The Truth About Cars » michigan http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Tue, 26 May 2015 17:18:32 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.2 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars » michigan http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com Autoleaks: 2016 Chevrolet Camaro Revealed Ahead Of Weekend Debut http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/autoleaks-2016-chevrolet-camaro-revealed-ahead-of-weekend-debut/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/autoleaks-2016-chevrolet-camaro-revealed-ahead-of-weekend-debut/#comments Fri, 15 May 2015 13:51:36 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1069058 Thanks to CNBC, the 2016 Chevrolet Camaro was revealed to the world ahead of its global debut Saturday at Belle Isle in Detroit. The unofficial unveiling occurred during a segment about the upcoming Camaro on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” Friday morning, AutoGuide reports. The screencaps, captured by forum users over at GM Inside News, show the […]

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2016-Chevy-Camaro-CloseUp

Thanks to CNBC, the 2016 Chevrolet Camaro was revealed to the world ahead of its global debut Saturday at Belle Isle in Detroit.

The unofficial unveiling occurred during a segment about the upcoming Camaro on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” Friday morning, AutoGuide reports. The screencaps, captured by forum users over at GM Inside News, show the front and rear profiles of two 2016 models.

Of the few other details revealed thus far, the new Camaro will receive a 6.2-liter V8 and a possible turbo-four as two options, the latter meant for battle against the Ford Mustang EcoBoost. Magnetic ride control will be available for the SS, while handling has been improved thanks to a stiffer, lighter construction. A flush belly pan is said to reduce lift by 30 percent, and optional dual exhaust will come with a number of settings, ranging from roaring track destroyer, to quiet cruiser in the city.

More will be revealed Saturday, where Chevrolet is holding a special event at Belle Isle celebrating the Camaro’s history alongside the debut of the 2016 model.

[Image credit: GM Inside News]

2016-Chevy-Camaro-CloseUp 2016-Chevy-Camaro-Main 2016-Chevy-Camaro-Rear

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General Motors Investing $1B Into Warren Tech Center, Adding 2,600 Jobs http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/general-motors-investing-1b-into-warren-tech-center-adding-2600-jobs/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/general-motors-investing-1b-into-warren-tech-center-adding-2600-jobs/#comments Thu, 14 May 2015 18:00:15 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1068602 General Motors announced Thursday it will invest $1 billion into its Warren Tech Center in Warren, Mich., adding 2,600 jobs through 2018. The investment will see renovations, expansions and new additions to the tech center, with work set to start this month, The Detroit News reports. Included in the investment are new design studios, an […]

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Renaissance Center Circa May 2009

General Motors announced Thursday it will invest $1 billion into its Warren Tech Center in Warren, Mich., adding 2,600 jobs through 2018.

The investment will see renovations, expansions and new additions to the tech center, with work set to start this month, The Detroit News reports.

Included in the investment are new design studios, an IT building, additional parking and testing facilities, and revamped R&D buildings, as well as “extensive office upgrades” and other interior remodeling through most of the buildings at the center.

The 2,600 new jobs coming into the campus are expected to be salaried positions in engineering, IT and design, though GM didn’t state whether any of the jobs were transfers from other locations, as well as when those jobs would begin appearing.

The announcement follows one made last month involving a $139.5-million investment into the Tech Center’s Pre-Production Operations facility, a part of GM’s overall $5.4-billion investment plan to modernize its plants through 2017.

[Photo credit: Robert Emperley/Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0]

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General Motors Set To Announce Major Investment For Warren Tech Center http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/general-motors-set-to-announce-major-investment-for-warren-tech-center/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/general-motors-set-to-announce-major-investment-for-warren-tech-center/#comments Wed, 13 May 2015 16:00:23 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1067370 General Motors is expected to announce Thursday its plans for the Warren Tech Center, including its proposed $1-billion investment into the facility. Both Warren, Mich. city officials and inside sources have stated GM could invest up to $1 billion throughout the entire campus, The Detroit News reports. The proposed investment would follow the $139.5-million investment […]

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GMTechCenter

General Motors is expected to announce Thursday its plans for the Warren Tech Center, including its proposed $1-billion investment into the facility.

Both Warren, Mich. city officials and inside sources have stated GM could invest up to $1 billion throughout the entire campus, The Detroit News reports. The proposed investment would follow the $139.5-million investment made to the Tech Center last month for a new body shop and improvements to the stamping plant at the facility’s Pre-Production Operations wing, part of the automaker’s overall $5.4-billion investment plan for its plants in the United States.

According to GM’s tax abatement application to the Warren City Council, the automaker is considering putting $419.4 million into expansion and renovation of the Tech Center, including $180 million for the design studio, a total of $117.7 million for a yet-to-be-determined building and unidentified parking, and $20 million for renovation and expansion of the center’s Advanced Engineering Center lab. The overall project would retain 3,800 employees and add 2,600 more in engineering, IT, R&D and other categories over the years.

Though details surrounding the announcement are scant, representatives have stated the 50-percent tax abatement approval — meant to save GM $97 million in property taxes over the next decade and beyond — was key to getting the project off the ground.

[Photo credit: Local hero/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 3.0]

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Riviera Tool’s Old Penny Stock Erupts After Tesla Purchase Announcement http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/riviera-tools-old-penny-stock-erupts-tesla-purchase-announcement/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/riviera-tools-old-penny-stock-erupts-tesla-purchase-announcement/#comments Fri, 08 May 2015 18:00:47 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1064322 Tesla’s announcement Thursday of its purchase of Riviera Tool LLC sent shares of the supplier’s old penny stock soaring, but it may have been for nothing. In over-the-counter “pink-sheet” trading, the penny stock for Riviera Tool Co. — the former name of the Grand Rapids, Mich.-based supplier — jumped 10,000 percent from less than a […]

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Perepetual Penny Calendar

Tesla’s announcement Thursday of its purchase of Riviera Tool LLC sent shares of the supplier’s old penny stock soaring, but it may have been for nothing.

In over-the-counter “pink-sheet” trading, the penny stock for Riviera Tool Co. — the former name of the Grand Rapids, Mich.-based supplier — jumped 10,000 percent from less than a penny to a peak of 60 cents a share, Detroit Free Press reports. The old stock would later close at 22 cents, an increase of 4,400 percent when compared to its worth hours earlier. The OTC trading saw 16 million shares exchange hands after a lull in activity lasting over a month.

However, the shares may not hold much value at all. In 2007, an investment into the supplier by Laurus Master Fund, Ltd. took Riviera Tool off the American Stock Exchange trading floor, though a number of public shares landed in the pink sheet market, where traders buy and sell low-value stocks. Riviera became an LLC once taken off the market, rendering the old shares as little more than keepsakes.

Riviera Tool is responsible for producing stamping parts for Tesla, and will be renamed Tesla Tool & Die by its new owner.

[Photo credit: Windell Oskay/Flickr/CC BY 2.0]

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While You Were Sleeping: Cheap Chevy Volt, Tesla and Fisker Do Things Online and Iran Wants F1 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/sleeping-cheap-chevy-volt-tesla-fisker-things-online-iran-wants-f1/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/sleeping-cheap-chevy-volt-tesla-fisker-things-online-iran-wants-f1/#comments Mon, 04 May 2015 10:15:18 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1060562 Even though the first-generation Chevrolet Volt has had its price slashed every year since its debut, the next-generation range-extended electric vehicle will be priced even lower. This aims GM’s offering squarely at a number of more traditional hybrids. The battle over Sunday sales (Automotive News) In a case of “we like regulation when it helps […]

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Mary Barra and Chevrolet Volt at NAIAS 2015

Even though the first-generation Chevrolet Volt has had its price slashed every year since its debut, the next-generation range-extended electric vehicle will be priced even lower. This aims GM’s offering squarely at a number of more traditional hybrids.

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Ford UAW Members Meet To Receive Info On Leaving Union http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/ford-uaw-members-meet-receive-info-leaving-union/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/ford-uaw-members-meet-receive-info-leaving-union/#comments Thu, 30 Apr 2015 17:00:51 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1057010 UAW members at Ford’s Sterling Heights, Mich. plant met to gain advice on how to leave the union or stop paying dues under Michigan’s new right-to-work law. Two meetings were held Wednesday to discuss the topic ahead of the union’s impending contract negotiations with the Detroit Three, Detroit Free Press reports. While some will, indeed, […]

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UAW Hall at Bowling Green, Kentucky

UAW members at Ford’s Sterling Heights, Mich. plant met to gain advice on how to leave the union or stop paying dues under Michigan’s new right-to-work law.

Two meetings were held Wednesday to discuss the topic ahead of the union’s impending contract negotiations with the Detroit Three, Detroit Free Press reports. While some will, indeed, bid farewell to the union while still being allowed to continue working on the factory floor, labor experts don’t see a mass exodus from the UAW in the foreseeable future.

At one of the meetings in Sterling Heights, plant worker and right-to-work proponent Brian Pannebecker proclaimed that union members should send a message to the UAW by not paying any more dues until it addressed its members’ needs. He added that the right-to-work law wasn’t an effort to destroy or do away with unions, but one meant to use the collective bargaining process to the members’ advantage.

Michigan’s law prohibits employers from requiring employees to pay union dues in order to work. In turn, those who opt-out of dues cannot vote on union contracts, but the unions must represent those workers in matters of conflict within a given company.

[Photo credit: Michael Miller/Flickr/CC BY 2.0]

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FCA US Joins Michigan Businesses In Opposition Of Proposed Religious Freedom Bill http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/fca-us-joins-michigan-businesses-opposition-proposed-religious-freedom-bill/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/fca-us-joins-michigan-businesses-opposition-proposed-religious-freedom-bill/#comments Wed, 29 Apr 2015 15:00:42 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1056226 Joining the likes of Kellogg’s, Herman Miller and Steelcase, FCA US declared Tuesday its opposition to Michigan’s proposed religious freedom bill. The Michigan Religious Freedom Restoration Act, modelled upon the original federal legislation signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1993, would bestow businesses and individual citizens exemptions from other state legislation that parties […]

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FCA US HQ

Joining the likes of Kellogg’s, Herman Miller and Steelcase, FCA US declared Tuesday its opposition to Michigan’s proposed religious freedom bill.

The Michigan Religious Freedom Restoration Act, modelled upon the original federal legislation signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1993, would bestow businesses and individual citizens exemptions from other state legislation that parties claim would infringe upon their religious beliefs, Allpar News reports. Governor Rick Synder stated he would veto the RFRA unless protections for LGBT Michiganders were expanded in conjunction, expansions FCA US stood behind in its statement regarding the bill:

FCA US LLC has a zero tolerance policy for discrimination of any kind. We are committed to diversity and inclusion, and as such, oppose any law that can result in discrimination. Accordingly, FCA US supports efforts to update Michigan’s Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act (ELCRA) to expressly prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. Our commitment and policy extends to our employees and business partners.

The opposition toward the bill follows recent backlashes against similar legislation introduced in Indiana and Arkansas. The latter state’s government passed an addendum clarifying its intent behind its RFRA after Indiana sustained significant economic damages – travel bans, event cancellations, loss of new business opportunities et al – as a result of public scrutiny upon the its passage of similar legislation.

[Photo credit: FCA]

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How Detroit Invented Traffic Cops, Traffic Lights, No Parking Zones & Towing Your Car http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/detroit-invented-traffic-cops-traffic-lights-no-parking-zones-towing-car/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/detroit-invented-traffic-cops-traffic-lights-no-parking-zones-towing-car/#comments Tue, 28 Apr 2015 14:30:07 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1054681 Due to advancements such as air bags, driving is much safer than it was when I first got my driver’s license in the early 1970s. Even then, because of seat belts and crush zones, cars were much safer than they had been in the early automotive age. The first decades of the automobile resulted in chaotic […]

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Woodward Avenue: "Drive Safely, Walk Right"

Due to advancements such as air bags, driving is much safer than it was when I first got my driver’s license in the early 1970s. Even then, because of seat belts and crush zones, cars were much safer than they had been in the early automotive age. The first decades of the automobile resulted in chaotic and unsafe driving conditions. Not only were the vehicles themselves dangerous to passengers and pedestrians (three quarters of early motoring related fatalities were pedestrians, often children), in the early days it was a free for all, with the first proposed traffic laws being instituted only after about a decade after the first automobiles. Author Bill Loomis is working on a book on Detroit history and in an extensive article in the Detroit News he discusses just how unsafe driving was a century ago, as well as the role that the Motor City had in making driving safer and less chaotic. Some of those innovations continue to make drivers safe, while others continue to annoy us.

Things we take for granted had to be implemented in the first place; even things as mundane as lane markings. The first centerline on a U.S. road was painted in Michigan in 1911. Before that, people would drive wherever they cared. Cars started to clog cities that weren’t designed with parking in mind, so people would park wherever they wanted to as well, sometimes in the middle of intersections or in front of fire hydrants. The city of Detroit started to use equipment designed to mark lines on tennis courts to paint lane dividers, crossings, safety zones and no parking zones, issuing citations to violators.

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The Ferndale crow’s nest when it was operational. Note the warning to pedestrians to “walk right”. Pedestrians made up about 75% of early traffic fatalities.

Traffic control devices, called Street Semaphores, were first implemented in Detroit. Developed by Cleveland inventor Garrett Morgan (who also invented the gas mask), they were manually operated red and green signs, later fitted with with red and green lights, controlled by a traffic patrolman in a crow’s next above the street. In the 1920s, the Street Semaphores were replaced with automatically operating stop lights, with the first automated traffic light being installed at the intersection of John R. St. and East Grand Blvd. in 1922. Around that time, a yellow light was added to the mix to alert drivers of an impending red light. (By the way, the motivation for switching to traffic lights wasn’t so much safety as saving money. The automated lights cost 10% of what it cost to man a Street Semaphore crow’s nest.)

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A different view of the same crow’s nest. Note the street car lines on Woodward Ave.

To commemorate the Street Semaphores, Ferndale, Michigan installed a sculpture of one of the traffic crow’s nests near where one had been installed in 1920 at the intersection of Woodward Ave and Nine Mile Road. When Woodward was widened in 1928, that crow’s nest was replaced with an automated traffic light, but it was fondly remembered in Ferndale. Artist Shan Sutherland, who received his MFA in metalsmithing from the Detroit area Cranbrook Academy of Art, based his reproduction on historic photographs. The traffic signal is “manned” by a bust of a Ferndale police officer sculpted by Anne Sutherland, the artist’s mother.

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A traffic control crow’s nest on Detroit’s West Grand Blvd, with the General Motors Building in the background. By the 1920s, automated electric traffic lights had replaced semaphores, but traffic cops, another Detroit innovation, were still needed.

Traffic lights weren’t the only traffic control device invented in Detroit. In 1911, the city was the first to implement one-way streets as a way of improving traffic flow and making commercial deliveries easier. The first stop sign in the United States was installed in Detroit a century ago in 1915. It had black letters against a white background. In the 1920s, the familiar octagon shape was standardized by national committees (though for decades stop signs were yellow, not changing to red until the 1950s).

Today, some states and cities have traffic lanes restricted to high occupancy vehicles or hybrid cars. That concept was presaged in the Motor City with an idea called “channelizing” streets, allowing only particular kinds of vehicles, like delivery vans or taxi cabs, on particular streets.

Detroit was the first city to have specific traffic cops, with a quarter of 1914’s thousand member Detroit Police Dept being assigned to traffic duty, and it was the second municipality, after New York City, to establish traffic courts.

Even with traffic cops and traffic courts, illegal parking continued to plague Detroit. James Couzens had been the business manager of the Ford Motor Company from its founding until he got sick and tired of working for Henry Ford in 1913. For a $10,000 investment in FoMoCo, Couzens was eventually paid $38 million. After he retired from Ford, he went into politics, first becoming Detroit mayor and then a U.S. senator. As mayor in 1917, Couzens proposed dealing with illegal parking with what he called “intensive disciplinary training”. Within half a year, the newly organized Detroit Towing Squad had towed almost 11,000 cars to a city owned vacant lot. Couzens, a pretty smart guy later said, “This proved to be something of a shock to the thoughtless and careless, but it proved effective.”

Ronnie Schreiber edits Cars In Depth, a realistic perspective on cars & car culture and the original 3D car site. If you found this post worthwhile, you can get a parallax view at Cars In Depth. If the 3D thing freaks you out, don’t worry, all the photo and video players in use at the site have mono options. Thanks for reading – RJS

Pic-HistoryCrowsNest 78688 crows_nest_early crowsnest133 crowsnest IMG_0319 IMG_0320 IMG_0321 IMG_0322 IMG_0323 IMG_0324 IMG_0325

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High Auto Insurance Rates Plague Michigan, Legislators Seek Relief http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/high-auto-insurance-rates-plague-michigan-legislators-seek-relief/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/high-auto-insurance-rates-plague-michigan-legislators-seek-relief/#comments Mon, 27 Apr 2015 19:00:44 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1055417 Michigan is the state with the most expensive insurance in the United States. However, a potential overhaul could bring down those costs. As it stands, Michigan’s motorists pay 136 percent above the national average of $815 a year for a policy, with the state’s overall average coming to $1,923/annually, Detroit Free Press reports. Additionally, Wayne […]

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Michigan is the state with the most expensive insurance in the United States. However, a potential overhaul could bring down those costs.

As it stands, Michigan’s motorists pay 136 percent above the national average of $815 a year for a policy, with the state’s overall average coming to $1,923/annually, Detroit Free Press reports. Additionally, Wayne County is the most expensive place to have a policy in Michigan, averaging $2,789 — 45 percent above the state’s average — per year.

According to insuranceQuotes.com senior analyst Laura Adams, the reasons behind Michigan’s No. 1 rank are due to it being the only state to offer unlimited lifetime personal injury protection, and because it has an unusually high amount of uninsured motorists.

That said, the state’s legislators are planning to retune the no-fault auto insurance system, which would maintain the unlimited benefit for those who suffer injuries costing over $545,000, but would place caps on other parts of the system, such as rates for home health care providers. The reform is expected to be passed sometime within the week.

[Photo credit: Angela/Flickr]

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Michigan Diesel Shop Refuses To Serve Openly Gay Customers http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/michigan-diesel-shop-refuses-serve-openly-gay-customers/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/michigan-diesel-shop-refuses-serve-openly-gay-customers/#comments Fri, 17 Apr 2015 11:00:32 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1046290 What does a diesel shop in Michigan have in common with a Washingtonian florist and a Hoosier pizza hut? An owner who refuses to serve openly gay customers. WOOD-TV reports the owner of Grandville, Mich.-based Dieseltec, Brian Klawiter, posted a statement to his shop’s Facebook page Tuesday regarding his view that those with conservative, Christian […]

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Dieseltec Ram Diesel Burnout

What does a diesel shop in Michigan have in common with a Washingtonian florist and a Hoosier pizza hut? An owner who refuses to serve openly gay customers.

WOOD-TV reports the owner of Grandville, Mich.-based Dieseltec, Brian Klawiter, posted a statement to his shop’s Facebook page Tuesday regarding his view that those with conservative, Christian values are being drowned out by those who don’t hold those values. Said statement includes the following passage:

I am a Christian. My company will be run in a way that reflects that. Dishonesty, thievery, immoral behavior, etc. will not be welcomed at MY place of business. (I would not hesitate to refuse service to an openly gay person or persons. Homosexuality is wrong, period. If you want to argue this fact with me then I will put your vehicle together with all bolts and no nuts and you can see how that works.)

When interviewed by the NBC affiliate, Klawiter said that while he’d fix a vehicle in need of repair, he would not welcome a gay male couple openly displaying their affection in his shop, proclaiming he and his shop doesn’t believe in homosexuality. Klawiter adds that he isn’t going to ask customers about their sexuality, while also reaffirming his stance on PDAs by same-sex couples.

Asked to view his post from the eyes of a gay individual, he said he would find the statement of belief “enlightening,” and that he would cross off Dieseltec from his list of shops.

UPDATE: And just like the aforementioned theoretical gay customer — and myself, if I had diesel business in the first place — Cummins wants no part of Dieseltec. Per their Twitter to another consumer who noted the engine manufacturer’s support of the LGBT community:

Diversity = our core values. We have no affiliation with this business and are notifying them to stop using our logo.

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Cadillac CT6 To Receive Turbocharged, Naturally Aspirated V6 Engines http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/cadillac-ct6-fitted-pair-v6-engines/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/cadillac-ct6-fitted-pair-v6-engines/#comments Fri, 20 Mar 2015 23:14:13 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1026649 When the Cadillac CT6 hits showrooms later this year, power for the flagship will come in the form of two V6 engines. The mills are a 3.6-liter naturally aspirated unit, and a 3-liter twin-turbo. Both engines are equipped with active fuel management and start-stop, helping to improve fuel economy when compared to the engines they […]

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2016-Cadillac-CT6-Powertrain-LGW-V6-006

When the Cadillac CT6 hits showrooms later this year, power for the flagship will come in the form of two V6 engines.

The mills are a 3.6-liter naturally aspirated unit, and a 3-liter twin-turbo. Both engines are equipped with active fuel management and start-stop, helping to improve fuel economy when compared to the engines they will replace in other Cadillac products.

Power figures for the 3.6-liter come to 335 horsepower and 284 lb-ft of torque, while the twin-turbo engine pumps out 400 horses and 400 lb-ft of torque. Both V6s will be paired with versions of General Motors’ Hydra-Matic eight-speed auto: the 8L90 for the turbocharged unit, the 8L45 for the naturally aspirated engine.

Both engines use aluminum blocks with more structuring in the bulkhead for increased rigidity; forged-steel crankshafts; polymer-coated, high-copper-content cylinder heads; cushioned chain sprockets for greater noise reduction; and a new two-pump oiling system for greater fuel efficiency and quieter operation.

Both V6s will be produced at GM’s Romulus Powertrain Operations in Romulus, Mich. — thanks to a $540-million investment to build the new engines — and will be placed under the bonnet of CT6 prior to delivery, which is set to begin between October and December of 2015.

The all-new 3.6L V6 for the upcoming Cadillac CT6 incorporates n 2016-Cadillac-CT6-Powertrain-LGW-V6-007 2016-Cadillac-CT6-Powertrain-LGW-V6-006

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Dodge Unveils 1-of-1 Program For New Viper Owners http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/dodge-unveils-1-1-program-new-viper-gtc-owners/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/dodge-unveils-1-1-program-new-viper-gtc-owners/#comments Fri, 09 Jan 2015 11:00:01 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=974282 Is the standard color palette for the 2015 Dodge Viper not enough for you? Have you looked at your child’s Twilight Sparkle and Sonata Dusk brushables and thought to yourself, ‘Those hair colors might look good on on a Viper’? Dodge has a program just for you. New Dodge Viper owners can get a lot […]

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2015 Dodge Viper

Is the standard color palette for the 2015 Dodge Viper not enough for you? Have you looked at your child’s Twilight Sparkle and Sonata Dusk brushables and thought to yourself, ‘Those hair colors might look good on on a Viper’? Dodge has a program just for you.

New Dodge Viper owners can get a lot more for the $94,995 base price with the brand’s 1-of-1 customization program, which is set to open in February. Owners who place their order with their dealer will have the following to consider:

  • 24,000 hand-painted custom stripes
  • 8,000 hand-painted exterior colors
  • 16 interior trims
  • 10 wheel options
  • Six aero packages
  • A wide array of standalone choices

With every possible option under the sun, over 25 million unique build combinations can be had from the program, which also includes a concierge service throughout the build, a new mobile-friendly website to track the build process, personalized plaque and instrument panel with “the customer’s chosen name to commemorate their design,” and a complementary 1:18 scale replica to confirm color selection.

The program also allows Dodge and SRT to demonstrate the full capabilities of the Conner Avenue Assembly Plant in Detroit, where the Viper is assembled. Brand president Tim Kuniskis explains:

Because every Viper is hand crafted with such an extreme level of detail, we have the unique opportunity to make each one even more special by giving buyers the opportunity to customize each vehicle to their exact specifications. Now, Viper owners will be able to say their Viper is truly one of a kind.

Delivery options include rapid transport in an enclosed carrier, or, for those wanting to visit Detroit, picking up their new Viper at Conner Avenue following a tour of the facilities.

Production of the first 1-of-1 Vipers will begin in Q2 2015.

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Obama Visiting Ford Plant Wednesday Amid Temporary Closure http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/obama-visiting-ford-plant-wednesday-amid-temporary-closure/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/obama-visiting-ford-plant-wednesday-amid-temporary-closure/#comments Tue, 06 Jan 2015 13:00:55 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=972082 President Barack Obama will be visiting the Ford Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Mich. Wednesday, a plant currently closed due to low demand for both the Focus and C-Max. The Detroit News reports the president will be in Michigan for less than two hours that afternoon before jetting off to Phoenix to give a speech […]

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Barack Obama + Connected Vehicles

President Barack Obama will be visiting the Ford Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Mich. Wednesday, a plant currently closed due to low demand for both the Focus and C-Max.

The Detroit News reports the president will be in Michigan for less than two hours that afternoon before jetting off to Phoenix to give a speech on the recovering housing market. Both Ford CEO Mark Fields and Chairman Bill Ford Jr. are expected to be in attendance; the company received $5.9 billion in low-cost government loans from the U.S. Energy Department in 2009 to help transition Michigan Assembly from SUV production to that of fuel-efficient small cars

Per the White House, his speech at the plant will focus upon “the workers in the resurgent American automotive and manufacturing sector now that the auto rescue has been completed and the decision to save the auto industry and the over one million jobs that went with it.”

Meanwhile, the plant’s closure is expected to be temporary, with its 5,100 employees receiving most of their standard pay in the interim. The closure is an extension of a two-week Christmas break at the plant, and is meant to help better manage supply as consumers, encouraged by falling fuel prices, look at F-150s and Explorers over smaller cars like the aforementioned Focus and C-Max.

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Michigan Bills Could Open Door To Auto Title Lenders http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/michigan-bills-open-door-auto-title-lenders/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/michigan-bills-open-door-auto-title-lenders/#comments Wed, 10 Dec 2014 14:00:09 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=957929 Auto title lenders, whose practices are aligned with those dealing in payday loans, furniture leases, and cheaply made wheel-and-tire rentals, may soon be able to profit off of Michigan consumers should a bill in the state senate be passed. The Detroit News reports a bill sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville of Monroe, Mich. […]

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Dirtbag America Auto Title Lending Store and Krispy Kreme 2012

Auto title lenders, whose practices are aligned with those dealing in payday loans, furniture leases, and cheaply made wheel-and-tire rentals, may soon be able to profit off of Michigan consumers should a bill in the state senate be passed.

The Detroit News reports a bill sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville of Monroe, Mich. — with an identical bill led by Rep. John Walsh of Livonia in the state House — would add a loophole to a century-old pawnbroker law to allow those affected to charge a 20 percent monthly “usage fee” to consumers, instead of the 3 percent charged now.

The state’s pawnbrokers are among those opposed to the bill, stating that such an increase would only lead to more defaults, affecting consumers “in an adverse way,” according to American Jewelry and Loan vice president Seth Gold.

As for who is in favor, two opposing lobbyists have found Georgia-based Select Management Resources to be the primary backer of Michigan Senate Bill No. 1138/House Bill No. 5954.

Should the bill go through, auto title lenders could act as pawnbrokers in Michigan, going around a ban of their usual business model in so doing. Further, a loan of $1,000 would go from accumulating a manageable $360 in interest over 12 months, to an insane $2,760 over the same period.

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Gilbert Calls Out Dealers In Wake Of Reinforced Michigan Direct Sales Ban http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/gilbert-calls-dealers-wake-reinforced-michigan-direct-sales-ban/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/gilbert-calls-dealers-wake-reinforced-michigan-direct-sales-ban/#comments Thu, 23 Oct 2014 13:00:28 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=935370 Tuesday, Michigan governor Rick Snyder signed into law a bill that included language reinforcing a direct sales ban established over 30 years ago. Wednesday? Detroit billionaire Dan Gilbert — best known as the majority owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers who penned a letter in Comic Sans typeface in response to LeBron James making the decision […]

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Cavaliers Brown Basketball

Tuesday, Michigan governor Rick Snyder signed into law a bill that included language reinforcing a direct sales ban established over 30 years ago.

Wednesday? Detroit billionaire Dan Gilbert — best known as the majority owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers who penned a letter in Comic Sans typeface in response to LeBron James making the decision to play for the Miami Heat — had a few words to say about this decision.

According to Detroit Free Press, Gilbert was interviewing fellow NBA team owner Mark Cuban while guest-hosting an episode of CNBC’s “Squawk Box” when he brought up the signing of HB 5606, now known as Michigan Public Act 354 of 2014, proclaiming the move “sends a bad message” as far as how much influence lobbyists — especially the auto dealer lobby — have over legislators. He added that Michigan dealers should “man up” and compete with Tesla instead of forcing the EV automaker to sell through a franchise network.

Morgan Stanley automotive analyst Adam Jonas agreed with Gilbert in a note to the financial giant’s clients, stating it was only “a matter of time” that the issue of direct sales — and Tesla’s link to them — would “likely mushroom into a national issue.” He also said legislation protecting the status quo “exist to support the weakest link in the network.”

On the other side, Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce president Sandy Baruah believes Detroit “should have a business environment where all participants play by a common set of rules.” The chamber also supported the signing, and says it looks forward to the further examination Snyder called for in light of the reinforcement.

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Tesla Direct Sales Ban Reinforced In Michigan, GM Supported Signing http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/tesla-direct-sales-ban-reinforced-michigan-gm-supported-signing/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/tesla-direct-sales-ban-reinforced-michigan-gm-supported-signing/#comments Wed, 22 Oct 2014 10:00:19 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=934698 It’s official: the ban preventing Tesla from directly selling its wares to customers in Michigan has been reinforced. Michigan governor Rick Snyder signed into law HB 5606, now known as Public Act 354 of 2014. The act not only prohibits automakers from telling their dealerships what fees the latter can charge customers, but reinforces a […]

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2013 Tesla Model S Summerside Lighthouse

It’s official: the ban preventing Tesla from directly selling its wares to customers in Michigan has been reinforced.

Michigan governor Rick Snyder signed into law HB 5606, now known as Public Act 354 of 2014. The act not only prohibits automakers from telling their dealerships what fees the latter can charge customers, but reinforces a law already on the books:

This bill does not, as some have claimed, prevent auto manufacturers from selling automobiles directly to consumers at retail in Michigan — because this is already prohibited under Michigan law.

Though Tesla can do little more than open a showroom and a repair shop for now, Snyder said lawmakers should “always be willing to re-examine” legislation with the aim of improving the consumer’s experience “in a more efficient and less costly manner.”

Meanwhile, at least one automaker is happy PA 354 is on the books. In a one-sentence press release, General Motors had this to say prior to the bill’s signing:

We believe that House Bill 5606 will help ensure that all automotive manufacturers follow the same rules to operate in the State of Michigan; therefore, we encourage Governor Snyder to sign it.

Per Jalopnik, GM sent a similar message to Ohio governor John Kasich back in March of this year regarding SB137, which would have allowed Tesla to directly sell to customers in the state; the bill later died in the Ohio Senate.

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Michigan May Ban Tesla Direct Sales Pending Governor’s Signature http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/michigan-may-ban-tesla-direct-sales-pending-governors-signature/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/michigan-may-ban-tesla-direct-sales-pending-governors-signature/#comments Thu, 16 Oct 2014 12:00:00 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=931978 Sitting on Michigan governor Rick Snyder’s desk is a bill that would add the state to the list of places where Tesla cannot sell its vehicles directly to the public, waiting for his pen to seal the deal. Automotive News reports Michigan H.B. 5606 was originally meant to determine whether or not automakers could stop […]

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tesla-store-opening-in-westfield-mall-london-oct-2013_100444202_l

Sitting on Michigan governor Rick Snyder’s desk is a bill that would add the state to the list of places where Tesla cannot sell its vehicles directly to the public, waiting for his pen to seal the deal.

Automotive News reports Michigan H.B. 5606 was originally meant to determine whether or not automakers could stop their dealership networks from charging consumers certain fees when it was introduced in May, only for the anti-Tesla language to be appended to the bill by the state senate prior to passage — and without notice or debate — during the first two days of October. The bill then returned to the state house, passing 106 to 1 before landing on Snyder’s desk.

On the third day, Tesla contacted the governor’s office to have “a very open and productive dialogue” with those in the Snyder administration, according to vice president of business development Diarmuid O’Connell. He added that the automaker had been watching the bill since its introduction, citing its experience with other bills where anti-Tesla language had been stealthily implemented.

Meanwhile, Michigan Automobile Dealers Association executive vice president Terry Burns applauded the bill, proclaiming that while Tesla are “more than welcome” to do business in Michigan, he would hope they do so based on state law:

One good thing about being governor, you get to do whatever you think is appropriate at the time. We hope and look forward to him signing the bill and clarifying the language, and we hope he does it soon.

As for when the governor would decide the fate of H.B. 5606, a representative said the bill was being evaluated, but nothing has been decided thus far. Snyder has until October 21 to sign.

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Future Of Industry, Mobility To Be Shaped At Detroit Tech Conference http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/future-industry-mobility-shaped-detroit-tech-conference/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/future-industry-mobility-shaped-detroit-tech-conference/#comments Mon, 08 Sep 2014 12:00:11 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=908673 Part of the automobile’s future may be linked to concerns of safety, fuel efficiency and the environment, but connected- and autonomous-vehicle technologies, among other disruptors, look to flip the table on the century-old game as the 21st World Congress on Intelligent Transport Systems gets underway this week in Detroit. Automotive News reports industry execs, government […]

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01-saleen-4sixteen-monterey-1

Part of the automobile’s future may be linked to concerns of safety, fuel efficiency and the environment, but connected- and autonomous-vehicle technologies, among other disruptors, look to flip the table on the century-old game as the 21st World Congress on Intelligent Transport Systems gets underway this week in Detroit.

Automotive News reports industry execs, government officials and researchers will converge to sort out the future of the automobile as shaped by mobility technology. At present, companies like Tesla, Uber and Google are driving the rest of the industry toward a place where vehicles can be upgraded via software, communicate with other vehicles and the road, and drive itself to pick up a passenger or two before driving itself to the intended destination.

As such, the old guard are doing their best to prepare for the world to come. General Motors, for example, plans to introduce V2V and semi-autonomous systems in two Cadillac sedans by 2017, and has joined up with Ford, Honda and other automakers in a research program with the University of Michigan’s Mobility Transformation Center where shared autonomous vehicles could one day be the norm. Meanwhile, Daimler bought the Mytaxi and RideScout apps last week “to make mobility as simple as possible,” according to subsidiary Moovel’s CEO, Robert Henrich.

The end game for the automotive industry may see automakers go from just building vehicles to becoming “personal-mobility companies,” in the words of Ford chair Bill Ford, upending a business model that has served the industry since it began over a century ago.

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Employee Files Charges Against UAW, Ford Over Dues http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/08/employee-files-charges-uaw-ford-dues/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/08/employee-files-charges-uaw-ford-dues/#comments Mon, 25 Aug 2014 11:30:24 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=899074 Though it won’t be until next September when Detroit Three employees in Michigan will be able to opt-out of paying dues to the United Auto Workers, one Ford employee has gone ahead with legal action to recoup some of his dues now. Detroit Free Press reports Ford tool-and-die maker Todd Lemire, with legal help from […]

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2013-ford-taurus-sel-20l-ecoboost-grille-and-badge-photo-529274-s-1280x782

Though it won’t be until next September when Detroit Three employees in Michigan will be able to opt-out of paying dues to the United Auto Workers, one Ford employee has gone ahead with legal action to recoup some of his dues now.

Detroit Free Press reports Ford tool-and-die maker Todd Lemire, with legal help from the National Right to Work Foundation, has filed charges against both the automaker and the UAW with the National Labor Relations Board on the objection to using a portion of his dues to support the Democratic Party, invoking his Beck rights to claw back $98 of dues over the past three months thus far.

If successful, the legal action would pave the way for others who don’t want to pay dues beyond core union activities, if at all, prior to the September 15, 2015 expiration date of the UAW’s current contracts with the Detroit Three. After that date, new contracts would allow all workers in Michigan the right to opt-out of paying any dues, the result of the state legislature’s passage of Michigan’s right-to-work law in 2012.

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Latest GM Recall Woes Hurt Q2 Results http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/07/general-motors-digest-july-25-2014/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/07/general-motors-digest-july-25-2014/#comments Fri, 25 Jul 2014 13:00:24 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=873066 In today’s General Motors digest: The automaker takes it on the chin in its quarterly report; the analysts have their say; GM Korea could allow its workers to build the next Cruze if only they would put down the picket signs; 45 attorney generals are investigating the February 2014 recall; and CEO Mary Barra will […]

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GM Renaissance Center

In today’s General Motors digest: The automaker takes it on the chin in its quarterly report; the analysts have their say; GM Korea could allow its workers to build the next Cruze if only they would put down the picket signs; 45 attorney generals are investigating the February 2014 recall; and CEO Mary Barra will be the keynote speaker for a connected-vehicle forum.

Autoblog reports GM made a net income of $200 million for Q2 2014, in comparison to $1.2 billion during Q2 2013. Speaking of $1.2 billion, that was how much the automaker paid in recall-related repairs this quarter, with a $900 million charge ready for future recall campaigns. Finally, $400 million has been set aside for the Feinberg compensation plan, though $200 million may be added down the road.

Meanwhile, Automotive News collected a number of analyst quotes regarding the poor Q2 2014 showing, including KBB.com’s Jack Nerad proclaiming that while the automaker may be handling recalls better these days, “it is paying for past sins in terms of the bottom line.” Michael Krebs of AutoTrader.com adds that GM “would have had an outstanding quarter” were it not for the ongoing recall parade, and both Brian Johnson of Barclays Capital (but not of AC/DC) and Morningstar’s David Whiston believing brighter days ahead in Europe and outstanding success in China.

Speaking of the Asia-Pacific, GM Korea management informed the employee’s union that if the latter calls off its impending strike over stalled wage negotiations, the next-gen Chevrolet Cruze would be built in its Gunsan facility. The factory — where the Orlando and current-gen Cruze are assembled — is one of four under GM Korea, and boasts a production capacity of 260,000 units per year.

Back at home, The Detroit News reports GM is under investigation by 45 attorney generals over the February 2014 ignition switch recall, as well as auto safety agency Transport Canada. On the federal level, CEO Mary Barra stated she hasn’t met with the prosecutors or the grand jury regarding the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Securities and Exchange Commission investigations into wire and bankruptcy fraud related to the automaker’s 2009 bankruptcy proceedings.

Finally, Barra will be the keynote speaker at the 21st World Congress on Intelligent Transport Systems in Detroit September 7. The event, focused on connected vehicles, will attract 10,000 guests from 65 countries to share and discuss ideas, challenges and strategies regarding the burgeoning scene. Barra’s keynote will focus on the future of intelligent transportation.

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Data Privacy Concerns Rise Within Connected-Car Industry http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/06/data-privacy-concerns-rise-within-connected-car-industry/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/06/data-privacy-concerns-rise-within-connected-car-industry/#comments Fri, 06 Jun 2014 13:00:33 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=838401 As more vehicles come with infotainment systems mounted in the dashboard console, consumers are beginning to face the issue of losing privacy behind the driver’s seat. The Detroit News reports data from a vehicle so equipped is collected every time the ignition is turned, from where one fills up their tank and stomach, to how […]

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2013 RAM 3500 Interior, uConnect 8.4, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes

As more vehicles come with infotainment systems mounted in the dashboard console, consumers are beginning to face the issue of losing privacy behind the driver’s seat.

The Detroit News reports data from a vehicle so equipped is collected every time the ignition is turned, from where one fills up their tank and stomach, to how fast one drives and their preference for doing so. While the data goes back to the automaker in question, there are few security measures as to who all is allowed to view — and use — the data for their own needs. Strategy Analytics associate director Roger Lanctot explains:

(Your car’s) presumably tracking you all the time. Somewhere along the way we need to have a better understanding because right now, the reason why it feels like the Wild West is that it’s so open. You’re basically letting the carmaker gather whatever data it wants and share it with whoever, including marketing partners and law enforcement.

His concerns were voiced during the keynote speech before attendees of this year’s Telematics Detroit 2014 in Novi, Mich. as part of a day devoted to privacy and security with automotive infotainment and diagnostics technology. Though the focus comes in light of knowledge of the National Security Agency’s overreaching hand upon U.S. citizens, a survey found some of the attendees weren’t too concerned over what their car tells anyone else. Others, however, were more worried about their car pulling a GLaDOS on the highway in traffic.

Lanctot believes consumers will have “a privacy button” in their vehicles down the road, which would at the very least provide transparency on who exactly sees the information in any given vehicle. The feature would, in turn, empower the consumer with control on their information and instill trust with the automaker at the other end of the signal.

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Williams: Union To Focus On Detroit Three, Transplants, Elections http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/06/williams-union-to-focus-on-detroit-three-transplants-elections/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/06/williams-union-to-focus-on-detroit-three-transplants-elections/#comments Fri, 06 Jun 2014 11:00:57 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=838345 Automotive News reports new United Auto Workers president Dennis Williams let it be known before the 1,100 delegates at the 36th UAW Constitutional Convention in Detroit that the union’s focus will be on contract negotiations with the Detroit Three in 2015, and the national elections of 2014 and 2016. Regarding the former, Williams proclaimed that […]

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Dennis Williams

Automotive News reports new United Auto Workers president Dennis Williams let it be known before the 1,100 delegates at the 36th UAW Constitutional Convention in Detroit that the union’s focus will be on contract negotiations with the Detroit Three in 2015, and the national elections of 2014 and 2016. Regarding the former, Williams proclaimed that the time for making concessions had come to an end, vowing to fight on for workers’ rights and social and economic justice. He also addressed the leadership history of the union, providing examples of the challenges each president has had to face during their term, even if the answers left the membership confused at first.

After the convention closed, Williams gave a press conference detailing what the union will specifically do during his tenure as president, including an intensified focus on organizing the transplants in the Southeastern United States. That effort will be led in Tennessee — where the union lost a contentious election to organize the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga in February of this year — by new UAW secretary-treasurer Gary Casteel. The president also hinted at pushing the union toward economic efficiency with its organizing budget, and vowed to take down the two-tier wage system holding a quarter of the 390,000 members working in on the floors of the Detroit Three underneath the rest of the rolls. No specifics were given for either strategy.

Finally, Detroit Free Press reports after Williams finished his speech, he led the delegates out of Cobo Center to join UniteHere Local 24 members on their first day of protest at the Crown Plaza Hotel across the street. Recording secretary Janee Ayers claimed the hotel had hired temporary employees and paying “poverty wages” instead of the $14 per hour average hotel employees make in Detroit. Williams added that no one from the UAW or any labor union would not “do any business” with hotel until its management allows the workers to organize.

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UAW Elects Secretary-Treasurer Williams To Union Presidency http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/06/uaw-elects-secretary-treasurer-williams-to-union-presidency/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/06/uaw-elects-secretary-treasurer-williams-to-union-presidency/#comments Thu, 05 Jun 2014 13:00:06 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=838097 Automotive News reports the United Auto Workers has elected secretary-treasurer Dennis Williams, who served in the role under now-retired president Bob King, as the union’s new president in a 3215 to 49 vote during the 36th UAW Constitutional Convention in Detroit. Williams, who came from the agricultural wing of the union, is the first union […]

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UAW President Dennis Williams

Automotive News reports the United Auto Workers has elected secretary-treasurer Dennis Williams, who served in the role under now-retired president Bob King, as the union’s new president in a 3215 to 49 vote during the 36th UAW Constitutional Convention in Detroit. Williams, who came from the agricultural wing of the union, is the first union president not to have worked in the automotive industry.

The new president will have a number of challenges before him, including organization talks among the Detroit Three in 2015, political elections this year and 2016, and a new attempt at organizing the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, Tenn. after a major loss in the February 2014 election held at the plant; Williams was involved in the first organization attempt. UAW regional director Gary Casteel will take Williams’ place as the union’s secretary-treasurer.

In other union news, the UAW has signed a new contract with supplier Dana, covering 2,500 members in its 11 plants within the United States for the next three years. The supplier also announced expansion plans for its headquarters in Toledo, Ohio, which will add 40,000 square feet to the 191,000 sq-ft facility at a price of $7 million to $10 million by 2015. Once complete, 200 additional employees will be employed in the expanded building, some 175 of whom will have relocated from a nearby facility two miles away.

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UAW Raises Member Dues For First Time Since 1967 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/06/uaw-raises-member-dues-for-first-time-since-1967/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/06/uaw-raises-member-dues-for-first-time-since-1967/#comments Wed, 04 Jun 2014 13:00:58 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=836770 Automotive News reports the United Auto Workers have approved a dues increase to 2.5 hours of pay per month during the 36th UAW Constitutional Convention in Detroit. The increase, the first since 1967, is expected to bring in nearly $50 million annually to the newly renamed International Strike and Defense Fund. Though a majority supported […]

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UAW President Bob King Speaking At 36th UAW Constitutional Convention

Automotive News reports the United Auto Workers have approved a dues increase to 2.5 hours of pay per month during the 36th UAW Constitutional Convention in Detroit. The increase, the first since 1967, is expected to bring in nearly $50 million annually to the newly renamed International Strike and Defense Fund. Though a majority supported the increase through a show of hands after a voice vote proved inconclusive, the move was hotly debated prior to voting.

During the debate, where 40 of the 1,100 delegates representing all of the regions where the UAW has a presence offered both views for and against the dues increase, long-shot union presidential candidate Gary Walkowicz of Dearborn, Mich. held that the vote should have been put forth before the 390,000-plus rank-and-file instead of the delegation. Walkowicz claimed an increase would cause some members to stop paying dues to the UAW once current contracts with the Detroit Three expire in September of 2015, thanks to a right-to-work law passed by Michigan in 2013. On the other hand, outgoing president Bob King said that the increase would ultimately give the union the power to merit a fairer outcome for its members from employers in the automotive industry, and to continue organization efforts among the transplants.

Detroit Free Press‘s Tom Walsh says that whomever will fill King’s shoes beginning Thursday will need to learn from past mistakes and defeats and establish a “more compelling case for the value proposition of union membership” should the UAW move forward overall. Though King was able to boost rolls up to 22,000 and save/create 28,000 jobs in his four-year term, the union also suffered setbacks among the transplants, particularly with the February 2014 election held at Volkswagen’s plant in Chattanooga, Tenn. Walsh adds the UAW will have a tougher road still to travel, from the aforementioned right-to-work legislation Michigan that could see some members cease paying dues, to the contract bargaining with the Detroit Three in 2015, all to show “how workers’ lives will improve, [and] how unions will help communities grow more jobs,” lest they go “extinct.”

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Michigan Legislators, Business Groups Debate Proposed Fuel Tax Hike http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/06/michigan-legislators-business-groups-debate-proposed-fuel-tax-hike/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/06/michigan-legislators-business-groups-debate-proposed-fuel-tax-hike/#comments Tue, 03 Jun 2014 11:00:22 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=836073 State senators in Michigan returned to Lansing Monday in a rare session to discuss raising fuel taxes to fund improvements to the state’s road infrastructure. Detroit Free Press reports majority leader Randy Richardville of Monroe is proposing a new tax to replace the current fuel taxation scheme. At the moment, regular unleaded fuel is taxed […]

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May 2014 Michigan Gas Prices

State senators in Michigan returned to Lansing Monday in a rare session to discuss raising fuel taxes to fund improvements to the state’s road infrastructure.

Detroit Free Press reports majority leader Randy Richardville of Monroe is proposing a new tax to replace the current fuel taxation scheme. At the moment, regular unleaded fuel is taxed at 19 cents per gallon, while diesel sees 15 cents per gallon go to Lansing’s coffers. The new scheme would replace both taxes with a wholesale fuel tax, beginning at 9.5 percent next January, then rising to 15.5 percent by 2018. The tax will result in 25 cents per gallon sent to the government, raising an additional $1.5 billion annually to repair and maintain the state’s roads and bridges. Meanwhile, the state house wants to set a wholesale tax of just 6 percent, delivering $450 million a year.

Though Governor Rick Snyder is on board with Richardville’s proposal, business groups are split over the wholesale tax plan. The state chapter of the National Federation of Independent Business objects to the new tax, believing the tax could not come at a worse time as president Charlie Owen explains:

While we recognize the need for good roads and adequate funding, this is a difficult time for fuel tax increases on Michigan small-business job providers as we watch the price of gasoline approach $4 a gallon. The rising price of fuel and the recent increase in the minimum wage are already putting pressure on Michigan’s small and family-owned businesses. Raising the gas tax would cut more from their bottom line.

Michigan Chamber of Commerce Senior Vice President Jim Holcomb, however, sees no problem with the proposal because of the amount the tax would raise for road projects per annum. The chamber itself urged state lawmakers to solve the problem before facing the possibility of putting the question before the populace on the November 2014 ballot. If passed, the wholesale tax, in tandem with the state’s general sales tax, would give Michigan the title of having the highest fuel taxes in the United States, up from sixth place right now.

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