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Archive for the ‘NAFTA’ Category

Volvo Moving to Eliminate Plastic Waste

Automaker following UN guidelines on cutting plastics.

by on May.21, 2018

Stuart Templar, director for Sustainability, is leading Volvo's efforts to eliminate single-use plastics from its facilities and events.

In another step to secure its reputation as a green company, Volvo Cars plans to remove single-use plastics from all its offices, cafeterias and events across the globe by the end of 2019.

The company said decision reflects the company’s active support of the UN Environment Clean Seas campaign and underlines its ambition to minimize its global environmental footprint. Tons of plastic have been found in the world’s oceans and the plastic pollution is considered a significant threat to aquatic creatures.

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Volvo plans replace more than 20 million single-use plastic items such as cups, food containers and cutlery with more sustainable alternatives, including biodegradable products made of paper, pulp and wood. This equates to the removal of over 500 plastic items per employee per year. (more…)

Chevy Escalates Truck Engine Wars with Four New Offerings

A new Duramax diesel coming in 2019.

by on May.19, 2018

The 2019 Silverado RST comes standard with an all-new, advanced 2.7-liter turbo engine active fuel management and stop/start technology.

Chevrolet is firing another round of salvos in the ongoing engine wars between the Big Three truck makers, debuting four new powerplants including a four-cylinder turbo, ultimately resulting in six new powertrain combinations.

The brand unveiled a 2.7-liter turbocharged four cylinder as well as two new V8s: a 5.3-liter and a 6.2-liter, both of which use Chevy’s active fuel management system. The system uses four, six or eight cylinders depending upon the demands on the engine. Push the pedal to the floor, the driver gets all eight, but if cruising along the freeway, it drops to four and improves fuel economy.

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The 2.7-liter will be the standard engine for the brand’s high-volume trucks, replacing a 4.3-liter V6, which remains available. A new 3.0-liter Duramax turbodiesel will also be available in 2019. EPA mileage ratings for the new engines are available yet. (more…)

In Final Move as FCA CEO, Marchionne Expected to Order Massive Shift in Product, Manufacturing Plans

Small Fiat models likely to be dropped, brand may leave U.S.

by on May.18, 2018

Could FCA pull the Fiat brand out of the U.S.?

As Fiat Chrysler Automobiles prepares for life beyond its founding chief executive, CEO Sergio Marchionne is expected to announce major shifts in the automaker’s product and manufacturing strategy, according to several reports.

During a June 1 meeting meant to reveal FCA’s next five-year plan, the 65-year-old executive reportedly will announce that the Fiat brand will abandon two of its base models, the Punto and Mito, while shifting emphasis to more up-market models. The automaker also will put more emphasis on its Jeep brand which, Marchionne said during the Detroit Auto Show earlier this year, could help Fiat Chrysler double its earnings during the next five years.

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One of the key questions hanging over the Euro-American automaker may not be resolved during a meeting bringing together analysts and journalists from around the world: who will replace Marchionne as CEO? He has dropped hints that his successor will come from FCA’s current top management ranks, which means no women or outsiders are in the running.

(more…)

NAFTA Talks Encroaching on Congressional Deadline

If deal isn't reached by deadline, might have to wait until 2019.

by on May.17, 2018

Republican House leader Paul Ryan noted if NAFTA talks don't produce a new deal soon, it may not get approved until 2019.

The Trump administration’s plans to overhaul the North American Free Trade Agreement may have to wait until next year.

Politico, the Washington-based website for political news, noted that House Speaker Paul Ryan said the Trump administration has until May 17 to submit a final NAFTA deal if it wants lawmakers to vote on the revised agreement this year.

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Negotiators from the U.S., Mexico and Canada have nothing to show for their efforts despite meeting all week in Washington DC to coming up with a deal, knowing that time was running short to get a deal through Congress in this legislative session.  (more…)

Audi Debuting New All-Electric E-Tron on August 30

Aiming for 800,000 annual EV, hybrid sales by 2025 – but still has to cope with ongoing diesel emissions problems.

by on May.09, 2018

Audi hopes its new Q5 EV variant will help the automaker sell 800K EVs by 2025.

While it is only now preparing to launch its first long-range battery-electric vehicle, a variation on its Q5 SUV theme, Audi is laying out ambitious sales plans for its electrified line-up, starting with the August debut of its E-Tron SUV on Aug. 30.

The automaker this week said it intends to sell 800,000 battery-based vehicles, models ranging from conventional hybrids to long-range, all-electric offerings. It is expected to offer some form of electrified powertrain for essentially future models and will use two different platforms designed specifically to take the best advantage of battery power.

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The announcement comes even as Audi continues to struggle with problems related to the broader cheating on diesel emissions tests by parent Volkswagen Group. VW’s largest luxury group this week alerted German regulators that they had found problems involving 60,000 more diesel-powered vehicles. (more…)

Toyota Investing $1 Billion into Canadian Facilities

Move will add 450 new jobs, automaker says.

by on May.08, 2018

Toyota is investing $1 billion into the plant in Canada that produces the company's top-selling RAV4.

Toyota Motor Corp. is planning to beef up its manufacturing footprint in Canada with a $1 billion investment its three assembly plants in Woodstock and Cambridge, Ontario, which are dedicated to building two of the Japanese automaker’s most popular vehicles in North America, the Toyota RAV4 and Lexus RX 350.

The investment will be used to retool the company’s Ontario operations to build vehicles using Toyota’s New Global Architecture, which will make dramatic improvements in the performance and competitiveness of the vehicle, as well as how it is engineered, Toyota officials said.

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It will also support the pursuit of future production for Ontario as well as research and development, and new automation technology in the paint and plastics shop. The investment represents a reversal of fortune for Canada’s auto industry, which has lost ground production in Mexico has steadily expanded. (more…)

New US Content Proposal for NAFTA Gets Tepid Response

Mexico balks at new demands from negotiators.

by on May.01, 2018

Trade representatives from Canada, Mexico and the U.S. continue negotiating a revised NAFTA agreement.

The latest proposals from the U.S. in the ongoing North American Free Trade Agreement talks have been met with tepid curiosity and outright defiance from Mexico’s delegation.

The U.S. proposal, according to Reuters, increases NAFTA’s regional automotive content and would carry a four-year phase-in to meet a higher, 75% regional value threshold. The current level is 62.5% while new labor content rules requiring substantial work at wages of $16 an hour or higher.

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The new deal would require the $16 wage on work comprising 40% of the value of light-duty passenger vehicles and 45% for pickup trucks. Mexico, where salaries average less than $6 per hour at automakers, wasn’t keen on the new idea. (more…)

Daimler Profits Drop Double Digits Despite Car Sales

Strong results from Mercedes-Benz can't halt slide.

by on Apr.27, 2018

Daimler AG's Dieter Zetsche said that despite the drop in profits, the company was on track with its plans.

Daimler AG saw net income drop by double digits in the first quarter despite an increase in revenue in and record unit sales by Mercedes-Benz Cars.

The Daimler Group reported net profit for the first quarter of 2018 of 2.4 billion euros or 2.12 euros per share was 11% below the prior-year figure of 2.7 billion euros or 2.39 euros per share. First-quarter of earnings before interest and taxes of 3.335 billion euros was 13% below its prior-year EBIT of 3.8 billion euros.

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“We are sustainably continuing along our profitable growth course and sold more vehicles in a first quarter than ever before,” said Dieter Zetsche, Daimler CEO and chairman of the board of management. (more…)

Ford Earns $1.7 Billion in First Quarter

Automaker accelerating efforts to cut costs.

by on Apr.26, 2018

Ford CEO Jim Hackett said the company is accelerating is cost-cutting measure and expanding their scope.

Ford reported first-quarter revenue of $42 billion and net income of $1.7 billion, or 43 cents a share, beating analysts estimates by 2 cents a share. The revenue result was a 7% increase while net income reflects a 9% increase over year-ago results.

However, the company’s pre-tax profits were $2.2 billion, a 14% drop compared with last year’s result, which was attributed to commodity price increases and unfavorable exchange rates.

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The 9% increase in quarterly profit can be almost entirely attributed to a drop in the automaker’s effective tax rate to 9% from 28.6%, Ford officials said. (more…)

New Roadblocks Thrown Up in NAFTA Negotiations

Trump pushing for new mandates for Mexico.

by on Apr.24, 2018

NAFTA talks are ongoing and negotiators are expressing optimism about completing a new deal.

Efforts to reach an agreement on revisions to the North American Free Trade Agreement appear to have hit another speed bump.

President Donald Trump said on Monday he may ask Mexico to halt the flow of undocumented migrants from Central America into the U.S. as a condition for a renegotiated trade deal.

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“Mexico, whose laws on immigration are very tough, must stop people from going through Mexico and into the U.S. We may make this a new condition of our new NAFTA Agreement. Our Country cannot accept what is happening! Also, we must get Wall funding fast,” Trump wrote on Twitter. (more…)