Report: Hyundai, union reach tentative labor deal

Filed under: Hirings/Firings/Layoffs, Plants/Manufacturing, Hyundai, Kia, South Korea

South Korea Hyundai Strike

According to Reuters, South Korea’s labor unions may have reached a tentative deal with Hyundai following a compromise between the two sides on wages. Workers have staged a number of stoppages since August 20, which have cost the South Korean giant 1.02 trillion won – around $1.1B US. It also represents just over 50,000 units of production. That vehicle total sounds like a lot, but it’s a small enough figure that Hyundai can apparently catch up with weekend and overtime shifts. We’d wager that this is why US inventories haven’t been hit quite so hard aside from the battering already taking place. The proposal will now go before the union’s rank and file.

If ratified, the new agreement will see workers getting a 5.14-percent raise in base salaries, along with 8.5-million-won (roughly $7,800) bonuses. Those concessions are a far cry compared to what the union was initially demanding, though. Early proposals included a 56.25-gram gold medal for each employee (worth about $2,400) and a 10-million won bonus (about $9,100) for employees whose children chose not to attend college. The union also sought a bonus worth two months’ salary for workers that have been with the company for over 40 years, but this was negotiated down to a flat rate of six-million won ($5,464).

Based on Reuters‘ report, the work stoppages must have taken a real toll on Hyundai – its domestic sales dropped 20 percent last month, while exports were down nine percent. Those startling figures must have put some fire under the Hyundai bargaining team.

Hyundai, union reach tentative labor deal originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 05 Sep 2013 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Hyundai, union reach tentative labor deal

Filed under: Hirings/Firings/Layoffs, Plants/Manufacturing, Hyundai, Kia, South Korea

South Korea Hyundai Strike

According to Reuters, South Korea’s labor unions may have reached a tentative deal with Hyundai following a compromise between the two sides on wages. Workers have staged a number of stoppages since August 20, which have cost the South Korean giant 1.02 trillion won – around $1.1B US. It also represents just over 50,000 units of production. That vehicle total sounds like a lot, but it’s a small enough figure that Hyundai can apparently catch up with weekend and overtime shifts. We’d wager that this is why US inventories haven’t been hit quite so hard aside from the battering already taking place. The proposal will now go before the union’s rank and file.

If ratified, the new agreement will see workers getting a 5.14-percent raise in base salaries, along with 8.5-million-won (roughly $7,800) bonuses. Those concessions are a far cry compared to what the union was initially demanding, though. Early proposals included a 56.25-gram gold medal for each employee (worth about $2,400) and a 10-million won bonus (about $9,100) for employees whose children chose not to attend college. The union also sought a bonus worth two months’ salary for workers that have been with the company for over 40 years, but this was negotiated down to a flat rate of six-million won ($5,464).

Based on Reuters‘ report, the work stoppages must have taken a real toll on Hyundai – its domestic sales dropped 20 percent last month, while exports were down nine percent. Those startling figures must have put some fire under the Hyundai bargaining team.

Hyundai, union reach tentative labor deal originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 05 Sep 2013 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Ferrari cuts Toronto lawyer a deal to replace his flooded California [w/video]

Filed under: Convertible, Performance, Etc., Videos, Ferrari, Canada, Luxury

Canadian lawyer Howard Levitt's 2010 Ferrari California gets stuck in a flood on his way to the airport.

A Ferrari might be the last vehicle you’d want to be driving when streets are submerged in water, but Toronto lawyer Howard Levitt was unfortunate enough to be behind the wheel of his $200,000+ Ferrari California when the tunnel he was driving through started to fill up. It was July, when parts of the Canadian city were flooded, but he was determined to make his flight to a court appearance the next day. So Levitt abandoned his metallic blue supercar in the middle of the street and took a cab to the airport, the National Post reports.

The car subsequently was totaled, and the insurance company covered the damage, so after completing his court assignment (and a column for the Financial Post that was due the same day), Levitt began to search for a replacement for his California – driving his 1994 Dodge Viper in the meantime. He decided on a 2014 California in the same metallic blue to replace his 2010 model. When he approached Ferrari to put in an order, the Italian marque was waiting for him, having heard of his mishap. The company offered him a “very generous” deal on a 2014 model; an undisclosed amount less than the after-options retail price of around $300,000.

The new Ferrari is expected to be delivered to Levitt in November, and we can only hope another flood doesn’t catch him off guard. We’re not so sure Ferrari would offer him another “very generous” deal. Feel free to watch the short video below, despite its rather static nature, which we included to precisely show the sad fate of Levitt’s fallen California.

Continue reading Ferrari cuts Toronto lawyer a deal to replace his flooded California [w/video]

Ferrari cuts Toronto lawyer a deal to replace his flooded California [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 05 Sep 2013 16:04:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Ferrari cuts Toronto lawyer a deal to replace his flooded California [w/video]

Filed under: Convertible, Performance, Etc., Videos, Ferrari, Canada, Luxury

Canadian lawyer Howard Levitt's 2010 Ferrari California gets stuck in a flood on his way to the airport.

A Ferrari might be the last vehicle you’d want to be driving when streets are submerged in water, but Toronto lawyer Howard Levitt was unfortunate enough to be behind the wheel of his $200,000+ Ferrari California when the tunnel he was driving through started to fill up. It was July, when parts of the Canadian city were flooded, but he was determined to make his flight to a court appearance the next day. So Levitt abandoned his metallic blue supercar in the middle of the street and took a cab to the airport, the National Post reports.

The car subsequently was totaled, and the insurance company covered the damage, so after completing his court assignment (and a column for the Financial Post that was due the same day), Levitt began to search for a replacement for his California – driving his 1994 Dodge Viper in the meantime. He decided on a 2014 California in the same metallic blue to replace his 2010 model. When he approached Ferrari to put in an order, the Italian marque was waiting for him, having heard of his mishap. The company offered him a “very generous” deal on a 2014 model; an undisclosed amount less than the after-options retail price of around $300,000.

The new Ferrari is expected to be delivered to Levitt in November, and we can only hope another flood doesn’t catch him off guard. We’re not so sure Ferrari would offer him another “very generous” deal. Feel free to watch the short video below, despite its rather static nature, which we included to precisely show the sad fate of Levitt’s fallen California.

Continue reading Ferrari cuts Toronto lawyer a deal to replace his flooded California [w/video]

Ferrari cuts Toronto lawyer a deal to replace his flooded California [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 05 Sep 2013 16:04:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Saab closing in on deal with Russian, Chinese investors

Filed under: Saab, Earnings/Financials, Spyker

Saab

Around the same time that Ake Jonsson stepped down as chief executive of Saab, the Swedish automaker announced its expansion into the Russian and Chinese markets – a vital move if Saab is to increase its global market share. But it’s not just the cars that Saab and its parent company Spyker are interested in selling in these two giant markets. It’s also looking to offload shares in an effort to raise much-needed capital.

The first address is Vladimir Antonov, a man who shares a considerable history with Spyker. The Russian banker and multimillionaire oligarch was once the company’s largest single shareholder and acted as its chairman, and is also the owner of CPP Manufacturing, to which Spyker sold its own sportscar business. After investigations alleged ties to organized crime, however, General Motors stipulated that Antonov had to leave the company before it would transfer ownership of Saab. Those allegations have apparently now been either disproven or swept under the rug as Antonov has now been cleared by both GM and the Swedish National Debt Office to invest as much as 30 million euros in Saab for a 30-percent stake in the company.

Following that revelation, Saab is also said to be closing in on a deal with a major Chinese carmaker, following a similar path that led crosstown rival Volvo to align itself with Geely following its sale by Ford. Among the manufacturers with which Spyker is reportedly undergoing discussions are the Great Wall Motor Co., China Youngman Automobile Group and Jiangsu Yueda Group, all relatively small players even in China’s domestic market. Even so, they could provide the capital Saab needs to continue operating, and if they can, Saab’s certainly in no position to pick and choose.

Saab closing in on deal with Russian, Chinese investors originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 02 May 2011 16:20:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Tanner Foust signs multi-year racing deal with Ford

Filed under: Motorsports, Performance, Europe, Hatchback, Ford, Off-Road, Racing

Tanner Foust Ford Fiesta jump

Tanner Foust Ford Fiesta jump – Click above for high-res version

Tanner Foust has carved out a place for himself in motorsports lore as a preternaturally talented drifter and rally racer. Partnered with Ford, Foust has raced in both the European RallyCross Championship and the brand-new Global RallyCross Championship, and dominated ESPN’s X-Games. Now, Foust has made the partnership last by signing a multi-year contract to drive for Ford.

Foust’s new long-term deal has him at the wheel of his familiar Rockstar Energy-sponsored 2011 Ford Fiesta in both the European RallyCross Championship and the inaugural season of the Global RallyCross Championship. Foust is also headed to X-Games 17 in July to defend his double gold-medal run from last year and his title as the most-decorated rally driver in X-Games history.

As well as his role as Ford’s RallyCross and X-Games pilot, Foust is bringing his talent and fame along to help launch the 2012 Ford Focus ST, Dearborn’s upcoming 2.0-liter EcoBoost-powered hot hatch.

Gallery: Tanner Foust Ford Fiesta jump

Tanner Foust Ford Fiesta jump

[Source: Ford]

Continue reading Tanner Foust signs multi-year racing deal with Ford

Tanner Foust signs multi-year racing deal with Ford originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 17 Apr 2011 16:02:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: ‘Car Czar’ post nixed as part of federal budget deal

Filed under: Etc., Government/Legal, Earnings/Financials

Ron Bloom

Last week, the government avoided a costly shutdown by cutting $38 billion from the 2012 federal budget. The American people are just now hearing what those cuts consist of, and it appears the auto industry and industry regulation have been affected.

The Detroit News is reporting that the currently vacant Car Czar posts was among the positions that didn’t make the cut. The post was last held by Ron Bloom (above), Senior Adviser to the Secretary of the Treasury, who left the job in February. The Car Czar was originally appointed to oversee the government’s investment in the industry in the wake of the bankruptcies of General Motors and Chrysler.

We’re guessing the task force position won’t be missed much by the auto industry, but a $408 million cut from a $ 2.3 billion program to research fuel efficiency technology might be. Also getting the axe? A whopping $2.9 billion from light rail initiatives and $37 million from a program that advocates seatbelt usage.

[Source: The Detroit News]

Report: ‘Car Czar’ post nixed as part of federal budget deal originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 12 Apr 2011 14:26:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Flame-Surfaced Computers? Chris Bangle reportedly signs deal with Samsung

Filed under: Europe, Hirings/Firings/Layoffs, Technology, BMW, Design/Style

Chris BangleChris Bangle, the controversial former head of BMW design, has joined forces with Samsung to oversee the design of notebooks and phones. Bangle, you may recall, left BMW in 2009 after 17 years to focus on his own design projects.

According to Samsung, Bangle is operating as an outside influence on the design of their phones and laptops and will still work on his own projects outside of the company. The American designer set up Chris Bangle and Associates shortly after leaving BMW, and has been working on designing yachts and electronics ever since.

Samsung says the move is an effort to emphasize its new focus on the design of their electronics and move the brand upmarket. Samsung says it will set up a European design center specifically for Bangle and send 10 or so researchers from the company to work with him on new design ideas.

[Source: JoongAng Daily]

Flame-Surfaced Computers? Chris Bangle reportedly signs deal with Samsung originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 11 Mar 2011 13:20:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Penske bails out of Smart distribution deal, Daimler takes over

Filed under: Etc., Mercedes-Benz, Smart

2009 Smart Fortwo Click above for high-res image gallery

So much for Valentine’s Day. Penske and Smart have jointly announced that the couple is going their separate ways.

Penske is walking away from it distribution rights, management, sales and marketing duties, but that doesn’t mean the brand is going anywhere. From now on, the pint-sized city movers will be peddled by Mercedes-Benz USA, and Smart says the move is just one part of a greater growth strategy. In a letter to owners, Smart said that all warranties will still be valid and that all of the transition kinks should be ironed out by as soon as June of this year.

Talk about a quick rebound.

Daimler handles Smart distribution the world over, so the move makes sense for the troubled brand here in the States. Hobbled by low fuel prices, Smart sold around 100,000 units globally last year. In comparison, the company managed to move 114,000 vehicles amidst the world-wide recession of 2009. A paltry 5,927 Fortwos were sold in the U.S. in 2010.

Rumors have cropped up around a number of planned new models for the company, including a ForTwo+2 as well as a five-door hatch. Hit the jump for the full press release as well as the company’s letter to current owners. Thanks for the tip, Vince!

Gallery: Review: 2009 Smart ForTwo

[Source: Smart]

Continue reading Penske bails out of Smart distribution deal, Daimler takes over

Penske bails out of Smart distribution deal, Daimler takes over originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 14 Feb 2011 17:55:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Rumored Jeep pickup far from a done deal

Filed under: Truck, Jeep, Rumormill, Off-Road

2005 Jeep Gladiator Concept

2005 Jeep Gladiator Concept – Click above for high-res image gallery

Please join us in a collective sigh of exasperation. According to Automotive News, the much-rumored Jeep pickup that had us all salivating earlier this year may be little more than hyped-up vaporware. It would seem that while Chrysler’s off-roading arm is game to create a small pickup once again, the vehicle isn’t as writ in stone as we were all led to believe. From what we can tell, Jeep is facing some grief from the Ram squad for wanting to play in their sandbox. Additionally, all of Chrysler is staring at a pretty hefty dearth of engineers, so adding another ground-up build to the company’s already sizable honey-do list isn’t exactly on the table.

And what of the military-spec Jeep truck currently on sale elsewhere around the globe? Automotive News says that Chrysler thinks it wouldn’t be worth the effort (or money) to try to dilute that vehicle down far enough for civilian duty. Maestro, cue up the sad trombone, if you’d be so kind.

That means that we can probably scrap the notion of seeing Jeep pickup by next year as we were initially led to believe. If the vehicle does manage to get past all of the hurdles before it, the pickup likely won’t see the light of day for a good long while.

Gallery: 2005 Jeep Gladiator Concept

[Source: Automotive News]

Report: Rumored Jeep pickup far from a done deal originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 23 Dec 2010 11:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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