TCC's Daily Edition: 8/29/01

August 29, 2001

FORD T-BIRD, LINCOLN LS PRODUCTION STILL ON HOLD
A shutdown that has idled production on Ford’s hottest image-maker—the new Thunderbird—as well as the Lincoln LS sedan lines has been extended into its third week. The shutdown, begun on August 15, was caused by problems with a hydraulic cooling fan on the 3.9-liter V-8 used in the T-Bird and the LS sedans. Ford spokesman Ed Lewis said that the decision on when to restart production at the Wixom, Michigan plant was being looked at on a "day-to-day" basis, but that at minimum the lines would remain shut down through end-of-day today.
Ford Cuts Jobs, Delays T-Bird by TCC Team (8/20/2001)

 

SILICON VALLEY, SWEDISH STYLE
A wide and varied group of Swedish automotive and information-technology companies has formed an cooperative organization to promote the high-tech and automotive talents clustered in the southwestern part of the country. Calling itself "Telematics Valley," the consortium is an information-sharing community based on the emerging technologies in wireless communications. Hint: It’s what makes OnStar work, and OnStar is just the tip of the iceberg. Some of the biggest swingers in the group include Saab, Volvo, Ericsson, IBM, Hewlett Packard, Oracle and WirelessCar. "Within the Goteborg region we have a unique situation with really strong players within the automotive and IT industries," said Leif Johansson, CEO of AB Volvo, "We now join forces to create state-of-the-art knowledge within the area of telematics, which is an area with great potential for the future."
Family Matters: GPS Safety by Carol Traeger (2/19/2001)
OnStar: Mobile Day Trading? by TCC Team (2/19/2001)
Telematics: Drivin' and Spying? by Frank Bohanan (1/28/2001)
The Digital Car by Eric Peters (11/20/2000)

 

U. S. STEEL DEVELOPS LIGHTER, STRONGER STEEL FOR CARS
An innovative new family of steels is going to make automobiles stronger, lighter and more fuel efficient in the very near future. Engineered by U. S. Steel, the Dual-Ten family of steels offers not only better crash protection than the current generation of high-strength/low-alloy (HSLA) steels, but also better formability in the design of complex components. The processes involved in making Dual-Ten steel can increase steel strength as much as 80% over virgin sheet steel, and it has been shown to absorb 20% more impact energy than HSLA50 steel. Dual-Ten’s added strength allows carmakers to use less steel in their models without giving up any occupant protection. Less steel means lighter cars. Hence, the improved fuel mileage.

 

NEW NHTSA CHIEF VOWS TO PLAY TOUGH
Jeffrey Runge, a one-time ER doctor, has pledged to come out swinging as the new head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. "People should not assume there will be some kind of easing," Runge announced recently, "If the [auto] industry won’t step up when there are defects, then we’ll issue a mandatory recall. We have support from the very highest levels on that issue." On the issue of traffic safety, Runge was even more adamant: "To have 41,000 dead each year is obscene. It doesn’t have to be that way."
Recall, Rollover and Safety Info by TCC Team (8/27/2001)

 

VOLKSWAGEN REACHES A DEAL WITH GERMAN UNION
Europe’s biggest automaker, Volkswagen AG, and Germany’s biggest trade union, IG Metall, have settled on an agreement that will create as many as 5,000 new jobs. VW has agreed to hire 3,500 unemployed workers in Wolfsburg to build a new minivan. The fate of 1,500 workers hoping to be hired at VW’s Hanover, Germany plant is yet to be decided, although German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder has praised the progress in negotiations thus far. This agreement comes as a welcome development in Germany where the economic slowdown has pushed unemployment to over 9% with close to four million people out of work.
2001 Volkswagen EuroVan MV by Bengt Halvorson (8/27/2001)

 

TOYOTA AND PEUGEOT OPENING A JOINT PLANT IN POLAND
According to a report filed by the Kyodo news agency in Japan, automakers Toyota and PSA Peugeot Citroen are planning to establish a factory in Poland. Last month, the Japanese and French automakers decided to go halves on a joint venture to develop a new small-car platform and build a facility capable of producing 300,000 cars per year for Europe. Toyota already owns a transmission plant in Walbrzych, Poland that is scheduled to go online next spring.
Toyota in Kentucky: The Best Plant in America by TCC Team (12/18/2000)

 

MITSUBISHI, UAW REACH FOUR-YEAR LABOR AGREEMENT
Following a strike last Friday at Mitsubishi Motor Manufacturing of America’s factory in Normal, Illinois, UAW workers ratified a new four-year contract by a four-to-one majority. Mitsubishi and UAW representatives finished hammering out the agreement early Saturday morning, then on Sunday 83% of the plant’s 2,800 production and skilled trades workers voted in favor of the proposal. According to Scott Andrews, bargaining chairman for UAW Local 2488, "This was the most difficult set of negotiations we have ever experienced here. This membership fought and gained significant improvements in wages, pensions, benefits, ergonomics, and job safety." Everybody was back at work on Monday building Mitsubishi Eclipse coupes and Eclipse Spyder convertibles, Mitsubishi Galant sedans, Chrysler Sebring coupes, and Dodge Stratus coupes.
UAW v Nissan by Joseph Szczesny (8/20/2001)

 

AMERICAN AXLE STAYING IN DETROIT
The Buffalo News is reporting that parts supplier American Axle and Manufacturing has decided to bring all its employees under one roof, and that roof will be built in Detroit. The company is expected to provide details today on its plans to build a $45 million headquarters in the city. American Axle was also said to be shopping the Buffalo Niagara region, but the company appears to have been satisfied with an $18.5-million dollar incentive package proffered by Michigan officials.

 

 

THE TICKER:

Autoliv (ALV), Closed 20.00, up 0.03

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ArvinMeritor (ARM), Closed 18.65, up 0.14

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American Axle (AXL), Closed 18.44, down 0.25

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Dana (DCN), Closed 20.38, down 0.34

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DaimlerChrysler (DCX), Closed 45.80, down 0.65

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Donnelly (DON), Closed 15.30, unchanged

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Delphi Automotive (DPH), Closed 14.85, up 0.20

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Eaton (ETN), Closed 73.15, down 0.65

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Ford (F), Closed 20.32, up 0.07

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General Motors (GM), Closed 56.42, down 0.27

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Gentex (GNTX), Closed 29.85, down 0.06

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Goodyear (GT), Closed 25.27, up 0.33

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Johnson Controls (JCI), Closed 72.44, down 1.88

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Lear (LEA), Closed 35.28, down 0.12

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Magna International (MGA), Closed 63.41, up 0.11

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Nissan (NSANY), Closed 11.96, down 0.14

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SDRC (SDRC), Closed 24.94, up 0.01

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Toyota (TM), Closed 62.48, down 0.82

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TRW (TRW), Closed 36.30, down 2.78

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Visteon (VC), Closed 16.81, up 0.06

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