Renault Reports Loss, Expects Tough 2010

French car maker Renault SA on Thursday announced a big loss for 2009 and warned that business conditions will remain difficult this year because of an expected 10% decline in the European market. [Read the full article]

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Can Opel be saved? The free market doesn’t seem to consider the German auto company a long-term competitive business: No company has offered to finance it, at least not without getting billions from taxpayers from half of Europe. Or else General Motors is bluffing to see how much it can extract from pliable politicians ever ready to pander to public opinion–in this case the misguided notion that “saving” Opel will save jobs. A few months ago GM, itself bailed out by the U.S. government, figured it could afford to scuttle a planned sale of Opel/Vauxhall, even if it meant reneging on its deal with the German government. The Germans, led by Chancellor Angela Merkel, had offered government funds to facilitate that sale, expecting Opel’s German operations would be spared the worst of job cuts. At the same time Germany (implausibly) declared that GM could not count on similar support if it took Opel off the market. Now Merkel & Co. [Read the full article]

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