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As Predicted, Ford Resumes F-150 Production in Michigan

Production at two other plants restarts on Monday.

by on May.18, 2018

The first Ford F-150 truck rolls off the line this morning at Dearborn Truck Plant, restarted after a fire at a supplier halted production.

As Ford Motor Co. officials said earlier this week it would, the company’s workers at its Dearborn, Michigan truck plant began sending F-150s down and off the line to would-be customers at 6 a.m. this morning.

The plant, along with a sister facility in Kansas City, Missouri, have been idle for the past week in the wake of a fire at Meridian Magnesium Products on May 2. Since that morning, the company scrambled to resume production of parts at the facility. Ford expects to make up the lost production and the supply to consumers was never impacted, officials noted.

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The fire, which occurred in the early morning hours, halted production at the two Ford sites as well as at the Mercedes-Benz plant in Alabama, General Motors’s full-size van plant near St. Louis and Fiat Chrysler adjusted the run rate of its minivan plant in Windsor, Ontario. (more…)

Mobileye Snags 8M Car Deal in Europe

Company to supply driver assistance tech for undisclosed carmaker.

by on May.17, 2018

Israel-based Mobileye secured a deal to outfit 8 million cars with driver assistance technology for an undisclosed automaker in Europe.

Eight million European vehicles are going to be “Intel Inside” after Mobileye, Intel Corp.’s Israel-based autonomous driving unit, inked a deal to supply a European automaker with its self-driving technologies.

The terms of the deal and the name of the automaker weren’t revealed, a company official told Reuters.

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Mobileye may be best known in America for its relationship with Aptiv, formerly Delphi, and until last year with Tesla. The two companies had a spat and Tesla terminated its deal with Mobileye. However, Mobileye works with several automakers, such as General Motors, Nissan, Audi, BMW, Honda, Fiat Chrysler and China’s Nio, to supply its Level 3 technologies by next year. (more…)

Ford Restarting F-150 Production on Friday

Production resumes ahead of internal projections.

by on May.16, 2018

Ford will resume production of the F-150 on Friday at the company's Dearborn, Michigan plant.

Ford Motor Co. plans to restart production of the F-150 on Friday after the two plants that build the trucks were idled for nearly two weeks following a parts shortage due to a fire at a supplier plant in Michigan.

The company’s plant in Dearborn, Michigan, which employs 4,000 people for F-150, will begin production on Friday. The 3,600 workers at the Kansas City, Missouri, plant will start on Monday. They are expected to run full production when they return, officials said.

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“While the situation remains extremely dynamic, our teams are focused on returning our plants to full production as fast as possible,” said Joe Hinrichs, Ford president, Global Operations. “The ramp-up time to full production is improving every day.” (more…)

Tesla’s California Plant Shutting Down for Six Days

Soros buys $35 million in convertible bonds.

by on May.16, 2018

Tesla CEO Elon Musk plans to shut down the Fremont, California plant for six days later this month.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk isn’t just sleeping on the plant floor at the company’s Fremont, California plant hoping a solution to increase Model 3 production will come to him by osmosis — he appears to be trying.

Just a days after changing the company’s management structure to improve communication, he’s going to shut the entire plant down for six days at the end of this month to make changes with the goal of increasing production of Tesla’s first “mainstream” car.

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Earlier, the EV maker warned the plant would shut down for a total of 10 days to tackle manufacturing issues at the site. The issues have put Model 3 production well behind schedule, angering some who plunked down deposits and irritating shareholders and analysts. (more…)

Car Book Releases List of Most, Least Fuel Efficient Vehicles

Unsurprisingly, hybrids topping this year's list.

by on May.15, 2018

The new BMW i3 is ranked among the most fuel efficient vehicles in the U.S. this year.

This story has been updated.

Gas prices are on the rise this year, nearly hitting $3 per gallon on average across the U.S. However, even as new vehicle buyers continue to gravitate toward utility vehicles, knowing how much you might spend on filling the tank is helpful.

To make that task easier, the Car Book released its annual list of most and least fuel efficient new vehicles. The lists primary requirement is that anything on the most efficient list must average 40 mpg or better while the least efficient vehicles must average 15 mpg or less.

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“Survey data also shows that consumers understand the volatility of gas price, and they believe the cost of gas will go up during the time they own their new car,” said Jack Gillis, publisher of The Car Book. (more…)

Nissan’s Operating Profits Down for FY17, Favorable Tax Rates Raise Income

Company predicts vehicle sales will rise in 2018.

by on May.14, 2018

Nissan Chief Hiroto Saikawa reported the automaker's earnings for 2017.

Despite a tough environment for the first nine months of its fiscal year, Nissan Motor Co. Ltd rallied to post increases in revenue and net income for 2017 and sales increases in its top three markets: the U.S., China and Japan.

Nissan’s January-March profit was 168.8 billion yen, or $1.5 billion, down from 249 billion yen last year. Quarterly sales fell 0.9% to 3.4 trillion yen, or $31.3 billion.

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The automaker reported an operating profit of 574.8 billion yen, or $4.9 billion, on net revenues of 11.95 trillion yen, or $109 billion, equivalent to an operating margin of 4.8%. The operating profit was down from 2016 by 22.6% and margins fell 1.5%. (more…)

Trump Meets With Automakers About CAFE, Blasts NAFTA Instead

President pushes companies to build more cars in U.S.

by on May.11, 2018

Ford CEO Jim Hackett looks on as President Donald Trump makes a point during a meeting with automakers.

The much-anticipated meeting between a 10 automakers and Trump administration officials to discuss rolling back Obama-era fuel economy standards resulted in smoke, but no fire.

President Trump and the head of the Environmental Protection Agency Scott Pruitt met with the heads dozen automakers, including General Motors CEO Mary Barra, Ford Motor Co. CEO Jim Hackett and Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne.

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A proposal from the U.S. Transportation Department would freeze Corporate Average Fuel Economy, or CAFE,requirements at 2020 levels through 2026, rather than allowing them to increase as previously planned. Trump’s administration is expected to formally unveil the proposal later this month or in June. (more…)

Click It or Ticket is Back: This Means You Teen Driver

Gen Z drives least likely to buckle up overtime behind wheel.

by on May.11, 2018

Teenage drivers are the least likely group of drivers to use seat belts, according to a new survey.

In a digital world, it is the most “analog” of devices that will save your life: a seat belt. It’s common sense to get in and buckle up; however, the digital generation, Gen Z, are the least likely of driving age groups to strap themselves in when driving.

According to a recent national survey of drivers by Erie Insurance, just 77% of Gen Z drivers — the age group most likely to get in and die from a car accident — buckle up. As drivers get older, they are more likely to use seat belts: 81% of millennials use them, 87% of Gen Xers and 94% of Baby Boomers make sure to buckle up every time they get in a car.

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This isn’t just posturing, but based on hard evidence. In 2016, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the use of seat belts in passenger vehicles saved an estimated 14,668 lives of occupants ages 5 and older. Many Americans understand the lifesaving value of the seat belt – the national use rate is at 90.1% – but nearly 27.5 million people still don’t buckle up. (more…)

Flexibility Will Drive Success of Autonomous Vehicles

Needs of owners will lead to customization of self-driving cars.

by on May.11, 2018

GM's Mike Abelson suggested that self-driving cars, like the Cruise AV, could be redesigned to customer wishes in the future.

Automakers appear to have moved on from if they can produce self-driving vehicles to what might they look like once the technology is ready — and if one automaker is correct, the sky will be the limit.

And to put a twist on an old phrase, you’ll get to pick the color of the sky in your world, according to Mike Abelson, GM vice president of global strategy. Speaking at Citi’s Car of the Future conference in New York City.

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These designed-by-you vehicles might be owned or leased by individual customers, Abelson noted, adding that he sees a market outside of large cities where ride-sharing services, like Uber or Lyft, may not available. (more…)

Panel of Advocates Push for CAFE Standards to Remain Unchanged

Auto industry thrives financially with tougher rules.

by on May.10, 2018

Former NHTSA Deputy Administrator David Friedman called on the Trump administration to leave CAFE unchanged.

The Trump administration is courting economic and environmental disaster if it elects to heed to the initial wishes of automakers and rolls back Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards, according to a panel of consumer, economic and environmental safety advocates.

A group of five advocates asserted that President Trump’s desire to rollback fuel economy and emission standards to levels below the Obama-era mandate will ultimately harm consumers, the environment and the economy.

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“The current CAFE requirements are good for consumers — period,” said David Friedman, director of Cars and Product Policy, Consumers Union, during a conference call. “The rollback the industry has sought and this administration has delivered will hurt consumers.” (more…)