Even after Canadian taxpayers contributed $3.2 billion (Canadian) to General Motors’ pension fund after GM’s bankruptcy proceedings in 2009, the company’s pension fund for unionized employees is still short $2.2 billion – a fair amount for a plan that’s responsible for 30,000 employees.
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A hot hatch that’s up on power and 220 lbs lighter than the model it replaces? What a novel concept!
Hammered by the tsunami, the Thai flood and a monster yen, the Japanese car industry is looking back at one of the worst years in modern history. Amazingly, Japan’s top three, Toyota, Nissan and Honda survived the year intact, and are looking at a profit.
Of all Japanese automakers, Mazda is bleeding the most. Read More >
When the GM Fremont Assembly plant took on Toyota managers and became NUMMI in 1984, the same supposedly inept lineworkers who hammered together sub-par Buick Apollos suddenly started building Corollas that were at least as well-made as the ones made by their Japanese counterparts (you are free to draw your own conclusions about GM management in the 1980s). The initial round of GM-badged Corollas were given the Chevrolet Nova name, prior to becoming the Geo Prizm; you still see Prizms around, but the 80s Nova has become a rare sight on the streets and in the junkyards. Here’s a Nova I spotted in an Oakland, California, self-serve yard earlier in the month. Read More >
I received a press release from the Atlanta Motorsports Group this morning talking about their 2012 Speed World Challenge program. Press releases from SWC and Grand-Am teams usually boil down to one or two things: announcing recent race wins and/or crowing over the “signing” of drivers whose MASSIVE TALENT just happens to be accompanied by a half-million dollar budget courtesy of indulgent parents, a well-respected practice in the field of orthodontia, or smuggling bales of Acapulco Gold into short airfields in Texas.
This one was no different, except it had something in it about “MX-5 Cup Champion Michael Cooper.”
Wait a minute…
Everybody in the business knows that the BYD S6 SUV is a blatant copy of the last generation Lexus RX350 SUV. The rip-off is so blatant that BYD even registered a European patent for their carbon copy. If you don’t look close enough, pretty much the only parts that differ are the grille and some BYD badges. Mei wen ti! No problem! Read More >
TTAC Commentator halftruth writes:
I see a lot of manufacturers using the binocular style gauge motif (see Hyundai Elantra, 2011 Avalon, Chevy Cruze for example) and I hate it! I also see a lot of carmakers using the upside down triangle motif in a lot of their steering wheel designs. We can even throw in the obligatory fuel AND coolant gauge.. they all seem to do this same thing with little variation. That said, if we look thru history, this mimicking has always gone on.
But why? Sometimes a bad idea is just that and shouldn’t be copied: I am reminded of huge gaudy consoles that take up legroom- for an automatic. Read More >
GM and PSA Peugeot Citroen have a mutual problem: Losses in Europe. Now, the two want to share the burden. General Motors and PSA are discussing a broad manufacturing alliance, if today’s media reports from Europe are to be believed.
PSA and GM? Read More >