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Entries in Automakers (4)

Friday
Sep072012

Jobs Report: US-Based Foreign Employers Don't Care About Politics

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- As the country awaits the monthly jobs report for August to assess the state of the economy, it's a good opportunity to look at the other side of the employment coin: The foreign-based U.S. employers who employ about five million Americans.

Bill Krueger, vice chairman of Nissan Americas, said the company is less interested in the election's outcome and more interested in whether the U.S. will encourage engineering and manufacturing training for potential workers.

Nissan, based in Japan, employs 17,000 people in the U.S. at its three U.S. sites.  The company is adding about 2,200 manufacturing jobs in the U.S., including 1,000 jobs in the fourth quarter to its Canton Vehicle Assembly Plant in Mississippi.

Nancy McLernon, CEO of the Organization for International Investment, which represents about 200 U.S. subsidiaries of global companies, said the members of her organization are studying the statements of the presidential candidates for signs they are "embracing the global economy."

"Globally engaged companies want to be in globally engaged countries," said McLernon.  "The extent to which lawmakers understand global marketplace is helpful.  Isolationist views are not."

Business has been good for automakers like Nissan in the U.S.  The automaker's August sales rose 7.6 percent from a year ago, the company reported on Tuesday.

But finding skilled workers has been a trouble spot for the company.

"If there's a weak point right now, it's the availability of skilled maintenance workers and engineers," Krueger said.

Manufacturing jobs are slowly making a comeback after the long economic downturn that began with the financial crisis in December 2007.  In July, the U.S. economy added 25,000 manufacturing jobs.

Economists are expecting an addition of 125,000 total nonfarm jobs in August, which would leave the unemployment rate unchanged at 8.3 percent.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
May012012

Chrysler Sales Soar in April While Ford Sales Drop 

KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images(DETROIT) -- Chrysler sales soared 20 percent in April compared to the same month in 2011, while Ford sales dropped 5 percent.

The Detroit Free Press reports that Chrysler reported its twenty-fifth consecutive month of year-over-year increases with many Chrysler models including the Fiat 500, Chrysler 200 mid-size sedan, Dodge Challenger muscle car and Jeep Wrangler SUV recorded their best sales ever, or since 2008. Sales for the Dodge Avenger mid-size sedan climbed 47 percent, reaching its best month yet.

Meanwhile, April 2012 sales for Ford fell from 189,778 in April 2011, to 180,350.

Sales for Ford Fusion’s midsize sedan climbed 2 percent alongside the automaker’s Focus compact car that increased 12.5 percent from the same month in 2011. Ford’s subcompact Fiesta showed little signs of progress, falling 43.9 percent alongside the Escape SUV, which also declined 20 percent.

“The momentum built by the recovering economy and compelling product choices in the first quarter continued to fuel new vehicle sales in April,” Jesse Toprak, vice president of market intelligence for TrueCar.com, said in a report last week.

All automakers are slated to release April sales Tuesday.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jan192012

General Motors Is World’s Top-Selling Automaker

Bill Pugliano/Getty Images(DETROIT) -- When General Motors Co. was in dire financial straits 10 years ago, few expected the automaker to bounce back to global dominance in a matter of years, but that’s exactly what the iconic U.S. company has done.

In every corner of the globe, from North America to Europe, from South America to Asia, sales of GM cars and trucks are up.

The company made more than $7 billion in profits in three quarters last year, and the final figures for the year are expected to reach far higher. GM sold 640,000 more cars and trucks last year than it did the year before.

It has been a grueling road back for the U.S. automaker after its 2009 bankruptcy and taxpayer rescue. To date, GM has paid back nearly half of all taxpayer dollars.

“It’s clearly a comeback story and one of the notable aspects of it is that they’ve been able to achieve this sales success not using the incentives that they might have used in years past,” said Jeremy Anwyl, vice chairman of Edmunds.com, the auto information publisher.

Without incentives, Anwyl added, they had to win with quality.

GM isn’t the only U.S. automaker that’s thriving. There are also brand-new signs of Ford’s turnaround. Sales are up 11 percent in the past year and the company is planning to give raises to 20,000 white-collar employees, in addition to contributing more to their 401(k)s.

Under a recent four-year contract, union workers received signing bonuses and profit sharing.

It’s a big change from when Ford was $30 billion in the red and forced to borrow $23 billion in private loans to get back on track. Ford has since repaid more than $21 billion of its loans.

Auto industry experts say that no matter how you slice this, it’s good news. But the year ahead will be competitive, they caution, as Toyota is just now recovering from the tsunami in Japan and is gearing up.

It is competition and momentum that is welcome by everyone in the U.S. auto industry, an industry that was on life support two years ago.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Oct252011

Japanese Cars Top 'Consumer Reports' 2011 Rankings

STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Japanese brands again dominated Consumer Reports' reliability survey, while Ford Motor Co. sank in the magazine's 2011 ratings, thanks to three new models that had problems.

The most reliable cars came from Scion, Lexus, Acura, Mazda, Honda, and Toyota, the non-profit group said in a statement today.  Of the 91 Japanese models Consumer Reports ranked, 87 were rated average or better in predicted reliability; 24 Japanese models earned the highest rating.

Ford’s fall from the 10th to the 20th spot this year stemmed from its new Ford Explorer, Fiesta, and Focus, of which had below-average reliability in their first year. That was the biggest slip for any carmaker this year.

“Ford’s drop can also be attributed to problems with new technologies: the new MyFord Touch infotainment system and the new automated-manual transmission used in the Fiesta and Focus. On the bright side, the Ford Fusion Hybrid sedan remained outstanding, and other Fusion versions were above average,” Consumers said in a statement.

The ranking is based on responses on 1.3 million vehicles owned or leased by subscribers to Consumer Reports or users of ConsumerReports.org.

Full reliability history charts and predicted-reliability ratings on hundreds of 2012 models can be found online at ConsumerReports.org’s reliability section and in the December issue of the magazine.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio