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Archive for the ‘Ford’ Category

Plugging In: An Inside Look at the MEB — VW’s Platform for an Electrified Future

A combined VW-Ford battery-car program seems to have come un-plugged, however.

by on Feb.11, 2019

An under-the-skin look at VW's modular MEB battery-car platform reveals the skateboard-like layout.

Volkswagen is plugging into battery power in a big way, the German automaker planning to launch 50 or more all-electric models by 2025, an aggressive push that will have it betting heavily on a single new platform it is developing. Dubbed the MEB, this flexible, modular “architecture” will be used to underpin the vast majority of battery-electric vehicles, or BEVs, that will be offered by VW’s dozen different passenger car brands.

The MEB has been a topic of discussion between VW and Ford Motor Co., the two companies recently launching a joint venture to develop light commercial vehicles. They also are exploring ways they may be able to work together on the development of electric vehicles, possibly using the new VW platform — though a senior Ford official cautioned that this might prove more difficult than originally hoped.

Beyond the Headlines!

“The future, for us, is really a dedicated EV platform,” said Matthew Renna, vice president of e-Mobility for Volkswagen’s North American Region, a platform “flexible enough to cover a broad gamut of products ranging from an entry level subcompact up to models like the ID. Buzz minivan and even midsize SUVs.

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Ford’s Future Relies on Its Manufacturing Prowess

Technology is going to lead, but old school rules will ensure success.

by on Feb.08, 2019

Joe Hinrichs, Ford president of Global Operations, meets with the media after the announcement that Ford would pump $1B into the Chicago plant.

As the auto industry stands on the cusp of a huge upheaval, Ford Motor Co. is pursuing a strategy that not only looks to new technology, but also relies on the deft use of the manufacturing skills that were instrumental in the company’s rise more than a century ago.

Joe Hinrichs, Ford president, Global Operations, said the billion-dollar investment the company is making in its manufacturing operations in Chicago, where the company has some 6,000 blue-collar workers and plans to add 500 more in the few months, will depend utilize both the latest automation but also the human touch.

The Last Word!

“We’re going to have a new, highly-automated paint shop and body shop,” said Hinrichs talking about Ford’s future plans with reporters at the Chicago Auto Show. But Ford is also depending on the skill of its employees to build the new Ford Explorer and Lincoln Aviator.as well as specialty vehicles such as the police interceptor that is based on the Explorer.   (more…)

Ford, Harley Reconnect for New Harley-Davidson F-150

Truck is back after seven-year hiatus.

by on Feb.08, 2019

Ford and Harley-Davidson are together again with a new Harley-Davidson F-150 for 2019.

Two iconic brands are teaming up again to create a unique product that appeals to customers of both brands with a new version of the popular Harley-Davidson F-150.

“Motorcycle enthusiasts can once again enjoy dramatic Harley-Davidson design cues in the number one selling vehicle in America, the Ford F-150,” said Brad Richards, vice president of design and styling for Harley-Davidson Motor Co.

Auto Show News!

“The strong reaction by the public to the concept truck at our anniversary event encouraged us to move the 2019 Harley-Davidson edition Ford F-150 into production. We look forward to fulling the dreams of fans who overwhelmingly asked for this special truck,” he added. (more…)

Ford Investing $1B, Adding 500 Jobs to Expand SUV Production

Announcement comes as GM hands out pink slips to 4,000.

by on Feb.07, 2019

Joe Hinrichs, Ford president of Global Operations, left, and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel shake hands after announcing a $1 billion investment in the Chicago Assembly Plant.

This story has been updated with new information.

Ford Motor Co. will announce plans to invest $1 billion to expand its SUV operations in Chicago, TheDetroitBureau.com has learned, in the process hiring 500 workers.

The news comes the same week as General Motors has begun handing out pink slips to approximately 4,000 of its white-collar staff as part of what will be a $6 billion restructuring. Ford is also expected to announce cuts of its own as it moves forward with an $11 billion global restructuring, with details impacting U.S. operations scheduled to be announced by spring.

News Now!

The fact that Ford is hiring now, but that it could subsequently let other workers go, reflects the dramatic changes sweeping through the auto industry, especially in the U.S., where buyers by the millions have shifted from passenger cars to light trucks like those being built by the second-largest domestic automaker at its Windy City plant. (more…)

Henry Ford Anti-Semitism Story Goes Viral After Dearborn Mayor Fires Writer

Piece pulled from magazine highlighting home city of Ford Motor Co.

by on Feb.06, 2019

Henry Ford was a visionary but he also had a naive, narrow-minded side that included a hatred of Jews.

(Copyright 2019, TheDetroitBureau.com)

He was one of America’s most successful entrepreneurs, but Henry Ford was also one of its most virulent anti-Semites, and an attempt by a suburban Detroit mayor to censor an article detailing Ford’s hatred of Jews in a little-read local historical magazine is drawing national attention.

Most Americans are likely to think of Ford Motor Co.’s founder as the man who put the country on wheels, rolling out the Model T by the millions off his breakthrough assembly lines in the early half of the 20th century. But “he was also a man who mass produced hate,” said Bill McGraw, former editor of the Dearborn Historian. Dearborn Mayor John B. “Jack” O’Reilly late last month ordered all the copies of the Autumn 2018 issue, Volume 55, No. 3 confiscated and, days later, fired McGraw.

We Light the Way!

A former reporter from the Detroit Free Press, McGraw wrote the issue’s cover story for the city-owned magazine: “A Special Report: Henry Ford and ‘The International Jew.’” (more…)

Aston Martin Lagonda All-Terrain Concept Hints at Future

All-electric prototype hints of crossover set to mark the brand’s revival.

by on Feb.06, 2019

The Aston Martin Lagonda All-Terrain Concept will strongly influence a coming production model.

Automakers have a habit of reaching into the history books. We’ve seen a number of once forgotten nameplates rise from the dead lately, including the Chevrolet Blazer and Ford Bronco. And the upcoming Geneva Motor Show will mark the revival of two once-grand brands: Hispano-Suiza and Lagonda.

The return of the latter, a subsidiary of Aston Martin, has been in the works for several years, a show car called the Lagonda Vision making its debut in Switzerland a year ago. Next month, we’ll see the debut of a second prototype, the Lagonda All-Terrain Concept, and it seems a lot closer to the production model set to reach showrooms a couple years from now.

Geneva Motor Show News!

“The Lagonda All-Terrain Concept offers explicit clues regarding what will be the first Lagonda model to enter production, and further demonstrates how Lagonda’s zero emission powertrain enables us to create spectacular cars that will radically redefine their sectors of the market,” says Aston CEO Andy Palmer.

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Ford Unveils New Heavy Duty Pickup Truck

Top dog in trucks ready to fend off challenges by GM, FCA.

by on Feb.05, 2019

Ford is ready to fend off challenges to its standing as the top producer of heavy-duty trucks.

Ford aims to retain its leadership in the heavy-duty segment even as archrivals General Motors and Fiat Chrysler bring out new models to challenge Ford’s leadership.

Ford is responding by unveiling the 2020 F Series Super Duty Truck that features a new 10-speed transmission, three different engines, including a new diesel engine, and a high-tech trailer back-up assistance set up to go along with more towing capacity.

News Now!

Kumar Galhotra, Ford president, North America, said the unveiling at the Chicago Auto Show is part of the broad product offensive the company will launch this year. (more…)

First Drive: 2019 Chevrolet Blazer

Politics, rather than vehicle attribute, could prove the focus for some potential buyers.

by on Feb.04, 2019

The 2019 Chevrolet Blazer RS offers a choice of two engines, front drive or two AWD options.

Everything old is new again, it seems, with all sorts of once-forgotten nameplates rising from the dead. That includes the Chevrolet Blazer which will be rolling back into U.S. showrooms in the coming months.

For those who may remember the Blazer as a classically stocky, body-on-frame SUV, the arrival of the 2019 model could come as a big surprise, however. It’s now taking the form of a sleekly styled, car-based crossover that puts emphasis on the word “sport” and only marginally on the idea of off-roadability.

Reviews You Can Trust!

A couple days of driving the 2019 Chevrolet Blazer through San Diego and the surrounding countryside proved it to be one of the better new entries for those who will never see anything rougher than a gravel road. But the new ute will have to clear a few obstacles, nonetheless, as it has become the cause célèbre for those upset by Chevy parent General Motors’ decision to close three North American assembly plants this year.

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Deal or No Deal Makes for a Great Deal for Ford

Hinrichs offers Ford retiree and sons lunch with Chairman Ford.

by on Jan.31, 2019

Ford retiree John West, center, was joined by Ford's Joe Hinrichs, right, during Deal or No Deal last night, where West walked away with $200,000.

As other automakers like Fiat Chrysler, Hyundai and others seek top time slots for television ads during this weekend’s Super Bowl, Ford may have beaten them all to the punch after last night’s Deal or No Deal.

Last night’s game show featured 64-year-old Ford Motor Co. retiree John West, who was nominated for the show on CNBC by his five sons. The very clearly pro-Detroit family took home a nice chunk of change and unexpected surprise … or two.

News You Can Trust!

The appearance was very Ford themed. While talking about Detroit and specifically his time at Ford Motor Co., there were two other ties to the Dearborn, Michigan-based automaker. (more…)

Over a Dozen Michigan Automotive Operations Close As Fire Cuts NatGas Supplies During Record Cold Wave

Workers told to stay home – and to turn back their own thermostats.

by on Jan.31, 2019

A fire at Consumers Energy's facility in Armada Township, Michigan, north of Detroit, has Detroit-area automakers closing some plants. (Photo credit: Fox2Detroit)

The alert went out by smartphone to nearly 2 million natural gas customers across Michigan’s Lower Peninsula: turn back your thermostats or risk the possibility of having natural gas supplies cut off.

While some utilities have raised concerns about gas supplies in previous cold waves, the warning from Michigan-based Consumers Energy Co. was compounded by a fire at a gas compression facility near Detroit that created a potentially worst-case scenario, shortages even as demand for heat across the frozen state was reaching record level in temperatures dropping into the double-digits below zero.

News Now!

And individual consumers aren’t the only ones being impacted. Ford Motor Co. says it has reduced operations at four plants as of Thursday morning, while General Motors has temporarily halted or reduced operations at 11 of its own factories, as well as its Technical Center in the Detroit suburb of Warren. About 20,000 workers at that sprawling complex have been asked to work at home through Friday. (more…)