The L.A. Auto Show hit full stride with global automakers tipping off plans to ramp up production and designs to take advantage of the North American demand boom.
Honda (HMC), Toyota (TM), and Hyundai (HYMLF) pounded home the commitment they will make to hydrogen fuel cells. This is no flux capacitor chatter. All three plan to invest to have fuel cell models on the U.S. market within two years, although details on charging station infrastructure are sketchy.
General Motors (GM) was the talk of the town as the Chevy Colorado truck impressed analysts mightily and looks set to give challengers from Nissan and Toyota a run for their money.
BMW (BAMXY), Porsche (VLKAY, POAHF), and Mercedes-Benz (DDAIF) all have big plans for the luxury market, while Kia enters the segment as a darkhorse with the K900. Kia?
On the zero-emission front, Honda was full of swagger by landing a major green award for the new hybrid Honda Accord on gaudy fuel economy ratings.
Automakers to watch: Subaru (FUJHY) and Chrysler (FIATY) look well-positioned for 2014 market share gains. Tesla (TSLA) CEO Elon Musk is off monitoring his latest Space X rocket, while the Tesla debate gets even livelier on SA.
Porsche (POAHF.PK) reports global sales for July were down 4%, but remain up 29% Y/Y for the first seven months of the year. The firm is riding the strength of sales in China where its Cayenne SUV is helping bring in 73% Y/Y sales growth.
Porsche (POAHF.PK) is raising around €5B ($7B) to cut its debt to €1.5B ahead of a merger with Volkswagen (VLKAY.PK). Porsche will issue a combined 131M ordinary and preferred shares to current owners at €38 each, a 32% discount to the preferred stock’s Friday close.
Prosecutors are expanding their investigation of Porsche's (POAHF.PK) former top execs, a development that could delay or even jeopardize the firm's planned merger with Volkswagen (VLKAY.PK). The execs allegedly took on risks that threatened the company's survival in a takeover battle with Volkswagen.
A federal judge dismisses a lawsuit brought by 10 hedge funds against Porsche (POAHF.PK), which accused the carmaker of cornering the market for Volkswagen (VLKAY.PK) shares and causing over $2B of damages.
German automakers are the big losers today after China sharply limits the number of vehicle licenses it issues for Beijing. The ostensible reason is to reduce congestion and pollution, but car imports from the eurozone will bear the burden. BMW (BAMXY.PK -5.4%). Porsche (POAHF.PK -5.3%). Volkswagon (VLKAY.PK -5.27%). Daimler (DAI -6.21%).
The odds against a merger between Porsche (POAHF.PK) and Volkswagen (VLKAY.PK) are rising. Potential legal and tax liabilities have grown recently, prompting Martin Winterkorn, CEO of both companies, to say there's now a 30% chance investors holding preferred shares in Porsche won't be able to swap their stock for equity in Volkswagen.
Porsche (POAHF.PK) recalls all 11,300 Panameras it built, just months after the line was launched, to fix possible faulty seatbelt tensioners. The Panamera was meant to catapult Porsche to new levels of growth and help it poach customers from rivals.
Porsche (POAHF.PK) December U.S. sales: +1.7% to 2,118 vehicles, a fifth month of Y/Y increases. But for the calendar year, sales down 24% from 2008. Dec. Boxster/Cayman sales down 48%; Sales of new sedan Panamera Gran Turismo were 521. (PR)
The merger with Volkswagen (VLKAY.PK -3.5%) will zero out Porsche's (POAHF.PK) debt of €11.4B ($17.2B) - liabilities that piled up in the six months after Porsche's own failed bid for control of VW. "By the time the merger is done, the level of more or less zero will certainly be reached,” says Martin Winterkorn, CEO for both companies.