Archive for April, 2017

Levandowski Steps Away from Uber’s Autonomous Program

Company moves new executive into the role.

by on Apr.28, 2017

Waymo continues testing its autonomous vehicles as it wages a court battle over the technology with Uber.

The man at the heart of autonomous vehicle company Waymo’s lawsuit against Uber, Anthony Levandowski, is going to give up some of his duties until the suit is settled.

Levandowski is a former Waymo employee who that company alleges took more than 14,000 documents with him when he left to form his own company, which he sold to Uber. The company now forms the bulk of Uber’s Advanced Technologies Group.

The Last Word!

However, Waymo, which was formerly part of Google before it was spun off into its own unit, officials allege the documents contain information about its Lidar system and further they alledge Uber appears to be replicating it. (more…)

Barra Squelches Speculation Over Trump Administration Post

GM Chairman says she’s “150% committed” to automaker.

by on Apr.28, 2017

GM CEO Mary Barra, who serves on an industry forum advising Trump, said she is "150% committed" to GM.

General Motors Chief Executive Officer Mary Barra flatly rejected the idea that she might be preparing to accept a job in the administration of President Donald Trump.

Barra said during a conference call with analysts and journalists following the release of GM’s first quarter financial that she was “150 % committed” to her job at the auto giant where she has worked for the past 37 years, including the past three as CEO.

News Now!

“I am 150% committed to this company,” she said, adding that personally she finds it to be an incredibly exciting time to be working at GM during a period when the auto industry is on the verge of a technological revolution. (more…)

Ghosn Rules Out Full Nissan-Mitsubishi Merger

Mitsu needs to “reform itself.”

by on Apr.28, 2017

The Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross is expected to translate into a new production crossover.

While Nissan has taken a controlling stake in long-troubled Mitsubishi and replaced most of the smaller maker’s key managers, don’t expect to see a full merger of the two companies.

Instead, expect to see the two companies expand their ties – which is likely to mean more platform sharing, as well as the joint development and use of electrified powertrain technology.

Subscribe Now!

“Full merger is not on the table. We want Mitsubishi to reform itself,” said Carlos Ghosn, the Nissan Chairman who recently took on that same post at the smaller company.

(more…)

Senators Drop Partisanship, Introduce National Historic Vehicle Register Act

Sens Peters, Portman push for new register.

by on Apr.28, 2017

Sen. Gary Peters (D-Michigan) is co-sponsoring the National Historic Vehicles Register Act with Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio).

Michigan and Ohio both have had a huge shared stake in the automobile industry for more than a century and U.S. Senators Gary Peters (D-Michigan) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio) are teaming in a bi-partisan effort to create a national register to preserve the records of historic vehicles.

The pair have sponsored the National Historic Vehicle Register Act, which would require the U.S. Department of Interior to establish a register of vehicles that have had a “significant impact on America’s history and culture.”

Historical News!

The register would be housed in the Library of Congress to preserve examples of American history and engineering innovation by documenting historically significant automobiles, motorcycles, trucks and commercial vehicles, according to the proposed legislations states. (more…)

GM Beats Estimates as Earnings Rise 34%

Pickups, SUVs and CUVs deliver.

by on Apr.28, 2017

Keep on trucking: General Motors' light trucks helped the maker drive a big surge in earnings.

General Motors’ fleet of big pickups and SUVs helped the automaker overcome all obstacles for the first quarter of 2017, earnings rising 34% to handily top Wall Street’s expectations and set a new quarterly record.

With a net income of $2.6 billion, GM was the last of the three Detroit-based automakers to report 1Q earnings and one of two to outperform market forecasts. Only Ford, which was off by 35%, posted a year-over-year decline – though it also benefited from booming demand for high-profit light trucks.

By the Numbers!

“We are executing our plan and it’s delivering results,” Chief Financial Officer Chuck Stevens said during a Friday morning news conference at General Motors headquarters. “This sets us up for another strong year.”

(more…)

Toyota Recalling 228K Tacomas in US

Oil leak could damage differential, causing loss of control.

by on Apr.28, 2017

Toyota is recalling 250,000 Tacomas worldwide due to an oil leak that could damage the truck's differential.

Toyota announced it will recall 228,000 Tacomas in the U.S. to fix an oil leak that could increase the risk of a crash. The action impacts 2016 and 2017 model-year pickups.

The automaker said the truck could leak oil, potentially damaging the rear differential. If that occurs, there could be an increase “in noise and reduced propulsion.” If the problem is bad enough the differential could seize and the driver could lose control of the truck.

News You Can Trust!

There are 250,000 trucks globally that are part of the recall. It is unclear at this point if there have been any complaints about crashes or injuries related to the problem. Toyota officials declined to comment, according to multiple reports. (more…)

Grohmann Quits Tesla After Feud With CEO Musk

Leaves after disagreement over handling of previous customers.

by on Apr.27, 2017

Tesla CEO Elon Musk lost another top executive, Klaus Grohmann, after the two disagreed about how to handle Grohmann's now former customers.

As Tesla CEO Elon Musk continues to play whack-a-mole trying to eliminate potential roadblocks to getting the EV maker’s mainstream model, the Model 3, into production on schedule, there have been a few glitches.

The most recent being departure of Klaus Grohmann, who left last month after a clash with Musk. Grohmann was leading the company’s efforts to improve the “machines that build the machines” at Tesla.

The Inside Story!

The pair disagreed over Musk’s insistence on shedding long-time customers – and competitors to Tesla – from Grohmann’s company, which Tesla had acquired in November, according to Reuters. The carmaker wanted all of its new engineering subsidiary’s resources focused on bringing the Model 3 to market on time, with high quality and in large numbers: 500,000 units annually by 2018. (more…)

Is FCA Ready to Sell Off Jeep and Ram?

Marchionne's casual comment raises questions about carmaker’s future.

by on Apr.27, 2017

The most powerful SUV on the market, the 707 hp Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk.

It was the sort of casual comment that many of those listening in on the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles earnings conference call just might have missed, but a single word from FCA Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne could signal some massive changes to come.

For several years, the CEO has made no effort to hide his interest in finding a partner for the smallest of the Detroit-based automakers. During a call with analysts and reporters to discuss FCA’s strong first-quarter earnings Marchionne was asked if his strategy might even include the idea of selling off the company’s crown jewels, the Jeep and Ram brands.

http://htxurl.info/about/subscribe

The Big Picture!

“Yes,” Marchionne said, before moving on to other topics. And, curiously, those on the call let the subject drop without a single follow-up query.

(more…)

Automakers Hail Trump Tax Cut Pitch – But Question His Overall Results After 100 Days

A "C" for effort?

by on Apr.27, 2017

President Donald Trump gave himself an A for how he handled policy decisions earlier, but what grade is the auto industry giving him?

With the three domestic automakers each reporting first-quarter earnings this week, President Donald Trump’s tax cut proposal – which would see the top corporate rate drop by more than half, to 15% – clearly resonates in the Motor City.

General Motors said in a statement that it was “encouraged” by efforts to “modernize our tax code,” while crosstown rival Ford saw the White House announcement as “a positive step towards much needed tax reform.”

Subscribe Now!

It’s not the first time industry leaders have hailed a Trump Administration move, automakers giving thumbs up when the president ordered the EPA to reopen the midterm review of federal mileage standards. But the president has also been harshly faulted on a number of issues, notably a proposed import tax and the threatened elimination of the North American Free Trade Agreement. (more…)

Trump Backs Off Assault on NAFTA

Under pressure from auto industry, Trump no longer plans to kill trade agreement.

by on Apr.27, 2017

President Donald Trump is discovering that getting a new version of NAFTA negotiated will be more difficult than simply signing an executive order.

Despite tangling with both Canada and Mexico in recent weeks, President Donald Trump appears to again be shifting direction over the North American Free Trade Agreement, the White House late Wednesday indicating it will no longer seek to eliminate NAFTA but rather find ways to make it more favorable to the U.S.

That shift may not play well with Trump loyalists who have roundly opposed free trade agreements and, in particular, sought a wall and tariffs to seal off Mexico. But it is receiving a warmer welcome in the business world, especially the auto industry, where North American borders have become completely porous in recent decades, raising the specter of major problems for manufacturers who routinely move parts and vehicles back-and-forth between the U.S., Mexico and Canada.

News Now!

“As the biggest export sector, U.S. auto companies need trade policies that open markets, while ensuring a level playing field in the markets to which we export. The integrated North American market is important to our global competitiveness,” American Automotive Policy Council said in a statement. (more…)

также читайте

также читайте