Archive for the ‘Business’ Category

Korean Newcomer Genesis Tops Vehicle Satisfaction List

Nissan, GMC, Hyundai and Ram also score well in annual Vehicle Satisfaction Awards.

by on Jun.19, 2018

Genesis was the top brand overall in the 2018 VSA, while the G90 sedan was top Luxury Car.

Reflecting the massive shift from sedans and coupes to SUVs, CUVs and pickups, light trucks are doing a better job of pleasing buyers, at least if the 2018 Vehicle Satisfaction Awards are any indication. And SUVs are the most satisfying products of all, reports consulting and research firm AutoPacific, Inc.

But that isn’t a hard and fast rule. Genesis, the new Korean luxury brand that has yet to introduce its first utility vehicle, was the number one brand in the 2018 VSA, edging out more established competitors, such as Lexus, and achieving the highest score ever in the annual satisfaction study.

Best of the Best!

“In just two years, Genesis has reached a level of owner satisfaction unattained by more established luxury brands,” said AutoPacific President George Peterson, adding that the Genesis G90 sedan also won the VSA for Luxury Car for the second year in a row.

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Tesla Claims Employee Tried to Sabotage Plant – But Refuses to Say if Authorities Were Notified

Musk blames employee who didn’t receive promotion, hints others might be involved.

by on Jun.19, 2018

In a letter to employees, Tesla CEO Musk said the Fremont plant was the subject of sabotage.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk advised employees late Sunday that the company had been sabotaged by an employee who sent “highly sensitive” data to unnamed outside parties, but he and Tesla have so far refused to provide details, declining to even say whether police or other authorities, such as the FBI, have been asked to investigate.

Musk’s e-mail to Tesla workers, first reported by CNBC, was sent hours after a small fire at the Tesla assembly plant in Fremont, California briefly shut down due to a fire in its welding area. The incident was deemed minor and work quickly resumed. Tesla has been struggling to boost the factory’s output, primarily of the new Model 3 sedan, and has gone to an around-the-clock production schedule.

Breaking News!

In his note to employees, Musk said an employee committed “quite extensive and damaging sabotage to our operations,” among other things making “direct code changes” in Tesla’s manufacturing system while also sending “large amounts” of “highly sensitive” company data to an address outside the company.

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Hyundai, Kia Announce Global Reorganization Plans

Korean carmakers will get more regional autonomy in U.S., Europe.

by on Jun.18, 2018

The new organization is aimed at making the two brands more responsive to local markets.

Hyundai and sibling Korean carmaker Kia already operate as largely autonomous entities. Now, their regional operations in the U.S. and Europe will operate as largely independent operations to “spur sustainable growth and enhance innovation.”

The move to boost regional autonomy by Korea’s largest automaker is no surprise and follows in the footsteps of what has already been done by major Japanese automakers such as Toyota and Nissan. The first step will come with the establishment of new North American regional headquarters for each of the brands on July 2. Europe will follow shortly afterwards, as will other key global regions.

The Inside Story!

In a statement, the Hyundai Motor Group – which includes both Hyundai Motor Co. and Kia Motor Corp. – said the move will impact “every aspect of the business, ranging from product planning, marketing, sales, and manufacturing,”

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Ford Plans for Historic Detroit Rail Station Becoming Clear

Automaker plans to have 2,500 employees on the campus by 2022.

by on Jun.18, 2018

Ford's acquisition of the Michigan Central Station will serve at the catalyst for the company's new mobility-centered campus.

Ford Motor Co. acquired Michigan Central Station last week in Detroit’s Corktown neighborhood for an undisclosed sum and undisclosed plans — until now.

The automaker, which has said it will remain headquartered in nearby Dearborn, Michigan, plans to unveil its long-term plans for the former train station and several surrounding properties it also purchased to the public tomorrow.

News You Can Trust!

However, a few important details were revealed today, including that it will serve as an innovation hub for Ford’s vision for the future of transportation. (more…)

Cadillac Culling Sedan Line-Up, New Plant Investment Emphasizing Shift to SUVs

ATS, XTS going away as passenger car sales slide.

by on Jun.18, 2018

Cadillac is planning to end production of the slow-selling ATS by 2021.

General Motors will invest $175 million in a Lansing, Michigan assembly plant to support production of two new Cadillac sedans, but in the process, Caddy is expected to dump drop the slow-selling ATS compact coupe and XTS full-size sedan.

Early in the new decade, those two models, as well as the midsize Cadillac CTS, will be replaced by just two all-new sedans, the automaker said. The cutback reflects both the overall U.S. market shift from passenger cars to utility vehicles and, more specifically, the poor sales performance of those three Caddy models.

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It is not clear when the three current sedans will be dropped, but Cadillac isn’t expected to have the two replacement models ready to roll out of GM’s Lansing Grand River Assembly Plant until late in 2021, according to a spokesman. They will likely debut as 2022 models. (more…)

Audi CEO Stadler Arrested as Germany Expands Diesel Emissions Probe

As many as 20 current, former Audi employees now under investigation.

by on Jun.18, 2018

German prosecutors have arrested Audi CEO Rupert Stadler, though no charges have yet been filed.

Audi CEO Rupert Stadler has been “provisionally” arrested, the luxury arm of Volkswagen AG confirmed Monday morning, as the German government probe into emissions rigging by VW and the Audi subsidiary continues to expand.

Nearly a dozen executives and managers from the vast Volkswagen Group empire have been indicted since the automaker was first charged in September 2015 with rigging various diesel engines to illegally pass emissions tests. Several have already been convicted in the U.S., though others have fled to Germany where they cannot be extradited. But as many as 20 others are now under suspicion as Germany moves forward with its own investigation, according to the Associated Press.

We Keep You In the Know!

“Audi CEO Rupert Stadler was provisionally arrested this morning,” VW’s largest luxury brand said in a statement Monday morning. It added that “the presumption of innocence remains in place for Mr. Stadler.”

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Official: First Look at All-New BMW 8-Series

BMW's flagship coupe returns after two-decade absence.

by on Jun.15, 2018

This is the first BMW 8-Series since the original was abandoned in 1999.

It may be time for the 24 Hours of Le Mans, but the big news, trackside will turn to a new street model, BMW using the annual endurance race as backdrop to reveal the long-awaited rebirth of its flagship 8-Series model.

It’s been nearly two decades since the Bavarian automaker abandoned the original 8-Series, but we got word that it would make a comeback last year with the May 2017 debut of the Concept 8 at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este on Italy’s Lake Como. Finally, we’re getting a look at the production version.

The Last Word!

Like the original, the new 8-Series opts for a coupe body, albeit one with a much more modern, streamlined design. The pop-up headlights, for one thing, are gone, replaced by slim LED lamps and the automaker’s new LaserLight technology. Indeed, as you’d expect of a BMW flagship, everywhere you look the new coupe is loaded up with the latest in technology, from its optional carbon fiber roof to its self-parking system.

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New UAW Chief Takes Office With Full War Chest

Officers get 31% raise after rank-and-file gets dues hike.

by on Jun.15, 2018

Newly elected UAW President Gary Jones acknowledges the crowd at the union's quadrennial meeting.

The United Auto Workers installed a new president this week as Gary Jones replaced Dennis Williams in the corner office at union headquarters in Solidarity House in Detroit.

During its quadrennial Constitutional Convention, the union also installed a new Secretary Treasurer, Ray Curry, and one new vice president Rory Gamble.

Union News!

Jones had been part of the UAW’s financial staff at union headquarters during for several years before returning to his home region in the western United States to serve two terms as a regional director and as a member of the union’s executive board before becoming the candidate of the union’s administration caucus, which controls all of the levers of power inside the union. (more…)

NAFTA Talks Halted — For Now

Talks on hold until after Mexico's presidential election July 1.

by on Jun.14, 2018

Trade representatives from Canada, Mexico and the U.S. agreed to halt talks until after July 1.

The North American Free Trade Agreement isn’t dead — yet.

The laborious pace of talks which has resulted in several missed deadlines for completion will continue, according to Canada’s top negotiator, Chrystia Freeland.

Trade News!

“We decided … to continue our negotiations on NAFTA,” Freeland said after meeting U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer in Washington D.C. (more…)

GM Names Suryadevara to Replace Stevens as CFO

Company now one of a few with women in CEO, CFO roles.

by on Jun.14, 2018

Dhivya Suryadevara becomes General Motors chief financial officer on Sept. 1.

General Motors Co. tapped 39-year-old Dhivya Suryadevara to take over one of the company’s senior executive positions, making the company part a select group with women in the role of CEO and CFO.

GM appointed Suryadevara as Chief Financial Officer, effective Sept. 1, 2018. She will report to Mary Barra, GM chairman and CEO, the company said.

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Suryadevara replaces Chuck Stevens as GM executive vice president and CFO, who has elected to retire after more than 40 years with the company, effective March 1, 2019. will remain with the company as an adviser until his retirement. (more…)