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Agents of the FBI are investigating a potential case of industrial espionage involving a recently fired Ford employee. The Dearborn, MI-based manufacturer had its world headquarters searched by FBI agents on July 11, and according to The Detroit News, had warrants to seize recording devices handed over to Ford by Sharon Leach, a now-former Ford engineer.
Leach, who had spent 17 years with the Blue Oval, was fired last month, after Ford Security relieved her of eight Sansa listening devices. The FBI got involved shortly after her dismissal, searching her home on June 20 and seizing some two dozen items, including computers, jump drives and financial records, according to warrants obtained by The News.
Ford has remained quiet on the matter, with spokeswoman Susan Krusel confirming that the automaker was working with the FBI as part of a "joint investigation," while declining to provide any additional details.
We're set to record Autoblog Podcast #324 tonight, and our friend Peter Leung (a.k.a. BaronVonClutch), who writes about racing for Richland F1 is going to teach us how to love the vroom-vroom. Drop us your questions and comments regarding the rest of the week's news via our Q&A module below. Subscribe to the Autoblog Podcast in iTunes if you haven't already done so, and if you want to take it all in live, tune in to our UStream (audio only) channel at 10:00 PM Eastern tonight.
Discussion Topics for Autoblog Podcast Episode #324
Geneva Motor Show highlights from Zach
Two of the hottest-selling cars in America aren't quite as hot as they used to be. The Toyota Camry and Honda Civic are both seeing dealer supplies increase in the face of renewed competition from the much-improved Detroit Three.
According to a report from The Detroit News, the Camry's dealer inventory is 15 days higher than its seasonal average, while the Civic is 25 days above average. Things aren't expected to get better for Toyota and Honda, as RBC Capital Markets analyst Joseph Spak marked the two Japanese offerings as "at risk for reduced output."
The Detroit Three, meanwhile, are seeing supplies dwindle as demand increases, especially for the Ford Fusion, which has seen an 18-percent increase in 2013 sales, and the Chevrolet Cruze, which was second only to the Camry in June 2013 sales.