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Ford Making Switch to Green Power for Detroit-Area Facilities

Ford is first automaker to enlist in the program.

by on Feb.22, 2019

Ford's electricity for its facilities stretching from Dearborn to Detroit will now come from green resources, like this wind turbine.

The smoke and grit from the Ford Motor Co.’s sprawling Rouge complex embodied in Charles Sheeler’s fabled pictures from the 1920s have long been part of the of the Motor City’s lore and heritage.

However, Ford and DTE Energy, a local energy provider, are vowing that key parts of the Rouge as well as other key Ford installations stretching from Dearborn to Detroit’s Corktown neighborhood, including the Michigan Central Train Station that will become a part of the company’s research and engineering campus, will be powered by electricity generated by wind and solar power.

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Ford Motor Co.’s Dearborn Truck Plant, the Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Michigan, as well as several new buildings on the Ford Research and Engineering Campus and will soon be powered by 100% locally sourced renewable energy, Ford announced this week.  (more…)

First Drive: 2019 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Limited

Plenty of comfort and convenience with great fuel economy.

by on Feb.21, 2019

The 2019 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Limited features the S appearance package with blacked out wheels and other updates to make it appealing to men.

Minivans were invented by the old Chrysler Corp. back in the early 1980s and through the company’s various transitions and permeations have been a mainstay in its product portfolio ever since the Reagan years.

Facing stiffer fuel-economy and emission regulations, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. has brought on a hybrid version that has all the advantages that have made of the traditional minivan a practical choice for families or anyone that needs to carry multiple passengers of all ages to a destination in comfort and with minimal fuss.

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The sliding doors on the 2019 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid remain as practical as ever for dropping children off for school while changes to the powertrain have given it greater range and fuel economy FCA also has loaded up with the latest technology, including the ability to connect multiple devices to the Internet and useful driver-assistance features such as blind spot detection that help justify its $50,375 price tag, which includes the $1,395 destination charge. (more…)

February New Vehicle Sales Expected to Drop

Drop comes after better-than-expected January.

by on Feb.21, 2019

New vehicle sales are expected to fall 2.2% compared with last February's results.

With cold weather gripping the nation’s midsection, sales of new vehicles are expected to drop significantly in February, according to analysts and signals from the Federal Reserve Board.

Edmunds predicts that 1,271,009 new vehicles will be sold in the U.S. in February for an estimated seasonally adjusted annual rate or SAAR of 16.7 million. This reflects a 12.3% increase in sales from January 2019 and a 2.2% decrease from February 2018.

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“Although the drop off in sales is rather subtle year over year, February is shaping up to be a good barometer of the gradual sales decline we expect through 2019,” said Jeremy Acevedo, Edmunds’ manager of industry analysis. (more…)

Japan Waiting on US for Signal on Trade Talks

Abe believes Trump won't raise tariffs before two sides talk.

by on Feb.20, 2019

Trump and Abe discussed the trade imbalance between the U.S. and Japan during Trump's visit.

Japanese officials believe the Trump administration will avoid slapping higher tariffs on Japanese cars and auto parts that are imported into the United States as it faces off with China and the European Union on various trade issues.

While the majority of vehicles that Toyota, Honda and Nissan sell in the United Sates are built at factories in the U.S., they also import large number of finished vehicles as well as key components, such as engines and transmissions.

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In total, Japan’s auto industry would suffer a value-added loss of about 8 billion euros or $9 billion and Germany would lose 7 billion euros, according to a new study by the German research institute Ifo. South Korea’s auto industry would suffer a loss of more than 3 billion euros. The Ifo study looked at long-run effects, about 90% of which typically occur in five years and 99% in 10 years. (more…)

UAW Local 961 Sues to Stop Transfer of FCA Plant to Supplier

Local believes bribery scandal may have influence transfer decision.

by on Feb.19, 2019

Members of UAW Local 961 filed suit to prevent the transfer of FCA's axle plant in Marysville, Michigan, to supplier ZF.

Members of United Auto Workers Union Local 961 in suburban Detroit have sued both the UAW International and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles to prevent the automaker from transferring an axle plant in Marysville, Michigan, to the giant German automotive supplier ZF.

The lawsuit asks a federal judge to halt the transition of the plant, which makes axles for the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Ram pickup, and give the Local the opportunity to determine if any of the corruption cases in which both UAW and FCA officials have plead guilty to violations of federal labor law might have tainted the transaction.

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So far, five UAW officials and three FCA employees, including former FCA vice president of labor relations Alphons Iacobelli, have plead guilty in the federal investigation that originally began nearly several months before the original indictment was made public in 2017. (more…)

Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance Partnering With Google

Move marks beginning of post-Ghosn era.

by on Feb.18, 2019

The Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance is making plans with Waymo to find ways to exploit the ever-changing mobility world.

The Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance, which is preparing to hang together in the post-Ghosn era, plans to join Google’s camp for developing autonomous taxis and other services using self-driving vehicles.

The automakers intend to work with Waymo, a Google spinoff that is among the leaders in technology for self-driving cars. The companies are in the final phase of talks, and plan to announce the arrangement as early as spring, according to a Japanese news service.

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The partnership would unite a car alliance whose global sales totaled 10.8 million automobiles in 2018 with a developer whose self-driving vehicles have traveled more than 10 million miles on U.S. public roads as of October. Waymo has forged similar deals with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Jaguar Land Rover, but the Nissan-Renault-Mitsubishi alliance boasts greater scale. (more…)

FCA Changes Windsor Plant Shut Down Due to Mexico Strikes

Supplier strikes along Mexico-U.S. border causing parts shortage.

by on Feb.15, 2019

Fiat Chrysler's Windsor, Ontario, plant that builds the company's minivans will be shut down a week earlier than expected due to a parts shortage.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. is shutdown the company’s minivan plant in Windsor, Ontario, the week of Feb. 18, due to a parts shortage created by a problem with what was described as an “external” supplier.

“FCA is re-timing the down week at the Windsor Assembly Plant from the week of Feb. 25 to the week of Feb. 18. Normal production schedules are expected to resume the week of Feb. 25,” FCA Canada spokeswoman Lou Ann Gosselin told the trade publication Automotive News.

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The upcoming shutdown will be the third temporary closure of 2019. The plant did not operate the first two weeks of January to adjust inventories, the company said at the time. (more…)

General Motors’ New eBikes Have ARĪVed

The bikes can travel nearly 40 miles on a charge.

by on Feb.15, 2019

The new ARĪV Merge, in red, and Meld are new eBikes created by General Motors' Mobility division.

General Motors is taking the first step in launching its bike business by launching ARĪV, its new eBike brand in Western Europe.

GM sold off its European passenger car business to PSA in 2017 said the ARĪV line will includes two innovative, integrated and connected eBikes: the Meld, a compact eBike, and the Merge, a folding eBike. The name ARĪV was selected as part of a global crowdsourcing campaign announced in November 2018.

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“The crowdsourcing campaign allowed us to bring consumers into the development of our brand,” said Hannah Parish, ARĪV director. “Combine that with our products and our blend of bike and automotive talent, and the result is a unique brand DNA.”   (more…)

First Drive: 2019 Ford Expedition

Revised SUV comes back strong in new iteration.

by on Feb.14, 2019

The new 2019 Ford Expedition is a dramatic improvement over the previous generation model.

When motorists a decade ago were faced with the one-two punch of rising gasoline prices and the recession, sales of big SUVs went in an eclipse.

Ford Motor Co., not surprisingly given the market signals that existed then, put the plans for updating its big SUV, the Ford Expedition, on hold where they stayed for a long time. But times change and the popularity of full-size SUVs has risen and Ford has responded with a complete update of the Expedition.

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The end result is a vehicle that’s more comfortable, easier to drive and maneuver and offers a smoother ride than its predecessors without compromising its capacity to carry people and gear or even tow large trailers. Ford’s also added in more technology, including driver assistance features into the package, bringing up to date. (more…)

Ford Warns Britain No-Deal Brexit Could Mean UK Departure

Automaker tells British PM it could pull up stakes if Brexit goes poorly.

by on Feb.14, 2019

Ford may pull operations from the UK if the Brexit goes poorly, the company warned.

New speculation about Ford Motor Co.’s post-Brexit plans for its operations in the United Kingdom have led to reports that the automaker is preparing to exit the British Isles once the UK leaves the European Union next month.

Ford executives told British Prime Minister Theresa May during a conference call this week that the automaker, which is facing $1 billion in extra costs, may have to move some production out of Britain because of Brexit, a source on the call told the BBC.

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Ford told May it might have to use alternatives sites outside Britain, the BBC’s source – who spoke on condition of anonymity – said.  “They were just making clear that they have other options. This isn’t the only one,” the source said. (more…)

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