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.
The mantra before, during, and after the bailout was (and still is) that without the bailout, gadzillions of jobs would have vanished, the American car industry would have been wiped out, wheels would have come off the arsenal of democracy, and the sky would have fallen into Lake St. Clair. Of course, that’s nonsense. There are more than enough other carmakers in America. They would have received the sales, and added the jobs. They would have been mostly non-union jobs though.
The truth is, without the bailout, the UAW would have vanished, and with it millions of Democratic votes. (Read More…)
Porsche is looking to fill 1,400 jobs in for its expanded factory in Leipzig, where the new Macan SUVlet will be built by the end of the year. A lot of these jobs will go to current Opel workers, says Germany’s Focus. (Read More…)