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The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
 |  Dec 15 2011, 9:30 PM

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Chevrolet‘s Cruze conundrum is causing collateral damage for Buick and continuing longer than expected.

General Motors halted production at the Lordstown, Ohio plant of the globally distributed sedan, citing problems with a parts supplier, though the company didn’t disclose specifics.

“A further process review shows General Motors is not ready to resume production of the Chevrolet Cruze at the Lordstown Complex as announced earlier,” said the company in a statement.

The Cruze isn’t the only car being affected by the shortage: the Buick Verano (pictured above), which uses many of the same parts and shares its platform with the Cruze is also being stalled. The Verano is manufactured at a different plant near Detroit, but is suffering the same production delays.

GM remains tight-lipped about what is causing the delay, but according to Automotive News sources close to the situation say struts shared by both car’s suspensions are a likely culprit.

Production will resume at the Lordstown plant at 10:30 p.m. today after production of the popular car sat stagnant for four days.

There is no information so far on when the Michigan plan will resume production.

Gallery: 2012 Buick Verano

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[Source: Automotive News]

 |  Sep 13 2011, 6:31 PM

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Alfa Romeo debuted another version of its 4C sports car concept and announced it will be available worldwide, including North America. In 2013.

That’s a year later than we previous thought. We had previously reported Alfa Romeo would offer the 4C in North America in 2012 with other models to follow in 2013.

Continue Reading…

 |  Apr 13 2011, 4:08 PM

Mere days after the world’s largest automotive microchip producer struggled to avert a production crisis due to their factory being disabled by the March 11th earthquake in Japan, the second largest producer of automotive microchips is now said to be abandoning their own factory in the area and is looking to add capacity at other plants.

Freescale Semiconductor Inc had prior plans to close their plant, located near the epicenter of the earthquake in Sendai, but decided to forgo repairing the damage sustained by the plant due to its severity. Since the target for the closing was December of this year, Freescale had already begun preparations for closing the plant, including stockpiling parts, but the disruption will still have significant repercussions for the industry. Freescale controls about 20 percent  of the market for microchips. A Chandler, Arizona plant operated by Freescale will help the company fill demand in the interim.

[Source: Automotive News]

 |  Apr 11 2011, 1:15 PM

While much of the automotive industry is watching what car manufacturers have to say about production shortages in Japan, a key supplier of microchips is transferring production from their battered facility in Japan’s earthquake zone, to seperate facilities in Japan and Singapore – but the move could cause months long delays of crucial components, halting production for a number of vehicles in the process.

Renesas Electronics Corp controls 41 percent of the marketplace, and their chips are used in everything from engine control units, parking brake systems, stability control programs, in-car entertainment and power steering systems. Even one missing part can cause production lines to shut down, and these crucial parts may not ship for as long as 4 months from now. Replacing these components is especially difficult, since they are often designed to work with specific vehicles from the outset. Furthermore, bureaucracy and other administrative processes involved with changing suppliers adds even more time and complexity to the task, wasting precious time.

Automotive News cited the Lexus LS460, a technology intensive vehicle, as one of Renesas’ biggest projects, with 80 percent of its microchips coming from the firm. A shortage of these chips would cripple production of the car, and this phenomenon is not isolated to Toyota alone. While Toyota refused to comment specifically, it is known that they have compiled an inventory, and found 150 crucial parts that did not have a guaranteed supply.

The result of this situation, as well as other manufacturers and suppliers facing similar problems could spell chaos for an industry already prone to feeling the effects of secondary events like rising gas prices or a lack of consumer credit. In the same way that these factors torpedoed the American car industry on the demand side in 2008, these issues could pose a similar problem on the supply side for Japan’s own auto industry.

[Source: Automotive News]