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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.

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Looking forward to getting your mitts on a new Land Rover Discovery Sport? Well you should, because it promises to be a markedly better product than the Freelander/LR2 it replaces. Just don't assume it will necessarily be built in the UK, as just about every Land Rover has in the company's 66-year history.

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After years of failure in unionizing auto factories owned by foreign carmakers, the United Auto Workers might be poised for its first major victory. Volkswagen employees at the company's assembly plant in Chattanooga, TN, will vote in a secret ballot sometime between February 12 and 14 on whether to form a German-style works council with the UAW, according to a statement from VW in The Detroit News. It is currently the only Volkswagen plant worldwide that is not represented by a union.

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Ford discussed the past, present and future of automotive manufacturing

Ford Motor Co. celebrated the 100th anniversary of the moving assembly line this week at its Wayne Assembly plant by setting new goals for global manufacturing, and promising the next few years will mark the automakers' largest manufacturing expansion in 50 years.

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ZF's new 9-speed transmission factory provides one example of economic impact

In the age-old debate of whether government regulations help or hinder economic growth, here's one example where more rules have helped create American jobs.

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One millionth Mustang rolls off assembly line at Flat Rock plant on the car's 49th anniversary

Ford marked one milestone with another Wednesday afternoon.

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Investment preserves 4,000 jobs in region, but doesn't add new ones

How far has General Motors come since the federal government rescued it from bankruptcy four short years ago?

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Employees of Mississippi plant protested Monday outside Detroit Auto Show

Not everyone arrived in Detroit to ogle the dozens of new cars revealed at the North American International Auto Show.

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A once creaky assembly plant now produces the C-Max, the car at heart of Ford's future

Six years ago, Ford's Michigan Assembly Plant was a relic. Workers at the 50-year-old facility produced the gargantuan-sized Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator during the heyday of America's fling with big SUVs. When fuel prices spiked and ended that craze, the plant's fortunes plunged.

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What's a euro worth these days, about a buck and a quarter? Go dig around in your couch cushions then and you'll probably find enough to have bought your very own assembly plant. That's right, according to Reuters, Mitsubishi just "sold" its Dutch assembly plant to bus-maker VDL Group for a nominal €1.

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Automotive assembly plants have a reputation of being crusty, grungy places – often in stark contrast to the new cars they're assembling. But the truth is that modern auto plants are surprisingly clinical in their cleanliness. These days, you can almost hear company officials boasting that their assembly lines are almost clean enough to eat off of – so that's just what Rolls-Royce has gone and done.

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Hyundai's Elantra has been on fire, with sales up 41 percent last year. The compact sedan won North American Car of the Year in January, and the icing on the cake will be a new coupe bodystyle that will soon be landing at dealers. But all is not completely well, according to a report from Bloomberg.

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Back in 1999, Porsche settled on the location for a new factory in Leipzig, Germany. It opened its doors in 2002 with production of the Cayenne, and further expanded in 2009 to gear up for the Panamera. As of November, 2011, the assembly plant has built some 420,000 vehicles, but that's just the start as Porsche further expands the facility to make way for the new Cajun.

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Honda has just announced it will build a new assembly plant in a suburb of Celaya, Guanajuato, Mexico. This will be Honda's eighth assembly plant in North America and third in Mexico, and is being built for the production of "fuel-efficient subcompact vehicles" for the Mexican and North American markets.

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Two weeks from now, General Motors will start running its Fairfax assembly plant continuously on a permanent basis. The unprecedented around-the-clock operation, following on the heels of the temporary third shifts a few months ago, is intended to boost the plant's production from its current 4,500 vehicles per week to 6,300 units over the same period.

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2011 Chevrolet Volt – Click above for high-res image gallery

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2011 Chevrolet Volt – Click above for high-res image gallery

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In an action that is symbolic of the changes America's auto industry is undergoing, the cushy "union desk job" is reportedly about to disappear for many. According to The Detroit Free Press, UAW bosses at post-bankrupt Chrysler and General Motors plants are informing hundreds of elected and appointed colleagues that their desk jobs are being sent back to the factory floor.

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According to the Detroit Free Press, the 14 plants that General Motors is expected to announce for closure on Monday was going to be 16 plants until the UAW got its way on Capitol Hill. The union charged GM with closing factories, but instead of a commensurate reduction in production, GM was moving some of the manufacturing elsewhere, specifically China and Mexico.

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A bitingly cold wind is sweeping through the Motor City this day, but the bigger chill continues to be the rapidly increasing number of idle plants from Detroit's automakers. As part of a previously-announced bid to trim first-quarter output by nearly 38%, Ford now says it will shut down ten North American factories the week of January 5. Unlike Chrysler's planned one month downtime (where they eerily won't commit to start dates), the Blue Oval has confirmed plans to re-light the fires in eight

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