Archive for the ‘Executives’ Category

FCA Set to Open New SUV Plant in Detroit

Move would come as GM prepares to idle three plants.

by on Dec.06, 2018

The converted engine plant will produce a three-row version of the Jeep Grand Cherokee.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles plans to open a new assembly plant in Detroit to expand its capacity to produce hot-selling sport-utility vehicles, according to several reports.

The automaker has yet to confirm that it will completely retool an old engine plant on Detroit’s east side, but company officials have, in recent months, indicated that they are strained to the limits of capacity at their existing light truck plants.

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The news comes at an awkward time for FCA’s largest domestic rival, General Motors. GM’s CEO Mary Barra on Thursday spent a second day in Washington trying to minimize criticism of the automaker’s plan to close three assembly plants building slow-selling passenger car models like the Chevrolet Cruze. That would leave what has long been known as the Motor City with only one working assembly plant within its borders, at least unless and until the new FCA truck plant were to come online.

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Supra Not Only Surprise from Toyota at NAIAS: New Lexus RC F

Toyota, Lexus showing off a need for speed.

by on Dec.06, 2018

Toyota EVP Bob Carter said Lexus will debut a new RC F "track car" next month at the Detroit Auto Show.

Lexus plans to show off one of the most powerful cars it has ever built during the North American International Auto Show in Detroit next month.

Bob Carter, executive vice president of sales for Toyota Motor North America, said in addition the Toyota Supra, the long-awaited heir to original Supra, Lexus will show the Lexus RC F, which he described as a limited edition “track car” that has been developed expressly for enthusiasts.

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“Aside from the LFA, this is the fastest, most powerful vehicle we’ve ever built,” Carter said. (more…)

Tesla Hustling to Build New Plant in China

New site will build only Model 3s at launch.

by on Dec.06, 2018

Tesla Inc. has reached an agreement with the Chinese government to build an assembly plant in China.

Tesla’s $2 billion Gigafactory in Shanghai, China, may begin construction sooner than observers expected as the EV maker is accepting bids from companies to build the plant that will theoretically build all of the batteries for the maker in China.

The company is accepting bids from construction companies wanting to build the plant, and in fact, much of the prep work is complete, according to Reuters. The new plant will be noteworthy for two reasons: it’s going to accelerate Tesla’s ability to sell vehicles in the country.

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Perhaps more importantly, it will be the first wholly foreign-owned facility in China — a concession the government made to get more electric vehicles into the country. (more…)

Toyota’s U.S. Chief Says More Tariffs Will Hurt Auto Sales

Lentz has reservations about NAFTA replacement as well.

by on Dec.06, 2018

Toyota's Jim Lentz expressed concern about the imposition of new tariffs and the impact they'll have on the auto industry.

The imposition of a new round of tariffs by the Trump administration could raises the price of new cars and trucks and cripple the U.S. auto industry, Toyota’s top executive in the United States said this week.

Jim Lentz, chief executive officer of Toyota North America, said during an appearance at the Detroit Economic Club, like at Ford and General Motors, Toyota operating costs for steel and aluminum have increased by because of the increase in tariffs on steel and aluminum.

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“We use American-made steel, but the cost has gone up 40%,” Lentz said. (more…)

GM CEO’s “Open Mind” May Not Save Any of Five Plants Slated to Close

“We do have an overcapacity problem,” says Barra, after Capitol Hill meetings.

by on Dec.06, 2018

GM CEO Mary Barra has been meeting with members of Congress, explaining why five plants are being closed.

General Motors Chairman and CEO Mary Barra told members of Congress she will keep an “open mind” when it comes to plans to close five plants next year, including assembly plants in Michigan, Ohio and Ontario, Canada.

The closures were announced late last month, along with plans to trim about 15% of the automaker’s white-collar workforce, as it addresses a variety of problems, including the ongoing shift from passenger cars to light trucks. But Barra also stressed that the automaker faces “limitations” on what it can do because “we do have an overcapacity (issue) across the country.”

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The one-time “shop rat,” who began working at GM as a co-op student said she told Congressional representatives from Ohio and Maryland on Wednesday that “These were difficult decisions – decisions I take very personally,” while adding in a statement that GM wants to “minimize the impact on the (affected) communities” by, among other things, offering workers a chance to switch to other GM plants, where possible or by offering outplacement services. (more…)

Faraday Future Furloughs More Employees

Company blaming Chinese investor for woes.

by on Dec.05, 2018

A large portion of Faraday's workers have been furloughed, those remaining taking pay cuts.

After a lengthy silence, financially challenged EV maker Faraday Future issued a tweet reconfirming its commitment to build its FF 91 model, while warning if an infusion of cash doesn’t arrive soon that could change. The company noted a round of layoffs are on tap as well.

In mid-November, the company was assumed dead before some churn at the top of the company’s management structure lead to founder Nick Sampson departing the company and the new leadership team announcing the company would come back.

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Today’s Twitter missive laid the blame for their current financial issues squarely at the feet of Chinese investment firm, Evergrande Health. (more…)

Hyundai Workers Plan Strike to Protest New Venture

Automaker teams with city for non-union auto plant.

by on Dec.05, 2018

Hyundai workers in South Korea are planning to strike in protest of a new joint venture planned between the automaker and Gwangju to build a non-union plant.

Union workers in Hyundai Motor’s plants in South Korea plant to walk off the assembly line in protest about a potential joint venture between the automaker and the city of Gwangju to build small vehicles using non-union labor.

The plan, which is still in negotiations, calls for the two sides to jointly own a plant employing 1,000 workers to produce mini-SUVs. The employees would earn a little more than $31,000 annually, which is less than half of what unionized workers earn at existing auto plants.

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South Korean workers often strike to during wage negotiations, walked this time for four hours to protest the salaries and use of non-union workers. (more…)

Ford, Volkswagen Talks Could Wrap Up Soon

Two companies finding plenty of common ground.

by on Dec.05, 2018

Ford CEO Jim Hackett, left, and Chairman Bill Ford both confirmed the talks with Volkswagen are progressing quickly.

Ford Motor Co. top executives said they think they can wrap up discussions on a broad alliance with Germany’s Volkswagen AG fairly soon since both sides have demonstrated a serious interest in the discussions.

Ford CEO Jim Hackett told reporters during a gathering at Ford plant outside Detroit that the company’s discussions with Volkswagen were moving forward at a steady clip and could conclude soon.

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“We have nothing to announce yet,” Hackett said. “But I just want to confirm we’re serious. I think the industry feels at the margins are under pressure. So these accommodations are more normal than not. There is real momentum there,” he said of the talks with VW. (more…)

European Auto Execs Meet with Trump, Aim to Head Off Expanded Trade War

VW signals a second U.S. plant is in the works.

by on Dec.05, 2018

President Donald Trump met with the leaders of BMW, Daimler and Volkswagen.

Even as President Donald Trump was backpeddling on earlier comments suggesting the trade dispute with China had been defused, the former New York businessman was meeting with European auto industry executives worried that they could become targeted by yet another front in the trade war.

The president has signaled he may enact duties of 25% or more on vehicles imported from Europe, even though his own Commerce Dept. has backed away from plans to declare imported automobiles a threat to national security.

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Trump “shared his vision of all automakers producing in the United States and creating a more friendly business environment,” the White House said in a statement that followed the meeting with officials from BMW, Daimler and Volkswagen. (more…)

Volkswagen May Use Ford Plants for Vehicle Production

VW CEO Diess confirms possibility after Trump meeting.

by on Dec.04, 2018

VW's CEO Herbert Diess said the company may use Ford plants to produce VW vehicles in the U.S.

The news of a second Volkswagen plant in the U.S. just became more interesting in the wake of a White House meeting between President Donald Trump and the heads of several European automakers.

After the meeting Herbert Diess, Volkswagen’s CEO, said as part of the growing alliance with Ford Motor Co. the automaker may use Ford plants to build cars. He added later that the company was “considering building a second car plant.”

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“We are in quite advanced negotiations and dialog with Ford to really build up a global automotive alliance, which also would strengthen the American automotive industry,” he added. (more…)