Ford Motor Co. (NYSE:F): According to Reuters, Opel Chairman Wolfgang Schaefer-Klug would like to reach a deal on German jobs with the company’s management before Christmas. He does not see Ford Motor Co.’s move to close three factories and cut 5,700 jobs in Europe as a prototype for General Motors and Opel.
Toyota Motor Corporation (NYSE:TM): According to the Associated Press, Toyota Motor Corporation is assessing care safety systems that would allow vehicles to communicate with each other and with the roads they are traveling on. Officials say the smart-car technology will be tested on some Japanese roads beginning in 2014 and there are plans in place for similar trials in the United States.
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Honda Motor Co., Ltd. (NYSE:HMC) is introducing the Gold Wing F6B, an unadorned version of the top-of-the-line Gold Wing and the CB1100, a bare bones street bike that looks a lot like the Honda CBs that were popular with the 1970s cafe racer crowd. Honda built Gold Wings at their Marysville, Ohio plant from 1979 to 2009, but the new ones will be manufactured in Japan using the same tools sent over from the Buckeye State. It will utilize the same massive fuel injected 1832 cc flat six that was seen in earlier models, but the F6B has modified fairings with blacked out trim and swooping lines not unlike those on late ’40s Buick fastbacks.
Tesla Motors, Inc. (NASDAQ:TSLA): Motor Trend magazine hailed Tesla Motors, Inc.’s Model S as their 2013 Car of the Year, the first time a non-gasoline powered vehicle received this commendation, but Americans are still getting used to the idea of driving an electric car. The Model S beat finalists that include luxury and family cars such as the Ford C-Max Hybrid, Ford Fusion, Honda Accord, BMW 3 Series, Lexus GS, Porche 911, Porche Boxster, and Subaru BRZ. Edward Loh, Editor-in-Chief of Motor Trend, said the car was, “truly a game changer” and the fastest American sedan tested. Tesla Motors, based in Palo Alto, Calif. and founded in 2003, made headlines when they created the first all-electric sports car, the Tesla Roadster. Tesla calls the Model S the “world’s first premium electric sedan,” and is priced at $49,900 to $97,900 based on battery options and upgrades. Tesla Motors became “incredibly controversial” during the election season. Mitt Romney, during one of the presidential debates, called Tesla and Solyndra “losers” that had received support from the Federal Government.
A123 Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:AONE): According to Reuters, A123 Systems, Inc. will likely receive offers from at least four companies when the bankrupt lithium-ion battery pack maker starts receiving bids on December 6. Johnson Controls and China-based Wanxiang Group Corp. will likely be the top bidders, while Japan’s NEC Corp. and Germany’s Siemens AG may also jump on the bandwagon. Wanxiang, which has made a confidential bid for A123, has worried United States Senators John Thune of South Dakota (NYSE:R) and Chuck Grassley of Iowa (NYSE:R), who have asked the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) to look into the possibility of a Chinese company getting access to U.S military contracts. A123 has received about $130 million in U.S Department of Energy grant funds. A123 recently received U.S Bankruptcy Court permission to borrow $50 million from Wanxiang. Meanwhile, A123 has received a $125 million bid from Johnson Controls for their automotive business whose clients include Fisker, General Motors and BMW.