Making Up Time on F-Series and SUVs
Ford Motor Co. alerted its autoworkers and supervisors this week that the company will pivot to full U.S. production ahead of schedule in an attempt to make up for lost time created by the coronavirus. So it's really Ford's workforce that allowed the company to speed up the schedule, as both workers and suppliers have settled into their new routines. The so-called full production status with Ford and other automakers reflects the pre-coronavirus production schedules. They build to meet consumer demand.
Source: Detroit Free Press
General Motors Co. has delayed the addition of a third shift at its Spring Hill, Tenn., plant, the automaker told employees this week. GM said the delay was "due to near-term supply constraints and the need to further evaluate market conditions as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. At this time, we do not have an official return date for third shift. We will continue to monitor business and market conditions moving forward."
Source: The Detroit News
Volkswagen is in talks with rival carmakers about developing an operating system for the car of the future, Christian Senger, its board member responsible for digital services and software, said. With the advent of autonomous driving, carmakers have been forced to link up radar, camera, and ultrasonic sensors and connect them to braking and steering components, something which requires thousands of lines of software code.
BMW and Daimler are hitting the pause button on joint development efforts of automated vehicles. The pandemic has raised new questions about the future of self-driving vehicles at a time when technical development of vehicles that can drive themselves outside of a fixed area are proving is proving difficult and, as a result, investors have grown more skeptical of the technology’s future. The BMW Group and Mercedes-Benz AG said in a statement they are putting their cooperation on development of next-generation technology for automated driving temporarily on hold.
Source: The Detroit Bureau
Willing to Sacrifice Booze and Coffee and ...
While it may be no surprise that people love their trucks, Ford Motor Company commissioned an online Great American Truck Survey of 2,000 owners to find out just how much people love their trucks. The company is preparing to reveal to the world a redesigned 2021 Ford F-150 on Thursday. Ford has dominated pickup sales since the beginning of time. Still, the Chevy Silverado and Ram Trucks have been in aggressive pursuit. Now the so-called truck wars, which drive the biggest profits for Ford, General Motors and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, is showing no sign of slowing. The F-Series dominates. It is commonly known as the Golden Goose for Ford, because the multibillion-dollar truck franchise within Ford North America generates revenue comparable to that at Facebook, Nike and Coca-Cola.
Ford Motor Co.’s new Ranger truck topped a ranking of vehicles that contribute most to the U.S. economy, while three Tesla Inc. models placed in the top nine. The two companies’ brands were absent from Cars.com’s top 10 last year but stood out in the 2020 version of the automotive site’s “American-Made Index.” Ford’s pickup and Tesla’s Model S, X and 3 all made their debut in the annual study. Honda Motor Co. matched Tesla with three vehicles in the top 10, but that was down from five last year.
As automakers fill voids in their product lineups with new vehicles and return to segments they abandoned, a growing number of newly launched vehicles have familiar-sounding names. While the calendar says 2020, nameplates that disappeared in the early 2000s, the 1990s, and in some cases even longer ago have returned in updated form. And more are on the way. Last month, Toyota revealed a new two-row, hybrid-only midsize crossover to slot between the RAV4 and Highlander. But the sleek model came with an old name: Venza.
Source: Automotive News
South Korea's Hyundai Motor Group and battery maker LG Chem Ltd. on Monday launched a global contest to identify up to 10 electric vehicle and battery startups for potential investment and development of green vehicles. The companies want to select startups with technological capabilities to help the development of future non-polluting vehicles through the competition, called "EV and Battery Challenge."
Automakers are making massive investments in zero-emission and self-driving technology as they look to move away from traditional internal combustion engines.
Hyundai Motor Group, which includes Hyundai Motor Co. and sister company Kia Motors Corp., has said it plans to deploy 44 eco-friendly vehicles by 2025, including 23 EVs.
Earlier this year, LG Chem was chosen as one of the battery suppliers for Hyundai Motor Group's new EVs.
Applications for the competition are open through Aug. 28. "Start-ups that have working prototypes and are building technologies in EV charging and fleet management, power electronics and components...are strongly encouraged to participate," the companies said.
Hyundai and LG Chem also are considering establishing an EV battery cell manufacturing joint venture in Indonesia, a person with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters on Tuesday.
The size of investment or capacity have not been decided, said the person, declining to be identified as discussions are private.
Detroit automakers dominated J.D. Power’s marquee study of new-vehicle quality for the first time, with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV’s Dodge becoming the first domestic brand to lead the rankings in 34 years. Dodge and Kia Motors Corp.’s namesake brand tied for first place with consumers reporting the fewest problems with their vehicles in J.D. Power’s Initial Quality Study. General Motors Co.’s Chevrolet and Fiat Chrysler’s Ram tied for third place in the survey, which ranks brands and models by how many problems car buyers report having during the first 90 days of ownership.
The race for autonomous driving is on and today NVIDIA and Mercedes-Benz are announcing an agreement to advance the entire fleet of the German Automaker’s premium vehicles, with AI-enabled technology powered by NVIDIA’s autonomous vehicle compute platforms. Specifically, Mercedes-Benz will be employing NVIDIA’s new DRIVE platform technologies as standard equipment in all vehicles, starting in 2024.
Toyota Motor Corp holds a $293 million stake in Uber Technologies, as it partners with the ride-hailing company to further expand into new mobility services, Toyota’s latest corporate governance report released on Wednesday showed. The Japanese automaker has also unloaded shares in some of its suppliers, adjusting its portfolio to reflect partnerships with rival automakers and technology firms as it transforms into a mobility services company, the report showed.
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