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Auto News: Fisker resigns over ‘disagreements’

Published March 15, 2013

Henrik Fisker, the Danish-born founder of Fisker Automotive, has resigned from his post as executive chairman of the company that builds ultra-luxury hybrid vehicles.

Fisker announced his resignation in an email to Automotive News in Europe, claiming there were “several major disagreements” with the company’s executive management, causing the decision.

The company is struggling and has been attempting to lure a buyer.

Auto News reports Zhejiang Geely, the Chinese automaking company that owns Volvo, is the leading bidder for the firm.

Top safety rating for Civic and Coupe

The 2013 Honda Civic and Coupe have become the first-ever small car to achieve the coveted Top Safety Pick+ from the U.S. Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The important recognition becomes a strong marketing tool for Honda, while trying to lure safety-conscious consumers into their showrooms.

“If you are looking for a compact car with a Top Safety Pick+ rating, the 2013 Honda Civic is the only choice,” said Dave Jamieson, assistant vice-president of sales and marketing at Honda Canada. “We believe this is a distinct competitive advantage, especially as more and more consumers place a premium on crash-rating performance.”

With Civic having scored so well, all but one of the 2013 vehicles Honda Canada sells are now either a Top Safety Pick or a Top Safety Pick+. The 2013 Acura ZDX is still undergoing testing at IIHS.

GM to invest $250 million in Ingersoll plant

GM Canada has announced an investment of $250 million into its Ingersoll, Ont., CAMI production plant, which currently builds the Equinox. The investment will allow the company to convert that production line to a flexible style of line that is quickly adaptable for future products.

“Conversion of the CAMI assembly plant to a flexible manufacturing facility will provide CAMI with the ability to produce multiple global architectures and body styles,” said Kevin Williams, president and general manager of GM Canada, adding that sales of new products have been brisk this year.

“Continually improving the flexibility of our manufacturing operations helps us respond quickly to customer needs and market demand.”

Construction for the upgrades is expected to start soon.

CAW contract talks for CAMI plant start early

While construction is about to begin at the Ingersoll plant, the current labour contract is set to expire on Sept. 16. Both the CAW and General Motors are hoping to beat that deadline by having a new contract in place by March 24.

Nokian Tires sets record for speed on ice

I’m in Helsinki, Finland, having spent the week learning about the testing process used by Finnish tire manufacturer Nokian to ensure they have the best winter tires.

Nokian has set a Guinness world record for the fastest car on ice. The record was set by test driver Janne Laitinen, who co-workers call the Iceman, driving a modified Audi RS6 fitted with Nokian’s new Hakkapeliitta 8 tire. The record, set on the frozen Gulf of Bothnia last Saturday, is Laitinen’s third world record for driving on ice. For those who don’t want to do the math, 335.7 km/h equates to 211.3 m.p.h.

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