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AddWeekly Recap: Mercedes continues the pseudo-coupe craze with AMG-tuned CUV

Plus: North American Car Award Finalists Announced, The Porsche 918 Sells Out And Bentley Expands For SUV DevelopmentPlus: North American Car Award Finalists Announced, The Porsche 918 Sells Out And Bentley Expands For SUV Development

But as BMW's X6 has demonstrated, sport sells in in the crossover segment, and Mercedes is giving the people what they want.

AddChrysler set to make $266M-investment into 8-speed transmission production

Chrysler will shortly make a significant $266-million investment into its Kokomo, IN transmission factory in a bid to expand production of its eight-speed automatic transmissions.

AddWatch this driver put 50 years of Vauxhalls through the wringer inside the factory

Some automotive assembly plants have test tracks on premises. We've even heard of a few that have test tracks on the roof. But at GM's Ellesmere Port factory in the UK, one driver performs his tests inside the factory, and has been doing so for the past half century.

AddVolkswagen officially grants access to UAW in Tennessee

An audit at the Volkswagen factory in Chattanooga, TN has revealed that at least 45 percent of the facility's workers support unionization, leading the German company to grant access rights to the United Auto Workers.

AddBentley opening new R&D center in Crewe

The world's fastest lorries. That's how Ettore Bugatti referred to cars from Bentley back in the day, employing the British term for trucks, long before the two became sister companies. Those immortal words will come true when Bentley launches its new SUV, which promises not only to be the most luxurious and prestigious but also the first to crack the 200-mile-per-hour mark. But it won't come without its share of investment.

AddGM lays off 450 at Lansing Grand River Assembly

General Motors will lay off 450 employees at its Lansing Grand River factory, The Detroit News reports, which is 100 more than the company said it'd be letting go last month.

AddGM closes first German auto plant since WWII

Plants close all the time, but not in Germany. In fact, according to the latest report from TheDetroitBureau.com, there hasn't been an automotive assembly plant closed in Germany since the end of World War II – but one has closed now.

AddMaserati marks centenary with 50,000th unit at Grugliasco

Maserati is celebrating its centenary this year, but if that wasn't enough of a milestone, the Trident marque has reached another, completing its 50,000th unit at its plant in Grugliasco.

AddTakata airbag factory inspector finds safety issues in Mexico

It seems Takata has manufacturing issues beyond the technical details of its airbags. The Japanese company is not in the good graces of American authorities after declining a national recall in response to faulty airbag deployments, while authorities in Mexico are unhappy with health and safety issues at Takata's plant in Monclava, Mexico, where millions of inflators are being produced to service automaker recalls.

AddWhat you missed on 12.3.14

What does it take to build a Porsche 918 Spyder?

AddMercedes Alabama ops ordered to allow workers to discuss unionization

A decision last week by the National Labor Relations Board has bolstered the efforts of the United Auto Workers at Mercedes-Benz's Tuscaloosa, AL factory, as the union continues its attempts to represent the factory's workers.

Add2015 Porsche 918 Spyder: Touring the factory

A Privileged Look Inside Zuffenhausen AssemblyA Privileged Look Inside Zuffenhausen Assembly

Willy Wonka granted just five lucky Golden Ticket holders access to his incredible chocolate factory, yet we consider ourselves just as fortunate, as Porsche invited us to be among the first of just four American journalists to see behind the closed doors of its 918 Spyder assembly plant in Zuffenhausen, Germany. Of course, there were no Oompa Loompas or flowing chocolate rivers, but the vast white hall tasked with producing only 918 examples of the automaker's limited-production flagship reveal

AddMichelin doubling budget tire sales to combat Chinese makers

Michelin will start pushing harder on its various budget tire lines in a bid to combat the amount of cheap rubber coming out of China, changing up its product mix so that more affordable offerings count for between 25 and 30 percent instead of the current 15-to-20-percent mix.

AddFirst 2015 Chevy Corvette Z06s en route to owners [w/video]

Pretty much right on schedule, Chevrolet has begun shipping the very first customer examples of its 650-horsepower, supercharged Corvette Z06. In fact, according to General Motors, the earliest Z06s could be in customer hands by the end of this week.

AddRest of 2015.5 Dodge Viper lineup available after MSRP drop spurs sales uptick

The Dodge Viper has muscled its way back into buyers' good graces thanks to a $15,000 price drop across-the-board – and we're sure the extra five horsepower didn't hurt, either – posting a 26-percent year-to-date surge after the September realignment. No longer, uh, snakebitten, Dodge is now allowing dealers to place already-sold orders of the TA 2.0 Special Edition and GTS, both of which come with more goodies as standard than on the 2014 models they replace.

AddToledo Jeep workers pushing city to buy land to secure Wrangler future

Based on what we've seen so far, were Chrysler to move Jeep Wrangler production out of Toledo, the effect would be devastating to the city's morale, which has never been quite the same after it was forced to become part of Ohio following the Toledo War.

AddJeep Grand Cherokee, Dodge Durango to lose color options temporarily

In the market for a Jeep Grand Cherokee or Dodge Durango? Well, if you fancy a more expressive color for your new SUV, you'd better get your order in, or plan on waiting until well into 2015.

AddWill Toyota lose up to 70% of its workforce in TX relocation?

Toyota's decision to move its US headquarters from its longtime home in Torrance, CA, to Plano, TX, was one of the biggest stories in the automotive industry this spring. With several months since the announcement, more details about the plan have leaked out. It seems that pulling up stakes could mean an even larger shakeup in the Toyota workforce than first thought.

AddChevy SS successor and RHD Camaro plans axed?

If you need the extra convenience of four doors but don't want to give up the thrill of high performance, the Chevrolet SS represents a potent package. The exterior is understated and the design certainly doesn't scream about the 415-horsepower, 6.2-liter V8 hiding beneath the hood. Unfortunately, there are some questions about how long this muscle sedan will last.

AddMichelin announces Tweel airless tire going into production in SC [w/videos]

Michelin has been showing off its idea of combining the wheel and tire into a single component as far back as 2005. Dubbed the Tweel, the novel design replaced standard pneumatic tires and metal wheels with deforming spokes around a hub. While uses of the Tweel are still limited, the tech is about to get a big upgrade in production with Michelin opening a dedicated factory to build them in Piedmont, SC, on November 20.

AddBentley, Lamborghini consider foreign production [w/poll]

Would a Bentley be a Bentley if it weren't manufactured in Great Britain? Would a Lamborghini be a Lamborghini if it were built outside of Italy? It may be hard to say either way, but we might find out sooner than later, because the latest word coming in from Europe is that the Volkswagen Group is considering expanding production for both these upscale brands outside their traditional homes.

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