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viernes, noviembre 28, 2008

Bella Macchina: "The Art of Detailing"

Por David Bravo-Sánchez

Cuando pensamos en embellecer nuestro auto con una lavada y su respectiva encerada, por lo general los que somo verdaderos apasionados de nuestros bólidos consideramos hacer el trabajo en un fin de semana. Nos llevará unas tres horas hacerlo con esmero y dedicación al detalle para que nuestro flamante vehículo quede impecable y se destaque en la multitud.


El pensar dejarlo en otras manos para llevar acabo semejante empresa es ¡¡¡Impensable!!!, nuestro consentido motriz solo puede ser mimando por nosotros mismos y ¡San se Acabo!. Pues permitame replantearle semejante aseveración. Una empresa denominada "Bella Macchina" con domicilio en Orlando Florida EE.UU. es la opción plus si usted desea ver a su consentido de la cochera mejor acicalado, más guapo y ser la verdadera envidia de cuanto vecino tenga.


Esto lo podrá lograr gracias a que "Bella Macchina" lleva el arte de la cosmética automotriz a su máxima expresión, consintiendo cada rincón y superficie de nuestro auto para dejarlo con una presencia de alta estampa y etiqueta. A éstos esmerados chicos les llevará 5 días (+o-) poner en condiciones presentables al mimado motriz para ser fotografiado en eventos, portadas de revistas, o simplemente darle gusto al flamante propietario de contemplar con desbordada pasión a su coche consentido en la cochera, donde el ego del vehículo y el del propietario quedarán afectados sin remedio después de semejante resultado.


Dicho trabajito no será económico, teniendo que desembolsar $80 dlls por hora hombre en una faena de varios días, donde el profesional de la cera realizará una labor al detalle extremo, exponiéndose a la posible locura si al final del mismo un pajarillo parroquiano dejase ver sus malas intenciones y utilizar el vehículo como blanco de ataque con deposiciones aereas, ¡Uffff...Ni pensarlo! a cualquiera de nosotros nos daría un infarto con semejante acción villanesca de tan terrible ave...en fin, si lo que usted desea es lo mejor de lo mejor en cosmética automotriz ésta es sin duda una buena opción de embellecimiento y mimado automotriz.

Bella Macchina (Site)

Bella Macchina- Polishing a Ferrari and removing marring

jueves, noviembre 27, 2008

Y la Cheyenne Apa? Gana premio EFFIE



Cheyenne recibe el GRAN EFFIE, reconocido premio de publicidad

° La pickup más legendaria ganó el oro de la categoría automotriz
° El GRAN EFFIE fue también para Cheyenne por decisión unánime


México D.F. a 26 de noviembre de 2008.- Chevrolet, la marca de mayor tradición de General Motors de México, recibió la semana pasada un EFFIE por la campaña de publicidad "¿Y la Cheyenne apá?" y además fue acreedor del GRAN EFFIE. Este galardón es el premio más significativo de la industria de la comunicación publicitaria en nuestro país, fue creado por la Asociación Americana de Mercadotecnia de Nueva York y en México es otorgado por la AMAP (Asociación Mexicana de Agencias Publicitarias). En esta 9ª edición se inscribieron más de 116 casos pertenecientes a más de 33 agencias de publicidad y más de 91 anunciantes.


En la categoría automotriz, quedaron 6 finalistas entre los que se encontró Chevrolet Cheyenne, cuya campaña de publicidad fue creada por la agencia McCann Erickson. La presea de oro de la categoría fue para la pick up más legendaria, Cheyenne. Además de ser ganador absoluto de la categoría de autos, Cheyenne recibió el máximo galardón, el GRAN EFFIE que es otorgado al mejor de los mejores. El GRAN EFFIE es votado por más de 147 jurados, que además de tomar en cuenta la campaña publicitaria, evalúan otros aspectos mercadológicos, como el Cheyenne Tour.

La campaña "¿Y la Cheyenne apá?" obtuvo votación unánime. Alfonso Santos, Gerente de Mercadotecnia de Chevrolet Comerciales comentó: "Estamos sumamente contentos de recibir este premio, es el reconocimiento al trabajo de un gran equipo soportado por el mejor vehículo de su categoría, la Pickup de mayor tradición y la preferida por los clientes. -¿Y la Cheyenne apá?-, es una frase que queda para la historia" Rodrigo Cortés, Director Creativo de McCann Erickson y creador de la famosa frase -¿Y La Cheyenne apá?- mencionó: "Sin duda para McCann también es un triunfo. Detrás de este premio hay muchas horas de trabajo, de inspiración, de toma de decisiones y lo mejor de este reconocimiento es que el mensaje realmente llegó a nuestros consumidores. Una prueba clara de que una campaña es exitosa es cuando deja de ser propiedad de la marca y se convierte en propiedad de toda la gente. Compartimos este triunfo con Chevrolet"

Los Effie Awards fueron creados en 1968 en Nueva York, Estados Unidos, por la American Marketing Asociation, para reconocer la efectividad de las campañas de comunicación. Con el tiempo, los Effie Awards se han convertido en el certamen más prestigiado a nivel mundial para medir los resultados de las campañas publicitarias, extendiéndose y llevándose a cabo en una gran variedad de países, 31 para ser exactos, entre los cuales, México ha participado anualmente desde el año 2000, con el certamen "Effie México". Las preseas de la 9ª edición de "Effie México", estuvieron divididas en 19 categorías en las que se entregaron 28 estatuillas. Las estatuillas repartidas fueron 8 de oro, 10 de plata y 9 de bronce, aparte del GRAN EFFIE.

Los ganadores fueron seleccionados en dos rondas por 148 jueces, destacados hombres y mujeres de negocios, comunicólogos, directores de publicidad y mercadotecnia del país, siendo presididos en esta ocasión por el Sr. Carlos Slim Domit, Presidente del Jurado Effie México 2008.
Para la selección de ganadores, en la primera ronda los jueces seleccionaron los casos que consideraron merecedores de un Effie, y en la segunda ronda, definieron cuál o cuáles de dichos finalistas, quedaban en cada categoría (bronce, plata y oro).


(Info. GMM - Release 26-Nov-2008)

GMM (Site)
EFFIE (Site)

martes, noviembre 25, 2008

Porsche Panamera First Photos


Porsche Presents First Photos of Four-Door Panamera Gran Turismo

Stuttgart. Roughly nine months before the actual market launch, Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG, Stuttgart, has released the first official photos of the Panamera in its final look. In its design, profile and silhouette, Porsche’s unique four-seater stands out clearly as a new member of the Porsche family. Conceived and designed as a four-door grand touring sports car, the Panamera combines numerous talents in typical Porsche style: sporting driving dynamics, a generous and variable interior, and the supreme driving comfort of a Gran Turismo.


Joining the 911, Boxster and Cayman sports cars as well as the sporty SUV Cayenne, the Panamera is Porsche’s fourth model series. The designers of the Panamera have succeeded in positioning this unique car as a brand-new and truly different model while nevertheless retaining the looks of a typical Porsche. Through its proportions alone, the Panamera stands out clearly in its market segment: measuring 1931 millimetres or 76.0 inches in width, the Panamera is wider, and measuring 1418 millimetres or 55.8 inches in height, lower than comparable four-door models. The unmistakable, sleek GT silhouette is created by the car’s overall length of 4970 millimetres or 195.7 inches and short, sporting overhangs front and rear.


In its styling and details, the Panamera follows the design philosophy refined over decades on the 911 and successfully implemented also on the Boxster, Cayman and Cayenne.Through its design language alone, the Panamera will establish a new segment versus the competition. The symbiosis of sports car DNA derived from the looks of a coupé, the unique interpretation of the classical saloon body and the benefits of a variable space concept give the new Porsche its truly unmistakable appearance. As an example, the Panamera comes with highly individual, strongly contoured air intakes instead of a conventional radiator grille. Striking wheel arches and the long and sleek engine compartment lid create that typical 911 “landscape” at the front end of the car the Porsche customer has appreciated for no less than 45 years, with the distinctly contoured wings as flanks bordering on the flat front lid.


The V-shaped seams along the engine compartment lid and the rear window tapering out like an arrow to the rear convey the features characteristic of a sports car to the new, highly individual Panamera class. The striking, muscular shoulders over the rear wheels, the dynamic sweep of the coupé-like roofline, and the visible tailpipes again bear out all the DNA so typical of a thoroughbred Porsche.The elegant roof arch extends stylishly over the generous interior, simply begging the beholder to get inside. Like all Porsche models, the Panamera is oriented in every respect to the needs and wishes of the driver. But now, thanks to the new concept of space and the sporting architecture of the interior, the car’s occupants are also able to experience this special “pilot feeling” on all four seats. All four occupants enjoy supreme ergonomic comfort on both the front seats and the two firmly contoured single seats at the rear.


The luggage compartment easily takes up all the passengers’ luggage. The variable space concept with its folding rear seat backrests enables the driver and passengers to adjust the luggage space individually to their personal requirements. And last but not least, the coupé tailgate in the sporting rear end combines superior suitability for daily use with stylish elegance.Porsche has developed superior and up-to-date power units for the Panamera again reflecting all the qualities typical of the brand – the V-engines within the engine compartment come with six and eight cylinders and range in power from 300 to 500 bhp. Some of the engines use turbocharger technology, Direct Fuel Injection making them both fuel-efficient and powerful all in one. The flow of power to the wheels goes either through a manual six-speed gearbox or the new seven-speed Double-Clutch Gearbox, the so called Porsche-Doppelkupplung (PDK).


In addition to sporting rear-wheel drive, the top version of the Panamera comes with even more sophisticated all-wheel drive, which is also available for the other versions as an option. As a further highlight, Porsche is preparing a particularly fuel-efficient version of the Panamera with hybrid drive. Further details on the engines, transmissions, performance, prices and equipment will be disclosed next spring.The Porsche Panamera will be built at Porsche’s Leipzig Plant, where a production hall measuring some 22,000 square metres or almost 237,000 square feet and a logistics centre are currently under construction. While the engines featured in the Panamera are built at Porsche’s Main Plant in Zuffenhausen, the painted bodyshells will be supplied by the Volkswagen Plant in Hanover. The Leipzig Plant will then assemble the Panamera for final delivery, with an annual sales target of some 20,000 units.


Porsche is once again cooperating largely with German suppliers in the production of the Panamera, with some 70 per cent of the car’s overall value being created domestically. Hence, the Panamera is most definitely a car “Made in Germany”.The Panamera will be making its world debut in spring 2009 and the first models will be at dealers worldwide in late summer of next year.
(Info. Porsche Release 24-Nov-2008)

Official Porsche Panamera video

Bentley Motors - Power on Ice 2009

Bentley will host an extraordinary driving experience in February and March 2009 …with the remote snowscape of Finland as a backdrop.



www.bentleydriving.com/poweronice

Chevrolet Cavalier 1991_Mexico

viernes, noviembre 21, 2008

Ford SYNC - Kelley Blue Book Goes Through the System

Cadillac Escalade Platinum 2009 en México


Cadillac Escalade Platinum 2009 marca los estándares de lujo y
tecnología en las utilitarias del mundo



 Escalade Platinum 2009 es la máxima expresión de tecnología, innovación y refinamiento
 Su equipamiento Premium la colocan como la mejor opción de su clase

México D.F., a 21 de noviembre de 2008.- General Motors de México anunció el día de hoy el inicio de ventas de la nueva versión Platinum para su SUV de lujo, la Cadillac Escalade. Esta utilitaria de lujo, que hizo su debut nacional el pasado mes de septiembre en el Salón Internacional del Automóvil en México 2008, es la fusión perfecta entre desempeño sobresaliente, diseño sofisticado y manejo emocionante en una camioneta de esta categoría.

Producida en la planta de Arlington, Texas, la Escalade Platinum 2009 continúa con el legado de innovación de Cadillac, al incluir en todos sus detalles diversas aplicaciones tecnológicas de primer nivel. Algunas de las más destacadas son los faros con tecnología LED, que sobresalen por ser los primeros en el segmento que otorgan mayor iluminación con menos energía, son ecológicas y tienen una vida útil mayor que las bombillas halógenas tradicionales.

Otro elemento importante es la suspensión de acción rápida, Magnetic Ride Control (control magnético de manejo), que le ofrece al conductor un sistema de amortiguación en tiempo real, que reemplaza las válvulas mecánicas de amortiguación convencional por amortiguadores de control eléctrico, lo que crea una carga magnética que brinda al vehículo una resistencia de amortiguación casi instantánea. “La Escalade Platinum siempre ha sido símbolo de exclusividad, por ello, reconocidas personalidades internacionales viajan a bordo de ella. La versión Platinum es la máxima expresión de elegancia en una utilitaria de lujo. Sin duda, los clientes más exigentes quedarán satisfechos gracias al equipamiento, la tecnología y seguridad que esta camioneta ofrece al mercado actual,” comentó Mario Romero, Gerente del Canal de Lujo de General Motors México.

Tren Motriz
La nueva Escalade Platinum 2009 cuenta con un motor 6.2L Vortec V-8 con capacidad Flex Fuel que le otorga una potencia de 403 hp @ 5,700 rpm y un torque de 417 lb-pie @ 4,400 rpm. Este motor, totalmente de aluminio, utiliza la Válvula Variable de Tiempos (VVT) para optimizar la distribución del árbol de levas, a fin de mejorar la torsión a bajas revoluciones (rpm) y la potencia a altas revoluciones.


Su transmisión es automática Hydra-Matic 6L80 de seis velocidades, con controles de cambios electrónicos, que pueden hacerse desde su palanca de velocidades. Esta transmisión es una de las más avanzadas en la industria, presenta cambios de embrague a embrague y tiene una amplia relación total de 6,04:1, que incluye dos cambios en sobremarcha, lo cual ayuda a alcanzar un equilibrio perfecto entre rendimiento y ahorro de combustible.

Diseño exterior
La Escalade Platinum 2009 tiene un diseño exterior elegante con líneas limpias que le dan un aire más deportivo gracias a las mejoras aerodinámicas en todos los sentidos. Su nuevo diseño de parrilla en forma de “V,” faros delanteros y traseros con tecnología LED, faros de niebla, estribos laterales eléctricos con acentos en cromo, quemacocos eléctrico deslizable con sistema de apertura rápida y rines de aluminio cromado de 22 pulgadas, le brindan una apariencia imponente y señorial a simple vista.


Las defensas delanteras y traseras son al color de la carrocería, mientras que los espejos son eléctricos, anti-empañantes y abatibles con ajuste automático hacia el suelo al aplicar la reversa. El espejo del conductor es electrocrómico con luz indicadora de direccional, mientras que ambos son al mismo color que el resto del vehículo. Las manijas de las puertas son cromadas, así como la parrilla, espejos, molduras y rieles del techo. Las antenas están integradas en ambos cristales laterales traseros para mejorar
la recepción del sonido en cualquier lugar. Además, sobresale la canastilla portaequipaje montada en el techo y pintada al color de la carrocería, los ganchos de remolque instalados en la parte baja de la defensa trasera y la puerta trasera con sistema de apertura y cierre eléctrico brindan mayor comodidad.


Los emblemas distintivos Platinum están presentes en toda la camioneta, empezado por el que se encuentra en la parte trasera, así como los que están en las molduras de los escalones o inscritos en la consola central, recordando en todo tiempo que se trata del mayor lujo y sofisticación que cualquier utilitaria pueda poseer.


Equipamiento Interior
El habitáculo interior de la Escalade Platinum 2009 destaca por su sobria elegancia, buen gusto y grandes dosis de lujo, donde se han cuidado al máximo todos los detalles para ofrecer un ambiente exclusivo de refinamiento y comodidad. Elementos únicos como el panel de instrumentos cubierto totalmente en piel con insertos de madera en dos tonos, portavasos calefactables y enfriable, vestiduras en lujosa piel color cocoa, diseño especial del cluster, charola central con insertos de madera y aluminio y volante calefactable entre otros refinados detalles, hacen que esta utilitaria sobresalga frente a la competencia.


El sistema de entretenimiento es algo impresionante. Cinco pantallas de LCD para DVD son muestra de esto. Dos de ellas se encuentran colocadas en las cabeceras de los asientos delanteros, otras dos se encuentran en el techo (versión ESV), y finalmente una en la consola central, la cual sólo funciona cuando el vehículo se encuentra parado por cuestiones de seguridad. Cada una de las pantallas de las cabeceras delanteras, tiene sus propios controles y pueden funcionar de manera independiente o simultánea con las demás. Este sistema permite que los pasajeros en diferentes asientos vean y escuchen opciones de entretenimiento distintas.

Los dos modelos de Escalade Platinum 2009 incluyen el aclamado sistema de sonido Bose® Surround® Sound 5.1 con 10 bocinas y la pantalla táctil de ocho pulgadas para controlar el sistema de entretenimiento con DVD, CD y MP3. Para la máxima comodidad de cada uno de los pasajeros, la Platinum 2009 cuenta con control de clima de tres zonas, ajuste automático de temperatura independiente para conductor, pasajero y compartimiento trasero; asientos delanteros eléctricos calefactables y ventilables con 14 memorias para conductor y multi-direccional para copiloto; mientras que para la segunda fila los asientos son calefactables, reclinables e incluyen descansa
brazos abatibles.


Además, como parte del equipamiento Premium que tiene esta utilitaria de lujo, se incluye la cámara de visión trasera montada en la cajuela que despliega la imagen directamente en la pantalla LCD del sistema de sonido. Gracias a su Sistema Easy Key, se puede hacer un encendido inteligente a control remoto.


Seguridad
La nueva Escalade Platinum 2009 está diseñada para ubicarse entre los vehículos que ofrecen mayor seguridad y protección para sus ocupantes, ya que ha sido diseñada con numerosos sistemas de seguridad y tecnologías de prevención de accidentes. Otro de los elementos exclusivos para la versión Platinum es su sistema de monitoreo de punto ciego, con el cual se brinda mayor seguridad y confort al manejar por las calles o carreteras. El sistema está diseñado para detectar objetos o vehículos que puedan estar en el punto ciego (a ambos lados del vehículo), esto se logra a través de dos sensores ubicados en la fascia trasera, tanto en el lado derecho como en el izquierdo. Cuando un objeto es detectado en la zona del punto ciego un indicador del espejo lateral se iluminará notificando al conductor que no debe de cambiar de carril en ese momento.

Las funciones de protección de los pasajeros incluyen bolsas de aire frontales, laterales y de tipo cortina, con protección contra vuelcos para todas las filas de asientos y un sistema inédito en la industria, de activación en 360 grados de pretensores de los cinturones de seguridad delanteros. Los cinturones de seguridad son de tres puntos para los asientos delanteros y traseros y cuenta con pedales ajustables que adaptan el vehículo a cualquier
necesidad.

Los frenos son de disco con sistema ABS en las cuatro ruedas, cuenta con una suspensión delantera independiente y trasera de 5 resortes helicoidales y sistema de control de estabilidad StabiliTrak™ que provee control adicional al vehículo en caminos derrapantes o en situaciones de maniobras extremas.


Los precios de los paquetes SUV y ESV de Escalade Platinum son los siguientes:
Escalade Platinum 2009
SUV $81,660 USD
ESV $84,220 USD

Escalade Platinum 2009 está disponible en los 24 distribuidores del Canal de Lujo de GMM en toda la República Mexicana. General Motors de México junto con los distribuidores del Canal de Lujo están comprometidos con todos sus clientes y por ello, en todos los modelos 2008 y 2009, de las gamas HUMMER, Saab y Cadillac están ofreciendo un tipo de cambio de $10.56 por dólar considerado, hasta el momento, uno de los más bajos de la industria automotriz.


(Info. GMM - Release 21-Nov-2008)


Cadillac Escalade Platinum
DEMOSTRACION CADILLAC SIAM 2008

Save Auto Jobs (UAW)

UAW news #1


martes, noviembre 18, 2008

Testimony of Robert Nardelli, Chairman & CEO, Chrysler LLC, to the United States Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs


Washington, D.C., Nov 18, 2008 - Mr. Chairman, members of the Committee, I appreciate this opportunity to address the current economic and financial crisis, the impact it is having on the automotive industry, and the need for immediate action.


During the 15 months I’ve been part of Chrysler, and since we’ve emerged as the first privately held American auto company in 50 years, I’ve been proud to work with a team of dedicated men and women determined to restore this 83-year old, iconic American brand to its rightful place in the automotive industry.

We are asking for assistance for one reason: to address the devastating automotive industry recession caused by our nations’ financial meltdown, and the current lack of consumer credit, which has resulted in the critical lack of liquidity within our industry.
With credit markets frozen, our customers – average working Americans – do not have access to competitive financing to purchase or lease vehicles…our dealers do not have access to market competitive funding to place wholesale orders for new vehicles…resulting in the constriction of cash inflows to auto manufacturers. At the same time, Chrysler has billions of dollars in cash payment obligations every month to pay wages, to pay suppliers, to fund health care and pensions, all in the range of $4 to $5 billion per month.


This crisis has already driven U.S. sales to a 25-year low. In 2008 alone, our volume domestically has dropped from 17 million units to 11 million – a 38 percent decline. That volume drop is more than the total U.S. sales of Ford and Chrysler combined.
Therefore without immediate bridge financing support, Chrysler’s liquidity could fall below the level necessary to sustain operations in the ordinary course. This would put at risk health care coverage for retirees, which is part of Chrysler’s nearly $20 billion total health care obligation, $2 billion in annual pension payments to our retirees and surviving spouses, approximately $7 billion in current payables, $35 billion in future annual supplier business, and 56,600 direct Chrysler employees earning $6 billion in wages.
Independent research firms have quantified the fallout of a domestic auto maker bankruptcy to the overall economy, and the impact is devastating: 2.3 – 3 million in lost jobs, $275-$400 billion in lost wages, and $100-$150 billion in lost government revenue.
But this is not a good option for Chrysler, and more importantly, for the auto industry or the broader economy – for the following reasons:
We believe that retail sales would be impacted materially as a result of declining consumer confidence, and we will be forced to heavily discount existing inventory to move our product.


Given our common supplier base - at Chrysler, 96 of our top 100 suppliers are common to Ford and GM - the bankruptcy of any one domestic automaker would place enormous pressure on the supply chain and, consequently, that company’s competitors.
Our factories would likely be idled for a significant period of time while we renegotiate contracts with each of our thousands of individual suppliers.
Restructuring and reorganization costs and expenses will be materially higher in connection with a Chapter 11 process: supplier and dealer support and marketing costs will increase, general economic dislocation will follow and significant fees and expenses will be paid to an army of bankruptcy professionals.
The overall amount and cost of financing the restructuring will be significantly higher in a Chapter 11 process than the working capital bridge we are requesting here today.
And finally, we cannot be confident that we will able to successfully emerge from bankruptcy.


That’s why as an industry we are requesting a $25 billion working capital bridge to survive this liquidity crisis. However, both our private equity owner and I believe that while the immediate bridge financing is critical, the long-term solution to the industry’s problems and challenges requires industry consolidation and cost rationalization to eliminate excess industry capacity and redundant costs.
I would expect Congress to insist that the American taxpayer be protected. We are willing to provide full financial transparency, and welcome the government as a stakeholder – including as an equity holder. We are fully prepared to comply with the current conditions and policies already put in place as mandated by the government, under the recently enacted Emergency Economic Stabilization Act.
Our private equity owner, Cerberus Capital Management, L.P., has made it clear that it will forgo any benefit from the upside that would, in part, be created from any government assistance that Chrysler LLC may obtain. The principal of Cerberus Capital has stated that he will enter into legally binding agreements requiring the contribution to the government of the General Partner’s future profits interest related to Chrysler LLC which he might receive if any are ever earned.
Immediately on the separating from Daimler in August 2007, and being new to the automotive industry, I recognized the need to question and sometimes challenge the status quo, and seek significant opportunities to improve performance throughout the business. We began an aggressive restructuring and transformation of our business as an independent American auto company.
During the first 60 days, we approved more than 400 line item design changes, representing an investment of half a billion dollars in improvements to our products’ reliability, durability, fit and finish, and consumer appeal. We offered our customers a lifetime powertrain warranty to build their confidence. Due to a focused product quality improvement effort during the past year, we’ve seen our warranty claim rates drop by 29 percent and the improvement trend continues. We made tough decisions to reduce operating costs and adjusted production schedules immediately. We prioritized every product investment with a strong emphasis on improving energy security and environmental sustainability by introducing advanced powertrain technologies, while at the same time we discontinued four vehicle models. We also identified over $1 billion in non-earning assets to sell and we’re more than 75 percent toward achieving that goal.
Since 2007, Chrysler has reduced 1.2 million units of capacity, which represents over 30 percent of our previous installed capacity, and which resulted in the elimination 12 production shifts. Over the past 10 months alone, we’ve reduced our fixed costs by $2.2 billion, and unfortunately, by the end of the year, we will have furloughed over 32,000 employees. That is the most gut-wrenching part of this job, to see the effect on the lives of good men and women who lose their jobs through no fault of their own, but because of the actions the Company is forced to take in these difficult times.


We have increased our manufacturing productivity to equal Toyota as America’s most productive automaker in terms of hours of assembly per vehicle, and our recently negotiated labor agreement was an important step in making our cost structure more competitive with transplants by 2010.
To further enhance our product portfolio, support growth and improve our cost structure, we continue to aggressively pursue strategic alliances and partnerships with other companies. I believe more restructuring and consolidation is required for the industry to be viable in the long-run. We would welcome the opportunity to have an open discussion with the new Administration and Congress on a collaborative approach to restructuring that would ensure any Government resources invested in the industry are used efficiently and help achieve important national public policy objectives.
It is equally important that the lack of liquidity to provide loans and leases to customers and financing to dealers is addressed immediately. It is imperative that our affiliated financial companies receive access to competitive liquidity and financing capacity. They must in order to provide credit to our customers - average working Americans - and support wholesale orders from our dealers.
Historically, over 90 percent of all new vehicles were purchased or leased with financing assistance, and the lack of readily available financing has simply frozen sales. A perfect example of this consumer credit crisis is that 20 percent of our revenue disappeared overnight when our finance company was unable to offer leases. These sales literally vanished.


At Chrysler, 75 percent of our dealers rely on Chrysler Financial to finance their business, and 50 percent of all customers finance their vehicle purchases through the Chrysler Financial. Normally, these loans and leases are securitized and sold in the secondary market to generate fresh liquidity and financing capacity.
Today, there is virtually no secondary market, and therefore, no way to raise capital. Money is not available for dealers to finance their wholesale orders, invest in their facilities, and hire and train employees. Competitive loans for the average working American – our customers – are virtually nonexistent. This has directly and dramatically depressed vehicle sales, putting at risk not only auto manufacturers but also the widespread network of suppliers, vendors. In Chrysler’s case, 3,200 entrepreneurs…small businesses owners called dealers, and the approximately 140,000 people they employ in every state across the country. The National Automobile Dealers Association estimates more than 700 of them will go out of business by year end. If we don’t secure a bridge loan, all 13,600 dealers are at risk.
There are 4.5 million people depending on this industry, and without assistance, nearly three million of them could lose their jobs in the next 12 months, according to a research memorandum published November 4, 2008, by the Center for Automotive Research. Failing to act now will hurt many American families and undermine our country’s economic recovery, far outweighing the costs related to supporting an industry that touches every district in every state of the nation.
The crippling of the industry would have severe and debilitating ramifications for the industrial base of the United States, would undermine our nation’s ability to respond to military challenges and would threaten our national security. Chrysler has long contributed to our national defense. Our Jeep® was an indispensable part of our nation’s efforts in World War II and Korea.
Immediate financial assistance will serve the country and the economy directly in two key ways. First, the lifeblood of the U.S. economy will continue to flow. The industry will be able to continue to pay at its current levels $22 billion in annual wages to our employees, $13 billion in annual pensions to our retirees and surviving spouses, and meet our current commitment of $102 billion in healthcare costs to employees. We will continue to pay $156 billion annually to our suppliers and work to keep them strong by providing significant additional financial relief for distressed suppliers fighting to stay in business.


Second, America’s auto companies are investing in innovation. Capital investment in new technologies, improved operations, and future product will be able to continue, including a combined $12 billion in annual spending for research and development. As an industry, we are moving full speed ahead to make the transition to advanced propulsion vehicles that will help support national energy security and environmental sustainability goals.
Chrysler plans to emerge from the current downturn as a lean, agile company. We are, and will continue to be the quintessential American car company. Currently, 73 percent of our sales are in the U.S., 61 percent of our vehicles are produced in the United States, 74 percent of employees work in the U.S., 78 percent of our materials are purchased in the U.S. and 62 percent of our dealers are based in the U.S.
Today, Chrysler has a very strong pipeline, with a product renaissance for 2010. In September we revealed our ENVI electric vehicle program, and announced that we will begin producing one of these electric-drive models for North American consumers in 2010. This underscores our commitment to deliver environmentally friendly, fuel-efficient vehicles to customers, and to meet this social responsibility faster and more broadly than any other manufacturer. Today we are asking you to help us bridge a chasm created by an unprecedented financial meltdown. We are also asking you to consider investing in a company that will deliver real results for the American taxpayer.
I recognize that this is not an insignificant amount of money. However, we believe this request is the least costly alternative considering the options we face… with less impact on human capital, and would provide stimulus, as opposed to further depress the economy.


Thank you very much.

(Info: Chrysler LLC - Release 18-Nov-08)

October Auto Sales Fall for 12th Consecutive Month

viernes, noviembre 14, 2008

Tough future for U.S. Automakers



Wayne Cunningham
CNET.com

Every day the financial news for American automakers GM, Ford, and Chrysler looks more depressing. Cerberus wants to sell Chrysler to GM, and GM is interested, but will need a loan from the government to make it work. Meanwhile, Ford already sold off a number of assets to keep itself afloat, but still posted losses.

What can these companies do to bring sales back up? Build the kind of car that people want, and can afford, to buy. Ford had great success with its retro Mustang, and it will be launching the 2010 update at the upcoming LA Auto Show. While it is appealing, it's not the most practical car around.

We just finished testing the Ford Flex, a car with unique appeal and some practical turns for people who need something of that size. The Chevrolet Cobalt SS also came through our garage, which showed that GM can build an economical and quality car with a huge fun factor.

However, GM's great hope, the Volt, doesn't come around until 2010, and we have yet to see if it will work as advertised. Ford's best hope is the new Ford Fiesta, but that car won't come to the U.S. until 2010, either. Meanwhile, Nissan launched a sub-$10,000 version of its Versa.

With no game-changing launches for 2009, it's going to be a tough year for the American automakers.


Bonhams to Sell James Bond’s Lotus Esprit at Olympia

Bonhams to Sell James Bond’s Lotus Esprit at Olympia
Sale also to include the registration ‘AU 1’


The famous ‘amphibious’ Lotus starred alongside Roger Moore and Barbara Bach in the 1977 film The Spy Who Loved Me. Two cars were used for filming and Bonhams will sell one, estimated at £100,000 – 120,000, at its London Olympia auction on 1st December.

The Bond car is one of 98 motor cars in the sale – full preview to come on Classic Driver.

Also on the Bond front, the registration number ‘AU 1’ (fitted to Goldfinger’s Rolls-Royce Phantom III) will be included in the Olympia catalogue. It was the first registration issued in Nottingham, the significance of AU being - as all our chemistry students will know – that it's the symbol for gold in the Periodic Table.

It is likely to sell for more than £80,000.


Text: Steve Wakefield
Photos: Classic Driver

jueves, noviembre 13, 2008

Chrysler Makes the Case for Assistance

Chrysler is asking citizens to contact their U.S. Senators and Representatives, urging them to support federal assistance for the domestic auto industry. We make the case in this short video.

007 Quantum of Solace


Quantum of Solace - Opening Titles


NEW JAMES BOND MOVIE TRAILER - QUANTUM OF SOLACE

miércoles, noviembre 12, 2008

Bentley Azure T


Bentley Azure T - Technical Specifications

Bentley Azure T - Standard Features


Bentley Azure in Hawaii