The Boy Scouts of America will allow openly-gay youths into their organization beginning January 1st.
Filed under: Sedan, SUV, Plants/Manufacturing, Ford, Australia Ford began manufacturing cars in Australia in 1925 with the Model T. In 2016, Ford will stop manufacturing cars Down Under, including the Falcon and the Territory SUV. Ford Australia CEO Bob Graziano has reportedly confirmed the closure of the company's Broadmeadows assembly plant and the Geelong engine plant, both in the state of Victoria. There will be 650 jobs lost at Broadmeadows, 510 sacrificed at Geelong. Of the roughly 3,000 workers the Blue Oval has in Australia, it's said it will try to retain about 1,000 of them at its R&D and product development facilities. The writing hasn't just been on the wall, it's been a regular item in all the papers and on Ford's bottom line for years. As recently as 2003, Ford sold nearly 75,000 Falcons, but over the next four years, annual sales dropped by something like 10,000 units, and over the last two years, it has sold less than 20,000 per year. It isn't only Ford that has suffered - sales of the other large, locally produced sedan, the Holden Commodore, have also gone over the precipice, triggering the same kind of angst about Holden's continued existence. Ford is the smallest of Australia's local automakers, Holden and Toyota the others, and has posted losses of $AUD141 million last year ($136M US) and $AUD600 million ($580M US) in the past five years. Graziano said the cost of manufacturing is simply too expensive in the country, twice as high as Europe and three times as high as Asia, and there no way to make a business case for staying in the country. In January 2012, Ford Australia announced it would stay in the country until at least 2016, but by July of the same year, most outside observers were quietly declaring that 2016 would be the last year of Ford Down Under, and even the speculation was making other observers nervous. Ford received money from the Victorian government last year to aid its refresh of the Falcon and Territory, which will continue on schedule for the 2014 model year. A front- and all-wheel-drive sedan on a global platform is predicted to replace the Falcon, with some other SUV expected to replace the Territory. The company says it still intends to expand its lineup in the country. As for what will replace the employment hole at the factories and the supplier base, no one is quite sure. Ford has said that the employees will receive their entitlements, and workers do have three years to prepare for what's coming. As well, the state and national governments have already committed tens of millions to a fund to assist the employees.Ford to cease Australian automaking operations after 90 years originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 23 May 2013 08:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Filed under: EV/Plug-in, Tesla Motors, Legislation and Policy We're willing to bet there are bottles of champagne popping all the way from Washington, DC to Palo Alto, CA today with the announcement that Tesla Motors has, as suspected, paid off the entirety of its $465-million Department of Energy loan. "I hope we did you proud" - Elon Musk As far back as July 2012, Tesla began talking about paying the US government back early, but it was apparently the tremendous rise in the company's stock value recently that prompted CEO Elon Musk to push for the immediate repayment this week. From a price of $33.87 on January 1, TSLA has climbed to $87.24 today (down a bit from the recent highs of over $92). Last week, Tesla sold enough stock to raise over a billion dollars to repay the Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing (ATVM) loan, with interest. This makes Tesla the first automaker to pay the DOE back, and it did so nine years ahead of schedule. In a prepared statement, Tesla CEO Elon Musk thanked the DOE and Congress and "particularly the American taxpayer from whom these funds originate. I hope we did you proud." The DOE is certainly proud, issuing a release that said the repayment "shows the strength of energy department's overall loan portfolio." The DOE has come under fire recently for the loan it gave to Fisker Automotive. Two other ATVM recipients, Nissan and Ford, have not yet paid all theit money back, but there are no apparent worries there, either. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said in a statement that, "not every investment will succeed" but that the DOE's overall $34-million loan portfolio of more than 30 loans "is delivering big results for the American economy while costing far less than anticipated." Details in the press releases below.Continue reading Tesla pays back $465m DOE loan, Musk says 'I hope we did you proud'Tesla pays back $465m DOE loan, Musk says 'I hope we did you proud' originally appeared on Autoblog Green on Wed, 22 May 2013 17:43:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
The second to last night of the season saw the season 16 finale of Dancing With The Stars (2.6/7). In the first DWTS finale with four remaining contestants, it all came down to former American Idol contestant Kellie Pickler, Disney star Zendaya, Olympian Aly Raisman and the Baltimore Ravens’ Jacoby Jones. With a performances from rapper Pitbull, Psy and former contestant Wynonna Judd, a winner was declared for the season. In terms of ratings results, it was both up and down to a low. The two-hour live results show was up 44% from last week. However, this season’s finale was down 13% from DWTS last cycle’s ender on November 27, 2012. Last night’s DWTS was also down 21% from its last spring finale on May 22, 2012. Last night was the lowest finale that DWTS has ever had. The show was the second highest rated show of the night behind The Voice but the most watched by far with 14.96 million tuning in. With a live show like this expect an adjustment later in the day when the final numbers come in. Ahead of the season premiere of The Bachelorette on May 27, a special one-hour recap of the funniest moments from The Bachelor (1.2/4) aired before DWTS last night. ABC won the night in total viewers with NBC topping among Adults 18-49. Replacing a scheduled The Voice recap, NBC began its night with ... Read More »
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