Carmakers borrow industry-leading $132 billion to weather Covid-19

The automotive industry has borrowed $132 billion since March as the spread of the coronavirus curbed demand for cars and closed factories. The sector is the largest user of funds put in place to ease the impact of the pandemic. The amount consists of $79 billion in new loans and $53 billion in drawdowns from existing credit lines. Facilities linked to the pandemic account for almost 80% of overall loan borrowings by the sector in the year to date. Loans for virus relief, which peaked during the March-to-June period, eased…

Read More

Former Fiat engineer aims to put the brakes on Covid

MILAN: Fifty years ago, he designed a braking system that helped reduce fatal car crashes. Now Mario Palazzetti has invented a device he hopes will curb the spread of COVID-19. The retired Fiat Research Centre engineer is known as Mr ABS for the anti-lock braking system he created that is now standard in all motor vehicles. At the age of 84, he has devised a gadget about the size of an electric kettle which creates local air currents that aim to stop the circulation of tiny droplets expelled when people…

Read More

Fiat Chrysler: Fiat Chrysler considering options to cut amount of cash dividend in PSA merger

MILAN: Fiat Chrysler is considering options to reduce a planned cash payout to its shareholders which is part of its tie-up agreement with France’s PSA, including spinning off assets, Italian daily Il Sole 24 Ore said on Friday. Reducing or cancelling the 5.5 billion euro ($6.2 billion) special dividend Fiat Chrysler (FCA) is due to pay to its shareholders before the merger is closed would allow the new group to retain cash at a time when the coronavirus crisis has badly hit car markets around the world. Options that FCA…

Read More

groupe psa: Peugeot CEO says merger with Fiat Chrysler on track

PARIS: Peugeot maker PSA‘s boss Carlos Tavares said on Thursday he was confident the merger of the French carmaker and Fiat Chrysler (FCA) would go ahead as planned and yield synergies of at least 3.7 billion euros ($4.2 billion). “The timetable of the merger with FCA is being strictly respected,” Tavares told PSA’s annual shareholders meeting. He added he was confident the deal would be finalised during the first quarter 2021 “at the latest”. Commenting on expected synergies from the deal, he said 3.7 billion euros was a “floor”. Last…

Read More

European car sales show first signs of recovery

LONDON: European car sales showed first signs of a tepid recovery in May as showrooms reopened after a two-month shutdown because of the coronavirus pandemic. New auto registrations across the region fell 57% year-over-year, the European Automobile Manufacturers Association said Tuesday. While that’s the worst May since the group started tracking the data in 1990, it’s an improvement over the 78% plunge in April. The exact shape of a potential recovery is still unclear as carmakers from Volkswagen AG to Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV prepare to announce results for what…

Read More

Nissan email trail casts new light on takedown of Carlos Ghosn

Carlos Ghosn always said he was set up. Now there’s some evidence to support his claim. According to people familiar with what happened and previously unreported internal correspondence, the campaign by top Nissan Motor Co. executives to dethrone one of the most celebrated leaders in the automotive industry started almost a year before Ghosn’s arrest in late 2018 for alleged financial misconduct. The effort was motivated in part by opposition to the former chairman’s push for greater integration between the Japanese carmaker and long-time alliance partner Renault SA, the new…

Read More

Ford re-evaluates office space in coronavirus world

DETROIT: Ford Motor Co is re-evaluating how much office space it needs for white-collar workers as restrictions put in place during the coronavirus pandemic are eased and employees return to workplaces. In March, Ford, General Motors Co and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV (FCA) told salaried employees to work from home to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Ford brought back 12,000 salaried employees last month, and others have been told they can work from home until September, spokeswoman Marisa Bradley said. Given potential workplace changes caused by the outbreak, a facility…

Read More

General Motors plans electric van for business users in bid to pre-empt Tesla

DETROIT: General Motors Co is developing an electric van aimed at business users, joining a growing list of carmakers planning EVs for the same segment which includes customers such as Amazon.com Inc and United Parcel Service Inc, five people familiar with the plans told Reuters. That multibillion-dollar strategy could enable GM, Ford Motor Co and at least two EV startups to build and deliver more electric vehicles at a time when consumer demand for battery-powered models is still a small fraction of overall industry sales, while targeting a potentially lucrative…

Read More