Archive for the ‘Automobiles’ Category

GM Plans Month-Long Shutdown at Flint Truck Plant

Plans are two weeks longer than usual.

by on Feb.19, 2018

GM is going to be laying off employees at its plant in Flint, Michigan, for two weeks after the company's traditional two-week shutdown.

General Motors told employees it plans to close down the company’s big truck assembly plant in Flint, Michigan, for the month of July.

The company said in a memo circulated to employees of the truck assembly plant that the plant will be closed for a “mandatory” two-summer vacation shutdown starting in early July. The two-week vacation shutdown will be followed by a two-week layoff for most of the employees at the plant, according to the memo, which was posted to a union website.

News Now!

The memo said some employees will be required to work during the temporary shutdown as the plant will be undergoing a series of improvements to the plant, which a key center for production of GM’s Chevrolet and GMC heavy-duty pick-up trucks. (more…)

Prices of Replacement Parts Helps Drive Rise in Auto Thefts

Vehicles offer thousands in black market replacement parts.

by on Feb.16, 2018

The NICB reveals the individual prices for different replacement parts for vehicles.

Auto thieves had a strong year in 2017 with thefts up 4%, according to FBI statistics, and that number is expected to remain “strong” as many of these vehicles end up being chopped up for replacement parts.

The average car has nearly $10,000 in “replacement” parts that are sold on the black market.

The Last Word!

The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) notes that today’s vehicles are loaded with expensive parts and technology that increase the costs of repairs, even in what may be considered a minor accident. Getting these parts from less-than-reputable sellers can equate to big profits for repair shops. (more…)

Global Auto Sales Set to Hit Record in 2018

Industry coming tantalizing close to 100 million mark.

by on Feb.16, 2018

Despite sluggish sales in the U.S. and China, global auto sales are expected to set a new record in 2018.

Global auto sales are expected to hit an all-time record in 2018 of 97.3 million vehicles, according to a new forecast by LMC Automotive.

That 2.1% jump over 2017 would come despite a weak market in North America, as well as softening growth in what is now the world’s largest automotive market, China, LMC researchers said during a media conference call.

News Now!

The U.S., in particular, posted its first annual decline in vehicle sales since the market hit bottom in 2010, and it remains unclear what will happen in 2018, LMC Managing Director Pete Kelly cautioning that it “could go either way.” (more…)

Another Transmission Recall at Fiat Chrysler

Move targets over 200,000 Pickups that could roll away.

by on Feb.16, 2018

Fiat Chrysler is recalling 229,000 Ram pickups due to a problem with the the trucks unexpectedly shifting out of park.

Fiat Chrysler will recall 229,000 Ram pickups due to a defect that cause them to unexpectedly roll away.

Because a pin can become dislodged inadvertently if a driver keeps a foot on the brake when it is shifted into park, the normal shift interlock mechanism can be deactivated, allowing the vehicle to unexpectedly shift out of park without a key in the ignition or a foot on the brake.

Safety News!

It is the latest in a series of transmission problems for the Detroit automaker, though most of the recent issues have involved new electronic shifters that don’t have a direct mechanical linkage to the gearbox. One issue was linked to the death of Star Trek actor Anton Yelchin, who was crushed by his Jeep two years ago. (more…)

Mercedes-AMG GT Four-Door Caught Blowing in the Wind (Tunnel)

Debut coming at Geneva Motor Show.

by on Feb.15, 2018

The new Mercedes-AMG GT four-door is among the slipperiest sedans money can buy.

Think of them as tattoos, rather than camouflage, for there’s little left to the imagination in these shots of the new Mercedes-AMG GT four-door as it goes through wind tunnel testing ahead of its formal debut at the Geneva Motor Show next month.

The current GT is one of the more wind-slick models on the market, but stretching its length and wheelbase and then adding two more doors threatened to change aero equation massively, so it’s no surprise the German automaker designers have been spending so much time in the tunnel.

Performance News!

“Final tests will be carried out in the wind tunnel before the new member of the AMG GT family has its world premiere at the Geneva Motor Show,” the automaker said in a statement accompanying these images, adding that, “It is already clear that the new family member is also a fine aerodynamic performer.” (more…)

China Extending Incentives for Electric Vehicles

Government pushing hard to increase number of EVs on roads.

by on Feb.15, 2018

Good news for Tesla and other EV makers in China as the government has extended incentives on electric vehicles.

The Chinese government appears to have extended the hefty incentives that helped ignite the rapid sales of electric vehicles in China, according to Bruce Belzowski, managing director of the automotive futures program at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute.

Belzowski said during a UMTRI-sponsored conference on “Marketing New Powertrain Technologies,” said the Chinese government is prepared to go great lengths to promote the development of electric vehicles.

Global News!

While the Chinese now build millions of internal combustion engines every year, the government has concluded that the global automakers Japan, the United States and Western Europe have a major edge built around 100 years of experience, he noted.   (more…)

Toyota Set to Reveal Supra at Geneva Motor Show

New model likely to come with Gazoo Racing badges.

by on Feb.15, 2018

Japanese auto magazine, Best Car, revealed several pictures of the yet-to-be-unveiled sports car, including this racing version.

This story has been updated with new information.

Toyota Motor Co. dropped a broad hint that it is preparing to unveil a concept car at the upcoming 2018 Geneva Motor Show that will signal the impending return of one of its most famous nameplates, the Supra.

However, a Japanese auto magazine, Best Car, released early pictures of the alleged sports car along with a smattering of technical information. The pictures show a vehicle closely related to its MKIV concept car from a few years ago.

Product News!

The automaker offered only a partial look at the new Supra, a car that helped embellish the Japanese automaker’s reputation for building some of the world’s best cars. The Supra has been gone – but hardly forgotten – from the Toyota model line for the better part of two decades. (more…)

Lincoln Adds More Star Power to its Ads with Serena Williams

Tennis star talks about role Navigator played in her life.

by on Feb.15, 2018

Tennis great Serena Williams is promoting the new Lincoln Navigator.

All right, all right, all right. It’s time for a new Lincoln spokesperson and new mom Serena Williams — already once a Navigator owner — is stepping into the role.

Lincoln has pinned a lengthy ad campaign on actor Matthew McConaughey and now expands its celebrity spokesperson stable to include Williams, who has won 23 Grand Slam tennis titles, to promote the newly redesigned Navigator.

News Now!

“Serena is an amazing athlete who has won 23 Grand Slams, but she also has a family, she has her own clothing line, she sits on major boards, she’s philanthropic – she has all these competing demands on her time,” said John Emmert, group marketing manager, The Lincoln Motor Co. (more…)

Dyson’s EV Efforts Following a Familiar Path

Entrepreneur plans to start with a low-volume, premium car then add two.

by on Feb.14, 2018

James Dyson confirmed plans to produce an electric vehicle by 2020.

Stop me if you’ve heard this one: a quirky entrepreneur decides to get into the automotive business by developing an electric vehicle, even though he has no real experience in that arena. The grand plan calls for three vehicles to anchor the company.

Sound familiar?

Stay Plugged In!

Yes. But it’s not Elon Musk and Tesla, but rather James Dyson, the famous inventor of the Dyson vacuum and many other products. Dyson recently revealed plans to produce an EV using a solid state batteries rather than the lithium ion panels currently used by automakers. (more…)

Nissan Set to Reveal All-New Altima at NY Auto Show

Nissan hopes to hang onto midsize buyers in an SUV market.

by on Feb.14, 2018

Nissan is looking to ensure that its Altima midsize sedan continues to attract buyers in the competitive segment.

Midsize sedans. Remember them? In reality, while SUVs and CUVs have been gaining lots of momentum in the U.S. marketplace, the classic family four-door is still a seriously popular alternative, ringing up millions of sales each year.

It helps to have new sheet metal in the market, and last year saw two critical offerings, the completely remade Toyota Camry and Honda Accord – the latter being named North American Car of the Year, with Camry a runner-up. Now, it’s Nissan’s turn to weigh in, and the Japanese automaker has confirmed we’ll get our first look at the 2019 Altima at the New York Auto Show in a little more than a month.

Product News!

Spy shots have been popping up in recent months and they suggest we won’t see any radical shift away from Nissan’s current formula. A brief statement from the second-largest Japanese car manufacturer says that, “New Yorkers have always loved the Altima, making the Northeast region the most popular market for Nissan’s best-selling sedan and NYIAS the ideal place to reveal the next generation.” (more…)

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