It's Been A Good Run: Nissan Tsuru Production Likely To End Soon

After 25 years in production, the Nissan B13 chassis is not long for this world. New Mexican safety regulations will spell the end of the Nissan Tsuru, according to a report in La Jornada Aguascalientes.

While the Tsuru — sold here as the Sentra from 1991 through 1994 — remains one of the most popular vehicles in the Mexican market due to remarkably low prices and ownership costs, the lack of airbags and anti-lock brakes mean doom as the Mexican government begins to bring cars sold in the country up to the safety standards required in the U.S. and Europe.

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Kia's Mexico Factory Boosts Car Production, Spawns Corruption Trial

When the new Kia factory in Nuevo León, Mexico reaches full capacity, 300,000 vehicles will leave the plant each year. At the same time, a jail cell door could slam on the government officials who brought it there.

The former governor of the Mexican state will stand trial on corruption charges linked to the tax deal behind the $1 billion assembly plant, Reuters reports. Prosecutors accuse Rodrigo Medina, along with 30 officials, friends and family members, of draining $196 million from public coffers.

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News Round-up: Nikola Motors Mirage, Mexico City Experiencing Shanghai Noon, and Nissan Gets Corny With Fuel Cells

Is this big rig the real life? Or is it just fantasy?

Nikola Motors, the company that recently sprouted out of the proverbial ether to announce a $350,000+ turbine-electric-powered Class 8 truck, claims it’s taken in $2.3 billion in pre-orders. Say what now?

That, the air in Mexico is thick with pollution, Nissan is bridging the gap to hydrogen with a corny solution, and BMW has solved the leasing bubble … after the break!

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Coming Home: Silverado 1500 Crew Cab Production Heads to Flint

It looks like Mexico couldn’t handle the demand.

After sending some of the production of its light-duty trucks south of the border in 2013, General Motors will soon begin assembly of the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 crew cab in Flint, Michigan, according to MLive.

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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.

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Foreign Affairs: Nissan Tsuru, Mexico

As wonderful as the American marketplace is, there’s an entire world — literally — of cars out there that we just can’t get our hands on. In TTAC’s new series, “Foreign Affairs,” we look at forbidden fruit that you can buy brand new around the world.

The Mexican new car market is remarkable. While plenty of good new cars come across the border, inciting at least one presidential candidate to threaten penalty taxes, its domestic market still continues to sell older gems, some of which are built to older safety standards. Even the Beetle was built there long after its sell-by date.

The car that fascinates me, naturally, is one I’ve previously owned: the Nissan B13-chassis Tsuru, known here in the U.S. as the 1991-94 Nissan Sentra.

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Donald Trump Still Doesn't Understand How NAFTA Works

Donald Trump, while on the campaign trail in Michigan, is still promising to apply a 35-percent import tariff on vehicles built by Ford if it continues with plans to expand operations in Mexico, even though Trump wouldn’t have the authority to implement a tariff as president, reports The Detroit Free Press.

“We are going to do something that is going to (be) great (and) a very big beneficiary is going to be Michigan,” Trump said while speaking to supporters at Macomb Community College on Friday. “The car business is being abused more than most other businesses. … Mexico is becoming the new China.”

And we all know how much Trump looooooooves China.

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Could Jim Morrison Make a Smaller Ram Happen?

Is there a chance that a leadership change at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles reported by Automotive News could lead to an often-speculated new pickup truck?

Jeep’s longtime director Jim Morrison is leaving that post to head the Ram pickup and commercial vehicle division, replacing Bob Hegbloom, who is leaving for the global shores of Ram International.

Ram and Jeep are by far FCA’s biggest moneymakers these days, and under Morrison’s watch the Jeep brand took on new prominence by expanding its range of models, even if it meant adopting architecture sourced from (sacrilege!) Fiat.

The news of Morrison’s switch to Ram raises the question, “Is this the person who will take the Ram brand in a smaller direction?”

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GM's Barra Defends Not Equipping Some Global Cars With Airbags

General Motors CEO and Chairwoman Mary Barra defended Wednesday her company’s decision not to put airbags in some of its cars in international markets.

“In many of those places the technology is available and it’s a customer choice if they want it,” Barra said, according to the International Business Times. “There’s many cases where we are well above standards, but we also have to look at affordability otherwise you cut people out of even having the availability of transportation.”

Barra made the remarks in Davos, Switzerland, which was a response to a letter sent to her last year by consumer advocacy groups in the U.S. — including Consumer Reports — requesting the automaker standardize safety features in its cars worldwide.

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Report: Ford Building New Auto Plant in Mexico

Ford will announce plans early this year to build a new plant in Mexico, Reuters reported Thursday. The $1.5 billion plant will produce 350,000 cars annually and could eventually produce the new Focus after production of that car leaves Ford’s Wayne, Michigan plant in 2018.

Ford didn’t comment on the report.

Reuters said Mexican officials with knowledge of the facility confirmed that the plant would be built in the state of San Luis Potosi.

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TTAC News Round-up: Investors Pump the Brakes, Daimler's Dig, and Chapo's Crapwagon

Investors aren’t necessarily drinking automakers’ Kool-Aid that 2016 will be full of beer and Skittles.

That, the China-made Cadillac CT6 that’ll eventually get here, El Chapo’s cheapo getaway car and General Motors’ questions get down and dirty … after the break!

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TTAC News Round-up: Ford's Self-driving Herd Gets Bigger, Takata's All Alone, VW Sends The Cavalry

It certainly sounds like Ford is close to selling a self-driving Fusion real soon.

That, Matthias Müller finally comes to the U.S. to ask “You mad, bro?” Nissan has no love for Takata, and business is hot south of the border … after the break!

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Mexican Chevrolet Aveo: Zero Star Safety Rating

The Chevrolet Aveo is the most popular car in Mexico, but is also the least safe, according to consumer safety experts. Testing from Latin NCAP found that the Aveo, when sold without airbags, received zero stars for its front-passenger safety rating.

Huffington Post and The Wall Street Journal report that American safety advocates including Consumer Reports have written to General Motors CEO Mary Barra, asking why the potentially life-saving devices that are installed as standard equipment for many other countries, are expensive add-ons for Latin American countries.

(“Life-saving” assuming that Takata isn’t the supplier.)

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What We Missed in the News, Post-LA Auto Show Edition

While we were hanging outside the Staples Center begging passersby for photos, information and leftover shrimp from the Los Angeles Auto Show to share with you all (well, maybe not the shrimp), there was still news happening that we didn’t get the chance to cover.

So, here it is in condensed form.

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Big Three Go Long On SUV, Truck Production in North America

Detroit automakers may be betting high-profit SUVs and trucks are a better fit for their domestic plants as those automakers shift production away from cars to make room for larger, high-margin vehicles.

Ford and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles will largely shift production of their cars to Mexico and bring more trucks and SUVs to North American facilities, according to their contracts with the United Auto Workers, Automotive News reported.

The report consolidates production planning schedules included in UAW contracts with domestic automakers, which shows automakers’ plans to move some of their cars to Mexico or overseas. Of the Big Three, General Motors will sell the most domestically produced cars in North America, including the Malibu, Impala, Sonic, Bolt and Volt, although the small-car plant recently announced a slowing production schedule. Ford will still produce the Mustang and Fusion at its Flat Rock plant in Michigan.

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  • SCE to AUX Just add a split rear window, and the hybrid sins will be forgiven.
  • SCE to AUX Just add a split rear window, and the hybrid sins will be forgiven.
  • SCE to AUX Maybe those union dues will help soften the landing. Employment there used to be 4000 people, and the plant has been at risk for 15 years. Stellantis did recently say that it would be trimming dead wood so it could rebuild the company. The Cherokee is finished, but I bet the plant reopens with a smaller workforce once Stellantis figures out what to do with it.
  • Zipper69 The Bronco is a soft option and has the style that the Jeep lacks. The actual ability of the respective vehicles is irrelevant, they "compete" on image alone. The Bronco is new and trendy and production can't keep pace with demand
  • MaintenanceCosts Will the Bronco have a four-motor configuration a la Rivian? That seems to me like the right approach for an EV off-roader. Enables lots of neat tricks.