Could This Be The Worst Car Manufacturing Idea Ever?

Could This Be The Worst Car Manufacturing Idea Ever?

Automotive Weekly

Could This Be The Worst Car Manufacturing Idea Ever?


Ford has applied for a patent on a system that would display a billboard’s information on the infotainment screen. Bad, right?

Car manufacturers are constantly coming out with new ideas presenting tech that may or may not one day make it to your future car. In some cases, these ideas are downright bonkers. This is the case for Ford’s latest patent. Pointed out by Motor1, a patent contains sketches of a system that would scan road-side billboards and display their information on the infotainment screen. Clearly, this is an idea that Ford has come at from a commercial point of view. One could imagine the brand forming partnerships with companies to highlight more attractive offers and receive commission for sales by people known to own a Ford product.

That being said, having ads pop up on a screen next to a driver is without a doubt one of the worst car-based ideas I’ve ever heard of. As drivers, we are constantly being told to keep our eyes on the road and stay attentive to what’s going on ahead. In fact, when travelling down the motorway, the distance a car covers in the time it takes for someone to read something on a screen is massive. Any form of distraction therefore is horrendous. 

One could argue that drivers know to stay alert at all times when behind the wheel. Furthermore, many cars nowadays have informative displays to point out road signs and remind drivers of speed limits. However, people are killed on the road every day because of people using their phones whilst driving.

After finding the patent online, Motor1 tried getting in contact with the Blue Oval about the possible future tech. A spokesperson said, “they [patents] aren't necessarily an indication of new business or product plans.” It seems then that, although conceived of in someone’s mind, Ford is not going to produce the frankly odd idea. At least until autonomous vehicles become the standard mode of transport that is.

Source: Drivetribe


All 14 brands of Stellantis NV will have a decade of support and funding to prove their ability to rebound or grow, and their products will be developed in the regions where they are sold, CEO Carlos Tavares said Thursday. The transatlantic automaker offers popular Ram pickup trucks and Jeep SUVs in the United States and Peugeot and Opel cars and crossovers in Europe. But products from other brands like Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, Dodge and Fiat are aging, some face carbon-emission regulation challenges, and others have struggled to gain traction. 

Source: The Detroit News


Automotive Chip-Shortage Cost Estimate Surges to $110 Billion

As the semiconductor shortage hobbling the global automotive industry has worsened, its cost as a hit to sales has almost doubled to $110 billion, up from an earlier estimate of $61 billion. That’s the latest assessment of AlixPartners, a global consulting firm closely monitoring the widening crisis. It also now says the world’s carmakers will lose 3.9 million vehicles of production to the chip shortage this year, more than its prediction four months ago of 2.2 million. That’s about 4.6% of the 84.6 million vehicles that AlixPartners had projected in total production for 2021. 

Source: Bloomberg

Stellantis Cuts Second Shift at Jeep Cherokee Plant in Illinois

Stellantis NV is cutting almost 1,700 jobs at its Jeep Cherokee plant in Illinois, the transatlantic automaker said Friday, the latest example of how the global semiconductor shortage is affecting the industry with lasting implications. The automaker is reducing shifts at Belvidere Assembly Plant from two to one by July 26. The move, which seeks to "balance sales with production," will indefinitely lay off 1,641 employees making the compact crossover, Stellantis spokeswoman Jodi Tinson said in a statement, noting the semiconductor shortage has "further exacerbated" 
the situation. 

Source: The Detroit News

Ford Announces more F-150 reductions

Ford Motor Co. will temporarily reduce output of the nation's bestselling vehicle — the F-150 pickup — at its Dearborn Truck Plant just days after President Joe Biden is expected to visit a new electric vehicle center nearby as the semiconductor shortage continues to impact production. The Dearborn, Mich., plant will fall to one shift from three the week of May 24 as a result of the worsening chip shortage. Ford's other F-150 plant, Kansas City Assembly, will be completely idled that week.

Source: Automotive News

Infiniti QX50 Products Halted

Infiniti is idling production of the QX50 compact crossover because of the semiconductor supply crunch, leaving the brand's U.S. dealers short of two volume models. QX50 assembly at Infiniti's COMPAS factory in Aguascalientes, Mexico, will be suspended in June, Automotive News has learned. An Infiniti spokesman confirmed the stoppage and noted Q50 sedan output in Japan will also be idled next month. 

Source: Automotive News

 VW Halts SUV and Passat Production

Volkswagen of America said it will suspend vehicle production at its Chattanooga complex for two weeks beginning June 7 because of the global semiconductor shortage. Output will resume June 21, the company said in an emailed statement Monday. VW builds the Atlas and Atlas Cross Sport crossovers and the Passat sedan in Chattanooga. Last year, it sold a combined 87,362 Atlases and Atlas Cross Sports in the U.S., a 7.2 percent increase over Atlas sales in 2019. (The Cross Sport went on sale in 2020.) Meanwhile, U.S. sales of the Passat, which will end production at the plant in 2023, rose 63 percent to 22,964. 

Source: Automotive News

Nissan Halting Frontier, Titan and Altima Output Next Month

Nissan Motor Co. plans to trim North American production in June because of the semiconductor shortage, the automaker said Wednesday. Frontier and Titan pickup production in Canton, Miss., will be cut for four days in June, while Altima sedan assembly will stop for three weeks next month. Production of those models also suffered stoppages this month. The chip shortage is striking as Nissan orchestrates a product overhaul that is central to reviving consumer interest and profitability in the U.S. 

Source: Automotive News


Certified pre-owned vehicle sales in 2021 have come out of the gate surging ahead of the record pace set two year ago. In 2019, which was the strongest year ever for the certified pre-owned vehicle market, there were 910,578 CPO sales in the first four months of the year. The first four months of 2021 beat that sum by more than 45,000 units. According to a Cox Automotive analysis of Motor Intelligence data, there have been 956,070 certified sales year-to-date. 

Source: Auto Remarketing


Auto loan and lease statistics from the first quarter of 2021 underscore the “K-shaped” economic recovery, where borrowers with prime-risk credit scores drive a big increase in demand, while borrowers with subprime credit are being left behind. Auto originations to consumers with subprime credit fell to just 15% of the total in the first quarter. That’s the lowest subprime share of originations since the New York Federal Reserve started keeping track in 1999, according to the New York Fed’s latest Quarterly Report on Household Debt and Credit, published May 13. 

Source: WardsAuto


Henry Ford invested in steel production and Brazilian rubber. Today’s car makers are getting into batteries and software. On Tuesday, Chrysler owner Stellantis and iPhone-assembler Foxconn, also known as Hon Hai Precision Industry, announced a joint venture to develop in-vehicle software and services. This is the latest in a long series of moves by auto makers to improve their supply chains for fully electric, digital vehicles. Car makers want more control over components central to the performance and experience of EVs. But they don’t have a lot of experience with those parts, and face many competing claims for investment. JVs with specialist suppliers offer a solution. 

Source: The Wall Street Journal


Ford Motor Co. and South Korea’s SK Innovation Co. are poised to announce Thursday they’ve reached an agreement to jointly build electric-vehicle batteries in the U.S. The two companies have reached a memorandum of understanding to pursue a joint venture to manufacture the power sources that are critical to becoming competitive in the emerging EV market, according to people familiar with the deal who asked not to be identified. SK already supplies batteries for Ford’s new electric F-150 Lightning pickup, which was driven this week by President Joe Biden after he toured the Michigan factory where it’s made. 

Source: Bloomberg

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