Ford http://michiganradio.org en While Detroit is going bust, the US auto industry is booming http://michiganradio.org/post/while-detroit-going-bust-us-auto-industry-booming <p>There is no small touch of irony in the fact that as Detroit filed for bankruptcy, the U.S. car makers are enjoying boom times. Sales for the Big Three in July were the highest in seven years. GM, Ford and Chrysler are adding shifts and hiring workers. Good times.</p><p>But not for the city that gave birth to what we know as the U.S. auto industry.</p><p>Tom Walsh, business columnist for the Detroit Free Press, and Sonari Glinton, National Desk Reporter from NPR who has covered transportation and the auto industry, joined us today.</p><p> Wed, 04 Sep 2013 21:09:10 +0000 Stateside Staff 14265 at http://michiganradio.org While Detroit is going bust, the US auto industry is booming $5 campaign tries to restore original Model T plant http://michiganradio.org/post/5-campaign-tries-restore-original-model-t-plant <p>A new campaign is underway to try and save the original Model T plant in Highland Park. The Woodward Avenue Action Association launched an online fundraising drive asking supporters to pledge five dollars to turn the old assembly line into a museum and visitor's center.</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Five dollars was the daily wage Henry Ford paid his workers so they could afford to buy the car they made.</span></p><p>Deborah Schutt with the Woodward Avenue Action Association says the Model T factory is an important piece of Michigan history. Schutt wants to use National Archives footage of the plant in action to remind visitors of the state's automotive heritage.</p><p>"This is where Henry Ford instituted the five dollars a day wage," she said. "What that allowed them to do is actually purchase what it is that they produced, which had a profound effect and really launched the middle class in America."</p><p> Tue, 20 Aug 2013 15:45:24 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 14064 at http://michiganradio.org $5 campaign tries to restore original Model T plant Ford pays gov't $17.35 million fine to settle recall spat http://michiganradio.org/post/ford-pays-govt-1735-million-fine-settle-recall-spat <p><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); line-height: normal; font-family: arial; font-size: small;">DETROIT (AP) - Ford says it has paid the government $17.35 million to settle a dispute over allegations that Ford delayed a safety recall.</span><br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); line-height: normal; font-family: arial; font-size: small;"><br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); line-height: normal; font-family: arial; font-size: small;"><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); line-height: normal; font-family: arial; font-size: small;">The company says it paid the fine to avoid a lengthy dispute with th Thu, 01 Aug 2013 15:21:11 +0000 The Associated Press 13788 at http://michiganradio.org Ford pays gov't $17.35 million fine to settle recall spat New book gives behind-the-scenes look at big automakers http://michiganradio.org/post/new-book-gives-behind-scenes-look-big-automakers <p>While Detroit embarks on the beginning days of its bankruptcy, the city’s Big Three automakers are reemerging from their own financial crises. It was four years ago that GM and Chrysler filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.</p><p>And as this month marks the 150th year after Henry Ford’s birth, we take a look at what it takes to run a big auto company, and the future of Michigan’s automakers.</p><p>Bob Lutz has held top positions at GM, Ford, Chrysler, and BMW. His most recent position was that of Vice Chairman of GM from 2001 to 2010.</p><p>His newest book gives us a behind-the-scenes look at the bosses Bob Lutz has worked for, some of the most legendary names in auto history. It's called <em>Icons and Idiots</em>, out from Portfolio/Penguin.</p><p>Bob Lutz joined us today to talk about his book. &nbsp;</p><p><em>Listen to the full interview above.</em></p><p> Mon, 29 Jul 2013 21:00:09 +0000 Stateside Staff 13735 at http://michiganradio.org New book gives behind-the-scenes look at big automakers July auto sales are expected to be very good http://michiganradio.org/post/july-auto-sales-are-expected-be-very-good <p>Analysts are expecting a robust month for auto sales.</p><p></p><p>Jesse Toprak is an analyst with TrueCar.com.&nbsp; He says July sales were good across all categories.</p><p></p><p>“But two extreme segments stand out, we see very high demand for small cars and small SUVS, and a very healthy demand for large pickup trucks,” says Toprak.</p><p></p><p>Toprak says the increase in pickup sales is being driven by small business owners, and an uptick in home renovations.</p><p></p> Mon, 29 Jul 2013 07:18:00 +0000 Tracy Samilton 13725 at http://michiganradio.org July auto sales are expected to be very good Henry Ford at 150 http://michiganradio.org/post/henry-ford-150 <p>Ford Motor Company celebrates the 150th anniversary of the birth of Henry Ford this week.</p><p></p><p>Bill Ford, Jr. is Henry Ford's great-grandson, and Executive Chairman of the company</p><p></p><p>Ford says the founder would have been pleased that his company is still a family business, 150 years later.</p><p></p><p>“I know Henry Ford would have been incredibly proud of the way his grandchildren led the company through the most difficult times,” says Ford</p><p></p><p>Ford Motor Company took out a $24 billion loan in 2006, using its trademark blue oval as part of the collateral.</p> Mon, 29 Jul 2013 04:11:00 +0000 Tracy Samilton 13724 at http://michiganradio.org Henry Ford at 150 Ford, Toyota end collaboration on hybrid trucks http://michiganradio.org/post/ford-toyota-end-collaboration-hybrid-trucks <div><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;">DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) -&nbsp;</span><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;">Ford and Toyota are ending joint research into hybrid systems for trucks and SUVs.&nbsp;</span><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;">The companies said Tuesday that they will each develop the systems independently.</span><br><br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;"><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;">Ford and Toyota agreed to the partnership two years ago after the CEOs of both companies met by chance in an airport. Engineers talked frequently and paid visits to each other's labs.</span><br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;"><br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;"><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;">But Ford product development chief Raj Nair said both companies need to focus on finishing development and putting the systems into vehicles. Ford wants to offer hybrid trucks and SUVs by the end of the decade.</span><br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;"><br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;"><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;">There is currently no full gas-electric hybrid system on the market for rear-wheel-drive vehicles like trucks. The hybrid systems in Ford and Toyota cars are made for front-wheel-drive vehicles and don't have enough power for trucks.</span></div><div>&nbsp;</div><p> Tue, 23 Jul 2013 20:46:05 +0000 The Associated Press 13661 at http://michiganradio.org Ford, Toyota end collaboration on hybrid trucks Federal agency investigating Ford pickups for engine issue http://michiganradio.org/post/federal-agency-investigating-ford-pickups-engine-issue <p>DETROIT (AP) - The federal government is investigating Ford F-150 pickups with EcoBoost engines after drivers reported that the engines lost power during acceleration.<br><br>The government estimates around 400,000 F-150 pickups from the 2011 through 2013 model years are involved.<br><br>The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has received 95 reports of engines losing power during hard acceleration, such as when passing. The incidents often occurred in rainy or humid weather. NHTSA has no reports of crashes or injuries.<br> Sun, 26 May 2013 20:15:00 +0000 The Associated Press 12750 at http://michiganradio.org Federal agency investigating Ford pickups for engine issue Why automakers' claims of 'my truck pulls more than your truck' here to stay, for awhile at least http://michiganradio.org/post/why-automakers-claims-my-truck-pulls-more-your-truck-here-stay-awhile-least <p>U.S. automakers have finally agreed on a uniform standard to determine the towing capacity of a pickup truck, veteran&nbsp;auto journalist Bill Visnic&nbsp;tells us in his <a href="http://www.edmunds.com/car-reviews/features/no-go-for-standardized-tow-ratings.html">article</a>&nbsp;in Edmunds.com.</p><p>Except, now that they've created it, automakers are backing away from actually using it.</p> Thu, 23 May 2013 20:09:30 +0000 Tracy Samilton 12714 at http://michiganradio.org Why automakers' claims of 'my truck pulls more than your truck' here to stay, for awhile at least In this morning's news: Lansing debating surplus, hospital merger sacked, carmakers won't shutdown http://michiganradio.org/post/mornings-news-lansing-debating-surplus-hospital-merger-sacked-carmakers-wont-shutdown <p><strong>Policymakers debate how to spend surplus </strong></p><p>The debate continues in Lansing over how the state should spend almost half a billion dollars in unexpected revenue this year. The Michigan League for Public Policy believes that because the state’s Earned Income Tax Credit is less than a third of what it was a couple years ago, legislators should restore the credit for the working poor.</p><p>"A spokesperson for state House Democrats says they support the idea of using some of the money to restore the Earned Income Tax Credit. However, Governor Rick Snyder says a similar tax credit from the federal government does enough to help working poor families in Michigan. He wants to use the extra cash to fix roads," Michigan Radio's Jake Neher reports.</p><p><strong>Merger between Beaumont and Henry Ford sacked</strong></p><p>The planned merger between Beaumont and Henry Ford health systems, two of southeast Michigan’s largest health care providers, has been scrapped. The leaders of each hospital signed a letter of intent to merge last fall, but negotiations didn’t work out so well. On Tuesday, Henry Ford CEO Nancy Schlichting sent a letter to employees, indicating they’ll end talks and let the agreement expire.</p><p>“It became apparent that two very different perspectives have emerged for the new organization between Henry Ford and Beaumont,” Schlichting wrote. Michigan Radio's Sarah Cwiek has <a href="http://www.michiganradio.org/post/henry-ford-beaumont-health-care-systems-call-mega-merger">more</a>.</p><p><strong>Rising car sales cut plant shutdowns</strong></p><p>Summer vacation will be cut short for auto factory workers in Michigan this year, as carmakers try to keep up with heightened demand. Detroit automakers plan to reduce their annual shutdowns at dozens of North American plants that produce popular Ford and Chrysler models.</p><p>“This sends a strong signal that the industry is in a healthy place,” Jeff Schuster, senior vice president of forecasting at market researcher LMC Automotive, told <a href="http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20130522/AUTO01/305220011/Rising-car-sales-shrink-annual-summer-plant-shutdowns-Detroit-s-Big-Three?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE">The Detroit News</a>.</p><p> Wed, 22 May 2013 11:15:50 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 12675 at http://michiganradio.org In this morning's news: Lansing debating surplus, hospital merger sacked, carmakers won't shutdown Feds close probe into Ford SUVs rolling away http://michiganradio.org/post/feds-close-probe-ford-suvs-rolling-away <p>DETROIT (AP) - U.S. safety officials have closed an investigation into allegations that three Ford SUVs can roll away when the transmissions are in park.<br><br>The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says the probe involved about 1.5 million Ford Explorer, Mercury Mountaineer and Lincoln Aviator SUVS from the 2002 to 2005 model years.<br><br>The agency determined that failure rates weren't high enough to order a recall. The probe began in April 2009 and was closed last month. The safety agency found 36 complaints including 14 crashes and six injuries.<br><br>Investigators found that the park gear in the transmission failed only 4.4 times per 100,000 vehicles. A system that prevents the car from being shifted into gear unless the driver's foot is on the brake failed only 3.4 times per 100,000 SUVs. Fri, 08 Mar 2013 16:27:38 +0000 The Associated Press 11598 at http://michiganradio.org Feds close probe into Ford SUVs rolling away Ford, GM and Chrysler posted gains in February sales http://michiganradio.org/post/ford-gm-and-chrysler-posted-gains-february-sales <p></p><p>February was a good month for the Big 3.</p><p>The increase is a sign that U.S. auto sales remain strong even in an uneven economy.</p> Fri, 01 Mar 2013 22:23:28 +0000 The Associated Press 11494 at http://michiganradio.org Group questions MPG claims for turbo engines http://michiganradio.org/post/group-questions-mpg-claims-turbo-engines <p>Many of the claims for better fuel economy from new turbo-charged engines are more hype than reality, according to tests by Consumer Reports, the independent consumer advocacy group.</p><p>The agency tested a number of vehicles that offer regular four or eight cylinder engines, and compared them to the turbo-charged version.&nbsp; Turbo-charging is a technology that gets more power from a smaller engine with direct injection of extra spurts of air&nbsp;and fuel.</p> Tue, 05 Feb 2013 17:02:37 +0000 Tracy Samilton 11097 at http://michiganradio.org Group questions MPG claims for turbo engines Automakers report double-digit gains http://michiganradio.org/post/automakers-report-double-digit-gains <p>DETROIT (AP) -Last year's momentum in U.S. auto sales is continuing into this year.<br><br>Ford, Chrysler and GM are all reporting double-digit gains for January.<br><br>Sales at Ford rose 22 percent compared with a year earlier. GM and Chrysler each reported 16 percent gains.<br><br>Ford's sales rose on strong sales of pickup trucks and new vehicles.<br> Fri, 01 Feb 2013 21:58:06 +0000 The Associated Press 11056 at http://michiganradio.org Commentary: Forgetting our heritage http://michiganradio.org/post/commentary-forgetting-our-heritage <p>The North American International Auto Show will be starting at Detroit’s Cobo Center in a couple weeks, and anyone who cares about cars can go see virtually every new model in existence.</p><p>This has been an annual tradition for more than a century. But I’ve thought for a long time that we don’t do nearly enough to celebrate the amazing heritage of our signature industry.</p><p>Think about it. Motor vehicles, primarily cars, are what transformed Michigan from a farm state not all that different from Iowa into the industrial powerhouse that put the world on wheels.</p><p>That’s fascinating, and there are few of us whose lives are not connected to the auto industry in some way.&nbsp; But where do you go to learn about and celebrate that heritage? Sadly, fewer and fewer places.</p><p> Thu, 03 Jan 2013 15:37:11 +0000 Jack Lessenberry 10599 at http://michiganradio.org Commentary: Forgetting our heritage Ford promises $10 million investment in southwest Detroit http://michiganradio.org/post/ford-promises-10-million-investment-southwest-detroit <p>Ford is<a href="http://www.freep.com/article/20121218/NEWS01/121218060/ford-to-open-mexicantown-community-center?odyssey=tab|topnews|img|FRONTPAGE"> investing $10 million to boost community program</a>s in southwest Detroit.</p><p>The centerpiece of what the company calls “Operation Brighter Future” is the planned Ford Resource and Engagement Center, at the Mexicantown Mercado.</p> Wed, 19 Dec 2012 00:04:59 +0000 Sarah Cwiek 10433 at http://michiganradio.org Ford Fusion wins Green Car of Year at LA Show http://michiganradio.org/post/ford-fusion-wins-green-car-year-la-show <p>The Ford Fusion has won the <a href="http://media.prnewswire.com/en/jsp/myPRNJ.jsp?profileid=1106725&amp;resourceid=5936313">Green Car of the Year </a>award.</p><p>The award is given by the magazine Green Car Journal.</p><p>Ford also had another vehicle up for the award, the C-Max, a hybrid vehicle.&nbsp;</p><p>From the press release:</p><blockquote><p>The groundbreaking 2013 Ford Fusion not only significantly reduces petroleum use, CO2 emissions and overall environmental impact, but is priced to encourage the kind of sales volume that can truly influence environmental improvement</p></blockquote><p>The 2013 Fusion offers five engine choices,&nbsp;including two with "Ecoboost" technology,&nbsp;a 47 mpg hybrid, and a plug-in hybrid that's expected to top 100 mpg equivalent.</p><p>Other finalists included the Dodge Dart Aero, Mazda CX-5 SKYACTIV and the Toyota Prius c.</p><div><blockquote><p>A jury comprised of the nation's top environmental leaders including Natural Resources Defense Council president <span class="xn-person">Frances Beinecke</span>, Sierra Club executive director <span class="xn-person">Michael Brune</span>, Ocean Futures Society president Jean-Michel Cousteau, and Global Green <span class="xn-location">USA</span> president <span class="xn-person">Matt Petersen</span>, plus Tonight Show host and auto enthusiast <span class="xn-person">Jay Leno</span> and <i>Green Car Journal</i> staff select the 2013 Green Car of the Year through a majority vote. Thu, 29 Nov 2012 17:52:53 +0000 Tracy Samilton 10135 at http://michiganradio.org Ford Fusion wins Green Car of Year at LA Show Ford profits way up in North America, way down in Europe http://michiganradio.org/post/ford-profits-way-north-america-way-down-europe <p>Ford Motor Company's third quarter profit in North America was its biggest since at least 2000.</p><p>But the company's financial performance was dragged down by Europe, where a protracted recession has cripped car sales.</p><p>Ford lost $468 million in that region.</p><p>The company has a turnaround plan for Europe, and it's very similar to what Ford did to recover in North America:&nbsp; decisive downsizing, including closing plants, while at the same time investing heavily in future products.</p> Tue, 30 Oct 2012 18:16:12 +0000 Tracy Samilton 9695 at http://michiganradio.org Ford, GM move to stem losses in Europe http://michiganradio.org/post/ford-gm-move-stem-losses-europe <p align="LEFT">Both Ford and General Motors announced steps this week to reduce their losses in Europe.</p><p align="LEFT">The region is experiencing a disabling recession that's expected to last at least through 2015.</p><p align="LEFT">Car sales are abysmal in Europe, down more than 30-percent from normal demand.</p><p align="LEFT">Ford says it may lose a total of one billion dollars in the region for the entire year.</p><p align="LEFT">General Motors' losses might be more than that.</p> Wed, 24 Oct 2012 21:07:33 +0000 Tracy Samilton 9611 at http://michiganradio.org