Report: Porsche-Piech buy 10% stake in VW’s holding company

Filed under: Europe, Porsche, Volkswagen, Earnings/Financials, Middle East

F.K. Piech

In August, 2009, as the scuttled merger of Porsche and Volkswagen had gone bad and Porsche was backed up against the ropes, Porsche Automobil Holding SE (PAHSE) relinquished a ten-percent stake in itself to Qatar Holdings as well as options it held on 17 percent of VW shares. The sale meant that, for the first time since the founding of the company 61 years before, an entity outside the Porsche and Piech families had a say in the running of PAHSE.

Buying that ten-percent stake back returns full ownership to the two families, the holding company’s sole possession being ownership of 50.7 percent of VW’s common shares. The price paid wasn’t disclosed, but at market rates the purchase would be worth close to $1.25 billion. Qatar intends to hold onto the 17-percent stake it has in Volkswagen.

Porsche-Piech buy 10% stake in VW’s holding company originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 18 Jun 2013 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Cost to insure a new UK driver? Nearly $10,000/year

Filed under: Etc., Safety, Earnings/Financials, UK

L Plate on a Suzuki Samurai

According to The Daily Telegraph, young drivers in Britain can pay as much as £546 per month for auto insurance. That’s around $890/month at current conversion rates. The report indicates that UK drivers between the ages of 17 and 22 years old pay an average of £5,957 – around $9,640.

And you thought it was expensive to get car insurance for your child.

Why the steep price tag for UK drivers with Learner’s tags? It’s no shock to learn that young drivers carry a higher risk of being involved in an accident than their elder counterparts, and as such, insurance companies assign higher premiums to the group. Unfortunately, as a result of these tough insurance prices, it’s estimated that as much as 20 percent of UK drivers between the ages of 17 and 22 are driving without any coverage at all.

Additionally, around 41 percent of UK parents are currently insuring their child’s vehicle in their name to cut costs. Unfortunately, doing so is illegal, and insurance companies can refuse to cover a claim if they find that parents have been fronting insurance for their young drivers.

So what’s the solution? The Daily Telegraph reports that some insurance companies are turning to a black box that measures g-forces from sudden acceleration, braking and cornering, as well as the time of day that the vehicle is being driven and its speed to custom-tailor insurance premiums. Similar measures are being undertaken here in the States as well.

Cost to insure a new UK driver? Nearly $10,000/year originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 25 May 2011 16:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Muller says Saab could sell $10,000 Chinese autos in States

Filed under: China, Safety, Saab

spyker ceo victor muller

Saab has been in the news quite a bit lately, and mostly for the wrong reasons. But now that the Swedish automaker appears to have secured loans and buy-in from Hawtai Motors in China, Victor Muller and company are looking to go on the offensive.

Automotive News reports that the Spyker CEO is still talking China, but now he’s entertaining the possibility of partnering with a Chinese company to distribute low-cost autos in the U.S. Muller reportedly says that Saab could utilize its dealer networks in the U.S. and Europe to sell $10,000 Chinese vehicles in two or three years. And just because Saab struck a deal with Hawtai doesn’t mean that the Swedish automaker is restricting its plans to its newest strategic partner. Muller pointed out during an interview in Washington, D.C. that there are 120 companies in China, and that Saab is interested in “the one with a strategy.”

There are many hurdles for Chinese automakers to overcome to finally breach the U.S. market, not the least of which is passing federal safety standards. Muller acknowledges that a five-star-rated Chinese vehicle likely won’t happen any time soon, but he says that made-in-China SUVs can be had with tons of features for about $10,000, adding “Do you really worry about a five-star rating? They Look good.”

Hmmm. We’re guessing there will be plenty of buyers who don’t want to drive a vehicle with compromised safety capabilities, but a low price tag could cure those fears. Of course, we also can’t help but wonder how many luxury car shoppers will want to pay premium prices for Saab automobiles if they share showroom space with discount Chinese offerings – the Swedish automaker’s residual values have been problematic enough as-is.

Muller says Saab could sell $10,000 Chinese autos in States originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 11 May 2011 14:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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New York 2011: 2012 Nissan Versa offers 33 mpg for $10,990

Filed under: New York Auto Show, Budget, Sedan, Nissan

2012 Nissan Versa

2012 Nissan Versa – Click above for high-res image gallery

Revealed “simultaneously” as the new Tiida in Shanghai, the 2012 Nissan Versa drove onto the stage here at the 2011 New York Auto Show spouting some impressive numbers: 33 miles per gallon (combined, and 30 city/37 highway) for the low, low price of $10,990. Sure, 33 ain’t nothing compared to a Toyota Prius, but you could buy two Versas for the price of a Prius, and $10k buys a lot of gas at 33 mpg.

This is exactly the kind of thinking that Nissan wants car buyers to do, and the company is encouraging this train of thought by branding the Versa with its Pure Drive efficiency label – first applied to cars in Europe in 2008. The 2012 Versa, sporting a 1.6-liter DOHC four-cylinder engine and weighing 150 fewer pounds than the previous generation model, will be the first Pure Drive vehicle in the U.S. Speaking at the show, Nissan’s executive vice-president of the America, Carlos Tavares, said that this “is a real car, complete with air conditioning, vehicle dynamic control, CD/radio with aux in, electric-assisted steering and 15-inch wheels and tires.” You want more features, like satellite radio or “Fine Vision instrumentation?” They’re available of course, but they’ll cost you a bit more.

Tavares said the Versa is already the best selling car in it’s segment, and we can see Nissan selling quite a few of these if the numbers talked about today bear themselves out on the road. Check out the details in our gallery below and read plenty more in the press release after the jump.

Gallery: 2012 Nissan Versa: New York 2011

Gallery: 2012 Nissan Versa

2012 Nissan Versa2012 Nissan Versa2012 Nissan Versa2012 Nissan Versa2012 Nissan Versa

Live photos copyright (C)2011 Drew Phillips / AOL

[Source: Nissan]

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New York 2011: 2012 Nissan Versa offers 33 mpg for $10,990 originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 20 Apr 2011 13:18:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Is the age of the sub-$10,000 car passing?

Filed under: Sedan, Hatchback, Hyundai, Nissan

Nissan Versa 1.6 Base

As you’ve likely noticed, new cars aren’t getting cheaper. Pack enough options onto a new C-segment hatchback or sedan, and it’s not difficult to elevate the MSRP to $25,000 or more. At the same time, there are still plenty of B-segment and C-segment vehicles that can be had for $16,000 or less, and the base Nissan Versa can still be snagged for $9,990; albeit with zero options and no radio. The same goes for the cheapest Hyundai Accent, which starts at $9,985.

How much longer can Nissan continue to offer a new car for under $10,000? USA Today thinks those days are about over, as the 2012 Versa is set to bow at next week’s New York Auto Show. The new Versa appears to be better looking and more refined than the model it replaces, making a $10,000 price tag unlikely. The new Accent is another probable candidate to drop its $10K model. It’s also expected to make an appearance in New York, and should be markedly improved over the current car in all respects.

So, does the arrival of the next-generation Nissan Versa and Hyundai Accent mean the end of the $10,000 vehicle? Does it even matter? While the ultra-cheap stripper models are handy marketing tools for their manufacturers, a shopper with $10,000 to spend can get a lot of car for that money on the used market. With a radio and A/C to boot.

[Source: USA Today]

Is the age of the sub-$10,000 car passing? originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 16 Apr 2011 09:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Ford still hoping to cut 10% of its dealer network

Filed under: Car Buying, Ford, Lincoln, Mercury

Ford may have come through the automotive implosion relatively unscathed, but that doesn’t mean the company isn’t still trying to trim its costs. According to Automotive News, Ford wants to consolidate its dealer network by closing the doors on some 300 lots. The reason? While the automotive market is slowly improving, no one expects to see the kind of buying levels enjoyed before 2009 anytime soon. As a result, Ford wants to boost the profitability of its dealer network by reducing the number of outlets available to consumers.

While you’d expect dealers to be up in arms over such an announcement, Ford says that, by and large, its showrooms are behind the move. The company’s relationship with its dealer network recently hit an all-time high, putting Ford in a good position to push the consolidation effort.

The move to trim outlets is also bolstered by the fact that there are 261 Lincoln-Mercury dealerships out there, and with Mercury on its way to the back lot in the sky, those dealers will likely be exploring other options. And with Ford currently operates a total of 3,338 dealerships in the States, a sacrifice of 10% seems more than reasonable.

[Source: Automotive News – Sub. Req. | Image: Bill Pugliano/Getty]

Report: Ford still hoping to cut 10% of its dealer network originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 16 Sep 2010 18:32:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Videos: KBB awards $10,000 to winning reader car reviews [w/poll]

Filed under: Etc., Videos, Subaru, Toyota, Volkswagen, Humor


KBB reader-submitted auto reviews – Click above to watch the videos after the jump

We’ve seen a lot of consumer-grade video in our day (we’ve made a few, too), and the quality can be less than astounding. So when we got wind of the fact that Kelley Blue Book was hosting a contest awarding $10,000 to the best consumer car review video, we were skeptical of the quality of product we were expecting to see. Good news. We were wrong, and the top videos are pretty darn good.

The top prize has been awarded to Clark Olson for a very funny critique of the 2000 Corolla with actual production-quality video work. In second place was Joel Moss Levinson, who managed to crack us up with a very clever rap featuring a somewhat problematic 2001 Volkswagen Passat. Seriously, it’s pretty hilarious and is jam-packed with actual insight. In third place was an also entertaining take on the 2004 Subaru Forester by Patrick Latimer. Latimer sounded like a full-on auto enthusiast with 0-60 times and a very valid mention of the value of rowing one’s own gears.

The winner was rewarded with $10,000 in cold, hard cash and a trip to sunny California for a video shoot with the KBB video crew. Second prize netted $5,000 and the third place winner received $1,000. Nicely done fellas. Hit the jump to watch the videos for yourself, and chime in via the post-jump poll to tell us if KBB correctly numbered the top three.

[Source: Kelley Blue Book]

Continue reading Videos: KBB awards $10,000 to winning reader car reviews [w/poll]

Videos: KBB awards $10,000 to winning reader car reviews [w/poll] originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 14 Jul 2010 15:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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