The Detroit 3 automakers and their suppliers began restarting assembly lines on Monday after a two-month coronavirus lockdown in a slow revival of a sector that employs nearly 1 million people in the United States. The companies said there were no issues with absenteeism as the plants reopened. Staffing levels met or exceeded original expectations, the UAW said.
The industry is converging on a consensus that temperature screening, health questionnaires, assembly lines redesigned to keep workers apart, and masks and gloves can enable factories to operate safely.
The automaker is also suspending work on some vehicle programs and said salaried employees will recover lost earnings in a lump-sum payment within a year. Senior executives will see deeper pay cuts on top of the 20 percent deferment as the company scrambles to preserve cash.
Ford, General Motors, Fiat Chrysler, Honda, and Toyota said they would shut down all factories in the region, citing concerns for employees who work in close quarters building automobiles. Nissan will close U.S. factories. Hyundai shut down its Alabama plant after a worker tested positive for the virus.
While conversations between broadcasters and car makers are just starting, ATSC 3.0 proponents say that given the three-to-five-year build cycle of a typical new model it’s crucial to get 3.0 receiver chips into car makers’ design plans by next spring so they’re ready to roll in 2024, by which time next-gen stations will be broadcasting across the U.S.
Vehicle certification is among the functions halted by the nearly four-week partial shutdown of the federal government, meaning automakers could face delays in launching new and updated models if the impasse in Washington drags on.
Automakers are usually all about what’s new — new product, new technology, new brand image. But they’re also pragmatic businesses willing to milk profits out of what’s old. Which is why, for instance, Lincoln will keep building its slow-selling MKT crossover after its successor, the Aviator, arrives in showrooms next year.
If Santa puts a big red bow on a good number of vehicles in December, automakers will break the all-time record for annual sales. November U.S. auto sales were up 3.7% compared with a year ago, according to Autodata. General Motors and Ford both exceeded analysts’ expectations. Even Volkswagen Group had its first good month since the emissions scandal broke a year ago.
U.S. auto sales are on pace for the strongest November ever, four forecasters say, breaking the industry’s streak of three consecutive monthly declines and keeping open the possibility that 2016 can squeak ahead of last year’s record.
Automakers in the U.S. are ramping up holiday sales promotions ahead of Black Friday, aiming to clear out bulging inventories of unsold cars and dispel investor doubts about consumer demand.
Automakers are seizing on what they see as a fresh opportunity to recast the industry’s relationship with the U.S. government now that Donald Trump has been elected president.Goals include recasting how autos are regulated by the federal government and provide relief from regulatory friction that the group says drives up vehicle costs.
Toyota’s deal in January to acquire the remainder of Daihatsu Motor Co. for about $3.2 billion in stock may represent the dawn of a leaner Japanese auto industry, according to Jefferies Group analyst Takaki Nakanishi. By 2020, he sees the nation’s ranks of carmakers shrinking from the current eight to no more than three company groups, driven by the rising costs of competing to make cars cleaner, safer and more connected.
More automakers than ever will advertise in the Super Bowl this year. At least nine plan to air spots in the big game on Fox Sunday, including first-time Super Bowl advertiser Jaguar. It will mark the fourth straight year that auto has been the game’s biggest ad category
The midnight shift returns. At GM, nearly one in five U.S. hourly workers now clocks in close to midnight and goes home around sunrise.
General Motors Co. outsold Toyota Motor Corp. globally in the first six months to become the world’s largest automaker after the record March earthquake disrupted production in Japan. GM sales rose 8.9% to 4.536 million units in the half-year ended June 30, the Detroit-based automaker said yesterday. That compares with 4.13 million units at second-ranked Volkswagen and 3.71 million units for Toyota, including its luxury Lexus marque and affiliates Daihatsu Motor Co. and Hino Motors Ltd., according to statements by the companie
Chrysler was one of nine automakers that took advantage of advertising’s biggest and most expensive showcase, at $3 million for 30 seconds, to try to show they’re back after two tough years for the industry. A two-minute ad for Chrysler starring Eminem and a Volkswagen ad featuring a mini-Darth Vader that went viral before it even aired were two of the most talked-about spots during advertising’s big night.