AD #3350 – Plasma Ignition Better Than Spark Plugs; Ford Tries Direct Sales in China; EV Production Updates

June 21st, 2022 at 12:08pm

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Listen to “AD #3350 – Plasma Ignition Better Than Spark Plugs; Ford Tries Direct Sales in China; EV Production Updates” on Spreaker.

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Runtime: 9:54

0:07 BrightDrop Makes 1st Deliveries to FedEx
0:40 Daimler Using LFP Batteries for Long Haul Truck
1:14 Honda Breaks Ground on New EV Plant in China
1:48 VW Test Helps Increase Renewable Energy Use
3:19 EV Production Updates
3:56 BMW Digitizing All of Its Production Plants
4:29 GM Drops 4-Year Degree Requirement for Salaried Workers
5:10 Ford Tries Direct Sales in China
6:39 Plasma Ignition Proves Better Than Spark Plugs
7:54 R.I.P. Maryann Keller

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16 Comments to “AD #3350 – Plasma Ignition Better Than Spark Plugs; Ford Tries Direct Sales in China; EV Production Updates”

  1. ChuckGrenci Says:

    Plasma ignition looks pretty good for an ICE to BEV transition link. The article says it’s cost effective but no percentage of what a current ignition to ‘plasma’ was revealed. Other noted plusses included lower NOX and CO2; those would go a long way to making it acceptable as a bridge to the future. I’m still a little afraid of what it might cost and the compatibility of existing ignition architecture.

  2. Kit Gerhart Says:

    When did GM ever require 4 year degrees for salary jobs, except maybe engineers? A lot of technicians, secretaries, production supervisors and other salary employees didn’t have 4 year degrees when I was there.

  3. Kate McLeod Says:

    Very sad to hear that MaryAnn has died. She was one of the most intelligent and accurate analysts.

  4. Kit Gerhart Says:

    1 It sounds complex, and expensive to fix, but if plasma ignition actually improves fuel efficiency 20%, or even 10%, it could be worth it. It might allow regular gas to work better in high compression and/or high boost engines that now need premium for best performance.

  5. Jim Haines Says:

    Chrysler only hit the government to guarantee loans from private sources not direct loans but the government made out like bandits on the money they got for just backing the loans

  6. GM Veteran Says:

    Kit, that had been a requirement for a number of years for non-secretarial salaried jobs when I was hired in 1984. There were a number of folks I worked with that were hired before that became a requirement. As secretarial jobs were eliminated in the 90′s, the requirement became effective for all salaried positions.

    It was a silly requirement and seemed to only protect the HR department from criticism. They hired quite a few incompetent people that were somehow able to obtain a 4-year degree, and missed out on some highly capable people that would have been an asset to the company.

    They also took advantage of a loophole, hiring people without degrees through a staffing company. This meant they did not have to pay benefits and were able to fill positions more easily when the applicant pool got thin.

  7. XA351GT Says:

    They probably don’t need to do clay , but still should . What a 3D model can’t show is how light falls on a surface. Where with clay you can see how the light plays with the lines of the vehicle.

  8. Kit Gerhart Says:

    6 I started in 1977, and there were a number of very good technicians without degrees. The secretarial jobs were gone by the time I retired.

  9. Albemarle Says:

    If I remember correctly, start-stop ignition saves only about 1-2% of fuel. If that’s good enough, then 20% for plasma should be a given. Wonder what happens when you exceed 88 mph? Exciting!

  10. Ukendoit Says:

    Do you know if the plasma ignition could potentially be a retrofit for older vehicles or only a design for new vehicles? I read the link for the plasma ignition, but I didn’t see an answer to my question.

  11. Kit Gerhart Says:

    9 Probably to get the 20% increase in efficiency, you need to make other modifications to the engine, like maybe you can run higher compression ratio. If an easy retrofit would give an extra 20% efficiency to my Highlander hybrid, which happens to have a retuned version of the 2.5L Toyota engine in their tests, someone should sell a kit to do that.

    I tend to skeptical of any claims of huge efficiency improvements with a new and different spark plug, or replacement for a spark plug, but if the 20% improvement is for real, we will be hearing more.

  12. JR Says:

    I talked with an HR representative about the 4-year degree requirement once. There reasoning boiled down to laziness. They knew they would get flooded with applicants for any job opening, so just increase the qualifications to thin the heard a bit. They also made a comment that if we were staffing a position at $X salary, and we had our choice on a degreed or non-degreed candidate, we would be getting more for our money with the degreed candidate. Completely out of touch with reality. Some of the finest engineers that I have worked with in my career did not have degrees. They worked their way up from mechanic to technician to engineer due to their capacity to learn as well as solve problems with the tools in their inventory.

  13. joe Says:

    When I transfered South because my GM plant closed, I was encountered with formens from the South who didn’t even graduate high school. Some of the real engineers, like myself, who transfered were ashamed of these individuals when an mportatant meetings took place Those foremens were used to do the dirty management work and as you can imagine, the atmosphere was not a good one. Eventually that plant also closed down.

  14. Kit Gerhart Says:

    13 Shreveport?

  15. Bobby T Says:

    I started at Ford in 1968. I had a masters degree in M.E. At that time, many of the management level employees did not have college degrees, but they were very good engineers. Over time, they retired and were replaced with degreed engineers. They were no better or worse than the ones they replaced. In a few cases, the new engineers thought they should be on a fast track to management positions.

  16. Kit Gerhart Says:

    15 When I started at GM, there were two PhDs at the facility, and they were very much “fast track” at the time, in the ’70s. By the time I retired, there were a larger number of PhD engineers, and their advancement prospects were little better than other engineers with comparable performance.