The 2011 earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan took quite the toll on the automotive industry in that nation. Not content to lean on that tragedy as excuse for slagging sales, the Japanese automakers are planning on a major production expansion in North America. The aim is to reclaim the market share lost from the Tsunami-based dip, and overcome a dollar/yen exchange rate that makes exporting to America unprofitable.
Trying to make the best of a nasty situation for everyone involved, Opel has reportedly worked out an agreement with its Works Council and the IG Metall union to reduce working hours at two of its plants. From the end of September until the end of the year, there will be 20 days of short shifts and short working days for two Opel facilities: the Rüsselsheim factory that builds the Insignia and Astra and the Kaiserslautern component plant. About half of the 13,800 Rüsselsheim employees
General Motors says it will invest €20 million ($28.4 million U.S. at the current exchange rate) at its Powertrain Engineering Center in Torino, Italy. This investment comes on top of the €30 million ($42.6 million U.S.) that GM spent to establish the center back in 2005.
Among those clamoring for attention and payouts from Motors Liquidation Co., the company that assumed General Motors' unwanted assets after its Chapter 11 filing, are the environmental and economic redevelopment departments of state governments. According to reports, when GM exited bankruptcy, its polluted factory and land sites were consumed by the Motor Liquidation, allowing the automaker to avoid the responsibility of cleaning up its mess, and state leaders fear there won't be any money to cl
Next in the line of those clamoring for attention and payouts from Motors Liquidation Co., the company that was given all of GM's unwanted assets, are the environmental and economic redevelopment departments of state governments. General Motors was able to exit bankruptcy without responsibility for a number of factory and land sites that are polluted, and state leaders fear that there won't be any money to clean them up.
Sometimes deals get made, and then the dealmakers have to employ some pretty creative tactics to get the terms to work. Magna's deal for Opel included taking €1.5 billion in short term loans from the German government, the string attached being that Magna had to guarantee German jobs.
As reported recently, even though Toyota halted Tundra production for a while, the company pledged not to lay off its workers. At a total cost of potentially $1 billion to the company, Toyota instead placed the employees in retraining and civic works programs during a Kaizen and Development Period.
Giveth, and taketh away, isn't that always the story? On the taketh away side, GM has recently lost a serious chunk of change. On the giveth side, The General received a $56 milion package of tax credits and grants to keep an SUV factory open in Ohio. It has also just received another package of tax credits from the city of Flint, Michigan to aid its investment in a factory that will build engines for the new Volt and Chevy Cruze. Approved over some constituent disapproval by the Flint City Coun
VW hasn't yet publicly committed to building one or even two factories in the U.S. (though it's apparently considering the South, specifically South Carolina), but is making statements that sound like it's definitely on the way. VW's head of production, Jochem Heizmann, has said that the requirements for a factory are that: it not be in a hurricane zone, it be near a major airport, and that there be "no other production car in the vicinity" -- or at least, Google Translate said that for him.
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
The protests are said to potentially impact the launch of the Opel Corsa, a subcompact product that is key to GM's European model line-up. GM workers in Western Europe are said to be deeply concerned about the potential for their assembly jobs moving to lower-cost sites towards the east, and GM has also stated that it will be bringing over additional product from South Korea.