Welcome to The Grid, R&T’s quick roundup of the auto industry and motorsports news you should know this morning.
McLaren May Sell 30-Percent Stake in Formula 1 Team
McLaren might’ve achieved “best of the rest” in the 2019 Formula 1 season, but there’s still a long climb ahead for the team. The COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t helped, as no racing means no earnings. Autosport reports that as a result, McLaren might sell a 30-percent share in its Racing division, which comprises of its F1 and IndyCar teams. The McLaren group has had a tough year, laying off 25 percent of its workforce (around 1200 employees) in May. Selling a stake in McLaren Racing will (ideally) allow the F1 team to spend the full $145 million the series will allow teams to spend in 2021.
No COVID-19 Outbreaks at U.S. Auto Plants
Today marks a month since the reopening of U.S. auto plants owned by Ford, GM, and FCA. Some individual workers have tested positive for COVID-19, but Reuters reports that there have been no major outbreaks at any of the reopened plants. The automakers worked with the UAW to make sure appropriate safety protocols were put in place, and given the lack of outbreaks, it seems they’re working. The tricky thing is what happens outside the plants, where workers are free to do whatever they like. It’s therefore incumbent on the automakers to ensure that those who display symptoms don’t go to work.
FCA Cancelling Summer Break at Various Plants
Since reopening plants, automakers have been met with surprising demand for new cars, especially trucks. Ford and GM cancelled summer breaks at various plants, and Automotive News reports that FCA is following suit. Unsurprisingly, the plants staying open include those that build the RAM 1500, Jeep Wrangler and Gladiator, and Dodge Charger and Challenger. A pandemic can’t change U.S. car-buying taste, evidently.
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