Manufacturing

'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 »

 

VW orders U.S. dealers to stop selling cars with new engine

9:55 am U.S. ET | April 9, 2014
Citing the risk of a leak in the transmission oil cooler, Volkswagen of America has ordered dealers in the United States to stop selling newer cars equipped with an automatic transmission and VW’s most common engine, the 1.8-liter EA888. The stop-sale order, sent to dealers Tuesday, applies to cars produced after Feb. 1. VW spokesman Scott Vazin said the problem arose when a supplier changed the specifications of an O-ring linking the transmission oil cooler to the transmission.... Read More »

 

VW orders U.S. dealers to stop selling cars with new Mexico-built engine

April 9, 2014 15:55 CET
Citing the risk of a leak in the transmission oil cooler, Volkswagen ordered dealers in the United States to stop selling newer cars equipped with an automatic transmission and VW's most common engine, the 1.8-liter EA888.... Read More »

 

Two GM SUVs score 'good' ratings in new crash testing

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 8, 2014
Only the Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain survived the challenging new small-overlap crash test for mid-sized SUVs from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety with a "good" rating.... Read More »

 

Kentucky governor forms group to lure auto jobs

8:23 am U.S. ET | April 8, 2014
Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear said today he is creating the Kentucky Automotive Industry Association to bring more auto jobs to his state.... Read More »

 

Continental aims to more than double sales at rubber, plastics unit

April 8, 2014 13:11 CET
Continental says it has a goal of more than doubling sales at its rubber and plastics unit, Contitech, to over 11 billion euros ($15.1 billion) within the next decade.... Read More »

 

JASON STEIN

Barra's job just got a lot harder

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 7, 2014
Was last week's public grilling about a faulty ignition switch or about New GM vs. Old GM?... Read More »

 

Expert: Out-of-spec parts can still be OK

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 7, 2014
Why would an automaker knowingly accept a part that is out of spec?... Read More »

 

Chevy Impala has airbag software flaw, safety advocate claims in U.S. petition

11:02 am U.S. ET | April 7, 2014
General Motors, in the midst of recalling 2.6 million small cars for an ignition-switch flaw that can deactivate air bags, also may have an air-bag defect connected to deadly accidents in its Chevrolet Impala, a safety group said.... Read More »

 

U.S. safety laws poised for revamp

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 7, 2014
Capitol Hill's reaction to General Motors CEO Mary Barra's testimony last week sent a clear signal to Washington insiders: Congress is probably headed toward a round of reforms to U.S. laws and standards.... Read More »

 

The mystery of the switch signoff

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 7, 2014
The one-page form that Senator Claire McCaskill held up in last week's Congressional hearings raises more questions about how GM's ignition switch design was executed and who had a say in it. Former GM engineers say it suggests that a more extensive paper trail exists that would shed light on the 2006 part redesign, which has emerged as a key topic in the broadening investigation into what went wrong.... Read More »

 

Toyota's future manufacturing plans see humans replacing robots

2:33 pm U.S. ET | April 7, 2014
Toyota’s next step forward in manufacturing is counter-intuitive in an age of automation: Humans are taking the place of machines in plants across Japan so workers can develop new skills and figure out ways to improve production lines and the car-building process.... Read More »

 

CAMERA READY?

Tesla's push to replace side-view mirrors sparks safety fears

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 7, 2014
As federal regulators finalized a mandate for rearview cameras last week, Tesla Motors and the industry's main lobbying group sought permission to replace side mirrors with cameras. But the age of mirrorless cars will not come easy.... Read More »

 

NHTSA? Nitschke? Now we're confused

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 7, 2014
Rep. Billy Long, R-Mo., associates the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration with a former National Football League star.... Read More »

 

GM to upgrade Detroit plant to build next generation Volt, paper says

12:30 pm U.S. ET | April 6, 2014
General Motors plans to invest $450 million at its Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Plant and battery assembly facility to build the next generation Chevrolet Volt, a Detroit newspaper reported.... Read More »

 

Smart recycling cuts F-150 cost

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 6, 2014
Innovative recycling that sorts aluminum by type and returns it to suppliers will save Ford $124 per pickup, compared with using conventional recycling methods, when production of the 2015 aluminum-bodied F-150 starts this fall, says a stock analyst.... Read More »

 

Backup camera mandate boosts suppliers

8:09 am U.S. ET | April 5, 2014
The biggest beneficiary of the new federal mandate for rearview cameras is likely to be Magna International, which claims 40 percent of the North American market for the equipment. Other suppliers such as Delphi Automotive, Gentex, Panasonic and Valeo also are poised to profit.... Read More »

 

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