Bernie's Feed
Jul 10, 2015

Detroit Three, UAW will square off over wages, U.S. jobs

DETROIT (Reuters) – The Big Three U.S. automakers and the United Auto Workers union will kick off bargaining Monday for new contracts that would set how much more robust, post-recession profits the industry shares with workers, and determine union costs to win more U.S. jobs.

UAW leaders said they will insist on raises for 139,000 blue-collar workers at U.S. plants run by Ford Motor Co (F.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), General Motors Co (GM.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCHA.MI: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) (FCAU.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) after rounds of bargaining in 2007 and 2011 that led to substantial concessions. Union leaders and chief executives of the Detroit Three are scheduled to stage public handshakes next week, starting Monday. Their current contracts expire Sept. 14.

Jul 9, 2015

Ford to move production of Focus, C-Max cars from Michigan

DETROIT (Reuters) – Ford Motor Co (F.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) will move production of its Focus small cars and C-Max hybrids from its Michigan Assembly Plant near Detroit in 2018, it said on Thursday, highlighting difficulties U.S. automakers are having building fuel-efficient vehicles profitably at home.

The announcement casts doubt on the future of one of Ford’s largest U.S. factories and comes just days before executives and leaders of the United Auto Workers formally kick off talks toward a new labor agreement. The UAW is expected to push for wage increases and fight company proposals to scale back healthcare costs.

Jul 8, 2015

GM recalls Hummer models after fires burn three people

DETROIT (Reuters) – General Motors Co is recalling
nearly 200,000 older model Hummer SUVs, mainly in the United
States, to fix problems that have led to three people being
burned, the company said on Wednesday.

In a separate recall, 50,731 newer model Chevrolet Spark
subcompacts will be recalled because a software problem may
cause safety warnings not to work, GM said.

Jul 1, 2015

Strong truck, SUV demand helped Ford, GM raise prices in June

DETROIT, July 1 (Reuters) – Strong demand for sport utility
vehicles and trucks in June helped General Motors Co and
Ford Motor Co offset slowing demand for sedans by allowing
them to raise prices on their trucks.

GM and Ford said on Wednesday increases in the average
transaction prices for their vehicles, particularly trucks and
SUVs, outpaced sales volume growth that fell short of Wall
Street expectations. Ford, for example, said prices for its
F-series trucks rose 8 percent, or $3,600, while sales volume
for the pickup truck line dropped 8.9 percent in June.

Jul 1, 2015

U.S. auto sales on pace for gain over year ago, led by SUVs

DETROIT, July 1 (Reuters) – U.S. June auto sales remained
strong in June as sport utility vehicles and trucks again
outpaced cars amid moderately low gasoline prices, automakers
reported on Wednesday.

While Ford Motor Co’s sales rose only 2 percent, it
showed the largest increase in the market in the average price
of its vehicles, industry consultant Kelley Blue Book said.

Jun 26, 2015

FCA’s Jeep delay highlights challenges to a potential merger

DETROIT (Reuters) – Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV’s (FCHA.MI: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) Jeep brand chief said Friday a redesign of its Grand Cherokee sport utility will be delayed by at least a year, intensifying the challenges Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne faces in his quest for a partner.

Jeep brand chief Mike Manley confirmed FCA’s decision to push back the launch of a redesigned Grand Cherokee to late 2018 or to 2019 from late 2017. That delay is one of at least a dozen current or new vehicles in North America reported by Reuters.

Jun 26, 2015

Jeep CEO: Grand Cherokee redesign pushed to 2018 or 2019, from 2017

By Bernie Woodall

CHELSEA, Mich. (Reuters) – A redesign of Jeep’s popular Grand Cherokee Sports Utility Vehicle will be delayed to late 2018 or 2019, from an initial target of 2017, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Jeep brand Chief Executive Officer Mike Manley said on Friday.

Manley said global Jeep sales are up 20 percent so far this year, which puts the SUV brand on a pace to reach 1.2 million vehicle sales for 2015. In 2014, Jeep reached 1.02 million in sales, a rise of nearly 40 percent from the previous year.

Jun 24, 2015

Ford joins rivals in ramping up pace of self-driving car tech

/DETROIT (Reuters) – Ford Motor Co is joining other global automakers in stepping up efforts to roll out self-driving cars, company executives said on Tuesday.

The U.S. automaker will expand advanced safety technology, including automatic braking, across its global vehicle lineup over the next five years, they said. Such systems, the precursors of fully autonomous vehicles, enable hands-free operation of cars under certain conditions by automating such basic functions as steering, braking and throttle.

Jun 23, 2015

Ford expanding driver-assist technology across lineup

/DETROIT (Reuters) – Ford Motor Co said on Tuesday it will expand automated safety technology across its global vehicle lineup over the next five years.

Ford also said that two features already available on its Mondeo sedan in Europe – one that applies brakes automatically to avoid collisions and another to detect the presence of pedestrians – will be available next year on one U.S. Ford vehicle and in most Ford products globally by 2019.

Jun 18, 2015

UAW president aims to narrow labor cost gaps at U.S. automakers

DETROIT (Reuters) – Labor costs for union workers are much lower for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles than Detroit rivals Ford Motor Co and General Motors Co, a disparity that United Auto Workers President Dennis Williams said on Thursday he wants to fix.

Fiat Chrysler (FCA) average wage and benefit costs for each production worker is about $48 per hour, compared with about $58 per hour at GM and $55 per hour at Ford, a recent study by the Center for Automotive Research found.