Manufacturing

Is clock ticking on replacement inflators?

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 23, 2015
Now that Honda has recalled more than 14 million vehicles to fix defective Takata airbag inflators, CEO Takanobu Ito says he is prepared for a difficult possibility: If the replacements also go bad someday, they would need to be replaced too....
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KEITH CRAIN

Now everyone wants to build cars

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 23, 2015
Much like Preston Tucker, John DeLorean and Malcolm Bricklin, there are lots of people with lots of money interested in becoming automakers. Elon Musk notwithstanding, the number of success stories in this business is fairly limited. The trail of those who failed as automakers is a long one....
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Robot orders surge as vehicle output climbs

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 23, 2015
In a bid to keep pace with rising production, automakers and suppliers are ordering record numbers of robots. Last year, companies ordered 17,678 automotive robots in North America, up 45 percent from 2013, said the Robotic Industries Association. Manufacturers are hustling to boost output now that annual North American light-vehicle production is topping 17 million units....
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Next-gen Chrysler minivan will be taller, wider with a rotary shifter

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 22, 2015
The next-generation Chrysler Town & Country minivan will get a rotary shifter and other interior features common in Fiat Chrysler vehicles. The minivan also will be slightly taller and wider than the current version. The revelations come from spy photographers and supplier documents posted online....
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Tentative deal in U.S. port dispute spells relief for Honda, rivals

3:38 pm U.S. ET | Feb. 21, 2015
A group of shipping companies and a powerful dockworkers union reached a tentative labor deal after nine months of negotiations, settling a dispute that disrupted Japanese automakers in the United States, primarily Honda....
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Honda to cut N.A. output by another 5,000 cars amid port delays

6:41 am U.S. ET | Feb. 20, 2015
Honda will continue to reduce production at plants in Indiana and Ontario next week because of part shortages amid labor disputes at West Coast ports. Honda said it expected output loss at the factories next week to be around 5,000 cars....
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NHTSA to fine Takata $14K a day for failing to 'fully cooperate' in airbag probe

10:31 am U.S. ET | Feb. 20, 2015
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration today slapped Takata with a $14,000-per-day fine for failing to "fully cooperate" with the agency's investigation into exploding airbag inflators made by the supplier that have been linked to at least six deaths. NHTSA also warned Takata that it will refer the situation to the Department of Justice if it fails to remedy the situation....
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GM caught off-guard by strike at Brazil plant

4:07 pm U.S. ET | Feb. 20, 2015
General Motors was caught by surprise today by a strike at its Brazilian car factory as workers protested a planned furlough and layoff of hundreds of staff, in the latest labor disruption in the nation's slumping auto industry....
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Daicel to build U.S. airbag inflator plant earlier than planned

6:24 am U.S. ET | Feb. 20, 2015
Daicel said it would build a second US factory for airbag inflators in early 2016, bringing forward original plans partly to meet automakers' demand for alternatives to potentially deadly inflators made by Takata....
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Delphi's thermal unit is bought by Mahle for $727 million

4:40 am U.S. ET | Feb. 19, 2015
German auto supplier Mahle has agreed to buy rival Delphi's air conditioning business for $727 million, expanding its thermal management expertise as cars make greater use of electric motors and batteries that need special cooling....
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UK car production dips 1% in Jan. on new model, tech investment

Feb. 19, 2015 10:23 CET
The UK's car manufacturing sector reported a 1 percent decline in output last month as automakers invested in the production of new models and technologies....
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Apple is poaching auto engineers to build battery division, lawsuit claims

Feb. 19, 2015 12:48 CET
Electric-car battery maker A123 Systems has sued Apple for allegedly poaching engineers to build a large-scale battery division, according to a court filing that could offer further evidence that Apple is developing a car....
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Japanese auto workers demand raises as profits approach $34 billion

7:00 am U.S. ET | Feb. 18, 2015
Japan's auto workers are asking their employers for a bigger share of their projected 4 trillion yen ($33.6 billion) in annual profit in the form of a raise for the next fiscal year....
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Longtime Chrysler exec George Butts dies at 91

11:27 am U.S. ET | Feb. 17, 2015
Longtime Chrysler executive George Butts, who held positions in the product planning, stamping and quality divisions, died last week in Florida. He was 91....
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Weaker loonie no savior for Canada's ailing auto industry

9:06 pm U.S. ET | Feb. 17, 2015
A strong Canadian dollar has wounded the country's auto manufacturing sector over the last decade, but the currency's recent drop to a near six-year low is unlikely to spur a rush of new investment, senior industry executives say....
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Tech industry interlopers force car industry to react, Bosch CEO says

Feb. 17, 2015 16:24 CET
The auto industry is stepping up efforts to introduce highly automated cars as software makers Google and perhaps even Apple forge plans to build a vehicle, Volkmar Denner, the CEO of Bosch, said....
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Supplier Chassix misses 2nd bond payment; creditors concerned

8:46 am U.S. ET | Feb. 17, 2015
After missing a payment of more than $17 million to bondholders this month, Chassix has asked the bondholders to organize and retain advisers -- and a creditor's filing asserts that the company is taking steps toward a possible bankruptcy....
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Silicon Valley muscles into Motor City's turf

7:16 am U.S. ET | Feb. 17, 2015
“Detroit vs. Everybody” is a popular t-shirt in the hometown of General Motors and Ford Motor Co. these days. Yet it might as well read “Silicon Valley vs. Motor City” as the San Francisco Bay Area emerges as a center for global transportation innovation....
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AUTOMOTIVE NEWS EUROPE E-MAGAZINE

Mazda2 gets bigger, lighter and bolder

Feb. 17, 2015 06:01 CET
Mazda expects its latest Mazda2 hatchback to make a bigger impact in Europe's highly competitive subcompact segment than the current model because of its more aggressive design, improved interior and a wide range of safety equipment....
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AUTOMOTIVE NEWS EUROPE E-MAGAZINE

Incoming Bosch auto boss must boost margin, fend off rising Conti, ZF

Feb. 16, 2015 06:01 CET
When Rolf Bulander takes over as head of Bosch's car parts division in April he will face hurdles such as raising the unit's margin to 8 percent and maintaining its position as the world's largest supplier despite intensifying competition from Continental and ZF....
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WRANGLING SERGIO

Toledo hurries incentives to keep Jeep's iconic SUV

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 16, 2015
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is studying a proposal from Toledo officials to roughly double the size of its cobbled-together Jeep Wrangler line here to about 3 million square feet. The proposal would, in theory, raise the annual Wrangler production capacity to an estimated 350,000....
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Honda cuts production amid ports' labor disputes

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 16, 2015
Honda plans to cut back production at plants in Ohio, Indiana and Ontario because of labor disputes that have snarled shipments at 29 ports on the West Coast....
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Survey: Suppliers upbeat as N.A. factories hum

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 16, 2015
As North American light-vehicle output remains strong, suppliers are optimistic about their prospects for the coming year and are unfazed about meeting higher production quotas....
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ELECTRO-LIGHT

Fewer pounds and better chemistry boost '16 Volt range

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 16, 2015
Here's how GM made the 2016 Volt's powertrain lighter, along with some other notable engineering changes....
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NEWS ANALYSIS

5 ways that Apple is already poised to become an automaker

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 15, 2015
Apple may already be positioned to evolve into a global automaker in many ways that other Silicon Valley companies aren't. While Apple often tests ideas that don't get released, but a secret project underscores the company's long-held desire to play a greater role in the automotive space, which is ripe for more of a merging with users' digital lives....
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