THE WEEK THAT WAS: Ford nets billions, Toyota recalls another million...
A mixed week of mostly good news, industry niggle in France and financial woes at PSA excepted. Ford booked a healthy US$5.7bn full year net profit for 2012 - our resident commentator weighed in on that here - and Toyota announced yet more recalls totalling about 1.3m units - mostly Corollas but also some Lexus IS. Airbag control modules and wiper bolt tightness.
According to one analyst, the airbag recall will hit Toyota by about $55m, and, once again, the industry reckoned said the unit count was high as a result of using common parts across so many models.
Chryler also reported a good set of 2012 results, propping up majority shareholder Fiat which did reasonably well outside Europe. Fiat's growing debt reportedly is concerning some investors, and the news of the updated product plan was also of interest - get ready for a Ram-badged Fiat Doblo van.
Outside Europe, investments in new factories and facilities are continuing - just this week we had Maruti Suzuki talking about a fourth plant in India, multiple planned plants in Brazil as new entrants, especially the Chinese, digest and act on the new government local production blueprint, Isuzu's plans for an Indian plant, paint and press shop improvements at GM's Fairfax plant in Kansas and expansion of its powertrain engineering facility in Pontiac (the city, not the [RIP, sob] brand), Michigan. Mazda also announced a new transmission plant in Thailand and Nissan opened a new paint plant at Smyrna, Tennessee, replacing the shop opened with the plant back in 1983.
Have a nice weekend.
Graeme Roberts, Deputy Editor, just-auto.com
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