Ford, Takata Reach $299M Airbag Settlement

Deal helps vehicle owners recoup costs.

by on Jul.17, 2018

Ford and Takata reached a $299.1 million settlement to help offset the costs of owners with faulty airbag inflators in their cars.

Ford Motor Co. and Takata agreed to a $299.1 million settlement to allow the automaker to cover economic damages tied to the supplier’s faulty inflators. The deal covers about 6 million Ford vehicles with the inflators.

Takata produced airbag inflators that became unstable over time, inflating with too much force, spewing metal and plastic into the vehicle cabin. To date, 23 deaths and nearly 300 injuries have occurred as a result of the inflators.

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The terms of the deal, which is described as an economic loss settlement, were revealed in court documents filed in a federal court in Miami, according to Reuters. Read the rest of this entry »

Electric Polestar 2 “Five-Door Coupe” Will Deliver 350 miles Range, 400+ HP

All-electric Polestar 3 SUV already in the works.

by on Jul.17, 2018

The Volvo 40.2 Concept hints at what's coming with Polestar's first all-electric vehicle.

Volvo’s performance electric brand is getting ready to charge into the market with two additional models over the next two years, starting with the all-electric Polestar 2 which, a senior official claims, will deliver range of up to 350 miles per charge.

And, in keeping with the mandate of the brand – which traces its roots back to the track – the Polestar 2 “five-door coupe” will deliver around 405 horsepower, according to the brand’s Chief Operating Officer Jonathan Goodman. That figure might actually underplay the potential performance of the all-electric offering, as battery-electric vehicles can deliver incredible off-the-line performance because they punch out maximum torque the moment their motors start spinning.

We Keep You Plugged In!

The Polestar 2 is expected to share the same underlying Compact Modular Architecture, or CMA, as the new Volvo 40-Series line-up. That was an obvious choice considering Volvo itself is planning to offer electrified versions of all future models and the CMA, its newest platform, was designed specifically to allow mounting a large battery pack under the load floor.

Read the rest of this entry »

Mini Shows Off Battery-Electric Concept at Goodwood

Concept is the base for the new Mini EV coming fall of 2019.

by on Jul.17, 2018

Mini's Electric Concept was on display at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.

During England’s annual Goodwood Festival of Speed, Mini presented the Mini Electric Concept, which offers an early look at both of Mini’s first fully electric model scheduled for release in 2019.

The first fully electric model from the history-rich British brand builds on the Mini brand’s DNA that has made the city its natural habitat and urban mobility a large part of its appeal.

EV News!

The new model fits the Mini template by turning electric mobility into an emotionally engaging experience brimming with driving fun, style and individuality.  Read the rest of this entry »

First Drive: Genesis G70

The Koreans finally deliver a real threat to Munich's vaunted sport compact.

by on Jul.16, 2018

Genesis tapped BMW's former M chief to help build some impressive dynamics into the G70.

Hard to believe but it’s been a full decade since Hyundai introduced what was then its most expensive and lavishly equipped model, the Genesis sedan going on to become the North American Car of the Year, among the many awards it collected. The four-door model also had a sort of Mini Me, the Genesis Coupe essentially being positioned as the Korean carmaker’s answer to the ever-popular BMW 3-Series.

Like so many other 3-Series wannabes, the Genesis Coupe wasn’t up to dethroning the king-of-the-sport-compact-hill, but it’s clear that Hyundai has kept that goal in mind and, a decade later, it’s come about as close to anyone to calling BMW’s bluff.

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The original Genesis siblings are gone. Indeed, the name itself has been repurposed for Hyundai’s new luxury brand. A couple months from now, the high-line division will get its third new entry since being spun off two years ago, and the 2019 Genesis G70 does a better job of justifying the Genesis brand’s existing than the two models that came before it, the midsize G80 and premium luxury G80. It also presents a surprisingly solid alternative to the 3-Series, as well as other compact European contenders like the Audi A4 and Mercedes-Benz C-Class.

Read the rest of this entry »

Tesla CEO Musk Lashes Out at British Diver in Latest Round of Odd Behavior

Twice calls diver a "pedo," slang for pedophile.

by on Jul.16, 2018

Tesla CEO Elon Musk called one of the divers that found the Thai boys soccer team trapped in a cave a pedophile.

The wild ride that has been Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk’s behavior took another odd turn over the weekend as he got into a fight with one of the divers who helped rescue the Thai boys soccer team from a flooded cave last week.

Musk called one of the British divers who discovered the boys a “pedo,” slang for pedophile, not once, but twice in a series of angry tweets after the diver dismissed his interest in trying to help save the boys with a small submarine as a publicity stunt.

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“He can stick his submarine where it hurts,” Unsworth told CNN. Read the rest of this entry »

Detroit Automakers Could Come Out Losers Even if Trump Scuttles Import Tariffs

One alternative could open U.S. up to flood of foreign-made pickups.

by on Jul.16, 2018

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, center, proposed eliminating all tariffs between trading partners.

The auto industry has been actively trying to get President Donald Trump to back off his threat to impose a 25% tariff on imported automobiles, even Detroit-based carmakers warning that such a move could wind up raising prices, slowing sales, reducing U.S. exports and hurting American jobs.

Ironically, one of the likely alternatives to new tariffs could be great news for American consumers – but a potential disaster for Detroit’s Big Three, opening them up to a new wave of competition in the most profitable segment of the U.S. automotive market.

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel, among others, has raised the prospect of effectively eliminating automotive tariffs entirely, while others are saying they should be a uniform figure shared among all major trading partners. That approach could force the U.S. to eliminate the so-called “chicken tax,” the relic of an old, Euro-American trade dispute that has effectively closed off the American pickup truck market for the past half-century. Read the rest of this entry »

GAC Plowing $4.4M into New Detroit-Area R&D Facility

Chinese automaker expects to sell vehicles in U.S. by 2020.

by on Jul.16, 2018

GAC Motor Chairman Feng Xingya said the company will sell SUVs in fourth quarter of 2019.

China’s Guangzhou Automobile Group in China is taking another step forward in its efforts to become the first Chinese automaker to engage in large scale sales in the U.S. with a new $4.4 million R&D facility in metro Detroit.

During the North American International Auto Show last January, the automaker announced its plans to bring vehicles to the U.S., but acknowledged it needed to make some changes to those vehicles to meet U.S. regulations.

Global News!

This new research facility in Farmington Hills, Michigan, helps with that process. The company has just begun preparing the building and filling job openings. The new site is expected to create 62 jobs, according to the company. Read the rest of this entry »

Aston Martin Wants to Take to the Air

Automaker brings flying Volante Vision Concept to British air show.

by on Jul.16, 2018

A rendering shows the Aston Martin Volante Concept flying over London, possibly heading to Paris.

We’ve heard some of Aston Martin’s products describes as “rockets” before. But now, it seems, the automaker truly does want to take to the air.

Aston today pulled the wraps off the Volante Vision Concept at the annual Farmborough International Air Show outside London. There are a number of projects currently underway to develop flying automobiles. Some are aimed at ride-sharing services like Uber, others for individual owners. The Volante Vision Concept, Aston explains, “aims to bring luxury personal transportation to the sky.”

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The project teams the British automaker up with aerospace giant Rolls-Royce, Cranfield University and Cranfield Aerospace Solutions. The design they’ve come up with would have vertical take-off and landing, or VTOL, capabilities, potentially allowing it to take off from a parking lot or field, rather than having to go to a conventional airstrip. Read the rest of this entry »

Holiefield’s Widow Gets 18 Months in Jail in FCA Scandal

Morgan also paying 100K in restitution.

by on Jul.16, 2018

Monica Morgan, the widow of former UAW VP General Holiefield, was sentenced to 18 months in jail for her role in the FCA-UAW scandal.

The widow of a former top United Auto Workers official was sentenced to 18 months in jail for tax evasion uncovered during a federal investigation of the illicit diversion from training funds set up jointly by the UAW and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V.

Monica Morgan, 55, the widow of General Holiefield, the late UAW Vice President, who was at the center of the training-center scandal, was handed the jail time by a federal judge in Detroit.

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Holiefield headed the UAW’s Chrysler Department from 2006 until his retirement in 2014 and has been described by FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne as critical to the company’s comeback. Holiefield died in 2015. Read the rest of this entry »

Tesla Tops 200,000 US Sales; Set to Lose Fed Tax Credits

Being 1st could put EV maker at a disadvantage going forward.

by on Jul.13, 2018

Even when it wins, it loses. Tesla just passed the 200,000 vehicle mark, the most ever by an EV maker, but that brings to an end the tax credit.

Tesla is not just the country’s best-selling EV maker, but the first to sell more than 200,000 electric vehicles in the U.S. market. But that might not necessarily give the carmaker reason to celebrate.

Under guidelines set up by the Obama Administration and retained by Congress as part of last year’s tax overhaul, federal tax credits of up to $7,500 per vehicle apply only on the first 200,000 battery vehicles sold by an individual manufacturer. After that they begin to phase out, meaning that Tesla could be at a financial disadvantage once the company loses the incentives entirely by the end of next year.

The Last Word!

Other companies, including General Motors, Nissan and Ford, are approaching the threshold but their buyers will likely continue to receive some incentives well into 2020, barring any move by Congress – something considered unlikely – to extend the tax credits. Read the rest of this entry »

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