Report: Treasury needs GM stock to be worth $95.51 to break even

Filed under: Government/Legal, GM, Earnings/Financials

Special Inspector General Christy Romero has delivered another report to Congress on the state of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) up to June 6 of this year, assessing numbers to the US Treasury’s remaining stake in General Motors. After stock sales in February and another a few months later, the Fed is still the owner of 14 percent of GM, totaling 189 million shares, and is $18.1 billion in the hole after the $49.5 billion loan to the automaker. Although the share price has risen more than 20 percent this year to $37.08 at the time of writing, Romero’s latest calculations indicate it would need to climb to $95.51 for the government to be made whole. In May of this year that number was $70 per share.

GM stock is on the rise, but no one expects it to reach that number before the government’s self-imposed deadline for being divested of the stock. If sold right now, Treasury would make about $7 billion and wash its hands of the rest. Analysts expect GM’s stock to continue rising so that $7 billion number should also climb and the loss get trimmed, but even with another 25-percent gain between now and April, when the government is expected to be fully divested, that would only get it to $46 per share.

GM will be looking forward to next April, probably no matter where its stock price is, if for no other reason than to have ammunition removed from the “Government Motors” grousers. For now, it can point to the Center of Automotive Research study that declared everyone’s already been paid back plus interest, because “the cost of doing nothing was not zero.”

Treasury needs GM stock to be worth $95.51 to break even originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 26 Jul 2013 11:33:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Video: Watch this tuned VW van break Sabine Schmitz’s record

Filed under: Motorsports, Minivan/Van, Videos, Diesel, Racing

We tend to get hot and bothered when a production car sets a newly minted lap record around the incomparable Nürburgring Nordshleife, but records for other types of vehicles tend to fly beneath the radar. Thank God then that we’ve got the Germans to pay attention to these things on our behalf.

Volkswagen tuning outfit Revo had such a record in mind when it started to hot-up a VW T5 2.0 turbo diesel van to make a record ‘Ring run. The target was a lap turned in by none other than the Queen of the Ring herself, Sabine Schmitz – a 10:08-lap done in a Ford Transit van for the guffawing audience of Top Gear.

Revo changed the stock ECU map on the T5, fitted a custom exhaust and an uprated intercooler and oil cooler, underpinned the whole deal with a Bilstein coilover kit and set to racing. The final product was just racy enough, in the capable hands of veteran driver Dale Lomas, to finish its lap some 11 seconds quicker than the former record. Circumnavigating the Nordshleife in under 10 minutes in a commercial diesel van is, of course, bonkers, which is as good a reason as any to watch the video of the run below.

Continue reading Watch this tuned VW van break Sabine Schmitz’s record

Watch this tuned VW van break Sabine Schmitz’s record originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 22 Jun 2013 19:05:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Video: Watch Porsche’s 918 Spyder break a sweat while hot weather testing

Filed under: Coupe, Hybrid, Performance, Videos, Porsche

With five months left until the 2015 Porsche 918 Spyder enters production, Porsche engineers are still putting the hybrid sports coupe through a battery of last-minute tests. To give us new reasons to ogle over the car – as if we needed any more – Porsche has released a short video showing the 918 Spyder undergoing shakedown tests in the hot Nevada desert. And you can’t drive through Nevada without visiting Vegas, too, right?

Although there’s really nothing new to see in this video, it’s still fun to watch as Porsche approaches one million test miles logged on this exciting new high-performance model. One interesting part (at around the 0:37 mark) shows the car taking off under electric power and then transitioning to engine power, which results in a mix of whirs and growls as the 918 Spyder switches from a 127-horsepower electric vehicle to an 887-hp hybrid supercar. Scroll down to watch – and hear – Porsche’s latest creation in motion.

Continue reading Watch Porsche’s 918 Spyder break a sweat while hot weather testing

Watch Porsche’s 918 Spyder break a sweat while hot weather testing originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 19 Jun 2013 12:46:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Spy Shots: BMW 3 Series GT caught taking a break from bell-tower duty

Filed under: Spy Photos, Crossover, Hatchback, BMW

spy shots bmw 3 series gt

Spy Shots: BMW 3 Series GT caught hitching a ride – Click above for high-res image gallery

BMW hinted that a 3 Series GT was in the works. Like its larger BMW 5 Series GT sibling, the 3 Series Gran Turismo would feature a two-tier rear hatch, raised seating position and a boosted ride height. And rumor has it that a non-swirly-camo version will be heading to the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show.

The BMW 3 Series GT will slot in the lineup to combat Audi’s upcoming Q3 crossover. It’s also enough of segment jumper that the A4 Avant could wind up in its crosshairs. Take a gander at the gallery below, and try to look past the swirls to decipher the hunchback body hiding underneath.

Gallery: Spy Shots: BMW 3 Series GT

Spy Shots: BMW 3 Series GTSpy Shots: BMW 3 Series GTSpy Shots: BMW 3 Series GTSpy Shots: BMW 3 Series GTSpy Shots: BMW 3 Series GT

[Source: Brenda Priddy & Company]

Spy Shots: BMW 3 Series GT caught taking a break from bell-tower duty originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 24 Mar 2011 16:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Study reviews break-even point for hybrid vehicles

Filed under: Car Buying, Hybrid, Sedan, SUV, Ford, Toyota

2010 Ford Escape Hybrid

2010 Ford Escape Hybrid – Click above for high-res image gallery

Buying a hybrid is a responsible environmental move but, given their premium over standard cars, they aren’t always a money-saving purchase. A study by CarGurus showed that gas would have to top $7 a gallon to make most hybrids the economical choice.

Hybrids command, on average, a 17-percent markup over their standard-powertrain counterparts, which stunts their economy at the pump. The $7-a-gallon break even point is an average. For some cars, the break-even is point is even higher. For a Cadillac Escalade Hybrid to make you money, gas will need to climb to $15 a gallon.

On the lower side of the scale are the Toyota Camry Hybrid and Ford Escape Hybrid. The Toyota’s break-even point came out to $4 a gallon, while the Ford bucked the trend, breaking even at $2.50 a gallon.

Gallery: Review: 2010 Ford Escape Hybrid

Photos copyright (C)2011 Chris Shunk / AOL

[Source: Detroit Free Press]

Study reviews break-even point for hybrid vehicles originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 14 Mar 2011 13:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: GM to get $14 billion domestic tax break

Filed under: Government/Legal, GM

General Motors Tax BreakIt looks like General Motors will be able to skip out on around $14 billion worth of taxes domestically and another $19 billion in taxes overseas thanks to a deal with the U.S. government. According to Edmunds, 2010 will mark the first year since 2004 that the company has operated in the black, and while most companies are made to pay taxes on their revenue, GM will be able to skip its tax tab due to years of massive losses. Companies are typically forgiven a portion of future taxes due to their past losses, but that benefit is typically stripped after an organization goes through bankruptcy.

That’s not the case with GM, however. For reasons that aren’t entirely clear, The General has managed to hang on to its tax breaks despite shedding around $30 billion in debt during bankruptcy proceedings. According to CNN Money, both GM and the Treasury Department deny that the automaker has received any special deal, though Edmunds reports that GM may have gotten the break to help reduce the perceived cost of the auto industry bailout.

[Sources: Edmunds, CNN Money]

Report: GM to get $14 billion domestic tax break originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 23 Feb 2011 18:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Caterham to break out of the Seven mold with all-new model

Filed under: Performance, Misc. Auto Shows, UK, MISC

Is Caterham an automaker or merely another replicar manufacturer? Considering that the British company currently produces continuation models of the original Lotus Seven exclusively, it’d be tough to argue the former. But Caterham seems intent on breaking new ground, and to that end has announced plans to unveil an “entirely new model” in January.

Little in the way of details have been announced, but Caterham says its new car will mark “the beginning of a new dawn for the Company, but one that remains true to the lightweight, minimalist DNA of the legendary Seven.” Intriguing, to say the least.

The model is slated to use a new in-house engine, be built alongside the Seven (pictured above) and debut at the Autosport International Show in Birmingham (England, not Alabama) on January 13, so stay tuned. Official announcement after the jump.

[Source: Caterham]

Continue reading Caterham to break out of the Seven mold with all-new model

Caterham to break out of the Seven mold with all-new model originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 13 Dec 2010 15:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Chrysler UAW employees work hard play hard; busted for drinking, smoking weed during break [w/video]

Filed under: Etc., Hirings/Firings/Layoffs, Plants/Manufacturing, Videos, Chrysler, UAW/Unions

Chrysler plant workers enjoying an extended break

Chrysler workers enjoying a break – Click above to watch video after the jump

Making your way in the world today takes everything you’ve got. Taking a break from all your worries, sure would help a lot. Wouldn’t you like to get away…? Some members of the UAW, employed at Chrysler’s Jefferson North Plant in Detroit, feel the need to do just that. The team at My Fox Detroit received a tip about some auto workers who were using their breaks to catch a little buzz before heading back to the line. The video, which you can watch after the jump, shows several plant employees meeting in a parking lot and throwing back some cold ones. The camera also catches a few folks enjoying some of Michigan’s finest herb. Maybe this is how you respond to working after winning the lottery?

Make the jump for the video and responses from Chrysler and the UAW.

[Source: My Fox Detroit]

Continue reading Chrysler UAW employees work hard play hard; busted for drinking, smoking weed during break [w/video]

Chrysler UAW employees work hard play hard; busted for drinking, smoking weed during break [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 23 Sep 2010 14:28:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Saab moves to rehire dismissed workers after summer break; one-in-three refuse

Filed under: Plants/Manufacturing, GM, Saab

When General Motors was on the precipice of dropping Saab forever, we imagine that the good workers of Trollhättan, Sweden were more than a little nervous. After all, how many high-paying jobs are there there in Scandanavia in the middle of a global recession? Well, it turns out that there may be quite a few jobs available if you consider the high volume of workers who reportedly turned down an offer to come back to work at Saab.

Sweden’s SVT reports that as many as one-in-three laid off Saab workers turned down offers to come back to work in factory jobs for the company. Håkan Skött, Metallklubbens chairman at Saab in Trollhättan reportedly told SVT that up to 30 percent of the workers got new jobs or invested in training, adding “it’s really nice that people have found other solutions.” it’s also good that Saab was still able to rehire 224 workers to help edge up vehicle production from a reported 28 units per hour to a max speed of 39 vehicles in any 60 minute period. The added workers will increase annual production to 60,000 units in total, and the company will need to hire still more workers if it plans to increase production more through a second shift.

[Source: SVT via Saabs United | Image: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty]

Saab moves to rehire dismissed workers after summer break; one-in-three refuse originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 18 Aug 2010 18:28:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Toyota’s hybrid sales break a million in Japan, Prius still on top

Filed under: Hybrid, Japan, Toyota

2010 Toyota Prius

2010 Toyota Prius – Click above for high-res image gallery

Back in August of 1997, Toyota launched its Coaster Hybrid EV minibus, the company’s first hybrid vehicle. Though the Coaster Hybrid is not a common name, it was the vehicle that started the hybrid revolution at Toyota. The Japanese automaker has now announced that cumulative sales of its hybrids have now topped the one-million mark in its home market. In addition, the company’s global hybrid sales now stand at 2.68 million and counting.

In related news, Toyota announced that the Prius topped the sales charts in Japan once again, marking the 14th consecutive month that the Prius outsold all other models in the Japanese market. While Toyota is comfortably leading the way in hybrid sales, the company is committed to bolstering its lead. Toyota plans to introduce hybrid versions of all of its existing models by 2020 and aims to sell more than one million hybrids per year before the end of the decade. Follow the jump for more info on Toyota’s continued dominance of the hybrid segment.

Gallery: 2010 Toyota Prius

[Source: Toyota]

Continue reading Toyota’s hybrid sales break a million in Japan, Prius still on top

Toyota’s hybrid sales break a million in Japan, Prius still on top originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 08 Aug 2010 11:04:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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