MCG Executive Briefing for September 22, 2017

Jack Smith, the veteran Chrysler executive who created the 1968 Plymouth Road Runner and its innovative marketing plan featuring a cartoon character, has passed away at 94. Get all the latest auto industry news in the Executive Briefing. 



Today’s headlines:

+   Daimler AG will add more than 600 jobs and invest $1 billion to expand its Mercedes-Benz plant in Alabama to produce electric SUVs starting in 2020. More at Business Insider. 

+   Ford Motor Co. is planning temporary shutdowns at five plants, including Michigan Assembly in Wayne and Flat Rock Assembly, in order to reduce swollen inventories. More at the Detroit Free Press. 

+   Volvo has unveiled its new compact crossover SUV, the XC40, featuring a range of gasoline, diesel, hybrid, and electric drivetrains and “Care by Volvo” subscription service. More at Road & Track. 

+   Chip Ganassi Racing, which has reduced its IndyCar team from four cars to two for 2018, announced it has laid off 40 mechanical, technical, and team support employees. More at Racer. 

+   The Dodge Charger and Challenger, now more than a decade old, will be refreshed for 2019 and will receive a new platform shared with the Maserati Ghibli in 2021. More at Automobile. 

+   Michigan State Parks officials are holding public hearings for supporters and opponents of the Detroit Grand Prix, which seeks to renew its agreement to hold races at Belle Isle. More at The Detroit News. 

+   Volkswagen and Audi have temporarily halted production at plants in earthquake-stricken central Mexico to inspect for building damage and enable employees to tend to their families. More at Automotive News Europe. 

+   The Nevada Independent reports that the Faraday Future electric vehicle plant in Nevada is officially cancelled, according to a notification filed with the governor’s office. More at Motor Trend. 

+   Jack Smith, the Chrysler engineer and product planner who created the 1968 Plymouth Road Runner and the 1967 Plymouth GTX, has passed away at 94. More at Hemmings Daily. 

+   NASCAR driver Kasey Kahne, whose current deal with Hendrick Motorsport was not renewed for next season, has signed a one-year deal with Leavine Family Racing. More at Yahoo! Sports. 

Review the previous Executive Briefing from September 18 here. 

Photo courtesy of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. 

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