Ford Cutting 7,000 Global Jobs As Part Of Restructuring Plan

2,300 salaried positions in the U.S. will be cut by the end of the week.

Ford is moving forward on its plan to restructure and cut costs amid changing times in the global auto industry. The Associated Press reports that, in a memo to Ford employees, Blue Oval CEO Jim Hackett revealed the next step in the plan begins on Tuesday, May 21, and it will ultimately see approximately 7,000 white-collar jobs cut around the world. That equates to roughly 10 percent of the automaker’s global workforce.

The number is certainly high, but it’s not as high as some analysts expected. Back in October, we reported on rumblings that as many as 24,000 jobs could ultimately disappear. As it stands, 2,300 salaried positions in the U.S. will fall, most of which are expected to come at or in the vicinity of the company’s global headquarters in Dearborn, Michigan. Buyouts for some of those positions are reportedly available, though details are unknown. Whether workers take buyouts or are laid off outright, most of the cuts should be made by the end of the week.

2018 wasn’t the best year for Ford, but it certainly wasn’t the worst, either. New vehicles sales in the U.S. fell 3.5 percent, and earnings were down as well. However, the automaker still banked 3.7 billion in profit and logged some significant raises for some of its executives, not the least of which being Hackett’s $17.8 million combined compensation package. To be fair, average compensation for Ford’s full-time employees also rose to $64,316, and the company is investing $1 billion into its Chicago Assembly and Stamping facilities.

It’s all part of a sweeping multi-billion-dollar restructuring plan that Ford is implementing to be more competitive in a rapidly changing global automotive market. Ultimately, that plan seeks to reduce internal bureaucracy while investing heavily into electrification and autonomous systems – two areas where Ford has been lagging.

Source: The Associated Press

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Audi RS Q3 Spied Making Very Angry Noises At The Nürburgring

This performance crossover has been doing lots of laps.

A new spy video catches the upcoming Audi RS Q3 pushing very hard around the Nürburgring for multiple laps. Thankfully, the driver also slows down long enough to provide a great look at the range-topping version of the Four Rings’ compact crossover.

We have seen plenty of spy shots of the RS Q3 before, including the one in this clip with the HN QV 292 license plate number (see more spy shots above). Unfortunately, the engineers didn’t strip any camouflage off the speedy crossover this time. The only major difference here is that there are a whole lot of dead bugs on the tip of the hood and windshield, which hints at the significant number of laps this vehicle is doing.

The RS Q3 will reportedly pack Audi’s 2.5-liter turbocharged five-cylinder. Judging by the sound of the test mule in this video, these reports are accurate because this one makes quite an impressive noise. Rumors for this application of the powerplant suggests an output around 400 horsepower (298 kilowatts), possibly a figure close to 414 hp (309 kW). The exhaust gases exit through a pair of big oval outlets.

The RS Q3 would have a sophisticated all-wheel-drive system for maintaining traction with the prodigious output. Large brake discs with big calipers clamping down on them would help slow down the performance crossover. The ride height also appears lower than the standard Q3.

The mildly aggressive SQ3 will arrive sometime this year, but the international motoring world likely won’t get the RS Q3 until sometime in 2020. According to current indications, the hotter model will be available in the United States, too.

Source: Automotive Mike via YouTube

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Porsche 911 Turbo S Cabrio Spied Tempting Fate At The Nürburgring

The video captures lots of tortured tires and a couple dicey moments for the driver of this test car.

Spring is in full effect at the Nürburgring, and automakers are taking full advantage of the weather. Porsche in particular is quite busy – it’s only been six months since the latest 911 launched, and there are many new variants still to come. We just met the new Speedster, though it’s based on the previous-generation 911 so technically speaking, it’s not part of Porsche’s new fleet. The next 911 Turbo most definitely is part of the new brigade, and the latest spy video from Automotive Mike on YouTube features the even hotter Turbo S Cabriolet tearing up the track.

Much of the footage comes from Brünnchen, the infamous pair of right-handers roughly 9.5 miles into the Nordschleife loop where we’ve seen so many cars overcook it with disastrous results. As it stands, the above video catches this 911 driver fighting the wheel at the 2:06 mark, and later running very wide at the 3:08 mark. Testing equipment is clearly visible inside the car as well, and with the amount of tire noise we hear in this clip, Porsche certainly isn’t letting any grass grow with the fine-tuning of its hot new turbo.

Of course, with a mental flat-six in the back that could be producing upwards of 640 horsepower (477 kilowatts), it’s hard not to drive this car on the ragged edge. We’ve heard the next 911 Turbo could have around 600 hp (447 kW), but this particular prototype is believed to be the even faster Turbo S version. Judging by the way it builds speed down the ‘Ring’s massive Döttinger-Höhe straight, we see no reason to doubt these power figures.

Since camouflage is relatively thin on this prototype, one might think a reveal is coming soon but that’s likely not the case. This car is still carrying quite a bit of testing tech inside, and we haven’t even seen the standard 911 Turbo revealed yet, never mind the convertible. The S models always come later, so we probably won’t see the official 911 Turbo S Cabriolet until sometime later next year.

Source: Automotive Mike via YouTube

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See How Much Sitting In Traffic Costs You When You Could Be Working

The study looked at the average duration folks s in each state spent in traffic, and then factored in the opportunity cost if they had been working instead.

For the vast majority of workers, the daily commute to work and back is an inevitable part of daily life, and it can also be one of the worst parts of many folks’ day. Turns out sitting in traffic is pretty expensive, too. The team at Sky Blue Credit recently crunched the numbers that someone making the federal minimum wage of $7.25 had an opportunity cost of at least $1,068 per year from sitting in traffic.

As you’d expect the states with the longest commutes contains contain or are near major cities – many of them in some cases. People in New York have the longest commute by spending an average of 11.9 days getting to work each year. Maryland comes in a close second at 11.8 days, and New Jersey rounds out the top three at 11.4 days.

Assuming someone is making minimum wage, this means a New Yorker would have an opportunity cost of $2,073.50 each year. Someone from Maryland would have a cost of $2,054.65, and the commute would cost $1,979.25 in New Jersey.

It’s worth noting that Sky Blue Credit’s study calculates the money loss by opportunity cost, not an actual loss of wages. So the amounts are how much someone could have made if they would have been able to work during that time.

At the other end of the spectrum, people living in the middle of the country generally have shorter commutes to work. Folks in South Dakota spend 6.1 days going to their job and getting back. People in North Dakota only need a little longer at 6.2 days, and Montana is a little worse at 6.4 days. 

This amounts to an opportunity cost of $1,068.17 in South Dakota and $1,074.45 in North Dakota. The cost amounts to $1,118.43 in Montana.

Source: Sky Blue Credit

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Fresh Mid-Engined C8 Corvette Rendering Depicts A Curvy Supercar

It’s a different look than what we’ve seen on previous renderings.

Sightings of mid-engined Corvette prototypes have risen significantly in the last six months or so, and as a result, we’ve seen numerous fan renderings of what the actual next-generation ‘Vette from Chevrolet might look like under the camo. Most recently we’ve seen prototypes sporting bulky, curvy doors, and we assumed there were fake body panels underneath the camo wrap to obscure details. A new rendering posted by MidEngineCorvetteForum.com user ZoraC2 imagines those curves as part of the final design, leading to a softer, more rounded version of the forthcoming supercar. Compare the spy shots from @Bluekts we saw last week on the left, with ZoraC2’s rendering on the right.

C8 Corvette Spy Photos
New C8 Corvette Fan Rendering

ZoraC2 discusses some of the details regarding the rendering in the original forum post. Note the continuous curve to the side vents as opposed to the angular shapes we’ve seen on other renderings as well as prototypes. The headlights also swap sharper edges for curves on this interpretation, and the hood has fewer body lines for a smoother, more organic appearance. Looking closely at the top of the windshield you’ll notice a carbon fiber roof option. A carbon treatment is also given to components up front as well as the side rocker trim and rear spoiler.

It’s an interesting interpretation of Chevrolet’s upcoming supercar, which thus far has been portrayed with harder edges. Even with those sharp lines, more than a few people have compared the C8 to the 20-year-old Ferrari 360, and this softer vision certainly goes further in that direction. Having seen so many prototypes wearing various camo coverings and false body panels, at this point it’s still pretty tough to nail down details of a final design. This one, however, definitely extends the softer theme further than any other rendering we’ve seen.

What do you think of this C8 interpretation? July 18 is the date when all the coverings will be removed, but until then, do you think the next-generation Corvette will sport more curves, or edges?

Source: MidEngineCorvetteForum.com

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