Monday, January 14, 2008

GM to make 16 hybrids, Chrysler sees growth

GM to make 16 hybrids, Chrysler sees growth

Detroit (dpa)- The biggest US car manufacturer General Motors (GM) is to launch 16 new hybrid vehicles onto the market over the next four years, the Chief Executive Officer Rick Wagoner said at the Detroit Motor Show Sunday.

Chrysler set a goal of doubling international sales in less than five years, while Ford expects to be profitable again by next year. (See below)

GM will also join a US company that wants to use ethanol as a fuel or gain it from the remains of plants and even from tyres.

However, this technology is still in the early stages and such fuel could be expected on the market in 2012 at the earliest, the Wall Street Journal reported. So far, ethanol has been gained from sugar cane and corn.

Wagoner also said the available of ethanol should be increased swiftly. Only then could the huge consumption of crude oil be reduced.

"Ethanol has huge potential to reduce the consumption of crude oil," he said and stressed that GM would continue to develop electronic drive.

Wagoner did not say how high GM's share in the Illinois-based ethanol company Coskata was.

Ford expects to return to profit zone by 2009

Detroit (dpa)- The US car manufacturer, Ford, which is battling billion-dollar losses, expects to make a profit again in 2009, said Chief Executive Officer Alan Mulally Sunday at the Detroit Motor Show.

Europe, Asia and Latin America were already profitable markets for Ford with growth potential, he added.

The second-largest US car manufacturer had incurred losses of more than 2 billion dollars in 2006 and also sustained an additional loss of 380 million dollars in the third quarter of 2007.

Chrysler aims to accelerate international growth

Detroit (dpa) - The loss-making US automotive concern Chrysler announced Sunday at the annual Detroit motor show that it was setting itself the goal of doubling international sales in less than five years.

Speaking at the event, Chrysler head Robert Nardelli said there was still room for global growth in the car manufacturing industry.

In 2007, Chrysler - the third largest US auto producer - had a 15 per cent increase of sales outside North America to around 238,000 cars. In doing so, the company sold less than 10 per cent of its cars outside its home market.

Chrysler President Tom LaSorda said the company wanted as quickly as possible to partner with other producers to offer small cars in Europe. He specified a timeline of a "couple of years."

He added that an extension of the current cooperation with Asian partners such a Chery in China and Nissan in Japan was also possible.

The company would not provide any concrete prognosis for sales and results for the current year, saying only that sales to private customers were expected at least to remain stable or increase lightly in 2008, while sales of fleets was expected to drop.

In 2007, Chrysler sold 2.68 million cars worldwide - around one per cent fewer than in 2006.

According to earlier reports, Nardelli was assuming a loss for 2007 of at lest 1.6 billion dollars.

As a private company, Chrysler is no longer required to present financial figures.

A majority stake in Chrysler was sold last summer to the US financial investor Cerberus by the German concern Daimler. Since then, decisions at Chrysler have been made a markedly quicker pace, said LaSorda, who was Chrysler chief executive during the Daimler era.

03:29 Jan 14, 2008

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