By on May 15, 2019

On Tuesday, Volkswagen announced its plan to assemble 600,000 electric vehicles utilizing the brand’s MEB platform at two plants in China. The facilities, said to be located in the cities of Anting and Foshan, will help bolster EV volume after the completion of VW’s Zwickau plant in Germany — which the company previously claimed would manufacture 330,000 cars annually.

While that facility is nearing completion and supposed to be up and running before 2020, there’s no firm timeline in place for China. But that’s the least of the issues Volkswagen must solve in order to make this dream a reality.  (Read More…)

By on May 13, 2019

Image: Daimler AG

Mercedes-Benz is reportedly considering moving C-Class production out of America to make room on its Alabama assembly line for more high-margin utility vehicles. Despite being the brand’s best-selling sedan in the United States, Mercedes knows it has to acknowledge the public’s growing propensity for luxurious light trucks.

While ignoring the present doesn’t seem like the wisest of business decisions, the market’s current trajectory is no secret. People want crossovers and SUVs and it looks as though Benz will happily provide them, even if it means icing out the still-popular C-Class before the end of next year.  (Read More…)

By on December 6, 2018

The city of Shanghai claims Tesla could begin production in China in the second half of 2019, which would be an incredible achievement for the automaker. China is Tesla’s biggest market after the United States and assembling product within its borders would be a good way to avoid the nation’s aggressive tariffs on U.S autos, which currently stand at 40 percent.

However, the trade war between the two countries has also stifled sales — and not just for Tesla. China’s car market hasn’t been particularly robust this year and appears to be headed for the first major slump after nearly two decades of reliable growth. While President Trump has teased that the People’s Republic may be about to lower its automotive trade barriers with America, there’s no assurances coming from Asia. Regardless, setting up shop within China should be beneficial for Tesla’s bottom line and make it more competitive with Chinese EV brands like BYD and Nio.  (Read More…)

By on December 6, 2018

General Motors Renaissance Center

General Motors’ restructuring plan has placed it under heavy fire. As it turns out, domestic job cuts and factory closings aren’t all that popular on Capitol Hill or in middle America, especially when a company appears financially healthy. Go figure.

Hoping to mitigate the social damage that’s only guaranteed to escalate next year, GM CEO Mary Barra took a trip to Washington to speak for the automaker. However, there wasn’t much backpedalling or apology-making coming from the executive. Instead, Barra’s presence served only to show that the company is capable of listening while simultaneously reinforcing that there will be no changes made to the plan.  (Read More…)

By on September 13, 2018

Ford badge emblem logo

A 24-year-old male employee was found dead overnight at Ford’s Sterling Axle Plant in Sterling Heights, Michigan, according to police reports. The man was discovered in a restroom stall shortly after midnight on Thursday morning. While no cause of death has been determined, the body has been transported to the medical examiners office for further investigation.

Sterling Heights police said the individual had told co-workers he wasn’t feeling well shortly before entering the bathroom. This is the second notable death at a Ford facility since December, when 41-year-old Ivan Bridgewater of Seymour, Indiana was killed at the Kentucky Truck Plant from blunt-force trauma. That incident was later ruled accidental. At the time, Ford was fined $37,000 by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for violations of established workplace safety rules. The automaker contested the fine.  (Read More…)

By on May 9, 2018

2018 F-150 Power Stroke Diesel, Image: Ford

As we told you yesterday, Ford announced it will temporarily halt production of the F-150 and Super Duty after a fire at Meridian Magnesium Products of America knocked out a key supplier. While the Blue Oval isn’t the only automaker affected by the supply shortage, as General Motors, Fiat Chrysler, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz also report the likelihood of production interruptions, Ford has the most to lose.

Taking the company’s most profitable vehicle out of the mix for a few weeks is a big deal. During a bad month, Ford might sell around 50,000 F-Series trucks in the United States. But a good month can see around 90,000 deliveries, so an unplanned idle probably has the automaker tugging at its collar a little. Fortunately, Ford currently has a 84-day supply of F-series pickups. That doesn’t mean it won’t feel the pinch if the wait on parts takes longer than expected.

The factory shutdown affects F-150 production at the Ford Kansas City Assembly Plant, which Ford said will last until at least May 14th. Super Duty lines at Kentucky Truck and Ohio Assembly have also shut down. Ford’s Dearborn Plant is expected to go down temporarily in the near future.

So, how far have the ripples spread? (Read More…)

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