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August 24, 2015 FacebookTwitterFlickrRSSSEND TO A FRIENDPRINT
Inside this issue
North America Churning Out Vehicle Records
Amid Sales Decline, Dodge Boss Sees a Plan Coming Together
Automakers Form Alliance to Bolster Cybersecurity
How Ford's Partnership with Mazda Unraveled
DaimlerChrysler: Poster Child of Failed Mergers
America from the Slow Lane: Model T's Cross-Country Trip
Top Stories
North America Churning Out Vehicle Records

In case you missed it, production of cars and trucks in North America is running at historic levels. July production of 1,382,380 vehicles, up 6.9 percent, set a record for the month. It also was the 48th straight month in which North American output surpassed 1 million. The old record for consecutive months over 1 million was 24, set in 2002-03. In the first half of 2015, light-vehicle output in the U.S., Canada and Mexico climbed to 8,840,116, up from 8,692,162 in the first half of 2014. That's not a record (9.3 million were built in the first half of 2000), but it is the highest total since then. Oh, and another milestone: Through July, Mexican production accounted for 20 percent of the North American total. The country's assembly plants turned out a record 3,350,655 vehicles last year and are on track to bust that mark some time in the fourth quarter.
Source: Automotive News
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Amid Sales Decline, Dodge Boss Sees a Plan Coming Together

With Dodge sales off 16 percent this year in a rising overall market, you might think brand head Tim Kuniskis would be worried. Yet standing in a parking lot with 10,000 fellow gearheads this month, Kuniskis could look around and see a strategy for the brand that is coming together nicely. Fire-belching exhaust pipes, roaring engines, smoking tires, black T-shirts, red key fobs. They're vital to Kuniskis' plan to rebuild Dodge sales -- and its reputation. "Performance is good business," he says. "But it's way more than horsepower and quarter-mile times. Performance is an attitude first, and nobody can chase you on attitude."
Source: Automotive News
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Automakers Form Alliance to Bolster Cybersecurity

Industry to open anti-hacking hub

By the end of the year, automakers will have a new layer of defense in the fight against would-be car hackers. Through the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers and the Association of Global Automakers, automakers are working to establish an Information Sharing and Analysis Center to act as a secure, industrywide clearinghouse for intelligence about cyberthreats to vehicles and their networks. It would also facilitate sharing of best practices for how to safeguard against and respond to threats. Cybersecurity is a new issue for the industry, one handled by automakers in different ways. That varied and still-developing approach has fueled industry critics, including some lawmakers, who say the industry lacks a comprehensive solution to safeguard their customers.
Source: Automotive News
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How Ford's Partnership with Mazda Unraveled

In 2008, when Mazda Motor Corp. executives were briefed about Ford Motor Co.'s unexpected decision to sell its stake in the carmaker from a controlling 33 percent to 13 percent, some worried about going alone. But Takashi Yamanouchi's reaction was unforgettable to those present. "This is a godsend," he proclaimed. Yamanouchi, who became Mazda's first post-Ford CEO, and others saw a chance to design their own destiny after decades of Ford influence. The breakup illustrated how even the most successful of long-term alliances can unravel under external pressures. In this case: China's rapid rise and the Great Recession.
Source: Automotive News
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DaimlerChrysler: Poster Child of Failed Mergers

Sergio Marchionne says automakers consume too much capital. His solution: mergers and alliances. But few deals destroyed more capital than the historic 1998 union that created DaimlerChrysler AG. Chrysler was valued at $36 billion. Nine years later, it was zero when Daimler essentially paid Cerberus Capital Management to take Chrysler off its hands. How did it go so wrong?
Source: Automotive News
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America from the Slow Lane: Model T's Cross-Country Trip

After 34 days and 3,600 miles across America on dirt roads, the Model T that recreated Edsel Ford’s 1915 road trip from Detroit to San Francisco reached its destination last week. “Seeing America in the slow lane turns out to be amazingly pleasant,” said Mark Gessler, president of the Historic Vehicle Association. “I was surprised how comfortable a 100-year-old car actually is.” Virtually identical to the 1915 Model T Touring Car Edsel Ford drove with a group of boyhood friends on a journey that became the precursor to the American roadtrip, the car covered the whole distance without a major breakdown, suffered just one blown tire and knocked a hole in the old story that drivers routinely had to back the Model T up steep hills because there was no fuel pump to force gasoline uphill from the fuel tank in the rear to the engine up front.
Source: Detroit Free Press
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Quotable
"Our goal for Dodge, for every vehicle in our lineup, is to ... be the square peg in the round hole that stands out from the crowd."

   -- Dodge chief Tim Kuniskis, commenting on his plans for the automaker, Automotive News, Aug. 22

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