Manufacturing

China's Wanxiang to relaunch Fisker Karma with 2012 design, report says

4:32 pm U.S. ET | Sept. 18, 2014
Chinese auto parts producer Wanxiang Group, which bought electric car pioneer Fisker Automotive from bankruptcy, is accelerating the relaunch of Fisker's Karma hybrid luxury car by using a design from the company's last year of production, people close to the companies said.... Read More »

 

Alabama steel plant's new owners pledge more supply

4:16 pm U.S. ET | Sept. 18, 2014
North American auto plants soon should see an improved and greater supply of the high-strength steels needed to reduce vehicle weight and improve fuel economy, thanks to a change in ownership earlier this year of an advanced steel-finishing plant near Mobile, Ala.... Read More »

 

RICHARD TRUETT

Why Toyota punted on a V-6 in the Tundra for '15

11:58 am U.S. ET | Sept. 18, 2014
It's rare when Toyota admits defeat and folds -- especially when it comes to engines and fuel economy. But that's what happened last week when Toyota introduced the 2015 Tundra pickup and revealed that the big truck would be available only with V-8 engines.... Read More »

 

ZF's Sommer sees more acquisitions beyond TRW purchase

Sept. 18, 2014 09:05 CET
ZF, which agreed to buy TRW Automotive Holdings for $13.5 billion including debt, sees a need for more acquisitions as even the largest auto suppliers seek size and technology.... Read More »

 

Mercedes opts for cloud-computing setup to protect data from hackers

Sept. 18, 2014 13:22 CET
Mercedes is using a cloud-computing setup to protect data generated by vehicles as the industry moves toward driverless cars. Automakers are looking for ways to stop hackers from gaining information or even hijacking vehicles by remote control.... Read More »

 

Lear contract first step in eliminating two-tier wages, Canadian union chief says

12:01 am U.S. ET | Sept. 18, 2014
The head of Canada's largest auto worker union said a tentative UAW contract ending two-tier pay disparity at a Lear seat plant in Indiana was the first step in eliminating the practice at Detroit 3 plants in the United States.... Read More »

 

CAR CUTAWAY

Magna Powertrain helps Mercedes GLA stay on track

5:02 am U.S. ET | Sept. 18, 2014
Magna Powertrain supplies the all-wheel-drive system for the new Mercedes-Benz GLA. The supplier eliminated seal rings and bearings in the system to reduce drag by about 14 percent and decrease weight by more than 2kg.... Read More »

 

Toyota to boost Mexico truck plant capacity by 41%

8:50 pm U.S. ET | Sept. 17, 2014
As Toyota ponders its first full assembly plant in Mexico, it plans to boost capacity at its existing factory there almost 40 percent to feed demand for trucks.... Read More »

 

Audi claims first California autonomous driving permit

11:35 am U.S. ET | Sept. 17, 2014
Volkswagen's Audi unit is the first automaker to receive an autonomous driving permit in California, as new laws in the state governing the process went into effect on Tuesday.... Read More »

 

Ford seeks younger Mustang buyers with tech features

12:44 pm U.S. ET | Sept. 17, 2014
The 2015 Ford Mustang arrives in dealerships next month as Ford's most technology-laden pony car yet. The fastback model will arrive first, followed by the convertible later in the fall. Ford hopes to appeal to a new generation of Mustang buyers -- and overseas markets -- by offering technologies never seen before in Ford's pony car.... Read More »

 

LINDSAY CHAPPELL

Scrap Nissan's Leaf battery plant? Hardly

3:23 pm U.S. ET | Sept. 17, 2014
News broke this week that Nissan and Renault are debating the future of their electric-vehicle battery technology sourcing. Frankly, it would be bigger news if the two automaker partners weren't debating it.... Read More »

 

Guardian automotive glass units to be acquired by Japanese supplier

3:57 pm U.S. ET | Sept. 17, 2014
Japan's Central Glass Company has agreed to purchase the outstanding shares of two automotive units of Guardian Industries, a longtime Detroit area automotive glass supplier with roots dating to the 1930s.... Read More »

 

Ford and Lincoln get connected with Apple's Siri

4:23 pm U.S. ET | Sept. 17, 2014
After years of negative customer reviews of its in-car voice-recognition technology, Ford may solve some of its lingering issues by partnering with Automatic Labs. Soon, drivers will be able to ask Apple's Siri system about the weather and turn on their home thermostat from the wheel of their Ford or Lincoln, the automaker said Tuesday.... Read More »

 

Steelmaker says it can put pickups on a diet

6:56 am U.S. ET | Sept. 17, 2014
ArcelorMittal has a message for automakers scrambling to hit tougher fuel economy targets that come into effect in 2025: You don't have to make trucks out of aluminum to do it.... Read More »

 

DAVID BARKHOLZ

Strike shows restless UAW is going after two-tier wage system

3:30 pm U.S. ET | Sept. 16, 2014
The word “strike” has returned to the UAW lexicon. The union struck on Saturday at a Lear plant in Indiana that makes seats for Ford's Chicago Assembly Plant. Workers were back on the job a day later.... Read More »

 

GM adding 3rd shift to Chevy Colorado, GMC Canyon plant in Missouri

12:00 pm U.S. ET | Sept. 16, 2014
GM will add a third production shift at a Missouri assembly plant where its new midsize pickups and commercial vans are made. GM last week started output of the redesigned 2015 Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon at the factory after a two-year hiatus for the trucks.... Read More »

 

Penske expands engines, power business in Australia, Pacific

3:46 pm U.S. ET | Sept. 16, 2014
Penske Automotive Group today said it is buying a company that distributes diesel and gasoline engines and power systems in Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific markets.... Read More »

 

Hyundai plans to build 2 more factories in China, not 1, reports say

7:17 am U.S. ET | Sept. 16, 2014
Hyundai Motor Co. plans to build two factories in China instead of one, two people familiar with the matter told Reuters today.... Read More »

 

ZF says TRW takeover creates supplier ready for self-driving age

Sept. 16, 2014 14:19 CET
ZF wants to purchase TRW to create a global supplier ready for an age of self-driving cars. "The major motivation for this transaction is technology driven, in the field of electromobility and ... autonomous driving," ZF CEO Stefan Sommer said.... Read More »

 

Toyota pauses on Mexico expansion to review growth strategy, report says

10:15 am U.S. ET | Sept. 16, 2014
Toyota is reconsidering a move to open a new compact car assembly plant in Mexico after company President Akio Toyoda told planners searching for a site to pause and review its rationale, executives familiar with the matter said.... Read More »

 

Bosch benefits from ZF's bid to buy TRW

Sept. 16, 2014 12:45 CET
Robert Bosch is an unexpected beneficiary of ZF's plans to purchase TRW. Bosch is poised to take full control of a steering joint venture it co-founded with ZF that makes systems that are key to creating driverless cars.... Read More »

 

Bosch benefits as new ZF-TRW combo enters driverless car fray

6:51 am U.S. ET | Sept. 16, 2014
Robert Bosch GmbH gained full control over key automotive technology, positioning the world's biggest parts supplier as an unexpected beneficiary of ZF Friedrichshafen AG's leap into the No. 2 position.... Read More »

 

Sensor cuts self-driving car costs

12:01 am U.S. ET | Sept. 15, 2014
You can't buy one yet, but the autonomous vehicle just got a little cheaper.... Read More »

 

Nissan may pull the plug on some battery-plant production, buy from LG Chem

7:52 am U.S. ET | Sept. 15, 2014
Nissan may begin purchasing electric-vehicle batteries from LG Chem as it opens procurement to external suppliers in addition to its own manufacturing with NEC Corp., CEO Carlos Ghosn said today.... Read More »

 

UAW deal with Lear would shed two-tier wages at Ind. plant

10:16 pm U.S. ET | Sept. 15, 2014
The agreement that ended a one-day strike at a Lear seat plant supplying Ford in Chicago would get rid of a wage structure that pays new-hires less than their veteran colleagues, a union official said.... Read More »

 

 
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Calif. dealer offers staff spiritual care

Calif. dealer offers staff spiritual care

Calif. dealer Bill Hoehn has something few retailers have: A full-time chaplain. The chaplain provides care and support for employees, is available 24/7 for crisis needs and even presides over weddings. Mon., September 22
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