A number of sources are reporting that the new four-year labor deal between General Motors and the United Auto Workers includes a clause to bring back to life the assembly line at the company's Spring Hill plant. (Here are stories from The New York Times, the Detroit Free Press and Reuters.) It's been almost two years since GM shifted work on the Chevrolet Traverse to Michigan, putting 2,000 local workers out of work.
The news comes after state ECD officials traveled to Detroit to pitch GM's brass on the importance of bringing Spring Hill's assembly operations back on line. It's not clear how soon the assembly line might restart — recall that GM's top manufacturing exec only last month said consumer demand isn't yet high enough to justify adding production capacity — but word is it will be for a new vehicle.
SEE ALSO: The UAW's official statement
Diana Tremblay, the global chief of manufacturing at General Motors, on Tuesday told industry analysts gathered in Detroit that the company's Spring Hill manufacturing facilities are first in line to be restarted if demand picks up sufficiently. But that looks like it will be a while.
GM CEO Dan Akerson said the company is sticking with its U.S. sales forecast of around 13 million cars and trucks for the year, but he’s not certain sales will make it that high.
Turns out those heavy batteries are a good thing for safety ratings. Nissan's all-electric car, the Leaf, has earned a top safety rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Auto Observer discusses safety ratings and other features of the Leaf and the plug-in electric Chevy Volt — and provides some cool crash-test photos — here.
The Mexican arm of Nissan Americas has lured from General Motors Jose Valls, who will head up the company's commercial activities in the country. Valls had spent a decade with GM in a variety of positions in Mexico and other parts of Latin America. Nissan has a market-leading 23 percent share in Mexico.
"I'm not negative on the future of General Motors. I guess I'm sort of surprised by the amount of euphoria for where they are right at the moment."
Nor should we forget that 11 years ago, Renault similarly freed up a pile of cash and used it to buy a controlling interest in Japan's Nissan Motor Co. And ever since, Ghosn has had the unusual habit of doing pretty much everything he says he intends to do. Sell off Nissan's inefficient parts operations. Find a partner in Russia. Move upscale in Europe. Enter the electric vehicle business ...