More rain and more quarterly results pretty well sums up the week at just-auto.com towers as we head into our 'spring break' also known as a 'bank holiday weekend'. I'm stocking up on BBQ gas, meat, beer, sandbags and a JCB digger to divert the local stream into the neighbour's place if it gets any higher...
Getting serious now, April sales in the US of A looked good again - with SAAR up 1.25m to 14.42m - our man in Texas with the spreadsheet reckons February's 15m-plus was "more a blip than a trend". Here in t'office, discussion this week concluded the steady rise might be due to more easily available credit and we know where that finished up last time the lending crteria was loosened too much.
The General booked a first quarter net profit off 69% with much of the blame pointed at Europe, no surprise there, but it was necessary to read the fine print and concede that there were one-off gains from Delphi and Ally sales a year ago and, with exceptionals this year excluded, GM beat the analysts' consensus earnings per share estimate.
GM's Q1 achievement was, in fact, routine enough for our own analyst Rob Golding to listen in to the telephone presser and conclude there wasn't really enough out of the ordinary in that for him to engage in written combat with the Detroit suits via a Golding's Take. You might also enjoy his management briefings like this.
We also learned that PSA's Faurecia reckons it will be North America's number one interior systems supplier once it gets the key to the Saline interior components business, currently operated by Automotive Components Holdings aka Ford's holding pen for the old non-core, pre-Chapter 11 Visteon businesses gradually being wound down or sold off.
Finally, this just in, an intriguing report suggesting GM and Hyundai are talking engine cooperation. Well, everyone else is and why not? New engines (and transmissions) are very expensive to develop and the vehicle buyer usually cares little about who made the motor as long as it starts on the button and delivers good performance and mileage. So why not share the cost around a few hundred thousand more units? Better yet, in this age of 'global' platforms, millions?
Have a nice weekend. And Monday off if you're joining us.
Graeme Roberts, Deputy Editor, just-auto.com