By on May 6, 2016

Honda-ARC-Line-2

Henry Ford’s way of building cars was so 20th Century, so Honda tried something new.

Workers at the automaker’s new Thailand plant now stay in motion all day, moving with the vehicle as it travels down the assembly line, Automotive News reports. (Read More…)

By on April 6, 2016

Elon Musk

Tesla founder Elon Musk wants to build a new European factory to satisfy growing demand on the continent, and France knows just the place he should do it.

French Energy Minister Segolene Royal reportedly pitched the idea of using the site of a soon-to-be-mothballed reactor to Musk, according to Reuters (via Automotive News Europe).

“He didn’t say no,” said Royal, who plans to follow-up the pitch by meeting with Tesla management.

(Read More…)

By on April 6, 2016

FCA US LLC HQ WTFBBQ

The Sterling Heights, Michigan facility that manufactures the Chrysler 200 will have its output halved this summer, with about 1,420 workers laid off indefinitely as a result, reports the Detroit News.

Both production lines of the midsize sedan were idled for nine weeks earlier this year to compensate for an inventory glut and low demand. Now, only one line will stay open, employing about 1,900 workers.

(Read More…)

By on April 5, 2016

2015 Ford Focus

In an announcement that’s been anticipated for months, Ford Motor Company said today it will build a small car plant in Mexico’s San Luis Potosi state.

Ford will spend $1.6 billion on the facility, which starts construction this summer and will employ 2,800 workers by 2020.

The automaker isn’t saying what vehicles it will produce at the plant, but it’s widely expected that the Focus will move to Mexico after production stops at its Wayne, Michigan facility in 2018. Offshoots of the platform, including a rumored hybrid, could also be produced.

(Read More…)

By on March 7, 2016

2016 Chrysler 200S and 2016 Chrysler 200C, Image: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles North America

The midsize sedan that can’t catch a break is continuing to darken a plant where workers can’t catch a shift.

The Sterling Heights, Michigan assembly plant that produces the Chrysler 200 will remain closed for another three weeks, Automotive News reports, extending the temporary closure to a total of nine weeks.

Slow sales and a steep inventory glut are to blame for the shutdown, which was needed for supply and demand to regain equilibrium. (Read More…)

By on March 4, 2016

E10 + 100 Percent Gasoline at the Pump

Gasoline is gloriously cheap and the automotive industry is taking a break from the tiresome “more mpg” game.

That, Christmas comes early for Volkswagen employees, Carlos Ghosn has a plan to save big bucks, Google is luring more humans and Bentley can’t build enough SUVs for the “you call this caviar?!” crowd … after the break!

(Read More…)

By on March 2, 2016

2016 Ram 1500 Laramie Crew Cab 4x4 EcoDiesel

Is there a chance that a leadership change at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles reported by Automotive News could lead to an often-speculated new pickup truck?

Jeep’s longtime director Jim Morrison is leaving that post to head the Ram pickup and commercial vehicle division, replacing Bob Hegbloom, who is leaving for the global shores of Ram International.

Ram and Jeep are by far FCA’s biggest moneymakers these days, and under Morrison’s watch the Jeep brand took on new prominence by expanding its range of models, even if it meant adopting architecture sourced from (sacrilege!) Fiat.

The news of Morrison’s switch to Ram raises the question, “Is this the person who will take the Ram brand in a smaller direction?”

(Read More…)

By on December 15, 2015

Buick GL8-1

Long-time TTAC readers may be familiar with my old friend Rodney, the Billy Dee Williams lookalike with whom I sold cars, raced bicycles, rode motorcycles, and generally raised some sort of mild hell from 1995 until the present day. (If you’re not, here’s a field guide to his eccentric accomplishments.)

Over the course of the past week, Rodney’s had two life-changing things happen. The first was that he got his driver’s license back from the rural Ohio court which has held it hostage against a fairly large sum of fines and penalties since 2010. The story of how he lost his license involves everything from a Nissan Stanza jumping train tracks at 60 mph to the “black bull and white cuck” scene, and it’s a story I’ll tell once all the statutes of limitations expire.

The second is that Rodney’s mother, who is in her late sixties, was just conned into leasing a Buick Encore.

(Read More…)

By on November 5, 2015

11-12-07-lexus-ct-200h-in-china

Lexus won’t be building cars in China anytime soon due the automaker’s concerns regarding production quality, Bloomberg reported Thursday.

“There’s too much quality risk in China to produce there,” said Takashi Yamamoto, executive vice president of Lexus International.

Did you hear that mic drop? Hello? Anyone there?

(Read More…)

By on October 17, 2015

Child Labor

(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.”

(Read More…)

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