Auto News for April 24

Slow sales of the Focus and C-Max have Ford eliminating a third shift at a plant in Wayne Michigan and laying off 700 workers, according to the Detroit News. The plant produces the Focus models that run on both gas and electricity and the C-Max hybrid. Edmunds.com reports sales of electrics and hybrids are at their lowest level in four years. United Auto Workers official Jimmy Settles said nearly all of the displaced workers may be offered work at other Ford facilities “as soon as this summer.”

What do you know about Alcantara? What is it other than a key trim ingredient in fast cars and those more slanted toward luxury. Check back tomorrow for a complete report on the one and only company that makes it and its friendly record regarding the environment.

ford-hotwheels-01

 

It is being called the biggest Hot Wheels track loop at 12 and one half feet, breaking the old record of 9 feet 9 inches. It was all put together by a Ford technician, Matt West, and his six year old son. The track was displayed at Ford’s Research and Innovation center in Dearborn, Michigan in an attempt to interest more young people in engineering. “In a world where kids are inundated with TV’s and tablets, I thought reaching my son with actual moving vehicle models would be so much more rewarding, and then it took on a life of its own,” West said. Of course, the track cars were Hot Wheels Mustangs.

Mitsubishi is turning into a kind of sleeper brand in the U.S. market with growing sales that are starting to beef up the old bottom line. The company reported double digit profit increases in its fiscal fourth quarter and its first profit in North America in seven years. U.S. sales rose 19 percent in the quarter.

Foreign exchange losses, increased promotional programs, and the addition of two new plants resulted in lower quarterly profits at Mazda. That offset rising sales, up 4.2 percent globally along with a 12 percent increase in global revenue. Sales in North America were up nearly 3 percent.

subaru WRX

Subaru announced pricing for its 2016 WRX and WRX STI models. They will add Blind Spot Detection, Lane Change Assist and Rear Cross Traffic Alert, plus a new touch screen infotainment system. The WRX will carry an MSRP of $26,595 and the high performance WRX STI will come in at $34,695. The WRX is pictured.

Jaguar’s Ian Callum has been named Designer of the Year on a list celebrating the 100 most influential individuals in British design. He was honored for his work on the Jaguar F-TYPE, XE and the new XF.

 

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