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    • By William Maley
      A new report from Automotive News says that Ford is planning to end North American production of the Fusion sedan at the end of this decades. According to sources, the automaker has begun to notify suppliers that it will not produce the next-generation Fusion at their Hermosillo, Mexico plant. Suppliers have also been told that Ford will stop producing the Mondeo (Fusion in other markets) at their Valencia, Spain plant.
      This is further complicated by a report from Reuters saying the company is consolidating production to a plant in China. Ford has since denied this report.
      “We have no plans to export the next-generation Fusion/Mondeo from China to North America and Europe. Fusion/Mondeo are an important part of the Ford car lineup. We will have more information to share about the next Fusion/Mondeo at a later date,” the company said in a statement.
      A spokesman declined to comment when asked if Ford would stop selling Fusion in the U.S., replace it with another vehicle, or build it elsewhere.
      Previously, Ford executives have said that the shift from cars to crossovers/SUVs will be permanent. Back in October, the company announced that it would be cutting back on the number of car nameplate it offers, but wouldn't go into details. Ford has already ended production of the C-Max Energi and plans on ending the C-Max Hybrid sometime next year. The Fiesta and Taurus are reportedly on the chopping block as well.
      What does the future hold for the Fusion? At the moment, it is tough to say.
      Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), Reuters

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      A new report from Automotive News says that Ford is planning to end North American production of the Fusion sedan at the end of this decades. According to sources, the automaker has begun to notify suppliers that it will not produce the next-generation Fusion at their Hermosillo, Mexico plant. Suppliers have also been told that Ford will stop producing the Mondeo (Fusion in other markets) at their Valencia, Spain plant.
      This is further complicated by a report from Reuters saying the company is consolidating production to a plant in China. Ford has since denied this report.
      “We have no plans to export the next-generation Fusion/Mondeo from China to North America and Europe. Fusion/Mondeo are an important part of the Ford car lineup. We will have more information to share about the next Fusion/Mondeo at a later date,” the company said in a statement.
      A spokesman declined to comment when asked if Ford would stop selling Fusion in the U.S., replace it with another vehicle, or build it elsewhere.
      Previously, Ford executives have said that the shift from cars to crossovers/SUVs will be permanent. Back in October, the company announced that it would be cutting back on the number of car nameplate it offers, but wouldn't go into details. Ford has already ended production of the C-Max Energi and plans on ending the C-Max Hybrid sometime next year. The Fiesta and Taurus are reportedly on the chopping block as well.
      What does the future hold for the Fusion? At the moment, it is tough to say.
      Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), Reuters
    • By William Maley
      FCA US Reports November 2017 Sales
      FCA US retail sales up 2 percent, compared with same month a year ago A 25 percent year-over-year decline in fleet sales is in line with the FCA US strategy to reduce sales to the daily rental segment Chrysler brand sales up 14 percent; Chrysler Pacifica minivan posts best sales month ever Sales of all-new Jeep® Compass up 34 percent; best ever November sales December 1, 2017 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - FCA US LLC today reported sales of 154,919 units, a 4 percent decrease compared with sales in November 2016 (160,827 units).
       
      In November, retail sales of 129,539 units were up 2 percent compared with the same month in 2016 and represented 84 percent of total sales. In line with FCA’s strategy to reduce sales to the daily rental segment, fleet sales of 25,380 units were down, as expected, 25 percent year over year. The largest planned volume reduction in November fleet sales came from the Jeep® brand, which reduced its fleet sales number by 75 percent year over year. Fleet sales represented 16 percent of total FCA US November sales.
       
      The Chrysler Pacifica minivan and the all-new Jeep Compass each posted record sales in November. Pacifica sales were up 51 percent for its best sales month ever, while Compass sales increased 34 percent for its best November sales ever. The Jeep Grand Cherokee recorded its best November sales since 2003. Other FCA US vehicles posting year-over-year sales increases in the month of November were the Chrysler 300, Fiat 500L, Jeep Cherokee, Jeep Wrangler, Dodge Grand Caravan, Dodge Durango and Ram ProMaster City.
      Chrysler Brand
      Chrysler brand sales were up 14 percent in November, compared with the same month a year ago. Both the Chrysler Pacifica minivan and the Chrysler 300 full-size sedan posted sales increases in November. Pacifica sales were up 51 percent, the minivan’s best sales month ever. Green Car Reports named the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid as the 2018 Best Car to Buy. Its sister publication, The Car Connection, named the Pacifica as the 2018 Best Minivan to Buy. Sales of the 300 were up 15 percent in November, its best November sales since 2015. The 300 won the Large Car segment in Edmunds’ Most Wanted awards last month. This recognition honors the most in-demand vehicles based on sales, days-to-turn and shopper interest data on the Edmunds website.
       
      Jeep Brand
      Sales of the all-new Jeep Compass increased 34 percent for its best November sales ever. The Jeep Wrangler, Jeep Cherokee and Jeep Grand Cherokee each posted year-over-year sales increases. The Grand Cherokee turned in its best November sales since 2003. In addition, Jeep brand retail sales were up 13 percent in November, compared with the same month a year ago. The Jeep brand earlier this week introduced the next-generation 2018 Jeep Wrangler at the Los Angeles Auto Show. The all-new Wrangler – the most capable and recognized vehicle in the world – builds on its legendary history with an unmatched combination of off-road capability, open-air freedom, advanced fuel-efficient powertrains, authentic Jeep design, superior on- and off-road dynamics, and a host of innovative safety and advanced technology features.
       
      Dodge Brand
      Sales of the Dodge Grand Caravan and the Dodge Durango SUV were up year over year in November. Grand Caravan sales increased 28 percent last month, while the Durango posted a 9 percent increase, compared with the same month a year ago. The Dodge brand announced last month that it has begun shipping the 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon – the most powerful muscle car in history – to its Dodge dealers in the U.S.
       
      Ram Truck Brand
      Sales of the Ram ProMaster City van were up 21 percent in November, compared with the same month a year ago. In addition, Ram Truck brand retail sales were up 3 percent in November. The Ram Truck brand last month unveiled its new, special-edition 2018 Ram 1500 Hydro Blue Sport. The Hydro Blue Sport will be the final special-edition Sport the brand will offer in the 2017 calendar year. Previously, Ram launched Sublime (Green) and Copper Sport limited-edition trucks earlier this year and an Ignition Orange edition in late 2016.
       
      FIAT Brand
      Sales of the Fiat 500L increased 32 percent last month for its best November sales since 2015.
       
      Alfa Romeo Brand
      Alfa Romeo brand sales of 1,440 units were up significantly compared with the same month a year ago as the launch of the all-new 2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio SUV continues in U.S. dealerships. Earlier this week, the editors of Motor Trend named the Alfa Romeo Giulia as its 2018 Car of the Year, best representing exceptional value, superiority in its class and impact on the automotive scene.
      FCA US LLC Sales Summary November 2017
                          Month Sales
      Vol %
      CYTD Sales
      Vol %
        Model
      Curr Yr
      Pr Yr
      Change
      Curr Yr
      Pr Yr
      Change
        Compass
      9,368
      6,984
      34%
      74,510
      86,107
      -13%
        Patriot
      384
      8,568
      -96%
      40,495
      114,117
      -65%
        Wrangler
      13,289
      12,957
      3%
      176,822
      176,053
      0%
        Cherokee
      16,551
      11,479
      44%
      150,524
      183,356
      -18%
        Grand Cherokee
      18,614
      17,230
      8%
      217,074
      189,023
      15%
        Renegade
      7,795
      10,067
      -23%
      95,892
      94,561
      1%
        JEEP BRAND
      66,001
      67,285
      -2%
      755,317
      843,217
      -10%
        200
      359
      2,849
      -87%
      18,125
      54,651
      -67%
        300
      2,951
      2,566
      15%
      45,511
      49,657
      -8%
        Town & Country
      5
      350
      -99%
      571
      58,805
      -99%
        Pacifica
      13,195
      8,753
      51%
      107,130
      52,083
      106%
        CHRYSLER BRAND
      16,510
      14,518
      14%
      171,337
      215,196
      -20%
        Dart
      128
      2,203
      -94%
      9,943
      41,877
      -76%
        Avenger
      0
      1
      -100%
      12
      45
      -73%
        Charger
      6,047
      9,138
      -34%
      81,521
      88,200
      -8%
        Challenger
      3,860
      3,908
      -1%
      60,029
      59,176
      1%
        Viper
      7
      62
      -89%
      576
      571
      1%
        Journey
      4,868
      7,133
      -32%
      85,243
      96,991
      -12%
        Caravan
      8,550
      6,696
      28%
      118,573
      120,991
      -2%
        Durango
      5,385
      4,934
      9%
      63,214
      62,678
      1%
        DODGE  BRAND
      28,845
      34,075
      -15%
      419,111
      470,529
      -11%
        Ram P/U
      36,714
      36,885
      0%
      455,816
      441,862
      3%
        Cargo Van
      0
      0
      0%
      0
      21
      -100%
        ProMaster Van
      2,555
      4,702
      -46%
      37,131
      35,746
      4%
        ProMaster City
      1,121
      924
      21%
      13,967
      14,625
      -4%
        RAM BRAND
      40,390
      42,511
      -5%
      506,914
      492,254
      3%
        500
      782
      1,147
      -32%
      12,018
      14,026
      -14%
        500L
      127
      96
      32%
      1,553
      3,016
      -49%
        500X
      556
      822
      -32%
      6,992
      10,869
      -36%
        Spider
      268
      350
      -23%
      4,191
      2,225
      88%
        FIAT BRAND
      1,733
      2,415
      -28%
      24,754
      30,136
      -18%
        Giulia
      756
      0
      New
      7,892
      7
      New
        Alfa 4C 
      27
      23
      17%
      381
      457
      -17%
        Stelvio
      657
      0
      New
      1,724
      0
      New
        ALFA ROMEO
      1,440
      23
      6161%
      9,997
      464
      2055%
        FCA US LLC
      154,919
      160,827
      -4%
      1,887,430
      2,051,796
      -8%
                       
    • By William Maley
      More than 90 percent of Tesla Model S and X models that roll off the assembly line require fixes before they are shipped. This figure comes from nine former and current Tesla employees that spoke to Reuters this week citing data from the company's internal tracking system.
      At Tesla “so much goes into rework after the car is done ... that’s where their money is being spent,” said a former supervisor.
      Industry experts say it is critical for an automaker to get the quality right before initial production as repairs waste time and money. Other automakers such as Toyota only have an average of "fewer than 10 percent of their cars" requiring some sort of fix.
      Some of this can be attributed to Tesla's pressure to keep the production line moving, even when there was some sort of issue. This caused certain batches of vehicles to not have various parts such as windshields or bumpers. The understanding according to the workers is they would be fixed later.
      Other issues such as doors not closing or missing trim pieces show Tesla is still struggling with getting the basics right.
      Defects included “doors not closing, material trim, missing parts, all kinds of stuff. Loose objects, water leaks, you name it,” another former supervisor said. “We’ve been building a Model S since 2012. How do we still have water leaks?”
      Tesla calls models with quality issues “kickbacks” and are either fixed on the production line or head to one of Tesla’s outdoor parking lots for repair. According to the workers, one of the lots "has exceeded 2,000 vehicles at times".
      “Our goal is to produce perfect cars for every customer. Therefore, we review every vehicle for even the smallest refinement. Most customers would never notice the work that is done post production, but we care about even a fraction of a millimeter body gap difference or a slight paint gloss texture. We then feed these improvements back to production in a pursuit of perfection,” Tesla said in a statement to Reuters.
      The company declined to provide any post-assembly defect rates and denied those repair lots exist.
      Source: Reuters

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      More than 90 percent of Tesla Model S and X models that roll off the assembly line require fixes before they are shipped. This figure comes from nine former and current Tesla employees that spoke to Reuters this week citing data from the company's internal tracking system.
      At Tesla “so much goes into rework after the car is done ... that’s where their money is being spent,” said a former supervisor.
      Industry experts say it is critical for an automaker to get the quality right before initial production as repairs waste time and money. Other automakers such as Toyota only have an average of "fewer than 10 percent of their cars" requiring some sort of fix.
      Some of this can be attributed to Tesla's pressure to keep the production line moving, even when there was some sort of issue. This caused certain batches of vehicles to not have various parts such as windshields or bumpers. The understanding according to the workers is they would be fixed later.
      Other issues such as doors not closing or missing trim pieces show Tesla is still struggling with getting the basics right.
      Defects included “doors not closing, material trim, missing parts, all kinds of stuff. Loose objects, water leaks, you name it,” another former supervisor said. “We’ve been building a Model S since 2012. How do we still have water leaks?”
      Tesla calls models with quality issues “kickbacks” and are either fixed on the production line or head to one of Tesla’s outdoor parking lots for repair. According to the workers, one of the lots "has exceeded 2,000 vehicles at times".
      “Our goal is to produce perfect cars for every customer. Therefore, we review every vehicle for even the smallest refinement. Most customers would never notice the work that is done post production, but we care about even a fraction of a millimeter body gap difference or a slight paint gloss texture. We then feed these improvements back to production in a pursuit of perfection,” Tesla said in a statement to Reuters.
      The company declined to provide any post-assembly defect rates and denied those repair lots exist.
      Source: Reuters
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