Cars – Daily Detroit What To Know And Where To Go In Metro Detroit Mon, 03 Dec 2018 21:33:53 +0000 en-US hourly 1 PODCAST: Jeep’s Gladiator Shines, Locally-Based Rivian Electric Cars Grabs Spotlight At L.A. Auto Show Mon, 03 Dec 2018 21:09:54 +0000

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In a very special episode of the podcast recorded on Noel Night at the Podcast Detroit studios in the Detroit Shipping Company:

  • We run down the Detroit contributions to the L.A. Auto Show
  • The Jeep Gladiator
  • And Rivian, a locally-based electric car company that emerged from obscurity to being the focus of all the buzz

Also, Sven Gustafson, Nuri Gocay and the team break down some of the major shifts ahead for the economy due to electrification, including the elimination of things like oil changes.

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PODCAST: GM’s Monday Massacre And The Closure Of Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Tue, 27 Nov 2018 01:26:06 +0000

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General Motors dropped a bomb on Monday, saying it will likely close three assembly plants including Detroit-Hamtramck in a pre-emptive move to cut costs and headcount ahead of an expected downturn.

The moves mean the elimination of as many as 14,000 jobs — including 1,500 at Detroit-Hamtramck — and the elimination of slow-selling sedans like the Chevrolet Volt and Impala and the Buick LaCrosse. A transmission plant in Warren could also close.

It’s a particularly dubious cap to the saga of the Poletown plant, which rose during the 1980s after the two cities it straddles worked with GM to condemn and raze a working-class neighborhood of the same name.

On today’s episode, we speak with Hamtramck Mayor Karen Majewski, who tells us the closure leaves a city defined by the auto industry without any actual auto manufacturing. It also leaves Detroit without an open auto-assembly plant. In fact, here’s Mayor Mike Duggan statement about it:

“This morning I spoke to Mary Barra and she advised me for the first time of the situation at the Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Plant. The news is troubling. I have spoken to UAW President Gary Jones and the city’s economic development team. They are working together to come up with a solution that works for GM and the employees. We all know there is strong demand for manufacturing space in Detroit and we are willing to work with GM to fill all the available manufacturing space at Poletown with either GM-related entities or other companies.”

You can also read the UAW’s statement here.

We also speak with auto analyst Michelle Krebs of Autotrader to learn about the business rationale behind the move.

And finally, tech guru Nuri Gocay joins us to shed some light on where General Motors is actually adding jobs (hint: It ain’t in Detroit).

Enjoy today’s episode in the player above, or subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts. And if you like what we’re doing and want to support us, check us out at Patreon

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PODCAST: Dan Gilbert’s Point Man On Reforming Michigan’s No-Fault Auto Insurance Wed, 21 Nov 2018 02:40:58 +0000

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Dan Gilbert made headlines this week when he issued an ultimatum to state lawmakers: Find a fix for Michigan’s broken no-fault auto insurance system by mid-2019 or I’ll bankroll an effort to put a proposal on the statewide ballot in 2020.

On today’s show, Jer interviews Jared Fleisher, vice president of government relations for the Quicken Loans Family of Companies, about why Gilbert and Quicken are jumping into the fray.

Fleisher, who is running point for Gilbert’s push to overhaul no-fault, says Quicken has 17,000 employees working in the city and has invested $3.5 billion to date in Detroit. He calls auto insurance reform “the single biggest but also most solvable barrier to the growth of the city.”

He also draws a comparison between Michigan’s no-fault auto insurance system and the much-criticized Obamacare health overhaul. Fleisher says that while the Affordable Care Act requires people to buy insurance, it offers them a choice of benefit levels to pay for. Michigan’s auto insurance law similarly requires that every driver be covered, but it essentially forces everyone to buy the top-tier “platinum” level of benefits.

We spoke last month on the pod with attorney Steve Gursten, the head of Michigan Auto Law, all about Michigan’s no-fault auto insurance system and Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan’s recent federal lawsuit accusing it of being unconstitutional. Gursten argues that Duggan’s suit has a real chance of prevailing, but he says it’s tough to know how to fix the law without more transparency into insurance company practices.

Many previous efforts to reform Michigan’s no-fault system have run into a brick wall, but now it seems no-fault may be on a collision course with the forces of change.

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GM Unveils 2 eBikes, Wants Suggestions For Names Mon, 05 Nov 2018 21:33:52 +0000 General Motors is branching into e-bikes.

The company has unveiled images of what it calls “innovative, integrated and connected eBikes” that it says will go on sale in 2019. One is folding and the other is compact. But neither of them have a brand name yet, and that’s where the company is soliciting help.

General Motors is building two eBikes which will be available for sale in 2019 and we want customers to be involved from the start so we’re asking enthusiasts from around the globe to help name our eBike brand by visiting

GM has set up a website called where you can submit your ideas for a name. The person who comes up with the winning name gets $10,000, while nine participants with runner-up submissions each get $1,000.

GM says it’s looking for simple, smart and bold concepts that can be understood around the world. The bikes are the result of GM’s expertise in electric propulsion systems, design, telemetry and automotive-grade testing with input from experts in the bike industry. It’s part of GM’s Urban Mobility Solutions unit.

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PODCAST: Police Investigate Detroit Funeral Homes After Remains Found, Ford Taps Bryan Cranston For New Ads & New Life For An Old Detroit Mall Mon, 22 Oct 2018 21:46:42 +0000

Greetings, friends. Here’s your Daily Detroit podcast recorded in the Paris of the Midwest on Monday Oct. 22:

Two Detroit funeral homes are under investigation after police found the remains of fetuses and a dead infant. One of the businesses — Perry Funeral Home — was closed by the state, with its mortuary license revoked.

Sven reports to us about his trip from Las Vegas, where Ford briefed dealers on its plans to make 75 percent of its product lineup all-new by 2020 and unleashed the new “Built Ford Proud” ad campaign starring Bryan Cranston, perhaps best known as Walter White from “Breaking Bad.” Ford was trying to calm the nerves of a dealer base rattled by criticisms from Wall Street and auto analysts over a lack of clarity on new products and how exactly it intends to turn around its money-losing operations in foreign markets.

Across town, General Motors was named No. 1 for gender equity in a new ranking of publicly traded companies by Equileap, which monitors and gathers data on gender equality in companies. GM is led by a female CEO, Mary Barra, and recently promoted a woman to be chief financial officer.

The Tower Center, an often-overlooked shopping mall at Grand River and Greenfield on Detroit’s west side, is getting a new anchor tenant. Forman Mills will celebrate its grand opening next month. It takes over the space last occupied by Montgomery Ward, which closed in 1986. The mall has seen a number of small, black-owned businesses open for business, thanks to low rents.

Corktown is in line to get another new coffee shop. Lucky Detroit will open on the second floor above Detroit Barbers.

Local favorite Bucharest Grill reopened downtown. The popular purveyor of shawarma will open at 436 W. Columbia Street with 130 seats and 24 beer taps.

You can now pay those painfully expensive parking tickets on the city’s free Park Detroit mobile app.

And in giant pizza organization that owns two of our four professional sports teams news, Little Caesars has unveiled its new thin crust pizza nationwide. They’ll go for $6 between 4 and 8 p.m. As we did with the 5-Meat Pizza back in the summer, plan on a live-on-the-pod taste test from your crack Daily Detroit team.

Don’t forget to subscribe to Daily Detroit for free wherever fine podcasts are found.

Creative Commons photo via Nitram242

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LISTEN: Here’s How We Could Fix Michigan’s High Auto Insurance Prices Tue, 16 Oct 2018 22:45:25 +0000 Michigan’s auto insurance costs consistently rank the highest in the nation. Same for the city of Detroit, which can cost double the state’s already high average.

How to fix this madness that’s emptying the pockets of Michiganders? Lawyer and Auto Law Blog writer Steve Gursten has some ideas.

In this thoughtful conversation with Sven Gustafson, Steve lines out the problems and some of a possible solution to this problem… without getting rid of lots of benefits.

But it would require the politicians to do something they’ve been unwilling to do up to this point. And insurance companies probably wouldn’t like it, either.

Sven and Steve also discuss the merits of Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan’s lawsuit, with the goal of bringing insurance prices down.

Below is the interview as part of the Daily Detroit podcast:

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The Impact Of A Trade War With China With Marina Whitman, U of M Professor Emerita & Former GM VP Wed, 26 Sep 2018 00:00:01 +0000

So what will be the effects of President Donald Trump’s tariffs? The answer of how this trade war with China will impact the economy is very important to Michigan and Metro Detroit, from the obvious like the automotive industry to the many other industries that deal with global trade.

To help sort it all out — and add some experience to the conversation — Sven Gustafson talked to Marina Whitman.

She is the professor emerita of business administration and public policy. From 1979 until 1992 she was an officer of the General Motors Corporation, first as vice president and chief economist and later as vice president and group executive for public affairs. Prior to her appointment at GM, Whitman was a professor of economics at the University of Pittsburgh. She served as a member of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers (1972-73), and as an independent director of several major multinational corporations.

Have a listen in the player above. This interview originally appeared in the Daily Detroit podcast.

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LISTEN: Talking Ford Prospects, Impact of Marchionne Death on FCA & Tesla with Autoblog Chief Greg Migliore Fri, 07 Sep 2018 14:34:35 +0000

On our Daily Detroit podcast, Autoblog editor Greg Migliore joins Sven Gustafson to talk about what’s been happening in the auto industry.

Topics include:

Is Ford nearing crisis territory? What about that Mach vehicle for 2020? The Mustang-looking SUV?

What impact the death of Sergio Marchionne has on FCA, and what Greg thinks of new CEO Mike Manley.

Is the bloom off the rose of Tesla?

You can catch Greg and Autoblog here. They also have a podcast! That’s here.

And if you want to subscribe to our Daily Detroit podcast, go here.

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Ford Scraps Plans To Import Hatchback From China, Citing Costs From Trade War Fri, 31 Aug 2018 23:55:34 +0000

Ford Motor Company is planning to get rid of most of its cars for the American market in favor of more trucks, crossovers and SUVs. But the automaker on Friday said it’s canceling one of the only remaining cars it did plan to offer due to costs associated with President Trump’s trade war.

Ford says it’s scrapping plans to import the Focus Active from China because of he 25-percent tariffs the president has placed on automobiles, steel and aluminum from that country. The Focus Active was intended to replace the slow-selling Focus in the United States. Sometimes called a crossover, the Focus Active essentially a raised version of the Focus hatchback that’s similar to the wildly popular Subaru Crosstrek.

Ford will continue to offer the car in China and Europe.

The move leaves the venerable Mustang as the only true car in Ford’s long-range plans. The company says the Fiesta will continue into 2019 and the Fusion will also last at least a couple more years.

As we reported this week, Moody’s Investor Services downgraded Ford’s rating to just above junk status and gave the company’s stock a “negative” outlook.

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Is There An Auto Bubble Coming? A Conversation With Joe Berish, Analyst Sat, 18 Aug 2018 14:52:13 +0000

Is there a bubble brewing in the car business? Sven’s guest — Joe Berish, an analyst with the automotive consulting firm Oliver Wyman — says that rising subprime auto loans, rising interest rates and increasing prices for car parts add up to spell warning signs.

That’s even before we start talking about President Trump’s proposed tariffs on imported cars.

Listen to the conversation from our Daily Detroit podcast in the player above. Don’t miss another episode and subscribe free in your podcast app of choice.

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