Manufacturing

SEAT RELIEF

Lear, others devise high-tech ways to support bad backs

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 19, 2014
Lear Corp. wants motorists to sit up straight. The seat maker is developing a "smart" seat that adjusts itself automatically to correct a motorist's posture, important for comfort on long trips.... Read More »

 

GM says recalled cars safe, but has not tested for knee-bump danger

9:24 pm U.S. ET | April 17, 2014
General Motors says that cars being recalled because of faulty ignition switches can be driven safely before repairs, based on more than 80 tests, but the automaker has not addressed a problem long known to potentially shut off the engine: a simple bump from a driver's knee.... Read More »

 

Labor dispute at Jeep supplier in Ohio ends after one-day walkout

2:22 pm U.S. ET | April 17, 2014
A supplier labor dispute that temporarily disrupted production of the hot-selling 2014 Jeep Cherokee in Toledo, Ohio, on Thursday has been resolved.... Read More »

 

GM ordered redesigned ignition switch from Delphi for Cadillac SRX

3:19 pm U.S. ET | April 16, 2014
Delphi redesigned the ignition switch for the Cadillac SRX crossover to increase its torque about two months before making similar changes to the Chevrolet Cobalt ignition switch at the center of General Motors' recall crisis.... Read More »

 

GM rejected better ignition part in 2001 to save money, safety advocates say

10:36 am U.S. ET | April 16, 2014
General Motors chose not to use a more robust ignition-switch part in Chevrolet Cobalts and other small cars while they were being designed, a decision that may have led to deaths, safety advocates said.... Read More »

 

Daimler will receive 2.43 billion euros for stake in engine JV from Rolls-Royce

April 16, 2014 12:40 CET
Daimler will receive 2.43 billion euros ($3.36 billion) for its 50 percent stake in an engine joint venture from partner Rolls-Royce Holdings Plc.... Read More »

 

Bridgestone executives indicted for auto parts price fixing

6:27 pm U.S. ET | April 15, 2014
One current Bridgestone executive and two who formerly worked for the Japanese tire company have been indicted by a federal grand jury in Cleveland for allegedly conspiring to fix automotive-part prices. And a fourth executive formerly employed by Bridgestone agreed to plead guilty in a related case today.... Read More »

 

BMW boosts i3 production to 100 units a day to prepare for U.S. launch

8:16 am U.S. ET | April 15, 2014
BMW has increased production of the i3 electric city car 43 percent to meet demand that has exceeded the carmaker's initial expectations.... Read More »

 

Old and new alliances crucial to Tavares' turnaround plan for PSA

April 15, 2014 13:48 CET
PSA/Peugeot-Citroen will keep its industrial partnerships with General Motors, Toyota and Fiat despite the arrival of China's Dongfeng as a stakeholder in the automaker, CEO Carlos Tavares said.... Read More »

 

Clues in GM crashes easy to miss

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 14, 2014
At the time, many of the crashes now tied to faulty General Motors ignition switches looked like the predictable consequences of drunken driving, speeding or inattentiveness late at night.... Read More »

 

Cost quandary hits Japan's advanced factories

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 14, 2014
It's a cruel paradox for Japan's manufacturers. Auto suppliers here have some of the world's most automated factories. But because they also serve as global mother plants for low-tech operations overseas, they sometimes have to dumb down lines, making output more costly and labor intense.... Read More »

 

Tests toughened F-150 bed

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 14, 2014
Ford Motor Co. decided to increase the thickness of the aluminum used in the 2015 F-150's bed floor by almost half after conducting testing with three commercial fleet customers.... Read More »

 

14 new Toyota engines seek 10% gain in mpg

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 14, 2014
Toyota Motor Corp. will unleash a blitz of 14 new gasoline engines through 2015 in a long-awaited powertrain overhaul that aims to boost fuel efficiency by at least 10 percent.... Read More »

 

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

Keys, push buttons and first responders

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 14, 2014
I have had concerns about push-button, fob and stop-start systems for some time now.... Read More »

 

EDITORIAL

Beware of knee-jerk reactions to GM's recalls

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 14, 2014
The U.S. auto industry needs to be prepared for greater scrutiny, more government regulation and stronger enforcement.... Read More »

 

Detroit 3: High octane has pluses

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 14, 2014
Automakers could increase fuel economy as much as 5 percent if the United States used the same blend of high-octane gasoline that is sold in Europe, Detroit 3 powertrain chiefs say. Automakers could fine-tune engines to boost fuel economy and reduce engine sizes on future engines without sacrificing power.... Read More »

 

'Inner frame' makes Fit stronger, less costly

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 14, 2014
In creating the 2015 Honda Fit's body-in-white, Honda engineers changed the manufacturing process to make the car lighter, stronger and less expensive. Honda welds the upper body -- without the sheet metal -- to the lower body as a single "inner frame."... Read More »

 

LINDSAY CHAPPELL

Why new world Tesla needs old world factory relief

7:27 am U.S. ET | April 12, 2014
Despite all the ongoing Wall Street chatter about Tesla, there really is a larger issue closer at hand worth watching: How long will it take Tesla to sort out its manufacturing blocking and tackling?... Read More »

 

THE GM RECALL

GM engineer OK'd leaving part number unchanged, document shows

5:15 pm U.S. ET | April 11, 2014
A document created by supplier Delphi Automotive in May 2006 and released Friday by a congressional committee confirms that a General Motors engineer, Ray DeGiorgio, agreed to a redesign of the now-recalled ignition switch without changing the part number.... Read More »

 

Toyota unveils new generation of fuel-efficient engines

April 10, 2014 11:56 CET
Toyota has unveiled two fresh fuel-efficient powerplants that will underpin 14 new gasoline engine variants to be introduced globally through next year.... Read More »

 

Ford F-150 engineer says some ideas were too much to execute

3:56 pm U.S. ET | April 9, 2014
In Ford's five-year effort to strip weight from the 2015 F-150 pickup, some ideas were considered just too big of a stretch, chief engineer Pete Reyes said today. For example, engineers had considered using a front-frame crossmember -- which provides rigidity and lateral strength -- made of magnesium, an expensive metal that is lighter and stronger than either aluminum or steel.... Read More »

 

PHILIP NUSSEL

Why the UAW appeal at VW is a slippery slope

3:23 pm U.S. ET | April 9, 2014
The UAW better be careful what it wishes for. If the union convinces President Barack Obama's National Labor Relations Board that it's an unfair labor practice for political leaders to be publicly involved in an organizing effort, then organized labor risks diluting the power of its best weapon: public pressure.... Read More »

 

Safety mandates forecast to drive autonomous car sales

3:09 pm U.S. ET | April 9, 2014
Self-driving cars may take another decade to hit roads in the United States, but their sales then will expand quickly due to new safety mandates, predicts IHS Automotive. After the first autonomous cars appear in North America in 2025, IHS forecasts they could account for 5 percent of the vehicles on North American roads by as early as 2035.... Read More »

 

Weather-related rail congestion keeps vehicles parked near factories

2:48 pm U.S. ET | April 9, 2014
Across the Rust Belt, thousands of freshly built cars, pickups and SUVs are parked, waiting for a ride that’s late. A brutal winter and the highest automotive production in a decade have strained railroads and moved automakers to use more expensive over-the-road trucks to get their vehicles to dealerships.... Read More »

 

Rainbow PUSH targets new imbalance with Japan

11:36 am U.S. ET | April 9, 2014
Mention trade deficits with Japan, and the phrase usually conjures the 1980s trade wars with Tokyo over the flood of made-in-Japan imports to the United States. But for civil rights leader Jesse Jackson, there is a new trade gap with Japan.... Read More »

 

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How a Texas Toyota store solved used-car-supply challenge

How a Texas Toyota store solved used-car-supply challenge

Mike Shaw Toyota in Corpus Christi, Texas, struggled to find good used cars. So it started providing free appraisals to service customers and offered to buy their vehicles on the spot. Mon., April 14
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