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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…)

Mercedes Enjoys Lead Late in Luxury Sales Championship

Sport-utes carrying luxury vehicle makers to strong sales.

by on Dec.04, 2018

The newly updated Mercedes-Benz GLA 250 is helping the automaker to another U.S. sales crown.

Mercedes-Benz is leading the race for the luxury vehicle sales crown for the third consecutive year, heading into December with an edge over its closest competitors, BMW and Lexus.

Mercedes reported it sold 31,022 vehicles in November, an increase of 0.6% from November 2017. On a year-to-date basis, Mercedes-Benz sales totaled 283,943, with an additional 34,062 units for vans and 1,154 vehicles for smart, bringing total sales volume to 319,159.

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“Demand for our SUV line-up including the GLA, GLC and new G-Class combined with increases for the E-Class and new CLS fueled results for the month,” said Dietmar Exler, president and CEO of MBUSA. “We anticipate a solid close to the final weeks of 2018.” (more…)

Fiat Chrysler Saves November Auto Sales

Jeep and Ram led FCA to big sales uptick.

by on Dec.03, 2018

The Ram 1500 helped Fiat Chrysler to a 17% sales jump over last year's results for November.

With a 17% sales increase Fiat Chrysler helped industry sales hold steady in November as Ford Motor Co. Nissan, Toyota and Honda all reported drops in sales for the month.

Overall, full-year 2018 sales are on course to beat 2017’s results and pass the 17-million milestone for the fourth straight year, a record streak, according to Cox Automotive.

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FCA’s sales were driven by the Jeep and Ram brands, which set a variety of records in total, retail and nameplate sales. Ram led FCA US brands with a 44% increase in vehicle sales. (more…)

Trump Threatens to Kill NAFTA — Again

Move design to pressure Congress to approve new deal.

by on Dec.03, 2018

President Donald Trump said he might cancel NAFTA immediately, hoping to pressure Congress into approving its replacement deal.

Only a day after signing a new trade agreement with Mexico and Canada, President Donald Trump said he is now free to cancel NAFTA in a move that will create major problems for global automakers.

Trump, who is facing mounting political challenges at home, made his remarks to reporters as he prepared to return to the U.S. after the G-20 Summit in Bueno Ares. The remarks came after he had formally signed a new version of NAFTA with leaders from Mexico and Canada.

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Trump’s goal in announcing the end of NAFTA is to put pressure on Congress to accept the new agreement with Mexico and Canada.  (more…)

Toyota, PSA Extend Partnership in European Market

PSA selling more commercial vehicles to Toyota.

by on Dec.03, 2018

Toyota will take full ownership of the plant in the Czech Republic it shares with PSA in 2021.

Toyota Motor Corp. and PSA, the Paris-based automaker that operates Peugeot, Citroen and Opel, have made a deal to expand their long-term partnership in the European market.

Under the terms of the new agreement, PSA will expand the range of commercial vehicles that it supplies to Toyota for sale in Europe under the Toyota brand starting in fourth quarter of 2019.

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In return, Toyota will take full financial ownership, starting in 2021, of the Toyota Peugeot Citroën Automobile Czech joint-venture plant in Czech Republic, which produces the compact A-segment models, which Toyota will continue to build. (more…)

UAW Attacks GM as Trump Signs “New” NAFTA Deal

Trump in Argentina for G20 Summit.

by on Nov.30, 2018

The leaders of Mexico, the United States and Canada sign the "new" NAFTA in Argentina.

The United Auto Workers renewed its attack on General Motors as leaders from the U.S., Mexico and Canada used the G20 Summit in Argentina for the back drop for officially signing a new North American Free Trade Agreement that was negotiated last summer but still must be approved by the U.S.

President Donald Trump joined the leaders of Canada and Mexico at a global meeting in Argentina for the signing of the deal, fulfilling a longstanding political promise with a deal he celebrated as a “groundbreaking achievement.”

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UAW President Gary Jones, however, said GM’s announcement of the closure of five of its factories in the U.S. demonstrates that the new trade pact does not go far enough in protecting the interest of workers in the U.S. (more…)

GM Moves Ammann into CEO Role at GM Cruise

Move marks the second in six months for Ammann.

by on Nov.29, 2018

General Motors President Dan Ammann is now GM Cruise Chief Executive Officer Dan Ammann.

General Motors President Dan Ammann is changing jobs again, now serving as the full time as the Chief Executive Officer of GM Cruise, GM’s autonomous vehicle subsidiary.

Ammann had worked closely with Cruise since GM acquired the self-driving vehicle start up back in 2016.

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The move marks the second time in six months that Ammann’s role within the company has been changed. In July, he shifted some of his responsibilities to Executive Vice President Mark Reuss to focus on the company’s development of autonomous vehicles.  (more…)

Ford Cuts Production at Two Plants, Shifting Workers to Other Sites

Company moving workers to meet production needs.

by on Nov.29, 2018

Ford is cutting one shift at the Louisville Assembly Plant, but moving those workers to the Kentucky Truck Plant.

On the heels of General Motors’ announcement that it plans to shutter five plants in North America, Ford Motor Co. said it expects to reduce production at two key U.S. assembly plants by next spring.

However, mindful of the harsh political fallout that followed the GM announcement, including a series of angry tweets from President Donald Trump, Ford took pains to emphasize that workers displaced by the impending cuts at assembly plants in Louisville, Kentucky, and Flat Rock, Michigan, will be offered jobs at nearby Ford plants.

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No workers will be laid off during the changes, which are scheduled to take place next spring, Ford spokeswoman Kelli Felker stressed in an e-mail to bingdb.info. (more…)

GM Selling Off Hotel Property to Raise Cash, Get Lean

Moody's gives thumbs up to the plan.

by on Nov.28, 2018

GM is looking to sell the hotel it owns in the Millender Center for $45 million.

In another step aimed at disposing of unneeded assets and raising cash, General Motors has confirmed it plans to sell off a hotel located directly across the street from its world headquarters in Detroit, which is now the midst of a real-estate boom.

The automaker said it intends to sell the 265-room Courtyard Marriott hotel that was built in 1985 as part of the mixed-use Millender Center complex on Jefferson Avenue and is linked to General Motors Riverfront headquarters in downtown Detroit by a covered footbridge.

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GM acquired the property years ago when Detroit was in the economic doldrums. However, downtown has undergone a major revival the past five years and the value of real estate has risen sharply, making it a propitious time to sell, GM said. (more…)

New Wrangler-Based Pickup Gets a Name: Gladiator

Truck's exterior look lives up to its new/old name.

by on Nov.28, 2018

The long-awaited pickup for Jeep made its debut in Los Angeles. The 2020 Gladiator will hit dealerships in Q2 next year.

The anticipation ahead of the introduction of the new Jeep pickup truck has been building for months, growing to point where it could be cut by a knife.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles presented the new truck at the Los Angeles Auto Show with the introduction of the 2020 Jeep Gladiator.

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“Unquestionably a truck and instantly recognizable as a Jeep, the all-new 2020 Gladiator is the ultimate vehicle for any outdoor adventure,” said Tim Kuniskis, head of Jeep Brand – North America. (more…)