Manufacturing Economy

2015 Ram 1500 Rebel First Drive

Let's get one thing straight from the start: The Ram Rebel is not a Ford Raptor-fighter. That was the Ram Runner, and it's dead now. No, this is Ram's rebuttal to Ford's FX4 Off-Road package for the F-150, Chevrolet's Z71 Off-Road package for the Silverado, Toyota's TRD Pro package for the Tundra, and Nissan's Pro-4X package for the Titan. Set your expectations accordingly.

Portland Police To Replace Ford Crown Vics With All-Wheel-Drive Suvs

By next spring, nearly half of Portland's patrol officers will be cruising in small all-wheel-drive SUVs.

Portland police are slowly swapping out their worn-out Crown Victoria sedans for a new ride that looks like a cross between a Ford Taurus sedan and a Ford Explorer.

The bureau will ask for City Council approval Wednesday to replace 70 patrol cars with the utility version of the 2016 Ford Interceptor.

The estimated $2.3 million cost will come from the city's 2015-16 fleet vehicle budget.

Dodge May Axe the Hellcat Twins and the Hemi V8 by 2019

According to a report from Motor Authority, Fiat Chrysler will discontinue its Hemi V8 engines and both the Challenger and Charger Hellcats from its lineup in 2019.

While nobody expected the Hellcat twins to last forever, a four-year production run seems too short for cars that have been so well received. Both the Challenger and Charger have quickly become the new darlings of the modern muscle car era with their 707-horsepower, 6.2-liter supercharged Hemi V8 engines.

Dodge Delivers Attitude in 2016

The biggest news when it comes to the Dodge brand in 2016 is the full consolidation of Dodge and its SRT high-performance brand. With a lineup that includes ACRs, 1 of 1s, Hellcats, Scat Packs, R/Ts, GTs and SRT, Dodge is ready to charge into its next 100 years focusing on performance. Dodge is known as the “mainstream performance” brand within the FCA US LLC showroom. SRT is known as the “ultimate performance” segment of the Dodge brand. Together, the two create a complete and balanced performance brand with one vision and one voice.

2016 Dodge Viper ACR

Cadillac Considering Introducing $100,000-Plus Escalade SUV

Cadillac may escalate the Escalade.

In the face of growing competition in the luxury SUV segment, the automaker is thinking about introducing a $100,000-plus version of the full-size SUV.

"The argument for doing it with Escalade is strong and momentum is moving it higher. It's completely logical that's where you go with it," Cadillac spokesman Dave Caldwell told Automotive News.

Ford Expanding Truck Plant in Louisville

Ford Motor Co. intends to boost the size of its stamping facility, body shop and materials handling at the Kentucky Truck Plant.

In plans filed with Metro Louisville zoning officials, the company is seeking approval to add a total of 288,715 square feet at a handful of locations on its 413-acre site at 3001 Chamberlain Lane.
Ford officials, asked for comment about the expansion, said only that "we cannot discuss future manufacturing or product plans.”

Ford-Alcoa Partner On New Aluminum For Vehicles

The 2016 Ford F-150 will have aluminum parts from supplier Alcoa manufactured in a revolutionary way that makes them stronger, lighter, easier to work with and in greater abundance,  which should improve supply and cost.

The secret: Alcoa's new micromill that manufactures a coil of an improved aluminum alloy in 20 minutes compared with 20 days using conventional processes. And it can be done in a plant that is a quarter of the size.

"That's how disruptive and revolutionary it is," said Alcoa CEO Klaus Kleinfeld who was in Dearborn on Monday.

Cadillac Goes Global With XT5 Crossover Debut

Cadillac is a luxury name long associated with Detroit, but it's quickly spreading its wings across the globe.

First, Cadillac moved its headquarters to the SoHo district of New York City. Now, it will unveil its new XT5 crossover at the Dubai Motor Show in November.

Before that show, there will be a private showing sponsored by New York fashion design brand Public School at its pre-fall collection on the runway in Dubai. Public School also is creating an XT5-inspired capsule collection for the special invited guests at the Dubai show in November.