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Posts Tagged ‘auto jobs’

Slowing Auto Industry Threatening to Drag Down U.S. Economy

Automakers continue to cut production as sales slow.

by on Jun.15, 2017

GM is extending the summer shutdown at some plants, including this one in Fairfax, KS.

The U.S. auto industry was the little engine that could during the country’s recovery from the Great Recession, but it now may be turning into the anchor on an economy once again starting to sputter.

U.S. factory output slipped by 0.4% last month, a sharp turnaround from the 1.1% increase in April, the Federal Reserve reported on Thursday morning. While some industries continue to show strength, the weak figures for May coincide with growing production cuts by the U.S. auto industry.

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And the auto industry is facing still more jobs cuts in the months to come, industry analysts warn, especially if car sales don’t level out. GM, for one, has announced that it will extend its normal, two-week summer shutdown to as much as five weeks at some plants in the Midwest.


GM Adds to Growing List of US Auto Jobs Cuts

Weakening car sales could boost total.

by on Jun.01, 2017

As many as half of the workers at GM's Warren, MI transmission plant could be idled.

General Motors said Thursday that it will eliminate one of two shifts at a transmission plant in Warren, Michigan. The announcement is expected to put about 300 workers on indefinite layoff, or roughly half the plant’s total hourly workforce.

The move comes at a time when U.S. new vehicle sales are faltering after three record years – GM also on Thursday reporting its May numbers were off about 1% compared to year-earlier sales. The decline has been especially severe on the passenger car side of the ledger, as millions of Americans shift from sedans, coupes and sports cars to SUV, crossovers and pickups.

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GM already has been responding by trimming production of slower-selling vehicles, such as the Chevrolet Malibu, so “Recent actions to reduce passenger car production have caused us to adjust transmission production,” the maker said in a statement.


Toyota Investing $1.33b in Kentucky Plant

Georgetown plant will came new flexibility, improved productivity.

by on Apr.10, 2017

The plant update will help ready Georgetown for the launch of the 2018 Toyota Camry line.

Toyota will spend $1.33 billion to upgrade its big Georgetown, Kentucky assembly plant, the automaker announced Monday morning, a move that will both improve productivity and allow the factory to produce the next generation of Toyota vehicles.

That includes the updated Camry sedan and hybrid, both migrating to the Toyota New Global Architecture that will be shared with a wide range of products, including the recently redesigned, fourth-generation Toyota Prius hybrid.

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“This $1.33 billion investment is part of Toyota’s plan to invest $10 billion dollars in the U.S. over the next five years, on top of the nearly $22 billion Toyota has invested in the U.S. over the past 60 years,” said Jim Lentz, CEO of Toyota Motor North America.


VW’s Chattanooga Plant Expansion Bringing 9,800 Jobs

New study shows $370 million in annual income from new SUV.

by on May.28, 2015

VW's expansion of its Chattanooga, Tennessee plant, could result in 9,800 new jobs totaling $370 million in annual income.

The competition between states offering incentives and promises to secure new auto business is fierce and a new study shows why: money and jobs.

A study from the University of Tennessee’s Center of Business and Economic Research (CBER) indicates that the expansion of Volkswagen’s Chattanooga manufacturing plant to produce a new midsize SUV and the opening of a North American Engineering and Planning Center could create approximately 9,800 jobs and add $370 million in additional annual income, once the plant is fully operational.

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“The findings in the CBER study demonstrate that the incentive package recently passed by the Tennessee legislature will result in an economic growth multiplier of several times the state’s investment,” said David Geanacopoulos, executive vice president for Public Affairs and General Counsel, Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. (more…)

GM Investing $1.3 Billion at Five U.S. Plants

Move means 1,000 jobs, better quality and logistics.

by on Dec.16, 2013

General Motors announced nearly $1.3 billion in equipment upgrades at five U.S. plants.

The good news for U.S. manufacturing continued today with the announcement that General Motors plans to invest nearly $1.3 billion in five U.S. plants creating or saving 1,000 jobs.

The announcement comes just days after cross-town rival Ford Motor Co. announced it would add 5,000 jobs in the U.S. in 2014, part of a global expansion program. Detroit-based automakers, collectively, have added tens of thousands of jobs since emerging from the most recent recession and a period during which they slashed employment and closed scores of plant.

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“GM is committed to a strong American manufacturing base and creating jobs in dozens of communities throughout the country,” said GM Executive Vice President and North America President Mark Reuss in a statement. (more…)

Autoworkers Plan Auto Show Protests

More jobs, but harder work, critics complain.

by on Jan.11, 2013

The Detroit Auto Show has been targeted by a number of protests in recent years.

The auto industry has bolstered the U.S. economy but the increase in automotive production is also feeding some discontent inside the auto plants and some of the frustration will be on display outside Cobo Center in Detroit as the North American International Auto Show gets underway this weekend.

Supporters of the Auto Workers Caravan, which emerged in 2009 as an alternative voice for members of the United Auto Workers Union, are planning to demonstrate outside Cobo Center on Sunday afternoon to protest what they describe as “deteriorating working conditions.”

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Working in auto plants requires less heavy lifting than it did a generation ago but the pace of work is faster and blue-collar workers in both union and non-union plants are asked to multi-task at what amounts to a daunting pace.


Ford Counts on Escape Launch to Help Solve Capacity Problems

Maker losing sales, share, officials warn.

by on Jun.14, 2012

A worker installs a front end module on a new Ford Escape at the Louisville Assembly Plant.

With the formal production launch of its new Escape crossover-utility vehicle, Ford Motor Co. caps off a $600 million investment in its Louisville assembly plant, converting a traditional truck facility with limited flexibility to one that can handle six different car-based models simultaneously.

The project was meant to address several problems facing the automaker.  Among other things, the massive factory will now be able to more rapidly adapt to shifts in market demand.  But equally important, it is part of a broader effort by Ford to catch up to the surging U.S. market.  Company officials have been warning that Ford is likely to lose sales and market share this year because it is running short of capacity after years of factory cutbacks.

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“Louisville Assembly Plant’s reinvention illustrates how Ford is going further, continuing to invest in American manufacturing and new jobs,” proclaimed Ford President of the Americas Mark Fields, “while delivering even more of the fuel-efficient vehicles that give customers true power of choice.”


Auto Industry Driving the American Economy, Says GM CEO

GM goes after the best-and-brightest.

by on May.14, 2012

GM CEO Dan Akerson.

The auto industry has given the U.S. economy a major lift in recent months, GM chairman and chief executive officer Dan Akerson told new graduates of the Columbia University’s business school.

That’s a big shift from just a few years ago, when it was one of the forces of economic decline.  And Akerson’s speech clearly was aimed at convincing the best-and-brightest of the school’s students that they should be taking a closer look at Detroit as they begin their promising careers.

“The auto industry has gone from being an anchor on the economy to being the wind in its sails… in fact, we’re one of the few bright spots,” said Akerson, who joined GM after it emerged from its 2009 bankruptcy. “We’re adding jobs and investing in America, just as America invested in us.”

Since mid-2009, GM has announced investments of more than $7.1 billion in 30 U.S. facilities and created or retained nearly 18,000 American jobs, the executive noted

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“No one, not even the most enthusiastic supporters, predicted this three years ago: The auto industry is adding jobs and driving the economy again,” Akerson said.  “And that’s because two very different Administrations both had the wisdom to understand how important the auto industry is to our economy, and had the courage to act.


Toyota Hiring 100s of Engineers, Designers

Will focus on Detroit area, but also opening new Silicon Valley tech center.

by on Apr.05, 2012

Engineered in Detroit - the 2013 Toyota Avalon.

Toyota plans to hire about 250 engineers to help it continue a shift from global to localized product development. The bulk of those new employees will be based out of the maker’s new R&D center in suburban Detroit, but it will also open a new high-tech facility in Silicon Valley.

The move reflects the significant shift in Toyota’s whole management structure.  It has traditionally operated as a global monolith but is giving increasing autonomy to major regional operations, especially those in the U.S., the maker’s largest market.

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The shift is underscored by the launch, this week, of the 2013 Toyota Avalon at the New York Auto Show.  The flagship sedan was developed entirely in the States, largely in the Motor City, with additional styling at CALTY, the advanced Toyota design center in Southern California.


Help Wanted: Automakers Can’t Fill All the Jobs

U.S. auto industry on a hiring binge and struggling to find necessary workers.

by on Apr.03, 2012

Automakers can't meet demand for all their open jobs.

The jobs were there, more than 1,000, according to the Engineering Society of Detroit, with everyone from the Detroit automakers to Korea’s Hyundai looking to hire.  What, or more precisely, who weren’t there were the job-seekers.

March was another good month for the U.S. auto industry, which is expected to report another month of double-digit, year-over-year sales gains today.  After years, of cutting back production – closing dozens of plants and eliminating an estimated 88,000 jobs during the Great Recession – that means automakers are racing to build back up production capacity.  They’re also looking to fill empty slots in design, engineering and other departments cut to the bone during the industry’s worst downturn in decades.

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Detroit makers alone have created 10s of thousands of jobs since hitting bottom in 2009 with the bankruptcy of Chrysler and General Motors.  And their foreign-owned rivals are also putting out the “Help Wanted” signs.  Volkswagen is already planning a second round of hiring at its new assembly plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee.  BMW is expanding at its factory in South Carolina.  Hyundai’s Alabama assembly line needs more help to meet booming demand.