UAW leaders set to nominate Bob King for president

If past practice is any indication, support from the UAW’s administrative caucus means King should have it in the bag.

From Money.CNN.com:

DETROIT (Reuters) – The leadership of the United Auto Workers is set to meet next week to name Bob King as the preferred candidate to succeed retiring President Ron Gettlelfinger, two people with knowledge of the plan said.

King, who has headed negotiations with Ford, would be named as the preferred candidate by the UAW’s administrative caucus at a meeting set for Wednesday, according to the sources, who could not be named because the plan remains private.

UAW spokesman Roger Kerson declined to comment.

Read the full article here.


Photo from fOTOGLIF

  

New engine for 2011 Mustang will be built in Ohio

500x_2011_ford_mustang

The pony car wars are heating up! The Camaro has been outselling the Mustang recently, but the new 2011 Mustang will be getting a nice engine upgrade from Ford’s Brook Park plant in Ohio.

Ford Motor Co. will make a new 3.7-liter V-6 engine for the popular Mustang sports car at Cleveland Engine Plant No. 1 in Brook Park next year, replacing an engine built in Germany.

The new engine, similar to one built in Lima for use in the Lincoln MKS luxury car, should go into production next year to be ready for 2011 Mustang production, said Mark Payne, vice president of the United Auto Workers Local 1250 in Brook Park.

Ford says the new engine will be more fuel-efficient and more powerful than the 4-liter V-6 it replaces. That engine, built in Cologne, Germany, produces 210 horsepower and gets 26 mpg on the highway. The upcoming 3.7-liter engine produces 305 horsepower and should get up to 30 mpg on the highway. Those power numbers are only a little bit shy of the 4.6-liter V-8 now offered in the Mustang.

“Mustang is completely transformed with this new engine,” Ford product development chief Derrick Kuzak said in a news release. “Everything people love about the car is still there, and now under the hood is a V-6 engine that uses premium technology to deliver the power, the feel, the fuel efficiency, even the sound of the best sports coupes in the world.”

Ford will showcase the 2011 Mustang this week at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

  

GM starts to ramp up production

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The cash for clunkers program continues to have positive effects, as GM is now increasing production to meet the new demand.

With its Chevrolet Cobalt in demand because of the federal “cash for clunkers” rebate program, General Motors said today it would restart the second shift at its Lordstown plant early next month.

More than 1,000 people will return to work, bringing employment at the plant to about 3,300. The news comes just in time for some laid-off workers who were about to see their benefits reduced.

“It’s a huge relief,” United Auto Workers Local 1112 President Jim Graham said. “We’ve know for some time that this would happen. We just didn’t know when it was coming back.”

GM executives said they had to restart the shift at Lordstown, where the Cobalt is assembled, and add production at other plants because the automaker was running out of cars. The clunkers program, which offers up to $4,500 to people who trade older gas-guzzlers for new, more fuel-efficient models, had left some dealers short of cars. The program is expected to end around Labor Day.

The increased production is not limited to Lordstown.

In addition to the new shift at Lordstown, GM is restarting a shift at the Canadian plant that builds the Chevrolet Equinox, a five-passenger crossover that can get 32 miles per gallon on the highway, said Tim Lee, GM’s vice president for manufacturing.

He added that demand for GM’s small pickups and its HHR wagon are also up, so GM could add shifts to plants in Louisiana and Mexico, too.

In addition, GM plans to keep open its Lake Orion, Mich., plant until November to build the Chevrolet Malibu. That plant had been scheduled to close next month. It was set to reopen in 2011 to make small cars.

Needless to say, this is excellent news for the auto industry and for the overall economy. Areas like Northeast Ohio have been suffering from growing unemployment, and every little bit helps. This also bodes well for auto suppliers.

  

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