Fiat Chrysler Automobiles to invest $4.5 billion, create nearly 6,500 jobs; new assembly plant planned in Detroit Featured
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has announced plans to invest a total of $4.5 billion in five of its existing Michigan plants, and to work with the city of Detroit and state of Michigan on building a new assembly plant within city limits. The move would increase capacity to meet growing demand for its Jeep and Ram brands, including production of two new Jeep-branded white space products, as well as electrified models. The proposed projects would create nearly 6,500 new jobs.
The plant actions detailed in the announcement represent the next steps in a U.S. manufacturing realignment that FCA began in 2016. In response to a shift in consumer demand toward SUVs and trucks, the Company discontinued compact car production and retooled plants in Illinois, Ohio and Michigan to make full use of available capacity to expand the Jeep and Ram brands. Those actions have resulted in the recent launches of the award-winning all-new Jeep Wrangler and all-new Ram 1500, and the introduction of the newest member of the Jeep family, the all-new Jeep Gladiator, at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show.
“Three years ago, FCA set a course to grow our profitability based on the strength of the Jeep and Ram brands by realigning our U.S. manufacturing operations,” said Mike Manley, Chief Executive Officer, FCA N.V. “Today’s announcement represents the next step in that strategy. It allows Jeep to enter two white space segments that offer significant margin opportunities and will enable new electrified Jeep products, including at least four plug-in hybrid vehicles and the flexibility to produce fully battery-electric vehicles.”The city of Detroit has 60 days to meet the terms of a Memorandum of Understanding, which requires the acquisition of property critical to the execution of the Mack project. The additional investments are subject to the successful negotiation and final approval of development packages with the state and other local governments.
Toby Keith, Zac Brown Band and Keith Urban headline Faster Horses Festival at MIS
The 2019 lineup for the Faster Horses Festival on the grounds of Michigan International Speedway has been announced — and Toby Keith, Keith Urban and Zac Brown Band will headline the three-day camping and country music festival taking place in Brooklyn, Mich., July 19-21, 2019.
Mercedes-Benz has announced pricing for the V8 variants of the highly anticipated new Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door Coupe. The Mercedes- AMG GT 63, powered by a handcrafted AMG 4.0-liter V8 biturbo that produces 577 hp and 590 lb-ft peak torque, starts at $136,500*.
The more powerful Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S produces 630 hp and 664 lb-ft peak torque and starts at $159,000*.Additional standard equipment for the GT 63 S includes the AMG Performance Exhaust System, the AMG Dynamic Plus Package including Active Engine Mounts, RACE Mode, Drift Mode, and AMG Drive Unit steering wheel controls. The Mercedes-AMG GT 63 and Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S will arrive in U.S. dealers in the first half of 2019. Pricing for the GT 53 variant will be announced at a later date.
Audi of America showed off the brand’s all-new 2019 sedans, SUVs and the first all-electric Audi e-tron at the Los Angeles Auto Show last month. On display were the all-new Audi A8, A7, A6 sedans, and Q8 SUV. The fully electric Audi e-tron was on display in L.A., following its global debut in September.
The Audi e-tron is the first all-electric production model from the brand and is a spacious five-seater, electric mid-sized premium SUV that is very well equipped to meet premium buyer expectations. The model will arrive in the U.S. in the second quarter of 2019 and is available now for U.S. customers to place reservations.
The Audi e-tron reflects fundamental Audi design – translated into the electric age by new, stylistically refined aerodynamically focused details. Consistent with the brand’s SUV models, the Audi e-tron bears the octagonal-design Singleframe grille with vertical struts. Its uniquely enclosed grille is presented in platinum gray – identifying it as a fully electric model.
Hexagon’s Positioning Intelligence division (Hexagon PI) has welcomed AutonomouStuff following the completion of the acquisition as announced by Hexagon AB.
AutonomouStuff being part of Hexagon PI will boost collaboration between the organizations to provide superior solutions for autonomous vehicle development.
“Combined with Hexagon PI’s leadership in high accuracy, functionally-safe and high-integrity positioning technology, the addition of AutonomouStuff and their offerings is helping our customers to accelerate the development of more comprehensive Autonomous X solutions,” said Michael Ritter, President and CEO of Hexagon PI. “Our expanded capabilities will allow Hexagon PI to meet the industry’s ever growing demand for more robust autonomy solutions.”
Hexagon PI has been an important technology provider to AutonomouStuff for several years, and the two organizations have worked closely together to serve common customers and collaborate on important industry events.
As the division grows, AutonomouStuff will continue to function as an independent brand within Hexagon PI. Founded in 2010, U.S.-based AutonomouStuff is pioneering solutions and platforms for autonomous vehicle development, robotics and data intelligence innovation.
Its cutting-edge platforms, which utilize an expansive portfolio of technologies, are deployed in pilot programs worldwide – representing thousands of customers in the automotive and technology sectors across the globe.
“The combined entities now provide the fuel and support for exponential growth while affording us the ability to make continued advances in the mobility space,” said Bobby Hambrick, founder & CEO, AutonomouStuff. “I’m very excited for our shared future."
With the automotive industry moving full speed ahead toward autonomous, electric and connected vehicles, the Financial Times (FT) will present an automotive summit featuring top industry talent designed to explore changes that are happening and how key players in the auto industry and related sectors can stay ahead of the curve.
The FT Future of the Car Summit USA will feature thought leaders in transportation, connectivity and mobility shedding light on the strategies and partnerships that should be adopted as emerging tech transforms the industry.
The FT Future of the Car Summit USA takes place November 8, 2018, at the Westin Book Cadillac, 1114 Washington Blvd. in Detroit from 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
Lexus is upping the stakes in the luxury sedan segment, with the unveiling of their seventh-generation Lexus ES sedan, which features an an all-new chassis, updated exterior design, and the introduction of the first ES F SPORT.
Lexus says the vehicle is more spacious and quieter than previous iterations, and also features sharpened performance, plus advanced safety and tech features.
Here are some key highlights: