GM HAS A DEAL, BUT END TO UAW’S STRIKE COULD STILL BE WEEKS AWAY
The good news is General Motors Co. has a tentative agreement with the United Auto Workers to end a 31-day strike that has cost the company an estimated $2 billion. The bad news is 48,000 striking workers could stay out during a ratification vote that could last another two weeks. On Thursday, the union’s local presidents and chairman—roughly 200 officials—will decide whether to put the tentative deal to a vote of the entire membership and if workers will return to their jobs before ratification.
UAW-GM TENTATIVE AGREEMENT LAYS TOUGH PATTERN FOR FORD, FCA
The United Automobile Workers' proposed tentative agreement with General Motors Co. is expected to set the "pattern" for the automaker's crosstown rivals to follow, and the framework laid Thursday—if ratified—would be expensive for the other two Detroit automakers. Both Ford Motor Co. and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV have signaled they want to cut costs during contract negotiations.
Source: The Detroit News
FORD LAUNCHES TWO MAJOR EV CHARGING INITIATIVES
Ford Motor Co. plans to offer customers of future electric vehicles access to the Electrify America network of charging stations and will partner with Amazon to install at-home outlets once its first long-range EV goes on sale next year. The automaker on Thursday laid out its charging infrastructure plans for the first time, roughly a month ahead of the planned introduction of a long-range EV crossover, expected to be called the Mach E.
Source: Reuters & Automotive News
MANY CPO SHOPPERS ALSO CONSIDERING NEW—BUT IT DEPENDS ON VEHICLE
That certified pre-owned shopper on a dealership lot may be willing to shift over to the new-car department. The number of people shopping for CPO vehicles is 25% higher than it was three years ago, and many of them haven’t ruled out buying new, according to a Shopper Trends Snapshot from Cox Automotive. But whether or not a CPO shopper will consider looking at a new vehicle too may depend on the category, segment and/or model he or she is browsing. Sixty-eight percent of overall CPO intenders said they are open to buying a new vehicle, Cox Automotive said, and the rate is even higher (73%) among luxury shoppers.
Source: Auto Remarketing
GM TEMPORARILY HALTS CHEVY BLAZER PRODUCTION IN MEXICO
General Motors on Friday said it temporarily halted production of its Chevy Blazer midsize crossover in Mexico because of a parts shortage due to a month-old strike by 46,000 U.S. hourly GM employees. The UAW on Wednesday reached a tentative agreement with the Detroit automaker on a new four-year-contract but will remain on strike until members complete a vote on the proposal by Oct. 25.
GM sold 35,107 Blazer crossovers in the U.S. during the first nine months, including 20,312 units in September.
The Blazer is built at GM's Ramos Arizpe plant, a decision that angered the UAW.
Source: Automotive News
ROGER PENSKE HONOURED
Motor sports king Roger Penske will receive the highest civilian award this week, according to the White House. President Donald Trump announced in June that Michigan resident Penske would be awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest award given to civilians in the United States. Penske was expected to receive the award October 24.
TRUCKS & SUVS CARRY THE WAY - KAR’S SEPTEMBER WHOLESALE PRICE DATA
Trucks and SUVs are designed to carry a variety of things, from flea market finds to raw materials for countless projects. And apparently those units carried overall wholesale price movements in September, too. According to KAR Global Analytical Services’ monthly analysis of wholesale used-vehicle prices by vehicle model class, overall prices in September averaged $11,155. That figure is 0.8% lower compared to August but 1.6% higher relative to September of last year.
OLDER TESLAS FACE MEMORY STORAGE WEAR ISSUES THAT PREVENT CHARGING
Constant data log writing and rewriting is wearing out Tesla flash chips.
The world of EVs has seemingly embraced the tech-laden nature of Tesla vehicles, but we're not talking about the electric drivetrain itself. Aside from the obvious systems that Tesla vehicles use to propel themselves, they also generate and store immense amounts of data, data that now appears to be running into a hardware aging issue.
Business Insider reports that the flash storage systems aboard older Tesla vehicles are facing a problem tied to all that data collection and storage: all of it is kept on a chip called eMMC, and it's basically a form of data storage on to which data is constantly being written and then erased.
"According to multiple repair professionals, Teslas are writing vehicle logs to this flash storage chip so frequently that the chip stops working properly," Business Insider reports. While that sounds like an issue that could be ignored by owners -- who needs all those logs anyway? -- the problem is that eMMC chip failure from too many erasure cycles is preventing the main screen from turning on, and it's preventing the car itself from being recharged at a station. "They have a finite amount of writes; they can only do so many writes. The amount of logging they’re doing is excessive," Tesla repair professional Phil Sadow said in a Youtube video, according to Business Insider.
As InsideEVs noted earlier this month, this problem takes a few years to pop up. Of course, if the car is still under warranty, the replacement is free of charge. If it's out of warranty, the repair runs about $1,800. That's a lot of money for a chip that just stores data, but the price is so high because Tesla service centers have to replace the whole MCU, or media control unit, InsideEVs pointed out.
Some service technicians can replace just the memory chip itself instead of the entire MCU, but it's still a complicated procedure that takes time. And the replacement of the MCU only buys the unit more time instead of solving the issue permanently, according to some Tesla technicians. But the problem goes deeper than that, as some techs InsideEVs spoke to fault excessive data storage in principle in Tesla cars, which is a trend that has only accelerated in recent years. Newer Tesla models log more data as a matter of course, but the longevity of the hardware has not kept up with the amount of data being written and rewritten. The newer MCUv2 features a 32GB eMMC flash chip, but it also has to deal with more complex software and even more data than Teslas that are just under a decade old. The automaker has reportedly been aware of the issue since 2015, but it's unclear what it has done to address it long-term.
At its core, this electronic problem touches upon something about which some Tesla fans have taken a unique stance on: obsolescence. Earlier this year Tesla's Elon Musk said something... interesting about the long-term value of Tesla cars: "Buying a car today is an investment into the future. I think the most profound thing is that if you buy a Tesla today, I believe you are buying an appreciating asset – not a depreciating asset."
Musk was talking about the so-called Full Self-Driving system in particular on that occasion, but his comment represented a very contrarian stance regarding electronic appliances of any sort, which like cars depreciate and become dated in terms of tech pretty rapidly. We've yet to see a VCR or a first-gen iMac at a garage sale with an asking price over its original MSRP.
Source: Green Car Reports - Autoweek
NISSAN REORGANIZATION PLAN
Nissan Motor Co. is likely to axe its Datsun brand, drop some unprofitable products and close a number of assembly lines worldwide as it seeks to boost profits by getting smaller, two company sources with direct knowledge of the matter said. Known internally as the “performance recovery plan”, the proposed steps mark a sharp break with Nissan’s strategy under ousted leader Carlos Ghosn, who pursued ambitious vehicle sales targets in the United States and other major markets.
FORD LOWERS PROFIT OUTLOOK - CHINA WEAKNESS AND TOUGHER COMPETITION
Ford Motor Co.’s operating profit rose 7.5% in the third quarter but the auto maker lowered its target for the full year, marking a setback for CEO Jim Hackett’s bid to revive long-term earnings growth through a broad restructuring. Ford shares fell about 3% in aftermarket trading following the report. The auto maker’s dimmer outlook came despite quarterly results that surpassed analysts’ estimates. Ford’s operating profit of $1.8 billion for the July-to-September period was buoyed by higher sales in North America and strength in the company’s lending arm.
Source: The Wall Street Journal