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Google Street View has emerged as a great tool for checking out locations along your driving route, and even scoping out places you don't have a chance to go yourself. And that includes some great automotive installations. The online tool has taken us inside museums, race tracks and factories around the world, but while it has not to date allowed us virtual access to a European automotive factory, Fiat is out to correct that wrong by letting the Street View team inside Officine Abarth.

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After Paying People Not To Work, The Tide Has Turned

The Michigan battery plant known for paying its workers to do nothing has turned things around and is now hiring more workers, specifically to do something. South Korea-based LG Chem, which runs the factory to supply the Chevrolet Volt extended-range plug-in vehicle with its lithium-ion batteries, held a job fair recently to bring on 40 new employees in order to meet higher battery demand, according to WZZM, the ABC affiliate for Grand Rapids, MI.

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Google is no stranger to showing off some of the most interesting automotive destinations in the world, like the museums for Lamborghini and Ducati, or even a Tesla showroom. However, it's taking that technology even further with a new, in-depth look of the Sterling Heights Assembly Plant where the Chrysler 200 is made. Unlike these earlier online excursions, the new Chrysler factory tour is a fully guided experience that includes several 360-degree videos explaining many parts of the production

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Elio Motors is taking its green-is-good mentality to its factory equipment. The company, which is planning to make super-light three-wheeled vehicles that get 84 miles per gallon, will finally start making trikes next year. The plan is to sell off extra equipment from an old General Motors factory to do so.

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UPDATE: The story's been updated to include a response from Tesla.

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When it comes to Nevada's financial incentives that lured Tesla Motors to build its Gigafactory in the Silver State, some lawmakers have said Gov. Brian Sandoval has some 'splain' to do. And such explanations are slated to start today, reports Reuters. When there are $1.3 billion or so worth of incentives, the conversation's likely to be a lengthy one.

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Chinese police have arrested three individuals in connection to the deadly explosion at an auto parts factory outside Shanghai nearly three weeks ago, Reuters is reporting.

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California may ease some of its decades-old environmental mandates for potential developments in an effort to get electric-vehicle maker Tesla Motors to build its gigafactory in the Golden State. There is a certain irony in that, but given that the $5-billion factory could bring 6,500 green jobs to the state, it's not surprising.

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There is much, much more that goes into building an automotive factory than simply screwing the structure together, tossing a bunch of robots and employees in and supplying it with raw materials. There is a huge amount of planning that governs how the factory will be laid out, where the various machines and assembly lines will be and why they are where they are.

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Last weekend's explosion at the factory of an automotive component supplier in China has led to a major crackdown in plant safety across the People's Republic, as the country's communist authorities attempt to avoid another catastrophe.

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Should we all be laying our chips down on Nevada for Tesla's proposed Gigafactory? At least a few news sources are saying yes, though another says there's a remote chance of a San Francisco Bay Area site getting the nod. Real remote.

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After a string of recent announcements from automakers, Kia may be the next business to break ground on a factory south of the border. The Korean company is reportedly nearly finished with negotiations to build a $1.5-billion plant near the city of Monterrey in the Mexican state of Nuevo Leon. The state's secretary of economic development confirmed the news to Reuters and anticipated talks to be completed in the first two weeks of August. Unnamed insiders also said that the location was aiming f

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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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