Archive for the ‘Business’ Category

Model 3 Production Halt Raises New Worries About Tesla

Automaker wants to “improve automation and systematically address bottlenecks.”

by on Apr.17, 2018

Tesla is shutting down its plant temporarily to resolve production problems that have delayed Model 3 production.

Tesla is temporarily idling its troubled Fremont, California assembly plant for as long as five days, the automaker has confirmed, in order to “improve automation and systematically address bottlenecks.”

The factory, originally built by General Motors, is Tesla’s only automotive manufacturing facility and currently produces the company’s three battery-electric vehicles, the Models S, X and 3. The latter EV is Tesla’s first “affordable,” long-range vehicle and is meant to push the company into the mainstream – and its balance sheet into the black.

Product News!

But the factory has been in what CEO Elon Musk calls “production hell” since the first Model 3 rolled off the line last July, running up unexpected deficits and leading some to question the company’s very survival. (more…)

China Phasing Out JV Rule Limiting Foreign Auto Plant Ownership

Rule has been major chafing point with foreign manufacturers – also helped build up domestic Chinese auto industry.

by on Apr.17, 2018

China is phasing out the rules requiring foreign automakers to adopt a Chinese company for a joint venture to do business.

China announced plans to phase out rules requiring foreign automakers to partner with domestic Chinese companies if they want to open an assembly plant in the booming market. The announcement comes barely a week after President Xi Jinping indicated the country would begin rolling back its 25% tariff on foreign-made autos.

The rule required companies like General Motors, Volkswagen and Toyota to give local companies like GAC and SAIC a 50% stake in their Chinese operations. That approach not only limited their profits but effectively also helped fund the development of the domestic Chinese auto industry, a number of those manufacturers now setting up brands of their own that they hope to turn into worldwide competitors.

Breaking News!

“Following a five-year transition period, all ownership restrictions will be lifted,” the National Development and Reform Commission said in a statement. (more…)

Geely’s Li Shufu Says Partnerships Key to Auto Success

Team up or get swallowed up.

by on Apr.17, 2018

Geely Chairman Li Khufu purchased 9.7% of Daimler AG for $9.2 billion.

Geely owner Li Shufu urged Daimler AG, in which he recently became one of the largest shareholders, to consider further strategic partnerships.

Global News!

Li Shufu, who is also the owner of Volvo, recently became a major shareholder of Daimler after acquiring a 9.69 % stake in the Stuttgart-based company. (more…)

Summer Driving Season Calls for Automotive Check Up

AAA recommends a BET on your vehicle.

by on Apr.17, 2018

AAA suggests getting your vehicle looked at before taking any summer trips.

The summer driving season is getting closer, although a look out one’s window may contradict that statement, and that means more driving and, more than likely, some sort of long-distance family trip.

While most folks start preparing for the inevitable rise in gas prices that will add costs to a trip, AAA warns that the majority of travelers should expect some sort of car trouble or breakdown while traveling the U.S.

News You Can Trust!

A new analysis of AAA roadside data shows that vehicles 10 years and older are twice as likely to end up stranded on the side of the road compared to newer vehicles and on top of that, the odds of needing a tow quadruples. (more…)

Mustang: World’s Best-Selling Sports Car for Third Year in a Row

Exports to Asia and Europe pushing pony car to the top.

by on Apr.17, 2018

The Ford Mustang is the world's best-selling sports car three years running.

When the Ford Mustang turned 50, the automaker decided it was time to see just how popular the pony car was, and it began selling one of America’s first muscle cars globally.

Turned out to be a fine idea.

Industry News!

Now that the Mustang is about to turn the big Five-Four, it is also celebrating its third consecutive year as the best-selling sports car in the world, according to IHS Markit. Global Mustang registrations in 2017 totaled 125,809 cars, according to Ford. (more…)

Sagging Diesel Sales Pushes Jaguar Land Rover to Lay Off 1K Workers

Company cutting production at two plants in England.

by on Apr.16, 2018

Jaguar Land Rover plans to lay off about 1,000 workers this year as diesel sales have declined.

Many tout the rise of the electric vehicle as a way to create new opportunities and new jobs, but one would be hard pressed to convince the 1,000 employees that Jaguar Land Rover plans to lay off due to the decline of diesel.

JLR, which is owned by parent company Tata Motors, is not only cutting jobs, but is also reducing production at two of its English factories as demand for diesel cars slumps due to higher taxes and regulatory changes related to Britain’s exit from the European Union.

News You Can Trust!

British new car registrations have been falling during the past year which the industry has blamed, in part, on weakening consumer confidence in the wake of the Brexit vote, after record demand in 2015 and 2016. (more…)

Caddy Triggers Battle of the Behemoths with $10,000 Escalade Discounts

Fighting off the new Lincoln Navigator.

by on Apr.16, 2018

A Cadillac Escalade Platinum can top $100,000.

If you’re looking for one of the biggest, baddest luxury utes on the market, Cadillac is hoping to lure you into one of its U.S. showrooms. Aiming to shore itself up against an assault by Lincoln’s newly updated Navigator SUV, Caddy is firing back with discounts of up to $10,000 on its own Escalade model.

GM has traditionally dominated the full-size SUV segment, both mainstream and luxury, and it gained significant traction when it introduced an all-new version of the ‘Slade for the 2014 model-year. But that’s a lifetime ago in today’s hotly competitive market and Lincoln has been building momentum fast with the all-new version of the Navigator it launched last year.

News You Can Trust!

While the two models don’t generate a lot of volume they serve up substantial profits for their respective manufacturers, providing plenty of room to load up the incentives. The question is whether Lincoln will now fire back with big givebacks of its own.

(more…)

EV Investment Booms in Last Two Years, Report Says

Europe leading the way in number of projects on the board.

by on Apr.16, 2018

The Vizzion Concept is set to become the fourth model in the new Volkswagen I.D.EV-based sub-brand.

Automakers have accelerated investment in electric vehicles, according to a new report from BMI, the London-based research arm of the investment rating firm, the Fitch Group.

The public relations crisis around diesel engines, the attractive image of pure EV brands and the growth of the demand for pure EVs in China and Europe have helped push the investment in electric vehicles, the report said.

Industry News!

The figures compiled by BMI also show that electric vehicles account for a significant share of total investment within the auto industry.  (more…)

GM Confirms Layoffs at Lordstown Plant

Company adjusting to market demand with move.

by on Apr.16, 2018

GM says its cutting the second shift at its Lordstown, Ohio plant due to changing customer preferences.

General Motors confirmed it plans to eliminate one shift at its big assembly complex in northeastern Ohio, idling some 1,500 workers.

GM spokeswoman Dayna Hart said in an e-mail that the downsizing of Lordstown’s workforce was in response to the long-term changes in the market place.

News Now!

“Last year GM operated the Lordstown, Ohio assembly plant on two shifts. As the market continued to undergo ‘historic’ changes, it required us to reduce production rates and take numerous down weeks to match production with lower customer demand for compact cars.   (more…)

Trump Drags Heels as NAFTA Negotiators Push Forward

Rhetoric increases confusion, delay in getting new deal done.

by on Apr.13, 2018

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and his team are pushing ahead in NAFTA talks despite President Trump's criticism of the pact.

As the Trump Administration’s NAFTA negotiation team continues to try to hammer out a deal, making incremental progress, the president appears to want to hamstring the group at every opportunity.

Just yesterday it was revealed that U.S. trade negotiators reduced their demand for regional auto content to 75% from the 85% they demanded originally. Eduardo Solis, the head of Mexico’s automotive industry association, confirmed the move today.

Promises, Promises!

However, speaking at the White House Thursday, President Trump told reporters he’s willing to “renegotiate forever,” as he tries to secure terms that are better for the automotive industry. The terms include an increase in North American content required in new vehicles now. (more…)