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.
The Jeep Wrangler may be a timeless design, but sooner or later, time will run out and Chrysler will have to replace it with a newer model more friendly towards the earth it's designed to traverse. That will, it seems, mean a shift to aluminum construction (whether just for the body or for the entire structure) – but what will that mean for the Wrangler's long-time home of Toledo, OH?
Thanks to a host of upgrades at the Warren Truck Assembly Plant in Michgan, Ram Trucks is boosting production of the already strong-selling Ram 1500 to build 28,585 more of them a year. That works out roughly to five more per hour, or an additional 100 per day. The major key to the improvements was redesigning 353 assembly workstations to allow employees complete their tasks more efficiently. According to Ram, the expansion was done to meet growing demand for the pickup.
Lexus entered new territory this past April when it revealed the new NX compact luxury crossover at the Beijing Motor Show, but it wasn't until now that the Toyota luxury division actually started building them. The first production examples started rolling off the assembly line last week at the Miyata plant in Japan, with the accompanying turbo engines built at the adjacent Kanda plant.
Audi sure made waves when it rolled out the original TT in the late 1990s, putting fashion forward with a stylish coupe that neatly summed up the design direction the company was headed in. But that was a decade and a half ago, and the TT has moved on considerably since then.
Later this month, Tesla Motors will open its European Distribution Center in Tilburg, Holland, and will start stocking the stocking the site with Tesla Roadster and Model S parts as it prepares to start distribution in continental Europe next year.
As far as autoworker jobs go, putting together a Ferrari has got to be one of the plum gigs. The company is consistently rated as one of the best places to work in Europe, but if the pleasant atmosphere and long espresso breaks weren't enough, you get to go home at the end of the day knowing that you put together a Ferrari. Not a pickup truck, not an economy hatchback, but a Ferrari.
The Mercedes-Benz Baltimore vehicle process center has secured a five-year contract to inspect, process, and repair pre-delivery BMW and Mini vehicles arriving in the United States. It's a deal that makes economic sense for both companies, say that automakers. BMW models currently arrive in Charleston, South Carolina, and are shipped to nearby Spartanburg (home of BMWs assembly plant) for inspection and pre-delivery work. That plant is "no longer appropriate" once the X3 starts production next y
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.
Following-up on last week's announcement that Volkswagen was looking at Alabama for a new manufacturing facility, the German automaker's management board is expected to make their final recommendation today. Following that announcement, Volkswagen's supervisory board, headed by former VW group CEO Ferdinand Piech, will make its decision by tomorrow. Whether Huntsville, Alabama, or second-choice Chattanooga, Tennessee, gets the nod, the move is key for Volkswagen as they attempt to increase sales
Drivers give in to a lot of distractions behind the wheel. Phone calls, eating, drinking, and slapping the kids around are one thing, but something that's always irked us is drivers traveling with pets on their laps. Aside from the possibility of Fluffy freaking out and doing its doggone best to create a crash, we've always envisioned a Chihuahua-sized cavity in someone's chest after the airbag deploys. Well, California Assemblyman Bill Maze shares our concern and has proposed a bill to make it
Alfa Romeo is returning to the US market in about a year, offering the zooty 8C Competizione and 8C Spider atop a range of less spectacular offerings. While the top-end 8Cs will probably be Italian emigres, the 149 and 169 sedans could be put together in Mexico. Alfa doesn't have a hard and fast decision yet, and could pick another site, even one in North America. Moving the labor to Mexico for the volume sellers might prove to be a wise move on Alfa's part. The dollar continues to take a beatin
One of the problems with being an import car maker at the lower end of the automotive market is an increased sensitivity to currency exchange rate fluctuations. This is particularly problematic if the carmaker doesn't have a government willing to make currency adjustments the way Japan regularly does. Thus, Volkswagen has had a troubled manufacturing history with the U.S. for the last three decades.
There have been periodic rumors of a United States assembly plant for Volvo cars since at least the early 1980s. There was a North American construction arm of the Swedish carmaker, situated in Nova Scotia, but that plant has been shuttered for several years now. Volvo CEO Fredrik Arp has told Automotive News that an American plant would take an unacceptably long time to pay for itself, according to the automaker's studies. A weak dollar doesn't help the economic argument for a plant in the Sta