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Archives for month: December, 2010

Price of Auto Fluids Set to Rise

Posted by admin on December 14th, 2010 in Category Automotive News (no responses)

This could be the first in a rise across the board in automotive fluids.  BASF increases prices for automotive fluids globally and it is in immediate effect, or as contracts allow, BASF is increasing the sales prices globally for all coolants and specialty fluids by up to 120 Euro (or the equivalent in other currencies) per metric ton. The price adjustments are necessary due to significantly increased raw material costs.

Auto Industry in Michigan Starts to Grow

Posted by admin on December 14th, 2010 in Category Automotive News (no responses)

There have been some really tough times in Michigan but if you’re an out-of-work engineer in Michigan, you should be getting plenty of interview opportunities. Auto companies in Michigan are hiring again — and it’s not just General Motors and Chrysler, who both recently announced they would be hiring 1,000 engineers.

Vehicle production is recovering from record lows and automotive companies are now competing to attract the engineering talent they need as production ramps up, Bloomberg reports. One example is Ricardo Inc., a service provider to auto companies, which for the first time put up billboards along Detroit-area highways and is running radio ads to attract applicants.

According to Bloomberg, other companies hiring engineers include Continental AG, which is hiring 40 engineers, and TRW Automotive Holdings Corp., which is hiring about 85 engineers.

Jobs at auto suppliers are also on the rise. A monthly survey of suppliers by the Original Equipment Suppliers Association suggests that the trend will continue.

In November, suppliers were asked about hiring intentions over the next six months. Of 110 that responded, roughly 80 percent said they’d be adding engineering and technical staff. Over 70 percent said they would be hiring production workers.

However, some companies are having difficulty finding the specialized talent they need, especially when it comes to electric vehicle engineering.

Companies such as AVL Powertrain Engineering Inc., Tata Technologies, and General Motors are all seeking electric vehicle engineers, and many positions are going unfilled as the companies struggle to find qualified candidates. This is great news and I hope it help restore the city to some of its former glory.

GM Offers Buyouts

Posted by admin on December 13th, 2010 in Category Automotive News (no responses)

General Motors is offering buyouts to skilled trades workers across 13 plants, reports Automotive News. The offer, the first hourly buyout programme since the company exited bankruptcy, expires 1 March 2011. The programme would provide eligible workers with US$60,000 to retire or leave the company.

The eligible plants are as follows: Grand Rapids Stamping, Livonia Powertrain, Mansfield Stamping, Willow Run Powertrain, Flint North Powertrain, Doraville Assembly, Shreveport Assembly, Wilmington Assembly, Spring Hill, Janesville, Pontiac Stamping, Grand Blanc Weld Tool Center and Orion Township.

GM employs around 53,000 skilled trades and production workers in the US. Spokeswoman Kim Carpenter explained that the company has  “a few thousand” more than are needed.

Auto Show in China Around the Corner

Posted by admin on December 13th, 2010 in Category Auto Shows & Events, Wolrd Auto News (no responses)

It is not the biggest one in China but I always enjoy news out of the Guangzhou Auto Show and it is just over a week away and is expected to be smaller in terms of international visitors due to the proximity to Christmas, although this is unlikely to affect local visitors from attending. Beijing and Shanghai Auto Shows are considered the biggest in China, but Guangzhou Auto Show serves as an end of year show to launch new cars for 2011 and is smaller than the Beijing and Shanghai events.

Here are a couple of interesting cars to look out for.

Chery B16

What is happening at Chery these days is anyone’s guess, with their multiple sub-brands (Riich, Reely, Karry) and also the continuation of the Chery brand it seems that they are eager to spread the brand wealth and also build up each brand as a very independent line up whilst sharing parts – because this worked out great for GM. The B16 will be Chery’s replacement for the now out of production Oriental Son sedan, whilst over in the Riich range of cars Chery has its own G5 and G6 sedans which are supposed to be its high end offerings. I guess we will be able to find out at the Guangzhou Auto Show as to what is exactly happening at Chery HQ.

Volvo S60 2.0T

Volvo are planning to import the S60 into China in 2.0T form to take up the slack between the S40 and the S80L models, its not clear if this model will be sold via the Chang’an Volvo dealership or somewhere else due to Geely’s takeover of Volvo. In all likelihood it will be sold via Chang’an Volvo dealerships but then once it goes into production in one of Geely’s proposed three Volvo factories, then it will be sold elsewhere.