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FCA Changes Windsor Plant Shut Down Due to Mexico Strikes

Supplier strikes along Mexico-U.S. border causing parts shortage.

by on Feb.15, 2019

Fiat Chrysler's Windsor, Ontario, plant that builds the company's minivans will be shut down a week earlier than expected due to a parts shortage.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. is shutdown the company’s minivan plant in Windsor, Ontario, the week of Feb. 18, due to a parts shortage created by a problem with what was described as an “external” supplier.

“FCA is re-timing the down week at the Windsor Assembly Plant from the week of Feb. 25 to the week of Feb. 18. Normal production schedules are expected to resume the week of Feb. 25,” FCA Canada spokeswoman Lou Ann Gosselin told the trade publication Automotive News.

News You Can Trust!

The upcoming shutdown will be the third temporary closure of 2019. The plant did not operate the first two weeks of January to adjust inventories, the company said at the time. (more…)

General Motors’ New eBikes Have ARĪVed

The bikes can travel nearly 40 miles on a charge.

by on Feb.15, 2019

The new ARĪV Merge, in red, and Meld are new eBikes created by General Motors' Mobility division.

General Motors is taking the first step in launching its bike business by launching ARĪV, its new eBike brand in Western Europe.

GM sold off its European passenger car business to PSA in 2017 said the ARĪV line will includes two innovative, integrated and connected eBikes: the Meld, a compact eBike, and the Merge, a folding eBike. The name ARĪV was selected as part of a global crowdsourcing campaign announced in November 2018.

News Now!

“The crowdsourcing campaign allowed us to bring consumers into the development of our brand,” said Hannah Parish, ARĪV director. “Combine that with our products and our blend of bike and automotive talent, and the result is a unique brand DNA.”   (more…)

First Drive: 2019 Ford Expedition

Revised SUV comes back strong in new iteration.

by on Feb.14, 2019

The new 2019 Ford Expedition is a dramatic improvement over the previous generation model.

When motorists a decade ago were faced with the one-two punch of rising gasoline prices and the recession, sales of big SUVs went in an eclipse.

Ford Motor Co., not surprisingly given the market signals that existed then, put the plans for updating its big SUV, the Ford Expedition, on hold where they stayed for a long time. But times change and the popularity of full-size SUVs has risen and Ford has responded with a complete update of the Expedition.

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The end result is a vehicle that’s more comfortable, easier to drive and maneuver and offers a smoother ride than its predecessors without compromising its capacity to carry people and gear or even tow large trailers. Ford’s also added in more technology, including driver assistance features into the package, bringing up to date. (more…)

Ford Warns Britain No-Deal Brexit Could Mean UK Departure

Automaker tells British PM it could pull up stakes if Brexit goes poorly.

by on Feb.14, 2019

Ford may pull operations from the UK if the Brexit goes poorly, the company warned.

New speculation about Ford Motor Co.’s post-Brexit plans for its operations in the United Kingdom have led to reports that the automaker is preparing to exit the British Isles once the UK leaves the European Union next month.

Ford executives told British Prime Minister Theresa May during a conference call this week that the automaker, which is facing $1 billion in extra costs, may have to move some production out of Britain because of Brexit, a source on the call told the BBC.

Global News!

Ford told May it might have to use alternatives sites outside Britain, the BBC’s source – who spoke on condition of anonymity – said.  “They were just making clear that they have other options. This isn’t the only one,” the source said. (more…)

Auto Loan Delinquency Rate Higher than Great Recession

Young buyers finding it tough to make car and student loan payments.

by on Feb.13, 2019

Auto loan delinquencies are on the rise, and are higher than during the Great Recession.

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York reports that more than 7 million Americans are delinquent on auto loans, even more than during the Great Recession.

The figures, which were part of New York Fed’s quarterly report on household credit, suggest that many consumers are having a difficult paying their bills. Rising prices for both new and used vehicles also are factor, economists said.

Business News!

“Although rising overall delinquency rates remain below 2010 peak levels, there were over 7 million Americans with auto loans that were 90 or more days delinquent at the end of 2018. That is more than a million more troubled borrowers than there had been at the end of 2010 when the overall delinquency rates were at their worst since auto loans are now more prevalent.  (more…)

First Drive: 2019 Ram 1500 Laramie

Comfort reminiscent of a luxury car with truck utility.

by on Feb.12, 2019

The 2019 Ram 1500 Laramie offers comfort reminiscent of a luxury car, but offers plenty of truck utility.

Pickup trucks are hot now and no truck is getting more attention than the Ram 1500, which is ringing up scores of plaudits.

The honors, among them North American Truck of The Year for 2019, are well deserved.

Reviews You Can Use!

For anyone who has driven traditional pickup for work, climbing into the cab of a Ram 1500 Laramie is a revelation as it has the kind of comfortable luxury one traditionally associates with full-sized luxury sedans. (more…)

Alfa Romeo Bringing Back 4C Spider for 2020

It will enjoy a limited run of just 15 cars.

by on Feb.11, 2019

The 2020 Alfa Romeo 4C Spider Italia will be a limited-edition vehicle this year with just 15 units.

Despite rumors floating around of its imminent demise, the Alfa Romeo 4C Spider will stay around for the 2020 model year, officials from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles have confirmed.

Alfa Romeo unveiled the limited-edition 2020 4C Spider Italia for North America with its limited production run of only 15 vehicles, during the press preview at the Chicago Auto Show. In keeping with the special color and badges, each car will be numbered.

Product News!

Ben Lyon, FCA product expert, said the Alfa Romeo 4C Spider Italia, which is hand-built in a factory in Italy, offers enthusiasts a chance to own a unique mid-engine design inspired by the brand’s legendary racing history and the essential sportiness embedded in the brand’s DNA.  (more…)

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…)

Ram Aims for Commercial Customers With New HD Trucks

Brand focuses on truck's flexibility to lure buyers.

by on Feb.08, 2019

Jim Morrison, director of marketing, Ram Brands, introduced Ram's new commercially oriented heavy-duty trucks at the Chicago Auto Show.

Ram is hoping to lure more buyers to commercial-oriented heavy-duty pickups with a new 2019 Ram 3500, 4500 and 5500 Chassis Cab, geared specifically to be put to work in a variety of different situations.

Jim Morrison, director of marketing for the Ram Brands, said the new family of heavy-duty chassis cabs will also delivers a package with more capability, more comfort and more technology.

Business News!

With a segment-leading towing capacity of up to 35,220 pounds, the highest Gross Combined Weight Rating of 43,000 pounds and payload up to 12,510 pounds, Ram’s haulers are built for heavy-duty work while achieving new levels of efficiency and upfitter friendliness, Morrison said. (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…)