Tracy Samilton http://ktep.org en Recall Woes Push Along GM's Cultural Reinvention http://ktep.org/post/recall-woes-push-along-gms-cultural-reinvention General Motors has announced a big hit to first-quarter earnings, largely due to costs for recalls. Profits dropped nearly 90 percent from last year, with the company making a razor-thin profit of $100 million, GM said Thursday.<p>Meanwhile, GM has yet to explain why it took 10 years to issue one of the recalls for a defective ignition switch. Some critics believe the automaker's dysfunctional culture is to blame.<p>But the recall crisis could speed up a culture shift that's already underway. <p><strong>Customer-Focused</strong><p>The old GM may have taken customers for granted. Thu, 24 Apr 2014 21:16:00 +0000 Tracy Samilton 39356 at http://ktep.org Recall Woes Push Along GM's Cultural Reinvention After Nearly Six Decades In Office, Dingell Decides Not To Run http://ktep.org/post/after-nearly-six-decades-office-dingell-decides-not-run John Dingell of Michigan, the longest-serving congressman in U.S. history, announced he won't run in 2014. As Tracy Samilton reports, Dingell's state will lose more than an icon when he retires. Mon, 24 Feb 2014 21:20:00 +0000 Tracy Samilton 35425 at http://ktep.org VW Chattanooga Plant To Vote On UAW Membership http://ktep.org/post/vw-chattanooga-plant-vote-uaw-membership Transcript <p>STEVE INSKEEP, HOST: <p>Next week, workers at a Chattanooga auto plant run by Volkswagen will vote on whether to join the United Auto Workers. Tue, 04 Feb 2014 09:59:00 +0000 Tracy Samilton 34093 at http://ktep.org Product Launches Expected To Drag Ford's 2014 Profits Down http://ktep.org/post/product-launches-expected-drag-fords-2014-profits-down Transcript <p>RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST: <p>NPR's business news starts with a strong finish.<p>(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)<p>MONTAGNE: Ford Motor Company closed the books on 2013 with higher than expected profits. The Detroit automaker's net earnings for the year surpassed $7 billion.<p>But as Michigan Radio's Tracy Samilton reports, Ford is warning that 2014 will be more challenging.<p>TRACY SAMILTON, BYLINE: Last year was one of Ford's most profitable ever. The Detroit car company's market share grew in the U.S. and China. Its balance sheet improved. Wed, 29 Jan 2014 09:43:00 +0000 Tracy Samilton 33714 at http://ktep.org All Aboard! Real-Life Polar Express Chugs Through Michigan http://ktep.org/post/all-aboard-real-life-polar-express-chugs-through-michigan <p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O4OrzADVrjQ</p> Mon, 16 Dec 2013 22:17:00 +0000 Tracy Samilton 31029 at http://ktep.org All Aboard! Real-Life Polar Express Chugs Through Michigan GM's New CEO Marks A Return To Tradition http://ktep.org/post/gms-new-ceo-marks-return-tradition Transcript <p>RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST: <p>And here's even bigger news from General Motors, it has chosen a woman as its next chief executive officer, a first in America's auto industry. She's an engineer at the company insider - which could be a lot more important to GM's future than her gender.<p>Michigan Radio's Tracy Samilton reports.<p>TRACY SAMILTON, BYLINE: Mary Barra follows in the wake of two CEOs from outside the auto industry. Dan Akerson ran a large private equity fund before taking the helm of GM. Wed, 11 Dec 2013 11:56:00 +0000 Tracy Samilton 30653 at http://ktep.org Around The World, Ford's Mustang Fuels A Dream http://ktep.org/post/around-world-fords-mustang-fuels-dream Just about every Mustang owner has a story about how their love affair with the car began.<p>Laura Slider's story began the day a red Mustang appeared in the driveway across the street.<p>"I've wanted one ever since I was 15," she says. "It was owned by a very cute boy that I liked. And then we rode in it and it was very fast and sporty and fun and pretty, and I thought, I want one someday."<p>Now, decades later, she has one. And, yes, it's red.<p>On Thursday, Ford Motor Co. Wed, 04 Dec 2013 08:06:00 +0000 Tracy Samilton 30177 at http://ktep.org Around The World, Ford's Mustang Fuels A Dream Oil Industry And Others Cheer EPA's Ethanol Proposal http://ktep.org/post/oil-industry-and-others-cheer-epas-ethanol-proposal The EPA's decision not to force oil companies to replace E10, gasoline mixed with 10 percent ethanol, with E15, had a big impact on a lot of businesses. For manufacturers of motorcycles, motor boats and outdoor power equipment, it was good news. But for gas station owners who invested in expensive blender pumps, the decision hurt. Thu, 21 Nov 2013 10:53:00 +0000 Tracy Samilton 29440 at http://ktep.org Museum Raises Money To Save 'Rosie The Riveter' Plant http://ktep.org/post/museum-raises-money-save-rosie-riveter-plant Transcript <p>DAVID GREENE, HOST: <p>Rosie the Riveter, with one of the most famous clenched fists in American history, embodied the message of hardworking women during World War II: We Can Do It. Now a nonprofit is hoping to carry on that legacy. In a little more than a month, the historic Michigan factory where Rosie and thousands of other women built B-24 bombers could face the wrecking ball. Wed, 21 Aug 2013 09:27:00 +0000 Tracy Samilton 23441 at http://ktep.org Ford Lowers Mileage Rating On C-Max Hybrid http://ktep.org/post/ford-lowers-mileage-rating-c-max-hybrid Transcript <p>DAVID GREENE, HOST: <p>NPR's business news starts with an EPA crackdown.<p>(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)<p>GREENE: Ford Motor Company will reduce the fuel economy sticker on its new C-Max hybrid to 43 miles per gallon, down from its earlier estimate of 47.<p>As Michigan Radio's Tracy Samilton reports, the change has generated a new review of fuel economy testing standards.<p>TRACY SAMILTON, BYLINE: Ford wants to be a fuel economy leader, rivaling Toyota. Its ads for the C-Max compared its fuel economy favorably to the Prius. Fri, 16 Aug 2013 09:27:00 +0000 Tracy Samilton 23135 at http://ktep.org EPA To Crack Down On Accuracy Of MPG Claims By Car Makers http://ktep.org/post/epa-crack-down-accuracy-mpg-claims-car-makers For auto companies, that Environmental Protection Agency-approved MPG sticker on a new car is a high stakes and expensive process. These days it can be damaging to a company's image if customers can't achieve that great fuel economy in their own commutes. Thu, 15 Aug 2013 21:11:00 +0000 Tracy Samilton 23111 at http://ktep.org Museum Tries To Save The Plant Where Rosie Riveted http://ktep.org/post/museum-tries-save-plant-where-rosie-riveted The historic Michigan factory where the iconic Rosie the Riveter and thousands of other women built B-24 bombers during World War II could face the wrecking ball two months from now.<p>A modest nonprofit is trying to raise enough money to salvage some of the massive plant, which Ford sold to General Motors after the war. The Yankee Air Museum figures the factory is the perfect place to start anew, after a devastating fire destroyed its collections in 2004.<p>The huge hangar doors on the old Willow Run assembly plant are majestic in proportion. Sun, 04 Aug 2013 18:10:00 +0000 Tracy Samilton 22336 at http://ktep.org Museum Tries To Save The Plant Where Rosie Riveted BMW's Electric Car Cut From A Different Cloth http://ktep.org/post/bmws-electric-car-cut-different-cloth BMW has finally unveiled its electric car. When you think of the parts and engineering, you'll get that it's a BMW, but when it comes to the looks ... not so much, one auto analyst says. Tue, 30 Jul 2013 09:39:00 +0000 Tracy Samilton 21984 at http://ktep.org At Henry Ford's 150th Birthday Party http://ktep.org/post/henry-fords-150th-birthday-party Transcript <p>SUSAN STAMBERG, HOST: <p>Amid all the gloom in Detroit, some people were celebrating this weekend. It's the 150th anniversary of the birth of Henry Ford, the founder of the Ford Motor Company. There was a big party at the Ford Stage in Dearborn, and people gathered there to remember the inventor who, by the way, was known for his passion for folk dance. Michigan Radio's Tracy Samilton sent us this audio postcard.<p>UNIDENTIFIED MAN: The dance we'd like to show you is the schottische. It's a one-two-three-hop, four-five-six-hop. Sun, 28 Jul 2013 11:07:00 +0000 Tracy Samilton 21883 at http://ktep.org EPA's Push For More Ethanol Could Be Too Little, Too Late http://ktep.org/post/epas-push-more-ethanol-could-be-too-little-too-late The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency could soon issue a final ruling that aims to force oil companies to replace E10, gasoline mixed with 10 percent ethanol, with E15.<p>This move could come just as widespread support for ethanol, which is made from corn, appears to be eroding.<p>Mike Mitchell was once a true believer in ethanol as a homegrown solution to foreign oil imports. Mon, 01 Apr 2013 07:23:00 +0000 Tracy Samilton 13836 at http://ktep.org EPA's Push For More Ethanol Could Be Too Little, Too Late Profit-Sharing Checks Replace Autoworkers Raises http://ktep.org/post/profit-sharing-checks-replace-autoworkers-raises Transcript <p>STEVE INSKEEP, HOST: <p>The Ford Motor Company also announced its earnings yesterday, saying it had a pre-tax profit of $8 billion for 2012. And that gives union employees a reason to celebrate. They will each get a profit sharing check of $8,300 - a record high amount.<p>There's also some good news coming for General Motors workers, as Michigan Radio's Tracy Samilton reports.<p>TRACY SAMILTON, BYLINE: GM hasn't announced earnings yet, but the company was roughly as profitable as Ford in the first nine months last year. Wed, 30 Jan 2013 10:33:00 +0000 Tracy Samilton 9825 at http://ktep.org Toyota Regains No. 1 Sales Position http://ktep.org/post/toyota-regains-no-1-sales-position After careening from back-to-back crises — recalls and the tsunami — Toyota is No. 1 in worldwide sales again. Toyota says it sold at least 9.7 million vehicles in 2012. General Motors reports it sold 9.3 million. Both companies say it doesn't really matter which one is in the top spot. Tue, 15 Jan 2013 09:22:00 +0000 Tracy Samilton 8865 at http://ktep.org Ford To Try Bringing Luxury Back To Lincoln http://ktep.org/post/ford-try-bringing-luxury-back-lincoln Ford Motor Company is changing the name of it Lincoln brand to the Lincoln Motor Company. Ford is also planning to sell the hybrid version of their flagship sedan, the new MKZ, for the same price as the gasoline version. Mon, 03 Dec 2012 21:25:00 +0000 Tracy Samilton 6347 at http://ktep.org GM Quarterly Earnings Exceed Expectations http://ktep.org/post/gm-quarterly-earnings-exceed-expectations Even facing economic headwinds in Europe and South America, GM's quarterly earnings came in well above analysts' estimates, and its stock soared. Thu, 01 Nov 2012 09:10:00 +0000 Tracy Samilton 4229 at http://ktep.org