Ford Drops $1.6 Billion on Midwestern Truck, Transmission Plants
You can’t get your hands on the gear-iest transmission in the land without throwing some money around first.
Ford Motor Company announced today that it will spend $1.4 billion to produce their new 10-speed automatic for future F-150s, and invest $200 million into large truck production at its Ohio Assembly Plant.
At Volkswagen, Labor Knives Come Out for Herbert Diess
Volkswagen brand chief Herbert Diess has a target on his back, now that the union representing the automaker’s workers has made its distrust of the company public.
Labor union IG Metall slammed the company’s management in a letter published on its website, stating the company was using the diesel emissions scandal as a way of cutting staff, according to Bloomberg.
The union said it wants assurances from Volkswagen brass that layoffs aren’t coming down the pipe, and implied that Diess’ job is in danger if he doesn’t agree to protect employee positions.
Sorry, No Impala Production For You, GM Tells Korea
There are a lot of unhappy union executives in South Korea today after General Motors announced it won’t green light Chevrolet Impala production in the surging Asian market.
The model will continue to be imported from GM’s Hamtramck assembly plant, despite the popularity it has shown since going on sale in September of last year.
The union representing the bulk of GM Korea’s 17,000 workers isn’t taking the news lying down, saying the move threatens the existence of the company itself. Ko Nam-seok, leader of the GM Korea branch of the Korean Metal Workers Union, is expected to pan the decision in a meeting with GM CEO Mary Barra later this month.
More Ford Production Heads South of the Border, Down Mexico Way
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.
TTAC News Round-up: Mitsubishi Has a Plan, Volvo Wants You Online, and FCA Throws Down
Mitsubishi confirms it is going to shoehorn another SUV into its lineup to tempt those utility-hungry Americans.
That, Volvo wants everyone to buy S90s from their beds, Fiat Chrysler isn’t having a dealer’s trash talk, UAW bolsters its ranks, and your gas is going up … after the break!
It's a Day That Ends With "Y", Meaning More Bad News for Volkswagen
There’s never a dull moment at Volkswagen, and today the automaker finds itself fighting battles on so many fronts they’ll soon be wishing for General Eisenhower’s plotting table.
As the company steels itself for further [s]bad[/s] terrible financial news, German prosecutors have widened their probe into the diesel emissions scandal and targeted 17 Volkswagen employees.
The new headcount is a big jump from the earlier six suspects, and authorities have said they’re not done looking. So far, none hail from Volkswagen’s management board, but Klaus Ziehe, a spokesman for the state’s attorney’s office, has said that management involvement has not been ruled out.
Ford Softens Labor Impact Under New Agreement
Ford will pay only 1.5-percent more in labor costs each year under a new contract with the United Auto Workers, the automaker reported Monday.
Ford announced it would take a $600 million charge this year to pay out the $10,000 ratification bonuses to their workers as part of the new deal.
The new deal allows the automaker to hire more low-cost workers who will either be temporary or entry-level employees, shift production of some of its cars overseas and continue using controversial “alternative work schedules” that favor fewer, longer shifts instead of traditional work days.
Piston Slap: Garbage In, Garbage Out!
I am the last person who would want to be even peripherally involved in you losing your job or impeding that great Lincoln rebuild. I am a loyal reader of TTAC and “slavishly” read your column.
My Subie is just touching 120,000 miles. It has been a really great, reliable ride and I fortunately have a good dealer and private mechanic for the routine issues that pop up.
I want to keep the car as long as possible. I do oil changes and the roughly 60,000 mile recommended scheduled service on time. The engine sounds good, has good (for a Subie) pick-up, averages 20 to 23 miles per gallon, and still has a tight body. I anticipate the need for new shocks at some point soon and a muffler/cat replacement.
Reuters: Subaru Success Fueled By Marginalized Foreign Workers
Reuters Investigates has a scathing report on foreign workers in Japan at some of Subaru’s most important suppliers. According to the news agency, due to the combination of a booming “Abenomics”, Japan’s 2010 asylum seeker program, and manufacturers looking for cheap sources of expendable labor, foreigners are taken advantage of and treated as second- and third-class workers. Another program meant to help Chinese citizens learn manufacturing skills in Japan is also implicated in helping Subaru take advantage of marginalized immigrant workers.
Subaru isn’t the only automotive manufacturer named as the same suppliers also feed parts to Honda and Toyota.
Volvo Offers Lifetime Warranty on Replacement Parts
Volvo announced today it will warranty any replaced part and labor, not including wear-and-tear items and accessories, for the life of the car. The coverage extends only to service at dealerships.
Volvo owners will pay for the initial replacement parts and labor on vehicles with expired warranties, but Volvo will pay for any additional service on that part for as long as the owner has the car. The parts warranty covers all models from all years and will be honored at all North American Volvo dealerships, according to the automaker.
Anti-UAW Group Authorized To Represent Workers At Chattanooga VW Plant
As part of a new arrangement, Volkswagen is allowing more than one group to represent VW workers at its plant at Chattanooga, Tennessee. And while the UAW has managed to secure that privilege, VW is also allowing another, small group to represent workers.
UAW, IG Metall Working To Jointly Organize Chattanooga VW Plant
While former EICs Schmitt and Niedermeyer documented the increasing co-operation between the UAW and IG Metall, recent developments have taken the relationship to new twists and turns. First there was the appointment of IG Metall bigwig Bernd Osterloh to VW of America’s board of directors. Now, Reuters is reporting that the two unions, along with the VW global works council, have signed a letter of intent to represent VW workers at its Chattanooga, Tennessee plant.
Canadian General Motors Plant Hit By Wildcat Strike
A wildcat strike at GM’s CAMI plant briefly shut down the assembly plant where the GMC Terrain and Chevrolet Equinox are produced.
Brazilian Truth Commission May Sue Auto Makers For Crimes Against Humanity
João Paulo de Oliveira found it hard to find another job after he was fired by Rapistan, a Michigan-based conveyor belt maker, in 1980. He was detained or arrested another five times until the Brazilian military dictatorship, that had successfully realized a coup d’état in 1964, and returned power to civilians in 1985. Oliveira claims that no other company would hire him after he lost his job, and hge was constantly threatened by police. His crime? Being a union member at a time the military considered strikes as subversive communist movements.
Oliveira declares that he and many other union members suspected that private companies, including many auto makers collaborated with the state’s repressive forces. Apparently, his suspicions have been borne out.
How The UAW Could End Up Representing Volkswagen Workers
Despite losing a vote on organizing workers at Volkswagen’s Chattanooga, Tennessee plant, the UAW could end up representing Volkswagen workers through its newly formed Local 42, with the end goal being the establishment of a works council at Chattanooga.