Tag: Industry

By on July 30, 2020

Image: Lada

That shiny new Lada you’ve always wanted might one day come with an unexpected bit of equipment: an ignition interlock set free by non-boozy breath.

That’s what Russia’s industry ministry would like to see installed in cars before they even leave the factory, but reaching this goal —  like trying to put on a pair of tight-fitting shoes after polishing off a 26er of Stolichnaya —  will likely prove a challenge. (Read More…)

By on July 29, 2020

2016 Honda Accord Sport Six-Speed Manual Shifter, Image: © 2016 Jeff Jablansky/The Truth About Cars

It looks like the problem isn’t the damn kids. Well, not in this instance.

The problem is us keyboard jockeys; the corpulent shrimp-eaters of the world.

Clearly, our bitching and moaning hasn’t gotten us anywhere. (Read More…)

By on July 16, 2020

Auto plants across the U.S. are a beehive of activity as workers (and their bosses) seek to make up for lost time. The two-month coronavirus shutdown drained inventories, yet the virus that sparked the unprecedented closure of workplaces across the nation hasn’t gone away.

As you read yesterday, the ongoing pressures reportedly forced one Detroit-based automaker to take desperate measures just to keep the taps running. So Detroit Three automakers probably reacted with trepidation after hearing the U.S.’s most car-heavy state isn’t afraid to pump the brakes once again. (Read More…)

By on June 3, 2020

2020 Chevrolet Silverado logo badge

They’re still out there, just not in the same concentration as before. Two weeks after the U.S. auto industry restarted production in force, long-term, no-interest loans are becoming as hard to find as Lysol wipes.

At General Motors, which wooed many a truck buyer with zero-percent/84-month financing during the coronavirus lockdown, the good times seem to be over for buyers. However, some lucky individuals might be saved by timing. (Read More…)

By on May 15, 2020

Once upon a time, it was expected to find the driven wheels of a car aft of the rear seat. In this writer’s recollection, the coming of winter would see the addition of a few bags of concrete mix or sidewalk salt added to the trunk for extra traction. Most pickups, usually of the wholesome regular cab variety, boasted the same setup.

Eventually, front-wheel drive replaced RWD as the go-to way to put power down, while in the background four-wheel drive gathered steam.

Would it surprise you to learn that the majority of 2020 model-year vehicles sold in the U.S. thus far eschewed front- or rear-drive? (Read More…)

By on May 4, 2020

Image: General Motors

It’s something we’ve touched upon in the recent past: the fact that, in these pandemic times, a private vehicle is the safest way to get around (from a contagion standpoint). It seems we’re not the only one to rethink the attributes of a personal car. Japanese driving schools are suddenly doing a booming business. Cars.com reports a sudden surge in non-car-owning visitors.

According to data accumulated from numerous countries, automakers could find a slew of newfound buyers once the strictest lockdown measures end. (Read More…)

By on May 1, 2020

Tesla, if you haven’t heard, posted a first-quarter profit on Wednesday — a slim one, to be sure ($16 million), but black ink nonetheless. Compare that to the likes of much larger automakers like Ford. Of course, Tesla waited longer to shut down its sole American assembly plant, and it can chalk up its surprising financial buoyancy to hundreds of millions of dollars of emissions credits sold to rival automakers with far dirtier footprints.

While Q2 is widely expected to be a bad one for all involved, including Tesla, the electric automaker might see a silver lining from the coronavirus pandemic. (Read More…)

By on April 24, 2020

fca

The domestic auto industry is revving its engines, ready to cautiously punch the accelerator, but something’s standing in its way. That something would be United Auto Workers President Rory Gamble, who on Thursday appealed to companies to put the green flag away and think of their employees instead.

Seeing automakers angling for a production restart in the first week of May, the UAW boss said it was too early to move ahead.

“At this point in time, the UAW does not believe the scientific data is conclusive that it is safe to have our members back in the workplace,” Gamble said in a statement. “We have not done enough testing to really understand the threat our members face.” (Read More…)

By on April 2, 2020

GM

With all domestic assembly plants shuttered for some length of time and sales barreling towards zero in many markets at the end of March, the coming few months could play out in a number of ways. Sure, no crystal ball can be expected to return bang-on predictions, but that’s not stopping analysts from crafting a number of plausible scenarios.

As projected by J.D. Power, April looks like a wash for new vehicle sales, but the recovery could be more rapid than some fear. Or, just as easily, it might not be. (Read More…)

By on April 1, 2020

Try as we might, there’s just no way to know everything about the contemporary offerings of all car manufacturers, even if consideration is limited in scope to North America. Invariably, our mental encyclopedia is missing a few pages. That means sometimes, we should consider the unknowns of our automotive knowledge.

Allow me to explain.

(Read More…)

By on March 24, 2020

ford

A national health crisis has prompted Ford to go into the PPE (personal protective equipment) and ventilator business.

Tuesday morning, the automaker announced a joint effort with 3M, GE Healthcare, and its UAW-represented workers to bolster production of the life-saving gear — at the same time not missing an opportunity for a little self-promotion. (Read More…)

By on March 23, 2020

cami assembly factory

Much talk has been made over the past week of turning the auto industry’s manufacturing might into a so-called Arsenal of Health. In the U.S. and Canada, federal governments have turned to automakers for production of much-needed ventilators to save lives of coronavirus patients. Meanwhile, breweries and distilleries have swapped to hand sanitizer production.

Turning on a dime to crank out ventilators and face masks isn’t an overnight proposition, but an emergency effort to expand the availability of life-saving supplies would go a long way to save lives. The Detroit Three are already on it. Tesla, too. (Read More…)

By on March 23, 2020

Herbert Diess Jetta 2017

Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess knows the viral headwinds facing his company won’t ease in a few weeks, nor will the need to curtail production in the face of rampant coronavirus infections.

Following a week that saw the auto giant idle production in Europe and the United States, Diess said the temporary plant shutdowns are just the beginning. His words no doubt echo the thoughts of most, if not all, Western auto execs. (Read More…)

By on March 20, 2020

As we enter the Friday of a very eventful week, U.S. auto production is barely hanging on. The past few days have seen manufacturers both domestic and foreign announce temporary production shutdowns amid the coronavirus emergency.

It begs the question: who’s left? (Read More…)

By on March 18, 2020

2018 Ford F150 assembly line -Image: Ford

Ford Motor Company says it plans to idle all North American plants by end of day Thursday, keeping those facilities offline until the end of the month in an effort to cleanse them of coronavirus. General Motors is following suit, though Fiat Chrysler has yet to detail its near-future plan to protect workers and tailor production to reduced consumer demand.

The details come after the Detroit Three automakers agreed to a partial shutdown of U.S. production after advocacy from the United Auto Workers. (Read More…)

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