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THE WEEK THAT WAS: All about BRICS

By Graeme Roberts | 11 February 2011

Given the work that is put into such things, it was good to see many eyes on our report on the BRIC markets this week. We also launched a special new section on electric drive technology in our research portfolio.

Speaking of BRIC markets, Fiat/Chrysler supremo is a little concerned about the high value of the Brazilian real. Mr Marchionne has been in the news this week causing a bit of flutter at home in Italy and will be explaining himself to the PM tomorrow.

Over here, there was a pleasant change as a local supplier bought out a foreign-owned facility and an unpleasant reminder of past hostilities at a Renault-owned site in Paris. Boulogne-Bilancourt, BTW, is Renault's Flint Buick City, the huge, cleared site has not made vehicles since the 1990s but the buildings were only demolished in 2005 after much rancour from groups that wanted 'em preserved. Cue new office blocks, parks, etc.

Good full year or fiscal Q3 results continued to roll in from the likes of Toyota, Renault (which also announced a new five-year plan), AAM and others - I like putting the words 'swings back' and 'profit' in the same headline. We've been collating them here if numbers are your thing.

Finally, this week came some welcome news for Toyota - the official US report exonerating its throttle electronics in the 'unintended acceleration' cases. As I noted, this doesn't make floormats, sticky throttles and federal penalties go away. Or chairman Akio Toyoda's inept handling of the damage limitation.

Lawyers aren't going away, either. Apparently the suits have been cleared to put the first class action suit into court in 2013. If it gets there; the same report noted most product liability lawsuits in the US are settled before the parties get to court.

Have a nice weekend.

Graeme Roberts
Deputy/News Editor
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