The Truth About Cars » Production http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Thu, 30 Jul 2015 21:00:58 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.2 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars » Production http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/category/news-blog/production-news-blog/ Reuters: Subaru Success Fueled By Marginalized Foreign Workers http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/reuters-subaru-success-fueled-by-marginalized-foreign-workers/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/reuters-subaru-success-fueled-by-marginalized-foreign-workers/#comments Wed, 29 Jul 2015 20:00:13 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1128529 Reuters Investigates has a scathing report on foreign workers in Japan at some of Subaru’s most important suppliers. According to the news agency, due to the combination of a booming “Abenomics”, Japan’s 2010 asylum seeker program, and manufacturers looking for cheap sources of expendable labor, foreigners are taken advantage of and treated as second- and […]

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2015-Subaru-Forester

Reuters Investigates has a scathing report on foreign workers in Japan at some of Subaru’s most important suppliers. According to the news agency, due to the combination of a booming “Abenomics”, Japan’s 2010 asylum seeker program, and manufacturers looking for cheap sources of expendable labor, foreigners are taken advantage of and treated as second- and third-class workers. Another program meant to help Chinese citizens learn manufacturing skills in Japan is also implicated in helping Subaru take advantage of marginalized immigrant workers.

Subaru isn’t the only automotive manufacturer named as the same suppliers also feed parts to Honda and Toyota.

The long, detailed report states there are nearly 18,000 foreign residents in Ota, Subaru’s manufacturing home base in Japan, “making it a rare example of multiculturalism in a country stubbornly resistant to immigration” at three times the national average by percentage of population.

However, that immigration isn’t officially of the economic variety as is typically seen between industrialized nations, but of asylum seekers looking for a better life and finding their way into Japan through labor brokers and as indebted trainees. The situation has also been an example of institutionalized racism within Japan.

From Reuters:

In Ota’s auto industry, labor brokers and a manager at a Subaru supplier said ethnicity plays a part in how workers are placed: Japanese workers are at the top of the chain, followed by Brazilians of Japanese descent, who have been in the country longer under a special visa category and can speak the language. They’re followed by South Asians, many of them asylum seekers, and lastly, African workers at the bottom of the pyramid. An executive at one local manufacturer said he favored asylum seekers from Nepal, Sri Lanka, India and Bangladesh, who he said are more willing to take on difficult jobs for lower pay.

“We carefully examined the matter and confirmed that this was not the case,” Subaru said in a written response to questions from Reuters.

The conditions for asylum-seekers-turned-workers in Ota are fueled by Subaru’s popular Forester, Reuters states in the report, running counter to the company’s “Love Promise” to make “a positive impact in the world.” Some workers make as little as minimum wage — $6.60 an hour — before labor brokers take their own cut off the top for housing, utilities and “dispatch fees” for arranging employment.

Many of the employees, typically on short-term contracts, are working illegally while on provisional release from immigration detention centers.

From Reuters:

Asked how people on provisional release were supposed to survive if they were barred from working, Hidetoshi Ogawa, a senior official at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said they should rely on support from their relatives, friends and local charities. He said provisional release was a humanitarian measure to avoid long-term detention, “but in truth, these people should leave the country.”

The terms of employment, conditions of work, and treatment of the workers is fully detailed in the report and not what you’d expect from a supposed First World country like Japan.

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Car Building in Ontario Could Die, and They Probably Can’t Save It http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/car-building-ontario-die-probably-cant-save/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/car-building-ontario-die-probably-cant-save/#comments Mon, 27 Jul 2015 21:00:15 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1125985 Ontario’s debt is swelling and as home to eight manufacturing plants — the largest complex in North America — automakers may have a tough time keeping plants open in Canada’s most-populous province. According to a story by the Financial Post, Ontario is moving forward with an ambitious plan to revamp roads and mass transit systems despite its debt being downgraded […]

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Chrysler Brampton Assembly Plant

Ontario’s debt is swelling and as home to eight manufacturing plants — the largest complex in North America — automakers may have a tough time keeping plants open in Canada’s most-populous province.

According to a story by the Financial Post, Ontario is moving forward with an ambitious plan to revamp roads and mass transit systems despite its debt being downgraded by Standard & Poor’s bond index. The broad public spending plan also extends to other sectors, despite high unemployment numbers and slumping manufacturing jobs.

Automakers such as Fiat Chrysler Automobiles have called on the provincial government to cut back on public programs and reduce costs on utilities in an effort to keep car building in the province profitable. This year, Chevrolet will shift production of its Camaro to Michigan. On the whole, Oshawa GM production has a dark cloud lingering overhead until the company decides what to do with the facility in 2016.

Ontario’s debt is twice that of California’s with only half the population, the Financial Post reported.

Last month the province reported that 5,200 manufacturing jobs left the region, which prompted local business leaders to sign a petition asking the government to reconsider its proposed pension plan that FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne said this month could hamper growth.

“We’re fully aware of the fact that this proposal on pensions and cap and trade and all this stuff … these are all things that add cost to the running of operations, they don’t come for free,” Marchionne said, according to the Toronto Sun.

Already, automakers such as Volvo and Land Rover have turned down Ontario in favor of operations in the United States and it’s unclear if swelling debt and rising costs of operation will cost the province more jobs in the future.

Other automakers that already have facilities in Ontario are making changes. Honda and Ford are both positioning their plants to manufacture vehicles for export markets. Toyota, on the other hand, will end Corolla production in Ontario in favor of Mexico. The company stated it will “switch from producing Corollas to mid-sized, higher-value vehicles” at their Canadian plant. The replacement product has not yet been announced.

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Dodge Doubling Hellcat Production, Taking Orders in August http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/dodge-doubling-hellcat-production-taking-orders-august/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/dodge-doubling-hellcat-production-taking-orders-august/#comments Mon, 27 Jul 2015 16:00:54 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1125697 Dodge will roughly double the number of Charger and Challenger Hellcat models it makes next year and will significantly change the way dealers can order the 707-horsepower model in the future, the company announced Monday. Dodge also announced that it would be cancelling nearly 900 unfulfilled 2015 orders and honoring those prices for 2016. Dealers […]

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2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat

Dodge will roughly double the number of Charger and Challenger Hellcat models it makes next year and will significantly change the way dealers can order the 707-horsepower model in the future, the company announced Monday. Dodge also announced that it would be cancelling nearly 900 unfulfilled 2015 orders and honoring those prices for 2016.

Dealers will begin taking new orders for the super-performance cars sometime around Aug. 10 and will only be allowed to order their specific allocation. According to Automotive News, reports surfaced last year of Dodge dealers accepting deposits for many more Challenger and Charger Hellcat models than they were allotted.

Dealers will begin receiving Hellcats in September through February.

Dodge CEO Tim Kuniskis told Automotive News that customers learning Monday that their order has been cancelled “is probably not what they want to hear, but we’re going to do it so that we have a fresh, clean slate going forward with everything that we learned in 2015.” Dodge said they’ll begin today calling customers who won’t receive 2015 models.

Initially, Dodge anticipated building 1,200 Hellcat-powered models last year. Initial orders topped 4,000 and eventually reached 5,000.

Dealers who don’t sell their allotment of Challenger or Charger Hellcat models right away — if they’ve raised the price far beyond the MSRP, for example — may have future allotments of the model restricted, the automaker said.

Dodge has not yet announced pricing for the 2016 Charger and Challenger Hellcat models.

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Breaking: Mitsubishi Ending U.S. Production, According To Nikkei Report http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/breaking-mitsubishi-ending-u-s-production-according-to-nikkei-report/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/breaking-mitsubishi-ending-u-s-production-according-to-nikkei-report/#comments Thu, 23 Jul 2015 21:40:15 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1124313 Mitsubishi’s plant in Normal, Ill. is set to shut its doors for good. That’s what Japan’s Nikkei news service is reporting today, though U.S. representatives for the company declined to comment. The plant was opened by Diamond-Star Motors, a joint venture between Mitsubishi and Chrysler, in 1988 after two years of construction. It currently builds the Outlander […]

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2013 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport

Mitsubishi’s plant in Normal, Ill. is set to shut its doors for good. That’s what Japan’s Nikkei news service is reporting today, though U.S. representatives for the company declined to comment.

The plant was opened by Diamond-Star Motors, a joint venture between Mitsubishi and Chrysler, in 1988 after two years of construction. It currently builds the Outlander Sport/RVR, but was tasked with manufacturing the Eclipse/Plymouth Laser/Eagle Talon, Mirage/Eagle Summit, Galant, and coupe versions of the Dodge Avenger, Stratus and Chrysler Sebring during its lifetime.

According to Automotive News, the closure is part of a “strategic shift to the growing Asian market.” Mitsubishi will look for a buyer for the plant, and there’s no shortage of potential companies looking for additional capacity.

After the break up of Diamond-Star Motors, Chrysler’s stake in the plant was purchased by Mitsubishi. At its peak, the Normal facility produced about 200,000 vehicles per year. Last year, the plant produced just short of 70,000 vehicles, still better than the less than 20,000 it produced in 2009.

 

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Nissan Halts Sales on Some Maximas for Quality Issues http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/nissan-halts-sales-maximas-quality-issues/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/nissan-halts-sales-maximas-quality-issues/#comments Thu, 23 Jul 2015 18:00:07 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1124145 Nissan has told its dealers to stop selling specific models of the Maxima due to unspecified quality issue, Automotive News is reporting. The issue involves Maximas with a specific VIN, not a model type. It’s unclear if those cars have been delivered to dealers or customers. According to Automotive News, Nissan hasn’t identified how many models […]

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2016 Nissan Maxima (18 of 23)

Nissan has told its dealers to stop selling specific models of the Maxima due to unspecified quality issue, Automotive News is reporting.

The issue involves Maximas with a specific VIN, not a model type. It’s unclear if those cars have been delivered to dealers or customers. According to Automotive News, Nissan hasn’t identified how many models would be affected by the stop-sale, nor how many of the models may have already been sold.

Nissan hasn’t made available details about the VIN number or how to identify the held cars.

A Denver-area Nissan dealer said he wasn’t aware of the stop-sale at all.

A Nissan spokesman told Automotive News that the company would investigate the issue further before making any public statements.

“Nissan is committed to a high level of customer service and satisfaction,” the company said in a statement to Automotive News. “This commitment requires Nissan to periodically place certain specific vehicles on a temporary Quality Assurance Hold to assure that these vehicles, as delivered to our customers, meet our exacting standards and our customers’ expectations.”

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Land Rover Defender Production Extended Into 2016 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/land-rover-defender-production-extended-into-2016/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/land-rover-defender-production-extended-into-2016/#comments Mon, 20 Jul 2015 19:00:17 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1120177 Land Rover, just after building its two-millionth Defender (pictured), looks to be extending final production of the go-anywhere utility into January of next year. According to Automotive News Europe, the manufacturer will extend production of the Defender and increase production before the new best-before date to meet renewed demand, the company said a statement. Unfortunately, none of […]

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LR_DEF_2_Million_Studio_220615_01

Land Rover, just after building its two-millionth Defender (pictured), looks to be extending final production of the go-anywhere utility into January of next year.

According to Automotive News Europe, the manufacturer will extend production of the Defender and increase production before the new best-before date to meet renewed demand, the company said a statement.

Unfortunately, none of those Defenders will be making it stateside — at least not in new condition. However, Jaguar Land Rover is looking for an additional facility, likely outside of the U.K., in order to expand future production. Contract builder Magna Styr recently signed an agreement with JLR to produce unnamed models in Austria.

The next-generation Defender, which will address tightening safety and emissions standards, is expected to launch in 2018.

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EU Gains Not Enough to Stave Opel Production Reductions http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/eu-gains-not-enough-to-stave-opel-production-reductions/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/eu-gains-not-enough-to-stave-opel-production-reductions/#comments Sat, 18 Jul 2015 17:00:47 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1119321 Recent sales growth in the EU hasn’t been kind to Opel as the group is forced to reduce hours at two German plants. According to Automotive News, Opel will cut production of the Adam and Corsa at Eisenach and Insignia and Zafira Tourer at Ruesselsheim. The move is due to Opel’s exit from the Russian […]

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Opel Bochum - Picture courtesy wa.de

Recent sales growth in the EU hasn’t been kind to Opel as the group is forced to reduce hours at two German plants.

According to Automotive News, Opel will cut production of the Adam and Corsa at Eisenach and Insignia and Zafira Tourer at Ruesselsheim. The move is due to Opel’s exit from the Russian market and what the automaker calls “moderate” gains in the rest of Europe.

However, within the EU, overall sales for all automakers are up 8.2 percent in the first six month of this year and 14.6 percent in June, according to ACEA.

Opel and Honda are the only two automakers to see sales decline within the EU versus the same six month period last year. Opel experienced a 0.7-percent drop in overall group sales in the EU. Honda took an even harder hit with an 7.9-percent decline.

On the other end of the graph, Mitsubishi has posted 57.0-percent growth in the EU, though that percentage is based on relatively low volume compared to others. Nissan is the runner up at 21.6-percent growth while Jaguar-Land Rover (16.9 percent), Daimler (15.0 percent), FCA (12.9 percent) and BMW (12.0 percent) all saw double-digit percentage growth, beating the overall six-month average.

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Former Oshawa Mayor: Boycott GM if Jobs are Lost http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/former-oshawa-mayor-boycott-gm-if-jobs-are-lost/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/former-oshawa-mayor-boycott-gm-if-jobs-are-lost/#comments Thu, 16 Jul 2015 22:00:25 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1118185 The former mayor of Oshawa, John Gray, is telling Canadians to boycott General Motors if the automotive giant pulls the plug on the Camaro at its plant north of the border, the Toronto Sun is reporting. “That’s the type of pressure that is applied so that GM comes to its senses and maintains production in Oshawa […]

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2011 Chevrolet Camaro Convertible at the Oshawa Assembly Plant

The former mayor of Oshawa, John Gray, is telling Canadians to boycott General Motors if the automotive giant pulls the plug on the Camaro at its plant north of the border, the Toronto Sun is reporting.

“That’s the type of pressure that is applied so that GM comes to its senses and maintains production in Oshawa after next year,” Gray told the newspaper this week.

General Motors said it would end production of the Chevrolet Camaro at the Oshawa Car Assembly plant and move production to Michigan on Nov. 20. Gray said the move would end about 1,000 jobs at the plant, and dim the prospects of an already bleak future for the plant.

Increasing energy costs and other factors are driving automakers out of the area, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles chief executive Sergio Marchionne told Toronto reporters last week.

Local workers say the move would devastate the local economy.

“It doesn’t just affect General Motors, it affects the entire community. For every job inside, it affects seven jobs outside,” Chris Black, a worker at the Oshawa plant, told CTV.

Gray said GM is indebted to Canadians after the auto bailouts.

“Canadian taxpayers bailed out GM Canada, allowing it to survive. Recently, the federal and provincial governments have sold their shares in the company … Now they have no say over the company.

“Canadian taxpayers lost $3 billion on the sales of the shares. And now GM doesn’t plan on having a presence here. That’s a pretty compelling story.”

GM Canada announced in late April that the company would hire 100 software and control engineers for future connected vehicle endeavors. However, it won’t be until next year that GM will announce its plans for the assembly facilities.

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Ford Building Next-Gen Lincoln Continental in Michigan http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/ford-building-next-gen-lincoln-continental-in-michigan/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/ford-building-next-gen-lincoln-continental-in-michigan/#comments Wed, 15 Jul 2015 22:00:28 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1116761 Ford will build its next-generation Lincoln Continental at its Flat Rock, Michigan plant, which also produces the Ford Fusion and Mustang, the Wall Street Journal is reporting. The announcement was made Wednesday by Ford’s Executive Vice President John Fleming at an event in Dearborn, Michigan. The announcement comes ahead of negotiations with the United Auto Workers, which […]

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LincolnContinentalConcept_01_Front

Ford will build its next-generation Lincoln Continental at its Flat Rock, Michigan plant, which also produces the Ford Fusion and Mustang, the Wall Street Journal is reporting.

The announcement was made Wednesday by Ford’s Executive Vice President John Fleming at an event in Dearborn, Michigan.

The announcement comes ahead of negotiations with the United Auto Workers, which represents roughly 50,700 Ford employees.

Analysts have said the Continental will be an important car for the flagging luxury brand.

Ford announced last week that it would be ending production of the C-Max and Focus at its Wayne, Michigan plant.

Negotiations with the UAW begin on July 23.

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General Motors Investing $1.4B into Texas SUV Plant http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/general-motors-investing-1-4b-texas-suv-plant/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/general-motors-investing-1-4b-texas-suv-plant/#comments Wed, 15 Jul 2015 21:00:48 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1116713 General Motors announced Wednesday it would invest $1.4 billion into its Arlington Assembly Plant, which produces SUVs. The investment will create a new paint shop, body shop and “general assembly area upgrades” for the plant that produces Chevrolet Tahoes and Suburbans, GMC Yukons and Yukon XLs and Cadillac Escalades. Construction will take three years and plant […]

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GM Arlington Plant

General Motors announced Wednesday it would invest $1.4 billion into its Arlington Assembly Plant, which produces SUVs.

The investment will create a new paint shop, body shop and “general assembly area upgrades” for the plant that produces Chevrolet Tahoes and Suburbans, GMC Yukons and Yukon XLs and Cadillac Escalades.

Construction will take three years and plant operations won’t be impacted, GM said.

GM received tax incentives from Arlington for the plant expansion in April. According to minutes from the Arlington City Council, the plant will add 589 new jobs as a result of the expansion.

The announced $1.4 billion for the Arlington plant comes ahead of GM’s negotiations with the United Auto Workers, which will focus on pay raises for “second-tier” workers hired after the recession.

GM said it will invest $5.4 billion in U.S. manufacturing over the next three years. GM says it has identified $4.5 billion in improvements so far.

 

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Union Talks Set to Start on Monday, Will Focus on Raises http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/union-talks-set-start-monday-will-focus-raises/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/union-talks-set-start-monday-will-focus-raises/#comments Sat, 11 Jul 2015 15:30:53 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1113441 The newest round of negotiations between the Big Three automakers and the United Auto Workers will focus on narrowing the gap between veteran workers and “second-tier” workers hired after 2011, Reuters is reporting. Talks between the UAW, which represents around 138,000 workers, and Ford, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and General Motors will begin Monday. The UAW’s contract […]

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UAW Wages

The newest round of negotiations between the Big Three automakers and the United Auto Workers will focus on narrowing the gap between veteran workers and “second-tier” workers hired after 2011, Reuters is reporting.

Talks between the UAW, which represents around 138,000 workers, and Ford, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and General Motors will begin Monday. The UAW’s contract with GM ends Sept. 14.

Union President Dennis Williams said he wanted to focus on narrowing the gap between veteran workers, who make on average $28 an hour, and workers hired post-recession, who make on average $16 to $19 an hour, according to the story.

The raises would be significant for more than 39,000 workers who were hired after the recession on the “second-tier” system. More than 40 percent of FCA’s union workforce was hired at second-tier rates of $15.78 to $19.28 per hour, compared to 28 and 20 percent for Ford and GM respectively.

Falling labor costs have helped the Big Three stay competitive with other automakers, Sean McAlinden, chief economist at the Center for Automotive Research told Reuters. However, rising profits and sales have prompted Williams to call for the automakers’ to share profits with workers.

In an interview in February, Williams told Reuters that the union’s workers need the automakers to remain competitive in the long-term for his membership.

“We’re … mature organizations that have been through a hell of a lot together to survive,” Williams said. “None of us want to blow it.”

On Thursday, Ford announced it was ending production of the Focus and C-Max at its Wayne, Michigan plant by 2018.

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Nissan May Be Ending Rogue Select Sales in U.S. http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/nissan-may-ending-rogue-select-sales-u-s/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/nissan-may-ending-rogue-select-sales-u-s/#comments Fri, 10 Jul 2015 20:00:09 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1113041 Nissan announced yesterday that the current-generation Rogue would be concurrently produced for U.S. sales in Japan, Korea and the automaker’s Smyrna, Tennessee plant, which had us wondering: What about the Rogue Select? According to a Nissan spokesman, the Rogue Select (which is essentially the last-generation Rogue) won’t be built alongside the current-generation Rogue in Japan, […]

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2014 Nissan Rogue Select

Nissan announced yesterday that the current-generation Rogue would be concurrently produced for U.S. sales in Japan, Korea and the automaker’s Smyrna, Tennessee plant, which had us wondering: What about the Rogue Select?

According to a Nissan spokesman, the Rogue Select (which is essentially the last-generation Rogue) won’t be built alongside the current-generation Rogue in Japan, which may spell the end of the Select model in the states.

It’s unclear how many Rogue Selects Nissan sells in the U.S. Nissan doesn’t differentiate in its sales data between the two Rogue models. Last year, Cars.com reported that as much as 43 percent of new Rogues on dealer lots were Rogue Selects.

Nissan sells the 2015 Rogue Select for $2,990 less than 2015 Rogue.

A Nissan spokesman didn’t specify how many Rogues on sale in the U.S. would be built in Japan, Korea or the U.S.

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Ford Will Stop Michigan C-Max, Focus Production in 2018 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/ford-will-stop-michigan-c-max-focus-production-2018/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/ford-will-stop-michigan-c-max-focus-production-2018/#comments Thu, 09 Jul 2015 20:05:05 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1112353 Ford will stop building the C-Max and Focus at its Wayne, Michigan plant in 2018, Automotive News is reporting. Moving the production of the compact cars could signal a coming slowdown in small car sales, or a shift in strategy for the global automaker. UAW officials say they’re confident the C-Max and Focus will be replaced […]

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2015-Ford-Focus-02

Ford will stop building the C-Max and Focus at its Wayne, Michigan plant in 2018, Automotive News is reporting.

Moving the production of the compact cars could signal a coming slowdown in small car sales, or a shift in strategy for the global automaker. UAW officials say they’re confident the C-Max and Focus will be replaced with a different product at the plant.

The automaker recently removed a third shift at the Wayne, Michigan plant and said they were cutting about 700 jobs at the plant.

“We actively are pursuing future vehicle alternatives to produce at Michigan Assembly,” Ford said in a statement, “and will discuss this issue with UAW leadership as part of the upcoming negotiations.”

Negotiations with the UAW begin July 23, according to Automotive News.

The Focus and C-Max are due for redesigns within 3 years. Sales for the C-Max have slumped this year.

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Nissan Can’t Build Rogues Fast Enough in Tennessee, Apparently http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/nissan-cant-build-rogues-fast-enough-tennessee-apparently/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/nissan-cant-build-rogues-fast-enough-tennessee-apparently/#comments Thu, 09 Jul 2015 19:00:51 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1112241 Nissan announced today they’ll expand production of the current-generation Nissan Rogue to its Japanese plant and import those cars into the U.S. Nissan’s Kyushu plant produces a version of the Rogue already on sale in the U.S., called Rogue Select. It’s unclear if the current-generation Rogue and last-generation Rogue will be produced side-by-side or if […]

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2014-nissan-rogue-14

Nissan announced today they’ll expand production of the current-generation Nissan Rogue to its Japanese plant and import those cars into the U.S.

Nissan’s Kyushu plant produces a version of the Rogue already on sale in the U.S., called Rogue Select. It’s unclear if the current-generation Rogue and last-generation Rogue will be produced side-by-side or if Nissan will discontinue selling the Rogue Select.

U.S.-sold Rogues are sourced from Nissan’s Symrna, Tennessee plant and Busan, Korea.

In April, the Rogue became America’s second-favorite compact crossover behind the Honda CR-V, and helped fuel a sales surge for the automaker.

Year-over-year sales jumped 41 percent in March, and Nissan reported January to June sales of the CUV were up 36 percent from the same period last year.

Selling two generations of a car made in three different countries may not be enough. June sales for the Rogue were up 54.3 percent over last year, the automaker reported.

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More Corporate Average Horsepower, Hellcat Production Going Up http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/more-corporate-average-horsepower-hellcat-production-going-up/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/more-corporate-average-horsepower-hellcat-production-going-up/#comments Sat, 04 Jul 2015 15:51:01 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1107873 Nothing is more American than a high-horsepower V8 in a muscle car. Thanks to increased demand, roads are going to feature more of that familiar V8 rumble as Dodge ramps up Hellcat production. According to Automotive News, FCA has produced approximately 4,000 Hellcat engines so far this year, even as the company stopped taking orders for […]

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Supercharged 6.2-liter HEMI® Hellcat V-8 engine produces 707 ho

Nothing is more American than a high-horsepower V8 in a muscle car. Thanks to increased demand, roads are going to feature more of that familiar V8 rumble as Dodge ramps up Hellcat production.

According to Automotive News, FCA has produced approximately 4,000 Hellcat engines so far this year, even as the company stopped taking orders for the Charger and Challenger models in an effort to get caught up with demand.

“We’ve sold 88,000 muscle cars [this calendar year], Challengers and Chargers, and 4,000 of those have been Hellcats. It’s a small sliver of what we sell, but it really creates a halo for the rest of the lineup,” Tim Kuniskis, head of Dodge and SRT, told the trade publication. “For example, the next highest car, the Scat Pack Challenger, I have essentially a zero-day supply. It’s sold out.”

So, if you’re looking for a Hellcat in the near-ish future, you may be in luck. What’s more American than a muscle car assembled in Canada with an engine from Mexico?

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Jeep Points to Map of India, Says Let’s Print More Money Here http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/jeep-points-to-map-of-india-says-lets-print-more-money-here/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/jeep-points-to-map-of-india-says-lets-print-more-money-here/#comments Wed, 01 Jul 2015 19:00:11 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1104881 More and more automakers are looking at exotic locales to produce their wares (us Canadians can consider Mexico exotic thanks to its ice-free beaches) as they expand their brands and explore in-roads to untapped markets. For Jeep, that means investing in a shared money-printing press with an unlikely partner: Tata, the parent company of Land Rover. FCA […]

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2015 Jeep Renegade

More and more automakers are looking at exotic locales to produce their wares (us Canadians can consider Mexico exotic thanks to its ice-free beaches) as they expand their brands and explore in-roads to untapped markets.

For Jeep, that means investing in a shared money-printing press with an unlikely partner: Tata, the parent company of Land Rover. FCA will put $280 million USD into joint venture Fiat India Automobiles Private Limited which, since 2007, has solely produced Fiat models.

The investment will “support the production of a new Jeep vehicle and is expected to begin production in the second quarter of 2017,” according to statement released today by FCA. Jeep did not give further details on the new model.

With Sergio Marchionne’s hunger for consolidation, this could be seen as a sign of interest in a more formal arrangement between FCA and India’s Tata, especially when you consider the FCA executive’s desire for a Range Rover-esque model.

“We are pleased that this investment will strengthen FCA presence in India and are confident in the ability of the joint venture to produce world class products like those carrying the legendary Jeep nameplate,” Marchionne said.

This announcement is part of a wider expansion by Jeep into new markets. From The Detroit News:

FCA plans to produce 1.9 million Jeeps by 2018 at 10 plants in six countries: the U.S., Italy, China, Brazil, India and one other yet-to-be-announced country. Two years ago, only 798,000 rolled out of four plants in the United States.

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California’s Black License Plates Are Back In Production http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/californias-black-license-plates-are-back-in-production/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/californias-black-license-plates-are-back-in-production/#comments Thu, 25 Jun 2015 19:00:48 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1099905 Thanks to California’s Legacy Plate Program, the state’s classic black license plates are back on the presses. The program, Hemmings Daily writes, was passed in 2012 after Assemblyman Mike Gatto noted the molds used to stamp the black, yellow and blue plates made in separate eras between 1963 and 1982 “were just sitting there in […]

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CAblackplate_700

Thanks to California’s Legacy Plate Program, the state’s classic black license plates are back on the presses.

The program, Hemmings Daily writes, was passed in 2012 after Assemblyman Mike Gatto noted the molds used to stamp the black, yellow and blue plates made in separate eras between 1963 and 1982 “were just sitting there in Folsom prison,” per Gatto’s legislative director Aaron Moreno. Moreno adds the molds were found intact once the dust was cleared, paving the way toward reintroduction.

However, the three plates could only be made if each one garnered a minimum of 7,500 pre-orders between January 2013 and December 2014. While the black plates blew away the rest with 20,000 pre-orders to date, the yellow and blue plates only had few thousand each.

When the new plates leave Folsom in the next few weeks, there will be two key differences between the 2015 edition and the originals made between 1963 and 1969: the “63” stamped in the right-corner sticker window will not be there, and the plate overall will be covered in a reflective coating as required by law. Otherwise, it will appear as if stamping never ceased.

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Dodge Grand Caravan Continuing Into 2017 Model Year http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/dodge-grand-caravan-continuing-into-2017-model-year/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/dodge-grand-caravan-continuing-into-2017-model-year/#comments Tue, 23 Jun 2015 18:00:09 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1097873 Mourning over the loss of the Dodge Grand Caravan? You won’t need to pour a 40 out for your homie yet, as production will go on through the 2017 model year. Per an internal document unearthed by Automotive News‘s sources, FCA will continue production of the minivan alongside the redesigned Chrysler Town & Country set […]

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2015 Dodge Grand Caravan SXT Blacktop Package

Mourning over the loss of the Dodge Grand Caravan? You won’t need to pour a 40 out for your homie yet, as production will go on through the 2017 model year.

Per an internal document unearthed by Automotive News‘s sources, FCA will continue production of the minivan alongside the redesigned Chrysler Town & Country set to hit the line February 29, 2016. The 2017 model — bearing the same code as the 2015 edition — will join the T&C August 23 of the same year.

The continuation of the Grand Caravan — originally slated to end in 2016 — may be a hedge against losing market share over the T&C’s new look, and would also meet demand in Canada and from fleet owners.

A representative reiterated the Grand Caravan would eventually be discontinued, adding no further details on the continuation could be given at this time.

(Photo credit: Dodge)

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Tesla Model 3 Full Production Beginning 2018 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/tesla-model-3-full-production-beginning-2018/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/tesla-model-3-full-production-beginning-2018/#comments Tue, 23 Jun 2015 15:00:34 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1097769 The Tesla Model 3 duo will seem like vaporware for a while longer, as full production of the low-cost EVs won’t start until 2018. During a presentation by Chief Technical Officer J.B. Straubel at last week’s U.S. Energy Information Conference, Business Insider says a slide — page 23, if you’re wondering — showing how the […]

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Tesla Repair Bay With Superchargers

The Tesla Model 3 duo will seem like vaporware for a while longer, as full production of the low-cost EVs won’t start until 2018.

During a presentation by Chief Technical Officer J.B. Straubel at last week’s U.S. Energy Information Conference, Business Insider says a slide — page 23, if you’re wondering — showing how the price gap between ICE and electric vehicles will close as battery costs improve also noted the Model 3 was planned for 2018.

The date given looked like Tesla was pushing back the $35,000 pair’s concept and deliveries in 2016 and 2017, respectively, but the automaker’s representatives later explained to Bloomberg’s Cory Johnson — who tweeted the information about the slide — the 2018 date was for full production; initial production is still a go for 2017.

The presentation comes on the heels of the news the Model 3 won’t be one model, but two: a sedan and a crossover, both starting at $35,000, both able to cover 200 miles on one charge.

(Photo credit: Tesla/Facebook)

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Volkswagen Expects ‘Limited Growth’ In US Through 2017, Supplier Arrives In Tennessee http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/volkswagen-expects-limited-growth-in-us-through-2017-supplier-arrives-in-tennessee/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/volkswagen-expects-limited-growth-in-us-through-2017-supplier-arrives-in-tennessee/#comments Mon, 22 Jun 2015 18:00:59 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1097377 Volkswagen USA CEO Michael Horn says the automaker expects “limited growth” until its new SUVs arrive, while one of its suppliers sets up shop in Tennessee. Though parent company Volkswagen AG had once hoped for 800,000 units sold by 2018 in the United States, Horn downplayed the target’s importance, Reuters reports: [The 2018 sales target] […]

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Volkswagen Crossblue Concept Parked In Front Of VW Chattanooga Tennessee Plant

Volkswagen USA CEO Michael Horn says the automaker expects “limited growth” until its new SUVs arrive, while one of its suppliers sets up shop in Tennessee.

Though parent company Volkswagen AG had once hoped for 800,000 units sold by 2018 in the United States, Horn downplayed the target’s importance, Reuters reports:

[The 2018 sales target] is still a relevant objective… but, on the other hand, if you just focus on one year and one number you would do crazy things, so the most important thing is to have a long-term strategy.

For now, Horn states VW will need to defend its position from now through 2017, when the redesigned Tiguan and the Chattanooga, Tenn.-built midsize SUV both hit the showroom floor. Other products, including a $20,000 compact SUV and a large pickup due in 2020 at the earliest, would soon follow.

As for the 2018 target, sales fell from 440,000 in 2012, to 367,000 last year, and have fallen 4 percent since; VW’s U.S. sales peak came in 1970 with 570,000 units. LMC Automotive says the new models in 2017 will help, but would only push sales to a projected 495,000 in 2018.

Meanwhile, Spanish automotive supplier Gestamp is setting up shop near the Chattanooga facility, where it and Volkswagen will unveil a new pressing plant Tuesday. The plant would create 500 jobs, and has been described by the automaker as a “major economic development.”

(Photo credit: Volkswagen)

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Frankfurt 2015: Production-Ready Infiniti Q30 Set For Debut http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/frankfurt-2015-production-ready-infiniti-q30-set-for-debut/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/frankfurt-2015-production-ready-infiniti-q30-set-for-debut/#comments Sat, 20 Jun 2015 13:11:00 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1096097 Two years ago in Frankfurt, the Infiniti Q30 debuted before the world in concept form. Come this September, it will return with a production-ready look. The brand is putting the finishing touches on its first-ever compact luxury car, including “dynamic testing and ultimate validation” in the United Kingdom — where development of the Q30 was […]

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2013 Infiniti Q30 Concept

Two years ago in Frankfurt, the Infiniti Q30 debuted before the world in concept form. Come this September, it will return with a production-ready look.

The brand is putting the finishing touches on its first-ever compact luxury car, including “dynamic testing and ultimate validation” in the United Kingdom — where development of the Q30 was completed last year — and across the Channel in Europe.

Following its debut in mid-September, the Q30 will hit European showrooms from Nissan’s production line in Sunderland, England at the end of 2015, with other markets set to get theirs in 2016.

The Q30 and its sibling compact crossover, the upcoming QX30, are expected to receive power from the same 2.0-liter turbo-four found under the bonnets of the Mercedes-Benz CLA and GLA, whose basic underpinnings also provides a foundation for the Infiniti compacts. The exchange is part of a joint venture between Daimler AG and Renault-Nissan.

For now, this spy shot from Infiniti is the best we’ve got until closer to showtime:

Infiniti_Q30_TEASER_image___19_June_2015

(Photo credit: Infiniti)

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2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk Given The Green Flag http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/2017-jeep-grand-cherokee-trackhawk-given-the-green-flag/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/2017-jeep-grand-cherokee-trackhawk-given-the-green-flag/#comments Fri, 19 Jun 2015 18:00:47 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1095993 Per inside sources, the green flag has been given for the 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk, with testing already underway. The Trackhawk — codenamed Project K — is undergoing powertrain testing using 2016 Grand Cherokee bodies, Motor Authority reports. Said powertrain will be none other than the supercharged 6.2-liter HEMI V8 found in the Charger […]

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2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT

Per inside sources, the green flag has been given for the 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk, with testing already underway.

The Trackhawk — codenamed Project K — is undergoing powertrain testing using 2016 Grand Cherokee bodies, Motor Authority reports. Said powertrain will be none other than the supercharged 6.2-liter HEMI V8 found in the Charger and Challenger Hellcats, good for 707 horsepower. A ZF eight-speed auto will funnel the raw power to all four corners, with zero to 60 coming in 3 seconds, topping out at 200 mph.

For those whose hearts aren’t hardy enough for the most brutal and metal of all Grand Cherokees, the same sources state the Grand Cherokee SRT would gain a new name and a revised 6.4-liter HEMI V8 set to generated 490 horses.

FCA remains mum on the subject for now, of course.

(Photo credit: Jeep)

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Mexico, Southeastern US Besting Canada, Detroit In Auto Manufacturing http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/mexico-southeastern-us-besting-canada-detroit-in-auto-manufacturing/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/mexico-southeastern-us-besting-canada-detroit-in-auto-manufacturing/#comments Tue, 16 Jun 2015 18:00:30 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1093441 Despite being unified on the trading front, Mexico and the Southeastern United States are besting Canada and Detroit in the automotive industry game. Presently, Mexico’s contribution to overall North American annual production came to 18.8 percent in 2014, Detroit Free Press says, double the percentage of vehicles the country’s burgeoning industry made back in 2004. […]

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National Flag of Mexico

Despite being unified on the trading front, Mexico and the Southeastern United States are besting Canada and Detroit in the automotive industry game.

Presently, Mexico’s contribution to overall North American annual production came to 18.8 percent in 2014, Detroit Free Press says, double the percentage of vehicles the country’s burgeoning industry made back in 2004. Conversely, Canada’s percentage fell from 16.9 percent a decade earlier, to 14.1 percent last year. The U.S. also lost production volume over the years, rebounding to 67.1 percent in 2014 after its seven-year-decline from a peak of 73.6 percent ended in 2011.

While the U.S. still makes the most vehicles per year, more production is heading south of the Mason-Dixon when not crossing the border entirely. DesRosiers Automotive Consultants president Dennis DesRosiers says “over half the capacity and 80 percent to 90 percent of investment dollars are going to the U.S. South or Mexico,” leaving Detroit and the Canadian auto industry out in the cold.

DesRosiers adds Canada’s industry could downsize to five automakers with a single factory each over the next 10 to 20 years, while Mexico could grow volume to an additional 1 million or 2 million units per year, thanks to heavy investments — $7 billion alone in 2014 — from North American and foreign automakers alike.

Meanwhile, IHS Automotive Consulting managing director Michael Robinet expects production volume in the Southeastern U.S. to grow to 5 million units, while volume in the Midwest will remain around 6 million units/year. Said growth is fueled by a combination of lower labor costs compared to Detroit, a nonunionized workforce at the ready, and state and local financial incentives meant to lure transplants to bring jobs to the region.

As for Canada, the nation’s industry has dwindled from 20 assembly plants — all established under the 1965 Auto Pact trade agreement between the U.S. and Canada — to just 10 in 2014 under the North American Free Trade Agreement. As a result, 2.1 million units of volume were lost since 1992, and is expected to jump to 2.6 million when General Motors ends some production at its plants in Oshawa, Ontario next year. More could be lost if FCA decides to move production of its full-size vehicles out of Canada, as well, a move which some believe will decide the ultimate fate of Canada’s industry.

No matter the projections, all three parties to the trade agreement will continue to fluctuate as far as investment is concerned. GM North America president Alan Batey said as much, stating the automaker wants to maintain a “balanced presence” in all three nations to better handle currency fluctuations and shipping costs, a view held among the manufacturers investing their resources into North America’s overall auto industry.

[Photo credit: iivangm/Flickr/CC BY 2.0]

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Straubel: Tesla Model 3 Hitting Showrooms In Sedan, Crossover Variants http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/straubel-tesla-model-3-hitting-showrooms-in-sedan-crossover-variants/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/straubel-tesla-model-3-hitting-showrooms-in-sedan-crossover-variants/#comments Tue, 16 Jun 2015 14:00:10 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1093257 Tesla dropped a bombshell at a conference in Washington Monday, when Chief Technical Officer J.B. Straubel said the Model 3 would be two separate models. Per Straubel, not only would there be a sedan to take home, but a crossover Model 3, as well, Wall Street Journal reports, complimenting the Model S and upcoming X […]

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Tesla Model S Center Stage

Tesla dropped a bombshell at a conference in Washington Monday, when Chief Technical Officer J.B. Straubel said the Model 3 would be two separate models.

Per Straubel, not only would there be a sedan to take home, but a crossover Model 3, as well, Wall Street Journal reports, complimenting the Model S and upcoming X at the entry-level starting price of $35,000. Both models are due in 2017, and will give owners 200 miles to enjoy the silence with every charge. No other details were given at this time.

Meanwhile, Straubel says Tesla is working on new models set to come after the Model 3 — no details were given here, either — and reiterated CEO Elon Musk’s statement of selling 500,000 units annually by 2020, adding there would be 1 million Teslas on the road around the world by then, as well.

The announcement comes on the heels of the automaker receiving a secured revolving credit line of up to $750 million in an agreement with Bank of America, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan Chase, Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo. The line of credit is meant to give Tesla some breathing space as it prepares to launch the long-awaited Model X, expected to hit showrooms this fall barring (yet) another delay.

[Photo credit: Tesla/Facebook]

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Survival Of Canadian Auto Industry Hinging On FCA Brampton Reinvestment http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/survival-of-canadian-auto-industry-hinging-on-fca-brampton-reinvestment/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/survival-of-canadian-auto-industry-hinging-on-fca-brampton-reinvestment/#comments Mon, 15 Jun 2015 19:00:08 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1092793 The fate of Canada’s auto industry is linked to whether or not the nation’s leaders can convince FCA to reinvest into its Brampton, Ontario facility. The Brampton Assembly plant is home to three of FCA’s biggest draws, the Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger, and Dodge Challenger. Yet, the high rate of production and quality found there […]

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2015 Chrysler 300S

The fate of Canada’s auto industry is linked to whether or not the nation’s leaders can convince FCA to reinvest into its Brampton, Ontario facility.

The Brampton Assembly plant is home to three of FCA’s biggest draws, the Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger, and Dodge Challenger. Yet, the high rate of production and quality found there clashes against the oldest paint shop the automaker has in North America, an aging line of assembly robots, and the trio themselves looking for a major makeover, Automotive News reports.

There’s also the fact FCA is already investing $2 billion into the Windsor Assembly facility in Windsor, Ontario, where a new generation of minivans are expected to begin production in 2016. The Brampton facility needs $1 billion to modernize, something CEO Sergio Marchionne may be wary of doing.

According to the Windsor Star, Marchionne approached the Canadian and Ontario governments last year with a request for a financial incentive package totalling $700 million to augment the $3.6 billion he planned to put into Windsor and Brampton. He explained his reasoning before reporters during the 2015 Detroit Auto Show:

This commitment that we’re making is a multibillion dollar commitment. We have to resolve the issue about the competitiveness of this investment in Windsor. So, I have to make sure the environment and the conditions that support the investment are adequate to ensure a proper return on our capital. That means labour costs, that means everything.

Months later, Marchionne backed down from moving forward with the proposal, choosing to invest in Windsor on his own while Brampton remains left out in the cold.

Unfortunately for those holding onto hope Brampton will remain, the business case may not be there to continue. Despite exchange rates between Canada and the United States providing a level playing field regarding unionized labor costs for now, nonunion factories in the Southeastern U.S. and Mexico offer both competitive incentive packages and labor-cost advantages.

Finally, Marchionne’s preference toward running factories flat-out through three shifts may prompt a reallocation of production if another model couldn’t be added to Brampton’s schedule. Thus, FCA could send the three full-sizers to either Toluca or Saltillo, Mexico, with the latter more likely than the former as a result of supplying engines like the 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 and 6.4-liter HEMI V8 to Brampton.

The only issues with either location amount to retooling Toluca and sending Fiat 500 production elsewhere — the Dodge Journey will move to Windsor to join the new-gen minivans next year — or adding a new line to assemble the cars in Saltillo.

[Photo credit: Chrysler]

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