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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Report: Drunken BBQ leads to 64 torched cars [w/video]

Filed under: Etc., Europe, Safety, Videos

Parking lot fire at French stunt show

The phrase “You’re doing it wrong,” doesn’t really even begin to describe this one. We’ll admit to being concerned whenever we have to park in a field. There’s always a fear, especially during dry weather, that one person’s negligence could cause the whole lot to go up.

And that’s almost exactly what happened in Noyal-Pontivy, Brittany, France. A cluster of cars were parked in a field outside a stunt show, when a pair of intoxicated men decided to break out the barbecue for a bit of tailgating (or whatever the French call it). The only problem being they didn’t bother to put their grill out before leaving for the show.

The resulting fast-moving blaze required 40 firefighters to bring it under control, along with a farmer cutting a fire line to contain the inferno. 64 torched cars later, the police were on hand to conduct their investigation into how the wildfire started. That’s when our two drunkards came forward, taking responsibility for their negligence. The men face two years in prison. Scroll down for video from the scene.

Continue reading Drunken BBQ leads to 64 torched cars [w/video]

Drunken BBQ leads to 64 torched cars [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 05 Sep 2013 14:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Drunken BBQ leads to 64 torched cars [w/video]

Filed under: Etc., Europe, Safety, Videos

Parking lot fire at French stunt show

The phrase “You’re doing it wrong,” doesn’t really even begin to describe this one. We’ll admit to being concerned whenever we have to park in a field. There’s always a fear, especially during dry weather, that one person’s negligence could cause the whole lot to go up.

And that’s almost exactly what happened in Noyal-Pontivy, Brittany, France. A cluster of cars were parked in a field outside a stunt show, when a pair of intoxicated men decided to break out the barbecue for a bit of tailgating (or whatever the French call it). The only problem being they didn’t bother to put their grill out before leaving for the show.

The resulting fast-moving blaze required 40 firefighters to bring it under control, along with a farmer cutting a fire line to contain the inferno. 64 torched cars later, the police were on hand to conduct their investigation into how the wildfire started. That’s when our two drunkards came forward, taking responsibility for their negligence. The men face two years in prison. Scroll down for video from the scene.

Continue reading Drunken BBQ leads to 64 torched cars [w/video]

Drunken BBQ leads to 64 torched cars [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 05 Sep 2013 14:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: CA stops plans for RFID-enabled driver’s licenses [w/poll]

Filed under: Government/Legal, Safety, Technology

California lawmakers suspended legislation to embed driver's licenses and ID cards with radio frequency identification chips.

California could have become the fifth state to issue enhanced driver’s licenses (EDL) and identification cards embedded with radio frequency identification (RFID) chips, but last Friday, state lawmakers suspended the legislation over privacy concerns. The RFID-equipped cards were to be optional, but ultimately it was a lack of measures to prevent law enforcement from tapping into the chips that killed the bill, Wired reports.

California EDLs originally were intended to be a solution to long wait times at the US-Mexico border – drivers carrying EDLs would not have to show a passport to re-enter the US at land border checkpoints where RFID readers are used. Michigan, New York, Vermont and Washington are the four states that already employ EDLs, and residents of those states don’t need a passport to re-enter the US at most land borders if they have one of the special licenses.

Privacy advocates are worried that if more states start using EDLs and enhanced ID cards, they could become mandatory across the US, allowing the government to surveil the motoring public without its knowledge. Information on the RFID cards is stored in a secure database at the Department of Homeland Security. “It’s not difficult to imagine a time when the EDL programs cease to be optional,” says Jim Harper, the Cato Institute’s director of information policy studies. “The government also tends to expand programs far beyond their original purpose.”

Ben Hueso, a California senator from San Diego, supports RFID technology and offers a different viewpoint. “Enhanced Driver’s Licenses can provide a significant economic benefit to the state of California, while strengthening border security,” Hueso wrote in a press release in May, according to Wired.

We’re not sure what’s best for California regarding RFID technology, but considering how much of an impact technology like this could make on its citizens’ privacy, it’s encouraging to see lawmakers and privacy advocates treading carefully and airing concerns. Stay tuned for more on this issue – it isn’t going away any time soon.

View Poll

CA stops plans for RFID-enabled driver’s licenses [w/poll] originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 05 Sep 2013 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: CA stops plans for RFID-enabled driver’s licenses [w/poll]

Filed under: Government/Legal, Safety, Technology

California lawmakers suspended legislation to embed driver's licenses and ID cards with radio frequency identification chips.

California could have become the fifth state to issue enhanced driver’s licenses (EDL) and identification cards embedded with radio frequency identification (RFID) chips, but last Friday, state lawmakers suspended the legislation over privacy concerns. The RFID-equipped cards were to be optional, but ultimately it was a lack of measures to prevent law enforcement from tapping into the chips that killed the bill, Wired reports.

California EDLs originally were intended to be a solution to long wait times at the US-Mexico border – drivers carrying EDLs would not have to show a passport to re-enter the US at land border checkpoints where RFID readers are used. Michigan, New York, Vermont and Washington are the four states that already employ EDLs, and residents of those states don’t need a passport to re-enter the US at most land borders if they have one of the special licenses.

Privacy advocates are worried that if more states start using EDLs and enhanced ID cards, they could become mandatory across the US, allowing the government to surveil the motoring public without its knowledge. Information on the RFID cards is stored in a secure database at the Department of Homeland Security. “It’s not difficult to imagine a time when the EDL programs cease to be optional,” says Jim Harper, the Cato Institute’s director of information policy studies. “The government also tends to expand programs far beyond their original purpose.”

Ben Hueso, a California senator from San Diego, supports RFID technology and offers a different viewpoint. “Enhanced Driver’s Licenses can provide a significant economic benefit to the state of California, while strengthening border security,” Hueso wrote in a press release in May, according to Wired.

We’re not sure what’s best for California regarding RFID technology, but considering how much of an impact technology like this could make on its citizens’ privacy, it’s encouraging to see lawmakers and privacy advocates treading carefully and airing concerns. Stay tuned for more on this issue – it isn’t going away any time soon.

View Poll

CA stops plans for RFID-enabled driver’s licenses [w/poll] originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 05 Sep 2013 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: How new car shortages may impact your buying experience

Filed under: Plants/Manufacturing, Chevrolet, Ford, Honda, Subaru, Earnings/Financials

Auto Sales

If you want further proof that the auto industry is bouncing back, look no further than the empty lots and forecourts of your local dealership. According to a story by The Wall Street Journal, continued high demand for mainstream cars is overtaxing automakers’ ability to produce enough models. Several dealers interviewed for the story are reporting two-week supplies as opposed to the typical two-month allocations.

With sales expected to hit 1.4 million units when August numbers arrive shortly and incentive spending down to its lowest amount since January, these limited supplies are pushing prices even higher. For example, according to the WSJ, the average price of a Ford Fusion is up past $26,000. Unfortunately, it’s difficult for manufacturers to increase production quickly. If it invests in its facilities, as many manufacturers have done, it risks wasting cash if growth suddenly slows. At the same time, the momentum gained over the past several years could be short lived if vehicle supplies continue to dwindle. “Manufacturers are in a precarious situation,” notes Karl Brauer, a senior director at Kelley Blue Book.

Low interest rates and a wealth of desirable features are also allowing customers to purchase more expensive vehicles while justifying their higher overall price tags, a situation that is compounding supply shortages. Even now, during the annual end-of-summer clearance season, deals on new vehicles are remarkably difficult to come by. According to the report, the Toyota Corolla is in a self-inflicted state of shortage, as Toyota clears out inventory in anticipation of the new 2014 generation arriving in dealers. Ford’s supplies should rebound as Fusion production comes on line at its Flat Rock, Michigan factory. The Chevrolet Impala, Honda Odyssey, Civic, and Accord and Subaru Forester are also facing shortages.

How new car shortages may impact your buying experience originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 04 Sep 2013 14:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: How new car shortages may impact your buying experience

Filed under: Plants/Manufacturing, Chevrolet, Ford, Honda, Subaru, Earnings/Financials

Auto Sales

If you want further proof that the auto industry is bouncing back, look no further than the empty lots and forecourts of your local dealership. According to a story by The Wall Street Journal, continued high demand for mainstream cars is overtaxing automakers’ ability to produce enough models. Several dealers interviewed for the story are reporting two-week supplies as opposed to the typical two-month allocations.

With sales expected to hit 1.4 million units when August numbers arrive shortly and incentive spending down to its lowest amount since January, these limited supplies are pushing prices even higher. For example, according to the WSJ, the average price of a Ford Fusion is up past $26,000. Unfortunately, it’s difficult for manufacturers to increase production quickly. If it invests in its facilities, as many manufacturers have done, it risks wasting cash if growth suddenly slows. At the same time, the momentum gained over the past several years could be short lived if vehicle supplies continue to dwindle. “Manufacturers are in a precarious situation,” notes Karl Brauer, a senior director at Kelley Blue Book.

Low interest rates and a wealth of desirable features are also allowing customers to purchase more expensive vehicles while justifying their higher overall price tags, a situation that is compounding supply shortages. Even now, during the annual end-of-summer clearance season, deals on new vehicles are remarkably difficult to come by. According to the report, the Toyota Corolla is in a self-inflicted state of shortage, as Toyota clears out inventory in anticipation of the new 2014 generation arriving in dealers. Ford’s supplies should rebound as Fusion production comes on line at its Flat Rock, Michigan factory. The Chevrolet Impala, Honda Odyssey, Civic, and Accord and Subaru Forester are also facing shortages.

How new car shortages may impact your buying experience originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 04 Sep 2013 14:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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