Tag: Detroit

By on December 10, 2018

 

There are plenty of performance cars from the pages of history whose greatness has been recognized — Integra Type R, Focus RS, anything with GTI appended to its name. A few, however, have slipped through the cracks.

Time is kind to some cars, with their stock rising only long after they’ve gone out of production, but a few never get the recognition they deserve. I’ve got two examples right here … and they’re both from Detroit.

(Read More…)

By on December 6, 2018

While General Motors is busy “unallocating” some of its plants, Fiat Chrysler is opening a new one. How’s that for optics?

The company will reportedly convert an existing facility, the so-called Mack Avenue Engine II plant, one which began making small V6 engines in the year 2000 but was idled about five years ago. This new vehicle assembly plant is slated to make the three-row Grand Cherokee.

Wait, what?

(Read More…)

By on September 26, 2018

2017 Cadillac Escalade

It tried to make it in the big city but, after a few years on its own in New York, the Cadillac brand is headed home to mom and pop.

Cadillac President Steve Carlisle, who took over from Johan de Nysschen in April, confirmed the return in a Wall Street Journal interview. The brand’s abandonment of its high-class SoHo office space ends a strange and tumultuous period in Cadillac history. (Read More…)

By on September 11, 2018

Image: Ford/YouTube

For Ford, returning to the city of Detroit means first checking off a long list of tax abatements — breaks it says it needs in order to pull off its planned Corktown campus. That would mean $103 million in lost future tax revenue for the city itself, though total incentive package Ford wants amounts to $238.6 million.

Depending on which direction you’re coming from, it’s either agregious or just the cost of doing business. (Read More…)

By on July 23, 2018

The world’s automotive press can pack away their parkas after next year’s North American International Auto Show. In 2020, the circus will move to the month of June.

This was not wholly unexpected. Pressure was mounting for NAIAS to re-invent itself, given a recent flight of manufacturers and increased competition from other events — automotive and otherwise.

(Read More…)

By on July 10, 2018

2016 NAIAS Ford Stand

The North American International Auto Show, held in mid-January since there were starting handles on the front of cars, may be jumping halfway across the calendar to the month of June.

Facing a declining level of participation, the show has been looking for ways to reinvent itself in a bid to remain relevant and continue grabbing headlines during a time of year when digital ink is easily slurped up by news from other events.

(Read More…)

By on June 19, 2018

Image: Ford

All eyes were on the now Ford-owned Michigan Central Station in Detroit’s Corktown neighborhood on Tuesday morning, as the automaker formally announced its plan for the derelict building and surrounding neighborhood.

Ford Motor Company recently took the century-old structure, abandoned since 1988, off the hands of its longtime owners, the Moroun family. There’s still no dollar figure attached to that deal, but that’s not what Tuesday was about. Ford’s plan, ambitious and big on vision, breaks down as this: there’ll be 2,500 Ford workers employed in the Corktown neighborhood, tasked with developing autonomous vehicles and related tech. The towering train depot, once restored, will serve as the nerve center.

Joining those employees in Ford-owned buildings scattered around the site will be an equal number of employees working for partners and suppliers, or so Ford hopes. The automaker’s aiming for a miniaturized version of Silicon Valley clustered around Michigan Avenue. (Read More…)

By on June 11, 2018

Image: Wikimedia (CC BY-SA 3.0)

The long-abandoned — and recently reglazed — Michigan Central Station building will host a Ford sign and many Ford employees in the near future, the building’s longtime former owner claims.

Matthew Moroun, son of Detroit businessman Manuel “Matty” Moroun, told Crain’s Detroit Business on Monday that the family has sold the hulking, derelict building to Ford Motor Company as part of the automaker’s wide-ranging plan to take over much of the Corktown district. (Read More…)

By on May 4, 2018

2018 Ram 3500 Cummins towing, Image: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles

Police in Michigan are flummoxed and frustrated after a theft of nearly a dozen brand new Ram pickups from the Warren Truck Assembly Plant. Like a scene from Gone in 60 Seconds, the ne’er-do-wells are alleged to have crashed freshly manufactured Rams through secured gates before hightailing it south on Mound Road.

“This was well-planned,” said Warren Police Commissioner Bill Dwyer, who takes home top honors in today’s Most Obvious Statement competition.

(Read More…)

By on April 30, 2018

Image: Wikimedia (CC BY-SA 3.0)

There’s been much made about Ford’s secret/not-so-secret plan to purchase a major chunk of Detroit’s Corktown neighborhood, including its greatest landmark — the monstrous, long-abandoned Michigan Central Station. Until now, however, the only words we had to go on were whispered by sources who preferred to keep their names out of the media.

Thankfully, Edsel B. Ford II decided to pipe up today. (Read More…)

By on April 28, 2018

Image: Ken Lund/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Officially, there’s more than 220 Ford Motor Company employees ready to move into a refurbished former factory on Michigan Avenue in Detroit’s Corktown district sometime this year. A nice little burst of employment for a long-neglected, now-resurgent neighborhood, but it might be just the beginning.

The automaker is reportedly in talks with numerous property owners to create a campus totalling at least 1.1 million square feet, with the towering — and famously abandoned — Michigan Central Station as its anchor. (Read More…)

By on March 20, 2018

A445,_Michigan_Central_Station,_Detroit,_Michigan,_United_States,_2016

Detroit’s skyline-defining riverfront Renaissance Center is better known to car enthusiasts as the RenCen, home to General Motors, which has owned the seven tower complex for more than 20 years. Less well known is the fact that the RenCen was the brainchild of Henry Ford II. Shocked by the aftermath of the 1967 riot that devastated many Detroit businesses, the Deuce, as Henry Ford’s grandson was known, saw the RenCen as means of revitalizing the city’s economy. Construction began in 1971 and the facility opened in the summer of 1976. By then, however, the domestic auto industry was hit with the 1973 OPEC oil embargo just as it was struggling to meet new federal emissions and safety standards. Car guys call it the “Malaise Era,” and it was the start of four decades of decline of the Motor City.

That decline, however, genuinely appears to have finally bottomed out. Class A commercial real estate is in high demand downtown and commercial development is spreading to other areas of the city. Unemployment in Wayne County, Detroit’s home, is down to just 4.5 percent, compared to 17.4 percent in 2009.

Now, almost 50 years after Henry Ford II envisioned the RenCen as reviving Detroit, comes word that the car company with his name over the door may well revive and restore one of the most iconic images of Detroit’s decline. (Read More…)

By on December 19, 2017

Image: fca

Hot on the heels of a vehicle reveal most of us thought would occur in Detroit next month, another hot seller has officially broken cover before the January show.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has given the Jeep Cherokee a snazzy new set of duds just in time for the new year. Previously styled with an alarming mix of narrowed lights and Hannibal Lecter grille, the restyled 2019 Cherokee adopts the corporate look that first appeared on the Grandest of Cherokees before migrating to the Compass last year.

(Read More…)

By on November 4, 2017

Mahindra KUV100, Image: Mahindra & Mahindra

For the company’s sake, hopefully Mahindra & Mahindra’s second attempt to enter the U.S. market won’t go the same way as the first.

The Indian automaker is reportedly planning a 400,000-square-foot assembly plant in the Detroit suburb of Auburn Hills, and has scheduled a press conference with government officials for November 20th. As we all know, local representatives and their higher-ups don’t like braving the cold unless there’s a promise of jobs and cameras.

A previous attempt to tap into the U.S. market went nowhere, ending in a lawsuit. If this plan comes to fruition, it would make Mahindra’s auto plant the first built in the Detroit area in decades — and would provide American consumers with some new SUV options. (Read More…)

By on October 31, 2017

2017 Ram 1500 Sublime Sport

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know Ram will drop a new half-ton pickup at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January. It’s a big gamble redesigning a cash cow, lest the truck faithful turn up their noses at the new styling.

In the past, manufacturers have hedged their bets by simultaneously producing both the new and old styles, such as when Ford offered both the F-150 and F-150 Heritage in 2004. Now, Ram appears poised to deploy the same strategy in 2018, according to bossman Sergio Marchionne.

(Read More…)

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