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Among automakers with a big US presence, General Motors is the worst to work for, according to a new survey from Tier 1 automotive suppliers, conducted by Planning Perspectives, Inc.
The Detroit-based manufacturer, which has been under fire following the ignition switch recall and its accompanying scandal, finished behind six other automakers with big US manufacturing operations. Suppliers had issues with trust and communications, as well as intellectual property protection. GM was also the least likely to allow suppliers to raise their prices in the face of unexpected increases in material cost, all of which contributed to 55 percent of suppliers saying their relationship with GM was "poor to very poor."
GM's cross-town competitors didn't fare much better. Chrysler finished in fifth place, ahead of GM and behind Dearborn-based Ford, which was passed for third place this year by Nissan. Toyota took the top marks, while Honda captured second place.
Preparing to celebrate its 50th birthday, the Ford Mustang has seen a lot of vehicle trends come and go, and this especially goes for paint colors. Using historical production data, Ford has managed to create an infographic dating back to 1967 that breaks down the three top Mustang colors for each year as well as calling out some of the more interesting trends and colors over the years.
Over its five generations, the Mustang has been offered in a seemingly endless rainbow - from Playboy Pink in '67 and color-changing Mystichrome on the 2004 Cobra - but the most popular has always been red, which is the color of choice for 21 percent of all Mustangs ever made. Almost every year since 1967, red has been among the top three colors for the Mustang, but other popular colors have included blue, white, brown and, most recently, black. There are even websites and registries available for people owning certain-color Mustangs.
As the all-new 2015 Mustang gets ready for its debut later this year, there's no telling what kind of exciting and/or wacky colors Ford has in store. Click on the image above to see the full infographic (choose the "large" option for optimal viewing), or check it out in a smaller size along with the press release posted below.
Building a car out of aluminum has a number of benefits - the lighter weight allows the vehicle to be more agile, more fuel efficient, make better use of its power and be more resistant to dings and dents. The downside to the advanced construction, though, is that repairs are both challenging and expensive. That's troubling for the new, aluminum-bodied Ford F-150, because it's kind of made a name for itself as a rugged, durable work vehicle.
How will the legions of Ford buyers cope when it comes time to insure and repair their new trucks? Well, according to Ford, it's expecting a ten-percent jump in insurance costs for the aluminum-bodied F-150, although Ford's truck marketing manager, Doug Scott, was quick to point out that the F-150 is generally cheaper to insure than its competition from Ram and General Motors. "At the end of the day, that's sort of a wash," Scott told Automotive News at last week's Detroit Auto Show. "We've spent a lot of time and feel very comfortable that that's not going to be an inhibitor."
The other issue facing Ford is the distinct lack of body shops that have the training or equipment to repair aluminum-bodied vehicles. AN cites an estimate from the Automotive Service Association claiming that of the 30,000 independent body shops in the US, less than 10 percent are able to work on aluminum.