Running a high-end automobile manufacturer like Bentley or Bugatti has got to be a dream job for most any business executive. And Wolfgang Dürheimer gets to run them both – but not for much longer, according to the latest reports coming in from trade publication Automotive News Europe.
When Toyota recalled millions of vehicles for floor mat entrapment and sticky accelerator pedals, many thought the event would serve as a wake-up call for the world's largest automaker. While Toyota has no doubt taken considerable steps to rectify any quality lapses, a panel being paid for by the automaker apparently feels Toyota hasn't gone far enough.
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.
In an effort to slow the crash, Toyota Motor Corp. is undertaking a massive overhaul and management reorganization next month when Akio Toyoda takes over as president. Toyoda, the grandson of Toyota's founder, will be officially appointed on June 23 at the annual shareholder's meeting. With the new president in place, the Financial Times is reporting that the company will replace 40% of its senior managers and bring back Yoshimi Inaba, a former senior executive, to lead U.S. operations.
General Motors has reintroduced the position of President and Chief Operating Officer with the naming of Fritz Henderson to the post by Rick Wagoner. Henderson's move up from Vice Chairman and Chief Financial Officer sees Ray Young moving from group VP of finance to Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, filling the vacuum left by Henderson's departure. Group Vice President of Global Powertrain and Global Quality, Thomas G. Stephens, also makes the move to Executive Vice President
A faulty seatbelt that traps an occupant in a vehicle and leads to his death is a horrible tragedy. If the defect were given a pass at the manufacturing plant, it goes beyond tragic to criminal. Toyota is now facing two lawsuits in California, both centered around manufacturing defects that may have been ignored at its joint-venture New United Motor Manufacturing Inc. plant.
SAE's Automotive Engineering International magazine reports that General Motors is putting more assets into its efforts to utilize electricity - not only for "telematics" - but for drive systems as well. Telematics is the growing use of electricity for control and features on a car (like this). Navigation systems, entertainment systems; steering and window drive systems are examples of telematics. Drive systems refer to more the "heavy iron" part of an automobile: the brakes, the engine, the fue
Any way you look at it, Toyota's foray into Formula 1 has not yielded positive results. Despite throwing unprecedented amounts of money at the effort, their F1 team has not produced the kind of results to which the automotive giant has become accustomed. So they've apparently decided that it was time for a change in management.
Ever-tightening emissions requirements, teamed with consumers' lust for today's high horsepower numbers, have led to some creative valve timing and lift schemes. Infiniti's G37 will be pack some interesting tech underhood when it debuts at the upcoming New York International Auto Show. There are actually two new developments working in conjunction to give independent control over valve timing and lift. Nissan has dubbed the control technologies Variable Valve Event and Lift and Continuous Valve
Not long after we told you about the likely promotion of Derrick Kuzak to the role of global Car Czar, President and CEO of Ford Alan Mulally officially announced his corporate realignment plan. At the top of the pyramid is, of course, Mulally himself. Reporting to him are the leaders of Ford's three largest units: Mark Fields, Ford of the Americas; Lewis Booth, Ford of Europe and the Premier Auto Group (PAG); and John Parker, Ford of Asia Pacific, Africa and Mazda. Supporting this team will be