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Sunday, February 1st, 2015

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Welcome to Automotive NewsWire. What you will read here, daily, comes from a passion, love and respect for the automotive industry, not just today, but going back to the end of the 19th Century and into the future. We call it perspective. And thatís what we attempt to do. We put todayís automotive news into perspective. We enjoy writing it and our readers enjoy reading it.
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Today's Headlines

RUSSIA: G.M.'s Opel Unit to Shut Russian Plant for Two Months

Friday, January 30th, 2015

From Europe this morning comes word that General Motors' Opel unit will close its St. Petersburg, Russia, assembly plant for two months in light of the declining Russian economy.  G.M. stated in November of 2007 in the planning of the St. Petersburg expansion that it anticipated selling one million vehicles in Russia during the next decade - that's today.  At the time, G.M. was producing about 50,000 units per year.  Ford Motor, Nissan Motors and Toyota Motor all had similar aspirations, and to their misfortune, numerous suppliers followed their customers' to Russia only to find that the Russian market continues to be a roller coaster with no end in sight.

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RATS: Maybe We Need Whistle-Blowers in Congress

Friday, January 30th, 2015

With apparently nothing more important to do, members of the Senate Commerce Committee yesterday reintroduced legislation that would substantially reward automotive company employees to rat-out their company when they become aware of vehicle defects.

What in hell is this about?  This latest legislation, which was originally introduced last November during the boiling hot days of debate over the General Motors ignition switch fiasco, would allow automotive workers to potentially be paid millions of dollars when they reveal hidden dangers in the vehicles they build.  Senators John Thune, (R-S.D.), chairman of the Commerce Committee, and Senator Bill Nelson, (D-Fl…

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REGULATORY: Sanden Fined for Price Fixing

Friday, January 30th, 2015

Japanese automotive supplier Sanden Corp. is the 33rd company that has agreed to pay fines related to price fixing of automotive parts in the U.S.  The company recently pleaded guilty to fixing prices of automotive air conditioning compressors and will pay a…

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LEGAL: G.M. Balks at Request to Extend Compensation Deadline

Thursday, January 29th, 2015

General Motors Co. has rejected a request made by two senators to extend the deadline for compensation claims related to faulty ignition switches.  The claims made by U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D., Conn.) and Edward J. Markey (D., Mass.) requested that G.M. postpone the deadline for claims until the U.S. Justice Department completes its investigation into the ignition switch failures and the amount of time it took G.M. to acknowledge the fault.

In a letter addressed to G.M.'s CEO Mary Barra, the senators wrote, “Injured parties do not know enough about their legal rights or facts to make an informed decision.  Indeed, they cannot have sufficient information …

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STRIKES: Improved Unemployment Reports Lead to Massive Strikes in Germany

Thursday, January 29th, 2015

Citing Germany's improving economy, more than 70,000 union workers walked off their jobs today in an effort to increase pressure on engineering and manufacturing companies to increase wages.

The short-term strikes, which apparently came as a surprise, halted production at several German auto assembly plants and forced the cancellation of flights at two airports where workers walked off the job for the entire day.

German newspapers reported today that unemployment fell to its lowest level in January since unification.  The German government yesterday issued a forecast that the nation's economy for 2015 would grow 1.5%, up from previous forecast growth of 1.3%.

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SUPPLIERS: Denso to Expand Tennessee Facility

Thursday, January 29th, 2015

Japanese Tier I supplier Denso Corp., Kariya, announced today that it will expand its plant at Athens, Tenn., for the production of gasoline direct injection products.  The $85 million investment will involve expanding the plant size by 20,800-sq-meters and result in the creation of about 400 new jobs.

Denso establis…

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