As a tyke growing up in South Bend, Indiana, my father and I would often stake out the lots behind the Studebaker factories with hopes of spotting the next generation Avanti or Lark. Too often all we spied were rows of Mercedes-Benz automobiles due to the fact that Studebaker was the U.S. distributor for the German brand up until shortly before the closure of their South Bend operations in 1963.
Yesterday it was announced that Mercedes-Benz was returning to South Bend to build the R-Class crossover at the AM General plant, producer of the military Humvee and the late GM Hummer. Mercedes-Benz once moved their headquarters from South Bend to New Jersey and soon to the South (Atlanta) and now R-Class production is moving from the South (Alabama) to South Bend. Got it? (Read More…)
Toyota is not going to be expanding any plants in the United States, even as they are forced to absorb further production of the Toyota Camry as their assembly deal with Subaru winds down.
No, that title is not a misprint. Fuji Heavy Industries, which current builds the Toyota Camry at an Indiana assembly plant, will stop producing the mid-size sedan for Toyota starting in 2016.
Here’s something to consider: if you are operating a motor vehicle on private property, and you’ve been drinking, should that be considered DUI? What if you’re on a racetrack that is closed to the general public?
Subaru is set to expand capacity at its Indiana plant by 100,000 units, adding the Impreza alongside the Legacy, Outback and Tribeca to help fill demand for its vehicles in the United States. (Read More…)
Good news for Lafayette, Indiana: Fuji Heavy will spend $230 million to increase the capacity of its Subaru of Indiana plant by about 30 percent, says The Nikkei [sub]. Subaru’s sole overseas plant currently works at full tilt, and about half of the 330,000 Subarus sold in the U.S. must be imported from Japan. (Read More…)
Yet another hopeful maker of electric vehicles called it quits in Indiana. Bright Automotive of Anderson, Ind., announced this week that it will wind down operations after withdrawing an application for a DOE loan. This is the latest in a series of EV companies that went belly-up in Indiana, where Gov. Mitch Daniels had vowed in January 2010 to make the state “the electric vehicle state.” The Chicago Tribune lists the failed companies: (Read More…)
Lawmakers in Indiana, swayed by the potential budget enhancement that recently convinced California’s governor, have introduced legislation that would authorize photo ticketing in the state. House Minority Floor Leader Bill Friend (R-Macy) and state Representative Shelli VanDenburgh (D-Crown Point) last week filed House Bill 1289 to create a so-called work zone freeway speed camera program.
“Revenues for the new fiscal year are way down,” Friend wrote on the day he introduced HB 1289. “Since July 1, 2009, the state is $500 million short of projections.”
Good news for Elkhart, Indiana today, as The Detroit News reports that the Norwegian EV firm Th!nk has chosen the city for its $43.5m US production facility. The plant will have a production capacity of 20k units, once production ramps up from its 2011 start. By 2013, Th!nk says it will employ 415 workers who will build the firm’s City model, a two-seater which will initially cost nearly $40k before government tax breaks. The factory will receive some $17m in state and local tax breaks and incentives. Th!nk hopes to eventually reduce the cost of the City, which has a stated range of 112 miles and a top speed of 70 mph, to about $20k.