Union Forces Ford's Hand in Minn., Va. Plant Closings

April 14, 2006

Union Forces Ford's Hand in Minn., Va. Plant Closings

An official announcement wasn't expected until later in the year, but Ford Motor Co. was forced to confirm plans to close two truck plants when union officials leaked details to the press on Thursday. Despite the decision to close assembly lines in Virginia and Minnesota, Ford President Mark Fields insisted the automaker has no plans to scale back production of its best-selling F-Series pickup, or drop its struggling little Ranger truck.

More on Ford's latest plant closures

Kia Shows Off Rondo

2007 Kia Rondo

2007 Kia Rondo

Kia has released the first official pictures of the new Rondo crossover, known as the Carens in other markets. The vehicle will make its world debut at the Madrid auto show on May 25. The Korean automaker promises the new Carens/Rondo will be longer, wider, and taller than the model it replaces, with seating for seven and flat-folding capability for flexibility.

BMW 3-Series Is World Car of The Year

Twenty-seven cars were voted on by 46 international automotive journalists before the BMW 3-series was selected as the 2006 World Car of the Year. The award was announced at the New York International Auto Show and accepted by Tom Purvis chairman and CEO of BMW North America.

The other finalists, the Mazda MX-5 and the Porsche Cayman S, were also evaluated based on "value, safety, significance and emotional appeal," among other things, by the jurors. The BMW 3-Series is built on two continents and the cars are sold in 140 markets globally. Jurors claimed the tradeoffs between performance and practicality are "more perfectly balanced with the 3-Series than is the case with any other make." The Audi A6 was the 2005 winner.

Newly created this year were three additional specialty awards created for vehicles in performance, design, and environmental responsibility categories. The Porsche Cayman S was voted world performance car from 29 vehicles that included the Audi RS4 and BMW M5 as the other finalists. The Citroen C4 took design honors for its "stylistic originality that defined the brand's reputation in the past, without resorting to a retro look." Other finalists for design were the BMW 3-Series, and the European version of the Honda Civic, culled from an initial list of 27 vehicles. The Honda Civic Hybrid topped 21 other machines for World Green Car.-Ken Zino

Ghosn: Tenn. Move Is Worth the Disruption

There is clearly going to be "some disruption" when Nissan moves its U.S. headquarters from the suburbs of Los Angeles to Nashville later this year. And it won't come at a convenient time, what with critical product launches, such as the new Altima, Sentra, and Infiniti G35, in the works. Nonetheless such problems will be more than offset by the long-term payoff, asserted Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn during a meeting with reporters. "Nothing is as important as the performance of the company," Ghosn said, though he added that Nissan is working to make the move as painless as possible. It has extended by a month the deadline for workers to choose whether to head to Nashville or leave the company, he said. And even if a good portion of the workforce opts out, the Nissan CEO insisted things will work out reasonably smoothly. "We have 20,000 candidates for the jobs in Nashville," said Ghosn, "a lot coming from Detroit, and a lot of them with a big background in the auto industry." Staying in Los Angeles would have been both costly and disruptive, he stressed, saying that "We would have had to change a lot of things," possibly even rebuilding Nissan's offices there to deal with changing needs and advancing technologies.


SPECIAL REPORT: New York Auto Show

The New York Auto Show continued on Thursday, with a host of new vehicles from GM's Saturn brand, Nissan, Mercedes-Benz and more. TheCarConnection.com brings you the latest from the show floor, including full reports on these new vehicles:

Acura RDX

Acura MD-X Concept

Bentley Continental GTC

Ford Mustang GT-H

2007 Honda Element SC

2007 Honda Element SC

Honda Element SC

Infiniti G35

Jeep Wrangler Unlimited

Jeep Patriot

Kia Sorento

Lexus LS600h

Mazda CX-9


Mercedes-Benz E-Class

Mitsubishi Outlander

Nissan Altima

Nissan GT-R

Nissan Maxima

Parnelli Jones Mustang

Saturn Aura

2006 Saturn Sky

2006 Saturn Sky

Saturn Outlook

2006 Saturn Sky

2006 Saturn Sky

Saturn Sky Red Line

Scion FUSE Concept Coupe

Subaru Legacy 2.5 GT spec.B

Suzuki XL7

Name Symbol Last Change
Autobytel, Inc. ABTL 4.34 -0.03 (-0.69%)
Autoliv Inc. ALV 54.55 +0.08 (+0.15%)
AutoNation Inc. AN 21.96 +0.42 (+1.95%)
ArvinMeritor Inc. ARM 15.45 +0.11 (+0.72%)
American Axle & Mfr. Holdings Inc. AXL 16.46 -0.04 (-0.24%)
Ballard Power Systems Inc. BLDP 7.62 -0.04 (-0.52%)
BorgWarner Inc. BWA 59.46 -0.06 (-0.10%)
Cummins Inc. CMI 106.75 +0.66 (+0.62%)
Dana Corporation DCN 0.66 0.00 (0.00%)
DaimlerChrysler AG (ADR) DCX 55.80 +0.15 (+0.27%)
Dura Automotive Systems DRRA 2.33 +0.05 (+2.19%)
Eaton Corporation ETN 74.62 +0.44 (+0.59%)
Ford Motor Company F 7.35 +0.07 (+0.96%)
General Motors Corporation GM 20.40 +0.37 (+1.85%)
Gentex Corporation GNTX 15.61 -0.62 (-3.82%)
Goodyear Tire & Rubber GT 13.50 -0.15 (-1.10%)
Honda Motor Co. Ltd. (ADR) HMC 32.17 -0.22 (-0.68%)
Johnson Controls Inc. JCI 75.33 -0.56 (-0.74%)
Lear Corporation LEA 18.10 +0.95 (+5.54%)
Magna International Inc. MGA 74.37 -0.61 (-0.81%)
Motorola Inc. MOT 24.02 +0.04 (+0.17%)
Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. (ADR) NSANY 23.67 -0.03 (-0.13%)
Sonic Automotive Inc. SAH 26.45 -0.54 (-2.00%)
Siemens AG SI 90.97 +0.10 (+0.11%)
Sirius Satellite Radio SIRI 5.32 +0.12 (+2.31%)
Toyota Motor Corporation (ADR) TM 113.12 -0.40 (-0.35%)
TRW Automotive Holdings TRW 23.00 -0.25 (-1.08%)
Tower Automotive Inc. TWRAQ.PK 0.084 +0.001 (+1.20%)
United Auto Group Inc. UAG 41.77 +0.16 (+0.38%)
Visteon Corporation VC 4.58 +0.27 (+6.26%)
XM Satellite Radio Hold. XMSR 23.31 +0.26 (+1.13%)

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