Category: Production

By on December 9, 2016

Normal, Illinois (Ross Griff/Flickr)

An abandoned assembly plant in Normal, Illinois, could once again become a beehive of car-building activity.

Opened in 1988 as a collaborative effort between Chrysler and Mitsubishi, the plant served as headquarters for a great 1980s corporate relic — Diamond-Star Motors. In its heyday, the facility dutifully cranked out Plymouth Lasers, Mitsubishi Eclipses, and Eagle Talons, before Chrysler lost interest in the 50-50 deal.

Turned over to Mitsubishi in 1995, the plant soldiered on after Diamond-Star Motors bit the dust. What followed was a parade of forgettable nameplates — Mitsubishi Mirage, Eagle Summit, even the Dodge Stratus Coupe — before a final shutdown earlier this year eliminated the last of 1,250 jobs and production of the Outlander Sport.

Now, the 2.4 million square foot plant could soon be home to a shadowy new tenant. Read More >

By on December 2, 2016

2016 Ram 1500 R/T exterior badging, Image: © 2016 Mark Stevenson/The Truth About Cars

Don’t you hate it when you’ve bragged to your friends for months about the brawny V8 engine in your Ram 1500, only to check the oil one day and discover it’s a V6?

That’s the joke Fiat Chrysler Automobiles accidentally played after a badging mix-up at the assembly plant. Also in the news this week is a Canadian town that tortures drunk drivers with godawful Nickelback tunes, as well as an Australian suspect who stopped for gas a number of times during a high-speed police pursuit.

Read More >

By on November 26, 2016

C1937 Cord 812 (Jane Nealing/Flickr)

Amelia Earhart owned one, and likely would have seen more sunsets had she chosen it as her ride of choice, instead of a Lockheed Electra.

It was one of the great American automobiles of the interwar era, and a favorite of matinee stars — a nameplate steeped in style, class and technological innovation. But, ultimately, short-lived.

Or was it? If one Texan has his way, we could soon see a small-scale revival of the Cord brand. Read More >

By on November 22, 2016

VW logo

Disgraced automaker Volkswagen AG is trying to smooth things over in the United States by promising to increase its commitment to North America. The company has stated that its core brand’s lineup will swell to include new electric vehicles slated for U.S. production in 2021.

The task of building those vehicles comes with a mountain of challenges.

Read More >

By on November 19, 2016

The enduring popularity of the Chevrolet Equinox has led General Motors to some creative manufacturing approaches to keep up with demand. In addition to the crossoverÕs assembly home in Ingersoll, Ontario, GM runs a shuttle system that takes Equinox bodies to Oshawa, Ont., for painting and final production, Image: General Motors Canada

After a long-fought public relations campaign by General Motors Canada and Unifor, and a collective agreement that sees Unifor-GM temporary workers converted to full-time employment, Oshawa Assembly is on the up as pickup truck final assembly will run alongside Cadillac XTS production in the future.

However, that truck production can’t sustain Oshawa Assembly in the long-term, and sources within the company are saying more product is on the way for the beleaguered plant.

According to two General Motors representatives, one on each side of the border, Oshawa will produce vehicles in addition to the still unannounced pickup final assembly and Cadillac XTS.

Read More >

By on November 18, 2016

2015LincolnMKC_01

Ford’s Louisville, Kentucky assembly plant will continue to crank out Lincoln MKC crossovers, rather than head down south for a Mexican vacation.

The news, which Ford confirmed after an enthusiastic President-elect Donald Trump tweeted it, means the automaker will need to look elsewhere for more Escapes. It doesn’t, however, mean a factory closing was averted. Read More >

By on November 16, 2016

Mark-Fields (Image: Ford)

There’s something about billions of dollars in investment and carefully planned long-term product strategies that make it hard for an automaker to turn on a dime in the face of a threat.

Ford Motor Company CEO Mark Fields says his company has no plans to reverse course on its goal of boosting production of cars and components in Mexico, even after President-elect Trump’s promise of a 35-percent tariff on vehicles crossing the Rio Grande.

It’s a game of chicken Ford intents to win. Read More >

By on November 11, 2016

2017 Chrysler Pacifica, Image: FCA

Tranquility returns to North America as FCA’s ill-fated minivan assembly plant prepares itself for a return to active duty.

That, the used car rulebook is getting an update, an autoworkers’ union puts its hand out for government cash, and Porsche shrinks the price-tag and stretches the length of the Panamera … after the break!

Read More >

By on November 11, 2016

2017 Honda CR-V

The skyrocketing popularity of utility vehicles in the U.S. marketplace has left Honda scrambling to catch up with the rapid change in consumer demand.

Production doesn’t turn on a dime just because more Americans want to option of transporting four kids, their stuff, and their sister’s dog. So, as it trims its sales forecast due to a car-heavy product mix, Honda has rolled out a plan to give buyers more of what they want.

It’s also prepared to use boats, if necessary. Read More >

By on November 9, 2016

2015 Cadillac ATSs at Lansing Grand River Assembly

Lackluster demand for several General Motors models has forced the automaker to announce shift cuts at two assembly plants, leading more than 2,000 lost jobs.

It’s unpleasant news for autoworkers in America’s manufacturing heartland, but the General hints that four-wheeled saviors are on the way. Read More >

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