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Ford Motor Co. (NYSE:F): When Driver’s Seat asked Ford marketing boss Jim Farley if a appearance now matters more than it used to, he answered that they do, and Ford’s designers and product developers have placed more focus on making the Fusion more attractive than its fellow midsize sedans. Farley stated that this is “Because people aren’t buying cars by the pound anymore.” A lot of drivers have downsized as a way to save on fuel or because they are not able to afford large, expensive cars and SUVs, but these customers do not want to give up convenience and luxury features. Customer expectation for a high-end design even on low-priced vehicles continues to rise.
General Motors Company (NYSE:GM): The contract talks between the company and the Canadian Auto Workers were “bogged down” due to plant-specific issues, states a CAW official, which diminishes hopes for a quick breakthrough on the overall deal, according to Reuters. The union has reached a tentative contract agreement with Ford (NYSE:F), and its talks with Chrysler Group (FIATY) continue to be far from solved.
Toyota Motor Corporation (NYSE:TM): General Motors (NYSE:GM) continues its attempts to catch up to industry leader Toyota Motor in regards to customer retention, according to The Detroit News, noting that each 1 percent retention increase would would be a total of $700 million revenue gain. Toyota has a loyalty rate of nearly 58 percent, and GM’s rate was not revealed but it was suggested that it was was close to the industry average of 52 to 53 percent.
Honda Motor Co., Ltd. (NYSE:HMC): Production at Swindon’s Honda plant should not be disrupted because of the protests China. Japanese car makers, including Honda, have prepared themselves as the violent protests over control of islands that are claimed by both China and Japan continue to boil. The three biggest manufacturers in Japan, Honda, Toyota and Nissan, have reported attacks on their dealerships in the eastern port city of Qingdao and have paused production at Chinese plants.
A123 Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:AONE) saw a 2.7 percent rise in its stock price, after seeing heavy losses previously in the week.The company was even removed from the Nasdaq Clean Edge Green Energy Index at the beginning of the week. Thirteen other securities were removed, including Capstone Turbine, Green Plains Renewable Energy, Suntech Power and Canadian Solar, a Market Watch report said.
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