GM plans to cut shift at Mich. transmission plant
GM said it will end one of two production shifts at a Michigan transmission plant next month, following cutbacks at several vehicle assembly vehicle plants.
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May 31, 2017 at 10:24AM
Volkswagen Arteon Shooting Brake in the pipeline
Volkswagen is underway with the development of an Arteon Shooting Brake, aimed at boosting the VW brand’s premium profile. At the same time, VW bosses are discussing the possibility of launching a new six-cylinder engine in the Arteon.
Dr. Elmar-Marius Licharz, head of product line for medium and full size cars, told Auto Express: “I would like to make an [Arteon] shooting brake – these plans are underway but it’s not yet final.”
Speaking about the flexibility of the MQB architecture on which the Arteon is based, Licharz added: “If we build a six-cylinder engine – we are discussing it for the Arteon, we have built one already in a prototype vehicle – it will be one which you can also use in the Atlas and vice versa.”
There are currently no models within the entire VW Group on sale in Europe based on the MQB chassis that are offered with a six-cylinder engine. If VW decides to go ahead with the development of the six-cylinder unit in the Arteon it would be the first.
VW is positioning itself as the more premium mainstream brand within the VW Group and closer to the likes of Audi in terms of prestige than Skoda or SEAT. The Arteon is VW’s first real push into a premium area of the market where there is potential for large volume. It is designed to take on the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe and Audi A5 Sportback.
No timescale was put on when the shooting brake would appear, but an arrival in 12 to 18 months from now is likely. The regular Arteon – a replacement for the old CC – arrives in the UK in October.
Would you buy a shooting brake version of the new VW Arteon? Let us know in the comments section below...
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May 31, 2017 at 10:06AM
Ex-Ford CEO Fields Tried to Oust Top Executive Before Being Fired, Report Claims
There’s been no shortage of hot takes on former Ford CEO Mark Fields’ sudden departure from the big office in Dearborn, but a new report sheds light on the drama occurring at the Blue Oval shortly before Fields “elected to retire.”
Before his replacement by Jim Hackett, Fields reportedly attempted to fire Joe Hinrichs, Ford’s president of the Americas, as a way of relieving growing scrutiny on his own performance. It didn’t go they way he had planned.
According to sources who spoke with Automotive News, Fields sought permission from the company’s board of directors to fire Hinrichs during the week of May 14th. Just days earlier, the CEO was grilled by investors angry over the company’s 40-percent slide in stock value since Fields took the helm. Board members were also very curious as to his plans for the company’s future, as well his strategy to turn around Ford’s flagging financial fortunes.
Hinrichs was the executive in charge of Ford’s extensive, aluminum-heavy revamp of the best-selling F-150. Still, sources claim that Fields felt he could take the heat off himself by giving Hinrichs the boot.
When the board met with Fields on May 19th, the exact opposite of what the CEO had hoped to achieve occurred. Sources claim the board made a decision to move on from Fields and his communications adviser Ray Day. Fields’ “resignation” was announced the following Monday.
Hindrichs, on the other hand, walked away with a big promotion. Instead of being shown the door, he was granted a new title: head of global operations, and a much larger presence within the company’s upper echelon. Neither Ford nor Fields has confirmed this is indeed what happened.
In introducing the new CEO on May 22nd, chairman Bill Ford described Fields’ successor in glowing terms, describing how Hackett and himself “always clicked in terms of thinking about the future.â€
[Image: Ford Motor Company]
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May 31, 2017 at 10:05AM
Covfefe kerfuffle: Trump's fancy keyboard antics couldn't have come at a worse time
President Trump Planning to Abandon Paris Climate Accord: Reports
President Donald Trump has said he’ll be providing his thoughts on the Paris climate deal in the coming days, but media outlets are already suggesting his take on the issue will be to leave it. Sources are claiming the president’s mind is made up and, to the surprise of no one, odds are good he will withdraw the U.S. from the deal.
TrumpÂ has already made it his mission to overturn as many Obama-related policies as possible and seems unconcerned with environmental issues that might stand in the way of potential manufacturing opportunities. Since taking office, Trump has been pushing regulators to rethink the United States’ auto emission guidelines, undoing one of the previous administration’s final acts in office.
Pulling out of the Paris accord would fulfill a campaign promise and negate the need for the U.S. to adhere to rigidÂ emission standards â€” at the expense of further alienating the president from Europe’s leadership. Â
However, countries are not bound by an outside panel. The accord allows the 195 participating nations â€” 147 who have ratified â€”Â to set their own limits, under the assumption they will all make continued efforts to limit the amount of greenhouse gases emitted by human activities to a level nature can manage between 2050 and 2100.
It also places a strong emphasis on helping developing nations achieve their goals, something a protectionist politician may not care for.Â Trump has also been very clear on how he does not want regulatory interference handicapping manufacturing, especially as it relates to the automotive industry.
Unnamed senior officials familiar with his plan told CNN,Â Axios, and several other media outlets that the president’s mind is essentially settled on the matter. That assumption was further bolstered when he updated his favorite social media platform.
“I will be announcing my decision on the Paris Accord over the next few days. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!” Trump tweeted on Wednesday. The slogan has become the president’s biggest tell, synonymous with undoing currently existingÂ policies. If he says he’s about to make America great again, then you can rest assured he’s seriously considering rolling something back.
Then again, this came hours after his infamous and perplexingÂ â€œDespite the constant negative press covfefeâ€ tweet, something I have yet to decrypt. Considering the mystique deposited by those six words, perhaps Twitter is not the best dais for unraveling the president’s intentions.
If he does decide to pull out of the accord, he’ll have a few options on how to do it. The agreement stipulates a three-year waiting period before a country can give notice of leaving, which results in aÂ June 2021 exit. TrumpÂ could abandon theÂ United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, which would only take one year (but at the risk of massive political fallout). Alternatively, he could claim the agreement is a treaty requiringÂ approval by the Senate and allow the Republican majority to do the work for him.
On Tuesday, TrumpÂ convened with Environmental Protection Agency administrator Scott Pruitt, who opposes the Paris deal. Today, he is scheduled to meetÂ with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson â€”Â who strongly supportsÂ it. While the majority of auto industry leaders have not publicly expressed their opinions, Tesla CEO Elon Musk has made it clear he is attempting to convince the president to keep the U.S. in the Paris accord. Musk also said he will withdraw from President Trump’s CEO council if the U.S. withdraws from the climate agreement.
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May 31, 2017 at 09:44AM