Model: Other Pickups
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.
Ford is kickin' it old school at the Shanghai Motor Show for 2013 with a new Escort Concept - "a name that stirs up thoughts of basic, affordable transportation rather than great driving dynamics or bold design" as we said in our initial preview of the small C-segment sedan. Or, as Ford puts it, "Customers in China described seeking a vehicle that is stylish - but not one that is arrogant or pretentious." Potato, potahto...
It's an interesting amalgam of design notes with Ford's recent and stylish hexagonal grille up front, flanked by some pretty busy LED light clusters and chrome-trimmed air intakes at the lower extremities of the fascia, but the Escort Concept is not altogether unattractive. Besides its external appearance, we really don't have much information to report - Ford has not yet hinted at what may be powering this little machine, but we'd expect something with four cylinders and less that 2.0 liters of displacement sending a modest number of horses to the front tires.
It probably goes without saying, but we don't expect to see this Escort make its way to the United States, since we already have the Focus and the Fiesta battling it out in the econobox segment. That said, it's very likely to spawn a production model that will roll out here in China and in other developing market where multiple C-segment entries are becoming increasingly common. Check out our high-res image gallery of live images above, and let us know what you think of the car's styling, then scroll down below for the official press release.
The signs have been very positive for Ford's F-Series line of pickup trucks as of late, and after 24 consecutive months of increasing sales of the best-selling F-150, the automaker has added a third production crew at its Kansas City Assembly Plant that includes 900 new hourly workers to meet demand for the truck. This the first step in Ford's plan to add 2,000 hourly jobs at the plant to help meet demand for its trucks and to begin production of the new Transit van, the automaker says.
Despite some tough new competition, sales of the F-Series are the strongest they've been since 2006, according to Ford. The automaker sold 60,449 F-Series in July, the best sales figure for the mid-summer month since 2006, which also represents a 23 percent increase compared to July 2012. From January to July 2013, sales were up 22 percent compared to the same period last year.
Ford has committed to creating 12,000 hourly jobs by 2015, and with the 900 new employees added to the assembly plant in Missouri, the company says it has completed 75 percent of its goal. Ford has also invested $1.1 billion to retool and expand the Kansas City Assembly Plant to ready it for Transit production. Take a look at the press release below for more job and F-Series sales information.