James M. Amend

M. Amend
Associate Editor,

James covers General Motors and environmental and safety issues.

GM’s August Sales Steady, Sees Market Strength Ahead
The automaker cites a brisk month for truck sales at Chevrolet, GMC and Cadillac, where newly released large pickups and SUVs appear to be gaining traction in the market.
Ford VP Joe Hinrichs Says Two Shifts to Satisfy Mustang Demand
The executive does not offer hints of another product beyond the coming Mustang convertible to max out capacity.“Let’s celebrate Mustang today,” he says.
’15 Ford Mustang Gallops Out of Flat Rock Assembly
Output of the latest Mustang comes on the heels of a $555 million investment at Flat Rock to accommodate the car’s redesign.
GM Confirms Cadillac SRX for Spring Hill, Adds Engine Investment to Site
GM previously announced plans to inject $350 million into the former Saturn complex to build the SRX and a second “midsize CUV,” which WardsAuto forecasts as the next GMC Acadia.
GM Tech Center Shakes Off Flooding, Gets ‘Back to Work’
The 58-year-old GM Tech Center serves as the global hub for the automaker’s vehicle development and many of its buildings are of historical significance for their architecture.
GM Says Corvette’s New 8-Speed Gearbox Rivals DCT 4
The 8-speed automatic bows on the Corvette for ’15, joining the Performance Data Recorder and Valet Mode as new technologies for the coming model year.
NHTSA Makes Move on Vehicle-to-Vehicle Technology Rule
NHTSA says in the expected report it is eying the addition of two technologies: left-turn assist and intersection-movement assist.
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.
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