The Call Up: GM's Truck Plants Are 'All Hands on Deck'

According to a report in the Detroit Free Press, General Motors’ truck plants now resemble Tesla plants on the eve of the end of a fiscal quarter.

The need to crank out as many pickups as possible — essential for replenishing a depleted inventory while boosting flagging sales figures — has apparently brought both management and laid-off workers to the assembly line.

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Tight Inventory Stands to Hamper July Sales, At Least for Some

Fall holiday discounts aside, the height of summer is typically a good time to head out and buy a car. The weather’s good, new models are rolling into dealers, and markdowns are appearing on older stock taking up precious space. Yet 2020 is anything but a normal year.

As the industry struggles to regain the volume it once enjoyed, threadbare inventories continue to plague automakers, though not everyone’s equal in this exercise.

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IPO? Who Needs That? Rivian Lands Another $2.5 Billion

As you read earlier this morning, Rivian founder and CEO R.J. Scaringe isn’t all that impressed with the ability of some EV startups to wow Wall Street with lofty talk and exciting, but perhaps empty, promises. He’s more concerned with getting product out the door.

It’s perhaps because of Rivian’s conventional approach to car building that big-name firms seem more than willing to put their cash behind it. On Friday, the EV startup landed another bundle, and it’s a big one.

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Ford's Mexican Engine Pipeline Running at Half Speed; Automaker Warns of Plant Shutdowns

Ford cautioned that some of its American assembly plants could be put on ice as early as next week, as shortages persist at a Mexican plant still not running at full capacity.

The potential engine shortages stemming from coronavirus fears at Ford’s Chihuahua Engine Plant and in the surrounding countryside would stymie production of key Ford products, including the new-for-2020 Super Duty line.

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So Long, Sonic: Another GM Car Bites the Dust

This was a long time coming. In fact, Wednesday’s announcement of the discontinuation of the Chevrolet Sonic subcompact was expected to arrive by the end of last year, not halfway through the present one.

Regardless, the small hatchback and sedan that greeted buyers near the outset of the 2010s will not last more than a year into the 2020s. It’s dead come October.

Sad?

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Good News: The Fiat 500L Is Back in Production

Fiat Chrysler’s Serbian assembly plant was the first European auto factory to shut down as a result of the growing coronavirus pandemic — a grim harbinger of things to come, and not just for Europe.

That temporary February shutdown stemmed from a parts shortage arising from the hard-hit Chinese manufacturing sector. A far more prolonged shutdown came in mid-March, for obvious reasons. Well, that’s all over, as a crucially important product is now back in production, ready to satiate the hunger of the American buying public.

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Fiat Chrysler to Workers: We'll Decide When Our Plants Shut Down, Thank You

Despite new health measures incorporating physical distancing, barriers, and personal protective equipment, working on a factory floor is undoubtedly a tense experience for many these days. That certainly seems to be the case at Fiat Chrysler, which issued a warning to its hourly workers over the weekend.

As reported by Bloomberg, the warning comes after production stopped at two U.S. assembly plants amid workers’ fear of a lurking virus. Do that again, and expect a smaller paycheck, FCA replied.

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End of the Line, Again, for the Lincoln Continental

For the third and perhaps last time, Lincoln will cease production of the Continental.

The discontinuation of the slow-selling sedan at the end of 2020 was confirmed late Wednesday by Automotive News and quickly backed up by a statement from Lincoln, though the news was something we’ve expected for quite some time. It was foretold by unconfirmed past reports and a growing mountain of evidence.

Alas, this year’s destruction of things from the past did not spare a nameplate that first appeared in 1939.

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SUV Plant to Remain Open After GM Rebuffs UAW Request

If you’ve visited an airport recently, you probably heard on CNN that cases of COVID-19 are on the rise in jurisdictions that largely escaped the earlier wave. Against this backdrop, General Motors came under pressure this week to cease operations at its Arlington, Texas assembly plant.

Home to four full-size SUV models currently undergoing a generational metamorphosis, the plant lies in a state experiencing an upswing in infections. It’s also a key player in GM’s post-lockdown recovery. The automaker says it’ll stay open.

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Musk to Toiling Masses: Greater Yields Mean Victory!

Tesla CEO Elon Musk is reportedly cracking the whip again, spurring his company’s workforce into a frenzy of car-building as the end of the second quarter looms.

After posting a surprising first-quarter profit in early April, Tesla warned that the full weight of the coronavirus pandemic — and related lockdowns and sales implosion — would land on its balance sheet in Q2. To keep investor enthusiasm alive, the push is on to make those numbers as rosy as possible.

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Endurance, by Lordstown: The Electric Pickup That's Not for Everyone

Rivian wants to dazzle you with excessive range and dirt-flinging tank turns. Ford wants you to feel virtuous while behind the wheel of an F-150. General Motors wants to crush things beneath the wheels of the monstrous GMC Hummer EV.

Lordstown Motors’s electric pickup, on the other hand, doesn’t want to be everyone’s best friend. The fledgling automaker, owner of GM’s former Chevy Cruze plant in Northeast Ohio, unveiled its first product Thursday, beating Ford and GM to an electric pickup debut.

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Tesla Update: Brace Yourself for B-Day

There’s a big to-do coming up in Tesla’s social calendar. Dubbed “Battery Day,” the occasion seems to have something to do with…well, you can probably read.

Battery Day, on which Tesla will presumably storm the beaches of electrification technology, is slated for September 15th — the same day as a postponed shareholder meeting.

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Air, Coming In September

Are your ready for Air?

It’s been a long time coming, but funding and an actual assembly plant have a way of making things happen. And such is the case at Lucid Motors, which plans to reveal its production Air sedan on September 9th.

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C8 Corvette Production Seems Cursed

Thanks to last year’s prolonged UAW strike and this year’s global pandemic, production of Chevrolet’s new Corvette is way behind schedule. As reported previously, GM had already dialed back the expected number of 2020 C8s headed to dealers by roughly 20 percent before the coronavirus touched down in North America.

Unfortunately, reopening factories hasn’t magically transported the manufacturer into a scenario where C8 ‘Vettes are abundant and customers can rest assured they’ll see their new toy by the end of this year.

Plenty of orders have already been rolled over for 2021 model-year vehicles, especially if they’re convertibles. Now, supply chain troubles all but guarantee 2020 will be an unfortunately weak year for the mid-engined Corvette, and GM knows it. The company’s doing everything it can to get as much product out the door as possible. However, the obstacles placed in GM’s path have proven too large — and timed too perfectly — for it to ever had much of a chance at a normal product launch.

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BMW I8 Now Truly Dead

Pour one out for a car you likely didn’t have a hope in hell of affording — and that’s if you even desired one in the first place. Arriving on the market as a plug-in hybrid wonder car in 2014, the scissor-doored coupe found roles in top-grossing flicks and prompted saliva production among underpaid, tech-obsessed writers.

Well, the last i8 has left the factory. How much of an impact did it make?

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  • Ajla GM didn't do this even when Corvette sales and cocaine use were at their peak.
  • Dwford How many more wealthy performance car buyers does Chevy think they can drag into their showroom full of middle of the road crossovers? I guess they will find out
  • SCE to AUX It's been done before, with varied success:Ford --> LincolnHyundai --> GenesisGM --> XLR (Cadillac), ELR (Cadillac)VW Touareg --> Porsche CayenneI suspect GM is trying to avoid the Mustang fiasco (which is working for Ford, BTW), by not making the Corvette name a sub-brand - only its hardware.(In the Mustang's case, YTD 46% of "Mustang" branded vehicles are the Mach-E, but they share no hardware. GM's plan is much different and less controversial.)Back to the sub-brand: the XLR and ELR experiments were total duds, borrowing hardware from the Corvette and Volt respectively. Both sullied Cadillac's name - not Chevy's.
  • Art Vandelay I don’t care what they do with the brand. But I do want to see how a mid engined platform spawns a 4 door and a crossover
  • Varezhka If they’re going to do this, might as well go all the way and make it a standalone brand instead of a Chevy sub-brand. They already have a unique emblem, after all. Shouldn’t there be enough empty former Hummer, Saab, or Cadillac dealer showrooms to house them?