Ford will pay only 1.5-percent more in labor costs each year under a new contract with the United Auto Workers, the automaker reported Monday.
Ford announced it would take a $600 million charge this year to pay out the $10,000 ratification bonuses to their workers as part of the new deal.
The new deal allows the automaker to hire more low-cost workers who will either be temporary or entry-level employees, shift production of some of its cars overseas and continue using controversial “alternative work schedules” that favor fewer, longer shifts instead of traditional work days.
A report by published by the New England Center for Investigative Reporting (NECIR) (via WGBH Boston) details that state’s widening private and public systems for road tests by the Registry of Motor Vehicles.
Prospective drivers may wait hours for an available examiner, or book months in advance — sometimes hundreds of miles away — for their chance at a road test. Or, they could pay hundreds to jump the line, and in some cases, have an examiner come to them.
The story details a growing schism in some places for public tests giving preferential treatment to private businesses because of cash-strapped budgets or over-burdened examiners.
While Chrysler Group sends its Fiat 500 upmarket with Gucci special editions, its sending its Dodge, Chrysler and Ram brands downmarket with a lower prices, 90-days-same-as-cash deals and a variety of tie-ins. First up, the news [via Automotive News [sub]]that Chrysler is cutting the price on 200 and Dodge’s Avenger by $200, and the Dodge Journey by over $1,000 [UPDATE: plus,$3k off Grand Cherokee] is strange indeed. Chrysler’s sales, market share and transaction prices are up, while its incentives and fleet sales are down… and meanwhile, its key competitors are raising prices on increased material costs. Oh, and average transaction prices across the industry have been breaking records all year. With volume slow and prices (as well as costs) rising, Chrysler has no real reason to be lowering prices beyond hunting for volume that may or may not be there. At the expense, it must be added, of profitability. But if you look at Chrysler Group’s most recent maneuvers, it seems that lower prices might not an isolated move on market share. It seems that Chrysler Group is actually strategically positioning itself as the Wal-Mart automaker… literally.