General Motors is closing down its Opel plant in Antwerp, and forfeiting up to €500 million (about $707 million) in aid the Flemish government had promised if the operation had remained open. The action is expected to take place over the next few months. Shutting down Antwerp is just one part of GM's restructuring program for its European operations - underway for a year now. All told, the automaker estimates it will have to cut 8,300 jobs, including 4,000 in Germany alone. According to GM,
Richard Cortez, the Mayor of McAllen, Texas, called a news conference earlier this week to announce that city officials were in talks with an unnamed automaker to build a new manufacturing facility in the Rio Grande Valley. Interestingly enough, he gave few other details as he was worried about upsetting the "customer" as they have asked for silence on the project. Not to surprise anyone, but all signs are pointing at Hyundai Motor Company.
The weak dollar is driving yet another automaker to the States. On the heels of the announcement earlier this month that BMW will increase production in the U.S, Fiat is considering moving production of both Alfa Romeo cars, and Iveco trucks, to manufacturing plants on our shores. We first broke the news in December, but now it appears Fiat is actively involved in talks with U.S. automakers to build partnerships and share manufacturing facilities with a goal of starting production by 2011 or 201
Planetary Fuels, a Seattle, Washington-based biodiesel startup, has filed to set up their first production facility outside of Seattle which includes the installation of tankage with a combined capacity of 442,000 gallons. The plant should produce around 6 million gallons of biodiesel per annum using crops from local farmers. The company plans to build a series of small scale biodiesel plants that can produce between 2 million and 6 million gallons of biodiesel per year each.
Hyundai announced today its intention to build a new engine plant in the U.S. at its current lone production facility in Montgomery, Alabama. The new facility will cost Hyundai around $270 million and add an additional 520 jobs to the plant. Engines produced at the new facility, which will break ground in September 2008, will supply not only Hyundai's Alabama plant, but also Kia's new plant in Georgia. Considering the numerous labor distputes Hyundai has had to deal with in its native South Kore
In anticipation of its upcoming 2007 models arriving, Nissan has decided to swallow a hard pill and shut down production at its three U.S. plants for six days by the end of July. Scuttling its plants in Canton, MS and Smyrna and Decherd, TN will trim 18,000 vehicles from its previously planned production schedule.