I’ve been buried in projects lately and have cut back on blogging at least as it pertains to adding fresh content to this site. I’d much rather blog on fewer days then to have to blog every day and in a rushed manner.
That being said, the news in the vital auto industry continues to be of big importance, including what the federal government has planned for General Motors and Chrysler, two companies who are asking for additional help from taxpayers.
Among the stories I’m following or have covered recently include:
- James E. Harbour’s Factory Man book is out, a book authored by someone who has a long history of working in the auto industry. After many years of working for Ford and Chrysler, Harbour became an automotive consultant and was credited with helping the U.S. car makers adopt Toyota manufacturing procedures beginning in the early 1980s. I read the book and posted my review on The Auto Writer yesterday.
- AT&T announced this week that the company would begin to replace as many as 15,000 vehicles over the next ten years with environmentally friendly models. Stating that the Ford Motor Company would be the chief beneficiary of its plans, AT&T says that Ford will build a number of vehicles that will run on compressed natural gas (CNG) as well as hybrid and pure electric models.
- Speaking of Ford, the automaker says that its recently revised labor deal with the United Auto Workers will save the company approximately $500 million annually beginning in 2010. Ford says that they’ll still manage to realize about three quarters of that amount saved for the remainder of 2009. Ford will also be allowed to pay up to half of its $6.5 billion health fund obligation in common stock.
- GM’s financial woes mean that the company has to decide which programs in the planning stages go forward, which ones are cut and which programs will be shelved. The automaker has decided that its 4.5L DURAMAX V-8 diesel, which was to go into production next fall, will have to wait. GM may still build the engine, but they haven’t ruled out the option of selling patent rights to another manufacturer.
Next week, GM will be rolling out the Chevrolet Camaro, a Monday introduction the automaker needs to stimulate interest as well as to build brand support. These are tough times for the beleagured industry, but I aim to continue to focus as much as possible on what is positive.