Chrysler sales surge 40% in February [Chrysler] The last time gasoline prices unexpectedly spiked in 2008, Detroit automakers had few fuel-efficient vehicles, especially small cars. This year, all of them have much stronger models with more efficient engines, which can explain part of the reason why Chrysler reported such a booming sales month for February. (Can't help but suspect a few cars shipped to rental car lots helped boost sales of the Chrysler 200 sedan by a factor of four over the previous year). Analysts expect the industry will hit an annual sales rate of 14.2 million vehicles in February, a strong result given how oil and gas prices continue to rise.
GM, Peugeot target savings, test history with alliance [Reuters] General Motors and France's PSA Peugeot Citroen revealed yesterday the details of their alliance, which will see GM take a 7 percent stake in Peugeot in return for sharing on new models, purchasing and other cost cuts that GM expects to total $2 billion a year within five years. Yet analysts and Wall Street basically ignored the news, because it doesn't address GM's real problem in Europe: it has too many plants building too few cars, and no immediate way to boost sales or production. The real savings will require plant closings — a hard task given the politically powerful German unions.
Ford says Europe losses may hit $600 million [Bloomberg] Lest one think it's just bumbling old GM losing money in Europe, Ford's retiring chief financial officer Lewis Booth told reporters on Wednesday that Ford's losses would soar on the continent this year — but that Ford would still expect to meet last year's profit of $8.8 billion on better results elsewhere.
Hyundai previews i-onic range-extended electric concept car [Hyundai] It seems the Chevy Volt has even more fans among automakers than ever, given the number showing concepts based on electric power combined with a liquid-fuel generator for long trips. Hyundai will join the ranks in Geneva with this, the i-onic, which seats four, can travel up to 434 miles and needs a copy editor stat.