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Ford restart postponed indefinitely; GM says situation 'fluid' as COVID-19 stalls industry

Automotive / Automotive News /

DETROIT -- Ford confirmed Tuesday that it plans to again postpone restarting its automobile production in North America "to help protect its workers" with no restart date scheduled.

The decision comes after news that a third UAW worker employed by Ford and diagnosed with the novel coronavirus has died, this time from the Dearborn Diversified ...Read more

Oil prices dip amid pandemic and price war, could go negative

Automotive / Automotive News /

Gas is cheap in most places around the US as of late, and it's not just because of curtailed demand due to the coronavirus. Just as the virus spread to numerous parts of the world, Saudi Arabia began to cut prices and set off a price war against Russia.

Now, oil prices are falling at a rapid rate. Paul Sankey, managing director at Mizuho ...Read more

Motormouth: Locking car with motor running: A problem for manufacturers to tackle?

Automotive / Automotive News /

Q: I find it strange that I can get out of my car and lock it while it still is running. This is a safety factor. I have stated this to GM, but have heard nothing. My car is a Buick Encore. What do you think?

-- C.L., Chicago

A: Yes, it is indeed a safety factor. If you park in an attached garage and forget to turn off the engine, your home ...Read more

Under the Hood: Replacing transmission is overreaction to diagnostic trouble code

Automotive / Automotive News /

Q: I just read your column responding to a question about ignoring a check engine warning light. I have a 2004 Lexus ES330 that had a check engine warning light. After a couple of weeks I was able to take the car to a shop and they said that the diagnostic test revealed a P0741 code, indicating a torque converter clutch circuit performance stuck...Read more

Auto review: Cadillac CT5-V sport sedan arrives as 2020's most pleasant surprise

Automotive / Automotive News /

It'd be easy to overlook the 2020 Cadillac CT5-V. Easy, but a mistake. The new sport sedan is one of 2020's most pleasant surprises, graced with comfort, handling, advanced features and attractive prices.

Through no fault of the car's, the new sport sedan's introduction has lurched from one disaster to another: The 40-day strike against General...Read more

GM salaried workforce must defer pay due to coronavirus impact

Automotive / Automotive News /

DETROIT -- General Motors CEO Mary Barra will take home one-third less in compensation for at least six months.

GM's 69,000 other salaried workers will defer 20% of their cash compensation for six months, the company said Thursday.

The pay cuts, albeit temporary, start April 1. They are intended to help the automaker get through the ...Read more

Fiat Chrysler plans April 14 production restart

Automotive / Automotive News /

DETROIT -- Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, which has seen at least three workers die in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak, plans to restart production April 14.

The company, in a news release Thursday on the restart date, said it is taking "important steps to help flatten the curve of the spread of COVID-19, and put the health and safety of our ...Read more

Ford, FCA issue restart dates for some US plants

Automotive / Automotive News /

Ford, Fiat Chrysler, Honda and Toyota took steps Thursday to restart North American factories that have been closed to protect workers from the coronavirus.

The plants would reopen in early or mid-April, restoring the largest source of cash for automakers that generally book revenue when they ship vehicles to dealerships.

Ford is aiming to ...Read more

Auto giants across the globe warned of coming 'credit shock'

Automotive / Automotive News /

BMW AG, Ford Motor Co. and Toyota Motor Corp. were downgraded by Moody's Investors Service and their major European, U.S. and Japanese competitors were put under review for possible cuts as the coronavirus pandemic raises risks for automakers worldwide.

BMW, the European carmaker with the best credit profile, was dropped one level to A2, while ...Read more

Auto suppliers fret financial ruin as GM, Ford and FCA grind to a halt

Automotive / Automotive News /

On March 18, at about 4:30 p.m., the employees at auto supplier Dana Inc. in Warren, Mich., received an unsettling text message from management.

The text, obtained by the Free Press read, "We are well aware of the Ford, FCA and General Motors announcement," referring to the Detroit Three's decision earlier that day to temporary shutdown all ...Read more

GM is about to stockpile $16B in cash amid uncertainty, coronavirus outbreak

Automotive / Automotive News /

DETROIT -- General Motors is stockpiling as much cash as it can to guard against the uncertain fallout from the coronavirus pandemic and will consider other measures including continued payment of its dividend as it evaluates market conditions.

The automaker said Tuesday it will draw $16 billion from its revolving credit facilities as a ...Read more

Roadshow: Hyundai, Genesis to help customers laid off during pandemic

Automotive / Automotive News /

Hyundai and Genesis will do their part and provide some reassurance to new car owners amid the coronavirus pandemic. Both brands announced they'll roll out an assurance job loss protection program designed to help owners who may feel the economic impacts of the coronavirus.

Both brands have announced that Hyundai and Genesis owners who made ...Read more

GM, Ford and FCA fight for customers with increased service and deals

Automotive / Automotive News /

Emergency room nurse Adam Blanton doesn't have any extra time to drive 90 minutes to the car dealership, especially during a public health crisis.

Blanton is also a volunteer firefighter and U.S. Army reservist. So Blanton, 32, was thrilled to get his 2020 Chrysler Pacifica minivan delivered to him on a flatbed truck Thursday afternoon.

"My ...Read more

UAW and GM agree to run parts distribution centers with paid volunteers only

Automotive / Automotive News /

The UAW and General Motors have settled the fate of their parts distribution centers as anxious workers at the facilities fretted over having to show up during the coronavirus pandemic.

Two people familiar with the matter said the UAW and GM agreed Friday morning to shut down all U.S. parts distribution centers at the end of business Friday.

...Read more

Auto review: Honda CR-V hybrid boosts mpg, offers smooth performance

Automotive / Automotive News /

TUCSON -- The Honda CR-V is all grown up. The unassuming little model that confused many buyers when it debuted in 1997 with less off-road or towing capacity than other SUVs is now effectively Honda's flagship. The CR-V outsold the Accord midsize sedan by 116,601 last year, and a loaded hybrid Touring model stickers at $35,950, a cool $660 above...Read more

Ford dividend cut a sign of more coronavirus troubles ahead

Automotive / Automotive News /

Ford Motor did what anyone would do when staring at a dramatic loss in cash flow. It took a step back and aimed to keep as much money in its pocket as possible.

Ford announced Thursday that, among other moves, it would suspend its quarterly dividend payments to shareholders. The dividend represents an annual cost of $2.4 billion to the Dearborn...Read more

J.D. Power: Coronavirus could drop vehicle sales by 3M, but industry can recover

Automotive / Automotive News /

The impact of the coronavirus could mean millions of fewer vehicles sold this year than earlier projections.

But a new report from J.D. Power says the industry can recover, although any recovery will be influenced by a "highly uncertain" post-virus economic environment as well as any potential government stimulus and whether automakers offer ...Read more

Tesla will suspend car production to comply with coronavirus lockdown

Automotive / Automotive News /

Tesla will temporarily end production at its Fremont, Calif., assembly plant beginning March 23 to comply with San Francisco Bay Area restrictions amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The company made the announcement Thursday after days of controversy as Chief Executive Elon Musk kept the plant running full-tilt despite shelter-in-place lockdown ...Read more

Tesla tells workers to report to factory, cites 'conflicting' coronavirus orders

Automotive / Automotive News /

Tesla, citing "conflicting guidance from different levels of government" on how to handle the coronavirus pandemic, on Wednesday ordered production employees at its Fremont, Calif., car-manufacturing plant to continue coming to work.

In an email sent at 8:49 a.m., Tesla human resources head Valerie Capers Workman said, "There are no changes in ...Read more

UAW to ask Detroit automakers to reconsider shutting down US plants amid coronavirus

Automotive / Automotive News /

The UAW is asking the Detroit Three to reconsider shutting down U.S. factories as a precaution against coronavirus.

The UAW's demand for another meeting, expected to start at noon Wednesday, comes on the news that Honda North America said it would suspend production at all of its plants in North America for six days starting March 23.

Likewise...Read more