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Found 189 results

  1. 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
  2. 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)
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. 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)
  8. 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
  9. 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.
  10. 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
  11. When the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra begin rolling off the assembly line sometime later this year, there will be a larger number of crew cabs. GM's vice president of global product development, Mark Reuss tells Automotive News that the company has been "constrained' when it comes to the output of their crew cab pickups, a segment that has seen its popularity increase in recent years. Reuss said the company is planning to increase capacity for crew cabs with their next-generation pickups. A Chevrolet spokesman said that crew cabs have grown from more than 50 percent of GM's truck sales in 2013 to more than 60 percent. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) View full article
  12. When the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra begin rolling off the assembly line sometime later this year, there will be a larger number of crew cabs. GM's vice president of global product development, Mark Reuss tells Automotive News that the company has been "constrained' when it comes to the output of their crew cab pickups, a segment that has seen its popularity increase in recent years. Reuss said the company is planning to increase capacity for crew cabs with their next-generation pickups. A Chevrolet spokesman said that crew cabs have grown from more than 50 percent of GM's truck sales in 2013 to more than 60 percent. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
  13. A new report from Automotive News says that Ford is planning to end North American production of the Fusion sedan at the end of this decade. According to sources, the automaker has begun to notify suppliers that it will not produce the next-generation Fusion at their Hermosillo, Mexico plant. Suppliers have also been told that Ford will stop producing the Mondeo (Fusion in other markets) at their Valencia, Spain plant. This is further complicated by a report from Reuters saying the company is consolidating production to a plant in China. Ford has since denied this report. “We have no plans to export the next-generation Fusion/Mondeo from China to North America and Europe. Fusion/Mondeo are an important part of the Ford car lineup. We will have more information to share about the next Fusion/Mondeo at a later date,” the company said in a statement. A spokesman declined to comment when asked if Ford would stop selling Fusion in the U.S., replace it with another vehicle, or build it elsewhere. Previously, Ford executives have said that the shift from cars to crossovers/SUVs will be permanent. Back in October, the company announced that it would be cutting back on the number of car nameplate it offers, but wouldn't go into details. Ford has already ended production of the C-Max Energi and plans on ending the C-Max Hybrid sometime next year. The Fiesta and Taurus are reportedly on the chopping block as well. What does the future hold for the Fusion? At the moment, it is tough to say. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), Reuters
  14. Honda has quietly announced that the CR-Z would be done after the 2016 model year. Car and Driver received a statement from the automaker that said they will “discontinue CR-Z this year [2016]” as it “significantly expand its sales of electrified vehicles with the addition of two new volume models.” Those models in question are the 2017 Accord Hybrid and upcoming Clarity range. The CR-Z was launched in 2010 as a 2011 model. The vehicle never really found traction in terms of sales. Its best year was in 2011 with 11,330 models sold. In 2015, Honda only moved 3,073 CR-Zs. Part of the reason dealt with the hybrid powertrain. The CR-Z used Honda's IMA hybrid system that produced 130 horsepower and 140 pound-feet of torque (the CVT saw torque drop to 127). This made CR-Z slow. It didn't help the CR-Z didn't fare so well with fuel economy numbers. The EPA rated the CR-Z manual at 31 City/38 Highway/34 Combined. Source: Car and Driver
  15. A new report from Automotive News says that Ford is planning to end North American production of the Fusion sedan at the end of this decade. According to sources, the automaker has begun to notify suppliers that it will not produce the next-generation Fusion at their Hermosillo, Mexico plant. Suppliers have also been told that Ford will stop producing the Mondeo (Fusion in other markets) at their Valencia, Spain plant. This is further complicated by a report from Reuters saying the company is consolidating production to a plant in China. Ford has since denied this report. “We have no plans to export the next-generation Fusion/Mondeo from China to North America and Europe. Fusion/Mondeo are an important part of the Ford car lineup. We will have more information to share about the next Fusion/Mondeo at a later date,” the company said in a statement. A spokesman declined to comment when asked if Ford would stop selling Fusion in the U.S., replace it with another vehicle, or build it elsewhere. Previously, Ford executives have said that the shift from cars to crossovers/SUVs will be permanent. Back in October, the company announced that it would be cutting back on the number of car nameplate it offers, but wouldn't go into details. Ford has already ended production of the C-Max Energi and plans on ending the C-Max Hybrid sometime next year. The Fiesta and Taurus are reportedly on the chopping block as well. What does the future hold for the Fusion? At the moment, it is tough to say. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), Reuters View full article
  16. William Maley

    Tesla's Fast Production Hurts Quality

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

    Tesla's Fast Production Hurts Quality

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

    Toyota Tj Cruiser Could Enter Production

    Toyota's Tj Cruiser concept is an interesting one. It takes elements of a van and SUV, and mashes them up into a capable and practical vehicle. Toyota in a press release announcing the concept hinted that it could go into production by saying it would be based on their TGNA modular platform, feature a hybrid powertrain, and have the choice of front or all-wheel drive. According to Autocar, Toyota is serious about possibly bringing the Tj Cruiser to production. Design chief Hirokazu Ikuma told the outlet that if the concept gets enough of a positive reaction from those attending the Tokyo Motor Show, it may move on to the next step of taking this vehicle to various consumer clinics to gather reactions. If the Tj Cruiser is given the green light, it would be underpinned by the next-generation TGNA platform due in 2022. Source: Autocar
  19. Toyota's Tj Cruiser concept is an interesting one. It takes elements of a van and SUV, and mashes them up into a capable and practical vehicle. Toyota in a press release announcing the concept hinted that it could go into production by saying it would be based on their TGNA modular platform, feature a hybrid powertrain, and have the choice of front or all-wheel drive. According to Autocar, Toyota is serious about possibly bringing the Tj Cruiser to production. Design chief Hirokazu Ikuma told the outlet that if the concept gets enough of a positive reaction from those attending the Tokyo Motor Show, it may move on to the next step of taking this vehicle to various consumer clinics to gather reactions. If the Tj Cruiser is given the green light, it would be underpinned by the next-generation TGNA platform due in 2022. Source: Autocar View full article
  20. October has not been the best of months for Nissan. Earlier this month, Japan’s transport ministry revealed that at five of the company's six plants in the country had quality checks being certified by unauthorized workers. According to Reuters, vehicles destined for the domestic market have to go under a final check by certified technicians. “It’s extremely regrettable, causing anxiety for users and shaking the foundation of the certification system,” said Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Keiichi Ishii at a press conference earlier this month. Nissan announced that it would be recalling 1.2 million vehicles built within the past three years due to this issue. The news has only gotten worse as the Japanese automaker announced today that it would be suspending production at all of their Japan plants for at least two weeks to investigate and address this issue. Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa revealed at a briefing that this unauthorized approval continued a month after Nissan was told about this issue and said it strengthened the control of its inspection processes. “Our emergency measures were not enough. We were unable to change our bad habits,” said Saikawa There are numerous factors as to how this debacle developed including increasing the efficiency of the inspection process and plants transferring the checks to other lines. Nissan is planning on recalling an additional 34,000 vehicles for re-inspection. Production of export vehicles will continue as this issue is specific to Japanese-market models. Source: Reuters, 2, Bloomberg, Nissan Press Release is on Page 2 Regarding recurrence of final vehicle inspection issue at Nissan’s vehicle plants in Japan YOKOHAMA, Japan – As previously announced, on September 18 the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transportation (MLIT) notified Nissan that in the final vehicle inspection process, certain checks were carried out by technicians not properly registered to perform those duties under Nissan’s own processes. Nissan took corrective measures at Japanese production plants by September 20 to address the issue. By October 18, the investigation team (led by a third party) discovered that at its Oppama, Tochigi and the Nissan Kyushu plants, certain parts of the final inspection process were still being carried out by technicians not properly registered to perform those duties for vehicles for the Japan market. Nissan decided today to suspend vehicle production for the Japan market at all Nissan and Nissan Shatai plants in Japan. Nissan regrets any inconvenience and concern this has caused to its valued customers and other stakeholders in Japan. Findings The plants transferred final vehicle inspection check items from the final vehicle inspection line to other lines, such as the “marketability inspection” and the “offline inspection”. As a result, employees who were not internally registered as final vehicle inspectors performed final vehicle inspections. Measures planned Nissan will take the following actions with regard to the production line and vehicles that did not meet Japanese market requirements for final inspection: Production line in the plants The final vehicle inspection line will be configured as originally submitted to MLIT, consolidating all final inspection processes. Final inspection process will be separated from other processes and only internally registered final vehicle inspectors will have access to the final inspection line. Unregistered and registered vehicles Nissan is considering re-inspecting the unregistered vehicles at certified Nissan dealership facilities throughout Japan. Nissan is considering submitting a noncompliance recall report for registered vehicles. Approximately 34,000 vehicles produced between September 20 – October 18, 2017 including those produced for other makers will be subject to re-inspection. Nissan regards the recurrence of this issue at domestic plants — despite the corrective measures taken — as critical. The investigation team will continue to thoroughly investigate the issue and determine measures to prevent recurrence. Details of the above will be included in the final report to be published on a later date.
  21. October has not been the best of months for Nissan. Earlier this month, Japan’s transport ministry revealed that at five of the company's six plants in the country had quality checks being certified by unauthorized workers. According to Reuters, vehicles destined for the domestic market have to go under a final check by certified technicians. “It’s extremely regrettable, causing anxiety for users and shaking the foundation of the certification system,” said Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Keiichi Ishii at a press conference earlier this month. Nissan announced that it would be recalling 1.2 million vehicles built within the past three years due to this issue. The news has only gotten worse as the Japanese automaker announced today that it would be suspending production at all of their Japan plants for at least two weeks to investigate and address this issue. Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa revealed at a briefing that this unauthorized approval continued a month after Nissan was told about this issue and said it strengthened the control of its inspection processes. “Our emergency measures were not enough. We were unable to change our bad habits,” said Saikawa There are numerous factors as to how this debacle developed including increasing the efficiency of the inspection process and plants transferring the checks to other lines. Nissan is planning on recalling an additional 34,000 vehicles for re-inspection. Production of export vehicles will continue as this issue is specific to Japanese-market models. Source: Reuters, 2, Bloomberg, Nissan Press Release is on Page 2 Regarding recurrence of final vehicle inspection issue at Nissan’s vehicle plants in Japan YOKOHAMA, Japan – As previously announced, on September 18 the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transportation (MLIT) notified Nissan that in the final vehicle inspection process, certain checks were carried out by technicians not properly registered to perform those duties under Nissan’s own processes. Nissan took corrective measures at Japanese production plants by September 20 to address the issue. By October 18, the investigation team (led by a third party) discovered that at its Oppama, Tochigi and the Nissan Kyushu plants, certain parts of the final inspection process were still being carried out by technicians not properly registered to perform those duties for vehicles for the Japan market. Nissan decided today to suspend vehicle production for the Japan market at all Nissan and Nissan Shatai plants in Japan. Nissan regrets any inconvenience and concern this has caused to its valued customers and other stakeholders in Japan. Findings The plants transferred final vehicle inspection check items from the final vehicle inspection line to other lines, such as the “marketability inspection” and the “offline inspection”. As a result, employees who were not internally registered as final vehicle inspectors performed final vehicle inspections. Measures planned Nissan will take the following actions with regard to the production line and vehicles that did not meet Japanese market requirements for final inspection: Production line in the plants The final vehicle inspection line will be configured as originally submitted to MLIT, consolidating all final inspection processes. Final inspection process will be separated from other processes and only internally registered final vehicle inspectors will have access to the final inspection line. Unregistered and registered vehicles Nissan is considering re-inspecting the unregistered vehicles at certified Nissan dealership facilities throughout Japan. Nissan is considering submitting a noncompliance recall report for registered vehicles. Approximately 34,000 vehicles produced between September 20 – October 18, 2017 including those produced for other makers will be subject to re-inspection. Nissan regards the recurrence of this issue at domestic plants — despite the corrective measures taken — as critical. The investigation team will continue to thoroughly investigate the issue and determine measures to prevent recurrence. Details of the above will be included in the final report to be published on a later date. View full article
  22. There have been countless rumors and leaks pertaining to the next-generation Jeep Wrangler. But now we have something official from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. An employee from FCA tweeted out a picture charting how some of its plants will retool for various products in the coming year. The picture confirms that the Wrangler will be shown in November and enter production sometime in the fourth quarter. There is also the mention of the next Ram 1500 debuting in January with production beginning sometime in the first quarter. It would be safe to assume that the Wrangler will be shown at LA and the Ram 1500 at Detroit. We also learned that an updated Cherokee will go into production early next year, but no mention of a possible reveal date. Source: Jeff Bennett on Twitter View full article
  23. William Maley

    Jeep to Debut 2018 Wrangler Next Month

    There have been countless rumors and leaks pertaining to the next-generation Jeep Wrangler. But now we have something official from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. An employee from FCA tweeted out a picture charting how some of its plants will retool for various products in the coming year. The picture confirms that the Wrangler will be shown in November and enter production sometime in the fourth quarter. There is also the mention of the next Ram 1500 debuting in January with production beginning sometime in the first quarter. It would be safe to assume that the Wrangler will be shown at LA and the Ram 1500 at Detroit. We also learned that an updated Cherokee will go into production early next year, but no mention of a possible reveal date. Source: Jeff Bennett on Twitter
  24. The strike at General Motors' CAMI Assembly plant, home of the Chevrolet Equinox has come to an end. Today, 86 percent of Unifor Local 88 members voted yes on a new 4-year contract. With the approval, workers will resume work at the plant beginning at 7 PM tonight for early start-up, with production beginning at 11 PM. Here is what new 4-year contract include Stronger language around job security. Union said the new contract would make it more costly for GM to close down CAMI - $290 million vs. $190 million. If CAMI is shuttered, employees near retirement will still be able to get into a retirement program. Workers will get a 4 percent wage hike and $8,000 in lump-sum payments over the contract New hires on the production line will see an accelerated pace in terms of their wages increased to the max of $34.15 per hour A $6,000 performance bonus once the deal is ratified "The ratification of a new 4-year agreement between GM Canada and Unifor Local 88 at CAMI Assembly is welcome news for our company, employees and the community. We have an outstanding new product at CAMI with the Chevrolet Equinox and I am confident that we will quickly pull together to continue to demonstrate to the world the outstanding productivity, innovation and quality that is synonymous with the CAMI workforce," said Steve Carlisle, President of GM Canada in a statement. There is one thing missing from this contract, a written assurance that CAMI would be the lead producer of the Equinox. This was the major point of contention between the two during negoations. It is clear that Unifor officials are not happy with this contract. “The end result was not the result we were hoping for, it shows the true colors of GM,” Unifor Local 88 Chair Mike Van Boekel said in a statement to members. Given these actions, our demand to protect the Equinox was not only fair and reasonable, it simply made sense. Our members had every reason to make this [lead producer] demand, and did everything to demonstrate it was a demand that deserved to be met. However, at the highest levels of General Motors corporate in Detroit, they coldly refused. As a result and after much internal discussion, we decided that we could not, in good conscience, ask for more economic sacrifice from you in this fight,” said Unifor National President Jerry Dias. We have to wonder if GM's threat of ramping up Equinox production in Mexico issued last week was the turning point. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), CBC News, GM Press Release is on Page 2 2017 CAMI / UNIFOR NEGOTIATIONS The ratification of a new 4-year agreement between GM Canada and Unifor Local 88 at CAMI Assembly is welcome news for our company, employees and the community. We have an outstanding new product at CAMI with the Chevrolet Equinox and I am confident that we will quickly pull together to continue to demonstrate to the world the outstanding productivity, innovation and quality that is synonymous with the CAMI workforce. I want to extend thanks to the local and national Unifor teams who have worked long hours together with the GM negotiating team these past many weeks. The negotiations process requires a great deal of straight talk, creative problem solving, and compromise to achieve a positive outcome for both the membership and the Company. Success is also achieved by remembering that we are here to serve our customers proudly and deliver the very best product and services to them. Having grown up in Southwestern Ontario, the CAMI plant and the Oxford County community mean a great deal to me. The challenges of the past months have been hard on all of us but now it’s time to show the character of our region and our plant. With the recent $800 million investment at the CAMI plant and this agreement, it is up to each of us to demonstrate the unparalleled value we deliver as leaders within Canada’s auto sector. The employees at CAMI have created a culture of team involvement and continuous improvement resulting in numerous industry awards for vehicle quality and productivity. I am confident that by working as one team, that will continue for years to come. Steve Carlisle President and Managing Director General Motors Canada View full article
  25. William Maley

    CAMI Unifor Members Approve New Contract

    The strike at General Motors' CAMI Assembly plant, home of the Chevrolet Equinox has come to an end. Today, 86 percent of Unifor Local 88 members voted yes on a new 4-year contract. With the approval, workers will resume work at the plant beginning at 7 PM tonight for early start-up, with production beginning at 11 PM. Here is what new 4-year contract include Stronger language around job security. Union said the new contract would make it more costly for GM to close down CAMI - $290 million vs. $190 million. If CAMI is shuttered, employees near retirement will still be able to get into a retirement program. Workers will get a 4 percent wage hike and $8,000 in lump-sum payments over the contract New hires on the production line will see an accelerated pace in terms of their wages increased to the max of $34.15 per hour A $6,000 performance bonus once the deal is ratified "The ratification of a new 4-year agreement between GM Canada and Unifor Local 88 at CAMI Assembly is welcome news for our company, employees and the community. We have an outstanding new product at CAMI with the Chevrolet Equinox and I am confident that we will quickly pull together to continue to demonstrate to the world the outstanding productivity, innovation and quality that is synonymous with the CAMI workforce," said Steve Carlisle, President of GM Canada in a statement. There is one thing missing from this contract, a written assurance that CAMI would be the lead producer of the Equinox. This was the major point of contention between the two during negoations. It is clear that Unifor officials are not happy with this contract. “The end result was not the result we were hoping for, it shows the true colors of GM,” Unifor Local 88 Chair Mike Van Boekel said in a statement to members. Given these actions, our demand to protect the Equinox was not only fair and reasonable, it simply made sense. Our members had every reason to make this [lead producer] demand, and did everything to demonstrate it was a demand that deserved to be met. However, at the highest levels of General Motors corporate in Detroit, they coldly refused. As a result and after much internal discussion, we decided that we could not, in good conscience, ask for more economic sacrifice from you in this fight,” said Unifor National President Jerry Dias. We have to wonder if GM's threat of ramping up Equinox production in Mexico issued last week was the turning point. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), CBC News, GM Press Release is on Page 2 2017 CAMI / UNIFOR NEGOTIATIONS The ratification of a new 4-year agreement between GM Canada and Unifor Local 88 at CAMI Assembly is welcome news for our company, employees and the community. We have an outstanding new product at CAMI with the Chevrolet Equinox and I am confident that we will quickly pull together to continue to demonstrate to the world the outstanding productivity, innovation and quality that is synonymous with the CAMI workforce. I want to extend thanks to the local and national Unifor teams who have worked long hours together with the GM negotiating team these past many weeks. The negotiations process requires a great deal of straight talk, creative problem solving, and compromise to achieve a positive outcome for both the membership and the Company. Success is also achieved by remembering that we are here to serve our customers proudly and deliver the very best product and services to them. Having grown up in Southwestern Ontario, the CAMI plant and the Oxford County community mean a great deal to me. The challenges of the past months have been hard on all of us but now it’s time to show the character of our region and our plant. With the recent $800 million investment at the CAMI plant and this agreement, it is up to each of us to demonstrate the unparalleled value we deliver as leaders within Canada’s auto sector. The employees at CAMI have created a culture of team involvement and continuous improvement resulting in numerous industry awards for vehicle quality and productivity. I am confident that by working as one team, that will continue for years to come. Steve Carlisle President and Managing Director General Motors Canada

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