Looks like Gumpert will live to see another day. Or multiple days, if the recent resurgence in sales keep up.
After a recent filing for insolvency, the German supercar maker was able to restart production, allowing it to slowly yet steadily build on its order list to help the company not only survive but also "continue permanently and sustainably."
Insolvency administrator Görge Scheid expressed enough confidence to say in a press release that the company is looking at far more stable days in the future. “We strongly assume that we will find an investor and save all 25 jobs in Altenburg”, he said.
Before that, Gumpert must sustain production of the Apollo supercar and all of its variants. That certainly is possible, given there is strong demand for the supercar.
Managing director, Roland Gumpert, is certainly looking at brighter days ahead, saying that the company is already expecting to sell four or five cars in the “next quarter".
If Gumpert can ride on that momentum, then it’s brush with insolvency could end up becoming just a minor blip in company history.
After three successful movies as the witty and fast-twitching Sam Witwicky, Shia Labeouf will no longer be part of the fourth Transformers movie, handing over the reins to Mark Wahlberg, according director Michael Bay.
The fourth movie of the blockbuster franchise is set to be released on June 27, 2014. While it will still be focused on the never-ending robotic slugfest between the Autobots and the Decepticons, news of Wahlberg taking Labeouf’s place as the main human character appears to suggest that the franchise is headed in a different direction.
It’s still billed as a sequel to the Dark of the Moon, although much of what we’ve come to know about the three movies is set to receive a major shake-up now that Sam Witwicky and his nervous twitches will no longer be around to entertain us.
As far as the robots are concerned, there hasn’t been an announcement on any new cars that will be part of the fourth movie, and if this fourth installment is going to be set as a sequel to the last movie, we’re expecting the star Autobots - Optimus Prime and Bumblebee, to be exact - to return in their normal guise.
Fisker began development of a revolutionary car, the Karma, roughly four years ago. At that time, folks were optimistic, excited, and had almost only good things to say about this upstart company. It’s crazy how fast things can change.
As time moved on, Fisker started running into some real issues that would likely destroy many startup companies. The downward trend started with the DOE freezing its loan to Fisker after it had only used about half of the available funds. The next issue was a pair or recalls – one in December 2011 and another in May 2012 – because of incorrectly positioned hose clamps that could cause a coolant leak. And you likely know, electricity and water do not mix.. Then came the fires…
The first fire came about in April 2012, when a man’s house and other two cars were damaged after his Karma caught fire in the garage. The cause of that fire was not known, but it is likely related to the following fire that came just months later. This second fire occurred in August and was easily contained to just the front end of the $100K luxury car. The one good thing to come out of this fire is that Fisker was quick to the aid of the owner and quick to mobilize a group of outside investigators to figure out that it was a failed low-temperature fan that caused the flame.
This final fire brought about the final recall of the Karma, to date. In this recall, Fisker asked 1,377 Karma customers to bring cars in to have the cooling fan replaced. Between all of these issues were complaints from customers about a Command Center that didn’t operate effectively and a “Stealth” mode that wasn’t too stealthy. Adding to those complaints was a very poor review of the Karma by Consumer Reports.
With these issues came a shellacking from the press – automotive and general – and all Fisker could do was try and get its own version of the story out. Well, we just gave Fisker an avenue to air its side of the story in our exclusive interview with Fisker’s Senior Director of Global Corporate Communications & PR, Roger Fisker.
To read what Fisker has to say about these issues and more about its future, click past the jump.
Aston Martin is one of the few niche automakers that is almost going it alone, as Ford only holds a 15-percent share in the premium sports car company and the rest is shared between privateer David Richards, and Kuwaiti investment firms Investment Dar and Adeem Investment Co. Of those three, Investment Dar owns the majority of the company, which sits at 68 percent.
According to reports from Bloomberg Businessweek, Investment Dar is searching for a new home for Aston, but having a rough time selling the brand. It is trying to sell its share of the company for the same $800 million that it bought the company for just five years ago. One possible buyer is Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd., the current owner of SsanYong, but it appears as if Mahindra is not in the market to blow that kind of cash on the British automaker.
Another potential suitor, which is a bit of a surprise, is Toyota. The Japanese automaker actually went as far as to hire an outside auditor to do a week-long survey on the possibility of buying Aston Martin. From the looks of things, that audit didn’t turn out too well, as that happened two months ago and there is still no movement by Toyota.
As expected, Toyota and Mahindra declined to comment on the situation, and Investment Dar outright denied the claims that Aston is up for sale. Regardless of denials and lack of confirmation, the debt that Aston Martin has accumulated – about 1.37 billion dinars ($4.9 billion at the current exchange rates) – via an Islamic bond needs to be paid off and selling the company may be the only option.
Short of that, we may see Aston Martin go the way of the dodo bird…
We are all waiting to see the new SLS AMG Black Series and apparently this will happen earlier than expected. Mercedes AMG has posted a pretty cool teaser image for the upcoming SLS Black Series on their Facebook account, next to the promise that the official debut will be made in less than 24 hours.
"Anticipation is supposed to be the greatest joy. But don’t worry, Mercedes-AMG will not wait until Christmas to unwrap this gift. The mystery about the latest Mercedes-AMG model will be disclosed soon. In less than 24 hours, we reveal the secret under the car cover. Stay tuned and check back with us tomorrow."
And while we are still waiting for the official details, we have to remind you that details suggest the SLS Black Series will be powered by a revised 6.2 liter naturally aspirated V8 engine with an output of about 620 HP. With the extra power, the Black Series will most likely go from 0 to 60 mph in less than 3.5 seconds.
With so many auto records going by the wayside these days, you have to give credit to MINI for thinking out of the box - as usual - on their latest record attempt.
The German automaker recently announced their plans to go to the Arctic Circle to play messenger and deliver the longest Christmas list for - you guessed it - Santa Claus.
The record attempt is so big that it will involve a number of global MINI markets, including the US, Germany, Italy, the UK, Russia, Portugal, Belgium, Greece, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, and even Singapore.
What this entails is that a convoy of MINI vehicles will leave BMW Group Headquarters on November 24 and will make the 1,864-mile travel to Rovaniemi, Finland in the Arctic Circle.
Upon arrival, the convoy of MINIs will be greeted by 1967 Monte Carlo Rally winner Rauno Aaitonen, who will then proceed to show off his unique rally skills by what MINI describes as a demonstration of his "unequaled talent behind the wheel of a new MINI Paceman."
There’s no telling if Santa Claus and his merry band of elves will actually receive the Christmas wish list - we’re not holding out hope on that one - but this record attempt does paint a picture as to how MINI thinks of the upcoming holiday season. Give them credit because, if for nothing else, they’re already in the Christmas spirit despite the season still being a month away.
To say Ferrari has had a pretty stout 2012 fiscal year would be a huge understatement. In fact, Ferrari has just announced that it has broken its industrial net cash position record through September 2012. As of the close of September, Ferrari has raked in €959 million ($1.22 billion at the current exchange rates) in industrial net cash position
Industrial net cash position isn’t the only place that Ferrari is excelling in 2012. As of the close of September, it is showing revenue of €1.764 billion ($2.25 billion), which is a stout 10-percent increase to date. Of that revenue, it managed to milk out €152.4 million ($194 million) in profits so far this year, which is a 7.6-percent increase.
There are several factors that have created these huge jumps for Ferrari. First of all, it has delivered 5,267 road-dwelling cars, which is a 6-percent increase as of September. Much of this increase in delivery can be attributed to huge sales increases in the U.S., UK, Germany and Japan. These increases were 16 percent, 37 percent, 9 percent and 20 percent, respectively. The 37 percent jump in the UK is particularly strange, given the economic troubles in the entire area and the small fortune that a gallon of gasoline costs. Then again, when your net sales in the UK are just shy of 500 units, it doesn’t take much to move that needle to 37 percent.
Also seeing growth was China at 7 percent, and the Middle East stayed steady at 274 units delivered.
With all of the turmoil going on in Europe right now, we are rather shocked to see Ferrari doing so well. Then again, the people that Ferrari caters to likely have a little bit of “cushion” money during economic downturns like Europe saw.
We’ll keep an eye out to see how Ferrari finishes up the year.
Click past the jump to read Ferrari’s full press release.
The new Jaguar F-Type generated a ton of buzz even before it was officially unveiled in September at the 2012 Paris Auto Show. It is scheduled to go on sale in 2013, but even though its release is still months away, Jaguar has already received a total of 2,000 orders for the F-Type — about a third of the 6,000 to 7,000 units Jaguar plans to develop next year.
According to Jaguar, this will not propel the company back to its impressive 140,000 units it sold in 2007, but it will certainly help it to achieve its future sales target of 10,000 F-Types sold annually by 2014.
In the U.S. market, prices for the F-Type Roadster will range from $69,000 for the base model to upwards of $92,000 for the V8 S version. The F-Type Roadster will have a choice of two engines: a 3.0-liter supercharged V-6, which delivers 340 to 380 horsepower, or a 5.0-liter V-8 engine with 495 horsepower.
Back in 2011, Dodge unveiled a new package option for the Charger: the Blacktop Edition. This package included some pretty stout and downright sexy additions to the body, but it was only offered on V-6 model Chargers, leaving those wanting this look with the power to back it up out in the cold. With Dodge already expanding the Blacktop Edition package to the Challenger R/T and Avenger for the 2013 model year, it decided to also expand the package to the more powerful Charger R/T model.
While the Blacktop Edition package may look fully custom, under the hood the Charger R/T remains unchanged. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, as the Charger R/T remains one of the fastest American-built sedans on the market and this new package just gives it a more sinister look to go along with its stout performance.
The real test is to see if this package is really worth the premium that Dodge is attaching to it, or is this just another special edition model that has an inflated price tag with no valuable additions?
Click past the jump to read all about the 2013 Charger R/T Blacktop and see if it is up to snuff.
Fisker had some issues with Karmas and spontaneous combustion, as of late, and even mentioning the word “Fire” in Fisker’s home office is likely an offense likely worthy of firing. Wait, but you can’t say “Firing” either, so how about “Termination.” Reports out of New Jersey of Karmas catching fire following Hurricane Sandy couldn’t have possibly come at a worse time.
According to the reports, a group of Fisker Karmas were sitting at port in New Jersey when seawater submerged them. A short time after their submersion, 16 of the stored Karmas burst into flames. From the images we are seeing, they are total losses and we will likely never know the precise cause, but Fisker is diligently investigating the situation.
One thing is for sure here, this will likely not have anything to do with a flaw in the Karma’s design. It’s likely no more Fisker’s fault than a blow dryer’s fault for you getting electrocuted while drying your hair in the bathtub. It’s simple: deep water + electronics = “zap” and “boom.” This is multiplied when you add in the corrosive salt in the ocean and the fact that these cars were likely submerged for a long time.
We are more concerned with whether these cars were already sold to customers or if they were just dealership stock. Plus, with the financial eggshells that all startups walk on, we are concerned with how losing this large of a percentage of Karmas produced will affect Fisker’s 2012 and 2013 outlook.
We’ve reached out to Fisker to try to get a better grasp on the situation. We’ll pass any information we get along to you.