There’s good news this morning for Fiat Chrysler worker in the United States, and it’s also good news for members of the Trump administration. The automaker has announced plans to sink another $1 billion into its Warren Truck Assembly plant and bring production of its Ram Heavy Duty models to Michigan from Saltillo, Mexico. At the same time, some 60,000 hourly and salaried workers in the U.S. can expect a $2,000 bonus (paid in the second quarter of 2018) in recognition of “their continued efforts towards the success of the company.” The move also means 2,500 previously unannounced jobs for Michigan. What’s behind all of this sudden goodwill? Recent changes to the country’s tax landscape, FCA claims. “It is only proper that our employees share in the savings generated by tax reform and that we openly acknowledge the resulting improvement in the U.S. business environment by investing in our industrial footprint accordingly,” … [Read more...] about Fiat Chrysler to Bring Heavy Duty Pickup Production Back to U.S., Shower Workers With Cash
Trucks and SUVs may be selling like hotcakes, but according to the latest report from the Environmental Protection Agency, when using real-world figures, average fuel economy in the U.S. actually hit a new high in 2016, the most recent year on record. Reuters reports that the U.S. car and truck fleet averaged 24.7 mpg in total, up 0.1 miles per gallon over 2015. Based on current projections, 2017 is expected to set an even more significant record, hitting an average of 25.2 mpg.The improvement between 2015 and 2016 was significantly lower than the 1 mpg increase the previous administration’s rules had called for, but thanks to low oil prices, there’s been little to deter consumers from buying the trucks and SUVs they prefer. Back in March, the Trump administration ordered a review of Obama-era fuel economy regulations and is considering revising them. But environmental advocates and states like California have pushed back against those potential changes. The … [Read more...] about Average Fuel Economy in the U.S. Rises to 24.7 MPG
Mazda is studying the potential of offering all-wheel-drive sedans eventually. But such a product may come sooner than expected, if this website from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is any indication. While searching for 2018 Mazda6 crash test ratings on the site, we found results for both front- and all-wheel-drive versions. Both cars receive an overall five-star rating.Recently, Mazda’s North America CEO Masahiro Moro opened up to CarAdvice on this subject. He indicated there’s a layout issue that would prevent combining the new 2.5-liter turbocharged engine in the Mazda6 with all-wheel drive.However, he also noted there is plenty of demand for all-wheel drive cars in the U.S. “Four-wheel drive becomes a premium cue for U.S. consumers, and obviously, I have asked our R&D department to think about how we can accommodate four-wheel drive capability in the future,” he said.The 2018 Mazda6 goes on sale this spring, but will it … [Read more...] about Will the 2018 Mazda6 Offer All-Wheel Drive in the U.S.?
It’s odd that distinctly British popular music dried up around the time the last vestiges of British Leyland disappeared from the nation. Rover Group bit the dust at the turn of the century, with its associated nameplates finding new homes in unlikely places.Perhaps we have cumbersome, money-losing car conglomerates to thank for New Wave and Britpop. Maybe the Spice Girls killed everything. Who knows.Jaguar and Land Rover, having once shared the same BL umbrella, were already orphans by that time, ultimately finding each other again thanks to the temporary love of foster parent Ford. Now owned by India’s Tata Motors and nowhere near as financially dodgy, Jaguar Land Rover is on a product tear. It’s these new models you can thank for the automaker’s record sales year in 2017 — both globally and in the United States.Don’t thank traditional sedans.Globally, JLR’s 2017 volume surpassed 2016 — another record year — by 7 … [Read more...] about British Invasion, Part 2: Jaguar Land Rover Sales Soar in U.S., No Thanks to Cars
The Ford EcoSport became the first vehicle made in India to be sold in the U.S. when it quietly went on sale this month, arriving a little late to the subcompact crossover party. The nameplate has been around since 2003 and the current one has been on sale since 2014 -- it's hardly new -- and this Fiesta-based CUV has been a hit in many world markets. The decision to offer the EcoSport was sparked by the unexpected surge in demand for compact crossovers more than five years ago.Powered by a choice of a 1.0-liter turbocharged three-cylinder producing 123 hp and 125 lb-ft of torque driving the front wheels or a 2.0-liter four-cylinder good for 166 hp and 149 lb-ft of torque driving all four wheels, each paired with a six-speed automatic transmission, the EcoSport is offered in four trim levels with a starting price of $20,990 for the base S trim. Standard features on the base trim include a 4.2-inch infotainment screen and 16-inch aluminum wheels, among other items. The top SES trim … [Read more...] about Ford EcoSport becomes first Indian import to be sold in the U.S.