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Global auto news this week(2007.05.07-2007.05.11)

Joanne From www.gasgoo.com| May 12 , 2007

After the May Day holiday, almost all the large automakers issue out their quarterly or monthly report of sales. Among all these, the most eye-catching is from Toyota's. In the FY 2006/2007, Toyota's record business result is to replace GM as the world No.1.

Chrysler remains the media's focus. Its April sales gains 17% increase in North America. And the sale of Chrysler is still uncompleted with Magna standing as the fore-runner. Chairman of Magna, Frank Stronach today acknowledged that his company is bidding for the Chrysler group and that he has lined up financing,

Hereunder are the top news this week:

Chrysler April sales up 17% outside North America
  From:Reuters  May 07 2007

DaimlerChrysler AG's Chrysler Group said today that sales outside of North America were up 17 percent in April, boosted by demand in Russia and the Middle East.

The company's sales outside North America last month reached 18,289 vehicles and marked the best April in 10 years, Chrysler said.

Sales jumped 97 percent to 1,871 vehicles in the Middle East and Northern Africa region, while sales in Russia grew 95 percent over the same month last year, the company said.

Chrysler's business plan calls for doubling overseas sales to 400,000 units by 2012 as it executes a reorganization plan that will cut 13,000 jobs and close a plant in North America to halt losses by next year.

Chrysler is counting on foreign sales growth -- in part with allies -- to help offset its weak U.S. showing.

Daewoo cars score big in overseas markets
 From:freep   May 08 2007

GM Daewoo sold 1.5 million vehicles in 2006, up from the 1.2 million it sold a year earlier. The numbers include Korean sales of 128,332 vehicles, which rose 19.2% from a year earlier but grew largely because of demand for the complete vehicle kits it exports for assembly to plants in places such as China, Thailand, India, Colombia and Venezuela.

GM CEO Rick Wagoner says the $321-million acquisition of a majority stake of GM Daewoo is helping the company expand quickly in some of the world's fastest growing markets, including China, India and Russia.

BMW group car sales rise 3 percent in April
  From:Reuters  May 09 2007

Group vehicle sales at BMW grew 3.0 percent in April to 118,456 units, the company said in a statement today.

BMW brand sales edged up 0.5 percent to 100,141 units, while sales of the Mini brand jumped 19.2 percent to 18,263 cars.

In the first four months of the year, group vehicle sales inched up 0.8 percent to 451,683 vehicles, including 165 Rolls-Royce Phantoms -- 4.4 percent more than in the year-ago period.

The group has forecast a substantial boost in deliveries to customers starting in the second quarter, following the market launch of its new 3-series coupe-cabriolet at the end of March that joined the refreshed 1 series and 5 series models.

Toyota's quarterly profits rise 9 percent on strong sales
  From:mdn.mainichi-msn.co.jp  May 10 2007

Toyota's profit in the January-March quarter climbed 9 percent as the automaker marked its seventh straight fiscal year of record sales amid robust demand for its Corolla, Camry and Lexus models.

Toyota Motor Corp., which beat General Motors in worldwide vehicle production and sales in the first quarter for the first time ever, reported a quarterly group profit of 440.1 billion yen (US$3.67 billion) from 404 billion yen the same period the previous year.

Toyota's sales are surging as soaring gas prices boost the appeal of its models, which are reputed worldwide for fuel-efficiency, including gas-and-electric hybrids like the Prius.

Analysts say Toyota is growing so quickly it's just a matter of time before it overtakes problem-laden General Motors Corp. of the U.S. to become the world's No. 1 automaker -- a title that technically hinges on annual worldwide vehicle production.

Toyota's sales in the fiscal fourth quarter rose 10 percent to 6.3 trillion yen (US$52.5 billion) from 5.75 trillion yen the previous year.

Magna's deal with Russian firm won't affect Chrysler bid, Stronach says
  From:detnews  May 11 2007

Magna Chairman Frank Stronach today announced a billion-dollar-plus partnership with a Russian auto magnate but said the deal would have no bearing on his bid for DaimlerChrysler AG's Chrysler Group.

Stronach said he expects DaimlerChrysler to choose a prospective buyer for Chrysler before the deal with Oleg Deripaska's firm Russian Machines is approved by Magna shareholders and finalized.

"We hope one way or the other that the Chrysler issue will be solved by then," Stronach told reporters at a news briefing after Magna's annual meeting here.

The Canadian parts supplier has teamed up with Toronto equity firm Onex Corp. to bid for Chrysler, "and the indications are, Mercedes would like to stay with a small stake," Stronach said. He said he is open to having other firms join the bid but declined to disclose further details about the status of the Chrysler negotiations.

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