By on October 25, 2019

As it moves forward with efforts to streamline its operations and reverse a dismal financial situation, Nissan is reportedly mulling the sale of two of its European plants. One cranks out Infiniti vehicles for a region soon to be devoid of new Infiniti vehicles.

Along with these possible cost-saving moves, the automaker could be thinking of dropping its overseas Datsun brand. (Read More…)

By on August 14, 2019

With another global recession looming on the horizon, executives at General Motors and Ford are busy touting the merits of being prepared. On Tuesday, the financial heads of both automakers were present at a J.P. Morgan Conference in New York to explain the steps being taking to mitigate economic disaster.

While financial hardship is not yet a guarantee for the United States, the ongoing trade war with China has impacted the cost of doing global business. Likewise, most sizable automotive markets are either underperforming or have surpassed peak growth levels. Depending upon the severity of the anticipated recession, GM claims its “downturn planning” could include postponing non-essential capital expenditures and shifting toward lower-priced automobiles. (Read More…)

By on July 18, 2019

Volvo is planning on reducing fixed costs by 2 billion Swedish kronor. That sounds like a lot, but it’s only about $214 million. While not the largest restructuring plan currently being conducted within the automotive industry, it’s a significant chunk of change for a company the size of Volvo Cars.

The manufacturer is claiming that market pressures are trimming down profits. As a subsidiary of China’s Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, much of Volvo’s business is being impacted by the trade war between the Land of Liberty and People’s Republic. While giving a listen to the automaker’s latest financial report earlier in the day, we learned Volvo operating profit dropped by about 30 percent over the first half of 2019. At least some of that can be attributed directly to its Chinese ties.  (Read More…)

By on May 21, 2019

General Motors’ Renaissance Center headquarters dominates the Detroit skyline, announcing America to Canadians even before they reach Windsor. A symbol of industrial might and the big business of autos, the 5.5 million-square-foot complex has been home to the biggest of the Big Three since GM acquired the property in 1996.

According to a new report, GM’s recent streamlining push saw company brass attempt to sell the property. (Read More…)

By on May 20, 2019

Image: Ford

The steep white-collar job cuts that simmered on Ford’s back burner for a year have come into clear focus. In a letter to employees on Monday, CEO Jim Hackett announced the elimination of 7,000 salaried positions — some 10 percent of the automaker’s global workforce.

The move, part of Ford’s $11 billion restructuring plan, also calls for a 20-percent reduction in the company’s upper tier management. In the U.S., much of the pain will start being felt this week. (Read More…)

By on April 9, 2019

tesla model x, Image: Tesla Motors

The torturous wait to learn if Tesla’s job cuts would come to their doorstep ended in April for dozens of members of the automaker’s sales team. As it embarks on a cost-saving plan, Tesla has let go numerous staff members and sought to close the bulk of its storefronts after moving the company’s buying process online. Last quarter’s grim deliveries report didn’t paint a rosy picture for the company, suggesting more cost-cutting to come.

According to Bloomberg, the axe fell in three U.S. cities last week. (Read More…)

By on March 26, 2019

2018 Ford EcoSport - Image: Ford

The Blue Oval brand stands to seriously pare back its Russian presence, a new report claims, with two of the automaker’s three assembly plants rumored to close. Ford entered into a joint venture in the country in 2011, partnering with Russia’s Sollers. The two recently reached a new agreement, Sollers claims, but details remain scarce.

One person with knowledge of the pact claims Ford will cut its passenger car operations, leaving only its commercial vehicle business. More market share for the resurgent Lada, it seems. (Read More…)

By on March 8, 2019

2018 Jaguar XF Sportbrake, Image: Jaguar

The American public’s rapid conversion to the Church of Crossover caught longtime car peddler Jaguar off guard, forcing the British brand to mull desperate measures to stay profitable. And not just in this market, either.

Jaguar is currently an anchor for Jaguar Land Rover, dragging the automaker’s finances into the red, and Indian parent Tata isn’t happy about it. It wants a quick turnaround. For Jaguar’s U.S. arm, that means less choice for future customers. (Read More…)

By on February 20, 2019

Image: ford

Ford’s attempt at streamlining its global business is already well underway in Europe and the United States, but those regions aren’t the only locales to see cuts. Announced Tuesday, Ford Motor Company will bring the axe down in South America.

Brazil, once home to Henry Ford’s utopian rubber town, stands to lose local production of three vehicles, including two truck models that look oddly familiar. Almost like something the author’s neighbor drives. Also in Ford’s plan: the scrapping of its heavy commercial trucks. (Read More…)

By on February 4, 2019

General Motors Renaissance Center

Last Friday’s whisperings of a “Black Monday” panned out, with General Motors announcing the elimination of roughly 4,000 salaried workers — part of a preexisting pledge to reduce its North American workforce by 15 percent.

Pink slips are in the process of being handed out, an unwanted delivery that should take two weeks to complete. In total, GM hopes to cull 8,000 salaried workers and reduce its executive ranks by 25 percent. (Read More…)

By on February 1, 2019

GM

General Motors’ cost-cutting plan could hit home in a big way for salaried employees next week.

While the automaker has already begun cutting its salaried workforce, part of a broader streamlining push that includes plant closures and model discontinuations, sources claim Monday could bring widespread pink slip action. (Read More…)

By on December 26, 2018

It apparently needed to be said. As forces conspire against it, Indian auto conglomerate Tata Motors decided to pour cold water on rumors that it’s mulling a sell-off of Jaguar Land Rover, or perhaps some part of it.

Sure, there’s many troubles facing its British subsidiary, not least of which is the hazy future promised under Brexit. Then there’s cooling sales in the West and trouble in China — oh, and regulatory pressure in Europe and the continued decline of the traditional sedan. JLR lost a lot of money this year. Rumors abound of a big job cull in the New Year, too. Still, Tata says it has a plan, and that the plan will work. (Read More…)

By on November 2, 2018

General Motors won’t move ahead with a planned expansion of its Warren, Michigan design center, nor will its Pontiac propulsion center get the makeover GM once favored. While a shiny new parking garage became a reality before CEO Mary Barra’s aggressive cost-cutting program could kibosh it, the automaker’s planned workforce reduction might render many of those parking spaces redundant. (Read More…)

By on May 18, 2018

Image: Steph Willems/TTAC

You need cash if you’re going to make it in this industry, and Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda wants more of it. The automaker’s top executive, who characterizes the dangers facing his company in the same manner of a military general defending the Japanese mainland, has launched an all-out assault on what he fears is Toyota’s biggest threat: unnecessary expense.

“With our rivals and the rules of competition also changing, a life-or-death battle has begun in a world of unknowns,” Toyoda said during a fiscal update last week. “Cost reduction is crucial. It is a fight to restore our original strength.”

To shore up his business’s finances in preparation for new investments, Toyoda has seven warriors ready to slash costs wherever savings can be found. (Read More…)

By on June 28, 2017

BMW 2 Series, Image: BMW

BMW plans to streamline its manufacturing process by providing fewer model variants and eliminating less popular engine or equipment options. The goal here is to free up capital for research and development spending in the coming years, according to a Wednesday announcement from the brand’s chief finance officer, Nicolas Peter.

With most German automakers already pushing heavily into the realm of electric vehicles, BMW’s strong presence in China is forcing it to further bolster its efforts in EV development. The country’s particularly aggressive emission regulations and mandates on electric vehicle sales means any manufacturer hoping to persist within its borders will have to ensure 12 percent of its fleet is electric by 2020 — and BMW isn’t ready.

As a result, the automaker is trimming fat wherever it can find it. Unfortunately, that means eliminating the manual gearbox for the 2 Series in the United States and abandoning certain engine options for models across the globe. While BMW wasn’t explicit as to which motors won’t be returning, odds are good it will be the fun ones that don’t sell as well, plus the diesels.  (Read More…)

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