Category: Production

By on February 7, 2020

Jaguar Land Rover has decided to stall production at two of its British factories for several weeks. Starting in late February, JLR intends to stop work at both its Castle Bromwich Assembly and Solihull plants until the end of March. The factories won’t be totally inactive for the duration; the manufacturer claims there will be half days intermixed with full-day closures.

Unlike the bulk of plant idlings taking place across the globe (though mostly in China), this has nothing to do with the coronavirus. While the outbreak has begun disrupting supply chains as the PRC attempts to keep the illness in check by barring people inside their homes, JLR said it’s stalling UK production to address falling demand and Brexit complications — the latter of which is beginning to feel like a lame excuse.  Read More >

By on February 4, 2020

Ford Motor Co. may have accidentally given away the launch date of the next-generation Mustang. Last month, the company issued a job posting in Flat Rock, Michigan for a “Wind/Road Noise and Air Leakage Plant Vehicle Team Engineer” who would see off the current model before becoming “the final sign off on the Ford 2023 Mustang S650 vehicle program.”

The current ‘Stang uses the internal code S550 for factory identification, so the S650 designation make a lot of sense for its successor. No one had to break out the Enigma machines and put in weeks of hard work to crack that code. The listing makes it clear as day that the position will involve shoring up the next Mustang until it’s airtight and ready for customers in a couple of years.  Read More >

By on September 12, 2019

Mazda’s Salamanca plant is adding the CX-30 to its production line, ensuring its cars-and-crossovers strategy launches as planned. With the Mexican facility already manufacturing the Mazda3, it’s not a shock to see the compact added to the factory lineup as the pair utilize the same platform. In fact, Salamanca is already undergoing retooling to make sure it can incorporate the CX-30 and there were swirling rumors that the company’s official factory announcement would happen sometime this month.

While no formal announcement has been made, the company confirmed the move with Automotive News on Wednesday. Miguel Barbeyto, president of Mazda Mexico, said the facility had been selected partially due to the CX-30’s role as a global product. Mexico has free-trade agreements with numerous nations that Mazda believes will help it efficiently distribute Mexican-made product throughout Europe and North/South America.  Read More >

By on September 4, 2019

Image: Daimler AG

Daimler has been forced to store thousands of vehicles at a former military airport in northern Germany, the result of supplier issues that are stalling deliveries of the updated GLE-Class. While keeping cars on ice until they can be shipped is totally normal, it’s odd to see them lined up on a runway. It makes it look like they’re all about to take to the sky or engage in the most congested drag race in history.

Assembled in Alabama, these SUVs are being held up by unknown supply chain problems. Mercedes-Benz suggested there may be also be problems stemming from the multi-market launch of the updated GLE and a surge in output from the U.S. factory.  Read More >

By on February 11, 2019

Subaru Legacy 2018 Logo Emblem Grille

Subaru’s sales in the United States effectively tripled in the past decade, making it the most important market for the brand by a wide margin. However, the automaker has had to expend quite a bit of energy in its home country of Japan to address recalls and regulatory scandals over the last few years.

While the duality hasn’t caused issues on a global scale, many observers wonder how long its good fortune will last. In America, Subaru is a feel-good brand that uses love as a core marketing concept to improve sales. In Japan, it has become synonymous with overworking employees lacking compensation, regulatory scandals, sudden work stoppages, and recalls. Many believe it’s only a matter of time before Subaru of America will have to contend with Japan’s issues, and evidence exists that problems are already beginning to surface in the West. Read More >

By on January 19, 2019

Image: Ford

Stop the presses. Ford’s Fusion sedan, a member of the passenger car crowd Ford sentenced to death last year, will at least outlive its non-Mustang stablemates.

While American-market Focus and C-Max production has already dried up, followed soon by the Taurus and Fiesta, Ford was never clear on when exactly the Fusion midsizer would bite the dust. The exact date of its impending death remains a mystery, but there’s now assurances from Ford that Fusions will continue rolling into dealers until at least the 2020 model year. Read More >

By on January 15, 2019

2017 Cadillac CT6 - Image: Cadillac

General Motors’ future passenger car lineup might not be as threadbare as initially thought. After sparking continent-wide hair pulling with its decision to shutter three assembly plants and cull six car models in the process, it seems the most prestigious vehicle of the bunch might live on after its plant goes dark.

The Cadillac CT6, which first hit U.S. sales charts in March of 2016, isn’t officially dead. It seems GM didn’t get its story straight back in late November, as Caddy’s flagship sedan might live on with another home base. Read More >

By on January 15, 2019

Volkswagen Chattanooga

Volkswagen spent the past year and change hinting that its Chattanooga, Tennessee assembly plant could become ground zero for an electric American product offensive, and guess what? That’s exactly what VW plans to do.

In a not-at-all surprising announcement, the German automaker said it plans to build electric vehicles at its only American plant, which just happens to have plenty of excess capacity. Backing up this promise is $800 million, which, in addition to funding the necessary tooling, should lead to the creation of 1,000 new jobs. Read More >

By on January 15, 2019

2019 Ford Ranger, Image: Ford

Months of speculation and rumors came to an end in Detroit Tuesday, as auto giants Ford Motor Company and Volkswagen Group officially announced they will take their relationship to the next level.

After signing a Memorandum of Understanding last year, initially to explore joint commercial vehicle production, the two automakers now say their pact will birth a midsize pickup truck for global markets. Volkswagen Ranger, anyone? Read More >

By on January 14, 2019

Image: GM

Everyone else is doing it. And, if lawmakers on this side of the Atlantic start going the way of their European counterparts, traditional American luxury will need a shot of cleanliness. Even if they don’t, a fickle U.S. public might suddenly fall in love with the green lifestyle and give a big middle finger to internal combustion road cruisers.

Not wanting to be left without a savior in this future scenario, and needing some electric American prestige to sell to discerning Chinese buyers, Cadillac unveiled this piece of emissions-free hardware on the eve of the North American International Auto Show. It’s not vaporware, General Motors insists. Read More >

By on January 11, 2019

Shortly after General Motors announced its decision to end assembly work at two car-producing U.S. plants, Tesla CEO Elon Musk floated the possibility of a Silicon Valley rescue of either Detroit-Hamtramck or Lordstown Assembly.

Talks between GM and Tesla did occur, it turns out, but GM CEO Mary Barra doesn’t seem to think much of the chances of laid-off employees finding salvation in a Tesla intervention. Read More >

By on January 9, 2019

The faint hope that existed at the end of 2018 in regards to General Motors’ Oshawa, Ontario assembly plant no longer exists, except maybe in the minds of the most optimistic of union brass. On Tuesday, the automaker told Unifor, the union representing Detroit Three autoworkers in Canada, that its proposals to save the country’s oldest auto plant weren’t feasible.

GM laid out its reasoning in a letter to Unifor President Jerry Dias. As before, it all came down to cost … and the public’s dislike of cars. Read More >

By on January 4, 2019

2017 Chevrolet Sonic - Image: Chevrolet

As our previous story detailed, new car buyers are leaving the passenger car market in droves, so it’s not surprising to see automakers getting up and leaving the party. General Motors capped off 2018 by announcing its intention to drop six car models, leaving the fate of its remaining sedans and hatches in question.

North of the border, it seems a seventh model has disappeared before the other six even got a chance to get their coats and boots on. According to GM Authority, citing multiple sources familiar with GM’s operations, the Chevrolet Sonic’s life has come to an end in Canada. How long will it last in its home country of the United States? Read More >

By on January 2, 2019

The calendar reads 2019, meaning new Tesla customers can’t hope to wrangle more than $3,750 in EV tax credits from the feds — a figure that’s half as much as the incentive enjoyed by buyers up until New Year’s Eve. Of course, you may find yourself living in a state that’s happy to hand out some of its own cash. If so, lucky you.

Looking to soak up some of the difference, Tesla announced a price cut on all models Wednesday. Going forward, or at least until CEO Elon Musk decides otherwise, Tesla is shaving $2,000 from sticker prices across the board — including on the current cheapest model, which recently saw a price bump. Read More >

By on December 31, 2018

2018 Chevrolet Impala, Image: General Motors

It isn’t looking good. There’s a greater-than-likely chance we’ll soon have a flexible yet unwanted assembly plant sitting vacant on the other side of the lake from Rochester, New York, joining two transmission facilities, Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly, and Lordstown Assembly on GM’s Island of Misfit Plants.

The union representing Detroit Three automakers north of the border is fighting to keep it open, buying up pages of ad space in Detroit newspapers and taking its case to the loftiest denizens of the Renaissance Center. In a week’s time, General Motors will either give the autoworkers of Oshawa something to be thankful for, or squash any remaining hope. Read More >

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