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33Lincoln trumpets $129M investment, 300 new jobs in Louisville for MKC

Remember when we used to talk about how close Lincoln was to being axed and how it seemed any day now the Grim Reaper would use it as a car service back to the grave? Last time we did it was, oh, not even a month ago. What a difference 27 days makes: Ford and Lincoln are trumpeting a $129M investment in the Louisville Assembly Plant that builds the MKC.

21Long winter means most automakers won't curb summer shutdown

A lot more happened during this latest brutal winter than days of snow and Netflix binges. Automotive sales took a battering. After all, going out car shopping when it's eleventy-billion degrees below zero isn't a good time.

6Ford cuts 950 Russian jobs on weak demand

The Russian auto market, in decline for the past year and further hit by the declining value of the ruble and recent sanctions over its annexation of Crimea, has forced Ford to cut jobs and shifts at two of its joint venture plants there. Around 700 of the 2,700 total workers who build the Russian-market Focus and Mondeo will be cut at the plant in Vsevolozhsk, near St. Petersburg as it drops to a single production shift. A second plant about 700 miles away in Yelabuga, in the Tartarstan region,

32Auto sector employment now higher than pre-recession levels

The US economy has come a long way since the mid-to-late 2000s, when the daily news was more depressing than the Detroit Lions' playoff hopes. Need proof of that? A recent report from The Detroit News says it all - auto employment has hit a five-year high, and the sector now employs more people than it did in September of 2008.

49Mitsubishi boss says US operations may break even next year

Mitsubishi has lost money in its North America operations every year since 2007, but in an interview at this week's Tokyo Motor Show, company president Osamu Masuko said, "If things keep going well, it might be the case that we break even this year," Automotive News reports.

1US auto production expected to hit 14-year high in 4Q

Despite having fewer manufacturing plants than 1999, when US auto production reached an all-time fourth-quarter high of 4.28-million units, US factories are expected to make 4.02-million light vehicles in the period from October to December, Wards Auto reports. It would mark the best fourth quarter in 14 years, and the fourth best ever.

69Are VW execs pushing workers to unionize in Chattanooga? [UPDATE]

United Auto Workers has been pushing to unionize Volkswagen's Chattanooga, TN plant, and Volkswagen seems to be open to the idea - the two parties already have discussed an employee "works council" for the factory, which would require UAW organization - but the automaker says it will only recognize UAW if employees approve the move via a formal secret ballot. But now some workers are claiming that VW is coercing them into joining the union, The Tennessean reports.

74Jeep idles second shift it hired a month ago for 2014 Cherokee

In an unusual move, Chrysler is idling its recently hired second shift of 2014 Jeep Cherokee builders because, Chrysler spokeswoman Jodi Tinson said in a statement, it already has built the "critical number of vehicles we need to stock dealerships once containment is released," Automotive News reports.

29Ford invests $682 million in Edge-producing Canadian facility

Ford announced that it's investing $682 million in its Oakville assembly plant in Ontario, Canada, to make it a global manufacturing plant, which the automaker also says secures 2,800 jobs there. Including this injection of cash, Ford has invested over $2 billion in Canada in the last decade, starting with nearly $1 billion for Oakville in 2004, and over $570 million for its Essex Engine Plant in 2010.

21Daimler and Nissan to build luxury cars at new plant in Mexico

A few years back, when Daimler was looking for a partner to spread the cost of development of small cars, it agreed to collaborate with Nissan on future products, such as vehicle platforms and drivetrains. The latest development in the collaboration concerns the assembly of small luxury cars for Infiniti and Mercedes-Benz at a Nissan plant in Mexico, two unnamed sources told Reuters.

52What a strike in Korea could mean for US Hyundai and Kia buyers

A prolonged factory strike at Hyundai-Kia factories in South Korea could mean that US dealership inventory of certain vehicles, such as the South Korea-built Hyundai Accent and Kia Soul, could dry up in the coming months, depending on the length of the strike, reports Cars.com's blog, Kicking Tires. The two brands together rank sixth in US sales and fifth in global sales.

37Kia builds one millionth vehicle in the US

Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia, Inc. (KMMG), the plant that produces the Kia Sorento crossover and Optima sedan, celebrated today as a Snow White Pearl 2014 Sorento SXL rolled off the assembly line at the 2,259-acre site, marking the one-millionth Kia to be produced on US soil.

15Marchionne assures Fiat jobs will stay in Italy, amid Chrysler merger talks

Even though Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne has repeatedly said he won't pick up, leave Italy and take his Fiat factories with him, his occasional pointed comments about the challenges of running operations in that country has worried Italian politicians dealing with government, economic and labor-force seizures the past few years. After Fiat Industrial announced it was moving its headquarters to London and it was rumored that the car division's HQ would move to Auburn Hills, MI after the merger with

15Kia calls reports of second US plant 'groundless'

In discussing how Kia planned to use a focus on quality to raise its brand perception and take the fight to BMW and Audi instead of Toyota, a recent article in Automotive News Europe said one of the primary constraints was production capacity; Kia simply doesn't have the ability to make enough cars to meet its aims with the plants it has.

14North America's automakers ran at 97% of their production capacity last year

Wards Auto began tracking North American light-vehicle production capacity utilization in 2005, and last year produced the highest amount on record: 97.8 percent of available production was utilized, an improvement of 9.3 percent versus the year before. The number represents straight-time capacity plus things like the addition of a third shift or a third crew and worker overtime due to less vacations. Production with straight-time capacity utilizing two shifts still came out to 97.1 percent in 2

25Mazda's new Mexican plant capacity rises to 230,000

After the turmoil of last year, 2013 is getting off to a much better start for Mazda. The company has issued a release indicating that the forthcoming plant in Salamanca, Mexico has had its production capacity raised even though it isn't scheduled to go online until March 2014. The original plans called for a 140,000-unit capacity, 90,000 of that allotted for the Mazda2 and Mazda3, the remaining 50,000 for a small car Mazda would build for Toyota that would be based on the Mazda2. The new plans

27Subaru to raise US production from 130,000 units to 300,000 by 2016

Ask Subaru about the difficult car market and it is likely to ask in response, "What difficult car market?" The little Japanese brand has its XV sitting on top of sales charts in (one small corner of) Europe, the BRZ is still allergic to sitting on dealer lots, the company has raised its financial forecast due to strong US sales and being in the top five of Consumer Reports' reliability ratings is the sprinkles on the cupcake. Just-Auto now reports that Subie is considering increasing US product

17Opel cutting work hours in two plants to avoid layoffs

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

882013 Honda Accord production fires up with Earth Dreams power

Production of the "Earth Dreams" powertrains that will slot into the 2013 Honda Accord got underway at the Japanese automaker's Anna Engine and Honda Transmission Mfg. plants last week, and both facilities have begun feeding engines and gearboxes to the Marysville, Ohio, assembly lines where the 2013 Accord has started rolling off the lines. A ceremony marking the start of the new generation's assembly today also served to celebrate Honda's 30 years of production in the States.

26Honda's new 'Earth Dreams' drivetrains go into production

Production of the "Earth Dreams" powertrains that will slot into the 2013 Honda Accord has begun at the Japanese automaker's Anna Engine and Honda Transmission Mfg. plants, both of which will supply the Ohio assembly lines where the Accord is built.

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