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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
It's hardly unexpected given recent gloomy sales numbers, but General Motors announced today that they will be cutting shifts at several North American plants. Unfortunately, nearly 2,000 workers will lose their jobs in the process as GM eliminates its third shift to slow production and ease the backlog of vehicles sitting on dealer lots. The affected plants are Orion, Michigan; Oshawa, Ontario; and Lordstown, Ohio (these plants manufacture the Chevrolet Malibu, Pontiac G6, Chevrolet Impala, Che
It was only in December that we mention Alfa Romeo was planning to open a factory in the United States. We followed that story with another in March when Fiat also mentioned a possibility of Iveco truck production coming to the States. It was in that same month that Fiat Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne told the Financial Times that his company was in talks with major U.S. automakers about sharing production. On Saturday, Alfa Romeo brand chief Luca de Meo told a German magazine that talks were
Around 12:30PM EST today, Chrysler's Windsor assembly plant in Canada, which produces an assortment of the automaker's minivans, caught fire after a reported explosion. Eyewitness reports claim that the explosion was followed by large plumes of black smoke emanating from the northwest corner of the center. Fire crews have cordoned off part of the plant around Drouillard Road and all of the employees have been evacuated. We'll update this post with more information as it becomes available, so sta
Looks like fears of a possible sale aren't scaring the product planners at Chrysler. Recognizing that the show must go on, the group announced a plan to build $1.78 billion worth of capacity over the next few years. According to this Automotive News piece, a new $730 million engine plant is a big part of that plan. The plant will be built in Trenton, Mich. and will concentrate on the production of the automaker's new range of fuel-efficient V-6 "Phoenix" engines. Also in the works are a new $700
Seems like few automakers are immune to downsizing these days, and Nissan is no exception. Today the automaker announced it's reducing its workforce in Tennessee by 12.5%, which equates to 775 heads. The reduction come via way of voluntary buyouts that include a $45,000 cash payment and additional $500 for every year worked. All the workers come from Nissan's two assembly plants in Tennessee, one in Smyrna where the Altima and Maxima, Pathfinder and Xterra are built, and the other in Decherd, wh
Big news from the Honda camp today. In its push to fulfill its "2010 Vision" established in 1998 Honda will be introducing a new low-cost hybrid in North America in 2009 that's expected to sell 200,000 units annually worldwide. It will be produced at the company's Suzuka plant in Japan and be a "dedicated" hybrid model, meaning that this is not the Fit Hybrid that's been floating around the web the past few weeks.