Welcome to the automotive podcast that always buys the extended warranty.
On this episode of Throwin’ Wrenches…
- Ford scales back production in the Midwest during the summer months.
- Volkswagen has a spark of genius with a familiar model name coming back to life.
- Elon waxes poetic while predictions of his future wealth reach deep into the stratosphere.
All that, plus we welcome our friend Regan back for a special 4-time appearance!
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About Our Guest
You may hear him rumbling down the road in his “new” model A hot rod pickup, What drives this man? Clearly to take the title or the most frequent guest on the Throwin Wrenches, as he is now tied with Mr. Casey at 4. Soon to be the king of both the podcast, boats, and Toyota knowledge, Mr. Regan.
|Fort’s Toyota of Pekin||Gabe Casey||Patreon Supporters
We’re hearing lots of support for Eric and the Stahl family. As you know, they are walking through some heavy stuff right now, but your kind comments and encouragement mean so much.
Bottom line: Keep it coming, it’s working!
You can learn more about their current battle at PlanetStahl.com and support them here if you’re so inclined. Thank you, and we all wish the Stahls continued good vibes and the very best in the coming weeks.
Ford Scaling Back Production This Summer
Source: The Detroit Bureau
Ford is preparing to trim production at four big assembly plants this summer in Chicago, Missouri, Louisville, Kentucky and Kansas City, according to a memo circulated to hourly employees at the company’s Chicago Stamping plant, which feeds part to all four plants.
“Chicago stamping will be implementing a week-to-week temporary starting Monday, June 20. The temporary layoff will continue Sunday, September 11 with the plan to return to full-scale production on Monday, September 12,” according to copy of the memo reviewed by thedetroitbureau.com.
The memo offers employees the opportunity to volunteer for temporary layoffs, which could extend through the summer months. The temporary layoff is likely to appeal to employees with school-age children who are off from school.
These layoffs come as part of the company’s Ford + Turnaround restructuring Plan. The plan aims to gradually restructure to phase into the EV world and bring the workforce in line with upcoming consumer demands for less ICEs.
GM Dropping Four-Year Degree Requirement for Many Jobs
Source: GM Authority
GM has dropped the four-year college degree requirement for many jobs and will instead transition to skills-based hiring practices for certain roles, Tammy Golden, GM’s executive director of diversity, equity and inclusion, told Automotive News in a recent interview.
Golden, who is also the Detroit-based automaker’s head of workforce strategy, explained to AN how the automaker has implemented a new three-pronged approach to its hiring practices. The first step involves a focus on diversity, equity and inclusion, which is part of GM’s vision to become the most inclusive company in the world, while the second focuses on workplace innovation and removing biases that may impact an employee’s experience on the job. The third step is workforce design, which focuses on creating clear pathways for employees to join the company that may not have four-year degrees, but have relevant real-world experience.
“From a soft skills perspective, we really needed people who can connect with people,” Golden told AN. “When you focus on what’s required of the job versus, say, a four-year degree, as your ticket in, it allows you the opportunity to open the aperture to another pool of talent.”
Scout Electric SUV and Pickup Teased by VW Speculatively Rendered
The Scout brand is coming back with these two electric vehicles specifically designed to boost VW’s US presence in the segments.
Volkswagen is bringing back the Scout brand, known for the International Harvester Scout off-roader, and plans to launch two brand new electric models, one SUV, One pickup that should debut in the United States around the year 2026. The German giant wants to build both of them in the US, possibly at a new (second) manufacturing location that it may build next to its existing facility in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
The vehicles will have all the features that we’ve already seen on rival models, like rear-wheel steering, adjustable suspension, solar charging, and vehicle-to-load (V2L) capability, and according to one report from Germany, the planned annual production target is 600,000 units. Even though this will be a VW company, the goal is to make Scout an American-designed and American-built product on top of borrowing retro design cues from the original.
Moment of Musk
Elon Musk could become the world’s first Trillioniare by 2024
Tesla CEO Elon Musk, whose recent business ventures include continued negotiations to purchase Twitter for $44 billion and opening a Tesla gigafactory in Austin, could become the world’s first trillionaire as early as 2024, according to a report from software company Tipalti Approve. The company predicted Musk’s wealth will exceed the $1 trillion mark by comparing his current net worth, which is $263 billion, with his year-over-year income growth since 2017.
Musk’s net worth is currently about equal to the entire GDP of the Czech Republic, the central European country with a population of 10.7 million, according to data from the World Bank. Were Musk, or any other billionaire, to reach the $1 trillion mark, their wealth would be more than the GDP of the Netherlands, a country with 17.4 million people and home to popular tourist destination Amsterdam.
With the current world GDP valued at $84.75 trillion according to the World Bank, anyone reaching trillionaire status would have a net worth that is 1.17% of the entire world’s GDP.
Meanwhile on Twitter, the soon-to-be Trillionare was busy creating this gem of a Tweet:
Words certainly hit hard, Elon.
Grinding the Gears
Gabe: Old people who decide in their mid 60’s that rules no longer apply to them. I recently had a lady drive against the arrow and parking slants at Ace hardware for no reason and made me get over and wait for her. Lovely.
Daryl: Whenever I see the carnage from the roads or barely miss running over a crater on the way to work, all I can think of is where is all the money from the marijuana sales going?
ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) – Though COVID-19 created obstacles for many local businesses, one industry soared. Illinois cannabis sales nearly doubled in 2021, bringing in $1.4 billion in revenue. Many of those sales came from local dispensaries.
$1.4 Billion. Huh. Well, that money isn’t really going to the roads:
In fact, the only U.S. state with legal recreational marijuana that directly appropriates revenues to the Transportation Fund is Michigan, at 35%.
With people driving less, and with more fuel-efficient cars or EV’s, it’s time to change the funding formula for how we maintain these 70-year-old pieces of concrete. Everyone just goes on a monthly subscription.
For $25 a month, you get to ride on the roads as-is.
For $50 a month, you get to enjoy the GOOD lane. The left lane on the interstate, or the newly repaved section of the cross-town highway.
Make road travel tiered as we do with everything else in this country… it will either raise more revenue OR get the average person mad enough to write their elected officials to get something done!
Cars of the Weak
Daryl: 1975 Chevrolet Cosworth Vega – $19,900 Buy it Now Price
From the description: These cars are incredibly rare with only 2,061 leaving the factory in 1975. This particular Cosworth is car number 615! It still wears its original Tuxedo Black Paint and Gold Pinstripe! All the factory Decals are present, as well as many items such as Visor Sleeves with Ignition and EFI Operation Instructions and quite a bit of original Documentation. Among that Documentation is its original COPO Registration. Service manuals bearing the signature of Bill Howell. Bill Howell is known by some as the Father of the Chevrolet Big Block engine. In the Early 1970’s Bill Howell was tapped to assist in research and design of a High Performance Vega Engine equipped with a Cosworth Cylinder head. As part of this R&D Process Bill participated in Racing Cosworth Powered Quarter Midgets with Marion Tucker. Tucker would eventually come to own this exact Cosworth Vega after Bill saw to it that it was special ordered for Marion. This is a very special car, from its original paint, to is entirely original interior. It has lived its life stored indoors after Bill promised Marion that “One day it will be worth more than you paid for it” Now immortalized in one of the signatures you see below. Little did they realize how true that statement would become. Magazines of the time lauded praise onto the Cosworth Vega. Its first for a GM Passenger car Electronic Fuel injection, cutting edge Twin Cam cylinder head, great performance and handling. And it still met emissions, and provided excellent fuel economy. The Cosworth would end Production in 1976 with only a little over 3500 total being produced. This has made the Cosworth Vega a rare, fun, and interesting piece of Chevrolet history. This particular example runs and drives well, and is incredibly clean throughout. This Cosworth survives untouched, even down to the factory Bendix Fuel Injection and Emissions equipment.
Gabe: 1995 Nissan 300ZX Twin Turbo 5-Speed
Source: Bring a Trailer
Modifications consist of adjustable KYB AGX shocks, AMS Upper Control Arms, Eibach springs, aftermarket bushings, a Jim Wolf Technology ECU, and a Sebring exhaust system.
Sure, we love a good MkIV Supra, but these Nissans are underappreciated and undervalued.
That means we should all try to buy one now.
Regan: 1967 Chevrolet Camaro
Knowing Regan, this car won’t stay stock for long.