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Detroit automakers may be betting high-profit SUVs and trucks are a better fit for their domestic plants as those automakers shift production away from cars to make room for larger, high-margin vehicles.
Ford and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles will largely shift production of their cars to Mexico and bring more trucks and SUVs to North American facilities, according to their contracts with the United Auto Workers, Automotive News reported.
The report consolidates production planning schedules included in UAW contracts with domestic automakers, which shows automakers’ plans to move some of their cars to Mexico or overseas. Of the Big Three, General Motors will sell the most domestically produced cars in North America, including the Malibu, Impala, Sonic, Bolt and Volt, although the small-car plant recently announced a slowing production schedule. Ford will still produce the Mustang and Fusion at its Flat Rock plant in Michigan. Read More >
It’s not quite “Vanilla Sky,” but Ford is testing its autonomous vehicle tech at the University of Michigan’s Mcity, a 32-acre fake city with weirdly placed fire hydrants and fake hipster bookstores, and no one around.
The automaker announced Friday that its Fusion Hybrid was managing the testing grounds’ lanes, turns, roads, intersections, lights, without one artificial bumper bent or curbed wheel — allegedly.
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The United Auto Workers in its latest proposed contract with Ford will protect workers from discrimination based on those workers’ gender identities or expressions, a potentially sweeping measure for a normally conservative industry.
According to the contract, the proposed agreement would protect any employee regardless of “race, color, national origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, union activity, religion, or … any employee with disabilities.”
The UAW’s contract with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles included for the first time language that covered gender identity for those workers. Read More >
Rank-and-file Ford workers may get their first glimpses Monday at a newly proposed contract between the automaker and the United Auto Workers union, the Detroit News reported.
According to the report, Ford workers may be offered a $10,000 signing bonus to approve the contract; a $1,750 annual bonus payout, similar to one in the proposed General Motors contract; a $70,000 early retirement buyout for senior workers; a $9 billion investment plan for Ford factories; and, pay increases for veteran Tier 1 and newer Tier 2 workers. Read More >
United Auto Workers at General Motors’ Fort Wayne, Indiana facility overwhelmingly agreed to a proposed contract with the automaker that would raise wages and eventually close the gap between veteran workers and employees hired after 2007, Reuters reported.
Workers at the facility, who build full-size trucks for GM, approved the contract by nearly 60 percent. Workers at other GM facilities, including Wentzville, Missouri and Spring Hill, Tennessee, approved the deal by similar margins, paving the way for ultimate approval for the labor contract.
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Ford Motor Company said Tuesday that the company posted its most profitable third quarter driven by pickup sales in North America.
According to Ford CEO Mark Fields, F-150 transaction prices were up $2,800 for the third quarter in 2015 compared to the same period last year and dealers were reporting full stocks of trucks, up from this year’s shortage.
Fields stopped short of saying the new F-150 was more profitable than the outgoing generation, but said the truck was contributing — not taking away from — the company’s record profit. Representatives said high-margin cars such as the Edge, Mustang and Explorer also contributed to pre-tax profit of $2.7 billion last quarter. Read More >
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration selected former Transportation Secretary Rodney Slater as an independent monitor over Fiat Chrysler Automobiles safety compliance, the automaker announced Friday.
Slater was transportation secretary under President Bill Clinton from 1997 to 2001. After his federal post, Slater has held a slew of automobile safety-related posts including his recent appointment as special counsel to Takata.
Slater was the first black director for the Federal Highway Administration and the second black transportation secretary.
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General Motors will lay off around 500 workers and eliminate one shift at its Orion Assembly due to sagging demand for small cars, the automaker announced Friday. Those workers may be sent to a nearby plant.
Automotive News first reported on the layoffs.
According to a statement from a GM spokesman, the automaker will “adjust plant production capacity to align with market demand” and eliminate one shift that builds the Sonic. Demand for the Sonic has largely remained flat since the subcompact’s introduction in 2011.
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United Auto Workers at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles plants voted to overwhelmingly approve a contract with the automaker three weeks after turning back its first proposal, the union reported.
According to a statement posted on the UAW’s website, 77 percent of hourly production, 72 percent of skilled trades and 87 percent of salaried bargaining unit workers approved the contract.
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General Motors announced Thursday that it would add a second shift to a flexible Detroit plant to prepare for upcoming demand for its cars.
GM will add roughly 1,200 jobs to Detroit-Hamtramck this year to help it build new models, the automaker said in a statement. The plant builds the Chevrolet Volt, Impala and Malibu and the Cadillac ELR there on a single production line. Production of the Cadillac CT6 will start there in early 2016. Read More >