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Union, Activists Plan GM Protests Outside Charity Preview

Rally to call to light unfairness of plant shutdowns.

by Joseph Szczesny on Jan.17, 2019

The UAW plans to hold a candlelight vigil outside of the NAIAS charity preview to protest GM's planned plant closures.

The Union Auto Workers and union activists are planning demonstration ahead of North American International Auto Show charity preview to protest General Motors’ plans to close five plants.

The UAW is organizing a candlelight vigil at the Labor Monument on Jefferson a short distance from Cobo Center, starting at 4:30 p.m. “Recent announcements from GM concerning plants in the U.S. will have a devastating effect on members of the UAW family,” the union said in announcing the vigil.

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The union, along with Unifor, the union representing autoworkers in Canada, has been waging a letter-writing campaign to protest GM’s plans to close five assembly and manufacturing plants in the U.S. (more…)

Live From Detroit!

This year's event has some of everything.

by tdb on Jan.14, 2019

This year’s media preview of the North American International Auto Show may be wrapping up, but it had some intriguing — and occasionally surprising — debuts, including a flying car. Check out  complete coverage of the 30th anniversary NAIAS on TheDetroitBureau.com. (more…)

Tesla Breaks Ground on New Shanghai Gigafactory

Musk expects plant to be completed by midyear.

by Michael Strong on Jan.07, 2019

Tesla's Elon Musk said he expects the new Shanghai plant to be complete during the second quarter.

Tesla chief Elon Musk extended his vision of a world dominated by electric vehicles by traveling to Shanghai, China, to break ground for the company’s newest plant, Gigafactory 3.

Always the optimist, Musk said he expects construction on the massive 210-acre facility to be complete by the middle of this year with finished products rolling off the assembly line and out the doors by the end of this year.

Global News!

“With the resources here, I think we can build the Shanghai Gigafactory in a record time,” Musk said during the rain-soaked ceremony. (more…)

Ousted Nissan Boss Ghosn Ready to Tell His Story in Court

“I think everyone will be rather surprised,” son says.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Jan.07, 2019

Carlos Ghosn, former CEO of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance, will get his day in court tomorrow.

Seven weeks after his unexpected arrest, former Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn will finally get a chance, albeit a brief one, to lay out his side of the story when he gets to address a court in Tokyo on Tuesday.

Having so far refused to sign a confession demanded by Japanese prosecutors, Ghosn is expected to assert his innocence and deny allegations of various financial wrongdoings during a 10-minute session. It will be the first time since the 64-year-old executive was arrested after landing at Tokyo’s Haneda Airport on Nov. 19, that he has been seen in public. He has since been held in solitary confinement in the Tokyo Detention Center.

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“For the first time, he can talk about his version of the allegations against him,” 24-year-old son Anthony Ghosn said in the interview with the French newspaper Le Journal du Dimanche on Sunday. “I think everyone will be rather surprised hearing his version of the story. Until now, we’ve only heard the accusers.” (more…)

GM Blows Past 200K in EV Sales Triggering Tax Credit Drop

Company hit the mark in Q4 2018, meaning cut coming in April 2019.

by Michael Strong on Jan.02, 2019

Sales of the Chevy Bolt rose 3.5% in the first half of 2018, and that helped push GM past the 200,000-unit mark in the fourth quarter of 2018.

Just as Tesla Inc. cut $2,000 off the price of all of its vehicles to help offset the loss of the $7,500 federal tax credit, General Motors is now in the same position after crossing the threshold just as it headed into 2019.

According to Reuters, the company reached the milestone – which began with sales in 2010 – at some point during the fourth quarter of 2018. Now buyers of GM-produced electric vehicles will only be able to get the full credit until April, at which point it will drop to $3,750. After another six-month period, it will fall again in October to $1,875.

All Charged Up!

That will last until April 2020, after that – barring some sort of new legislation from Congress – the credit disappears. The company knew it was closing in on the target this fall as it began to lobby members of Congress to extend the credit for EV buyers. (more…)

Unifor Puts Pressure on GM in New Advertising Campaign

Ads have a pointed message for the company.

by Joseph Szczesny on Jan.02, 2019

Unifor President Jerry Dias said the new advertising campaign is designed to get GM to change its mind about the Oshawa, Ontario plant.

Unifor, the union representing autoworkers in Canada, has launched an advertising campaign attacking General Motors’ decision to shutter plants and idle workers.

Jerry Dias, Unifor president, the successor to the old CAW, hase advertising campaign objective is to force GM to reconsider the decision to idle an assembly plant in Oshawa, Ontario, on an industrial site with a history of vehicle building stretching back more than 100 years.

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The Unifor ads are scheduled to appear in Canada and the U.S. and appeared even as GM was airing an expensive advertising campaign during the Christmas and New Year’s holidays that featured GM “employees,” touting Chevrolets. (more…)

Japanese Court Extends Ghosn’s Jail Time into New Year

Former Nissan Chief's custody extended until Jan. 11.

by Michael Strong on Dec.31, 2018

Carlos Ghosn has been ousted at Nissan and Mitsubishi, but Renault has only replaced him temporarily.

Former Nissan Chairman Carlos Ghosn is going to ring in 2019 in the same way he ended 2018: behind bars, after the Tokyo District Court extended his detention 10 days until Jan. 11.

The 64-year-old Ghosn who, according to prosecutors, committed a number of financial crimes. These initially included under-reporting about $36 million in revenue through 2015, using company funds to acquire homes in Lebanon and Brazil. He’s been in custody since Nov. 19.

Global News!

Ghosn’s had additional charges filed against him since then with prosecutors alleging he shifted personal trades to Nissan to cover losses of 1.85 billion yen, or $16.6 million. They have also indicated they may bring charges for concealing income since 2015. (more…)

Russian Automaker GAZ Pushes for U.S. to Lift Sanctions

Treasury Department moving to accelerate process.

by Joseph Szczesny on Dec.27, 2018

Russian automaker GAZ is looking to get the U.S. to lift sanctions off the company so it can do business here.

The Russian and U.S. governments are discussing lifting the U.S. sanctions on a Russian automaker, GAZ, which is part of a holding company in which a prominent Russian oligarch, Oleg Deripaska, has a key stake.

The talks aimed at lifting U.S. sanctions on Russian automaker GAZ are ongoing with the U.S. Treasury Department, and the company is implementing internal measures to encourage the process, Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said, according to Reuters.

Global News!

The U.S. Treasury extended a deadline for investors to divest from GAZ to March 7, a day after it announced it would lift sanctions on the core assets of Deripaska’s empire — Rusal, the world’s second largest aluminum company, and its parent En+ of which GAZ is also a part. (more…)

GM Listens to Unifor Proposals about Canadian Plant

Executives promise response by Jan. 7.

by Joseph Szczesny on Dec.21, 2018

Unifor President Jerry Dias called his meeting with GM officials "frustrating," but also noted officials said they'd keep an "open mind" during negotiations.

General Motors Co. is promising to respond by Jan. 7, to Unifor, the Canadian union that represents GM workers, which has laid out proposals that would maintain production at an assembly plant in Oshawa, Ontario, GM is preparing to shutter permanently.

Unifor President Jerry Dias met with senior GM officials in Detroit Thursday to make the case that the Ontario plant should be kept open. “The meeting today was frustrating,” said Dias at a press conference in Windsor on the Canadian side of the Detroit River.

News Now!

“But in the meeting today, General Motors did not unilaterally slam the door either,” Dias said during the press conference. “They announced that they would listen to our proposals and they would get back to us by the 7th of January whether or not they will work with us to find a solution.” (more…)

UAW Contract Talks to Determine Fate of Lordstown Plant

Automaker leaves door open to saving at least one of three threatened assembly plants.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Dec.20, 2018

Could the Lordstown, Ohio plant be spared? Contract negotiations between the UAW and GM could bring it back to life.

Workers at General Motors’ Lordstown, Ohio plant may have reason to hope their prayers will be answered.

The automaker is dangling the possibility that the factory – one of five it plans to shutter next year – could be salvaged when GM and the United Auto Workers Union sit down to negotiate a new, five-year contract next summer.

Breaking News!

“Plant closings are a matter of negotiations between GM and the United Auto Workers,” spokesman Pat Morrissey told TheDetroitBureau.com. “At this point, the plants are ‘unallocated,’” which, under the language of the current union/management contract, means there is still the possibility GM will move forward and allocate new product there as part of the next agreement. (more…)