Next week's Beijing auto show probably can't come soon enough for General Motors' top brass. For at least a week, GM execs should be able to sidestep the chorus of questions from the media and investors about GM's game plan to stem the tide of red ink flowing from Europe.
Automotive mirror supplier Gentex Corp. reported a 9 percent increase in first-quarter earnings, citing higher demand from North American and European customers. But Gentex shares plunged 16 percent for the day because of analysts' reactions to the company's tighter profit margins.
Ford, in a bid to catch up with GM and VW in the world's largest auto market, said it will build a $760 million assembly plant in Hangzhou, China. The project will help Ford double its manufacturing capacity in the country to 1.2 million vehicles a year.
Abu Dhabi is to exit its investment in German premium carmaker Daimler, a German magazine reported on Thursday. The Gulf state's investment fund Aabar is currently examining ways of disposing of its remaining 3 percent stake, manager magazin reported, citing company sources.
Volkswagen is bracing for a "very demanding year" as the European debt crisis continues and global economic growth slows, CEO Martin Winterkorn said. Despite this, the automaker remains "cautiously optimistic" for 2012 and aims to increase auto sales and revenue beyond 2011 results, he said.
Hyundai aims to sell 152,000 revamped Santa Fe SUVs globally this year, as it seeks to hold off a surge from high-end foreign brands at home. The third-generation Santa Fe is Hyundai's sole model to be launched globally this year.
A German union seeking a pay rise for 3.6 million engineering workers in North Rhine-Westphalia, home to plants from Ford and Opel, rejected on Wednesday a pay rise offer of 3 percent presented by employers and said it was likely to start token strikes to back its pay claim.