Anticipating a sharp drop in demand for its products, Honda said Wednesday that it will shut down all vehicle assembly and powertrain production in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico starting March 23rd.
The length of the continent-wide shutdown, pegged at 6 days, seems somewhat optimistic given what we’ve seen in other regions hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, though one supposes the automaker has to start somewhere.
It wasn’t long ago — just a day, actually — that Nissan’s already embattled CEO told shareholders he’d happily be fired if the company’s turnaround efforts fall flat.
Less than a week after posting its first quarterly loss in a decade, Nissan now fears that a supply chain disruption born of the Chinese coronavirus outbreak could idle plants worldwide. It’s the last thing the company needs.
Workers represented by Local UAW 892 went on strike last night in Saline, Michigan. The union’s contract with Faurecia Interiors Systems, which expired on June 1st, was given a three-week contract extension to provide for negotiations. But, with no new deal on the table, employees walked out Friday at midnight. They’re demanding better wages, improved working conditions and profit sharing.
Plant workers have been complaining about conditions inside the plant to local media and online for several months, often citing plumbing issues and a leaky roof as the facility’s biggest problems.
No one knows what the future of General Motors’ Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant holds, or if it even has a future after Chevrolet Impala and Cadillac CT6 production dries up in January 2020. In an alternate future, however, the plant would have swapped out the sign out front, replacing the GM logo with a Fiat Chrysler one.
According to sources with insider knowledge, the two automakers met to discuss just such an ownership change.
CTV News in Canada is reporting that General Motors is shutting the doors at its Oshawa, Ontario assembly plant.
The plant, located about 37 miles (60 kilometers or so) east of Toronto, hosts about 2,500 union jobs and around 300 salaried jobs. GM has other employees in the Ontario cities of Ingersoll, Markham, and St. Catharines, but it’s not clear if any jobs in those areas will be affected. The population of Oshawa is around 159,000.
Despite news that Ford Motor Company has started making plans to scale back its workforce in North America and Asia, there are 800 Michigan-based employees who needn’t fear for their jobs — all thanks to commitments made in the company’s 2015 deal with the United Auto Workers. Ford confirmed on Friday that it will be investing $350 million into its Livonia Transmission plant.
Keeping its end of the bargain means the site will be safe from layoffs and may even bring aboard new employees, although the number of new hires is unclear. It’s assumed the majority of the 800 hourly positions will be filled by Ford dipping into its own staffing pool.
Toyota is planning a $600 million expansion of its Princeton, Indiana assembly plant to enhance production capacity and modernize the factory for the next-generation Highlander.
The company’s financial commitment underscores Toyota’s new and carefully domesticated image while serving to remind everyone that its cars are built in America for Americans — not unlike the company’s red, white, and blue display cars at this year’s North American International Auto Show.
“This announcement shows Toyota’s commitment to continued U.S. investment,” the company said in its official announcement. “This expansion is part of Toyota’s localization strategy to build vehicles where they are sold.”
Stefan Jacoby, CEO of bought-by-Geely Volvo needs to bring down the cost of Volvo’s European-made cars.
So where will the new Volvo factories be? You have two tries.
China? Check. Volvo might actually open three factories in China, Stefan Jacoby said recently in Stockholm. Details should be forthcoming within the next weeks.
Ok, now for another country …
Toyota’s capacity utilization at U.S. plants dropped to 60 percent in the second half of 2008 after the economic crisis hit the U.S. Enough of this. Utilization is up to 90 percent already. Next year, Toyota plans to run its N.A. factories at full tilt. More than that: Workers will be doing overtime, work weekend and holiday shifts, says The Nikkei [sub].
Of course, the fact that NUMMI is off-line could also have something to do with it.
Toyota had slammed hard on the brake when it came to capital expenditures. So hard that ToMoCo (and Sony) were rapped on the knuckles by the Japanese Ministry of Finance for hobbling Japan’s economy. Suddenly, Toyota starts pouring concrete and installing machinery again. Not because of newfound faith in the auto market in general. Two factors made them do it: The Yen has become so expensive that manufacturing in the USA is cheaper. And China is gobbling up cars faster than Toyota can make them.
According to the Nikkei [sub], a Toyota plant in the US and one in China will increase ToMoCo’s annual output capacity by 200,000 units before the Japanese 2010 fiscal ends on March 31, 2001. The construction will cost Toyota a little over $1b, depending on the vagaries of the greenback and its pegged follower, the Chinese Yuan. Here are the blueprints:
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