On Monday, Ford Motor Co. opened the Cologne Electric Vehicle Center in Germany. Founded in 1930, the facility first produced examples of the Model A intended for the European market. Though the site is probably more famous for manufacturing the Ford Capri and every single generation of the humble Fiesta.
The factory has more recently been the recipient of a $2 billion investment to prepare it for the automaker’s push into electrification. With retooling having concluded, Ford says the plant should boast an annual production capacity of 250,000 electric vehicles.
Customers who had thrown down money to reserve a new Ford Mustang have been playing a waiting game in recent months, with the Blue Oval pushing production back in April and again earlier this month. Now, according to several reservation holders with accounts on the 7thMustang.com fan forum, production is ramping up and should be underway by at least the end of July.
Following an extended production pause of the all-electric Lightning pickup, Ford has signaled its intention to boost production through the rest of 2023 – especially when it comes to its most in-demand models. While it’s undoubtedly wise for Blue Oval to ensure it can build enough vehicles to satisfy demand, the automaker is also trying to turn around any perceptions that it might be falling behind with EVs. Meanwhile, Ford is providing itself with an opportunity to preemptively dunk on General Motors after news broke that the rival automaker would walk back full-size pickup production to “ maintain optimal inventory levels.”
With production pauses becoming commonplace during the pandemic, automakers realized they could effectively starve the market while demand reached dizzying highs that allowed the industry to trim overhead and forego factory incentives. Unfortunately, this also meant consumers were given less choice and often had to pay more – whether or not they found what they wanted on dealer lots.
Many automakers have stated that they won’t be going back to robust vehicle inventories and would instead continue attempting to run lean in order to maximize profitability. With exactly that in mind, General Motors has opted to suspend production at its Fort Wayne, Indiana truck assembly facility. The pause will last two weeks (impacting the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra) and help the company “maintain optimal inventory levels.”
With a headline like that, one might think today’s date was closer to 2003, not 2023. Nevertheless, it seems The General has decided to idle its Indiana truck plant for a couple of weeks this spring in order to “help the company maintain optimal inventory levels.”
What’s next? Zero percent financing and cash on the hood?
Bentley has confirmed plans to stop production of the iconic W12 engine at its factory in Crewe, England, next year. Volkswagen Group, which owns Bentley, has been adamant about its transition toward electrified models and the industry trend has been to do the same with high-end luxury vehicles. The assumption here is that novel technologies will bring in high rollers and that battery tech will maximize profitability by reducing labor costs and making it easier for the big brands to comply with governmental regulations.
We’ve spilled plenty of digital ink on these virtual pages about the so-called ‘chip shortage’, a conundrum of the world’s automakers that cropped up in the early days of the pandemic and has stubbornly caused headaches ever since. While the situation may be improving, recent numbers show production levels continue to be impacted – even at this late stage of the 2022 calendar year.
Just about every single automaker on the planet has been plagued by production disruptions and supply chain headaches, leading to lots that were deader than disco on occasion and bereft of product to sell. At Toyota, production numbers are up compared to this time last year – but down from the month prior.
Despite ongoing dealer markups, rising interest rates, and evidence suggesting that new vehicles are suffering from a lapse in quality control, the automotive market is allegedly improving – at least in terms of sales volume. U.S. light-vehicle deliveries increased last month from the abysmal levels witnessed in October 2021. But the entire issue basically comes down to the industry managing to produce more cars than it had been.
Nissan is ending operations in Russia. The company has announced that it has sold its assets to the Russian government for a single Euro, which actually sounds like one hell of a deal considering Nissan estimates the decision will cost the business roughly 100 billion yen – or $687 million USD.
Automakers have been having trouble building much of anything since 2020 began, thanks to a comprehensive breakdown in logistics. But the hype around electric vehicles has made them even trickier to build now that they’re starting to represent a more meaningful portion of the market. Ironically, the industry’s desire to see EVs become more popular seems to be backfiring as nobody seems capable of keeping up with demand.
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- Sayahh Is it 1974 or 1794? The article is inconsistent.
- Laura I just buy a Hyndai Elantra SEL, and My car started to have issues with the AC dont work the air sometimes is really hot and later cold and also I heard a noice in the engine so I went to the dealer for the first service and explain what was hapenning to the AC they told me that the car was getting hot because the vent is not working I didnt know that the car was getting hot because it doesnt show nothing no sign no beep nothing I was surprise and also I notice that it needed engine oil, I think that something is wrong with this car because is a model 23 and I just got it on April only 5 months use. is this normal ? Also my daughter bought the same model and she went for a trip and the car also got hot and it didnt show up in the system she called them and they said to take the car to the dealer for a check up I think that if the cars are new they shouldnt be having this problems.
- JamesGarfield What charging network does the Polestar use?
- JamesGarfield Re: Getting away from union plantsAbout a dozen years or so ago, Caterpillar built a huge new engine plant, just down the road here in Seguin TX. Story has it, Caterpillar came to Seguin City council in advance, and told them their plans. Then they asked for no advanced publicity from Seguin, until announcement day. This new plant was gonna be a non-union replacement for a couple of union plants in IL and SC, and Cat didn't want to stir up union problems until the plan was set. They told Seguin, If you about blab this in advance, we'll walk. Well, Seguin kept quiet as instructed, and the plan went through, with all the usual expected tax abatements given.Plant construction began, but the Caterpillar name was conspicuously absent from anywhere on the site. Instead, the plant was described as being a collective of various contractors and suppliers for Caterpillar. Which in fact, it was. Then comes the day, with the big new plant fully operationa!, that Caterpillar comes in and announces, Hey, Yeah it's our plant, and the Caterpillar name boldly goes up on the front. All you contractor folks, welcome aboard, you're now Caterpillar employees. Then, Cat turns and announces they are closing those two union plants immediately, and will be transporting all the heavy manufacturing equipment to Seguin. None of the union workers, just the equipment. And today, the Caterpillar plant sits out there, humming away happily, making engines for the industry and good paying jobs for us. I'd call that a winner.
- Stuki Moi What Subaru taketh away in costs, dealers will no doubt add right back in adjustments.... Fat chance Subaru will offer a sufficient supply of them.