Auto News for Jan. 13 – Your Powerball car …?

Hope you all enjoyed the extended coverage of the Detroit Auto Show. The Acura Precision Concept and the Ford Raptor pickup were my favorites.

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The Detroit Free Press asks the question that I bet you have been mulling – What car would you buy if you won the $1.5 billion Powerball drawing? My first stop would be the Ferrari garage and a very close look at the 488 Spider. It is a lovely mid-engine convertible with a 3.9-liter V8 rated at only 661 horsepower with 561 lb-ft of torque and a 0-60 of about 3.0 seconds. It is a perfect combination of performance, handling and luxury, and if you had all that lottery cash tucked away, who would care about the price?

Jeep will introduce a compact sport utility vehicle at the New York Show and officials also confirmed the hot selling Jeep brand will produce a Wrangler based pickup truck, according to the Detroit News. The truck will be based on the next generation Wrangler and built at the Wrangler plant in Toledo starting sometime late next year.

VW’s proposed fix for some of its diesels has been rejected by the California Air Resources Board for a lack of information about performance, emissions and safety. The EPA said it supported the California decision. The proposal covered vehicles with the 2.0-liter diesel and not the 3.0 liter engine that was also fitted with the emissions evading device, according to the Los Angeles Times. Negotiations will continue with the CARB.

Ford shareholders should be happy this morning. The company declared a special dividend of 25 cents per share, a move that will cost the automaker $1 billion. It also announced that pre-tax profit this year will be at the upper end of recent guidance and next year’s results will be at least equal to that amount. Yet Ford shares fell in after hours trading on trading on Wall Street, with some investors disappointed in the company’s 2016 guidance. It is worth a mention that some auto analysts have predicted that record setting auto and truck sales may have reached their peak.

GM is optimistic. It increased its 2016 earnings per share outlook to between $5.25 and $5.75 a share. The earlier estimate was $5.00 to $5.50 a share. GM will also buy back an additional $4 billion worth of its stock for a total of $9 billion. Shareholders should like the decision to raise the dividend by six percent to $0.38 a share. “We have made significant progress executing our strategic plan and the results are being demonstrated through our improved earnings,” said Chairman and CEO Mary Barra.

Although the practice of car sharing is growing, Renault-Nissan Alliance CEO Carlos Ghosn is skeptical about it as a business for automakers. “Is it going to be a significant part of this industry? “I have some doubts. This is a time of uncertainty,” he said at an event in Detroit.

 

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