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GM Plans Month-Long Shutdown at Flint Truck Plant

Plans are two weeks longer than usual.

by on Feb.19, 2018

GM is going to be laying off employees at its plant in Flint, Michigan, for two weeks after the company's traditional two-week shutdown.

General Motors told employees it plans to close down the company’s big truck assembly plant in Flint, Michigan, for the month of July.

The company said in a memo circulated to employees of the truck assembly plant that the plant will be closed for a “mandatory” two-summer vacation shutdown starting in early July. The two-week vacation shutdown will be followed by a two-week layoff for most of the employees at the plant, according to the memo, which was posted to a union website.

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The memo said some employees will be required to work during the temporary shutdown as the plant will be undergoing a series of improvements to the plant, which a key center for production of GM’s Chevrolet and GMC heavy-duty pick-up trucks. (more…)

FCA Arguing About Viability of Midsize Pickup

Ford joins GM, Toyota and Nissan in booming segment.

by on Jan.19, 2018

CEO Sergio Marchionne said there has been a lot of pushback on the idea of building a midsize pickup truck.

Executives inside what is now Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. have been arguing about building a midsize pickup truck for nearly a decade, FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne told the media this week during a meeting at the North American International Auto Show.

Marchionne told reporters that FCA had not made any decisions on a future midsize pickup even as Ford Motor Co. revealed its new Ford Ranger during the press previews for the NAIAS.

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“We’re still studying it,” said Marchionne, who acknowledge that the midsize segment where the new Ranger will compete with the Chevrolet Colorado, Toyota Tacoma and Nissan Frontier have has come alive in the last couple of years.  (more…)

General Motors Expecting Big Profits for 2018

Company expects stable results in North America and China.

by on Jan.16, 2018

GM CEO Mary Barra said she believes that all of the fundamentals that brought profits to GM in 2017 are in place to repeat in 2018.

General Motors Co. expects strong earnings in 2018, as it builds on an expected record 2017 diluted-adjusted EPS as well as previous record earnings in 2016 and 2015.

GM’s bullish forecast comes on the heels of a bullish prediction for 2018 from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. Chief Sergio Marchionne, who told reporters at the Detroit Auto Show that he expected upward of $9 billion in operating profits from FCA for the full-year even as it falls short of the sales targets laid out in four-year plan set out 2014 when it predicted sales of 7 million units.

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The company’s “product cadence” will help FCA offset any potential weakening in the economic outlook, added Marchionne, who noted the company was bringing out a new version of the Jeep Cherokee and brand-new Jeep Wrangler as well as the new Ram 1500 pickup truck. (more…)

Can 2019 Chevrolet Silverado Topple Ford’s King-of-the-Hill F-Series?

Chevy’s complete makeover brings eight distinct models, new powertrains, including high-mileage diesel.

by on Jan.14, 2018

Design Director Mike Simcoe reveals how the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado went from design sketch to design masterpiece.

While SUVs have garnered most of the spotlight, pickups have been building momentum at a frantic pace over the last several years and, barring a complete economic meltdown or a surge past $4 a gallon for gas, few expect to see demand for those tough trucks taper off anytime soon.

So, General Motors’ timing could be particularly fortuitous as it prepares to roll out complete makeovers of its full-size pickup line-up. The process begins with the unveiling of the all-new, 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 at this week’s North American International Auto Show – and will continue when the Silverado HD and GMC Sierra pickups make their debut later this year.

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“These are arguably the most important products in the Chevrolet portfolio,” said Global Chevrolet chief Alan Batey, as the new Silverado rolled onto the stage in front of a packed crowd at Detroit’s Eastern Market Saturday night. (more…)

Ranger Reborn: Ford Back in the Midsize Pickup Game

Ford aims to share in the segment’s unexpected revival.

by on Jan.14, 2018

After a six-year hiatus, Ford brought back the Ranger, this time as a midsize pickup.

Its been six years since Ford shuttered its ancient Twin Cities plant in Minnesota, walking away from what seemed to be, back then, a dying market segment.

But the Detroit automaker failed to reckon on what might happen when new product would be injected into the midsize category, General Motors scoring a hit with the likes of its Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon, and Honda hitting the ball out of the park by bringing back its own Ridgeline model.

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Ironically, Ford actually launched a new Ranger – but it was intended for just about every market except for North America, the company’s planners convinced they could get potential midsize buyers to make the walk up-market to the bigger F-150. But as it watched its competition rapidly rebuild the old midsize pickup segment – sales growing a hefty 83% since 2014 – Ford realized it needed to get back in the game. (more…)