Automakers

2:43am

Fri June 15, 2012
Planet Money

Can Lincoln Be Cool Again?

Originally published on Fri June 15, 2012 8:56 am

An ad for the 1965 Lincoln Continental.
courtesy Lincoln

In the car business, Lincoln once stood as the pinnacle of luxury. Frank Sinatra drove a Lincoln. So did the Shah of Iran. In the U.S., the presidential limo was a Lincoln.

The brand peaked with the 1961 Lincoln Continental, a beautiful, innovative car that stood for style, individuality and sophistication.

But after the '60s, Lincoln started on a long, slow decline that mirrored the slide of the American auto industry.

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3:44pm

Thu June 14, 2012
Economy

New Schedules Push Graveyard Shift Off The Clock

Originally published on Thu June 14, 2012 8:54 pm

A worker builds cars on the assembly line at Ford's Chicago Assembly plant, which has adopted the "three crew" work schedule. The new third shift can increase efficiency in factories, but it can also wreak havoc on sleep needs and home lives.
Scott Olson Getty Images

As car companies struggle to meet growing demand, the third shift is making a comeback. But many factories running on three shifts are doing it differently from in the past. And that new "three crew" shift pattern could make what's normally a hard job even harder.

At Ford's Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, employees work 10-hour shifts four days a week. The so-called A crew gets days, while the B crew gets afternoons. But the C crew shift rotates its start time every week. On Fridays and Saturdays, workers start at 6:00 a.m. On Mondays and Tuesdays, they start at 4:30 p.m.

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6:28am

Wed June 13, 2012
The Two-Way

'Little Darth Vader' From VW Ad Is Having Open Heart Surgery

In this screen shot provided by Volkswagen of America, Max Page stars as a "Little Darth Vader" who thinks he's used "the force" to start a VW Passat.
AP

3:01pm

Wed June 6, 2012
The Two-Way

At The Equivalent Of 118 MPG, Honda Fit EV Becomes Most Fuel Efficient Car

The new all-electric 2013 Honda Fit EV is seen during its debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show, in Los Angeles.
Reed Saxon AP

The 2013 Honda Fit EV received the best fuel efficiency rating the Environmental Protection Agency has ever issued. The AP reports that the EPA said the electric vehicle gets the equivalent of 118 MPG.

The AP reports:

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2:52am

Wed May 16, 2012
NPR Story

Certain Ford Retirees Face Major Pension Decision

Originally published on Wed May 16, 2012 7:05 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And now to big money that's tied up in a company's pension fund. Tens of thousands of white-collar Ford retirees will soon have a big decision to make: Should they stay in the auto company's pension plan, or take their chances with a lump sum payout instead? The offer is believed to be the first of its kind for such a large, ongoing pension fund.

Michigan Radio's Lindsey Smith reports.

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