulations will raise costs significantly.
- Another factor with Fiat is the Sergio mission to find a merger partner for the company. GM has been hesitant to entertain talks on a combination and Volkswagen appears to be out of the running now as an acquirer.
- Previously: Volkswagen to discuss new management on Friday (Sep. 24 2015)
- FCAU -4.71% premarket to $13.06.
Wed, Sep. 23, 6:56 PM
- Volkswagen's (OTCPK:VLKAF, OTCQX:VLKAY) diesel emissions scandal may threaten the future of diesel-powered vehicles, along with their clean air and fuel economy reputation, possibly accentuating “a secular, long-term shift from diesel to gasoline."
- Max Warburton, an automotive analyst at Bernstein Research, is blunt about whether the scandal means the end of diesel: “Yes, it probably does,” he says.
- Volkswagen’s headache "is only the latest setback for diesel... Popular, and hence political, opinion is leaning away from diesel, and compliance costs [are] rising," says Exane BNP's Stuart Pearson.
- Meanwhile, gasoline engines have over the years become smaller, more powerful and with lower emissions.
- Though diesel cars are fairly rare in the U.S., they are mainstream in Europe, with cheap fuel as the major selling point; in 2014, diesel motors powered 40% of passenger cars on the road in Europe, and diesel cars comprised 53% of all new car sales in the region in 2014.
- Relevant tickers: FCAU, OTCPK:PEUGF, OTCPK:DDAIF, OTCPK:DDAIY, OTC:RNSDF, OTCPK:CTTAY, OTCPK:VLEEF
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