Detroit Bureau on Twitter

Ghosn Offers to Wear Ankle Monitor if Released From Tokyo Jail

Once high-flying exec may now be fired by Renault.

by on Jan.21, 2019

Former Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn, shown here in January 2018, offered to wear an ankle monitor.

Approaching his third month in solitary confinement, former Nissan Chairman Carlos Ghosn has offered to wear an ankle monitor in a bid to win bail, a step Japanese prosecutors have so far resisted.

Ghosn has been held in the Tokyo Detention Center since Nov. 29, when he was pulled off his corporate jet after landing at Haneda Airport. He faces trial on several allegations of financial misconduct and prosecutors are considering other allegations. The 64-year-old executive was almost immediately fired by Nissan and its Japanese affiliate, Mitsubishi, and reports from Europe suggest he may be dismissed by their French alliance partner Renault, as well.

Subscribe Now!

“I remain imprisoned in the detention centre, 64 days after I was arrested, with no release in sight,” Ghosn said in a statement issued through his U.S. representatives. “As the court considers my bail application, I want to emphasise that I will reside in Japan and respect any and all bail conditions the court concludes are warranted.” Read the rest of this entry »

Nissan Set to Cut Jobs at Mississippi Plant

Automaker looking at changes at its Tennessee plant too.

by on Jan.21, 2019

Nissan is adapting to changing market forces, i.e. slower sales of passenger cars, by cutting 700 contract jobs at its Canton, Mississippi plant.

In another sign of potential weakness in the North American automotive market, Nissan Motor Co., which is in midst of a tumultuous management shakeup, is planning to cut up to 700 contract workers as trims production at its assembly plant in Canton, Mississippi.

Other cuts are also planned at Nissan’s engine plant in Decherd, Tennessee. Tesla, which last week announced a 7% cut in its staffing last week, and General Motors have announced cuts in production in North America, while Ford Motor Co. also is planning a restructuring of its operations worldwide.

News You Can Trust!

Nissan confirmed it is preparing to reduce production NV cargo and passenger vans and Titan and Frontier pickup trucks, vehicles that are facing aggressive new competition from Detroit-based carmakers, which already hold a decisive edge in the U.S. truck market. Read the rest of this entry »

Ford Follows Tesla, Rivian with Plans for All-Electric F-Series Pickup

Both battery-electric and hybrid models in development, confirms Farley.

by on Jan.21, 2019

Ford's Jim Farley says the automaker will produce a battery-electric version of the F-Series pickup.

Facing challenges to its most profitable product line from two automotive upstarts, Ford Motor Co. says it will electrify its hugely popular F-Series pickups.

The Detroit automaker had already confirmed that a hybrid version of the country’s best-selling nameplate was in development, but Jim Farley, Ford’s president of Global Markets, took things a step further during an auto industry conference hosted by Deutsche Bank, indicating the carmaker would also add an all-electric version of the F-Series. The announcement comes as both Tesla and suburban Detroit-based start-up Rivian prepare to bring battery-electric pickups of their own to market.

News Now!

“We’re going to be electrifying the F-Series — battery electric and hybrid,” Farley said during the Deutsche Bank Global Automotive Conference in Detroit. Read the rest of this entry »

Chevy Sonic Could Be Next as GM Kills Off Slow-Selling Passenger Cars

Several more plants also on endangered list.

by on Jan.18, 2019

The Chevy Sonic is limping along and appears ripe to be discontinued by GM.

In the northern Detroit suburb of Orion Township, one of General Motors’ assembly plants is hanging on by a thread. The factory is barely running on one shift and, were it not for the Chevrolet Bolt EV, might have been a fourth plant on the list of assembly lines GM said it would shut down last November.

The automaker has actually increased production of the all-electric Bolt in recent months, but demand for the Chevrolet Sonic, the other model rolling off the line there has dropped to less than 2,000 a month, barely enough to bother, it seems.

The Last Word!

TheDetroitBureau.com first warned that the subcompact Sonic was on the endangered list in April 2017 and now, it seems, its fate may be sealed. The Wall Street Journal is reporting Sonic’s days are numbered, though a spokesperson for Chevy says that, at least for now, there is nothing formal to be announced. Read the rest of this entry »

Dodge Likely to Produce Hybrid-Based Hellcat in Future

CEO Manley says the days of an 800-hp beast are numbered.

by on Jan.18, 2019

Smokin'! The Challenger Hellcat Redeye's Line Lock lets you spin the rear tires before launch. Will the hybrid do that?

Hybrids have long had a reputation as slow, eco-friendly city cars, but recently automakers have discovered the benefits of slapping some electric motors on their high-powered gasoline-fueled sports cars to generate even more power.

Add Dodge to the list.

Product News!

There may be no brand more synonamous with fossil fuels that Dodge and its line-up of Hellcat-branded Challengers and Chargers. The Hellcat broke new ground pushing past 700 horsepower when it came out two years ago and its variants have since pushed past 800 hp. Read the rest of this entry »

GM, Ford Smacked with Harassment Lawsuits

Employees suffer racial and sexual harassment at plants.

by on Jan.18, 2019

Several employees have reported incidents of racial intimidation at GM's powertrain plant in Toledo, Ohio.

The U.S. automotive assembly plant is the last bastion of approved racial and sexual discrimination if recent events, i.e. lawsuits, are to be believed.

In the past two days, lawsuits filed against General Motors and Ford for racial and sexual discrimination have brought to light behavior thought by many to have been banished to the history books.

Subscribe Now!

GM’s powertrain plant in Toledo, Ohio, was allegedly the scene of racial discrimination and intimidation on a daily basis, according to the contents of lawsuits and complaints filed with state agencies in Ohio. Two supervisors at the facility were taunted, disrespected and their complaints ignored by management, including the discovery of a noose in an area where one of the men worked. Read the rest of this entry »

Tesla Cutting 7% of Workforce, Warns “Road Ahead is Very Difficult”

Move comes days after cuts at CEO Musk’s SpaceX announced.

by on Jan.18, 2019

Tesla chief Elon Musk, in atter to employees announced plans to cut 7% of the company's workforce.

Warning that Tesla faces some serious challenges, despite delivering a solid third-quarter profit, Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced plans to cut 7% of the battery-carmaker’s staff in a letter sent to employees on Friday.

All told, that would work out to about 3,150 of the people who work at Tesla’s headquarters in Silicon Valley, plants in Fremont, California, and Reno, Nevada, and other facilities. The move comes just days after Musk outlined plans to cut 10% of the workforce at his SpaceX rocket company.

Business News!

“I want to make sure that you know all the facts and figures and understand that the road ahead is very difficult,” Musk said in the memo sent to the Tesla workforce, adding that, “While we have made great progress, our products are still too expensive for most people.” Read the rest of this entry »

Infiniti, Ford, Lexus Walk Off with NAIAS Design Awards

Automotive design celebrated at annual event.

by on Jan.18, 2019

Infiniti's QX Inspiration EV concept was the big winner in this year's Eyes on Design competition taking home three awards.

Throughout the course of its 30-year run, the North American International Auto Show in Detroit’s Cobo Center became known as a “designers’ show” because of the large number of concept cars that emerged during the annual press preview.

For 2019, the tradition carried on with the annual “Eyes on Design” Award singling out three vehicles, one from Infiniti, one from Lexus and one from Ford for honors.

News You Can Trust!

One of the big winners this year was Infiniti, which walked off with honors in three separate categories. Read the rest of this entry »

No-Shows, But Tesla and Musk Still Have Strong Presence at NAIAS

But can California carmaker survive the new onslaught of competition.

by on Jan.17, 2019

Tesla CEO Elon Musk showed off a prototype Model S in 2010, the last time he attended the NAIAS.

Battery-electric vehicles may still account for less than 1% of the U.S. new vehicle market, but they have had a notable presence at this year’s North American International Auto Show – something that many credit to a manufacturer that was notably absent from Detroit’s Cobo Hall convention center: Tesla.

Cadillac made a major splash during the first media preview of this year’s show, when it not only revealed the new XT6 utility vehicle but announced that it will be the first General Motors brand to use the automaker’s new all-electric platform for another SUV debuting in 2021.

http://www.thedetroitbureau.com/about/subscribe

Electrifying!

Throughout the show, automaker’s either revealed new battery cars and concepts or outlined their plans for an electrified future. Volkswagen, for one, announced plans to invest $800 million to add production of two new all-electric models at its plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Read the rest of this entry »

Lotus to Build Cars in China

Geely gets approval for new plant in Wuhan.

by on Jan.17, 2019

As it develops new products, like the 3-Eleven, Lotus needs more manufacturing space, and it's getting it – in China.

Geely Holding’s acquisition of a majority stake in Lotus in 2017 virtually assured the oft-troubled sports car company would survive well into the future, and at some point, some of its cars would be produced in China.

Well, the future is now.

Global News!

Lotus’s Chinese parent plans to open a $1.3 billion factory in Wuhan that opens up a world of possibilities for the super car producer. The company could build more over-the-top vehicles, i.e. faster and better handling, or it could simple build more, i.e. volume. Read the rest of this entry »