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Frankfurt

Deepening doubts, increased outsourcing and a call for more incentives

"Daimler is the first company to state explicitly how much electric vehicles are going to hurt margins."

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Donald Trump takes a shot at Ford’s outsourcing practices in his most recent visit to Michigan.

Daimler AG is one of a shrinking number of automakers that continues to build its own transmissions, but the parent of Mercedes-Benz is now looking to change that. The automaker has been holding talks with rival BMW about possible powertrain collaborations including transmissions. Mercedes already supplies the two-mode hybrid transmissions that BMW is installing in its forthcoming ActiveHybrid X6. However, a proposal to build a joint factory to produce automatic transmissions in the U.S. for the

Fisker Karma Sunset Concept – Click above for high-res image gallery

According to Bo Anderson, General Motor's purchasing chief, the weakening dollar is actually going to help U.S. suppliers become more competitive in the economically flat world we live in. The combination of low-cost foreign rivals and the high prices commanded for raw materials have caused several U.S.-based automotive suppliers to be left out in the competitive cold.

As Toyota continues to rake in money hand-over-fist, it intends to bolster its fight for the #1 spot by increasing the money it spends on capital investment. The company's latest financial report pegs the automaker's capital spending for the current fiscal year at a whopping $14 billion - a fair amount more than the $12 billion analysts expected. For contrast, consider that General Motors, the current worldwide sales leader, expects to spend only $8.7 billion in its current fiscal year

Oh, the peril of being a company in a global economy" that has survived in part by virtue of its customers' "Buy American" attitude. Gneral Motors is clearly stating that it has no official plan to force suppliers to go to low-cost countries (LCC; also known by the euphemism "leading cost countries"), despite the fact that recent bid packages were accompanied by a list of "approved" countries. Suppliers were told that at least

Addressing intentions by Volkswagen AG to outsource its parts factories, Automobilwoche editor Guido Reinking contends such a plan would be a mistake for the German automaker.