That Was Then. . . .
In 1947, in the ramp of the post-war auto boom, GM opened an assembly plant in Wilmington, Delaware. Once upon a time, the demand for domestic-brand vehicles was go great that GM literally needed assembly operations from coast to coast, with the Wilmington plant being a representative on one coast and the Fremont Assembly Plant in California, opened in 1962, located on the other coast.
The Wilmington plant was closed earlier this year.
The Fremont plant closed in 1980. It was reopened in 1984 as a joint-venture assembly facility, New United Motor Manufacturing Inc. (NUMMI). The joint venture was between GM and Toyota. The plant closed earlier this year, in large part because of GM’s filing for bankruptcy last year.
In May, it was announced that Tesla Motors—a Silicon Valley-based company—would be, in cooperation with Toyota, taking over NUMMI for assembly of its electric vehicles.
Last week, Fisker Automotive, a SoCal-based automaker, finalized its purchase of the 3.2-million square-foot Willington Assembly Plant, where it plans to produce its second plug-in electric hybrid vehicle, Project NINA.
Fisker’s current car, the Karma, is being produced in Finland by Valmet Automotive.
Fisker bought the Wilmington plant from Motors Liquidation Company, the holding company formed by General Motors Corporation’s bankruptcy.
Funny how things have changed in the last 50-odd years, isn’t it?
Ram Truck chief exterior designer Joe Dehner talks about how they’ve developed the all-new pickup. “We’ve been building trucks for over 100 years,” he says. “Best I could come up with is that this is our 15th-generation truck.”
Topology optimization cuts part development time and costs, material consumption, and product weight. And it works with additive, subtractive, and all other types of manufacturing processes, too.
Although the term “continuous improvement” is generally associated with another company, Honda is certainly pursuing that approach, as is evidenced by the Accord, which is now in its ninth generation.