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Posts Tagged ‘management briefing seminars’

GM Offers Sneak Peak at New Midsize Pickups

New Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon to debut in late ‘14.

by on Aug.08, 2013

GM wants to "redefine" the compact truck segment with the new Colorado and Canyon pickups.

General Motors expects to redefine the compact pickup truck segment when it returns to the market with redesigned versions of the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon in the second half of 2014.

The Detroit maker hopes the new models will deliver a 1-2 punch after the debut of all-new versions of its full-size Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra trucks for 2014.  Speaking at an industry conference in Traverse City, Michigan, GM chief financial officer Dan Ammann said the Colorado and Canyon will offer customers capable, versatile, fuel-efficient alternatives to full-size pickups.

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“We see a segment that’s not being addressed,” he stressed, adding that, “We see a real opportunity,” once the trucks reach U.S. showrooms late next year.

GM’s confidence stands in sharp contrast to the position taken by Ford Motor Co., which abandoned the U.S. midsize truck market when it abandoned the long-lived Ranger pickup after the 2012 model-year. Ford has since introduced a new Ranger for overseas markets but says it does not see a solid business case for selling that truck in the U.S.


Automakers Short of Capacity as US Market Rebounds

Paying the price for recession cutbacks.

by on Aug.08, 2013

Workers on the Toldeo line prep a new Jeep Cherokee.

Even with new plants coming on line in Mexico, the North American auto industry is rapidly running up against the limits of its capacity as manufacturers struggle to keep up with the demand for new vehicles.

But after losing billions in the run-up to the last recession, and then responding with massive factory cutbacks, automakers are reluctant to build capacity back up – only to find themselves in the same mess the next time the economy cools, analysts noted during the Center Automotive Research’s annual Management Briefing Seminar in Traverse City.

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“This is a very new space for the industry,” said Jeff Schuster,  senior vice president for forecasting for LMC Inc., who noted that with the memory of the Great Recession still fresh, manufacturers are wary of adding back new plants.


Detroit Auto Talks Emphasize Cooperation over Confrontation.

Two-tier wages could present a sticking point, however.

by on Aug.04, 2011

UAW President King wants creative solutions.

Negotiations between Chrysler and the United Auto Workers are off to a good start, the automaker’s top executive says, while United Auto Workers Union chief Bob King continues to stress cooperation over confrontation.

“The tone of the dialogue so far has been incredibly productive,” Chrysler/Fiat Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne said during the Center for Automotive Research’s annual Management Briefing Seminars.

Talks between the UAW, Chrysler, Ford, and General Motors began last week in Detroit and the first contract should be completed by mid-September.  This year’s talks are unique in that terms of the 2009 federal automotive bailouts bar the union from striking either GM or Chrysler – while few expect a confrontation at Ford, either, where there hasn’t been a strike in nearly a third of a century.

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UAW president Bob King said the union is more committed than ever to working with the automakers in negotiating a contract that would leave them globally competitive.  The union eventually will focus on one maker to come up with a “pattern” contract it can then press for at the other two domestic manufacturers – though industry observers believe that the final settlements could be more unique than ever before, reflecting the wide differences between GM, Ford and Chrysler.


Marchionne Issues Warning About China

Chrysler CEO says industry can meet 54.5 mpg mileage rules.

by on Aug.03, 2011

Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne at the 2011 Management Briefing Seminars - notably shedding his trademark black sweater for a more Summer-friendly polo shirt.

China’s fast-growing automakers pose a direct theft to the more established automotive order, Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne warned during an appearance at an annual automotive gathering in Northern Michigan today.

But the Canadian-educated executive said he is more confident than many that the industry will be able to meet the newly-approved 54.5 mpg Corporate Average Fuel Economy, or CAFE, standard – and without having to make a major shift to electric propulsion.

“We cannot afford to be unprepared for the ascent of China.   Even assuming China were to export only 10 percent of what it produces, the risk we face in our home markets is enormous,” said Marchionne, during an appearance at the annual Management Briefing Seminar, in Traverse City, Michigan.


“The excuse that we did not understand or that we underestimated the scale will serve no purpose.  Rather we need to continue to work to make our industrial base more competitive, because the day of reckoning is inevitably coming,” he said, taking aim at the seeming complacency of companies such as General Motors, Daimler AG and Volkswagen AG, all of which have grown to depend on the Chinese market.