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Trump to Meet with Detroit CEOs on Tuesday

Plenty of room for deal-making.

by on Jan.24, 2017

Will Trump use the carrot, the stick, or both, during his meeting with Detroit's Big 3 CEOs.

With an assortment of global leaders set to visit the White House in the coming weeks, President Donald Trump will first take time to meet with the CEOs of the Detroit Three automakers in the Oval Office this morning, and it’s expected there will be plenty on the agenda.

Trump has put a lot of emphasis on the auto industry since launching his campaign in 2015, notably taking shots at the largest of the two domestic makers for importing cars from Mexico. He has threatened to enact a “big border tax,” according to a tweet fired at General Motors earlier this month, scuttled the Trans-Pacific trade pact and advised both Mexico and Canada of his plan to renegotiate the NAFTA deal.

Breaking News!

While industry officials worry about the impact of new trade barriers, they’re also hoping to get a sympathetic ear from the new president on a variety of their own concerns, including corporate taxes and government regulations like the tough Corporate Average Fuel Economy, or CAFE, mandate the EPA reaffirmed in the final hours of the Obama Administration.

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Big Changes Coming for 2018 Ford Mustang

More power, more tech, revised appearance.

by on Jan.17, 2017

Ford is giving the Mustang a midcycle refresh for the 2018 model, including engine upgrades and performance improvements.

Less than three years after the all-new, 50thanniversary Ford Mustang rolled into showrooms, the pony car is set to get some major updates.

That includes new front and rear-end design changes meant to improve aerodynamics and give the Mustang a “more athletic look,” Ford says. There will be engine upgrades delivering more power, with a 10-speed gearbox also boosting mileage, a new MagneRide suspension, and a number of new safety and infotainment technologies.

Product News!

The 2018 Ford Mustang “refresh” is more extensive than the typical midcycle makeover, reflecting both increased competition and the growing market shift from passenger cars to SUVs. The goal is to keep Mustang the world’s best-selling sports coupe, Ford officials said. (more…)

GM Investing $1b in US Plants, Adding or Saving 7,000 Jobs

Plan in the works before election, maker emphasizes.

by on Jan.17, 2017

GM has already invested $21 bil in its U.S. plants since 2010, adding 6,000 manufacturing jobs.

General Motors has confirmed widespread reports on Tuesday that it would invest another $1 billion in its U.S. manufacturing operations, but significantly increased the number of American jobs it plans to add.

The factory project will result in the creation or retention of 1,500 jobs, while another 450 jobs will be returned to the U.S. as GM transfers back production of axles from a plant in Mexico. In addition, the automaker will add 5,000 more jobs in finance and advanced technology “over the next few years,” it said in a Tuesday morning announcement.

Breaking News!

“As the U.S. manufacturing base increases its competitiveness, we are able to further increase our investment, resulting in more jobs for America and better results for our owners,”  said GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra. “The U.S. is our home market and we are committed to growth that is good for our employees, dealers, and suppliers and supports our continued effort to drive shareholder value.”

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GM Investing $1b in U.S. Plants – Stresses Move Not Driven by Trump

New move to add or retain 1,000 jobs.

by on Jan.17, 2017

CEO Mary Barra said last week that GM will not alter investments to please the new president.

General Motors is expected to announce a $1 billion investment in its U.S. factories on Tuesday, a move that will allow the nation’s largest automaker to create or retain about 1,000 American jobs, according to several sources. Specific details about where the investment will be targeted have not been disclosed yet.

The announcement will come exactly two weeks after President-elect Donald Trump threatened to impose a “big border tax” on GM for importing the hatchback version of its compact Chevrolet Cruze model from Mexico. And it follows other investment U.S. announcements made this month by cross-town rivals Ford Motor Co. and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.

Setting the Record Straight!

But GM sources stressed that the new investment by the automaker was not driven by the incoming president’s threats – a position echoed by GM General Counsel Craig Glidden in a story by the Wall Street Journal.

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Takata Expected to Pay $1B as Part of Faulty Airbag Settlement

Ford recalls 816K vehicles just one day after Honda's action on 1.29 million.

by on Jan.12, 2017

The 2012 Ford Mustang is part of the latest recall of vehicles equipped with faulty Takata airbags.

Takata Corp. is going to pay $1 billion and plead guilty to fraud as part of a settlement with the U.S. Justice Department, according to reports.

The deal completes the government’s criminal investigation into the Japanese auto supplier’s faulty airbags, which under certain conditions will explode spraying shrapnel into the cabin of the vehicle.

News Now!

More than 15 people globally – 11 in the U.S. – have died as a result of the airbags and hundreds have been injured. It is the largest automotive recall in history. (more…)

Autonomous Cars Could Make Brands Irrelevant, Warns Bill Ford

Ford chairman looks to the future of the auto industry.

by on Jan.11, 2017

Will brands matter when you don't own a car anymore, but rely on ride-sharing services, asks Ford?

Brands carry tremendous power in today’s auto industry. Say the names Ford, Toyota, General Motors or Volkswagen and you’re likely to immediately conjure up a clear image about things like design, performance, quality and reliability.

Brand image translates into sales and owner loyalty, said Bill Ford, the chairman of Ford Motor Co. But in an appearance following the media preview of the North American International Auto Show, the executive questioned whether automotive brands could become irrelevant in the near future.

Your Crystal Ball to the Future!

“What will brands mean in an autonomous world,” said Ford, the great-grandson of Ford Motor Co. founder Henry Ford.

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Ford Confirms Return of Bronco, Ranger

Ranger returns 2019, Bronco back in 2020.

by on Jan.09, 2017

Could this Ford Bronco concept shown a decade ago could serve as a template for a new SUV.

They’re baaaack!!!

After plenty of hints, rumors, innuendos and leaked production plans, Ford officials confirmed today in Detroit that its bringing back the Ford Bronco SUV and Ford Ranger truck. Both will be built at the Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Michigan.

News Now!

“We’ve heard our customers loud and clear. They want a new generation of vehicles that are incredibly capable yet fun to drive,” said Joe Hinrichs, Ford’s president of The Americas. (more…)

Ford Letting Buyers Put New Face on 2018 F-150

Pickup gets a new 3.0-liter turbodiesel option.

by on Jan.08, 2017

The 2018 Ford F-150 sees a slew of improvements and new options, including a new 3.0-liter diesel.

Ford is intensely proud of building America’s top selling truck for 40 consecutive years but insists it isn’t about to rest on its laurels.

So for the 2017 North American International Auto Show it is showing off some changes that it’s preparing to make to the company’s 2018 F-150 pickup truck, which has routinely outsold its competitors for the past four decades.

News Now!

Todd Eckert, marketing manager for the F-150, noted that Ford has a long-history of innovation with the Ford F-150 and the innovation continues with the unveiling of the 2018 truck. “It’s all about continuous improvement,” said Eckert despite the major changes introduced when the all-aluminum F-150 first appeared in 2015. (more…)

GM, Ford Set New Sales Records in China

Makers ride popularity of SUVs and luxury cars to new benchmark.

by on Jan.06, 2017

GM Executive Vice President and GM China President Matt Tsien said the automaker's 13 new or refreshed vehicles in China led to record sales this year.

Both General Motors and Ford Motor Co. reported record sales in China during 2016, thanks in part to the growing popularity of American-designed sport-utility vehicles and luxury cars.

Between them the two American giants sold more than 5 million vehicles, claiming more than 20% of the total Chinese market.

Subscribe Now!

GM and its joint ventures reported delivering a record 3,870,587 vehicles in China in 2016, which was an increase of 7.1% from the previous high in 2015. For all of 2016, Ford Motor Co. sales totaled a best-ever 1.27 million vehicles, 14% higher than 2015. (more…)

Ford, Amazon Want to Sync You Up with Alexa

Voice assistant one of many new connected-car features for Sync.

by on Jan.05, 2017

Ford will make Alexa available to Sync users in-car, while also letting them control vehicle features from home using Amazon's Echo.

Ford is about to take Amazon’s Alexa for a ride.

She’s the wildly popular voice assistant now showing up in millions of homes equipped with various versions of Amazon’s Echo hardware. But, starting this month, owners of Ford vehicles equipped with the Sync infotainment system will be able to access some of the connected-car features in their vehicles remotely using one of Echo devices.

We're Your Automotive Assistant!

And, over the summer, motorists will be able to access Alexa herself from inside the vehicle to ask about things like traffic, the weather and restaurant tips, or to control some of their home automation technologies. Among other things, that means they could turn the lights on, start the coffeemaker and open the garage from behind the wheel using voice commands.

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