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Found 7 results

  1. Tesla is asking suppliers to refund some of the cash on past work as a way to make the automaker profitable. The Wall Street Journal obtained a memo that was sent to a Tesla supplier last week. The company requested that the supplier return " a meaningful amount of money of its payments since 2016." The memo goes onto say that the request is essential to Tesla's "continued operation" and would "continue the long-term growth between both players." Its unclear how many suppliers received this memo. Tesla's list of suppliers include Magna, Panasonic, and Robert Bosch GmbH. Tesla declined to comment on the memo, but did confirm that it is seeking price cuts from suppliers on various projects, some which date back to 2016. The company said such requests are a standard part of negotiations with suppliers. Supply-chain consultants say this is normal for automakers to request price reductions on current projects. Asking for money back on a completed one is very unusual. “It’s simply ludicrous and it just shows that Tesla is desperate right now. They’re worried about their profitability but they don’t care about their suppliers’ profitability,” said Dennis Virag, a manufacturing consultant. This report casts serious questions as to Tesla's money situation. The company has been burning through a billion dollars per quarter, and finished the first quarter with $2.7 billion cash on hand. Source: Wall Street Journal (Subscription Required)
  2. Tesla is asking suppliers to refund some of the cash on past work as a way to make the automaker profitable. The Wall Street Journal obtained a memo that was sent to a Tesla supplier last week. The company requested that the supplier return " a meaningful amount of money of its payments since 2016." The memo goes onto say that the request is essential to Tesla's "continued operation" and would "continue the long-term growth between both players." Its unclear how many suppliers received this memo. Tesla's list of suppliers include Magna, Panasonic, and Robert Bosch GmbH. Tesla declined to comment on the memo, but did confirm that it is seeking price cuts from suppliers on various projects, some which date back to 2016. The company said such requests are a standard part of negotiations with suppliers. Supply-chain consultants say this is normal for automakers to request price reductions on current projects. Asking for money back on a completed one is very unusual. “It’s simply ludicrous and it just shows that Tesla is desperate right now. They’re worried about their profitability but they don’t care about their suppliers’ profitability,” said Dennis Virag, a manufacturing consultant. This report casts serious questions as to Tesla's money situation. The company has been burning through a billion dollars per quarter, and finished the first quarter with $2.7 billion cash on hand. Source: Wall Street Journal (Subscription Required) View full article
  3. G. David Felt Staff Writer Alternative Energy - www.CheersandGears.com Electric Axles and the 4WD Ford F150 EV! Researching for conversion of my 1994 GMC SLE Suburban to electric made me think about 4WD as it is currently just a 2WD rig. As I started to search I found many options for taking certain electric motors and connecting them to the transmission and using what is there already on AWD/4WD auto's for moving the vehicle. I got to thinking much like Tesla, what about an Axle Electric motor solution and started to search to see what was out there and was very surprised to find many interesting home grown and some commercial options. EV Axel BING Search This led me to find a company in China called YIWO who does car to HD Truck electric axles for OEMs to custom conversions. YIWO Alibaba web page This search then led me to the YIWO company home page also hosted by Alibaba where one can find an amazing variety of axles for use in traditional petro auto's to plug-in hybrids to pure EVs. YIWO Home Page While doing this search I found that Alibaba has an amazing amount of EV parts on their Amazon like web site. Alibaba With this search I then came across an interesting write up from 2011 about in wheel motors allowing for a simple 4WD approach to auto's while not affecting the driving characteristics. This brought me to Protean Electric which was founded in 2009 in Troy Michigan. They now have an office in UK and an office with production in China. Protean Electric Protean Electric took a totally different approach to EV auto's They started with adding the motors with regenerative braking at the wheel. This allowed them to then make 8 powerful mini motors working together to improve HP and Torque along with braking to have a far more efficient package. This design allowed them to take a 2009 Ford F150 Pickup and dump the existing powertrain, including driveline, heavy axle and create an 4WD Pickup without having to touch the existing handling characteristics by putting the battery pack in the exact center of the auto to keep the truck hauling and handling just like Ford Engineered it to be. As you can see the battery pack from the rear axle picture, the last picture posted above. What about the interior you ask? Easy, Protean Electric changed out the dash for a digital display that they also make and added to the center console a 3 button shifter that covers Drive, Neutral and Reverse plus as you can see in the picture below, a big red kill switch button that probably could be incorporated better into the dash. So what about Horsepower and Torque? This is where is gets really exciting as this Ford F150 with the 4WD in Wheel motors produces the following: 2,300 lbs feet of combined torque from a dead stop 448 HP from the combined 4 motors Now the great part is you can dial down the torque and HP so you can lengthen the life of the battery pack. According to P.E. they have stated that most implementations of this solution done at 578 pound feet of Peak torque, 355 pound feet of continuous torque and horsepower of 320 for the 4 motors combined which equals out to 80 HP per motor, 88.75 pound feet of continuous torque per motor with a peak torque of 144.5 per motor per the companies interview with pickuptrucks.com. Protean Electric has recently done for Mercedes-Benz a Brabus 4WD EV station wagon. Brabus 4WD powertrain. What this tends to impress on me is that the future for electric auto's is bright and as battery technology gets better and better, we are moving to a silent world of autos that will push you back into your seat and have you hanging on to an amazing gut thrilling ride.
  4. A new study finds that General Motors is dead last when it comes to relationships with suppliers. Automotive consultant group Planning Perspectives Inc (PPI), released the results of their annual study which asks the biggest suppliers to rate the six automakers who sell more than 85 percent of vehicles in the U.S. Suppliers rated GM low in many key areas such as communication skills, protection of intellectual property, unwillingness to adjust prices due to unforeseen increases, and overall trustworthiness. "As a result, GM is now the least preferred customer of suppliers," PPI said. Source: Reuters William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. View full article
  5. A new study finds that General Motors is dead last when it comes to relationships with suppliers. Automotive consultant group Planning Perspectives Inc (PPI), released the results of their annual study which asks the biggest suppliers to rate the six automakers who sell more than 85 percent of vehicles in the U.S. Suppliers rated GM low in many key areas such as communication skills, protection of intellectual property, unwillingness to adjust prices due to unforeseen increases, and overall trustworthiness. "As a result, GM is now the least preferred customer of suppliers," PPI said. Source: Reuters William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  6. Just when you thought General Motors couldn't dig any deeper with the ignition switch recall, they seem to find a way. The U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee released over 600 pages of documents relating to the GM ignition switch recall early this week and it shows a number of deeply entrenched problems. Let's begin with a story we reported last week that said two engineers from GM, Gary Altman and Ray DeGiorgio were put on paid leave. We knew DeGiorgio was put on paid leave for testifying for not knowing the part change, even though he signed a document authorizing the change. But Altman was another question as we didn't know why he was put on paid leave. We now know that Altman was the engineer who bumped the key with his knee thanks to a complaint document filed in 2004. However, Altman was the one testified at the wrongful death trial of Brooke Melton that he did not feel the car was unsafe. Altman was also the one who rejected a fix for the switch because it was expensive and take too long. The documents also highlight that a number of GM employees tried to thwart an in-house investigationby Brian Stouffer, an investigator with GM. Bloomberg says the documents reveal a paper trail of pushback, inaccurate data and a lack of cooperation from co-workers into the ignition switch. One of the big question Stouffer was looking into was why airbag issues dropped after 2008. We know now that it was because GM had changed the part, but not the number. NHTSA was starting to suspect something was back in 2007. In a presentation on November 15, 2007, NHTSA's Defects Assessment Division (DAD) showed that the 2005 Cobalt had a higher than average airbag warranty than any other GM model. Then there is an email dated September 17 which says in one of the paragraphs, "Notwithstanding GM's indications that they see no specific problem pattern, DAD perceives a pattern of non-deployments in these vehicles that does not exist in their peers and that their circumstances are such that, in our engineering judgment, merited a deployment, and that such a deployment would have reduced injury levels or saved lives. NHTSA isn't impressed with GM's responses to their inquiries. In a email sent on July 23, 2013, NHTSA's Office of Defects Investigation chief Frank Borris wrote "The general perception is that GM is slow to communicate, slow to act, and at times, requires additional effort of ODI that we do not feel is necessary with some of your peers." This is a possible reason as to why NHTSA has started fining the company last week over their slow response to their questions. Now it should be noted that Mike Robinson, GM’s vice president of sustainability and global regulatory affairs said in email "comes like a bolt out of the blue.” That isn't only bad news hitting GM. Today, the company announced that two executives were stepping down. Selim Bingol, senior vice president of public policy and communications, and Melissa Howell, senior vice president for human resources, will “pursue other interests,” the company said in a statement. Bingol led GM’s public relations team since 2010 when he was appointed by then GM CEO Ed Whitacre. Howell has been with the company since 1990, and became Senior VP of HR last year. GM said Howell will be succeeded by John Quattrone, previously executive director of human resources for GM's global product development, purchasing, and supply chain operations. No successor has been named for Bingol at this time. Source: Bloomberg, Detroit Free Press, U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee, General Motors Press Release is on Page 2 GM Names Quattrone Senior VP, Global Human Resources Howell and Bingol to pursue interests outside company DETROIT – General Motors today named John J. Quattrone as Senior Vice President, Global Human Resources. Quattrone, currently executive director of Human Resources for Global Product Development, Purchasing and Supply Chain organizations, succeeds Melissa A. Howell who is leaving GM to pursue other interests. GM also announced that Selim Bingol, Senior Vice President, Global Communications and Public Policy, is leaving the company to pursue other interests. Quattrone's appointment, as well as Howell's and Bingol's departures are effective immediately. Quattrone, a native of Syracuse, N.Y., began his GM career in 1975 at the Fisher Body Syracuse Plant. Since then, he has held various positions in human resources and labor relations at GM. Quattrone was appointed General Director of Human Resources for North America Vehicle Sales, Service and Marketing in September 1996. He was appointed GM North America¹s Vice President of Human Resources in 2001 and was GM Powertrain¹s Vice President of Human Resources prior to his current assignment. "John brings to the job a deep and rich breadth of experience across all levels of the enterprise," said GM CEO Mary Barra. "This background is invaluable as we create lasting change that puts the customer at the center of how we work and how we measure ourselves going forward." Quattrone received his Bachelor of Science degree from Le Moyne College and earned a Master of Science degree from West Virginia University. Quattrone serves on the board of directors of American Society of Employers and previously served on the board of directors of Health Grades, Inc. Barra praised Howell's contribution at a key time for the company. "Through Melissa's passion, the values that make up today's GM are now becoming a central part of how we develop and guide our employees around the world," said Barra. "We are deeply grateful for her dedication to GM and all that she did to help build a stronger HR function to support our people and business." Howell joined GM in 1990. She was named Senior Vice President, Global Human Resources in February 2013. Bingol was Senior Vice President for Corporate Communications at AT&T before joining GM in 2010 as Senior Vice President Global Communications. Global Public Policy was added to Bingol's portfolio in October 2012. During his tenure, Bingol guided the communications around GM's 2010 initial public offering, the largest in history at that time, as well as the introduction of several new products that have received widespread acclaim for quality, styling, and performance. "We appreciate Selim's service and for his helping tell the GM story during one of the most exciting periods in the company's history," said Barra. A successor to Bingol will be named later.
  7. Just when you thought General Motors couldn't dig any deeper with the ignition switch recall, they seem to find a way. The U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee released over 600 pages of documents relating to the GM ignition switch recall early this week and it shows a number of deeply entrenched problems. Let's begin with a story we reported last week that said two engineers from GM, Gary Altman and Ray DeGiorgio were put on paid leave. We knew DeGiorgio was put on paid leave for testifying for not knowing the part change, even though he signed a document authorizing the change. But Altman was another question as we didn't know why he was put on paid leave. We now know that Altman was the engineer who bumped the key with his knee thanks to a complaint document filed in 2004. However, Altman was the one testified at the wrongful death trial of Brooke Melton that he did not feel the car was unsafe. Altman was also the one who rejected a fix for the switch because it was expensive and take too long. The documents also highlight that a number of GM employees tried to thwart an in-house investigationby Brian Stouffer, an investigator with GM. Bloomberg says the documents reveal a paper trail of pushback, inaccurate data and a lack of cooperation from co-workers into the ignition switch. One of the big question Stouffer was looking into was why airbag issues dropped after 2008. We know now that it was because GM had changed the part, but not the number. NHTSA was starting to suspect something was back in 2007. In a presentation on November 15, 2007, NHTSA's Defects Assessment Division (DAD) showed that the 2005 Cobalt had a higher than average airbag warranty than any other GM model. Then there is an email dated September 17 which says in one of the paragraphs, "Notwithstanding GM's indications that they see no specific problem pattern, DAD perceives a pattern of non-deployments in these vehicles that does not exist in their peers and that their circumstances are such that, in our engineering judgment, merited a deployment, and that such a deployment would have reduced injury levels or saved lives. NHTSA isn't impressed with GM's responses to their inquiries. In a email sent on July 23, 2013, NHTSA's Office of Defects Investigation chief Frank Borris wrote "The general perception is that GM is slow to communicate, slow to act, and at times, requires additional effort of ODI that we do not feel is necessary with some of your peers." This is a possible reason as to why NHTSA has started fining the company last week over their slow response to their questions. Now it should be noted that Mike Robinson, GM’s vice president of sustainability and global regulatory affairs said in email "comes like a bolt out of the blue.” That isn't only bad news hitting GM. Today, the company announced that two executives were stepping down. Selim Bingol, senior vice president of public policy and communications, and Melissa Howell, senior vice president for human resources, will “pursue other interests,” the company said in a statement. Bingol led GM’s public relations team since 2010 when he was appointed by then GM CEO Ed Whitacre. Howell has been with the company since 1990, and became Senior VP of HR last year. GM said Howell will be succeeded by John Quattrone, previously executive director of human resources for GM's global product development, purchasing, and supply chain operations. No successor has been named for Bingol at this time. Source: Bloomberg, Detroit Free Press, U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee, General Motors Press Release is on Page 2 GM Names Quattrone Senior VP, Global Human Resources Howell and Bingol to pursue interests outside company DETROIT – General Motors today named John J. Quattrone as Senior Vice President, Global Human Resources. Quattrone, currently executive director of Human Resources for Global Product Development, Purchasing and Supply Chain organizations, succeeds Melissa A. Howell who is leaving GM to pursue other interests. GM also announced that Selim Bingol, Senior Vice President, Global Communications and Public Policy, is leaving the company to pursue other interests. Quattrone's appointment, as well as Howell's and Bingol's departures are effective immediately. Quattrone, a native of Syracuse, N.Y., began his GM career in 1975 at the Fisher Body Syracuse Plant. Since then, he has held various positions in human resources and labor relations at GM. Quattrone was appointed General Director of Human Resources for North America Vehicle Sales, Service and Marketing in September 1996. He was appointed GM North America¹s Vice President of Human Resources in 2001 and was GM Powertrain¹s Vice President of Human Resources prior to his current assignment. "John brings to the job a deep and rich breadth of experience across all levels of the enterprise," said GM CEO Mary Barra. "This background is invaluable as we create lasting change that puts the customer at the center of how we work and how we measure ourselves going forward." Quattrone received his Bachelor of Science degree from Le Moyne College and earned a Master of Science degree from West Virginia University. Quattrone serves on the board of directors of American Society of Employers and previously served on the board of directors of Health Grades, Inc. Barra praised Howell's contribution at a key time for the company. "Through Melissa's passion, the values that make up today's GM are now becoming a central part of how we develop and guide our employees around the world," said Barra. "We are deeply grateful for her dedication to GM and all that she did to help build a stronger HR function to support our people and business." Howell joined GM in 1990. She was named Senior Vice President, Global Human Resources in February 2013. Bingol was Senior Vice President for Corporate Communications at AT&T before joining GM in 2010 as Senior Vice President Global Communications. Global Public Policy was added to Bingol's portfolio in October 2012. During his tenure, Bingol guided the communications around GM's 2010 initial public offering, the largest in history at that time, as well as the introduction of several new products that have received widespread acclaim for quality, styling, and performance. "We appreciate Selim's service and for his helping tell the GM story during one of the most exciting periods in the company's history," said Barra. A successor to Bingol will be named later. View full article

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