Archive for the ‘Politicians’ Category

Nissan Shifts SUV Production From England to Japan Due to Brexit

Maker cites "uncertainties" in marketplace.

by on Feb.04, 2019

Nissan is moving production of the X-Trail from its plant in Sunderland, England, to Japan due to Brexit issues.

Nissan has confirmed it is shifting production of the X-Trail sport-utility vehicle from its big plant in Sunderland, England, to Japan.

In a letter to workers, it said continued Brexit uncertainty is not helping firms to “plan for the future,” according to the BBC. In 2016, the then-Nissan Chairman Carlos Ghosn said the company would build the new model in the UK after “assurances” from the government, the BBC said.

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Unions described the news as “disappointing” and said they were “seriously concerned.” (more…)

Over a Dozen Michigan Automotive Operations Close As Fire Cuts NatGas Supplies During Record Cold Wave

Workers told to stay home – and to turn back their own thermostats.

by on Jan.31, 2019

A fire at Consumers Energy's facility in Armada Township, Michigan, north of Detroit, has Detroit-area automakers closing some plants. (Photo credit: Fox2Detroit)

The alert went out by smartphone to nearly 2 million natural gas customers across Michigan’s Lower Peninsula: turn back your thermostats or risk the possibility of having natural gas supplies cut off.

While some utilities have raised concerns about gas supplies in previous cold waves, the warning from Michigan-based Consumers Energy Co. was compounded by a fire at a gas compression facility near Detroit that created a potentially worst-case scenario, shortages even as demand for heat across the frozen state was reaching record level in temperatures dropping into the double-digits below zero.

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And individual consumers aren’t the only ones being impacted. Ford Motor Co. says it has reduced operations at four plants as of Thursday morning, while General Motors has temporarily halted or reduced operations at 11 of its own factories, as well as its Technical Center in the Detroit suburb of Warren. About 20,000 workers at that sprawling complex have been asked to work at home through Friday. (more…)

“Plot and Treason” Brought Down Ghosn, Jailed Execs Claims

Former Nissan chairman said claims were concocted for “purpose of getting rid of me.”

by on Jan.30, 2019

Former Renault-Nissan Chief Carlos Ghosn said his arrest and detention is due to "plot and treason."

“Plot and treason get the blame” for the arrest of Nissan’s former chairman Carlos Ghosn, the 64-year-old executive said during his first public comments since being dragged off his corporate jet on Nov. 19.

Ghosn has been held in solitary confinement ever since and looked gaunt during a court hearing earlier this month. Japanese prosecutors have successfully argued against bail for the exec, even though co-defendant Greg Kelly was released on Christmas Day.

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Until now, Ghosn has only been allowed to meet with his lawyers, embassy officials and prosecutors who were interrogating him daily and trying to get him to sign a confession written in Japanese, a language Ghosn does not speak. (more…)

Sweden Approves Volvo JV for Autonomous Car Testing

Zenuity ready to put software to real-world test.

by on Jan.30, 2019

Zenuity, a Volvo Cars joint venture with Veoneer, received approval from the Swedish government to begin autonomous testing on public roads.

A Volvo Cars joint venture has gotten approval to test its software in self-driving cars on Swedish highways at speeds of up to 80 kilometers or 60 miles per hour.

Zenuity, a joint venture between Volvo and Swedish tech company Veoneer, developed software for Level 4 autonomous driving that will be tested in a Volvo car by trained drivers with their hands off the steering wheel. The venture is striving to keep up with rivals in the U.S. and China in the development self-driving vehicles.

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Volvo’s self-driving effort was side-swiped last year when one of its sport utility vehicles, which was being used as a test-bed for Uber’s self-driving venture, was involved in an accident that killed an Arizona pedestrian. A post-accident investigation showed that the advanced-driver assistance features on the Volvo test vehicle had been disabled. (more…)

Nissan Troubles Escalate As SEC Launches Pay Probe

France says Ghosn shouldn’t get “exorbitant” payout.

by on Jan.28, 2019

Carlos Ghosn, former CEO of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance, and his case in Japan has triggered an investigation by the SEC in the U.S.

Nissan says it is facing a probe by the SEC looking into the accuracy of its executive pay disclosures, a probe stemming from the arrest of former Nissan Motor Co. Chairman Carlos Ghosn last November in Japan.

The former executive has been held since Nov. 19, in the Tokyo Detention Center on multiple charges, including allegations that he failed to disclose about $88 million in income. Nissan has also been charged by Japanese prosecutors in connection with the alleged scheme.

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“We have received an inquiry and are cooperating fully,” the automaker said in a statement e-mailed to TheDetroitBureau.com that added, “We cannot provide further details.” (more…)

Government Shutdown May Hurt Automakers Soon

FCA delayed intro of new Ram 3500 HD due to EPA closure.

by on Jan.25, 2019

FCA CEO Mike Manley said the government shutdown is delaying the sale of the new Ram 3500 HD.

The government shutdown is now in its 34thday. The longest-ever shutdown has impacted 800,000 government employees, making it difficult for them to pay bills, buy groceries and meet day-to-day financial obligations.

The ongoing fight between President Donald Trump and Democrats has also impacted the public at-large through longer lines at airports, closure of National Parks and the delay of at least one new vehicle model.

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Environmental Protection Agency employees are part of the shutdown, including those responsible for performing the various tests necessary for new vehicle models in the EPA labs in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Without the certifications, the vehicles don’t meet federal regulations and cannot be sold. (more…)

Mercedes-Benz Eyes Construction of New Plant in Egypt

Open to working with the government on other projects too.

by on Jan.24, 2019

Markus Schäfer, Member of the Divisional Board of Management of Mercedes-Benz Cars, Production and Supply Chain, and the President of the Arab Republi c of Egypt H.E. Abdel Fattah El-Sisi spoke about plans to start a new assembly plant in Egypt.

Mercedes-Benz Cars is considering construction of a new assembly plant in Egypt.

“Egypt is an attractive and competitive location for production and supporting logistics,” said Markus Schaefer, the executive responsible for Mercedes-Benz Cars, Production.

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Schaefer said local assembly enables Mercedes-Benz to expand its market position. (more…)

Renault Replaces Ghosn as He Languishes in Tokyo Jail

But Ghosn could get millions – when freed – for leaving company voluntarily.

by on Jan.24, 2019

Jean-Dominique Senard, left, and Thierry Bollore are Renault's new chairman and CEO respectively.

Renault has moved ahead and named both a new chairman and a new CEO, replacing Carlos Ghosn who continues to be held in a Tokyo jail on financial corruption charges.

Jean-Dominique Senard will serve as the French automaker’s new chairman, while Thierry Bollore, a long-time lieutenant of Ghosn’s will become its new CEO. The appointments came just hours after Ghosn formally tendered his resignation as Renault’s chief. Renault and its top shareholder, the French government, had, until recently, stood behind Ghosn despite his arrest in Japan, but the latest move reflects the likelihood the 64-year-old executive won’t be released anytime soon.

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Ghosn was arrested on Nov. 19, shortly after his corporate jet touched down at Tokyo’s Haneda Airport. He has been accused of multiple crimes, including concealing as much as $88 million in income. But he could stand to earn millions more as a result of his decision to voluntarily resign from Renault, according a Bloomberg report. (more…)

Mexican Strikers Taking Aim at Automotive Supplier Plants

Protestors looking for higher pay, raise in minimum wage.

by on Jan.23, 2019

A series of wildcat strikes in Mexico threatens the U.S. auto industry. (Credit: AquiMatamoros)

A series of wildcat strikes in the maquiladora plants in Matamoros, Mexico, along the U.S.-Mexican border near Brownsville, Texas, could threaten auto production across North America.

More than 30,000 Mexican workers have been involved in the strikes, which have hit factories owned by a number of automotive suppliers, among them prominent companies such as Inteva, Delphi, Dura and Key Safety Systems.

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The walkouts, which have been described by some observers as the largest industrial strike in North America in decades, also have hit plants belonging to a number of aerospace, textile and electronics firms that during the past four decades have set up plants on the Mexican side of the border in search of cheap labor. (more…)

Ghosn Denied Bail, Now in 3rd Month of Detention

Court offers no explanation; family plans appeal.

by on Jan.22, 2019

Carlos Ghosn's bid to secure bail failed. He remains in Japanese custody.

More than two months after he was whisked off a corporate jet and taken to a detention center in Tokyo, former Nissan Chairman Carlos Ghosn will remain in custody as he faces multiple charges of corruption, a Japanese court has ruled.

The 64-year-old executive offered to wear an ankle monitor, hire security guards and take other steps if released on bail, but the Tokyo District Court went along with prosecutors who demanded that Ghosn remain in custody. His family now plans an appeal.

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There is a growing likelihood that the once high-flying executive could remain in custody until his trial begins, something that may not happen for six months or more, according to his lawyer, former Japanese prosecutor Motonari Ohtsuru. The court offered no explanation for its decision on Monday but at a previous hearing on Jan. 8, it indicated concerns that Ghosn might try to flee the country or take steps to destroy evidence. (more…)