Weaker than expected sales in the U.S. and China means Ford will disappoint some on Wall St. with its second quarter earnings. The automaker announced this morning that second quarter profit came in weaker than expected and earnings per share came in at 49 cents when the markets were expecting 60 cents per share. Net income was off 9 percent. “We remain committed to delivering another full year of strong profitability, even as we addressed some new risks and market challenges around the world,” said Mark Field, President and CEO. Ford officials indicated the strong sales of the past are starting to slow. Automakers are expected to increase incentive spending in the months ahead as sales slow and that may affect the old bottom line.
NPR’s popular “Car Talk” is coming to an end – sort of. NPR announced that it will stop offering reruns of the show after September 30, 2017. The decision came, NPR said, after consultation with key station personnel, programmers, researchers, listeners and the show’s own staff. “We are in a moment of transition for weekend programming across the public radio system. This coming year, one of the top priorities of the programming team at NPR will be to focus on creating new weekend programming to extend value of “Only A Game”, “Weekend Edition”, “Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me!”, and “Ask Me Another” – all foundational to a strong weekend schedule,” said Anya Grundamann, Vice President of Programming at NPR. Listeners will be able to hear weekly podcasts of the show after September 30, 2017, and individual stations will have the option of continued broadcast of the show that had its start some 30 years ago. New episodes ended back in 2012 with the retirement of hosts Tom and Ray Magliozzi. Tom Magliozzi died of complications from Alzheimer’s disease in 2014.
Consumers who buy Porsches are the most satisfied new car owners, according to the annual J. D. Power APEAL survey. Porsche ranks highest overall in APEAL for a 12th consecutive year, with a score of 877 index points. BMW ranks second with 859, Jaguar and Mercedes-Benz rank third in a tie at 852, and Land Rover, Lexus and Lincoln rank fifth in a tie at 843. Volkswagen (809) ranks highest among non-premium brands, followed by MINI (808), Kia (807), Ford (803), Ram (803) and GMC (802). General Motors received six segment-level awards, followed by Hyundai Motor Company with five and BMW AG and Volkswagen AG with four each. Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., and Toyota Motor Corporation each have two models that rank highest in their respective segments. Factory installed navigation systems remain a challenge for vehicle owners, Power said. Engine/transmission is the only category to decline (-1 point) this year, linked to transmission smoothness when shifting, as penetration of 8- and 9-speed automatic transmissions increases. Vehicles equipped with blind spot monitoring and low speed collision avoidance had overall higher scores than those without those features.
Many in this country may not know that Mercedes parent company produces heavy duty trucks in Europe. And now Daimler has concluded that batteries will improve to the extent that it will be practical to produce a heavy duty electric powered truck from the start of the next decade. It expects batteries will be about 250 percent more powerful by that time, making the endeavor more practical