While we were hanging outside the Staples Center begging passersby for photos, information and leftover shrimp from the Los Angeles Auto Show to share with you all (well, maybe not the shrimp), there was still news happening that we didn’t get the chance to cover.
So, here it is in condensed form.
(Maybe not like that.)
Automotive News reported Saturday that several automakers are struggling to attract younger workers as young adults seem more disinterested with pursuing careers in manufacturing.
Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia Senior Vice President Randy Jackson said it’s important for the auto industry to soften the blow of reality when adulthood sets in:
“So many kids want to grow up and play in the NFL,” he says. “And college is a great thing, and it’s good to have a dream job out there. But if we can reach young people before they spend four years in college pursuing something that isn’t realistic, we might be able to open their eyes to something they will find very rewarding.”
In its 104-page annual sustainability report, Honda announced it would make English its official language by 2020, requiring all interregional communication be conducted in English. Similarly, English-language proficiency would be a requirement for promotion to management. The new mandate appears on Page 70 of the report.
Despite burying the lede, it’s a seismic change for the Japanese company. According to Automotive News, five years ago then-boss Takanobu Ito said — possibly in Japanese — that making English the official language of Honda was “stupid.” Five years from now, presumably all of Honda’s workforce, which includes more than 200,000 people — nearly three-quarters of it outside of North America — will be speaking the language.
As trucks ride a heat wave of interest from consumers, I look at this Grand Cherokee render and think, “That’ll do.”
Toyota has released a statement (below the fold) on the reorganization of its North American business operations and the consolidation of most of those functions at a new regional headquarters to be built in Plano, Texas. Approximately 4,000 employees of four different business units will be relocated, mostly to Texas, though some functions will be relocated to Toyota facilities in Georgetown, Kentucky and near Ann Arbor, Michigan. Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. and Toyota Financial Services in Torrance, Calif., Toyota Motor Engineering and Manufacturing North America in Erlanger, Ky., and Toyota Motor North America in New York City will be moved between now and early 2017, when the Plano campus and new facilities near Ann Arbor and Georgetown are expected to be completed. (Read More…)
The fact that GM creates 6,000 jobs in China and will invest $11 billion in China until 2016 (and $16 billion in America) gets all the headlines. What falls under the table is the fact that someone else invests $76 billion each year straight into more than a million Americans. It’s the Japanese auto industry. (Read More…)
Is the next Jeep Wrangler getting a diesel? What about an air suspension? It’s looking that way, at least according to Automotive News.
Ford is adding a week of production at most of its North American factories this year for an additional 40,000 vehicles, Reuters says. Plants will be idled for just one week this summer instead of the traditional two. (Read More…)
Hyundai’s top man shot down rumors of his company building a new factory in the U.S. “We have no plan for a new U.S. factory for now,” Hyundai’s Chairman Chung Mong-koo told Reuters at Seoul’s Gimpo airport before leaving for the United States.
Rumors started flying when South Korea’s Financial News said that Kia is talking to Georgia state officials about constructing a new plant. These rumors were denied. Last week, Chung rekindled the flames by saying that Hyundai “will look into whether there are opportunities” to expand production overseas.
Chung is expected to visit Hyundai and Kia’s U.S. plants in Alabama and Georgia during his visit, which coincides with South Korean President Park Geun-hye’s U.S. trip.