Official: Ford hiring 800 more salaried workers than originally expected

Filed under: Hirings/Firings/Layoffs, Ford

Ford US job creation infographic

Ford is on a roll this year, with excellent quarterly earnings and better-than-expected vehicle sales leading to 800 more job opportunities with the Blue Oval. In January, Ford announced that it wanted to hire 2,200 salaried employees, but, since then, that figure has been revised to 3,000, representing a 36-percent increase over original projections. About 1,500 of those jobs remain, 80 percent of which are technical professional positions.

“Engineers and technical professionals are in as much demand as our cars, trucks and SUVs,” says Felicia Fields, Ford Group Vice President for Human Resources. Helping to spur this job growth are increasing market share on both the West and East Coast and robust demand for the Ford Escape and F-150.

To find job candidates, Ford is reaching out to them via Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, in addition to the company’s corporate career site. The Blue Oval is also ramping up its presence on college campuses.

One of Fords goals has been to create 12,000 hourly jobs in the US by 2015, and this latest announcement does alter that goal, Ford says, which is sitting the 75-percent mark since the company hired over 6,200 hourly employees last year. Learn more in the press release below.

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Ford hiring 800 more salaried workers than originally expected originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 24 Jul 2013 18:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Robert Kubica not expected to return to F1 before season’s end

Filed under: Motorsports, Lotus, Renault

Robert Kubica

If you’ve been counting down the days until Robert Kubica returns to the Formula One grid, you may want to stop counting for now. The latest reports suggest that the Polish driver is not likely to return before the end of the season, if at all.

Kubica, for those who may not recall, suffered a terrible accident during the off-season while contesting a rally in Italy some four months ago. His car was impaled by a dislodged guardrail and Kubica sustained extensive injuries to his right-side limbs. Now released from hospital and recovering at home, Kubica’s boss – Lotus Renault GP chief Gerard Lopez – reportedly says it is not likely the star driver will be back by season’s end.

Renault may give Kubica the opportunity to test drive during a Friday test session on a grand prix weekend at some point, but that should not, Lopez warns, indicate that he’d be ready to relieve Nick Heidfeld and take on a full race. Whether Kubica ever gets back into racing form remains to be seen – his doctors are reserving judgment until the summer – but we wish him the best for a suitably speedy recovery.

Robert Kubica not expected to return to F1 before season’s end originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 24 May 2011 18:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: NHTSA expected to mandate black boxes in all cars next month

Filed under: Technology

electronic data recorderAre you ready for a black box to be installed in your car? The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration apparently is. According to a new report from Wired, NHTSA is expected to rule next month that all new cars will need to carry just such a device.

Now, before you get all “Screw the Gubment!” in the comments, you should know that many modern cars already have black box systems installed – you might have one and not even know it. General Motors, for instance, has been installed the electronic data recorders since the 1990s, on almost all vehicles fitted with airbags.

The concern for most drivers, however, lies with what type of information is captured, and who has access to it. Also, different automakers use different Electronic Data Recorder devices. A black box standard needs to be developed, which would allow for the data retrieved from an EDR to be consistent regardless of the vehicle make it’s pulled from.

Some view this mandate as an invasion of motorists’ privacy. However, the data recovered from the black box systems can provide crucial insight into crash dynamics. Exactly who’s allowed to view that information varies by state, of course, and only 13 states currently have legislation in place regulating the release of EDR data.

What do you think, is this a good idea, or a bad one? Have your say in Comments.

NHTSA expected to mandate black boxes in all cars next month originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 24 May 2011 14:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: 7th-generation Camry coming this fall, Prius expected to take top sales spot

Filed under: Sedan, Toyota

2011 toyota camry

2010 Toyota Camry – Click above for high-res image gallery

The current Toyota Camry has been carrying the mid-size sedan torch since 2006, so it’s high time for a remake. According to WardsAuto.com, Toyota is busily prepping the next-generation car, and it could be here by the fall.

The Japanese automaker has been seeing increased pressure from the latest offerings coming out of Korea and the United States, and now it’s time to update its own high-volume money maker. While Toyota sold 327,084 Camrys in 2010 – still at the very front of the midsize family sedan class – that figure represents the lowest sales total for the vehicle since 1994.

Somewhat interestingly, though, Toyota apparently sees the Prius hybrid range taking over for the Camry as Toyota’s best-selling model. Time, as they say, will tell.

7th-generation Camry coming this fall, Prius expected to take top sales spot originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 20 May 2011 15:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Rare four-cylinder ’57 Ferrari Testa Rossa expected to top $4 million at auction

Filed under: Classics, Auctions, Ferrari

1957 Ferrari 500 TRC Spider

1957 Ferrari 500 TRC Spider – Click above for high-res image gallery

Wait a second, a Ferrari 500 with a four-cylinder engine? Come on, Autoblog – check your facts. Don’t we mean a Fiat 500? Maybe that special-edition Abarth 695 Tributo Ferrari? Nope. What we have here is a genuine four-cylinder Ferrari. And a highly coveted one at that.

The Ferrari 500 TRC (that’s Testa Rossa Type-C) Spider was one of the last models Maranello ever built with an inline-four, the engine originally designed by Aurelio Lampredi for Formula Two, but later adapted for sports racing prototypes after the engineer’s departure. Derived from the Monza, this was the first Ferrari to bear the Testa Rossa name for its red valve headers. And though the styling is similar, it’s even rarer than the 250 Testa Rossa that followed: only 19 of these cars were built, all during just one year or production, making this rarer than the more powerful 12-cylinder 250 TR and 250 GTO that rake in the big bucks at auction.

This particular example – chassis number 0670 MDTR – was the sixth made, ordered by a customer in Sicily who entered it in numerous races around the world in its heyday. While other 500 TRC Spiders went on to claim class victories at Le Mans and the Targa Florio, this one took its class win at the Monte Pellegrino Hillclimb in Palermo – the same locale where we drove the Ferrari California on its launch several decades later.

The car stands as the latest consignment to RM Auctions’ docket for the upcoming Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este, where it is expected to fetch €2,600,000 to €3,300,000 (equivalent to $3.6M to $4.6M at current rates). There it will stand alongside such notables recently covered on these pages as the collection of Bertone concept cars, the Talbot and Bugatti art-deco classics and the pair historic Zagato-bodied Kamm-tailed Alfa Romeos in what’s shaping up to be an historic event in its own right. Follow the jump for more details on the 500 TRC and take a closer look in the high-res image gallery.

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Rare four-cylinder ’57 Ferrari Testa Rossa expected to top $4 million at auction originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 17 May 2011 19:25:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Audi confirms diesel A4, A6, A8, Q5 for U.S., first e-tron vehicle expected in 2013

Filed under: Sedan, Crossover, Audi, Diesel

Audi A3 TDI

Audi’s clean diesel initiative here in the United States started with the A3 TDI hatchback and Q7 TDI crossover, but in the coming years, we can expect the vast majority of the company’s volume models to offer oil-burning powerplants. This isn’t the first time the German automaker has spoke of expanding its diesel lineup here in the U.S., but during a press conference this morning, Audi of America President Johan de Nysschen outlined exactly what we can expect to see over the next 24 to 30 months.

The first new implementations of TDI clean diesel will be in the A6 and A8 sedans, as well as the Q5 crossover. All three of these models are expected to have hybrid variants, as well, meaning customers will have a full range of powertrain options in the coming years.

As for the A4 – Audi’s highest-volume model – TDI power is still in the cards for U.S. consumption. Instead of offering a diesel engine in the current model, Audi will be waiting until the next-generation car arrives. The all-new A4 is expected to launch in 2015, or possibly even 2014.

Finally, de Nysschen stated that Audi’s first electric vehicle is expected to arrive in the U.S. by early 2013. The automaker’s e-tron EV technology has been displayed multiple times over the past few years, and while it’s unclear exactly what sort of electric vehicle will arrive in the U.S., our bet is on something R8-based to rival BMW’s new EfficientDynamics i8 sports car.

[Image: Drew Phillips/AOL]

Audi confirms diesel A4, A6, A8, Q5 for U.S., first e-tron vehicle expected in 2013 originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 08 Mar 2011 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Video: 2011 Dodge Charger R/T and Challenger SRT8 392 make more power than expected

Filed under: Coupe, Sedan, Performance, Chrysler, Dodge

2011 Dodge Charger R/T and Challenger SRT8 392

2011 Dodge Charger R/T and Challenger SRT8 392 – Click above to watch the video after the break

As part of its Hemi Highway Tour, a country-wide tour that started in November of 2010 and just recently came to its end, Dodge decided to stop and spend some quality time with the boys and girls from National Speed in Wilmington, NC. Though that company’s main purpose is modifying high-performance machinery to make even more power, Dodge decided to put a couple of its brand new 2011 models on their dyno to see what kind of power could be had right off the showroom floor.

As a preface to the actual dyno results, you should know that Ralph Gilles, Dodge Car Brand President and CEO, claims that a bone-stock 2011 Challenger SRT8 392 ran the quarter-mile at Infineon Dragway in just 12.44 seconds at 110 miles per hour. That, boys and girls, is seriously fast. And those figures are backed up by the data spat out by the computers hooked to National Speed’s dyno.

Without further ado, the numbers: The 2011 Dodge Charger R/T put down 327 horsepower at the rear wheels and 349 pound-feet of torque. For a car rated at 368 horses and 395 lb-ft, that’s quite good. Remember, the dyno measures power after it’s already gone through the transmission and through the wheels to the ground, which saps around 15 percent of total power.

And now on to the big guns. The 2011 Challenger SRT8 392 was measured at 420 rear-wheel horsepower and 419 lb-ft of torque. Also impressive when stacked up against its factory ratings of 470 ponies and pound-feet. Even more interesting, these same machines put down ever more power just a few days later on a different dyno, though still below the 452 horses obtained by the scribes at Inside Line. Enough talking already. Check out the video after the break. Thanks for the tip, Norm!

Gallery: 2011 Dodge Challenger SRT8 392: First Drive

2011 Dodge Challenger SRT8 3922011 Dodge Challenger SRT8 3922011 Dodge Challenger SRT8 3922011 Dodge Challenger SRT8 3922011 Dodge Challenger SRT8 392

Photos copyright (C)2011 Drew Phillips / AOL

[Source: Red Letter Dodge]

Continue reading Video: 2011 Dodge Charger R/T and Challenger SRT8 392 make more power than expected

Video: 2011 Dodge Charger R/T and Challenger SRT8 392 make more power than expected originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 05 Jan 2011 19:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Stock volatility expected to greet Fiat company split on Monday

Filed under: Europe, Earnings/Financials, Fiat

Fiat emblemAccording to Bloomberg, Monday will be an interesting day for Fiat. January 3, 2011 marks the day that investors will be able to assign value to the stocks of the newly split company. Fiat Industrial SpA, which includes Iveco trucks and CNH Global NV (Case, New Holland), has officially separated from the company’s automotive arm. Early estimates seem to indicate that the truck and tractor section of Fiat will likely open at €9.40 per share ($12.59 USD), while Fiat automotive is expected to start trading at €6.65 ($8.92). If true, that means that the two companies will begin trading at roughly 7.1 percent more than what the old unified Fiat saw at the close of trading on Wednesday.

The split marks the largest change in the 111-year history of Fiat, and investors who currently own stock in Fiat SpA will also receive equivalent shares in Fiat Industrial SpA. Regardless of how the two stocks open, analysts expect to see plenty of fluctuations in prices for the first day or two as investors try to get a handle on the change.

[Source: Bloomberg]

Report: Stock volatility expected to greet Fiat company split on Monday originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 01 Jan 2011 17:56:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Next Defender expected in 2014 but Land Rover suffering from lack of focus?

Filed under: SUV, Land Rover, Military, UK, Off-Road

Land Rover Fire and Ice edition Defender SUVs

Land Rover Fire and Ice Defenders – Click above for high-res image gallery

Land Rover seems to be having some trouble figuring out how to go about putting its plan for the successor to the Defender throne into motion. According to Autocar, the company knows what attributes the vehicle should have, but doesn’t know how to go about engineering the platform using existing components from the company’s parts bin. Word from the web had previously said that Land Rover had planned to use the company’s T5 steel platform for Project Icon (the internal name for the next Defender), though according to the report, the company now thinks that the chassis would be too heavy to be a viable option.

So what will the next-generation Defender look like? If anyone at Land Rover knows for sure, they certainly aren’t telling the scribes at Autocar. According to the article, all we know for sure is that the vehicle will still wear the Defender name. Otherwise, there’s just a few shady hints that the company’s fancy Electric Rear Drive Axle Drive technology may show up both on civilian and military models.

Speaking of the Defender’s military service, the Autocar report says that Land Rover is interested in winding down that area of its business, reducing the number of Defender body variations at the same time. With Tata having given the okay (and the funds) to proceed with the 2014 project, here’s hoping Land Rover works its way through this mess in a hurry.

Gallery: Land Rover Defender Fire & Ice editions

[Source: Autocar]

Next Defender expected in 2014 but Land Rover suffering from lack of focus? originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 02 Sep 2010 16:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Shamelessly retro Mercedes SLK-based HMC Hidalgo looks better than expected

Filed under: Aftermarket, Classics, Coupe, Europe, Mercedes-Benz, Design/Style

HMC Hidalgo – Click above for high-res image gallery

Now here’s a pleasant surprise. The designers at Helvetic Motor Company have officially pulled back the sheets on their Hidalgo, and we have to say that while we were expecting the worst, this Swiss Miss is actually pretty sharp. When a builder announces their intention to reskin a perfectly amiable vehicle like the Mercedes-Benz SLK 55 AMG, that typically means bad-news bears. But the Hidalgo seemingly manages to blend heaping helpings of Bugatti Atlantic-era styling with the benefit of the Silver Arrow’s considerable running gear. Power from the 5.5-liter V8 has been kept to the stock 355 horsepower and 376 lb-ft of torque, enough to make this an interesting alternative to today’s contemporary BMW-powered Morgans.

If you’re thinking the car looks like something you’d like to get your hands on, you should probably be on the phone with HMC right now. The company is apparently only planning on building six examples per year at most, each one with a price tag of $410,000 at today’s current conversion rates. Hey, we never said nostalgia was cheap.

Gallery: HMC Hidalgo

[Source: Autoblog.nl]

Shamelessly retro Mercedes SLK-based HMC Hidalgo looks better than expected originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 03 Aug 2010 15:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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