Tag: michigan

By on May 10, 2017

General Motors HQ

Automakers are seeing diminished interest in product as market demand levels off after years of post-recession growth. While some analysts are heralding an industry-wide doomsday, others have cited this as an inevitable market ebb with no cause for alarm. Either way, domestic and foreign automakers have begun scaling back production efforts.

In the United States, Ford recently announced layoffs at its Ohio truck plant and General Motors may be following suit by eliminating 1,100 employees at the Delta Township Assembly Plant near Lansing, Michigan.

GM’s newest U.S. factory was already scheduled undergo retooling for the 2018 Chevrolet Traverse and Buick Enclave crossovers. However, when the plant reopens this June, there’s a good chance that third-shift employees won’t be returning. (Read More…)

By on May 9, 2017

bob king

The former president of the United Automobile Workers, Bob King, says he supports President Trump’s plan to reconfigure the North American Free Trade Agreement — so long as it maintains labor’s best interests. Ironically, King’s support of the president’s trade plan came as he attended an Ann Arbor rally in support of an EPA testing facility in danger of being closed due to Trump administration budget cuts.

King, who served as the union’s president from 2010 to 2014, faults the trade pact for a loss of American jobs. It’s his belief that NAFTA allowed automakers to invest in more-affordable regions — like Mexico — at the expensive of the United States’ workforce. His successor, Dennis Williams, has echoed these claims and also wishes to see NAFTA reformed.  (Read More…)

By on April 21, 2017

Ford Fairlane Mall

The majority of today’s youth culture develops online but, for a number of years, it shared that space with the former cornerstone of American society — the mall. However, the once-great shopping center has fallen out of fashion along with wide-leg jeans and Jonathan Taylor Thomas. Since the late 1990s, most malls have gradually morphed into half-empty shanty towns or been abandoned entirely.

As part of Ford’s reoccurring requirement to appear forward thinking and socially conscious — as well as an immediate need for a location to house gobs of employees while it continues work on its Dearborn headquarters — the automaker had decided to make use of the partially abandoned Fairlane Mall. It may be the best implementation of its current focus on corporate citizenship and sustainability to date.   (Read More…)

By on March 28, 2017

Ford Factory

Ford Motor Company has announced that it will invest $1.2 billion into three Michigan facilities to strengthen its status among truck and SUVs manufacturers and to further enhance its role as a “mobility company.” Most importantly, the cash is needed if Americans ever want to get their hands on a Bronco or Ranger again.

Many of the investments are included in the automaker’s 2015 promise to pour nine billion dollars into its U.S. plants over the next several years. In an agreement with UAW made almost two years ago, Ford said it would pour $700 million into the Michigan Assembly plant, $150 million into the Romeo Engine plant, and $400 million for Flat Rock Assembly.

While these were not the only locations promised capital, Ford released an official statement that all three would see the promised amount — or better.   (Read More…)

By on March 24, 2017

Pontiac Silverdome in 2006

After a lengthy death rattle spanning from 2006 to 2012, Michigan’s Pontiac Silverdome finally closed for good in 2013. Its parking lot, however, remains in use thanks to Volkswagen’s legal obligation to buy back scores of diesel cars following its infamous emissions scandal. In stasis since January, the cars have become an unwelcome addition to the deteriorating stadium and the city of Pontiac has opted to sue the property’s current owners for holding them.

While the site’s parking lot is being used for its intended purpose for the first time in years, city officials claim that Triple Investment Group has violated numerous safety codes, zoning ordinances, and a municipal code relating to the proper storage of used vehicles at the property. Six complaints were filed with the 50th District Court in Pontiac on February 27th, roughly a month after hundreds of VWs arrived in the wake of the company’s emission’s crisis.

Now, the doomed diesels number in the thousands.  (Read More…)

By on December 9, 2016

foogy highway

Vehicles without steering wheels, brake pedals, or even drivers are now allowed to operate on public roads in Michigan.

Today, Gov. Rick Snyder signed a package of auto industry-backed legislation that permits automakers and technology companies to develop, test and even sell autonomous vehicles in the Mitten State. The policy even enables autonomous ride-hailing services, provided that the vehicles have undergone certification.

Michigan is now the wild frontier for self-aware cars. (Read More…)

By on September 27, 2016

2015 Ram 1500 Laramie Limited

The soon-to-be-dead Chrysler 200’s legendary unpopularity saw many Fiat Chrysler Automobiles workers laid off, but a next-generation pickup is bringing them all back — and then some.

The automaker has received a handout from the Michigan Strategic Fund, allowing it to add an extra 700 autoworkers at its Sterling Heights assembly plant to work on a Very Important Product. (Read More…)

By on September 22, 2016

Tesla Model X

After its two-year-long bid to gain a sales foothold in Michigan hit a brick wall, Tesla has filed a lawsuit against the state.

The suit, filed in a U.S. District Court in Michigan, targets governor Rick Snyder and other top officials, Reuters reports. (Read More…)

By on September 20, 2016

Flint Silverado assembly plant

Shortly after the stroke of midnight, Jerry Dias and the rest of the Unifor-GM bargaining committee sat down in front of reporters immediately after marathon negotiations. Dias, the president of Unifor, was elated.

“I am pleased to announce to our members … that we have found a solution for your facilities,” he said to Oshawa workers through the media and the press conference live stream.

Indeed, Oshawa was saved.

That’s not to say there won’t be some pain — the Consolidated Line at Oshawa will still close on schedule in 2017 when GM begins production of a redesigned Equinox, and the union made some pension concessions — but, at least for now, the clouds have parted over one of Canada’s longest-standing auto-producing towns.

Yet, the announcement raised more questions as it answered. And there are two major unknowns yet to be revealed: the products allocated to the Oshawa and St. Catharines plants.

(Read More…)

By on September 19, 2016

tesla-model-s-

Tesla’s dream of establishing a sales footprint in America’s auto manufacturing heartland is dead, at least for now, after Michigan lawmakers slammed the door on its direct sales bid.

The electric automaker’s application for a dealership license was denied after state representatives claimed it violated a law specifically designed to keep companies like Tesla out, The Detroit News reports. (Read More…)

By on August 12, 2016

Tesla Model 3 Prototype on road, Image: Tesla Motors

Michigan doesn’t want its residents to order a Tesla, but it sees no problem in owning $72 million in stock to bolster its state retirement fund.

According to The Detroit News, the Michigan Department of Treasury bought a further $48 million in Tesla shares in the second quarter of this year, boosting its stake to 339,623 shares — more than triple the amount it owned in March. Meanwhile, Michigan won’t budge on laws that prevent Tesla from selling vehicles in the state. (Read More…)

By on August 2, 2016

roadside traffic stop police (Ruin Raider/Flickr)

A roadside drug-testing pilot program signed into law at the end of June is unconstitutional and runs the risk of destroying lives, a motorist’s advocacy group says.

Michigan’s “Barbara J. and Thomas J. Swift Law” will see five counties selected for roadside saliva swab tests designed to identify drivers impaired by drugs. The one-year pilot, which became law on June 24, raised the ire of the National Motorists Association, which claims the law oversteps boundaries and could prove inaccurate. (Read More…)

By on May 25, 2016

"Mad Max: Fury Road" Tank Truck

In a post-apocalyptic world, tank trucks are driven non-stop to quench an unending thirst for fuel. Those drivers pilot their big rigs day and night, running on little sleep, as they plow through a desolate wasteland.

Now change “post-apocalyptic world” to “Michigan” and you have this week’s dumb decision made by governor Rick Snyder.

Snyder, as a way to deal with a “state of energy emergency” in the Michigan’s Upper Peninsula caused by a pipeline shutdown, lifted driving time restrictions on heavy-duty truck drivers carrying gasoline and other transportation fuels.

Because nothing — nothing — can go wrong when you combine tired truck drivers and tons of flammable liquid.

(Read More…)

By on April 29, 2016

lawsuit

Hoping to access and remotely take charge of a vehicle’s operating system via your laptop? Expect to shower with strange men in a place where the Wi-Fi sucks.

Life behind bars is the penalty proposed by two Michigan senators seeking to regulate the state’s connected and autonomous vehicle industry, Automotive News reports.

The bills introduced yesterday make it a super-duper felony to intentionally access a vehicle’s electronic system for the purpose of damaging it or gaining control of the vehicle. (Read More…)

By on March 18, 2016

Willow Run Factory

An abandoned Michigan manufacturing facility that once cranked out bombers, guns, cars and transmissions could soon be advancing our driverless future.

A nonprofit organization has been created to oversee the transition of the former General Motors Willow Run manufacturing plant property near Ypsilanti, Michigan, into a national self-driving and connected vehicle testing site, reports Crain’s Detroit Business.

The sprawling property is mostly a flat expanse of tarmac, the perfect site for recreating a laundry list of city driving conditions that could confuse an autonomous vehicle’s brain: highway merging, ramps, bridges, elevation changes, high-speed maneuvering, complex intersections and even tunnels. (Read More…)

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