Detroit Free Press
Here's something you might have seen coming. We've talked about how labor costs have been one of the major factors cited as keeping the domestic automakers behind the 8-ball regarding profitability compared to Japanese competitors. Sure, there's more to it than that, but the fact remains that labor costs are high on the list. How does that effect foreign automakers that have domestic workforces
In January, Johnson Controls Inc (JCI) and Saft Advanced Power Solutions, a Paris-based battery company, combined efforts in a joint venture (JCS) to further the development of lithium-ion batteries for vehicle applications. Last month, the U.S. Advanced Battery Consortium, an umbrella organization involving collaborative research between DaimlerChrysler, Ford and GM, along with the U.S. Department of Energy awarded the joint venture a 2-year contract to continue its research and development.
Sure it's got great handling and massive amounts of horsepower, but when you've got a clunky 7-speed sequential manual gearbox and an overly-complicated i-Drive, you just paid too much for your $81,000 super sedan. So says Mark Phelan, who tested out the BMW and can't wait for the manual version to come out this fall.