Tag: Assembly

By on April 26, 2019

General Motors has officially announced that the Chevrolet Corvette will continue production in Bowling Green, KY after it transitions into a mid-engined car. The automaker will add 400 new jobs and a second shift to support production of the new model, bringing the factory’s workforce to more than 1,300 individuals.

However, the Corvette news — such as it is — doesn’t end there. The vehicle’s factory-sanctioned Facebook page also revealed the car’s new logo on Friday.  (Find Out…)

By on February 19, 2019

Image: 2017 Honda Civic Type R

The sole production site of the Honda Civic Hatchback and Type R will close by the end of 2021, Honda told UK employees on Tuesday.

Honda’s Swindon facility, built on the site of a former WW2 aircraft factory, began building Accords for the UK and European markets in 1992, adding the popular Civic to the mix two years later. Amid a turbulent time for trade and auto sales, Honda plans to shutter the facility, throwing 3,500 employees out of work and leaving the future of the Civic Hatch and its variants in question. (Find Out…)

By on December 5, 2018

Months of speculation fueled by the increasingly chummy relationship between Ford and Volkswagen has given way to new possibilities. The two partners, who signed a Memorandum of Understanding earlier this year, might leap further into bed than initially thought.

To hear VW CEO Herbert Diess tell it, the two automakers might soon share American assembly space. And can Tennessee expect a new plant? It’s on the table. (Find Out…)

By on October 9, 2018

The Texas plant producing General Motors’ body-on-frame SUVs is clean and green, even if the vehicles it builds are anything but Prius-like.

In August, the 43 turbines of Southern Power’s 148 MW Cactus Flats Wind Facility became operational in Concho County, Texas. GM, along with General Mills (the tastier GM) both have contracts to purchase power from the facility — in GM’s case, some 50 MW of it per year. That means it can now claim its Arlington, Texas assembly plant is 100 percent powered by renewable energy. The Environmental Protection Agency just placed GM at No. 76 on its list of the country’s largest green power users.

It’s amazing the kind of tree-hugging press one can get for a factory that essentially builds dinosaurs. (Find Out…)

By on September 27, 2018

Tesla Model 3, Image: Tesla

When Tesla Motors began production of its Model 3 sedan, CEO Elon Musk announced the firm was entering into a kind of “production hell.” He probably didn’t realize just how accurate a statement that would turn out to be. Already contending with a backlog of orders for the Model 3, Tesla simply couldn’t meet the volume targets it set for itself over the last year. It’s now bending over backwards to finish the quarter strong and prove to investors it is capable of turning a profit.

The automaker frequently referenced production bottlenecks as the culprit for the Model 3’s delay. Panasonic, the sole battery supplier for the vehicle, appears to be taking ownership of the issue. “The bottleneck for Model 3 production has been our batteries,” Yoshio Ito, Executive Vice President of Panasonic, said on Tuesday. “They just want us to make as many as possible.”  (Find Out…)

By on August 8, 2018

You have to wonder if Donald Frey and Lee Iacocca knew what they had when the first Ford Mustang rolled off the assembly line in 1964. Despite having a storied career of dramatic highs and lows, the model has been an overwhelming success, standing the test of time. This week, Michigan’s Flat Rock Assembly is celebrating that history after finishing production on the 10 millionth Mustang to grace this planet.

While this represents a grand achievement for a vehicle that’s undoubtedly an American icon, its sales volume is nothing compared to the mighty Toyota Corolla — which has sold 43 million units worldwide. Still, 10 million cars is incredibly good for any model and exceptional for a performance model. In fact, the Mustang is the best-selling sports car in history and has been for years. For the sake of comparison, Chevrolet has built roughly 5.5 million examples of the Camaro since its introduction in 1966.  (Find Out…)

By on July 17, 2018

The phrase “Nisan just built its one-millionth Juke” would probably be the first question on a Voight-Kampff test for automotive lovers residing in North America. The information is totally incompatible with everything you thought you understood about the world around you, and processing it begins scrambling your brain as you frantically hunt for an escape from it. An open window? The sweet release of death?

Relax. While the news is scary and difficult to comprehend, don’t forget that there is an entire world out there with a populace that’s not subject to the same predilections as ours. The Juke may have been too funky to become a massive hit in the United States and Canada, but it had a few good years and Nissan planted seeds all across the globe.

Japanese sales of the model almost matched the U.S., despite having a comparatively minuscule population. Volume also exceeded expectations in Europe, and China has a weird luxury version of the Juke called the Infiniti ESQ. But it wasn’t a good fit for North America and sales suffered as a result, forcing Nissan to call in the Kicks as the Juke’s successor after annual deliveries started plunging a few years ago.  (Find Out…)

By on July 5, 2018

FCA Brampton Assembly Line Challenger & 300 - Image: FCA

For two brands steeped in Americana, Chrysler and Dodge sure seem to love Canada. Two Ontario plants continue cranking out Grand Caravans, Challengers, Chargers, 300s, and Pacificas, even as the 9,600-strong workforce in Windsor and Brampton grow leery of the future.

It’s not just the complete lack of interest Fiat Chrysler displayed in those particular brands during last month’s five-year plan unveiling; it’s also the threat of import tariffs on foreign-made vehicles that could very well sink across-the-border manufacturing.

Nah, it’s all good, says Jerry Diaz, president of the union representing Detroit Three autoworkers in the Great White North. (Find Out…)

By on July 1, 2018

It finally happened. Tesla Motors reached its goal of 5,000 units per week for the Model 3. After numerous production setbacks and timeline adjustments, the automaker reset its target for the end of the second quarter and appears to have pulled it off just five hours after the deadline passed.

With Tesla having extended its assembly line beyond the confines of the Fremont facility’s interior, it’s unclear if the company can maintain this level of production over the coming months. But, with steady progress having been made and the second-quarter goal hit, we at least know it’s theoretically possible — and that should please investors and consumers alike. (Find Out…)

By on June 25, 2018

The new Chevrolet Blazer is the hot-ticket auto creating the most buzz right now, but it’s also generating mild controversy. Many who remember the original were more than a little disappointed seeing the name affixed to a unibody crossover with front-drive origins. While mainstream shoppers aren’t likely to mind, former Blazer owners aren’t thrilled with General Motors’ decision.

It’s probably more financially viable for the automaker to do it this way. GM can definitely serve most customers for less money. But you get the sense that they’ve watered down the automotive broth to stretch the C1XX platform as far as it will go. At least it means more jobs for Americans, though, right? Well, not exactly.  (Find Out…)

By on June 18, 2018

A strong earthquake shook western Japan on Monday morning. The 6.1-magnitude quake destroyed property, left tens of thousands without power, stranded commuters, and disrupted Osaka’s industrial sector. Honda, Mitsubishi Motors, and Toyota’s Daihatsu unit all have production facilities in the area and were forced to shut down temporarily.

While Daihatsu remained confident its facilities could be reopened later in the day, Honda’s Suzuka factory in the Mie prefecture is one of the oldest plants on its roster. Despite being modernized over the years, it might not have been able to withstand the vibrations as well as newer facilities. The company said it would remain shuttered as employees perform safety and spot checks.  (Find Out…)

By on June 15, 2018

Despite the negative stigma long associated with Chinese-built goods, we’ve grown used to — if not accepting of — the idea that some of our domestic vehicles might originate from a Chinese assembly plant. The Cadillac CT6 Plug-in, for example, hails from the Orient, as does all versions of the Buick Envision crossover. Volvo S90s sold in the U.S. also call China their birthplace.

Now, according to a 2019 model year VIN decoder document sent to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration from General Motors, there’s two additional models that might carry Chinese heritage. Keep a lookout for a VIN starting with “L.” (Find Out…)

By on April 2, 2018

Image: VW of America

Volkswagen’s Atlas Tanoak concept was one of the few interesting products to emerge from last week’s New York auto show, but the Atlas-based pickup remains a one-off for now. The automaker plans to judge consumer interest before making a decision to scrap the idea or sign off on a production version. Naturally, with VW staking it’s U.S. fortunes on light trucks, the volume-seeking company would like to get as much mileage out of its Atlas architecture as possible. See the two-row  Atlas Cross Sport for Exhibit B.

But does the Tanoak’s future hinge on Americans expressing an overwhelming desire for a VW truck? Not entirely. (Find Out…)

By on November 10, 2017

Exoskeleton Technology Pilot

It might not allow Ford line workers to lift 100 tons like Iron Man, but new tech being trialed at Ford might prevent serious injury on the job.

Called EksoVest, the wearable technology elevates and supports a worker’s arms while performing overhead tasks. It’s the latest example of advanced technology showing up on assembly lines to reduce the physical toll on employees.

(Find Out…)

By on October 27, 2017

infiniti nissan factory japan

Japan appears to be having a problem with its quality control. Nissan Group is conducting updated inspection procedures after details emerged that it allowed uncertified employees to conduct final vehicle checks. However, the Japanese government continues to find issues with the automaker’s practices, forcing it to temporarily suspend new vehicle registrations.

Early reports from an external investigation commissioned by Nissan suggest the certification problem may have begun in 1979.

Subaru faces a similar plight. With Nissan’s inspection issue looming larger than anticipated, Subaru has admitted to following improper procedures for its domestic products. On Friday, the carmaker said final inspections at its main plant have occasionally been handled by employees not listed as certified technicians. The problem has persisted for more than 30 years, according to the manufacturer.  (Find Out…)

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