Identified closely with the K-car, Dodge Viper and minivan while at Chrysler and the GT and Mustang during his days at Ford, engineer Chris Theodore is keeping active consulting and inventing better turbochargers and EVs.
Challenges facing the U.S. manufacturing sector include cost pressures, adapting to new technology, finding and retaining skilled workers and overcoming what the executive calls structural cost burdens.
The brand’s North American chief says deliveries could hit 400,000 in fiscal 2016, as recently introduced models gain a firmer foothold and a new assembly plant in Mexico launches production in the spring.
Lacks’ only customer to date is Audi, which is using the innovation on its flagship ’15 A8 Quattro. The A8 is a low-volume car, but for the privately owned supplier the application marks a significant breakthrough.
Younger consumers face barriers such as higher unemployment, lower income, stiffer insurance rates and the fact new cars and trucks cost more as content and regulations add to sticker prices, Mustafa Mohatarem says.