Hey Mac What's Up? - All's Well That Ends Well

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A Roundup of Geneva Auto Show Press Days News

By Mac Gordon

Geneva and Detroit March 7, 2013; All's well that end's well certainly proved the case at the Geneva show, where headlines stole the spotlight over the final weekend with surprises from star players Toyota, China and GM.

Amid downbeat comments that punctuated the show's opening, Toyota sprang the news of a top-level shakeup led by President Akio Toyoda and naming three outside directors, a Toyota first.

The Chinese government played a key role in the second news “breaker,” winking at the rollout of seven models of vehicles to be built in Shanghai by the new joint venture between Chery Automobile Company and Israel Corporation. Qoros CEO Qian Guo said dealer networks are being set up in near-premium markets in China and Europe…its lowest-priced car is priced about $26,000 for a Qoros 3 sedan or station wagon.

GM's CEO, Dan Akerson, threw out a daunting challenge as the Geneva show wound down.

GM, he asserted, would “easily” meet the federal MPG target of 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025, by which time he said, GM expects to be in mass production of all-electric cars which would have range of up to 200 miles.

Summing up the Geneva news, which covers all the bases involving global industry problems, an observer senses a trio of strong PR moves:

No. 1 Toyota-determined to stay No. 1 and squelch all the criticism; Beijing and its new leadership poised to become a world auto player after all the years of procrastination, and once-mighty GM battling back with lightweight cars and all-electric ones.

GM at Geneva also disclosed it is co-developing a power system with Peugeot Citroen that will reduce fuel consumption as well as carbon-dioxide emissions.

Akerson wants GM to be first in the area of energy conservation.

By 2017, he says, minimizing the Chevy Volt battery fires of last year, about 500,000 GM vehicles will have some form of electrification in the U.S. Akerson lays down a challenge to Germany, whose chancellor, Angela Merkel, has called on her automakers to be No.1 in electrification by 2018! All's fair, they say, in love and car wars!

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