Thirty years ago, if you had told me that Bob Dylan would win the Nobel Prize for Literature or that the president of the United States would be able to influence corporate manufacturing decisions through an electronic medium called “Twitter,” I would not have believed you. But, to quote The Bard, “The times, they are a-changin’.”
DETROIT--Toyota’s plan to invest $10 billion in the U.S. over five years includes spending more than a billion dollars at the Georgetown auto assembly plant. The Japanese automaker executives reaffirmed that commitment during the North American International Auto Show here last week.
ALLISTON, Ont.--The federal and Ontario governments are each providing Honda Canada with grants of up to $41.8 million for upgrades and research and development at its operations in Alliston, Ont. The government money, along with up to $408.3 million from Honda itself, will go toward vehicle-assembly technology, as well as the design and construction of a new paint shop that is expected to cut greenhouse gas emissions nearly in half.
NECKARSULM, GERMANY—Audi is preparing for the future with its Smart Factory, designed to optimize automobile production lines. First mentioned last year, the company envisions a factory where humans and robots will work together, and separate workstations allow a highly flexible working routine.
DETROIT—Fiat Chrysler, Magna Interior Inc., Grupo Antolin and the U.S. Department of Energy have collaborated on a project that reduces the weight of car doors by 42.5 percent without a dramatic increase in cost. Using a holistic approach, engineers looked at the door as a complete system that could integrate everything available on the market today.
MOBILE, AL—Alabama’s auto production climbed to a record high in 2016, as workers at the state’s three auto assembly plants kept up a brisk pace of building SUVs, pickups and sedans for markets around the world.
CLEMSON, SC—Researchers at Clemson University and Carnegie Mellon University are collaborating to develop next-generation robots for advanced manufacturing across the automotive, aerospace, electronics and textile industries. Clemson will also help train the workers who will operate the robots, as part of a $253 million plan to fill roughly 510,000 jobs in manufacturing by 2025.
DETROIT—Fiat Chrysler has pledged to spend $1 billion to overhaul its assembly plants in Michigan and Ohio to build the upcoming Jeep Wagoneer, Grand Wagoneer, and Wrangler pickup. The move will add 2,000 jobs to the automaker’s U.S. workforce and will enable the company to move Ram heavy-duty pickup truck production from Mexico to the U.S.