James M. Amend

James
M. Amend
Associate Editor,
WardsAuto

James covers General Motors and environmental and safety issues.

Articles
Flooded GM Tech Center on Mend; Design, R&D Still Closed
Employees at GM Design tell WardsAuto their main building was “devastated,” and it could be months before the facility is fully operational again.
GM to Invest $174 Million at Lansing Complex
A 225,000-sq.-ft. stamping facility will start production in 2016 and the automaker expects that making the parts locally will save $14 million annually in material handling costs.
Pricing for ’15 Chevy Colorado, GMC Canyon to Start at $20,995 2
While pricing always plays a key role in marketing, it will be particularly important to hit the sweet spot with the Colorado and Canyon: too steep and it risks overlapping GM’s large pickups, too cheaply and it saps profitability.
Suppliers Wild Card in North American Output Surge
“The industry is in good shape. We’re not over our skis,” Visteon CEO Tim Leuliette says. “Not just Visteon, but as an industry we are all running pretty good balance sheets and being very conservative.”
GM Expects Profit-Busting Recalls to Slow; $400M Set Aside for Victims
The earnings swoon also reflected difficulties in international markets, specifically South America, where economic headwinds are affecting sales, and in Europe, where GM continues to book losses as it restructures its business.
GM Adding 8-Speed Gearbox to ’15 Large Trucks
Sources tell WardsAuto the transmission likely will migrate to other truck applications as production ramps up at the automaker’s Toledo, OH, powertrain facility.
GM, Delphi Testify on Ignition Switch; Industry Issue May Exist
Delphi CEO Rodney O’Neal, supplier of the ignition switch, reveals that of the 120,000 engineering changes requested by automakers last year only 40% included an updated part number.
Ford Ups Ante in Middle East, Africa
This latest plan increases the product rollout from the 17 new or refreshed vehicles Ford earmarked for the region in November.
Auto Industry Draws Battle Lines Against Hackers 1
Auto executives will form a voluntary information-sharing and analysis center for the industry to target the threat of hackers.
Chevy Camaro Z/28 Sticks It 1
The Z/28, revived as top-of-the-range variant for the sports car line, receives a number of performance upgrades making it a race-track wrecker.
GM Woos Infiniti Chief de Nysschen to Cadillac
Johan de Nysschen’s appointment at Cadillac comes at a critical time for the 112-year-old GM luxury unit, where U.S. sales are flagging and plans call for 10 new vehicles for the brand by the end of 2015.
U.S. Big-Truck Sales Rally in June
Class 8 sales jumped 31.8% on volume of 19,373 units, compared with 15,929 in the same period year-ago. Daimler led the heavy-duty group.
Toyota’s Core Products Push June U.S. Sales Up 11.9%
The automaker’s performance against the backdrop of another strong month by nearly all automakers leads Toyota to lift its industry sales outlook to 16.3 million units from 16.0 million.
Recall-Weary GM Still Finding Buyers; June Sales Rise 9%
GM sold 267,461 vehicles in June compared with 264,843 units in like-2013. The automaker’s year-over-year result was boosted by two fewer selling days compared with the same month last year.
GM Takes More Safety Recall Action, Targets 8.4 Million Vehicles
The automaker also says it will take a charge of $500 million in the second quarter related to the latest recalls, raising the financial cost of this year’s safety campaigns to $3.2 billion.
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