TranquilityÂ returns to North America as FCA’s ill-fated minivan assembly plant prepares itself for a return to active duty.
That, the used car rulebook is getting an update, an autoworker union puts its hand out for government cash, and Porsche shrinks the price-tag and stretches the length of the Panamera… after the break!
More minivans next Monday
Fiat Chrysler says its Windsor assembly plant will return to operational status on Monday. Automotive News reports that aÂ Unifor spokesman said the union will begin notifying members through traditional and socialÂ media that work will resume on November 14th.
The union, which represents Detroit Three autoworkers in Canada, told the roughly 6,000 employees on November 3 that the plant would be idled due to a parts shortage. The news came afterÂ an essential seating manufacturer narrowly averted a strike and a keyÂ lighting component supplier sufferedÂ massive warehouse fire on November 1st.
While the plant was already scheduled to be closed on November 11 for Remembrance Day, regular production was absent from November 7th through the 10th.Â TheÂ Windsor assembly plant produces about 1,500 Dodge Grand Caravan and Chrysler Pacifica minivans every day.
FTC updates the Used Car Buyers Guide
The Federal Trade Commission updated its used car rulebook on Thursday.Â The FTCâ€™s Used Car Rule has been the industry standardÂ since 1985. It requires all used car dealers to post a Buyers Guide on any car they are offering for purchase, giving customers important information to help them make better informed decisions.
Now the FTC has made some changes to the Buyers Guide that dealers need to adhere to and consumers may want to know about.Â One of the biggest changes isÂ updating the description of what an “as is” sale constitutes. Other changes include:
Adding boxes on the face of the Buyerâ€™s Guide that dealerships can markÂ to show whether a vehicle is covered by a third-party warranty, and if a service contract isÂ available.
Providing a box that dealerships can selectedÂ to show that a manufacturerâ€™s warranty that hasn’t expired still applies to the vehicle.
Adding airbags and catalytic converters to the Buyers Guidesâ€™ list of major defects that could occur.
Adding a statement that tells consumers to obtain a vehicle history report and to check for open recalls.
Adding a Spanish statement to the English-language guide that advises Spanish-speaking consumers to ask for the Buyerâ€™s Guide in Spanish (if the dealership is conducting the sale in Spanish).
Providing a Spanish translation of the statement that dealers may use to obtain a consumerâ€™s acknowledgement of receipt of the Buyers Guide.
The revisions go into effect on January 27. A copy of the new guide and expanded information for consumers and sells are available at theÂ Federal Trade Commission’s website.
Dias wants more from the Canadian government.Â
Unifor President Jerry Dias has called on the Canadian government to support the auto industry in a piece written for the Huffington Post. In it, he claimed “Canada still has inadequate programs from our governments to attract and retain the auto industry in this country.”
The article comes after Dias and UniforÂ negotiated large investments from the Big Three. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles committedÂ $331 million, General Motors was in forÂ $554 million,Â and Ford promisedÂ $713 million â€”Â most of which will go to Windsor’s new engine programs.
â€œWeâ€™ve done our bit. Now itâ€™s their turn,â€� Dias wrote.
However, he didn’t say what this government intervention would entail.
â€�Heâ€™s not specifying what he wants, but I think I know what he wants, and thatâ€™s a handout. I think that is a very dangerous road to go down,â€� Canadian Taxpayers Association head Aaron Wudrick told Automotive News Canada. â€œThe government can provide a better business environment by cutting taxes and making it easier for these entities to do business. In Ontario, they can start by lowering energy prices for these businesses.”
AÂ Porsche not aimed at drivers
Porsche is now offering an “entry-level” Panamera for the low price ofÂ $85,000.
The new base Panamera receives a 2.9-liter turbocharged V6 that sends allÂ 330 of its horsepower to the real wheels. Although if you wanted to make it all-wheel drive, like every other Porsche sedan, you can for an extra $4,600.
Porsche will also be offering “Executive” versions of the Panamera for the type of person interesting in a driver’s car but not so interested in driving it. That model sees the vehicle stretched by an extra 5.9 inches to offer additional spaceÂ for the rear-seat occupants.Â The company claims the back of the Porsche can also be made into a digital work space using a pair of 10-inch detachable tablets and optional rear multimedia console.
In addition to the new 2.9-liter V6, the Executive Porsches can also be optionedÂ with all the remaining powertrains. The E-Hybrid Executive will have 462 horses, the 4S Executive 440 hp, and the Turbo Exec will put outÂ 550 ponies from the 4.0 liter turbocharged V8.
The LA Auto Show will see the official unveiling of the new base Panamera and hoity-toity Executive models. Porsche says deliveries for the 2017 Panamera 4S and Panamera Turbo will start in January 2017.
[Images: FCA;Â OFL Communications Department/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 2.0); Porsche]