Tag: production

By on September 16, 2019

General Motors Renaissance Center

The battle line between General Motors and its unionized American workers takes the form of a picket stretching in front of numerous domestic plants and facilities, after the UAW launched its first strike against the company since 2007.

Strike action commenced a minute before midnight on Sunday, with roughly 49,000 workers walking off the job. In response, GM detailed exactly what it offered the union before contract talks broke down. (Read More…)

By on September 12, 2019

Mazda’s Salamanca plant is adding the CX-30 to its production line, ensuring its cars-and-crossovers strategy launches as planned. With the Mexican facility already manufacturing the Mazda3, it’s not a shock to see the compact added to the factory lineup as the pair utilize the same platform. In fact, Salamanca is already undergoing retooling to make sure it can incorporate the CX-30 and there were swirling rumors that the company’s official factory announcement would happen sometime this month.

While no formal announcement has been made, the company confirmed the move with Automotive News on Wednesday. Miguel Barbeyto, president of Mazda Mexico, said the facility had been selected partially due to the CX-30’s role as a global product. Mexico has free-trade agreements with numerous nations that Mazda believes will help it efficiently distribute Mexican-made product throughout Europe and North/South America.  (Read More…)

By on August 26, 2019

Toyota TJ Cruiser Concept

Toyota’s FJ Cruiser was big and brash — a gas-sucking, body-on frame bruiser that combined rugged off-road capability and distinctive looks with a clamshell door configuration that gives this writer goosebumps. While owners continue to enjoy high resale values, the FJ Cruiser is long dead, and pedestrian offerings like the RAV4 Adventure are not a valid alternative for true off-road minded individualists.

On paper, neither is the TJ Cruiser, a versatile 2017 concept vehicle that blends a unibody CUV with minivan trappings. It is, however, very distinctive, and it could be headed for a production line. (Read More…)

By on August 14, 2019

Image: Honda

The consolidation of Honda’s production landscape continues, with the automaker announcing Tuesday that it will cease production of passenger vehicles in Argentina next year. Honda builds the subcompact HR-V at its Campana assembly plant; come 2020, the facility will revert back to building only motorcycles.

It’s just the latest move by an automaker eager to bolster its bottom line and build defences against a possible recession by streamlining its operations on a global scale. Like other companies, Honda is eager to rid itself of excess plant capacity and source vehicles from cost-effective locales. (Read More…)

By on August 8, 2019

2019 Honda Accord Sport front quarter

Two Honda plants in Indiana and Ohio bear the brunt of a decision made last spring to tap the brakes on Civic and Accord production. At the start of the month, Honda of America suspended the second shift on one of two lines at Ohio’s Marysville Assembly Plant, the result of flagging sales that show no signs of reversal.

While Honda categorizes the move as temporary, the second shift’s return will have to wait “a few years.” (Read More…)

By on August 8, 2019

The closure of Flint, Michigan’s sprawling Buick City complex was emblematic of the destructive transformative forces at work in the American auto industry in the late 20th century and early 21st. The 264-acre facility was once the largest automotive plant in the world, a status that did nothing to ensure its continued survival. It closed for good in 2010.

Now comes word that the birthplace of so many LeSabres could sprout manufacturing jobs in the near future — 2,000 of them. Great news for Michigan’s automotive workforce and Flint’s coffers, but the plan won’t get off the ground without the Postal Service’s approval. (Read More…)

By on August 7, 2019

The equinox, which arrives dutifully every spring and fall, represents a harmonious balance between day and night, light and darkness, but it also signals a return to the imbalance that reigns for the remainder of the year. For Chevrolet’s perennially popular Equinox crossover, current production rates are not harmonious with what GM expects to come.

Which is why the automaker plans to throttle back on building, both south of the border and north of it. Plants in Mexico and Canada will see a production haircut following some crystal ball action on the part of the company. (Read More…)

By on August 5, 2019

2019 Ram 1500 Classic Warlock_1

For those of you who value, um, value in your pickup purchase, there’s good news. Ram’s 1500 Classic, the name given to the previous-generation half-ton that soldiers on alongside the new-for-2019 1500, shows no signs of impending death.

Fiat Chrysler CEO Mike Manley made that point abundantly clear during an earnings call last week. Debuting for the 2009 model year, the Classic earns its moniker, yet the advancements and refinements showered on its successor hasn’t diminished demand for the old model — the new-gen 1500’s higher price point assures FCA of a steady stream of buyers.

Amazingly, a refresh may be in the works. (Read More…)

By on July 10, 2019

After posting a stinker of a first quarter, Tesla entered into a training montage and managed record-setting production output in Q2 — helping nudge its all-important share price back in the right direction.

Now, internal documents have shown the automaker is trying to position itself to further boost production at its California factory and might even bring some new staff on board. Question the legitimacy of this “leak” if you must, but that won’t change Tesla’s ultimate goal of more volume and happier investors in Q3.  (Read More…)

By on July 10, 2019

Toyota Motor Corp announced on Wednesday it would be building a new sport utility vehicle at its $1.6 billion joint venture assembly plant in Alabama, rather than the Corolla. This brings its strategy in line with Mazda, which announced it would also be building an SUV at the facility earlier this year.

Officially, Toyota said the change was due to “changing market demands and a growing consumer appetite for light trucks and SUVs,” while slipping in a mention of how well the RAV4 has been selling for good measure.  (Read More…)

By on June 7, 2019

This time last year, we were under the impression that General Motors’ first attempt at an autonomous vehicle would come without pedals, a steering wheel, or any other controls traditionally associated with driving. Cruise Automation, the GM subsidiary tasked with developing the vehicle, seemed confident it could deliver something that didn’t need to rely on human intervention to be truly safe. This promise was reiterated by GM in January of 2018 via a request to produce the car sans controls though federal exemption.

U.S. laws governing what constitutes a safe automobile were written before autonomous vehicles entered development, creating problems. It wasn’t evident to anyone that GM could legally manufacture a vehicle that lacked traditional controls, as existing laws stipulated that all automobiles had to have them. While the Department of Transportation has proven rather lenient on policing AVs in terms of testing, rewriting the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards or providing exemptions was a bridge too far — especially when self-driving tech is new, frequently misunderstood, and backed heavily by corporate interests. The existing guidelines remain unchanged and new legislation pertaining to self-driving vehicles has stalled in Congress.

Apparently sick of waiting, General Motors now appears satisfied to just build AVs with manual controls. (Read More…)

By on June 3, 2019

After claiming, via official channels, that its Nevada Gigafactory would likely become the site of Model Y production, Tesla seems to have changed its mind on where to build its upcoming crossover.

During a weekend podcast, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said production of the vehicle will likely take place where all other Teslas are built. It might not even require a tent. (Read More…)

By on May 25, 2019

vw

Since supplies of Volkswagen’s held-over Tiguan Limited dried up last year, the brand hasn’t has a truly entry-level crossover with which to tempt cash-strapped Americans in need of both German heritage and cargo capacity.

A new small CUV initially planned for just North American buyers quickly became a global effort, as VW couldn’t gamble its future on EVs alone. It needs light trucks to fuel profit as it dumps cash into electrification. This North American model is now revealed to be a vehicle that debuted in China last October, and will make its way to U.S. by way of Mexico. (Read More…)

By on May 22, 2019

Image: FCA

Detroit City Council wrapped up a lengthy day of voting and approvals Tuesday, paving the way for a $2.5 billion Fiat Chrysler investment in two east-side assembly plants.

Part of the deal involves a complex series of land swaps benefitting both FCA and the land-rich Moroun family, plus a raft of tax incentives bound for the automaker. It’s a good thing FCA didn’t target its investment at New York City. (Read More…)

By on May 14, 2019

2018 Cadillac XTS, Image: General Motors

Following last week’s announcement of a new, less-populous future for General Motors’ once doomed Oshawa Assembly plant, a promise backed up by $170 million in company cash, the union representing workers at the Canadian facility has revealed when its current products will bite the dust.

Under a company-wide streamlining effort outlined last year, Oshawa would reach “unallocated” status by the end of 2019. That’s still the plan, but two full-size car models will cease production before that. It’s advantageous that Ford Motor Company decided to keep the Lincoln MKT in production, as one of the culled models is the Cadillac XTS. (Read More…)

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