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Tesla’s Musk Expresses Interest in Closing GM Plants

Exec expresses disdain for SEC, twitter approvals.

by on Dec.10, 2018

Elon Musk expressed interest in buying one of the plants General Motors plans to close in the near future.

Tesla co-founder Elon Musk is ready to play “Let’s Make a Deal” with General Motors — again.

Not, Musk doesn’t want to challenge GM CEO Mary Barra to appear on the television game show, but he did tell reporter Lesley Stahl on the CBS news show 60 Minutes he would be willing to buy one of the plants GM plans to shut down in the near future.

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“It’s possible that we would be interested. If they were going to sell a plant or not use it that we would take it over,” he said during the interview. (more…)

GM CEO’s “Open Mind” May Not Save Any of Five Plants Slated to Close

“We do have an overcapacity problem,” says Barra, after Capitol Hill meetings.

by on Dec.06, 2018

GM CEO Mary Barra has been meeting with members of Congress, explaining why five plants are being closed.

General Motors Chairman and CEO Mary Barra told members of Congress she will keep an “open mind” when it comes to plans to close five plants next year, including assembly plants in Michigan, Ohio and Ontario, Canada.

The closures were announced late last month, along with plans to trim about 15% of the automaker’s white-collar workforce, as it addresses a variety of problems, including the ongoing shift from passenger cars to light trucks. But Barra also stressed that the automaker faces “limitations” on what it can do because “we do have an overcapacity (issue) across the country.”

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The one-time “shop rat,” who began working at GM as a co-op student said she told Congressional representatives from Ohio and Maryland on Wednesday that “These were difficult decisions – decisions I take very personally,” while adding in a statement that GM wants to “minimize the impact on the (affected) communities” by, among other things, offering workers a chance to switch to other GM plants, where possible or by offering outplacement services. (more…)

Volkswagen May Use Ford Plants for Vehicle Production

VW CEO Diess confirms possibility after Trump meeting.

by on Dec.04, 2018

VW's CEO Herbert Diess said the company may use Ford plants to produce VW vehicles in the U.S.

The news of a second Volkswagen plant in the U.S. just became more interesting in the wake of a White House meeting between President Donald Trump and the heads of several European automakers.

After the meeting Herbert Diess, Volkswagen’s CEO, said as part of the growing alliance with Ford Motor Co. the automaker may use Ford plants to build cars. He added later that the company was “considering building a second car plant.”

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“We are in quite advanced negotiations and dialog with Ford to really build up a global automotive alliance, which also would strengthen the American automotive industry,” he added. (more…)

Trump Threatens to Kill NAFTA — Again

Move design to pressure Congress to approve new deal.

by on Dec.03, 2018

President Donald Trump said he might cancel NAFTA immediately, hoping to pressure Congress into approving its replacement deal.

Only a day after signing a new trade agreement with Mexico and Canada, President Donald Trump said he is now free to cancel NAFTA in a move that will create major problems for global automakers.

Trump, who is facing mounting political challenges at home, made his remarks to reporters as he prepared to return to the U.S. after the G-20 Summit in Bueno Ares. The remarks came after he had formally signed a new version of NAFTA with leaders from Mexico and Canada.

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Trump’s goal in announcing the end of NAFTA is to put pressure on Congress to accept the new agreement with Mexico and Canada.  (more…)

UAW Attacks GM as Trump Signs “New” NAFTA Deal

Trump in Argentina for G20 Summit.

by on Nov.30, 2018

The leaders of Mexico, the United States and Canada sign the "new" NAFTA in Argentina.

The United Auto Workers renewed its attack on General Motors as leaders from the U.S., Mexico and Canada used the G20 Summit in Argentina for the back drop for officially signing a new North American Free Trade Agreement that was negotiated last summer but still must be approved by the U.S.

President Donald Trump joined the leaders of Canada and Mexico at a global meeting in Argentina for the signing of the deal, fulfilling a longstanding political promise with a deal he celebrated as a “groundbreaking achievement.”

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UAW President Gary Jones, however, said GM’s announcement of the closure of five of its factories in the U.S. demonstrates that the new trade pact does not go far enough in protecting the interest of workers in the U.S. (more…)

VW’s Keogh Confirms Plans for New US Plant for Electric Vehicle

New site will build $30K to $40K EV for U.S. market by 2020.

by on Nov.29, 2018

VW of America President Scott Keogh confirmed plans to bring an EV to the U.S. by 2020 and VW is looking for location for an EV plant in the U.S.

Volkswagen’s top U.S. official confirmed the German automaker is searching for a place to build a new plant that will produce a new electric vehicle aimed for the mass market with a price tag of less than $40K.

Scott Keogh, VW of America president, told reporters at the L.A. Auto Show that the company was intent on introducing a new EV in the U.S. by 2020. The vehicle would be priced between $30K and $40K, making it competitive with the Tesla Model 3 and Chevrolet Bolt, the current top sellers.

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He also noted the company would like to build this vehicle in the U.S. and a search was underway to find a location for the new plant. (more…)

Ford Cuts Production at Two Plants, Shifting Workers to Other Sites

Company moving workers to meet production needs.

by on Nov.29, 2018

Ford is cutting one shift at the Louisville Assembly Plant, but moving those workers to the Kentucky Truck Plant.

On the heels of General Motors’ announcement that it plans to shutter five plants in North America, Ford Motor Co. said it expects to reduce production at two key U.S. assembly plants by next spring.

However, mindful of the harsh political fallout that followed the GM announcement, including a series of angry tweets from President Donald Trump, Ford took pains to emphasize that workers displaced by the impending cuts at assembly plants in Louisville, Kentucky, and Flat Rock, Michigan, will be offered jobs at nearby Ford plants.

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No workers will be laid off during the changes, which are scheduled to take place next spring, Ford spokeswoman Kelli Felker stressed in an e-mail to TheDetroitBureau.com. (more…)

Trump Chides GM for Plant Closures, New Congresswoman Blames Trump

President says he's pressuring GM to reverse course.

by on Nov.26, 2018

President Donald Trump said he told GM CEO Mary Barra that the country has been "very good" to the automaker.

Last year, President Donald Trump encouraged employees living near General Motors’ Lordstown plant and other long-shuttered plants to hang in there despite the fact there was no reason to believe the industries in the region were planning to add jobs.

“They’re all coming back. They’re all coming back,” he told a crowd at rally in July 2017. The raucous crowd roared its approval and he added, “Don’t move. Don’t sell your house.”

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Today he found out he was wrong — again. (more…)

GM Closing Five Plants, Cutting 15,000 Workers

Company plans to close more plants in the future.

by on Nov.26, 2018

GM is closing three plants in the U.S. and Canada, including its Oshawa, Ontario facility as it transforms its manufacturing footprint.

General Motors, in a move likely to have a significant political impact, confirmed it is preparing to shut five plants in the U.S. and Canada as its restructures its operations across the globe.

GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra told analysts the company plans to halt production of vehicles, among the them the Chevrolet Volt, Cruze and Impala, now built at plants in Detroit, Lordstown, Ohio, and Oshawa, Ontario. The company also plans to close two powertrain plants.

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None of the plants will have products allocated to them past the end of 2019, said Barra. As part of the unfolding restructuring of the company GM also plans to slash is salaried head count by 15% and cut its executive ranks by 25% and restructure its product development system, Barra said. (more…)

General Motors Shuttering Canadian Plant

Oshawa plant closure cuts 2,500 jobs.

by on Nov.26, 2018

GM has been pressing hard to keep production and demand in line, regularly cutting output of slow-selling models.

General Motors plans to shut down its massive Oshawa, Ontario plant as part of an ongoing series of actions by the company to prepare for the next sales downturn.

The company is looking to remake its manufacturing footprint with an eye toward more battery-electric vehicles, which the Oshawa plant currently doesn’t produce. Oshawa has been rumored to be on the cutting block for some time now as the company has struggled to find products for the sprawling facility.

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The other plant considered to be in danger as part of this reorganization is GM’s Lordstown, Ohio site. The company has cut production there repeatedly, moving from three shifts down to one shift now with 3,000 employees. The only thing keeping that site afloat is that it produces the Chevy Cruze small sedan.  (more…)