King’s Declaration

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The hubbub about General Motors returning to the stock market has created lots of interest in the company. Shares are over $30 a pop, and consumers are excited for what General Motors has to offer in the next couple of years.

According to an article with the Detroit Free Press, UAW is working hard to make sure that GM’s workers are reaping all the benefits of this promise. During his interview with CNBC in late November, President Bob King took the time to note the efforts GM is making to reassure their workers of job security. “…the union will remain focused on keeping GM viable next year as it negotiates a new contract that helps workers share in the upside.”

King seems excited about these possibilities, but remains grounded. He says, “Our members have faced a lot of insecurity…They want to know they have a job, that they have some security long-term. We need to have jobs in America.”

Our auto shipper companies like King’s strategy.

Promise for Kokomo

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Large investments are always good signs in a recovering economy, and Chrysler gave us one of these signs in late November.

Reportedly, an article on freep.com delivered the news that Chrysler will be investing a large amount of money in their Kokomo, Indiana plants. These transmission manufacturing plants are the same plants that President Obama and Vice President Biden visited at the end of last month.

The article says, “Chrysler…confirmed that it is planning to invest $843 million into its existing transmission manufacturing facilities…” These plants will produce, “…a new advanced front-wheel drive automatic transmission for future Chrysler Group vehicles.”

Including this large number, “…Chrysler’s total investment in U.S. facilities would climb to nearly $3 billion since June 2009.”

The best news about this investment is the preservation of over 2,000 jobs in Kokomo – a city that has been hanging by a thread since Chrysler closed the plant about two years ago.

Our auto shipper companies congratulate Chrysler and the citizens of Kokomo on this coup.

Leaf Rules

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Buzz for the Nissan Leaf has been big, and now Nissan has even more reason to celebrate the new vehicle.

According to an article with the Detroit Free Press, the new electric car, “will get the equivalent of 99 miles per gallon in combined city and highway driving, based on government testing.” While other numbers were released, one major one stood out to this reader’s eye, “EPA’s tests estimate the Leaf can travel 73 miles on a fully charged battery and will cost $561 a year in electricity. Nissan has said the Leaf can travel 100 miles on a full charge.”

The Leaf can be fully charged within 7 hours.

While there is much excitement about the new numbers that were released in late November, there are other factors to consider in mileage per gallon. Largely, where the cars are being driven and what the condition of the road is.

Our auto shipper companies are extremely impressed, and we can’t wait to purchase one of these electrical models for ourselves.

Oprah’s Gift

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Oprah has spent her career giving, astonishing audiences world wide with generosity and foresight for those companies she chooses to promote. In late November, her audience received an incredible token for visiting the Oprah set.

According to an article with the Detroit Free Press, Oprah gave each of her 275 audience members a special holiday treat. Each of the audience members will receive a free 2012 Volkswagen Beetle when the car hits the market next fall.

This isn’t Oprah’s first vehicle giveaway. In 2004, she gave audience members each a brand new Pontiac G6. Reportedly, the press was fantastic for Oprah but not so great for Pontiac. The brand was closed last year, under General Motor direction.

The article says, “In addition to donating the cars, VW will pay all applicable taxes and fees for the new owners.” The new Beetle will feature, “…Bluetooth capability for hands-free phone calls and turbocharged gasoline and diesel engines.”

Our auto shipper companies applaud Oprah’s generosity – what a lady.

A Special Visit

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As the economy slowly recovers, we realize what a team effort the climb back to success is. According to an article with freep.com, this effort is being recognized by a few prominent leaders in our country.

Transmission manufacturing plants reopened in late November in Kokomo, Indiana, two years after they closed due to Chrysler’s bankruptcy. Jerry Price reflects on the day when he walked through the plant after the doors were closed and the workers were let go in the article: “None of us, including myself, ever though that this place would be running again.”  After the plant shut down, Kokomo’s unemployment rate soared to over 20%.

However, with the help of the government bailout, the transmission factories are reopening their doors. To note this American success story, President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden visited the plants. Though the auto bailout was already in place before Obama came into the presidency, he added more money to the heap that Bush put into motion.

Our auto shipper companies applaud our government’s efforts to take the time to congratulate those who worked so hard to get back themselves back on their feet.

Large Purchase of GM Shares Announced

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In late November, an announcement was made showing just how excited potential buyers are for the re-entry of General Motors back into the market.

According to an article with the Detroit Free Press, one man bought 1% of General Motors. The article shares, “Saudi billionaire Price Alwaleed bin Talal said he now holds 1% of General Motors, for which he paid $500 million.”

Kingdom Holding is Alwaleed’s investment firm. The firm claims Alwaleed’s decision, “…was based on GM’s brand strength and growth prospects in China and Brazil.”

The same article shared that this investment is the second large investment to be announced thus far for General Motors, with SAIC Motor Corps. in China owning .97% of GM. This purchase consists of 358 million shares.

Our auto shipper companies finds these numbers astonishing, but also promising for General Motors’ future. We wonder who else will grab a big chunk of GM.

Hyundai’s Luxury News

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More luxury vehicles being produced shows automakers hopes for a plentiful future, leaving fears about the dooming recession behind.  An article with USAToday.com shares their insights into Hyundai’s plans for their luxury dealings.

Hyundai is leaving no detail out while fashioning their next luxury model. The Genesis sedan from Hyundai was a luxury risk, but it still well regarded in automotive world. Hyundai hopes to continue this trend with the new Equus in two “trims” (the Signature and the Ultimate). The Signature will start at $58,000, with the Ultimate beginning at $64,5000.  They both feature, “a 385-horsepower, 4.6-liter Y-8 with a six-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive.” The vehicle will also come with an Apple IPad complete with an “interactive driver’s manual.” To think, people used to get excited about vehicles coming with matching floor mats.

Our auto shipper companies are impressed with Hyundai’s ingenuity, and look forward to seeing the rise of this luxury ride.

Rolls for Sale

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Automobiles are an integral part of our society, showing cultural trends and improvements from full parking lots to how we entertain ourselves.

One example of this is about to be put up for sale.

The car in question is a Rolls-Royce Phantom III that was seen in 2006’s Pan’s Labyrinth. This car is going to be auctioned off the highest bidder through Bonham auction house. The Phantom is from 1936, according to an article with USAToday.com, and one of only 24 Phantom IIIs that were sold new in the United States.

The article says, “The car was used along with a Bentley in the filming of a chase scene…, which was directed by Guillermo Del Toro. It has been owned by a prominent connoisseur of pre-war luxury cars since this time and kept in Southern Europe.”

The car will be sold in an “Important Motor Cars and Fine Automobilia” sale taking place on December 6 in Surrey, England.  Our auto shipper companies are curious to see what the iconic wheels will sell for to the highest bidder.

Ford’s Four

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Ford keeps getting better with every day, and news for them is going to be even better for next year.

According to an article with autoweek.com, Ford will have four vehicles in their fleet that will boast a 40 mpg. This is monumental for one car – but it looks like Ford will have these bragging rights for four of them. The fuel-efficient vehicles include the Fiesta subcompact, the 2012 Focus compact, the Fusion Hybrid and Lincoln MKZ Hybrid sedans. These numbers have been certified by the 2011 EPA ratings. The EPA Fuel Economy Guide claims that Ford is the only car company able to brag about have so many fuel efficient cars in their brand.

Ford’s VP Barb Samardzich shared, “A few years ago, Ford committed to making fuel economy a top priority companywide. Our hybrid vehicles led the way, and this new wave of powerful, refined gasoline engines is reasserting the company’s leadership positions.”

Our auto shipper companies think this is a fantastic accomplishment, and would like to send congratulations Ford’s way.

VW and Ferrari?

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A smart car company not only creates great cars within their own group, but is also always on the lookout for ways to improve their fleet of cars with other brands. Volkswagen knows this as well as anyone, and according to an article with autoweek.com, they may have their eye on a very expensive prize.

German press is speculating that VW chairman Ferdinand Piech is looking to add Ferrari to his successful group. A German magazine called Manager Magazin wrote in its last issue that though, “…Piech has already said openly that he would like VW to buy Fiat’s Alfa Romeo marquee – but the ‘real object of his desire’ is Ferrari.” According to the same autoweek.com article, VW has the funds to easily buy the luxury brand. It is believed that Piech would be satisfied to even have a small piece of Ferrari under VW’s umbrella. Our auto shipper companies are curious to see what Piech will do with Volkwagen’s fortune.