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  1. Back in June, Ford and Volkswagen signed a Memorandum of Understanding for a new alliance that would focus on commercial vehicles. Since then, the two companies have been in discussions about it and there have been various rumors flying about. Yesterday, Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess added some more fuel to the fire. Speaking to reporters outside of the White House, Diess revealed that the German automaker is interested in using Ford's plants in the U.S. to build vehicles. "We might use Ford capacity here in the U.S. to build cars for us," said Diess. “We need additional capacity here in the United States, we need an additional car plant for VW and Audi combined.” The company is in "quite advanced negotiations in Tennessee" about a new plant in the state - Volkswagen operates one in Chattanooga for the Passat and Atlas. But Diess did say "there might be other options as well," most likely talking about using some of Ford's plants in the U.S. For now, this is an idea being floating out there. The two are continuing their talks about what this alliance will look like. Diess said more details would come out in January. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) View full article
  2. Back in June, Ford and Volkswagen signed a Memorandum of Understanding for a new alliance that would focus on commercial vehicles. Since then, the two companies have been in discussions about it and there have been various rumors flying about. Yesterday, Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess added some more fuel to the fire. Speaking to reporters outside of the White House, Diess revealed that the German automaker is interested in using Ford's plants in the U.S. to build vehicles. "We might use Ford capacity here in the U.S. to build cars for us," said Diess. “We need additional capacity here in the United States, we need an additional car plant for VW and Audi combined.” The company is in "quite advanced negotiations in Tennessee" about a new plant in the state - Volkswagen operates one in Chattanooga for the Passat and Atlas. But Diess did say "there might be other options as well," most likely talking about using some of Ford's plants in the U.S. For now, this is an idea being floating out there. The two are continuing their talks about what this alliance will look like. Diess said more details would come out in January. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
  3. Ford has been banking on China to help revive sales of Lincoln and made plans to start building models in late 2019. But the on-going trade war between the U.S. and China has caused the company to reconsider their plans. “What we want to do is accelerate that. We will look for opportunities, but it’s a big undertaking and I think it won’t be a significant change in our plans,” said Joy Falotico, head of Lincoln and Ford’s chief marketing officer to Bloomberg. Currently, Lincoln doesn't have any local production in China. Instead, the brand has been importing vehicles from the U.S. which has meant getting hit with a 40 percent tariff by the Chinese government. This has caused sales of Lincoln vehicles to slow to a crawl. Last year, Lincoln sales rose 66 percent in China. But in October, sales are up just 3 percent. Ford is trying to move the timing of Lincoln production to sometime before late 2019. According to Falotico, moving the timing slightly would be a big help. The first model that would be part of this plan is the recently introduced Aviator. Also under consideration is Lincoln plans to export some Chinese-built models to the U.S. Falotico said the brand would likely build the same models in both countries. Source: Bloomberg (Subscription Required) View full article
  4. Ford has been banking on China to help revive sales of Lincoln and made plans to start building models in late 2019. But the on-going trade war between the U.S. and China has caused the company to reconsider their plans. “What we want to do is accelerate that. We will look for opportunities, but it’s a big undertaking and I think it won’t be a significant change in our plans,” said Joy Falotico, head of Lincoln and Ford’s chief marketing officer to Bloomberg. Currently, Lincoln doesn't have any local production in China. Instead, the brand has been importing vehicles from the U.S. which has meant getting hit with a 40 percent tariff by the Chinese government. This has caused sales of Lincoln vehicles to slow to a crawl. Last year, Lincoln sales rose 66 percent in China. But in October, sales are up just 3 percent. Ford is trying to move the timing of Lincoln production to sometime before late 2019. According to Falotico, moving the timing slightly would be a big help. The first model that would be part of this plan is the recently introduced Aviator. Also under consideration is Lincoln plans to export some Chinese-built models to the U.S. Falotico said the brand would likely build the same models in both countries. Source: Bloomberg (Subscription Required)
  5. Beginning next month, Toyota will slow down one of its three assembly lines at its Georgetown, Kentucky plant. Aside from building the Avalon and Lexus ES, Georgetown is home to the Camry - the best-selling car in the U.S. for the past 16 years. “The auto industry is cyclical, and our normal process is to proactively plan months in advance for volume adjustments,” said Rick Hesterberg, a Toyota spokesman to Bloomberg. Hesterberg declined to comment on how much production would be reduced by the slowdown. He did say that none of the 8,000 permanent workers or 1,500 temps will be laid off during this slowdown. Demand for the Camry has been slipping for the past few years as buyers are opting for SUVs and trucks. So far in 2018, Camry sales have 6.1 percent when compared to the same time last year. Source: Bloomberg View full article
  6. Beginning next month, Toyota will slow down one of its three assembly lines at its Georgetown, Kentucky plant. Aside from building the Avalon and Lexus ES, Georgetown is home to the Camry - the best-selling car in the U.S. for the past 16 years. “The auto industry is cyclical, and our normal process is to proactively plan months in advance for volume adjustments,” said Rick Hesterberg, a Toyota spokesman to Bloomberg. Hesterberg declined to comment on how much production would be reduced by the slowdown. He did say that none of the 8,000 permanent workers or 1,500 temps will be laid off during this slowdown. Demand for the Camry has been slipping for the past few years as buyers are opting for SUVs and trucks. So far in 2018, Camry sales have 6.1 percent when compared to the same time last year. Source: Bloomberg
  7. General Motors took a page out Fiat Chrysler Automobiles' playbook by continuing the build the outgoing-generation Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra alongside the next-generation models in an effort to keep sales up. But sooner or later, the previous-generation models will end production. When is that? During GM's third-quarter earnings call, CFO Dhivya Suryadevarat said the automaker would begin winding down production the K2 crew cab models early next year, followed by double cab and regular cab models beginning in "the early second half of next year." GM's Oshawa, Ontario plant has been helping with the production of the outgoing models. According to Automotive News, Oshawa receives unfinished Silverado and Sierra double cab bodies from the Fort Wayne, Indiana plant. Models are painted and undergo final assembly. Known as the "Oshawa shuttle," it started at the beginning of the year and would add heavy-duty pickups and a second production shift in the summer. GM spokeswoman Kim Carpenter told AN the program is expected to "run into late 2019 based on market demand." Production of the next-generation (T1) pickups began in July at Fort Wayne, followed by double cab models last month. GM's Silao, Mexico plant will begin production of the regular and crew cab models in January. Unlike FCA, which experienced a number of problems with the launch of the next-generation Ram 1500, GM was able to deliver 45,000 next-generation pickups in the third-quarter. The big question is what happens to the hourly workers building the trucks at Oshawa. GM declined to comment, but AN speculates they could be laid off or moved to other positions. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) View full article
  8. General Motors took a page out Fiat Chrysler Automobiles' playbook by continuing the build the outgoing-generation Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra alongside the next-generation models in an effort to keep sales up. But sooner or later, the previous-generation models will end production. When is that? During GM's third-quarter earnings call, CFO Dhivya Suryadevarat said the automaker would begin winding down production the K2 crew cab models early next year, followed by double cab and regular cab models beginning in "the early second half of next year." GM's Oshawa, Ontario plant has been helping with the production of the outgoing models. According to Automotive News, Oshawa receives unfinished Silverado and Sierra double cab bodies from the Fort Wayne, Indiana plant. Models are painted and undergo final assembly. Known as the "Oshawa shuttle," it started at the beginning of the year and would add heavy-duty pickups and a second production shift in the summer. GM spokeswoman Kim Carpenter told AN the program is expected to "run into late 2019 based on market demand." Production of the next-generation (T1) pickups began in July at Fort Wayne, followed by double cab models last month. GM's Silao, Mexico plant will begin production of the regular and crew cab models in January. Unlike FCA, which experienced a number of problems with the launch of the next-generation Ram 1500, GM was able to deliver 45,000 next-generation pickups in the third-quarter. The big question is what happens to the hourly workers building the trucks at Oshawa. GM declined to comment, but AN speculates they could be laid off or moved to other positions. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
  9. Earlier this year, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles announced that it would be moving production of the next-generation Ram HD trucks from Saltillo, Mexico to the Warren Truck Plant in Michigan. This was due to the U.S. Government threatening steep tariffs on Mexican-made vehicles. Saltillo would continue producing global commercial vehicles. But with a new Free Trade Agreement between the U.S., Canada, and Mexico; FCA is having second thoughts about moving production. CEO Mike Manley told Reuters that he wants Ram Trucks to move out of third place with truck sales. “We need to get ourselves into second” place. Frankly, I don’t care which of the two I take share from,” he said. Thus, he is reconsidering the decision made by his predecessor and keep some Ram HD production in Mexico. “With a combination of Warren and Mexico building what we call the classic truck, we have enough production to increase output next year if it’s required. In my opinion it will be required. We are gaining share. Obviously I am looking for that to continue, but it’s an incredibly competitive segment,” said Manley. The new agreement between the two countries calls for no import cap, so long as the vehicle meets a certain amount of content from various countries. Source: Reuters View full article
  10. Earlier this year, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles announced that it would be moving production of the next-generation Ram HD trucks from Saltillo, Mexico to the Warren Truck Plant in Michigan. This was due to the U.S. Government threatening steep tariffs on Mexican-made vehicles. Saltillo would continue producing global commercial vehicles. But with a new Free Trade Agreement between the U.S., Canada, and Mexico; FCA is having second thoughts about moving production. CEO Mike Manley told Reuters that he wants Ram Trucks to move out of third place with truck sales. “We need to get ourselves into second” place. Frankly, I don’t care which of the two I take share from,” he said. Thus, he is reconsidering the decision made by his predecessor and keep some Ram HD production in Mexico. “With a combination of Warren and Mexico building what we call the classic truck, we have enough production to increase output next year if it’s required. In my opinion it will be required. We are gaining share. Obviously I am looking for that to continue, but it’s an incredibly competitive segment,” said Manley. The new agreement between the two countries calls for no import cap, so long as the vehicle meets a certain amount of content from various countries. Source: Reuters
  11. 2018 has not been kind to Holden. Sales have been stagnant and the brand saw its worst monthly sales of 3,927 cars in July. Market share has also been dropping to below five percent during the year. Now, the brand has halted production of the Commodore and Equinox in an effort to reduce a massive stockpile of vehicles. According to Wheels, Holden ordered way too many vehicles before it ceased local manufacturing in late 2017. But the past year has proven to be difficult with sales dropping and causing vehicles to sit in paddocks and holding yards, gathering dust. “The sales were going like that,” said Holden chairman Dave Buttner, motioning to the ground. “… and the tap hadn’t been turned off, so the production’s still coming towards us - and that horrified me as an old [product] planner.” How bad is it? Holden has only sold 3,621 Equinoxes through the first nine months of 2018. Competitors sell a similar amount in a timeframe of six weeks. “You have to be able to turn production down, but the idea is that you don’t have to do that often. This is a fairly unique situation where we allowed the stock to keep coming towards us. Being an old manufacturing guy I’m fully cognoscente of the burden that puts on a manufacturing plant," said Buttner. “We’ve had good cooperation from the plants but it wouldn’t be something I’d like to repeat on a regular basis because from a credibility point of view you don’t build it by doing that.” Holden has asked the Opel factory in Germany (now owned by PSA Group) to not build anymore Commodores until next year. It is unclear if Holden asked the same for the timeframe to the GM factory that builds the Equinox. How is Holden planning to reduce the massive backlog of vehicles? Motoring.com.au says it will not be through a fire sale. “I’m confident we can finish the year strongly. There is not going to be any fire sale. Or any increase in demonstrators. If we do that then we’ll get what we deserve. We want to start next year with a clean slate, start rebuilding and get on with the job,” Buttner told the outlet. We wouldn't be surprised if Holden does provide some offers to help move models. Source: Wheels, Motoring View full article
  12. William Maley

    Holden Halts Production of Commodore and Equinox

    2018 has not been kind to Holden. Sales have been stagnant and the brand saw its worst monthly sales of 3,927 cars in July. Market share has also been dropping to below five percent during the year. Now, the brand has halted production of the Commodore and Equinox in an effort to reduce a massive stockpile of vehicles. According to Wheels, Holden ordered way too many vehicles before it ceased local manufacturing in late 2017. But the past year has proven to be difficult with sales dropping and causing vehicles to sit in paddocks and holding yards, gathering dust. “The sales were going like that,” said Holden chairman Dave Buttner, motioning to the ground. “… and the tap hadn’t been turned off, so the production’s still coming towards us - and that horrified me as an old [product] planner.” How bad is it? Holden has only sold 3,621 Equinoxes through the first nine months of 2018. Competitors sell a similar amount in a timeframe of six weeks. “You have to be able to turn production down, but the idea is that you don’t have to do that often. This is a fairly unique situation where we allowed the stock to keep coming towards us. Being an old manufacturing guy I’m fully cognoscente of the burden that puts on a manufacturing plant," said Buttner. “We’ve had good cooperation from the plants but it wouldn’t be something I’d like to repeat on a regular basis because from a credibility point of view you don’t build it by doing that.” Holden has asked the Opel factory in Germany (now owned by PSA Group) to not build anymore Commodores until next year. It is unclear if Holden asked the same for the timeframe to the GM factory that builds the Equinox. How is Holden planning to reduce the massive backlog of vehicles? Motoring.com.au says it will not be through a fire sale. “I’m confident we can finish the year strongly. There is not going to be any fire sale. Or any increase in demonstrators. If we do that then we’ll get what we deserve. We want to start next year with a clean slate, start rebuilding and get on with the job,” Buttner told the outlet. We wouldn't be surprised if Holden does provide some offers to help move models. Source: Wheels, Motoring
  13. William Maley

    Ford Expands Production of the GT (Again)

    When Ford introduced the GT, they made it very clear it would be a limited run affair. 500 models would be built over the course of two years. Then the company expanded the amount to 1,000 vehicles that would be built over four years. Now, Ford has expanded the pool of GTs again. An additional 350 GTs will be built, bringing the grand total to 1,350. This also means a longer production run. Previously, Ford was going to wrap up production in 2020, but has pushed it back to 2022. If you were one of the many people who applied for a GT and didn't get one, Ford will be opening the application process one more time beginning on November 8th and have it running for 30 days. Prospective owners will find out if they got the approval early next year. “By extending the Ford GT production run for a limited period, we’re able to maintain the exclusivity of the ultra-desirable supercar while offering the ownership experience to a greater number of customers,” said Hermann Salenbauch, Ford Performance director. Somehow, we doubt many Ford GT owners will have the same view. Source: Ford Ford Increasing GT Production To Make Ownership Dreams A Reality For 350 More Supercar Fans Due to the popularity of Ford GT, Ford is raising the number of supercars it will build to 1,350 – up from 1,000; Ford GT production will run for a total of approximately six years Ford is re-opening the final owner application process for select global markets on Nov. 8; prospective owners can submit their applications at FordGT.com for 30 days Previous applicants need to confirm or modify their original application to be considered in this final application window to own a Ford GT Dearborn, Mich., Oct. 18, 2018 – Ford Motor Company is increasing Ford GT production to 1,350 vehicles after more than 6,500 applicants raced to sign up for the original 1,000 cars allotted in 2016 – even before the car recaptured LeMans glory later that year. “The response to our Ford GT has been unprecedented, with initial demand outstripping supply by more than six-to-one,” said Hermann Salenbauch, Ford Performance director. “By extending the Ford GT production run for a limited period, we’re able to maintain the exclusivity of the ultra-desirable supercar while offering the ownership experience to a greater number of customers.” Ford is re-opening the application window to customers hoping to join the exclusive group of Ford GT owners starting Nov. 8 for select global markets. Prospective owners will be able to submit their applications for 30 days at FordGT.com. Successful applicants will work with the Ford GT Concierge Service for a personalized purchase experience of cars produced in the 2020 to 2022 calendar years. Production of the Ford GT – powered by a twin-turbocharged, 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 engine and featuring a carbon fiber architecture, active aerodynamics and 216 mph top speed – began in December 2016.
  14. When Ford introduced the GT, they made it very clear it would be a limited run affair. 500 models would be built over the course of two years. Then the company expanded the amount to 1,000 vehicles that would be built over four years. Now, Ford has expanded the pool of GTs again. An additional 350 GTs will be built, bringing the grand total to 1,350. This also means a longer production run. Previously, Ford was going to wrap up production in 2020, but has pushed it back to 2022. If you were one of the many people who applied for a GT and didn't get one, Ford will be opening the application process one more time beginning on November 8th and have it running for 30 days. Prospective owners will find out if they got the approval early next year. “By extending the Ford GT production run for a limited period, we’re able to maintain the exclusivity of the ultra-desirable supercar while offering the ownership experience to a greater number of customers,” said Hermann Salenbauch, Ford Performance director. Somehow, we doubt many Ford GT owners will have the same view. Source: Ford Ford Increasing GT Production To Make Ownership Dreams A Reality For 350 More Supercar Fans Due to the popularity of Ford GT, Ford is raising the number of supercars it will build to 1,350 – up from 1,000; Ford GT production will run for a total of approximately six years Ford is re-opening the final owner application process for select global markets on Nov. 8; prospective owners can submit their applications at FordGT.com for 30 days Previous applicants need to confirm or modify their original application to be considered in this final application window to own a Ford GT Dearborn, Mich., Oct. 18, 2018 – Ford Motor Company is increasing Ford GT production to 1,350 vehicles after more than 6,500 applicants raced to sign up for the original 1,000 cars allotted in 2016 – even before the car recaptured LeMans glory later that year. “The response to our Ford GT has been unprecedented, with initial demand outstripping supply by more than six-to-one,” said Hermann Salenbauch, Ford Performance director. “By extending the Ford GT production run for a limited period, we’re able to maintain the exclusivity of the ultra-desirable supercar while offering the ownership experience to a greater number of customers.” Ford is re-opening the application window to customers hoping to join the exclusive group of Ford GT owners starting Nov. 8 for select global markets. Prospective owners will be able to submit their applications for 30 days at FordGT.com. Successful applicants will work with the Ford GT Concierge Service for a personalized purchase experience of cars produced in the 2020 to 2022 calendar years. Production of the Ford GT – powered by a twin-turbocharged, 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 engine and featuring a carbon fiber architecture, active aerodynamics and 216 mph top speed – began in December 2016. View full article
  15. Some concept cars are just flights of fancy. Take for example the Genesis Essentia that bowed at the New York Auto Show earlier this year. This low-slung coupe boasted a transparent hood, set of butterfly doors, copper wheels, and electric powertrain. The concept proved to be quite popular, prompting Genesis to make a production version. Erwin Raphael, executive director of Genesis North America told reporters at a gathering that the automaker is planning to bring the Essentia as a production model. It would be built in limited numbers and carry a hefty price tag. "We are very committed to the Essentia. We love the car. We think the car will do very well," said Raphael. Raphael didn't give a possible timeframe, but Manfred Fitzgerald, global head of Genesis told Motor Trend the production Essentia could arrive in 2021 or 2022. The ability to bring the car out so soon is due to almost all of the design elements on the concepts being feasible for production - the butterfly doors are one of the exceptions. Raphael mentioned the Essentia could be the sports car that Genesis has promised or a new seventh model in their growing lineup. No mention of a powertrain for the production version. The Essentia rides on a electric architecture that Genesis is experimenting with as works to try and get an electric vehicle launched by 2021. Source: Motor Trend View full article
  16. Some concept cars are just flights of fancy. Take for example the Genesis Essentia that bowed at the New York Auto Show earlier this year. This low-slung coupe boasted a transparent hood, set of butterfly doors, copper wheels, and electric powertrain. The concept proved to be quite popular, prompting Genesis to make a production version. Erwin Raphael, executive director of Genesis North America told reporters at a gathering that the automaker is planning to bring the Essentia as a production model. It would be built in limited numbers and carry a hefty price tag. "We are very committed to the Essentia. We love the car. We think the car will do very well," said Raphael. Raphael didn't give a possible timeframe, but Manfred Fitzgerald, global head of Genesis told Motor Trend the production Essentia could arrive in 2021 or 2022. The ability to bring the car out so soon is due to almost all of the design elements on the concepts being feasible for production - the butterfly doors are one of the exceptions. Raphael mentioned the Essentia could be the sports car that Genesis has promised or a new seventh model in their growing lineup. No mention of a powertrain for the production version. The Essentia rides on a electric architecture that Genesis is experimenting with as works to try and get an electric vehicle launched by 2021. Source: Motor Trend
  17. 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
  18. 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
  19. 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
  20. 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
  21. 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
  22. 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)
  23. 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
  24. 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
  25. 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.

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