4 state enforcement blitz along I-94 next week

4 state enforcement blitz along I-94 next week

Commercial vehicle enforcement officers from the Michigan State Police, Indiana State Police, Illinois State Police, and Ohio State Highway Patrol are focusing their attention on I-94 and other major freeways in their states next week in a coordinated operation. This multi-state effort Dec. 3-7 is meant to reduce commercial vehicle crashes along the I-94 corridor.

During the initiative, commercial vehicle enforcement officers will focus on violations most likely to contribute to a crash. Those include speeding, following too close, improper passing, distracted driving, and improper lane use.

“This enforcement effort is a great example of the commitment by the (Michigan State Police), Indiana State Police, Illinois State Police and the Ohio Highway Patrol to reach our common goal of increasing traffic safety and reducing crashes,” stated Capt. Michael Krumm, commander of the Michigan State Police Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division.  “We hope to increase awareness by means of high visibility enforcement on the I-94 corridor, which is prone to weather-related crashes this time of year involving interstate commercial vehicle drivers.”

Shopping for a Car After the L.A. Auto Show? We Can Help

Shopping for a Car After the L.A. Auto Show? We Can Help

If you’re planning to attend the public days of the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show as more than just an interested spectator, you’ve come to the right place. But even if you’re not shopping on the show floor in the coming days — even if just reading about the L.A. show is enough to get you thinking you need a new ride — you’ll want to keep reading. Below is a list of links led off by our recent expert reviews that details a few shortcuts on the way to a more affordable new car. Get ahead of the game before you ever get out to the dealership and read on for more.

Related: What’s the Best New-Car Warranty for 2018?

What car should I buy? That depends on a lot of factors, but our reviews can help. Check out our recent additions:

Which cars have the best deals right now? Check out our top deals for November. As always, your discounts may vary, so check with your dealer for specifics.

Should I buy new or used? Read up on the pros and cons of each. If you go used, review our used-car buyers’ checklist and consider whether you want a certified pre-owned car.

How much can I afford? Read our primer. Then use our Price Comparison Tool while you shop to find what’s right for you.

Should I finance, lease or pay cash? That depends, but this might help you decide.

How do I get the best lease rate? Bone up on common lease terminology, plus our tips.

How do I get the best financing rate? Our game plan lays out some advice. While you’re at it, here’s what you need to know about auto loans and what you’ll need to get one.

Anything I shouldn’t do when I’m at the dealer? Yep. Avoid these pitfalls.

Should I get an extended warranty? That depends. Here’s what you need to know.

How do I sell or trade in my old car? Learn how to prep your car before you sell it to a dealer, how to trade it in and how to deal with taxes and other considerations. If you still owe money on your old car, read this. Finally, if you want to sell it private party, here’s how to create the picture-perfect ad and how to seal the deal.

Cars.com’s Editorial department is your source for automotive news and reviews. In line with Cars.com’s long-standing ethics policy, editors and reviewers don’t accept gifts or free trips from automakers. The Editorial department is independent of Cars.com’s advertising, sales and sponsored content departments.

Trucking Braces for Fallout From GM Plant Closings

Trucking Braces for Fallout From GM Plant Closings

The decision by General Motors to cease production at five of its factories in the United States and Canada will have consequences for trucking companies that serve those plants.

EDITORIAL: Trouble on the homefront for GM

“This is a drastic cut in manufacturing in Michigan,” said Walt Heinritzi, executive director of the Michigan Trucking Association in Lansing. “It’s not positive for carriers bringing raw materials into these plants or for auto haulers.”

GM closure graphic

And while the overall economy is strong, Heinritzi said more plant closings could be in the offing as Ford Motor Co. is expected to make similar adjustments in its production capacity in response to changing consumer preferences and changes in costs due to new and higher tariffs.

GM announced Nov. 26 that it would stop activities at assembly plants in Ohio, Michigan and Ontario in Canada, plus at factories in Baltimore and Warren, Mich., that make transmissions for cars and light trucks, resulting in layoffs of as many as 14,700 factory and white-collar workers and disrupting business for scores of transportation suppliers.

“The ripple effect will be huge,” commented Evan Armstrong, president of logistics research firm Armstrong & Associates Inc. in West Allis, Wis. “Third-party logistics firms and trucking companies managing inbound milk runs, [parts] sequencing operations and material transport are going to be hurt along with car haulers.”

Milk run is a term used to describe the delivery of replenishment parts to manufacturing assembly lines.

GM said the plant closings will save roughly $6 billion a year by the end of 2020 and will free up resources so the company can invest in new autonomous models and electric propulsion technology.

“We recognize the need to stay in front of changing market conditions and customer preferences to position our company for long-term success,” GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra said.

The announcement drew an angry response from President Donald Trump, who said he may try to eliminate electric car subsidies for GM if the company goes through with plans to close its plants in Ohio and Michigan in 2019. Trump said he expects GM to replace the production lost with something new or by bringing production back to the United States from China and Mexico.

Warren, Mich., transmission plant

The transmission plant in Warren, Mich., will close in 2019. (General Motors)

Bob Costello, chief economist for American Trucking Associations, said while he has not heard directly from carriers that may be affected by the GM plant closings, it’s “too early to tell” what the final impact may be.

“Overall, light vehicle sales, including SUVs, light trucks and cars, are expected to ease slightly over the next few years, but remain at levels above the average since 2000,” he said. “However, there continues to be a shift in the U.S. away from cars to SUVs and light trucks.”

A report by the Center for Automotive Research in February documented the change in vehicle preferences with sport-utility, crossover-utility and light trucks accounting for nearly two-thirds of all vehicles sold in the United States in 2017.

“Sales of these high-priced and high-margin vehicles are producing record profits that companies are pouring into new products, processes and technologies,” the report stated.

Vehicle haulers are already dealing with some of these changes as larger vehicles take up more space on trailers, resulting in higher costs for deliveries, and rail carriers struggle to supply rail equipment that can accommodate greater volumes of trucks and SUVs.

“We see a backlog in the rail network,” said Sarah Riggs Amico, executive chairman of Jack Cooper Holdings in Kennesaw, Ga. “We’re seeing volume move to trucks from rail on some lanes.”

New electric-powered vehicles also pose a challenge because weight from the batteries could limit the number of vehicles that can be carried on trailers over the road, Amico said.

Dennis Monts

Monts

Dennis Monts, executive vice president of commercial operations at Advent Intermodal Solutions in Murray Hill, N.J., and a former GM executive, said the plant closings “are a signal of what we can expect in the future” in terms of automotive production and manufacturing in general.

“The trend we see is toward streamlined design and simpler manufacturing architecture across multiple product lines,” Monts said. “What this means for trucking and logistics providers is the need to service customers operating fewer plants at much higher capacity utilization and with heavier reliance on integrated suppliers.”

As a consequence, Monts said that he expects logistics providers and trucking companies to play a larger role in helping manufacturers achieve their production and efficiency goals.