May 2015

Study shows Volkswagen Chattanooga expansion could add 9,800 jobs

(May 28, 2015) HERNDON, Va.  — A University of Tennessee Center of Business and Economic Research (CBER) study released Wednesday indicates that the expansion of Volkswagen’s Chattanooga manufacturing facility to produce a new midsize-SUV and the opening of a North American Engineering and Planning Center could create approximately 9,800 jobs and add $370 million in additional annual income, once the plant is fully operational. 

Ford issues two safety recalls in North America involving 442,500 vehicles

(May 27, 2015) DEARBORN, Mich. — Ford has issued two safety recalls involving 442,500 vehicles in North America. The first recall involves about 423,000 2011-2013 Ford Taurus and Flex vehicles, Lincoln MKS and MKT vehicles, for certain 2011-2012 Ford Fusion and Lincoln MKZ vehicles, and for certain 2011 Mercury Milan vehicles in North America for potential issue with electric power steering.

Hyundai first automaker to launch Android Auto

(May 27, 2015) FOUNTAIN VALLEY, Calif. — Hyundai this week became the first car company to launch Android Auto on production vehicles. Android Auto is premiering on the 2015 Sonata with Navigation at dealerships nationwide, and will later become available on other Hyundai models.

“Android Auto aligns with Hyundai’s core interior design principles of safety, intuitiveness and simplicity,” said Dave Zuchowski, president and CEO, Hyundai Motor America.

GM to invest $1.2 billion in full-size truck plant

(May 27, 2015) FORT WAYNE, Ind. — General Motors is investing $1.2 billion in its full-size pickup truck plant for upgrades and technology that will improve the plant’s competitiveness in assembling high-quality light- and heavy-duty models.

Construction of the new pre-treat, electro-coat paint operation and sealing facility, expanded body shop, expanded and new material sequencing centers, and upgraded general assembly area is expected to begin in June and take several years to complete. Full-size truck production schedules will be unaffected by the construction.

Mazda CX-5 global production reaches one million units

(May 27, 2015) HIROSHIMA, Japan — Mazda announced Tuesday that cumulative production of the Mazda CX-5 surpassed one million units at the end of April 2015. Taking only three years and five months since production commenced in November 2011, the CX-5 is the second fastest Mazda model to reach the milestone one-million-unit mark, following the Mazda3 (known as Mazda Axela in Japan).

Ford brings dynamic car-sharing experiment to London

(May 26, 2015) LONDON — Ford will begin making its London-based GoDrive car-sharing service available to the public. Ford says the service offers flexible, practical and affordable access to a fleet of cars for one-way journeys with easy parking throughout the city.

BMW celebrates 40 years of BMW art cars

(May 26, 2015) MUNICH — The renowned BMW Art Car Collection celebrates its 40th anniversary this year. The celebrations got under way last week with exhibitions in Hong Kong, the Centre Pompidou, the BMW Museum and the Concorso d'Eleganza on Lake Como, where the first four BMW Art Cars by Alexander Calder, Frank Stella, Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol, plus the M3 GT2 created by Jeff Koons, were on display from May 22 to 24.

Further presentations are set to follow later this year in New York, Miami and Shanghai.

Bentley EXP 10 Speed 6 wins Italian design honors

(May 25, 2015) CREWE, England — A panel of expert judges at the world-renowned Concorso d’Eleganza Villa D’Este have presented Bentley’s EXP 10 Speed 6 with the ‘Design Award for Concept Cars & Prototypes’, following its appearance at the Italian classic and vintage car show this weekend.

New Pro Trailer Backup Assist available in 2015 Ford F-150

(May 25, 2015) DEARBORN, Mich. — Ford pioneers towing innovation again by introducing Pro Trailer Backup Assist for the 2016 Ford F-150 — a segment-first technology that makes the challenge of backing up a trailer easier than ever for both experts and infrequent towers alike.

Inside Uniroyal’s giant tire

By Christopher A. Sawyer
The Virtual Driver

(May 24, 2015) Most Detroiters, and many visitors to the area, have been past the giant Uniroyal tire on I-94 when going to, or coming from, Metropolitan Airport. Originally created for the 1964/1965 New York World’s Fair, the 80-foot high, 12-ton tire originally had capsule-shaped gondolas rotating around its circumference at the center of its “tread.”