Ford Motor Co. (NYSE:F) has announced that they have tripled the number of dealers who are certified to sell their plug-in hybrid vehicles that include the C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid on sale now. “900 dealers are either certified or enrolled for certification, this almost triples Ford’s initial plans for about 350 certified dealers by early 2013.”
General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) is closing in on a deal to purchase some of the international operations of Ally Financial, their previous mortgage unit for about $4 billion. Ally, once a wholly owned General Motors Corpany subsidiary known as GMAC, is getting rid of foreign operations so that they can pay back the money owed to the United States government for their $17.2 billion bailout. The U.S. Treasury owns a 74% majority stake as part of the bailout. Ally so far has repaid $5.9 billion.
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Toyota Motor Corporation (NYSE:TM) is testing car safety systems that will let vehicles communicate with each other and with the roads that they are driving on. This is being tested in a new facility in Japan. The cars at the Intelligent Transport System site are set to get information from sensors and transmitters installed on the streets. Hopefully, this will help to lower the frequency of accidents in certain situations such as going through a red or orange light, cars advancing from blind spots and pedestrians crossing the street. The system will also test cars that transmit such information to each other.
Honda Motor Co., Ltd. (NYSE:HMC): Hit by consumer criticism from their own dealers and auto reviewers, Honda Motor Co., Ltd. will commence selling an almost completely redesigned Civic. Honda is making changes to the sheet metal giving it a more aggressive, sportier look. Inside, they will improve comfort, change the much-criticized interior and overhaul the sedan’s driving characteristics.
A123 Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:AONE): A Delaware judge has authorized a Chinese auto-parts maker to provide bankruptcyfinancing for battery maker A123 Systems, Inc. The judge gave temporary approval for Wanxiang Group to give $50 million in financing to the company. A Milwaukee-based auto-parts maker, Johnson Controls Inc., had agreed to buy A123’s automotive assets for $125 million. However, JCI gave the role bankruptcy lender role to Wanxiang who is interested in bidding for A123’s assets.