This week’s most impactful OEM headlines, including:
- Fiat Chrysler creates 1,000 new jobs with $1B plant plan
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles plans to spend $1 billion to retool its plants in Toledo, Ohio, and Belvidere, Ill., and create 1,000 new jobs as it shuffles its North American production footprint. The automaker said it will invest $700 million at its Toledo Assembly North Plant to prepare for the next-generation Jeep Wrangler and expand the production capacity of the SUV. The automaker said it plans to add about 700 jobs at that plant. In Belvidere, the automaker plans to spend $350 million to prepare that plant to assemble the Jeep Cherokee, which is currently built in Toledo.
- Hyundai Working Up 250-Mile EVThe Hyundai Ioniq hasn’t even come to market yet, but some analysts are arguing it’s already out of date. The purpose-built model is designed specifically to use any of three different battery-based drivelines: conventional hybrid, plug-in hybrid or pure battery-electric. The latter is designed to deliver about 110 miles per charge. That’s slightly more than the original Nissan Leaf or Ford Focus EV, but still well short of what Tesla is planning with the Model 3 – or the 200 mile range from the upcoming Chevrolet Bolt.
Los Angeles says for 34 consecutive years, the Ford F-150 has been the best-selling vehicle in the United States and the best-selling truck for even, General Motors Co (GM.N) told a U.S. bankruptcy court on Wednesday that it reached a deal with an insolvent Massachusetts parts supplier whose struggles had threatened to shut down some or all of GM’s North American plants. After the hearing, GM spokesman Nick Richards said the automaker already had identified replacement suppliers for the parts and “did not anticipate any disruption” in production. The judge in the case, heard in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Worcester, Massachusetts, ruled on Wednesday that GM could retrieve tooling and finished parts from the supplier, Clark-Cutler-McDermott. CCM, a 105-year-old supplier of acoustical materials based in Franklin, Massachusetts, was the sole supplier of insulation and other sound-deadening materials to GM, the automaker said in an earlier court filing. GM had argued CCM’s failure could cause “catastrophic disruption” across the U.S. auto industry, costing it tens of millions of dollars in lost production and potentially throwing “tens of thousands” of employees at GM plants and other GM suppliers out of work. CCM had been a GM supplier for nearly 50 years. GM in turn was responsible for 80 percent of CCM’s business.
Fiat Chrysler is joining a list of companies offering hackers the chance to cash in on bugs they find in products. The reward? Between $150 and $1,500, depending on the security flaw they uncover in one of the automaker’s Jeeps, Ram trucks or other models. “There are a lot of people that like to tinker with their vehicles or tinker with IT systems,” said Titus Melnyk, a senior security manager at Fiat Chrysler. “We want to encourage independent security researchers to reach out to us and share what they’ve found.” FCA’s goal is simple: To find flaws in its vehicles before they might lead to a costly recall and tarnish the brand’s image. Last year, the company was forced to recall 1.4 million vehicles and update its software after security researchers hacked into a Jeep Cherokee’s entertainment system and took control of the vehicle remotely.