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Daimler announces $1B expansion, joins foreign rush to add U.S. auto plants

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Old 09-21-17, 12:44 PM   #1
Hoovey2411
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Default Daimler announces $1B expansion, joins foreign rush to add U.S. auto plants



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DETROIT — U.S. automakers are facing mounting pressure amid slowing demand in the country, even as automakers from Asia and Europe aggressively ramp up vehicle production in North America, including a new investment by Daimler AG.

In the latest move, German automaker Daimler said on Thursday it will spend $1 billion to expand its Mercedes Benz operations near Tuscaloosa, Ala., to produce batteries and electric sport utility vehicles that would compete with Silicon Valley electric car maker Tesla's models.

More than 600 new jobs will be created in Daimler's plan, which includes building a facility in 2018 near the Tuscaloosa plant to produce batteries for zero-emission vehicles, the carmaker said. It also plans to build a new global logistics center and new after-sales North American hub.

Daimler's move to produce electric Mercedes Benz vehicles in the United States from about 2020 comes as the automaker has halted U.S. sales of Mercedes-Benz diesels under scrutiny by U.S. environmental regulators.

The company is joining a rush to add vehicle-making capacity in a U.S. market that most analysts and industry executives expect to contract moderately over the next several years, following record sales of 17.55 million vehicles in 2016.

Indeed, Detroit's automakers are already temporarily idling factories and laying off thousands of workers as demand slows for their sedans and luxury cars.

Global automakers have come under pressure from U.S. President Donald Trump's bid to curb imports and hire more workers to build cars and trucks in the country.

The burst of investments to expand U.S. vehicle production capacity also reflects intensified competition for market share in the world's most profitable vehicle market.

Rival German luxury automaker BMW AG said in June it would expand its U.S. factory in South Carolina, adding 1,000 jobs.

Volkswagen AG's brand president Herbert Diess told reporters last month the company expects to bring electric SUV production to the United States and could add production at its Tennessee plant.

Japan's Toyota and Mazda said in August they would join forces to build a new U.S. factory capable of producing up to 300,000 vehicles a year, with 4,000 new jobs.

Honda earlier this week said it would expand production of Accord models at a factory in Ohio.

Volvo Cars, the Swedish brand owned by China's Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, is planning a second production line at a factory in South Carolina that is still under construction, according to people familiar with the plans.

Silicon Valley automaker Tesla, meanwhile, is gearing up to produce as many as 500,000 Model 3 electric cars a year at its factory in Fremont, Calif., in an effort to increase its annual sales more than fivefold.

Tesla, like its German rivals, will export some of the new vehicles it plans. But if the company sold 500,000 Model 3's in the United States, it would become the largest luxury vehicle brand in the market, based on 2016 sales.
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Old 09-21-17, 07:39 PM   #2
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These traditional car makers need to step up their design effort. Just because it's an electric vehicle why do they automatically think it has to look like a piece of crap?
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Old 09-21-17, 07:48 PM   #3
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Just because it's an electric vehicle why do they automatically think it has to look like a piece of crap?
It doesn't.

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Old 09-21-17, 11:12 PM   #4
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It doesn't.
But those are gasoline cars with electric options as a poorly implemented afterthought as they all share the same theme, tiny battery awkwardly wedged somewhere in there that offers no range at all.
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Old 09-22-17, 08:35 AM   #5
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It doesn't.

I was surprised when mmarshall posted a picture of a Toyota Prius... only to notice after a much closer look that it was the Hyundai copy.

And, please, let's not start complaining again about how ugly new Toyota and Lexus models are. That is getting very old and very, very, very tiring.
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Old 09-22-17, 07:32 PM   #6
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Daimler's move to produce electric Mercedes Benz vehicles in the United States from about 2020 comes as the automaker has halted U.S. sales of Mercedes-Benz diesels under scrutiny by U.S. environmental regulators.
Article makes it sound like a diesel gate scandal happened to mercedes when its just changing consumer preferences
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Old 09-23-17, 09:01 AM   #7
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It doesn't.

Both of those look like a cheap piece of crap. But I guess that's a matter of opinion.
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Old 09-23-17, 03:02 PM   #8
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I was surprised when mmarshall posted a picture of a Toyota Prius... only to notice after a much closer look that it was the Hyundai copy.
Yes, as the picture indicates, that's the Hyundai Ioniq. IMO it is far more conventionally-styled than the new Prius......and far-better looking. Beneath it, of course, is the Ford Focus...which IMO is also much better-looking....as is the Kia Niro, which I didn't post.

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and, please, let's not start complaining again about how ugly new Toyota and Lexus models are. That is getting very old and very, very, very tiring.
I agree.....let images do the talking.
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Old 09-23-17, 07:54 PM   #9
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Article makes it sound like a diesel gate scandal happened to mercedes when its just changing consumer preferences
Well, the Dieselgate scandal did scare a lot of people, including the regulators. Here in Canada, it took so long for Canadian and American regulators to approve MB diesel models for sale that it gave up trying to sell diesel-powered cars (source).
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Old 09-23-17, 08:08 PM   #10
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I agree.....let images do the talking.
No, no, no. The only thing that happens when you encourage debate about the beauty (or lack thereof) of a car or a lineup of vehicles by explicitly commenting on how ugly something is, or implying how ugly something is, by "[letting] images do the talking" is to bring out an ugly (pun intended) "US vs THEM" attitude. That is when schoolyard insults start flying. That is why we teach our children that if they do not have anything good to say, they should not say it.

And to think that this verbal warfare is about a style that some like and admire, but others do not? There is too much of these ugly and useless debates about Toyota and Lexus vehicles in this forum already, and it seems to occur much too quickly, descending to this low level in too many threads.
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Old 09-23-17, 09:44 PM   #11
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I was surprised when mmarshall posted a picture of a Toyota Prius... only to notice after a much closer look that it was the Hyundai copy.

.
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Originally Posted by Sulu View Post
No, no, no. The only thing that happens when you encourage debate about the beauty (or lack thereof) of a car or a lineup of vehicles by explicitly commenting on how ugly something is, or implying how ugly something is, by "[letting] images do the talking" is to bring out an ugly (pun intended) "US vs THEM" attitude. That is when schoolyard insults start flying. That is why we teach our children that if they do not have anything good to say, they should not say it.

And to think that this verbal warfare is about a style that some like and admire, but others do not? There is too much of these ugly and useless debates about Toyota and Lexus vehicles in this forum already, and it seems to occur much too quickly, descending to this low level in too many threads.
Are you saying we should refrain from opinionating on styling of cars but yet you offered your own on Hyundai's copy cat to the Prius? A bit contradicting don't you think.
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Old 09-24-17, 07:57 AM   #12
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Are you saying we should refrain from opinionating on styling of cars but yet you offered your own on Hyundai's copy cat to the Prius? A bit contradicting don't you think.
I did not say that the Hyundai Ionic is ugly; I merely said that it looks a lot like the Prius.

In fact, your comment illustrates what I am trying to say. Just by saying that a car looks like the Prius, without having to imply that the Prius or the copy is not pleasant looking, is enough to start a war of words.

So let's not go there.
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Old 09-24-17, 04:19 PM   #13
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But those are gasoline cars with electric options as a poorly implemented afterthought as they all share the same theme, tiny battery awkwardly wedged somewhere in there that offers no range at all.
The Hyundai Ioniq plug-in Electric car has about 150 miles range, handles very well & is quite comfortable.
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Old 09-24-17, 05:33 PM   #14
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Getting back on topic of Benz's plant expansion in Alabama, I wonder if they have the skilled labor force in that area to pull it off.

Only reason I say this is I know somebody who worked as a supplier for Nissan and spent a good deal of their time at the Canton Mississippi plant. Said there was a severe shortage of qualified skilled maintenance workers and even unskilled assembly line workers. The local labor pool was pretty damn **** poor, lots of illiterate people who couldn't pass a drug test.
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Old 09-25-17, 08:20 AM   #15
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I did not say that the Hyundai Ionic is ugly; I merely said that it looks a lot like the Prius.

In fact, your comment illustrates what I am trying to say. Just by saying that a car looks like the Prius, without having to imply that the Prius or the copy is not pleasant looking, is enough to start a war of words.

So let's not go there.
i'l go there. the ionic looks NOTHING like, inside or out, the hideous latest prius. the previous prius was better looking even if it drove like crap. the new one does from all accounts drive a lot better though.

you can't express opinions however nuanced and justified and then tell others not to go there.
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