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Found 246 results

  1. Ford's original plan for the GT was to build the model for two years, with 250 units being built each year. Then Ford extended the production run to four years and expanded the total number of vehicles built to 1,000. So how is Ford doing on their production targets for the GT? According to Motor Authority, they haven't gone as planned. This information was first brought to light by a GT message board claiming Ford didn't reach their 250 unit goal for 2017. Motor Authority reached out to Ford and a spokesman confirmed that only 137 GTs were built last year. Why the delay? "This is a hand-built supercar, which we are committed to deliver flawlessly. We built into our process an extended ramp-up due to several factors such as global homologation testing and supplier constraints," the spokesman said in a statement. Multimatic, the company that is building the GT for Ford explained they "hadn't built cars on this scale before" and it them some time to meet its goal of building one car per work day. The company only reached this goal in the middle of last year. Issues with suppliers and minor issues also played a role. Multimatic did say that everything is on schedule for the full run of 250 vehicles for 2018. At the current pace, this would only mean Ford would produce 888 Its, 112 units short from their original goal. The Ford spokesman said they are sticking with their goal of 1,000 vehicles. This likely means Ford will extend production one more year to meet it. Source: Motor Authority View full article
  2. Ford's original plan for the GT was to build the model for two years, with 250 units being built each year. Then Ford extended the production run to four years and expanded the total number of vehicles built to 1,000. So how is Ford doing on their production targets for the GT? According to Motor Authority, they haven't gone as planned. This information was first brought to light by a GT message board claiming Ford didn't reach their 250 unit goal for 2017. Motor Authority reached out to Ford and a spokesman confirmed that only 137 GTs were built last year. Why the delay? "This is a hand-built supercar, which we are committed to deliver flawlessly. We built into our process an extended ramp-up due to several factors such as global homologation testing and supplier constraints," the spokesman said in a statement. Multimatic, the company that is building the GT for Ford explained they "hadn't built cars on this scale before" and it them some time to meet its goal of building one car per work day. The company only reached this goal in the middle of last year. Issues with suppliers and minor issues also played a role. Multimatic did say that everything is on schedule for the full run of 250 vehicles for 2018. At the current pace, this would only mean Ford would produce 888 Its, 112 units short from their original goal. The Ford spokesman said they are sticking with their goal of 1,000 vehicles. This likely means Ford will extend production one more year to meet it. Source: Motor Authority
  3. Volkswagen's Chattanooga, TN plant will soon have two more vehicles rolling off the line. Hinrich Woebcken, VW's North American CEO told Autocar that the upcoming I.D. Buzz and Crozz EVs for the region will be built at Chattanooga. “For strong product momentum, they need to be produced in the USA. It’s not possible to come into a high-volume scenario with imported cars. We want to localise electric mobility in the US,” said Woebcken. Woebcken also revealed that the models would be 'Americanized'. Source: Autocar View full article
  4. Volkswagen's Chattanooga, TN plant will soon have two more vehicles rolling off the line. Hinrich Woebcken, VW's North American CEO told Autocar that the upcoming I.D. Buzz and Crozz EVs for the region will be built at Chattanooga. “For strong product momentum, they need to be produced in the USA. It’s not possible to come into a high-volume scenario with imported cars. We want to localise electric mobility in the US,” said Woebcken. Woebcken also revealed that the models would be 'Americanized'. Source: Autocar
  5. Since 2014, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne proclaimed that Jeep needed a three-row luxury SUV to better compete with the likes of the Cadillac Escalade and Lincoln Navigator. But this SUV, known as the Grand Wagoneer hasn't materialized. Numerous delays and debates about the design has caused the launch to be pushed time and time again. These delays have a number of dealers concerned that Jeep may miss its opportunity with this new model. "I think our window of opportunity is closing. We could have killed with [the Grand Wagoneer] if it had been available when they first told us about it, but it's a much tougher sell with interest rates and gas prices going up," said an unnamed FCA dealer to Automotive News. John Murphy, research analyst at Bank of America Merrill Lynch said last week at a meeting of the Automotive Press Association that the "Goldilocks" era in auto retailing was coming to a close. Murphy said the next five years would be tough on auto sales due to a number of factors, especially for those trying to sell high-end models. Higher interest rates Increasing gas prices Raw materials becoming more expensive Increasing competition in the light-truck sector The current plan is to launch the Grand Wagoneer in 2019, but production could be pushed back till late in the year or even into 2020. This is due to FCA's plan to keep building the current Ram 1500 at their Warren Truck Plant until the end of year. But depending on demand, this could extend production into 2019, pushing back the time needed to retool the plant for the Grand Wagoneer. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) View full article
  6. Since 2014, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne proclaimed that Jeep needed a three-row luxury SUV to better compete with the likes of the Cadillac Escalade and Lincoln Navigator. But this SUV, known as the Grand Wagoneer hasn't materialized. Numerous delays and debates about the design has caused the launch to be pushed time and time again. These delays have a number of dealers concerned that Jeep may miss its opportunity with this new model. "I think our window of opportunity is closing. We could have killed with [the Grand Wagoneer] if it had been available when they first told us about it, but it's a much tougher sell with interest rates and gas prices going up," said an unnamed FCA dealer to Automotive News. John Murphy, research analyst at Bank of America Merrill Lynch said last week at a meeting of the Automotive Press Association that the "Goldilocks" era in auto retailing was coming to a close. Murphy said the next five years would be tough on auto sales due to a number of factors, especially for those trying to sell high-end models. Higher interest rates Increasing gas prices Raw materials becoming more expensive Increasing competition in the light-truck sector The current plan is to launch the Grand Wagoneer in 2019, but production could be pushed back till late in the year or even into 2020. This is due to FCA's plan to keep building the current Ram 1500 at their Warren Truck Plant until the end of year. But depending on demand, this could extend production into 2019, pushing back the time needed to retool the plant for the Grand Wagoneer. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
  7. Nissan's goal in the U.S. for quite some time was increasing its market share. To do this, the company piled on the incentives and sold more vehicles to rental car fleets. While fine in the short-term, the long-term effects would hurt profitability and brand image. This isn't helped by sales declining 6.5 percent this year and a growing supply of vehicles on dealers - Kelly Blue Book reports an 88-day supply of Nissan vehicles. Nissan is changing its plan for the U.S. Back at the 2018 NADA Show in April, Nissan's U.S. sales chief Dan Mohnke told dealers the company would focus on boosting profitability by reducing inventory. One way to do that is cutting back on production. The Nikkei Asian Review reports Nissan is slashing production as much as 20% at their North American plants. The cuts are already taking place at Nissan's two plants in the U.S. (Canton and Smyrna, TN) and three in Mexico. No layoffs are expected, instead, workers will have an extra day or two off of work. The cuts are expected to end in the fall when production of the next-generation Altima kicks off. It is expected that the production cut will drop Nissan's U.S. sales for the year by three percent. Source: Nikkei Asian Review
  8. Nissan's goal in the U.S. for quite some time was increasing its market share. To do this, the company piled on the incentives and sold more vehicles to rental car fleets. While fine in the short-term, the long-term effects would hurt profitability and brand image. This isn't helped by sales declining 6.5 percent this year and a growing supply of vehicles on dealers - Kelly Blue Book reports an 88-day supply of Nissan vehicles. Nissan is changing its plan for the U.S. Back at the 2018 NADA Show in April, Nissan's U.S. sales chief Dan Mohnke told dealers the company would focus on boosting profitability by reducing inventory. One way to do that is cutting back on production. The Nikkei Asian Review reports Nissan is slashing production as much as 20% at their North American plants. The cuts are already taking place at Nissan's two plants in the U.S. (Canton and Smyrna, TN) and three in Mexico. No layoffs are expected, instead, workers will have an extra day or two off of work. The cuts are expected to end in the fall when production of the next-generation Altima kicks off. It is expected that the production cut will drop Nissan's U.S. sales for the year by three percent. Source: Nikkei Asian Review View full article
  9. William Maley

    Ford To Restart F-150 Production Tomorrow

    Last week, Ford halted production of their F-Series pickup after a fire ravaged a supplier's plant in Southwestern Michigan. While Ford and supplier Meridan said everything was ok, analysts said it the shutdown could hurt Ford if it lasted more than a week. Last night, Ford announced that it would restart production of the F-150 at their Dearborn plant on Friday. Production at Kansas City and Louisville will come back online on Monday. Getting to this point took a lot of work for both Ford and Meridan. According to Automotive News, Ford was the first automaker on site after the fire and was able to retrieve all of the tooling over a 48-hour period. One of dies used was shipped to Meridan's plant in Nottingham, UK. To get it there was a bit of a challenge since it weighs 87,000 pounds. Ford was able to charter an Antonov cargo plane (one of just 21 planes in the world that handle this task) and get it shipped to the UK in just 30 hours. Faced with unexpected adversity, the Ford team, including our global supply partners, showed unbelievable resiliency, turning a devastating event into a shining example of teamwork. Thanks to their heroic efforts, we are resuming production of some of our most important vehicles ahead of our original targets," said Hau Thai-Tang, Ford's executive vice president of product development and purchasing in a statement. Ford declined to say how much production was lost during the shutdown. James Albertine, an analyst with Consumer Edge Research said the week before that Ford could lose up to 15,000 trucks due per week due to the shutdown. The company is planning to make up for some of the lost production by shortening the summer shutdown at the Dearborn and Kansas City plants. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), Ford Ford Restarting F-150, Super Duty Production Ahead Of Schedule After Fire At Magnesium Parts Supplier Ford is resuming production of the F-150 pickup at Dearborn Truck Plant on Friday. Ford team has also successfully repaired the supply chain for Super Duty; production targeted to restart by Monday for Super Duty at Kentucky Truck Plant and F-150 at Kansas City Assembly Plant Ford marshaled a global team of experts, that included partners and suppliers, following a May 2 fire at Meridian Magnesium Products in Eaton Rapids, Mich., to quickly refurbish and relocate tooling needed to produce parts for the Ford F-150, Super Duty and five other vehicles – Ford Expedition, Explorer, Flex and Lincoln Navigator and MKT Because of this quick action, Meridian is producing truck parts again at its Eaton Rapids facility. Plus, Ford airlifted tooling to a Meridian facility in the U.K. to produce parts for F-150, which will further speed production ramp-up Ford Expedition, Explorer, Flex and Lincoln Navigator and MKT production continue uninterrupted Company reaffirms 2018 adjusted EPS guidance range of $1.45 to $1.70; expects adverse impact of $0.12 to $0.14 per share in second quarter due to lost production DEARBORN, Mich., May 16, 2018 – Ford Motor Company is restarting production of the popular F-150 at Dearborn Truck Plant Friday after just over one week of downtime. The company has also successfully repaired the supply chain for Super Duty, with production targeted to restart by Monday at the Kentucky Truck Plant as well as the Kansas City Assembly Plant that also makes F-150 pickups. This follows the massive May 2 fire at the Meridian Magnesium Products facility in Eaton Rapids, Mich. “While the situation remains extremely dynamic, our teams are focused on returning our plants to full production as fast as possible,” said Joe Hinrichs, Ford president, Global Operations. “The ramp-up time to full production is improving every day.” Ford teams, together with suppliers including Walbridge and other contractors, worked nearly around the clock to get America’s best-selling vehicle franchise back on line as quickly as possible. The teams removed 19 dies from Meridian’s badly damaged facility, and in one case, moved an 87,000-pound die from Eaton Rapids, Mich., to Nottingham, U.K., via an Antonov cargo plane – one of the largest in the world – in just 30 hours door-to-door. A die is a tool used to cut or shape material using a press. “Faced with unexpected adversity, the Ford team, including our global supply partners, showed unbelievable resiliency, turning a devastating event into a shining example of teamwork,” said Hau Thai-Tang, Ford’s executive vice president of Product Development and Purchasing. “Thanks to their heroic efforts, we are resuming production of some of our most important vehicles ahead of our original targets.” Work started immediately in the aftermath of the May 2 fire. Teams removed and remediated safety concerns – including dangling siding – and restored electricity, gaining approval to access the site while debris still smoldered inside. This allowed Ford and Meridian to safely retrieve and relocate tools to more quickly resume part production and work to minimize the financial impact of the stalled plants. Ford recovered, repaired and validated most dies that were at the Eaton Rapids facility, and Meridian is now producing parts for the F-150 at two locations – Eaton Rapids and Nottingham, U.K. Production of bolsters for Super Duty is also restarting at the Eaton Rapids plant. Under normal circumstances, moving tooling the size of a bolster die would take approximately 10 days just to get the proper import and export approvals. However, Ford and its suppliers managed to cut the total time for the entire move to 30 hours, including trans-Atlantic flight time. When the team removed the die from the Eaton Rapids factory, it was shipped to Rickenbacker International Airport in Columbus, Ohio. Rickenbacker had both the capacity to handle such a large piece of equipment and allowed an Antonov An-124 Russian plane, one of the largest planes in the world – typically used to transport trains, dump trucks and even a 25-foot sea yacht – to take off as soon as the equipment was loaded. Nearly 4,000 miles away, a team in Nottingham was waiting to receive the die and take it to Meridian’s nearby factory. In between, the Ford team received a U.K. import license for the die – a mere two hours before the plane touched down. Parts produced at Nottingham are being shipped via daily flights on a Boeing 747 jet until production in Eaton Rapids returns to pre-fire levels. Inventories of Ford’s best-selling F-Series pickups and other vehicles remain strong and customers won’t have a problem finding the model they want.
  10. Last week, Ford halted production of their F-Series pickup after a fire ravaged a supplier's plant in Southwestern Michigan. While Ford and supplier Meridan said everything was ok, analysts said it the shutdown could hurt Ford if it lasted more than a week. Last night, Ford announced that it would restart production of the F-150 at their Dearborn plant on Friday. Production at Kansas City and Louisville will come back online on Monday. Getting to this point took a lot of work for both Ford and Meridan. According to Automotive News, Ford was the first automaker on site after the fire and was able to retrieve all of the tooling over a 48-hour period. One of dies used was shipped to Meridan's plant in Nottingham, UK. To get it there was a bit of a challenge since it weighs 87,000 pounds. Ford was able to charter an Antonov cargo plane (one of just 21 planes in the world that handle this task) and get it shipped to the UK in just 30 hours. Faced with unexpected adversity, the Ford team, including our global supply partners, showed unbelievable resiliency, turning a devastating event into a shining example of teamwork. Thanks to their heroic efforts, we are resuming production of some of our most important vehicles ahead of our original targets," said Hau Thai-Tang, Ford's executive vice president of product development and purchasing in a statement. Ford declined to say how much production was lost during the shutdown. James Albertine, an analyst with Consumer Edge Research said the week before that Ford could lose up to 15,000 trucks due per week due to the shutdown. The company is planning to make up for some of the lost production by shortening the summer shutdown at the Dearborn and Kansas City plants. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), Ford Ford Restarting F-150, Super Duty Production Ahead Of Schedule After Fire At Magnesium Parts Supplier Ford is resuming production of the F-150 pickup at Dearborn Truck Plant on Friday. Ford team has also successfully repaired the supply chain for Super Duty; production targeted to restart by Monday for Super Duty at Kentucky Truck Plant and F-150 at Kansas City Assembly Plant Ford marshaled a global team of experts, that included partners and suppliers, following a May 2 fire at Meridian Magnesium Products in Eaton Rapids, Mich., to quickly refurbish and relocate tooling needed to produce parts for the Ford F-150, Super Duty and five other vehicles – Ford Expedition, Explorer, Flex and Lincoln Navigator and MKT Because of this quick action, Meridian is producing truck parts again at its Eaton Rapids facility. Plus, Ford airlifted tooling to a Meridian facility in the U.K. to produce parts for F-150, which will further speed production ramp-up Ford Expedition, Explorer, Flex and Lincoln Navigator and MKT production continue uninterrupted Company reaffirms 2018 adjusted EPS guidance range of $1.45 to $1.70; expects adverse impact of $0.12 to $0.14 per share in second quarter due to lost production DEARBORN, Mich., May 16, 2018 – Ford Motor Company is restarting production of the popular F-150 at Dearborn Truck Plant Friday after just over one week of downtime. The company has also successfully repaired the supply chain for Super Duty, with production targeted to restart by Monday at the Kentucky Truck Plant as well as the Kansas City Assembly Plant that also makes F-150 pickups. This follows the massive May 2 fire at the Meridian Magnesium Products facility in Eaton Rapids, Mich. “While the situation remains extremely dynamic, our teams are focused on returning our plants to full production as fast as possible,” said Joe Hinrichs, Ford president, Global Operations. “The ramp-up time to full production is improving every day.” Ford teams, together with suppliers including Walbridge and other contractors, worked nearly around the clock to get America’s best-selling vehicle franchise back on line as quickly as possible. The teams removed 19 dies from Meridian’s badly damaged facility, and in one case, moved an 87,000-pound die from Eaton Rapids, Mich., to Nottingham, U.K., via an Antonov cargo plane – one of the largest in the world – in just 30 hours door-to-door. A die is a tool used to cut or shape material using a press. “Faced with unexpected adversity, the Ford team, including our global supply partners, showed unbelievable resiliency, turning a devastating event into a shining example of teamwork,” said Hau Thai-Tang, Ford’s executive vice president of Product Development and Purchasing. “Thanks to their heroic efforts, we are resuming production of some of our most important vehicles ahead of our original targets.” Work started immediately in the aftermath of the May 2 fire. Teams removed and remediated safety concerns – including dangling siding – and restored electricity, gaining approval to access the site while debris still smoldered inside. This allowed Ford and Meridian to safely retrieve and relocate tools to more quickly resume part production and work to minimize the financial impact of the stalled plants. Ford recovered, repaired and validated most dies that were at the Eaton Rapids facility, and Meridian is now producing parts for the F-150 at two locations – Eaton Rapids and Nottingham, U.K. Production of bolsters for Super Duty is also restarting at the Eaton Rapids plant. Under normal circumstances, moving tooling the size of a bolster die would take approximately 10 days just to get the proper import and export approvals. However, Ford and its suppliers managed to cut the total time for the entire move to 30 hours, including trans-Atlantic flight time. When the team removed the die from the Eaton Rapids factory, it was shipped to Rickenbacker International Airport in Columbus, Ohio. Rickenbacker had both the capacity to handle such a large piece of equipment and allowed an Antonov An-124 Russian plane, one of the largest planes in the world – typically used to transport trains, dump trucks and even a 25-foot sea yacht – to take off as soon as the equipment was loaded. Nearly 4,000 miles away, a team in Nottingham was waiting to receive the die and take it to Meridian’s nearby factory. In between, the Ford team received a U.K. import license for the die – a mere two hours before the plane touched down. Parts produced at Nottingham are being shipped via daily flights on a Boeing 747 jet until production in Eaton Rapids returns to pre-fire levels. Inventories of Ford’s best-selling F-Series pickups and other vehicles remain strong and customers won’t have a problem finding the model they want. View full article
  11. A fire at a supplier's plant last week is causing some headaches for Ford. The company has halted production of the F-150 at Kansas City Assembly Plant, and F-Series Super Duty at Kentucky Truck and Ohio Assembly due to a parts shortage. F-150 production at Ford's Dearborn plant is expected to be idled either today or tomorrow. The supplier, Meridian Lightweight Technologies makes instrument panel components for the F-Series trucks. Last Wednesday, the company's factory in Eaton Rapids, Michigan caught fire. The cause is still being investigated, but the Lansing State Journal reports the fire started in an area known as the "tunnel," a place where workers put magnesium scraps on a conveyor belt to be melted down. The fire caused a number of explosions to take place in the factory. Two people were injured and 150 workers were evacuated. The situation at the moment is ok according to Ford and analysts if the shutdown only lasts a week. There is an 84-day supply of trucks and Ford is working with Meridan to figure out the “next steps.” But as AutoPacific analyst Dave Sullivan points out, this could cause some serious problems for Ford if it lasts more than a week. "They should be able to weather a short-term shutdown. But if this goes longer than a week, it could really hurt second-quarter performance," Sullivan tells the Free Press. Ford isn't the only automaker that is being affected by this. General Motors has halted production of the Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana at their Wentizville assembly plant in Missouri. FCA told Automotive News that the fire has affected the output of the Chrysler Pacifica, built at their Windsor, Ontario plant. They are "adjusting production schedules as needed to minimize plant downtime (and) will make up any lost production." Mercedes-Benz in a statement said, "we have cancelled production shifts in certain areas and adjusted production hours for our team members this week," at their Vance, Alabama plant - home to C-Class, GLE-Class, GLE-Coupe, and GLS-Class production. BMW told Automotive News that production of the X5 at their South Carolina plant will be affected somewhat, but their current supply of parts should keep them running for the time being. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), Detroit Free Press, Lansing State Journal View full article
  12. A fire at a supplier's plant last week is causing some headaches for Ford. The company has halted production of the F-150 at Kansas City Assembly Plant, and F-Series Super Duty at Kentucky Truck and Ohio Assembly due to a parts shortage. F-150 production at Ford's Dearborn plant is expected to be idled either today or tomorrow. The supplier, Meridian Lightweight Technologies makes instrument panel components for the F-Series trucks. Last Wednesday, the company's factory in Eaton Rapids, Michigan caught fire. The cause is still being investigated, but the Lansing State Journal reports the fire started in an area known as the "tunnel," a place where workers put magnesium scraps on a conveyor belt to be melted down. The fire caused a number of explosions to take place in the factory. Two people were injured and 150 workers were evacuated. The situation at the moment is ok according to Ford and analysts if the shutdown only lasts a week. There is an 84-day supply of trucks and Ford is working with Meridan to figure out the “next steps.” But as AutoPacific analyst Dave Sullivan points out, this could cause some serious problems for Ford if it lasts more than a week. "They should be able to weather a short-term shutdown. But if this goes longer than a week, it could really hurt second-quarter performance," Sullivan tells the Free Press. Ford isn't the only automaker that is being affected by this. General Motors has halted production of the Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana at their Wentizville assembly plant in Missouri. FCA told Automotive News that the fire has affected the output of the Chrysler Pacifica, built at their Windsor, Ontario plant. They are "adjusting production schedules as needed to minimize plant downtime (and) will make up any lost production." Mercedes-Benz in a statement said, "we have cancelled production shifts in certain areas and adjusted production hours for our team members this week," at their Vance, Alabama plant - home to C-Class, GLE-Class, GLE-Coupe, and GLS-Class production. BMW told Automotive News that production of the X5 at their South Carolina plant will be affected somewhat, but their current supply of parts should keep them running for the time being. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), Detroit Free Press, Lansing State Journal
  13. Back in December, we reported that the Cadillac ATS sedan would be no more for the 2019 model year via a General Motors VIN Decoder document. Only the coupe would stick around. Cadillac declined to comment at the time. Yesterday, new evidence to the sedan's departure came to light via GM's fleet order guide. The Truth About Cars tried to get a comment from Cadillac about this new information, but wasn't able to. That changed this morning. “This year will bring forth significant changes to our product portfolio, most notably with the introduction of the all-new XT4 SUV as well as concluding the successful lifecycle of the ATS Sedan in North America. The ATS Coupe, which is on a later lifecycle, will continue into 2019,” wrote Cadillac spokesman Donny Nordlicht in an email to The Truth About Cars. The ending of ATS sedan production is to allow GM to start the retooling process at Lansing Grand River Assembly plant for the "next generation of Cadillac sedans”. We're assuming this means the upcoming CT5 - replacement for ATS, CTS, and XTS - will be built here. Source: The Truth About Cars, 2
  14. Back in December, we reported that the Cadillac ATS sedan would be no more for the 2019 model year via a General Motors VIN Decoder document. Only the coupe would stick around. Cadillac declined to comment at the time. Yesterday, new evidence to the sedan's departure came to light via GM's fleet order guide. The Truth About Cars tried to get a comment from Cadillac about this new information, but wasn't able to. That changed this morning. “This year will bring forth significant changes to our product portfolio, most notably with the introduction of the all-new XT4 SUV as well as concluding the successful lifecycle of the ATS Sedan in North America. The ATS Coupe, which is on a later lifecycle, will continue into 2019,” wrote Cadillac spokesman Donny Nordlicht in an email to The Truth About Cars. The ending of ATS sedan production is to allow GM to start the retooling process at Lansing Grand River Assembly plant for the "next generation of Cadillac sedans”. We're assuming this means the upcoming CT5 - replacement for ATS, CTS, and XTS - will be built here. Source: The Truth About Cars, 2 View full article
  15. It has been a rough start for the 2019 Ram 1500 production line. FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne said on an earnings call last week that the Sterling Heights Assembly plant, home to the 2019 model is only operating at 60 percent of where the company wants it to be. Automotive News learned from sources at the FCA and suppliers that the plant was building around 1,000 trucks per day last week. "That's not where we need to be. We allowed enough time in 2017 to get that installation up, but it's proven to be challenging," said Marchionne. Why the low production rate? A union source explained there are a few reasons. One is that suppliers are having a difficult time with providing parts for two-generations of the Ram 1500 - FCA is planning on building the last-generation model to help keep sales up while production ramps up on the next-generation 1500. The Sterling Heights' plant is also undergoing construction for the 2019 Ram 1500, which cuts the number of trucks that can be built. Also, the union source said that some workers still lack proper training on building the new model. Another source said that more than 2,500 2019 Ram 1500s were sitting in holding areas due to an electrical issue. Once fixed, the trucks will be shipped out to dealers. Getting production up and running for the 2019 Ram 1500 is important for FCA. Marchionne said it and the redesigned Jeep Wrangler need smooth launches if the company wants to achieve its financial goals for this year. To this end, the company is planning on spending more than $300 million to get the production ramp-up back on track. Automotive News also obtained a revised production calendar from March that indicates FCA will run the Sterling Heights plant every weekend and holiday through Labor Day. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) View full article
  16. It has been a rough start for the 2019 Ram 1500 production line. FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne said on an earnings call last week that the Sterling Heights Assembly plant, home to the 2019 model is only operating at 60 percent of where the company wants it to be. Automotive News learned from sources at the FCA and suppliers that the plant was building around 1,000 trucks per day last week. "That's not where we need to be. We allowed enough time in 2017 to get that installation up, but it's proven to be challenging," said Marchionne. Why the low production rate? A union source explained there are a few reasons. One is that suppliers are having a difficult time with providing parts for two-generations of the Ram 1500 - FCA is planning on building the last-generation model to help keep sales up while production ramps up on the next-generation 1500. The Sterling Heights' plant is also undergoing construction for the 2019 Ram 1500, which cuts the number of trucks that can be built. Also, the union source said that some workers still lack proper training on building the new model. Another source said that more than 2,500 2019 Ram 1500s were sitting in holding areas due to an electrical issue. Once fixed, the trucks will be shipped out to dealers. Getting production up and running for the 2019 Ram 1500 is important for FCA. Marchionne said it and the redesigned Jeep Wrangler need smooth launches if the company wants to achieve its financial goals for this year. To this end, the company is planning on spending more than $300 million to get the production ramp-up back on track. Automotive News also obtained a revised production calendar from March that indicates FCA will run the Sterling Heights plant every weekend and holiday through Labor Day. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
  17. The bad luck is continuing at Tesla. Buzzfeed News reports that Tesla has temporarily shut down the Model 3 production line at the Freemont plant for a week. Employees at Tesla tell Buzzfeed the announcement came suddenly and they have the choice of using vacation days or stay home without pay. Some will get the chance to work in other parts of the plant. A Tesla spokesperson said the shutdown is due to the company wanting to “improve automation.” This is the second time this year that Tesla has shut down the Model 3 production line. Back in late February, reports came out that Tesla had shut down the Model 3 production line. "Our Model 3 production plan includes periods of planned downtime in both Fremont and Gigafactory 1. These periods are used to improve automation and systematically address bottlenecks in order to increase production rates. This is not unusual and is in fact common in production ramps like this," said Tesla in a statement at the time. It should be noted this exact statement was issued again after news broke about the second shutdown. This comes on the heels of an interview last week with CBS' This Morning where CEO Elon Musk admitted the Model 3 had too much new technology and relied too much on robots in the production process. Source: Buzzfeed News, Automotive News (Subscription Required)
  18. The bad luck is continuing at Tesla. Buzzfeed News reports that Tesla has temporarily shut down the Model 3 production line at the Freemont plant for a week. Employees at Tesla tell Buzzfeed the announcement came suddenly and they have the choice of using vacation days or stay home without pay. Some will get the chance to work in other parts of the plant. A Tesla spokesperson said the shutdown is due to the company wanting to “improve automation.” This is the second time this year that Tesla has shut down the Model 3 production line. Back in late February, reports came out that Tesla had shut down the Model 3 production line. "Our Model 3 production plan includes periods of planned downtime in both Fremont and Gigafactory 1. These periods are used to improve automation and systematically address bottlenecks in order to increase production rates. This is not unusual and is in fact common in production ramps like this," said Tesla in a statement at the time. It should be noted this exact statement was issued again after news broke about the second shutdown. This comes on the heels of an interview last week with CBS' This Morning where CEO Elon Musk admitted the Model 3 had too much new technology and relied too much on robots in the production process. Source: Buzzfeed News, Automotive News (Subscription Required) View full article
  19. Lincoln only established itself in China back in 2015, but it is proving to be quite successful. Last year, Lincoln sold 54,124 models in the country. But the brand has big ambitions and believes it could sell more models in the world's largest auto market if they started building models there. According to Reuters, Lincoln is planning on building up five new vehicles in China by 2022. Officially, Ford has announced a new crossover for the Chinese market in 2019. But sources tell the news service that the automaker is planning on building the upcoming Aviator in China by late 2019 or early 2020. This will be followed by the successors to the MKC and MKZ, and the Nautilus 2021. Wrapping up Lincoln's China production plans is a small, coupe-like crossover expected in 2022. “Our localization plans to support the China market are on track and will serve to further drive Lincoln’s growth in China. Beyond that, it would be premature to discuss our future product and production plans or timing,” said Lincoln spokeswoman Angie Kozleski when reached for comment. Moving production to China would help Lincoln immensely. Currently, Ford imports Lincoln models from the U.S. to China. This means they get hit with a 25 percent tariff and aren't able to compete with the likes of Cadillac and the Germans. Even if China does reduce the tariff on imported vehicles - something Chinese President Xi Jinping promised earlier this week, it might not make a big enough difference for Lincoln to close the gap. “As long as Lincolns are not manufactured in China, the brand’s sales will no doubt suffer continuously,” said Zhu Kongyuan, Secretary General of the China Auto Dealers Chamber of Commerce. Not helping matters is the war of words between the U.S. and China, and the possibility of a trade war on the horizon. Source: Reuters View full article
  20. Lincoln only established itself in China back in 2015, but it is proving to be quite successful. Last year, Lincoln sold 54,124 models in the country. But the brand has big ambitions and believes it could sell more models in the world's largest auto market if they started building models there. According to Reuters, Lincoln is planning on building up five new vehicles in China by 2022. Officially, Ford has announced a new crossover for the Chinese market in 2019. But sources tell the news service that the automaker is planning on building the upcoming Aviator in China by late 2019 or early 2020. This will be followed by the successors to the MKC and MKZ, and the Nautilus 2021. Wrapping up Lincoln's China production plans is a small, coupe-like crossover expected in 2022. “Our localization plans to support the China market are on track and will serve to further drive Lincoln’s growth in China. Beyond that, it would be premature to discuss our future product and production plans or timing,” said Lincoln spokeswoman Angie Kozleski when reached for comment. Moving production to China would help Lincoln immensely. Currently, Ford imports Lincoln models from the U.S. to China. This means they get hit with a 25 percent tariff and aren't able to compete with the likes of Cadillac and the Germans. Even if China does reduce the tariff on imported vehicles - something Chinese President Xi Jinping promised earlier this week, it might not make a big enough difference for Lincoln to close the gap. “As long as Lincolns are not manufactured in China, the brand’s sales will no doubt suffer continuously,” said Zhu Kongyuan, Secretary General of the China Auto Dealers Chamber of Commerce. Not helping matters is the war of words between the U.S. and China, and the possibility of a trade war on the horizon. Source: Reuters
  21. William Maley

    Tesla's Mad Model 3 Production Dash

    Saturday night at Tesla's Fremont, California assembly plant was a sight to behold. "...packed with people Saturday evening as the last hours of the quarter drew to a close. Red couches and tall white tables were set up outside, a DJ played music and a truck selling Vietnamese food was on hand," Bloomberg reports. Was Tesla was celebrating an important milestone? No, the company was using this to try and motivate their workers to get more Model 3s out the door to provide some good news for investors. The past week could be considered one of the worst for the electric car maker. Moody's downgraded Tesla's credit rating further into junk status due to production issues and growing obligations. The NTSB has opened a new investigation into Tesla after a driver was killed when his Model X crashed into a barrier and caught fire. "Unclear if automated control system was active at time of crash. Issues examined include: post-crash fire, steps to make vehicle safe for removal from scene," the NTSB wrote earlier in the week. Yesterday, the NTSB said it was "unhappy" with Tesla releasing information into the crash on their blog. The NTSB has a long history of guarding their investigations very closely. Part of this is due to the board being a small agency, which means it relies quite heavily on the participants involved in an investigation. On Thursday, Tesla recalled 123,000 Model S vehicles built before April 2016 for a power-steering issue. Yesterday, Tesla CEO Elon Musk posted a number of tweets, saying the company had gone bankrupt. It was an April Fool's joke, but it did not go over so well. In early trading this morning, shares in Tesla dropped as much as 5.7 percent. Tesla estimated they would deliver 10,000 Model 3s by the end of the first quarter. We'll likely find out in the next few days whether or not Tesla was able to pull this off when their first-quarter report comes out. But a number of analysts believe Tesla came up short. Source: Bloomberg
  22. William Maley

    Tesla's Mad Model 3 Production Dash

    Saturday night at Tesla's Fremont, California assembly plant was a sight to behold. "...packed with people Saturday evening as the last hours of the quarter drew to a close. Red couches and tall white tables were set up outside, a DJ played music and a truck selling Vietnamese food was on hand," Bloomberg reports. Was Tesla was celebrating an important milestone? No, the company was using this to try and motivate their workers to get more Model 3s out the door to provide some good news for investors. The past week could be considered one of the worst for the electric car maker. Moody's downgraded Tesla's credit rating further into junk status due to production issues and growing obligations. The NTSB has opened a new investigation into Tesla after a driver was killed when his Model X crashed into a barrier and caught fire. "Unclear if automated control system was active at time of crash. Issues examined include: post-crash fire, steps to make vehicle safe for removal from scene," the NTSB wrote earlier in the week. Yesterday, the NTSB said it was "unhappy" with Tesla releasing information into the crash on their blog. The NTSB has a long history of guarding their investigations very closely. Part of this is due to the board being a small agency, which means it relies quite heavily on the participants involved in an investigation. On Thursday, Tesla recalled 123,000 Model S vehicles built before April 2016 for a power-steering issue. Yesterday, Tesla CEO Elon Musk posted a number of tweets, saying the company had gone bankrupt. It was an April Fool's joke, but it did not go over so well. In early trading this morning, shares in Tesla dropped as much as 5.7 percent. Tesla estimated they would deliver 10,000 Model 3s by the end of the first quarter. We'll likely find out in the next few days whether or not Tesla was able to pull this off when their first-quarter report comes out. But a number of analysts believe Tesla came up short. Source: Bloomberg View full article
  23. William Maley

    BMW Not Planning Mass Production of EVs Until 2020

    BMW has plans of launching 25 electrified models by 2025 - 12 of those being fully electric. But don't expect to start seeing mass production of those 12 models anytime soon. BMW CEO Harald Krueger told analysts in Munich that its current electric vehicle technology is not profitable enough to scale up to volume production. “We wanted to wait for the fifth generation to be much more cost competitive. We do not want to scale up with the fourth generation,” said Krueger. The difference in costs between the fourth and fifth-generation according to Krueger "was a “two digit number” in percent terms." BMW is currently developing a sixth-generation of electric technologies that encompasses research into battery cells, and will hopefully bring down the costs. Currently, BMW's only EV is the i3. The lineup will expand beginning next year with the MINI E. This will be followed by the iX3 crossover in 2020. A sedan based on the iVision Dynamics concept will also be joining the lineup, though when exactly is unclear at this time. Auto Express which first reported this news says it will come out in 2020. But when asked by Automotive News Europe, Krueger said, "we shall see." Source: Reuters, Auto Express, Automotive News Europe (Subscription Required)
  24. BMW has plans of launching 25 electrified models by 2025 - 12 of those being fully electric. But don't expect to start seeing mass production of those 12 models anytime soon. BMW CEO Harald Krueger told analysts in Munich that its current electric vehicle technology is not profitable enough to scale up to volume production. “We wanted to wait for the fifth generation to be much more cost competitive. We do not want to scale up with the fourth generation,” said Krueger. The difference in costs between the fourth and fifth-generation according to Krueger "was a “two digit number” in percent terms." BMW is currently developing a sixth-generation of electric technologies that encompasses research into battery cells, and will hopefully bring down the costs. Currently, BMW's only EV is the i3. The lineup will expand beginning next year with the MINI E. This will be followed by the iX3 crossover in 2020. A sedan based on the iVision Dynamics concept will also be joining the lineup, though when exactly is unclear at this time. Auto Express which first reported this news says it will come out in 2020. But when asked by Automotive News Europe, Krueger said, "we shall see." Source: Reuters, Auto Express, Automotive News Europe (Subscription Required) View full article
  25. The redesigned Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator have been moving quite rapidly off dealer lots. In January, sales of the Expedition rose 59 percent while the Navigator saw a jaw-dropping 132 percent increase. But this is proving to be a problem for Ford as their dealers can't get enough of either model to satisfy consumer demand. A source told Automotive News that CEO Jim Hackett has banned Ford employees from ordering Expeditions and Navigators to help get more out into the world. The source said restricting employees from ordering a mainstream vehicle is very rare. "We could have sold a lot more in January if we had them," said Mark LaNeve, Ford's vice president for U.S. marketing, sales and service during Ford's monthly sales call earlier this month. Ford will be addressing this issue with a $25 million investment into their Kentucky Truck Plant today. The investment will allow the plant to produce 25 percent more Expedition and Navigator models. "It's important for this plant to produce more vehicles. In this segment, people will pay for a great product. The dealer feedback has been even stronger than we've hoped for," said Joe Hinrichs, Ford's president of global markets. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), Ford Press Release is on Page 2 FORD INCREASING PRODUCTION OF ALL-NEW LINCOLN NAVIGATOR, FORD EXPEDITION TO MEET GREATER-THAN-ANTICIPATED CUSTOMER DEMAND Ford is increasing production of two entirely new SUVs – the Lincoln Navigator and Ford Expedition – to meet surging customer demand A new $25 million investment brings Ford’s total investment at Kentucky Truck Plant to $925 million and allows the company to increase manufacturing line speed; company has boosted production targets for full-size SUVs approximately 25 percent since fall This additional investment and advanced manufacturing upgrades all help the company improve its operational fitness. Upgrades include 400 new robots, enhanced data analytics to help the plant operate more efficiently and a new 3D printer that enables workers to make parts and tools more quickly and cheaper LOUISVILLE, Ky., Feb. 12, 2018 – Ford is increasing production of two popular full-size SUVs to meet surging demand for both all-new models. The company is using advanced manufacturing technologies and an upskilled workforce to increase line speed at its Kentucky Truck Plant to build even more Lincoln Navigator and Ford Expedition SUVs, boosting production targets approximately 25 percent since last fall when the SUVs hit the market. “The response from customers regarding our new full-size SUVs has been exceptional,” said Joe Hinrichs, president, Global Operations. “Using a combination of Ford’s advanced manufacturing and American hard work and ingenuity, we’ll deliver more high-quality Lincoln Navigators and Ford Expeditions to customers than originally planned.” A new $25 million investment for additional manufacturing enhancements brings Ford’s total investment at Kentucky Truck Plant to $925 million and allows the company to increase manufacturing line speed. This investment and advanced manufacturing upgrades are examples of the company’s quest to improve its operational fitness. Upgrades include 400 new robots, a new 3D printer that enables workers to make parts and tools more quickly and cheaper as well as enhanced data analytics to keep the assembly line moving as efficiently as possible. Surging customer demand Lincoln dealers simply can’t keep the entirely new Navigator on dealer lots; the luxury SUVs are spending an average of just seven days at the dealership before they are sold. Customers are trading in Land Rover and Mercedes vehicles in exchange for a Navigator, and nearly 85 percent of all Navigator buyers are choosing high-end Black Label and Reserve models. Customer demand for the highly-equipped Black Label and Reserve series contributed to an average transaction price increase of more than $21,000 in January versus a year ago. Navigator retail sales were up triple digits in every region of the country last month. Navigator sales more than doubled last month, thanks to growth in key markets including Florida, Texas and California, a competitive conquest rate of 40 percent and new interest from younger consumers. Expedition also is off to a strong start, with the top-of-the-line Platinum trim models representing 29 percent of sales – pushing transaction price increases up $7,800 in January. Expedition retail sales were up nearly 57 percent last month and vehicles are spending just seven days on dealer lots. To ensure customers can get vehicles as quickly as possible, Kentucky Truck Plant assembly line workers are working overtime and voluntary weekend shifts. View full article

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