Report: VW, UAW hold high-level talks on organizing Chattanooga

Filed under: Government/Legal, Hirings/Firings/Layoffs, Plants/Manufacturing, Volkswagen, UAW/Unions

UAW New President

Volkswagen and the United Auto Workers union are now one step closer to achieving a deal that would see VW’s plant in Chattanooga, TN become unionized. If it happens, it would be the first major victory in recent years for the UAW at a plant in the United States run by a foreign automaker. The UAW had formerly represented workers at VW’s Westmoreland plant in Pennsylvania, which first opened in 1978 and is now closed. At present, the only non-Domestic facility in the States that is unionized is the Mitsubishi plant in Normal, IL.

While neither side is officially commenting, Automotive News Europe, citing a story in German newspaper Handelsblatt, reports that a meeting was held last Friday between plant officials and Bob King, president of the UAW. Negotiations are reportedly underway that would see a so-called German-style works council formed. This council would allow both blue-collar and white-collar employees to elect representatives that would have a say in any significant plant discussion.

VW’s Chattanooga plant is the only facility the automaker operates in the whole world that isn’t represented by a union of some sort, and US labor law apparently requires that an outside body, such as the UAW, be involved in any such negotiations. Horst Neumann, the board member for human resources at VW, said in March that “The UAW would be a natural partner,” but that any deal would “depend on negotiations.” It would seem those negotiations are now underway in earnest.

VW, UAW hold high-level talks on organizing Chattanooga originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 03 Sep 2013 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: VW, UAW hold high-level talks on organizing Chattanooga

Filed under: Government/Legal, Hirings/Firings/Layoffs, Plants/Manufacturing, Volkswagen, UAW/Unions

UAW New President

Volkswagen and the United Auto Workers union are now one step closer to achieving a deal that would see VW’s plant in Chattanooga, TN become unionized. If it happens, it would be the first major victory in recent years for the UAW at a plant in the United States run by a foreign automaker. The UAW had formerly represented workers at VW’s Westmoreland plant in Pennsylvania, which first opened in 1978 and is now closed. At present, the only non-Domestic facility in the States that is unionized is the Mitsubishi plant in Normal, IL.

While neither side is officially commenting, Automotive News Europe, citing a story in German newspaper Handelsblatt, reports that a meeting was held last Friday between plant officials and Bob King, president of the UAW. Negotiations are reportedly underway that would see a so-called German-style works council formed. This council would allow both blue-collar and white-collar employees to elect representatives that would have a say in any significant plant discussion.

VW’s Chattanooga plant is the only facility the automaker operates in the whole world that isn’t represented by a union of some sort, and US labor law apparently requires that an outside body, such as the UAW, be involved in any such negotiations. Horst Neumann, the board member for human resources at VW, said in March that “The UAW would be a natural partner,” but that any deal would “depend on negotiations.” It would seem those negotiations are now underway in earnest.

VW, UAW hold high-level talks on organizing Chattanooga originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 03 Sep 2013 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Video: High-speed bicycle inspired by land-speed-record cars

Filed under: Etc., Videos, UK

Land-speed-record bicycle

Inspired by the backyard engineering of land-speed racers who built 600+miles-per-hour rockets on wheels, bicycle frame builder Tom Donhou built a bike intended to exceed 100 mph under pedal power alone. As the mini-documentary video below attests, Donhou was able to reach about 80 mph behind his aerodynamically optimized Ford Zephyr 6 draft car (complete with column-mounted manual shifter), but he’ll need a draft car with a higher top speed if he wants to top 100 mph.

To pedal the bicycle to such a high speed, Donhou also needs the correct gearing to get him there. The huge 104-tooth chain ring connected to a 13-tooth sprocket should suffice, as he proved with a run to 102 mph on rollers. Don’t expect to see him riding up any hills, though you may soon spot him testing the bike on public roads behind his next draft car: a friend’s more capable Ford Capri Cosworth.

We hope the Capri’s much higher top speed will allow Donhou to go even faster on his next run, but until then, watch his first experiment in speed in the nicely produced video below.

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High-speed bicycle inspired by land-speed-record cars originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 03 Aug 2013 09:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Video: 2012 BMW M5 teased again during Nardo high-speed testing

Filed under: Sedan, Performance, Videos, BMW

2012 BMW M5 Video

2012 BMW M5 undergoing high-speed testing – Click above to watch the video after the jump

Seriously, BMW, enough with the 2012 M5 teasers. In addition to the buffet of spy shots that we’ve published, BMW debuted the production-looking M5 Concept in Shanghai and has released quite a few videos teasing the new M flagship sedan doing what it does best. Almost nothing has been left to the imagination at this point.

Who are we kidding? We can’t get enough of this car.

This time around, we see the lightly camouflaged M5 doing high-speed testing at Italy’s massive Nardo Ring – an important part of any M car development. As you can see by the driver’s expressions, hitting the highest numbers on the speedometer is a piece of cake for the twin-turbocharged M5.

BMWBlog.com reports that the M5 will officially debut at the automaker’s M Festival, held from June 23 to 26 to celebrate the 24 Hours of Nürburgring race. The car will make its grand auto show debut in Frankfurt this fall. Hit the jump to watch and hear the latest teaser.

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2012 BMW M5 teased again during Nardo high-speed testing originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 31 May 2011 13:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Video: Airplane/train hybrid could replace high-speed trains [w/video]

Filed under: Etc., Japan, Technology

Japanese flying train concept

Hovering Aero Train – Click above to watch video after the jump

A Japanese research team led by Yusuke Sugahara at Tohoku University has built a robotic prototype of a free-flying, ground-effects vehicle that floats within inches of the road. Called Aero Train, this ground-effects vehicle will be used to test an autonomous three-axis stabilization system.

Packing electric motors, the Aero Train hovers inches above the tarmac, eliminating any rolling resistance and allowing it to hit a top speed of 124 miles per hour. A U-shaped concrete channel controls air flow and provides the Aero Train’s robotic controls with a makeshift road to follow. On-board computers control pitch, roll and yaw of the prototype.

In the future – get this – the developers envision the Aero Train traveling within a tunnel capped with solar panels that send juice directly to the vehicle’s batteries. Hit the jump to catch video of the prototype Aero Train floating down the road.

Continue reading Airplane/train hybrid could replace high-speed trains [w/video]

Airplane/train hybrid could replace high-speed trains [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 13 May 2011 16:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Ram shows off Long-Hauler Concept in high resolution

Filed under: Concept Cars, Truck, Chrysler, Dodge

ram long-hauler concept

Ram Long-Hauler Concept truck – Click above for high-res image gallery

When Ram first showed off its new super-stretch Long-Hauler concept truck, we couldn’t help but think those initial photos looked like they were shot with a first-generation iPhone sporting a greased-over camera lens. Now, however, Chrysler has been so kind as to bring in a professional who’s pulled a few high-resolution images off their memory card.

We’re assuming the photographer stood way back to capture the entire 24-foot-long, quad-cab pickup truck. It’s called the Long-Hauler because it can carry enough fuel (170 gallons in total) to keep on truckin’ for around 1,600 miles between fill-ups.

Want to see it for yourself? Chrysler is taking its new super-steed out to a few shows. Click past the jump to see if the Ram Long-Hauler Concept will be making a pit-stop near you. Also, click through the gallery to check out this titan-truck from a different few angles, including a shot of the interior.

Gallery: Ram Long-Hauler Concept truck

Ram Long-Hauler ConceptRam Long-Hauler ConceptRam Long-Hauler ConceptRam Long-Hauler Concept interiorRam Long-Hauler Concept seat

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Ram shows off Long-Hauler Concept in high resolution originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 02 May 2011 21:25:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: High-performance VW Beetle R confirmed for U.S.

Filed under: Coupe, Hatchback, Volkswagen, Shanghai Motor Show

2012 volkswagen beetle

2012 Volkswagen Beetle – Click above for high-res image gallery

The 2012 Volkswagen Beetle is fresh off its global unveiling earlier today, and the good-looking hatch appears to be dead serious about appealing to the masses. Volkswagen will offer the Beetle with diesel and petrol powerplants and a convertible is expected to arrive for the 2013 model year.

Good stuff, but what about red-blooded enthusiasts? The German automaker could have simply pointed out the availability of the 2.0T model as the driver’s Beetle, but Team VW apparently has bigger and hopefully better plans. Car and Driver is reporting that VW has officially announced that a high-performance Beetle R will be available for U.S. consumption. C/D points out that the last Beetle also came in a hi-po RSi variant, though the hatchback was a Euro-only affair and it was a complete bust.

We’re more hopeful for the Beetle R, if only because the Beetle is more attractive and far more masculine in appearance than its predecessor. It could help, too, if VW offers the high-output 2.0T as the powertrain of choice. Under the hood of the Golf R, the boosted powerplant cranks out 265 horsepower, which should be more than enough motivation to make the Beetle R feel like a hot hatch star.

Gallery: 2012 Volkswagen Beetle

2012 Volkswagen Beetle in red, exterior2012 Volkswagen Beetle in red, exterior in motion2012 Volkswagen Beetle in red, rear exterior in motion2012 Volkswagen Beetle in red2012 Volkswagen Beetle in red from rear

[Source: Car and Driver]

Report: High-performance VW Beetle R confirmed for U.S. originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 18 Apr 2011 18:20:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Infographic: Why is your car insurance so high?

Filed under: Etc., Safety

Car insurance rate infographic – Click above to view in high-res

Car insurance rates are determined with a host of factors in mind. Objective items like a motorist’s age and driving record are the most-weighted factors insurers consider, but those items among a couple of dozens of things used to figure out what your premiums will be. Included in the CarInsurance.com graphic are stats like 2010’s most-expensive car to insure, the Porsche 911 GT2, and the least, the Mazda Tribute.

Behind driving record, age and marital status are factors like what you drive, your gender, your state and credit rating. While lots of the factors are things drivers have some control over, a small part of the insurance rate you pay comes down to what company you choose to go with and which policy you buy. Follow the jump for an expanded breakdown of insurance costs.

[Source: CarInsurance.com]

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Infographic: Why is your car insurance so high? originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 05 Apr 2011 16:20:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Ta-dah! Choking trucker saved when high-speed crash dislodges fruit

Filed under: Truck, Etc., Safety, Work

First aid for choking signA serious accident likely saved a trucker’s life Tuesday near Reading, Pennsylvania. Richard Paylor, 55, of Bucks County, was reportedly eating an apple behind the wheel of his tractor-trailer when a piece of the fruit got lodged in his throat, causing him to choke. According to the Reading Eagle, Paylor subsequently blacked out and slumped over the steering wheel.

As the story goes, Paylor’s big rig then bounced off a guardrail and hit a concrete wall. The impact dislodged the apple from his throat and likely saved his life. Before Tuesday, Paylor had been accident-free for his entire 23-year career.

Paylor was taken to the hospital with a cut on his head and a slight fracture of one of his vertebrae, but very much alive. For his part, Paylor says he’s sorry caused a traffic jam and admits he’s glad to be alive.

[Source: Reading Eagle | Image: Emedco]

Ta-dah! Choking trucker saved when high-speed crash dislodges fruit originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 31 Mar 2011 18:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Volvo considering insanely high $2,100/month lease for C30 Electric

Filed under: Car Buying, Hatchback, Volvo, Electric

volvo c30 electric

Volvo C30 Electric – Click above for high-res image gallery

A trial fleet of around 400 Volvo C30 Electrics is coming, and anyone who wants one had better have an awful big piggy bank. Speaking at a media launch near Indianapolis, IN today, the president of Volvo Car Special Vehicles, Lennart Stegland, said that, while the final price for the car hasn’t been set, Volvo will not sell the EV, but instead offer the car through a three-year lease for around 1,500 Euros. Per month.

1,500 Euros comes out to about $2,129.85 at today’s exchange rates, so if you stick it out for the full 36 months, you get to spend $76,674 to not buy a car. Even worse, Stegland said that Volvo will lose money on the deal. Ouch. Developing electric vehicles for mass production (which, on Volvo’s schedule, will happen sometime around 2013 or so) is more than mildly expensive.

Sure, for the three years you drive the C30 Electric, you’ll probably be quite happy with the car. We certainly were when we drove it last fall and fell for it again in Indiana today (our full write up is coming soon). To convince EV skeptics, Volvo is pushing its traditional safety message pretty hard with the C30 Electric, and we’re sure the car is as safe as can be. We’ll see how powerful this argument is when a hundred C30 Electrics come to the U.S. in the first quarter of 2012. An official lease price hasn’t been set but, as much as we like it, it’ll be hard to justify two-large a month for four-seat hatch.

Gallery: Volvo C30 Electric

Volvo C30 ElectricVolvo C30 ElectricVolvo C30 ElectricVolvo C30 ElectricVolvo C30 Electric

Photos copyright (C)2010 Sebastian Blanco / Weblogs, Inc.

Volvo considering insanely high $2,100/month lease for C30 Electric originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 24 Mar 2011 16:28:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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