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September 20, 2017 FacebookTwitterFlickrRSSSEND TO A FRIENDPRINT
Inside this issue
Wanna Sell Cars? No, Job Seeker Study Finds
Ford's Michigan Assembly, Flat Rock Plants Face Temporary Shutdowns
Volvo Now Plans to Invest $1 Billion in Its First U.S. Plant
Utilities’ Plans to Build EV Charging Stations Denied
Top Stories
Wanna Sell Cars? No, Job Seeker Study Finds
 
Job seekers are willing to work at dealerships -- but not selling cars. "Any role, other than salesperson, creates a lift in interest" among job hunters asked about working in auto retailing, said Isabelle Helms, vice president of research and market intelligence for Cox Automotive in Atlanta.
 
That is one finding in a new study by Cox. Cox partnered with Hireology, a Chicago hiring and retention technology provider, to conduct the 2017 Dealership Staffing Study. Helms presented the findings Tuesday at Elevate, a conference led by Hireology.
 
In its first such study, Cox surveyed about 800 job seekers and 393 dealership employees, of whom 50 were managers or owners, on hiring and retention. Cox collected the data between late in the third quarter of last year and midway through 2017.
Source: Automotive News

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Ford's Michigan Assembly, Flat Rock Plants Face Temporary Shutdowns
 
Ford Motor Co. is planning temporary shutdowns at five plants this year, including at Michigan Assembly in Wayne and Flat Rock Assembly, where the Mustang is produced. The plans reflect changes in consumer demand for cars and trucks.
 
"We are continuing to match production with customer demand, as we always do, and we are on track for our dealer inventories to remain at planned levels by year-end," according to a statement from a Ford spokeswoman.
 
All of the plants except one -- Kansas City Assembly -- produce passenger cars, and consumers have been increasingly shifting their purchases to trucks and SUVs. The temporary shutdown at Kansas City, which has 7,320 employees, affects only production of the Transit van, not the Ford F-150. The stoppage is to "catch up" on the work related to a recall, announced in June, of about 402,462 2015-17 Transit vans for a driveshaft issue.
Source: Detroit Free Press

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Volvo Now Plans to Invest $1 Billion in Its First U.S. Plant
 
Swedish auto maker Volvo is doubling its investment in its first U.S. plant to a total of $1 billion, a bet that its nascent comeback in the U.S. market has staying power.
 
Volvo will add a second production line to a factory now under construction near Charleston, S.C., a Volvo spokesman said. The auto maker plans to make the S60 sedan at the plant starting in late 2018 along with another unnamed vehicle.
 
The expansion will add 1,900 jobs to the 2,000 already planned for the plant. The U.S. was Volvo’s fastest-growing market last year, posting an 18% increase in sales to 82,726 vehicles. Sales have cooled this year, slipping 7% to about 49,000 vehicles through August.
Source: WSJ

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Utilities’ Plans to Build EV Charging Stations Denied
 
Faced with deadlines to increase the number of electric vehicles on the road, states are being asked to decide whether utility companies can build electric vehicle charging stations — and pass on the cost to their customers.
 
Building more charging stations could help alleviate “range anxiety,” the fear of running out of charge with no station in sight, and therefore stimulate sales of the clean-air-friendly cars. But in some states, officials say that letting the utility industry build more stations would force all electricity consumers to pay for a service that only a few, relatively affluent, people will use.
 
In California, home to nearly half the electric vehicles, or EVs, now on U.S. roads, the Public Utilities Commission last year approved plans for three of the state’s largest utilities to build more than 12,500 charging stations at workplaces, apartment complexes and public locations for about $200 million.
 
But this year, Michigan, Missouri and Kansas all have slapped down utilities’ requests to build charging stations with customers’ money. “Let the private sector invest in the EV market, rather than have ratepayers finance the speculative venture,” the Kansas Corporation Commission ruled.
Source: The Detroit News

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Quotable
"We found that when it comes to how management runs the business, they are open to change. And when you look at hours and scheduling, they are open to change, too."

    -- Isabelle Helms, vice president of research and market intelligence for Cox Automotive in Atlanta, Automotive News, Sept. 20
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