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After over a year of speculation, BMW is finally officially announcing that it's building a factory in Mexico. The new plant will cost the German automaker roughly $1 billion US and will have a capacity of about 150,000 vehicles a year when complete. However, production won't begin there until 2019.

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Musk Says 160,000 Annual Sales Would Require New Plant; Company Might Sell 15,000 This Year

Tesla Motors is, as always, thinking big. The company already has a factory in California with a lot of empty space. But with Model S deliveries happening in Europe and a right-hand drive version just launched in the UK, CEO Elon Musk is already talking about building EVs in Europe. We did some math and let's just say we think any such facility is likely a long way off.

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There's Just Something Mesmerizing About Automated EV Production

If you've ever been on a tour of an automotive factory, you know how mesmerizing it can be to see humans and robots work together to build our four-wheeled friends. The swift automation, the cleanliness, the trained hands deftly fitting pieces together and watchful eyes inspecting every piece of the car, it's all quite impressive, especially if the vehicle is one you, as an observer, are fond of. Even just seeing a fresh, gleaming badge being applied to immaculately painted sheet metal is enough

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Mexico has long been a hot spot for auto manufacturing, but the country's fortunes have been boosted lately, with Honda, Mazda and Nissan recently adding factories there, and BMW is said to be poised to join them soon. Now, new reports indicate that Kia might start building south of the border to keep up with demand.

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The Mercedes-Benz factory in Kecskemét, Hungary, has been shut down because a bomb threat was called into the plant at about 1:30 PM CET (7:30 AM EDT) on Wednesday. The factory has been evacuated and production has been suspended.

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Electric bus production has finally begun in California. Chinese electric automaker BYD recently completed its first two vehicles at its new factory in Lancaster, CA. They will be joining the fleet of the Antelope Valley Transit Authority in Los Angles County.

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To reverse the old Field of Dreams quote, they are coming, so BMW is building them. All indications are that US demand for the BMW i3 plug-in will be larger than initially expected. As a result, the automaker is upping production at its German factor by more than 50 percent in advance of stateside sales, Automotive News says, citing BMW boardmember Harald Krueger.

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Mitsuru Kawai is overseeing a return to the old ways at Toyota factories throughout Japan. Having spent 50 years at the Japanese automaker, Kawai remembers when manual skills were prized at the company and "experienced masters used to be called gods, and they could make anything." Company CEO Akio Toyoda personally chose Kawai to develop programs to teach workers metalcraft such as how to forge a crankshaft from scratch, and 100 workstations that formerly housed machines have been set aside for

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Chamillionaire certainly wasn't referring to the Toyota Avalon or Camry when he rapped about "ridin' dirty" but maybe he'll change his tune soon. That's because some of the future energy sources for the Kentucky factory that makes those two models will come from gas created from the breakdown of solid waste. So the power behind some of the production at Toyota's largest North American factory will indeed be funky.

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And they're off! Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico and Texas are all in the running for Tesla Motors' gigafactory, USA Today says. And the politicians are already talking big, which is the operative word for a factory that could cost $5 billion, require 1,000 acres, take up 10 million square feet and support 6,500 jobs. Oh, and build battery packs for a half-million EVs a year.

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The Detroit News reported today that Toyota will restart production at two Indian plants, following a shutdown on Monday.

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Doesn't New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie have enough people mad at him already? Apparently not, since more than a few folks who like Tesla Motors are ready to get riled up. The governor is already embattled via his office's alleged role in a scandal involving politically-motivated lane shut-downs to the George Washington Bridge. And with him now deciding to let the state's motor-vehicle commission rule on allowing for Tesla to own its dealers, Tesla has likely lost that battle and may have to shut

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The good news is that the BYD electric buses slated for service in the China city of Dalian will easily be able to go from the factory to the streets on a single charge. Dalian has put an order in for a whopping 1,200 BYD electric buses, which are said to have a single-charge range of about 155 miles. BYD will deliver 600 buses this year and another 600 in 2015. The company has an electric-bus factory in the nearby Dalian Huayuankou Economic Zone.

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Tesla Motors may make good on chief Elon Musk's claim of selling a half-million vehicles a year by the end of the decade, Motley Fool says. Of course, the author of the Foolish report in question owns Tesla shares but, now that we've gotten that out of the way, let's check out the logic.

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More fuel economy means more factory workers and more production for Toyota's most popular model in Europe. That simple equation explains why the Japanese automaker is boosting annual production of its gas- and hybrid-powered Yaris compact vehicles at its French factory. The new number will be about 222,000, a 15 percent increase. To do that, Toyota will need to add about 500 workers to bring its total there to more than 4,000, UK's The Green Car Website says. Vive le Toyota!

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It's not exactly news when Tesla Motors chief Elon Musk talks big, but his prediction that sales of the Model S electric vehicle in China will require the California-based company to build a factory there is pretty substantial. Musk tells Bloomberg News that Tesla's sales in China could equal those in the US as soon as 2015. Could is the operative word here, though, since he backed off a tad by calling his production more "low fidelity" than firm. Still, Musk says demand will be strong enough th

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UK luxury automaker Bentley can't exactly brag to environmentalists about the way its vehicles burn fuel, but at least its water usage is way down. The company was the recipient of the Carbon Trust Water Standard, which is "the world's first water reduction certificate." Bentley was the first automaker to receive the award because it cut water use last year at its 3.5-million-square foot Crewe factory by a whopping 36 percent.

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General Motors will have the largest solar array in the state of Ohio when it completes a rooftop solar-energy system at its Toledo transmission factory in November. The array will deliver 1.8 megawatts of power from 21,000 panels that will supply about three percent of the factory's power use and is equal to the power used by about 200 typical US homes.

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Saab is gearing up to start production of the 9-3 again in September, two years after the last exampled rolled off the assembly line at the company's Trollhättan factory, Aftonbladet reports. Saab's new owner, National Electric Vehicle Sweden AB (NEVS), a Chinese-Japanese consortium created solely to buy Saab, says that the model's parts supply is the bottleneck in the production process, understandable since many of Saab's suppliers closed after it stopped production two years ago. The aut

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General Motors is planning to be twice as nice to the environment four years from now when it comes to producing high-MPG vehicles. The US automaker recently spelled out its green goals in its sustainability report and notably predicted that it would double the number of vehicles it makes that get at least 40 miles per gallon (highway) by 2017. That means boosting production of extended-range plug-ins like the Chevrolet Volt and Cadillac ELR as well as increasing sales of the Chevrolet Sonic, Cr

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Electric Francophiles looking to continue their July 14 Bastille Day festivities might be comforted to know that the party can run right into the following day when General Motors will celebrate the first 2014 Chevrolet Volt models rolling off the assembly line.

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