jobs could be at risk in U.S.
Southfield, Michigan - A new report by corporate advisory
and restructuring service Grant Thornton LLP said that with
U.S. automakers reporting their worst monthly sales results
of the year and no relief expected in 2009, it believes that
as many as 100,000 industry-related jobs may be at risk.
“With a more than two million unit sales decline likely
this year compared with 2007, followed by a prolonged slump
next year, the downturn is placing unforeseen levels of stress
on the industry,” said Kimberly Rodriguez, a principal
at Grant Thornton. “We expect many players do not have
the cash, credit or means to see the cycle through.”
U.S. sales in September were the lowest of 2008, with fewer
than one million units sold. For the full year, Grant Thornton
analysts expect full-year 2008 sales to drop to 13.8 million
units. Given the weakening economic environment, forecasts
for 2009 are for between 13.4 and 13.7 million units.
“Yesterday’s results put the entire industry on alert,
as many experts had expected some level of recovery to occur
in the second half of this year,” Rodrigeuz said. “Nine
months into 2008, sales and economic conditions are worsening.
We may not have seen the bottom. The full effect of such
a two million-unit decline from 2007 is generally underappreciated
and will likely lead to even higher unemployment numbers.
Potentially, more than 100,000 jobs are at risk.”
Grant Thornton’s analysis shows that for automakers,
a decline of one million units of production is equal to
the lost ouput of nearly four vehicle assembly plants, 2.5
engine plants, and more than two transmission plants, on
average. At the Tier 1 supplier level, more than 50 just-in-time
assembly/powertrain sites and more than 500 supplier manufacturing
locations could be at risk of collapse, with the losses cascading
down to Tier 2 and Tier 3 operations, as well as the truck
and rail companies that ship components.
limits top speed, audio volume
Oakville, Ontario - Ford has announced an innovative new
technology, MyKey, designed to help parents encourage
their teenagers to drive safer and more fuel efficiently,
and increase safety belt usage. The feature will debut
as standard equipment on the 2010 Focus and will quickly
become standard on many other Ford and Lincoln models.
The feature allows owners to program a key that can limit
the vehicle’s top speed and audio volume. It also
encourages safety belt use, provides earlier low-fuel warnings,
and can be programmed to sound chimes at 72, 88 and 106
Ford not only offers industry-leading crash protection
and crash avoidance systems, we are also committed to developing
new technologies such as MyKey that encourage safer driving
behaviour,” said Susan Cischke, Ford group vice-president
of Sustainability, Environment and Safety Engineering. “MyKey
can help promote safer driving, particularly among teens,
by encouraging seatbelt use, limiting speed and reducing
A poll conducted by Harris Interactive Survey for Ford
found that about 50 per cent of those who would consider
purchasing MyKey also said they would allow their children
to use the family vehicle more often if it were equipped
with the new technology. More than half of parents surveyed
worry that their teenage children are driving at unsafe
speeds, talking on hand-held cell phones or texting while
driving, or otherwise driving distracted.
The MyKey system allows the parent to program any key through
the vehicle message center, which updates the SecuriLock
passive anti-theft system. When the MyKey is inserted into
the ignition, the system reads the transponder chip in
the key and immediately identifies the MyKey code, which
enables certain default driving modes, including Persistent
Beltminder, an earlier low-fuel warning, and the inability
to deactivate features such as Park Aid, Blind Spot Information
System, and the traction control. The key allows for a
limited top speed of 129 km/h, and limited audio volume
to 44 per cent of the total volume.
Canadian Grand Prix dropped for 2009
London, England - Formula
One racing’s governing
body, the FIA, has dropped the Canadian Grand Prix from
its 2009 schedule, and replaced it with the Turkish Grand
Prix which has moved from its August slot to June.
According to F1-Live.com, Canadian Grand Prix organizers
were not informed of the decision in advance, and won’t
comment about the decision until they’ve discussed
it with the FIA.
The Montreal Gazette reports that Premier Jean Charest
wants to know why the Montreal Grand Prix was dropped,
and said he is willing to work with the FIA to keep the
event in Montreal.
The revised 2009 Formula One Championship schedule is
29 March Australia
5 April Malaysia
19 April Bahrain
10 May Spain
24 May Monaco
7 June Turkey
21 June Great Britain
28 June France
12 July Germany
26 July Hungary
23 August Europe (Valencia)
30 August Belgium
13 September Italy
27 September Singapore
11 October Japan
18 October China
1 November Brazil
15 November Abu Dhabi
Honda named official vehicle of
Toronto, Ontario - Honda Canada, American Honda Motor Company
and the National Hockey League (NHL) have entered into
a three-year agreement that names Honda as the official
vehicle of the NHL.
The agreement includes Honda sponsorship of NHL television
and Internet coverage, along with active participation
at NHL events in both Canada and the U.S., such as the
NHL Face-Off Rocks 2008, NHL Winter Classic and the NHL
All-Star Weekend that will be held in Montreal.
Hockey is the national sport of Canada from coast to coast,” said
Jerry Chenkin, executive vice-president of Honda Canada. “This
NHL sponsorship aligns well, because of a variety of grassroots
sponsorships and activities that are already being done
by our Honda dealers with minor league hockey in communities
across Canada. With more than 53 million hockey fans throughout
Canada and the United States, the NHL is a significant
part of the sports landscape, and we’re pleased to
be associated with such a major sport.”
The agreement includes provisions for advertising on NHL.com
and during game broadcasts, camera-visible signage during
games and events, and on-site displays of Honda vehicles
at select events.
Ford to offer advanced active collision avoidance
Dearborn, Michigan - Ford Motor Company has announced that
it will offer a new, advanced active collision avoidance
technology, Collision Warning with Brake Support, on some
of its Ford and Lincoln vehicles next year.
The system uses radar to detect moving vehicles directly
ahead. When the danger of a collision is detected, the
system warns the driver with a beep and a red warning light
projected on the windshield above the instrument panel.
The system also automatically pre-charges the brakes, and
engages a brake-assist feature that helps drivers quickly
reach maximum braking once the brakes are engaged.
Collision Warning with Brake Support is one of three new
radar-based technologies Ford is launching in certain 2008
and 2009 vehicles, along with Adaptive Cruise Control and
Blind Spot Information System (BLIS) with Cross Traffic
The new Collision Warning with Brake Support technology
puts us on the leading edge of active safety to help customers
detect and avoid possible dangers,” said Paul Mascarenas,
vice-president of engineering, Global Product Development. “Ford
will be the first to offer this technology on mainstream
models that many families can afford.”