For Sale By:Private Seller
Engine:Set up for small block Chevrolet
Exterior Color: Black
Model: Model A
Trim: 2 Door Roadster
Drive Type: RWD
Hensley, Arkansas, United States
Pots and kettles, glass houses and stones - that's a little of what we appear to have going on in the European car market. New reports say that that three European automakers have registered their opposition to a loan deal that PSA/Peugeot-Citroën is working on with the French government. Peugeot's finance arm, Banque PSA Finance, is struggling with its debts and has been downgraded by Moody's to its lowest investment-grade classification, one step above junk. This makes it more expensive for a potential buyer to finance a car through Peugeot. The last thing Peugeot needs is more difficulty selling cars in the tough European market, and the situation will only worsen if the bank's credit worthiness takes another hit.
A deal being worked on would have the French government offer €7 billion ($9B U.S.) in bonds to guarantee the bank's loans, which would give the institution some breathing room to manage its debts and lower its interest rates. Outside of that, a group of banks would provide other, non-guaranteed loans to the bank to further help its position. In exchange for state help, though, the government wants seats on Peugeot's board for worker representatives and a government liaison, along with factory and worker guarantees. The Peugeot family would maintain control of the company.
So what we have is government assistance being provided to a car company's finance arm, akin to the way General Motors' GMAC (now Ally Financial) and Chrysler Financial got help in their time of need. What we also have is Ford and Renault, and Germany's State of Lower Saxony, the second-largest shareholder in Volkswagen, voicing their concern about the proposal, because they say it could create an unfair competitive advantage for Peugeot. Everyone in Europe's down market is fighting for every sale, and if Peugeot gets help to keep its auto loan costs down, it figures to help buyers choose Peugeot or Citroën.
This week Ford rolled out the 2014 Transit Courier, the fourth addition to its Transit range. Ford says its the first time for the nameplate in the compact van segment.
"Ford has now completely transformed its commercial vehicle line-up, with four all-new, class-leading Transits for European customers," said Barb Samardzich, vice president of product development for Ford Europe. "With the all-new Transit range, we expect sales to grow to 400,000 units per year by 2016, well over 50 percent more than we sell today."
When the Courier goes on sale in the Spring of 2014, it will offer more than 1,400 pounds of payload capacity, multiple mounting points for racks or other framework and a rear cargo area that can carry items 5.3 feet-long. An optional folding passenger seat boosts the cargo length to 8.5 feet.
Dennis Williams, the newly elected president of the UAW, had some tough words for American automakers in his inauguration speech at the 2014 UAW Convention, striking down the possibility of any additional concessions from the 400,000-strong union.
"No more concessions. We are tired of it. Enough is enough," Williams said during his speech. UAW employees have not received a raise in nearly 10 years, according to Reuters.
Considering the recent strong results for Ford, Chrysler and General Motors, the union's demands are likely to carry a bit more weight in next year's negotiations. And considering Williams' tough stance, we could be in for some fireworks once negotiations commence.