Blog: The week ahead
Dave Leggett | 30 November 2009
We are perhaps getting a warning this week that for all the talk of imminent - if slow - economic recovery, the world's financial system can still throw a few spanners in the works.
While it's not all that surprising to see the fizz going out of the Dubai speculative boom, a slightly worrying aspect is the exposure of banks around the world to the debts of that strange place and the extent to which the local 'government' of the UAE will step in to help the biggest and most vulnerable Dubai companies.
It's something to watch. Hopefully, things will calm down with a minimum of international 'spillover'.
Something else to watch this week is GM's board meeting tomorrow (Dec 1). Options for Saab will be discussed, but it's not looking too good for the quirky premium brand after prospective buyer Koenigsegg decided to walk away.
And then on Wednesday (December 2) we can enjoy the distraction of sunny California and the first press day of the Los Angeles Auto Show. The LA Show is getting bigger and getting more attention these days - it seems to have found a niche and a place in the industry's calendar that suits many.
One thing to look out for at LA is an announcement on initial retail markets for the Chevrolet Volt and confirmation that all is on track in terms of timing for the vehicle. The American production version of the Chevrolet Cruze will also be shown at LA and that is a very important product for GM - it's indicative of the US market trend toward smaller and more fuel-efficient vehicles and it will be made in the US (going on sale in the third quarter of 2010).
Much of the engineering work for Cruze was, however, undertaken by Opel in Germany, so it perhaps serves as a tangible reminder of one reason - engineering capability - why GM was so keen to keep Opel.
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