Reuters - Autoblog
Jerry Bill is worried the novel coronavirus could hurt business at the Des Moines auto dealership he runs, but not because of a shortage of buyers for the big Ram pickups on his lot. "Our biggest issue will be if we don't get more inventory," said Bill, general sales manager of Stew Hansen Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram, which sells around 2,700 new vehicles a year in Urbandale, a suburb of Iowa's capital Des Moines. After a drop in sales in April when consumers stayed home, Bill expects pickup truck
Ford Motor Co on Wednesday closed two U.S. assembly plants as the coronavirus pandemic wreaked early havoc with the No. 2 U.S. automaker's plan to restart North American production and begin making its most profitable vehicles again. Ford closed its Dearborn, Michigan, plant due to a positive COVID-19 test by one worker, while its Chicago assembly plant was closed due to a parts shortage, Ford spokeswoman Kelli Felker said.
Volkswagen withdrew on Wednesday an advert posted on its official Instagram page for its Golf cars that it admitted was racist and insulting, saying it would investigate how it came about and draw consequences. The German car company, which has seen its reputation tarnished in the last five years after it admitted cheating diesel emissions tests, said it did not tolerate any form of racism. German television noted that the hand could be interpreted as making a "white power" gesture
The U.S. motorcycle maker, which closed its U.S. assembly plants in March due to the coronavirus outbreak, may not ship any additional new motorcycles this year to about 70% of its 698 dealers in the country, the report said. Harley would reopen its plants in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania and accelerate production in phases that would be limited to bestselling models and palette of colors and without customizable features for the remainder of the year, the report added. The company has failed for
GM has a "big team" working on an advanced version of its hands-free driving assistance system, Super Cruise, that will expand its capability beyond highways and apply it to city streets, the automaker's vice president of global product development Doug Parks said Tuesday. GM is also continuing to improve its existing Super Cruise product, Parks said during a webcasted interview at Citi’s 2020 Car of the Future Symposium. "As we continue to ratchet up Super Cruise, we continue to add capabili
The Detroit Three automakers and their suppliers began restarting assembly lines on Monday after a two-month coronavirus lockdown in a slow revival of a sector that employs nearly 1 million people in the United States. On a chilly and damp Monday morning, hundreds of workers at Fiat Chrysler Automobile's (FCA) truck plant in Warren, Michigan began lining up before 4 a.m. to start the 5 a.m. shift. "I'm a little nervous," said Larry Smith, 53, of New Baltimore, who works on wheel alignment away
Oil companies may be facing uncertainty as the coronavirus pandemic triggers a collapse in demand for their products, but auto makers are betting the crisis will help accelerate an electric future. With economies reeling from lockdowns to curb the virus, the sharpest plunge in oil prices in two decades has slashed the cost of filling up a tank of gas, eroding some of the incentive to make the switch to cleaner fuels. Looking ahead, cuts in capital spending forced upon energy companies as their
Mitsubishi Motors Corp will focus on cutting fixed costs by 20% or more in the next two years after reporting an 89% drop in annual profit, its weakest performance in three years, and skipping its year-end dividend. The coronavirus crisis has exacerbated Mitsubishi's struggles in a year where Japan's sixth biggest carmaker was already battling falling sales in China and also southeast Asia, its largest market which accounts for one-quarter of sales. Mitsubishi also said on Tuesday it
Uber will cut about 3,000 jobs, in addition to the 3,700 it had announced earlier this month, Khosrowshahi said, adding that the company plans to reduce investments in several "non-core projects." Khosrowshahi did not directly mention these businesses in his email and a spokesman declined to comment beyond the email. Khosrowshahi said Uber must establish itself as a self-sustaining enterprise no longer in need of outside capital, calling the company's food delivery business Uber Eats the "next
Subaru Corp on Monday posted a 15.7% rise in annual operating profit in the year that ended in March as it recovered from a raft of product recalls last year, but warned that sales of its cars would take a hit from the coronavirus outbreak. Profit rose to 210.3 billion yen ($1.96 billion) for the year just ended, from 181.7 billion yen a year earlier under international financial reporting standards. "We saw a limited impact of the coronavirus on our results for the year just ended,"
General Motors Co is tentatively planning to restart operations at its auto assembly plant in the Mexican city of Silao on May 20, according to a message to workers seen by Reuters on Sunday, as the car industry prepares to exit the coronavirus lockdown. The reopening of the plant would be a positive signal for the auto sector in North America, whose supply lines are highly interconnected between the United States, Mexico and Canada. Workers had previously been told to plan to return to their
Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said on Saturday that Fiat Chrysler was entitled to apply for Italy's state-backed loans because the automaker employs thousands of people in the country, even though its legal base is located abroad. The Italian-American group confirmed on Saturday its Italian unit was working with Rome to obtain state guarantees on a 6.3-billion-euro ($6.8 billion) loan facility designed to help Italy's automotive industry, comprised of approximately 10,000 small and medi
Cars will be banished from miles of streets in central London to encourage more walking and cycling and help public transport cope with social distancing restrictions, the city's mayor said on Friday. Sadiq Khan said the plan, which covers major cross-town routes, would transform parts of central London into one of the largest car-free zones in any capital city. "COVID-19 poses the biggest challenge to London's public transport network in TfL's (Transport for London) history," he said.
McLaren is looking into various funding options to help the sportscar maker and Formula One team owner negotiate the coronavirus pandemic, a spokesman said on Thursday. Sky News reported that British-based McLaren was seeking to raise up to 275 million pounds ($335.61 million) by borrowing against its Woking headquarters and extensive collection of historic racing cars. It quoted sources as saying McLaren, advised by JP Morgan, could raise the money in the form of new bonds with funding secur
Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk has reached out to battery experts clustered at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Tesla in 2016 agreed to fund a group of scientists led for the past 24 years by Jeff Dahn, a pioneer in lithium-ionbattery development. The work with Dahn's team is now playing a key role in Tesla's plans to introduce a new low-cost, long-life battery in its Model 3 sedan in China by early next year, Reuters reported on Thursday.
For months, Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk has been teasing investors, and rivals, with promises to reveal significant advances in battery technology during a "Battery Day" in late May. New, low-cost batteries designed to last for a million miles of use and enable electric Teslas to sell profitably for the same price or less than a gasoline vehicle are just part of Musk's agenda, people familiar with the plans told Reuters.
The U.S. factories that make Fords, Chevys and Jeeps are coming back to life this week as workers install new safety equipment and wake up machines ahead of the high-stakes restart the Detroit automakers plan to launch on Monday. Ford Motor Co , General Motors Co and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV all plan to reopen North American factories on May 18. How well the automakers do will be significant for the U.S. economy, as nearly 1 million workers are employed in th