Continental Predicts Worst Financial Quarter Since World War 2

Parts supplier Continental says the extended lockdown protocols that closed countless automotive factories and dealerships will result in the worst quarter witnessed since the Second World War. It also isn’t overly optimistic about Q3, as supply chain issues will continue making normal business operations difficult while the global recession begins to take hold.

“The second quarter is just behind us. It will be the historically weakest quarter for the auto industry since 1945,” Continental Chief Executive Elmar Degenhart said, according to a transcript of a speech due to be delivered at the company’s annual shareholder meeting on July 14 that was intercepted by Reuters.

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ZF to Supply FCA With Glut of Hybrid-ready Transmissions

ZF Friedrichshafen has agreed to supply Fiat Chrysler with its second-largest order to date. While top honors belong to BMW, FCA will be using the same eight-speed automatic transmissions sourced for the Bavarian-based applications. “Optimized for electrification” as per ZF’s press announcement, the gearboxes are designed for longitudinally mounted engines ⁠— including those utilizing hybrid systems.

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The Millions of Airbags Takata Replaced Could Still Be Extremely Dangerous

Takata, the parts supplier that furnished automakers with millions of extremely dangerous airbag inflators, was forced to issue another recall last week. Considering the hundreds of millions of units already recalled by the company, another 2.7 million is a drop in the bucket. But there’s a slight problem, as these newly recalled inflators are devices that have already been replaced.

In 2015, regulators specified Takata had until the end of 2019 to ensure its replacement airbag inflators were safe. With the “fixed” units now under scrutiny, automakers may be liable for the supplier’s wrongdoing as the millions upon millions of recalled inflators would need to be replaced for a second time. The current recall was prompted after the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found the drying agent added specifically to combat the moisture that degrades the ammonium nitrate compound wasn’t effective.

“Absent proof that the other desiccated inflators are safe, they will also be subject to recall,” the NHTSA said in a statement last week.

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Ford Revamps Motorcraft Parts, Hoping for Happier Dealerships and Big Profits

Ford Motor Company’s parts division, Motorcraft, has undergone a massive overhaul intended to improve dealer sales and reduce overhead costs. Executives from the Blue Oval spent much of 2016 focusing on how to boost the profitability of their dealers’ service centers and body shops while addressing concerns with the division.

Their solution involved expanding coverage on older model vehicles, expansive pricing reductions, and a monumental decrease in parts complexity — making for a leaner, more efficient Motorcraft.

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TTAC News Round-up: The Chrysler 200 Was More Unpopular Than Anyone Imagined

There is something sincerely wrong with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ math, although things are starting to add up for why some of its sales numbers were so inflated.

That, Ford decides to get a little less global at the expense of the small car, Hyundai pays the price for lying, and parts suppliers see doom and gloom on the horizon for the automotive industry… after the break!

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Ford Super Duty Parts Issue Makes It 'Impossible to Build' Lost Units

Ford was supposed to start rolling out their 2017 Super Duty trucks much earlier than they eventually did. The holdup, attributed to a parts issue, is over, but Ford isn’t out of the woods yet.

Rodney Janes, UAW chair for the affected Louisville truck plant, told The Wall Street Journal it would be “impossible to build all the lost units” that were held up during this summer’s parts snafu.

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Michigan Lures Tremec Transmission Plant, HQ to the Detroit Area

A major automotive supplier plans to build a production facility in the Detroit area and make it the base for its U.S. operations.

Tremec Corp., best known for its high-performance transmissions, plans to invest $54 million in a multi-purpose facility in Wixom, Michigan, according to Crain’s Detroit Business. Besides production of transmissions and powertrain components, the facility will host Tremec’s sales and technical operations, and serve as its American headquarters.

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Toyota Supplier Expects Chinese Sales To Double By 2018

Tsubakimoto Chain Co., a Toyota supplier, expects sales of their auto parts to factories in China to double within the next four years as automakers seek to diversify their supply chains.

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