Craftsman manufacturing leaves Texas, Ford’s next-gen electric truck, and more
Craftsman shutters Fort Worth, Texas, facility
Intake: Craftsman, the toolmaker owned by Stanley Black & Decker, is closing its Fort Worth, Texas, manufacturing facility along with transferring its Cheraw, South Carolina, operations to its facilities in Jackson and Gallatin, Tennessee. This move will impact 175 employees at the Texas facility and 182 employees in South Carolina and add 80 jobs in Tennessee. In a press release regarding the move, Stanley Black & Decker stated this move was “designed to deliver $2 billion of cost savings and [is] reflective of current economic conditions which highlighted needed changes in Stanley Black & Decker’s production and distribution network.”
Exhaust: Interestingly, the Fort Worth facility was one of the more recent, large investments for the brand, who only opened it in late 2022. As someone who has a box filled with Craftsman tools, this is disappointing to watch, but there are still places that will honor the lifetime warranty. Whether or not I want to exchange my Craftsman tools for newer ones is the real question. Investors feel similarly; Stanley Black & Decker’s stock is at a five-year low, despite the fact that many Craftsman still operates 40 manufacturing facilities in the U.S. — Kyle Smith
Our Fort Worth plant is getting ready to work. We can’t wait to make more tools right here in America.
— CRAFTSMAN Tools (@craftsman) March 12, 2021
Ford’s next-gen electric pickup takes shape
Intake: Ford announced on Friday that its next-generation electric pickup would take shape at the company’s massive Tennessee-based BlueOval City manufacturing plant, according to Automotive News. The truck is currently codenamed “Project T3,” which CEO Jim Farley said is short for “trust the truck,” the mantra that engineers and designers have used while developing it. Farley said that Project T3 will not be another F-150 Lightning, but rather a clean-sheet design and engineering effort. When it comes online in 2025, BlueOval City is expected to be able to produce 500,000 units each year.
Exhaust: The F-150 Lighting was Ford’s conservative first effort at an all-electric pickup, carrying styling and proportions that were virtually identical to its engine-powered F-150 stalwart. Expect Project T3 to push the envelope in terms of visuals and tech, akin to Chevy’s Silverado EV. — Nathan Petroelje
Report: Top Gear‘s future in doubt after host quits
Intake: The BBC put a stop to production on the latest season of the world’s most popular car show after host Andrew “Freddie” Flintoff was hurt during filming. The former England cricket star suffered broken ribs and facial injuries in a stunt at the show’s test track in December. Now, The Times is reporting that Flintoff won’t be returning to Top Gear at all, quoting a source as saying, “Freddie has been seriously emotionally and physically affected by the crash. He is a daredevil, that’s what he does, and he doesn’t feel like he is able to continue to play that role on the show.” An official statement from the BBC reads, “We have sincerely apologized to Freddie and will continue to support him with his recovery.”
Exhaust: The show went on after previous host Richard Hammond crashed a dragster at nearly 300 mph, putting him into a coma back in 2006, and Flintoff has also suffered several mishaps since taking the wheel, but this would be the first time one of its leads has actually quit over safety concerns. Could this finally be the end for Top Gear? — Nik Berg
Rising Brazilian actor steps into Senna spotlight role
Intake: Netflix has announced the actor set to play the title role in its upcoming miniseries Senna. The six-episode show, focused on the life of deceased Brazilian Formula 1 legend Ayrton Senna, will star Brazilian actor Gabriel Leone. Leone called the role “a huge responsibility” and “a great honor.” The series, which was announced in 2020, will be produced by filmmakers from Senna’s home country and with the cooperation of his family.
Exhaust: Nearly 30 years after his tragic death in a crash at the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix, Senna remains one of Formula 1’s greatest and most compelling drivers. He was a fiery and divisive competitor, and his career and life have always seemed tailor-made for dramatic portrayal. It’s a good sign that Brazilians are involved—he remains a national hero in that country—and an even better one that the family is on board. We can’t wait. — Sam Smith