Correspondent, Detroit
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Jan 13, 2014
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Jan 12, 2014

New CEO Barra a GM ‘lifer’ bent on tearing down walls

DETROIT (Reuters) – Mary Barra, the next CEO of General Motors Co (GM.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), sent a powerful message to colleagues last year when she challenged about 250 designers and engineers at GM’s Vehicle Engineering Center – to a paper sailboat race.

“She wanted them to have fun at a highly stressful time, but also encourage teamwork and collaboration … to show that’s how we run our business on a global basis,” said John Calabrese, GM’s vice president of global engineering.

Jan 12, 2014

Analysis: Detroit automakers face test of leadership in 2014

DETROIT (Reuters) – General Motors Co (GM.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) named a new chief executive, Ford Motor Co (F.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) kept its old leader and Chrysler Group LLC’s CEO averted a divisive public offering. And that was just in the last 30 days.

This year is shaping up as a test of leadership at GM, Ford and Chrysler, five years after the U.S. auto industry’s searing restructuring. While the risks ahead are no longer life-threatening, how the companies respond will set their direction for years to come and signal whether the lessons of the financial crisis were embedded deeply enough.

Jan 12, 2014

GM counts on redesigned Canyon to pull sales from rivals

DETROIT (Reuters) – General Motors Co (GM.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) will not mind if its new GMC Canyon steps on the toes of its larger cousin the Chevrolet Silverado, as long as the redesigned mid-sized pickup truck stomps on vehicle sales by other automakers.

Executives at the No. 1 U.S. automaker are counting on the 2015 Canyon pickup when it debuts in the fall to be a “true conquest machine” that will attract full-size truck owners from rival brands. Target buyers include those who want something smaller and people who currently drive crossover vehicles but want the utility of a truck.

Jan 11, 2014

As automakers use more aluminum, can providers expand fast enough?

DETROIT, Jan 10 (Reuters) – With automakers’ demand for
aluminum growing explosively as they seek to improve fuel
efficiency, aluminum providers are selling out their automotive
capacity almost as fast as they can build new plants, raising
the question of whether some car makers could be caught short in
the future.

The U.S. market for aluminum sheet is expected to be up
fivefold this year from 2012 with the development of vehicles
like Ford Motor Co’s next generation F-150 full-size
pickup truck, a more aluminum intensive model that will be shown
Monday at the Detroit auto show.

Jan 3, 2014

Chrysler says snow, ice pressured Dec U.S. auto sales

DETROIT (Reuters) – Chrysler Group LLC on Friday said that late-month snow and ice storms pressured U.S. auto sales, causing the industry to show only a 1 percent gain over last year, missing expectations of a 4 percent increase.

“It looks like the bad weather kept the sales penned in,” said Chrysler spokesman Ralph Kisiel.

    • About Ben

      "Ben Klayman is based in Detroit and in April was named leader of the global automotive team for Reuters. Previously, Ben covered the business of sports as well as consumer and retail for three years and led the manufacturing/housing team for four years. He also covered the telecommunications sector for three years. He joined Reuters in Detroit in 1998 to cover autos. Prior to joining Reuters, he worked at a series of daily newspapers in Ohio and Maryland. Ben graduated from Washington University in St. Louis in 1989 with a bachelor's degree in English literature."
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