Archive for December, 2018

Tesla Pushing Midnight Sales to Clear Backlog of 3K Model 3s

Musk offers big incentives to Tesla employees to buy a new car.

by on Dec.31, 2018

Tesla's Elon Musk is looking to sell Model 3s all the way til midnight to make sure buyers get the full $7,500 tax credit.

Two nights ago, Tesla boss Elon Musk sent out a tweet telling his millions of followers that there was 48 hours left to buy a new EV and still qualify for the full $7,500 tax credit from the U.S. government.

Nothing wrong for being a shill for your company and its products on social media, but it’s becoming more clear as to why he was so motivated to try to drum of up sales for a company that supposedly has a lengthy waiting list for new Model 3 sedans.

Happy New Year!

Tesla has more than 3,000 Model 3s left in inventory in the United States as of Sunday, according to website Electrek, which cited people familiar with the matter. (more…)

Japanese Court Extends Ghosn’s Jail Time into New Year

Former Nissan Chief's custody extended until Jan. 11.

by on Dec.31, 2018

Carlos Ghosn has been ousted at Nissan and Mitsubishi, but Renault has only replaced him temporarily.

Former Nissan Chairman Carlos Ghosn is going to ring in 2019 in the same way he ended 2018: behind bars, after the Tokyo District Court extended his detention 10 days until Jan. 11.

The 64-year-old Ghosn who, according to prosecutors, committed a number of financial crimes. These initially included under-reporting about $36 million in revenue through 2015, using company funds to acquire homes in Lebanon and Brazil. He’s been in custody since Nov. 19.

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Ghosn’s had additional charges filed against him since then with prosecutors alleging he shifted personal trades to Nissan to cover losses of 1.85 billion yen, or $16.6 million. They have also indicated they may bring charges for concealing income since 2015. (more…)

Volkswagen Testing New Portable EV Charging Stations

New high-speed chargers can charge four vehicles at a time.

by on Dec.28, 2018

Volkswagen has developed a new portable electric vehicle charger that it will begin testing in 2019.

Volkswagen has been saying for months now that it plans to introduce a wave of battery-electric vehicles in the U.S. and around the world — as many as 50 vehicles by 2030.

However, as the motoring public begins to take a macro view of life with an EV, one of the questions being asked is where are all of the EV drivers going to recharge when the home charging station isn’t available?

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Plenty of companies are stepping up to build charging stations across America; however, Volkswagen isn’t just creating a problem with no solution with this tsunami of EVs is plans to introduce, it’s developed a mobile charging station. (more…)

Tesla Sets Up Leasing Company in China, Adds Two New Directors

Company as Oracle founder Ellison to board of directors.

by on Dec.28, 2018

Tesla Inc. established a leasing operation in China: another step toward growing sales in China.

Tesla Inc. is growing internationally while simultaneously resolving its battle with federal regulators in the United States.

The California-based electric-vehicle maker registered a wholly owned financial leasing company in China, with registered capital of $30 million, according to China’s National Enterprise Information Publicity System.

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The move to open a leasing operation in China falls in line with its plans to begin selling and building its cars in China. The company is seeking contractors to build its $2 billion gigafactory near Shanghai. The company has been moving quickly to establish a hold in China since the government eased local ownership laws for foreign EV makers. (more…)

New Land Rover Defender Coming to US in 2020

“A holiday gift … and hint of what’s coming.”

by on Dec.27, 2018

Land Rover is bringing back the Defender for the 2020 model year, including a return to the U.S.

It’s been nearly three years since the last Land Rover Defender rolled off the assembly line at the automaker’s plant in Solihull, England, and more than two decades since the last of the go-absolutely-anywhere utes made it into the U.S. But the long drought is coming to an end.

Land Rover officially announced today that an all-new version of the Defender will soon go back into production. We’ll get an official look at the new model next year, though the Defender won’t actually make it into American showrooms until 2020. But here are some very lightly camouflaged images to keep your imagination busy until then.

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“There are a handful of automobiles that are beloved around the world and stand for a brand, a country and a distinct way of life. The Land Rover Defender is such a singular vehicle,” Kim McCullough, vice president of Marketing for Jaguar Land Rover North America, said in a statement accompanying those images. Think of them as “a holiday gift…and a hint of what’s to come in the New Year.” (more…)

Russian Automaker GAZ Pushes for U.S. to Lift Sanctions

Treasury Department moving to accelerate process.

by on Dec.27, 2018

Russian automaker GAZ is looking to get the U.S. to lift sanctions off the company so it can do business here.

The Russian and U.S. governments are discussing lifting the U.S. sanctions on a Russian automaker, GAZ, which is part of a holding company in which a prominent Russian oligarch, Oleg Deripaska, has a key stake.

The talks aimed at lifting U.S. sanctions on Russian automaker GAZ are ongoing with the U.S. Treasury Department, and the company is implementing internal measures to encourage the process, Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said, according to Reuters.

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The U.S. Treasury extended a deadline for investors to divest from GAZ to March 7, a day after it announced it would lift sanctions on the core assets of Deripaska’s empire — Rusal, the world’s second largest aluminum company, and its parent En+ of which GAZ is also a part. (more…)

Year-End Turmoil Puts New Car Sales to the Test

Political fighting potentially slows new car sales.

by on Dec.26, 2018

The Christmas season means good cheer and good deals on new vehicles making it the second-best month for sales.

The final week of 2018 could offer some critical signals both for future car sales and the future course of the U.S. economy, which has been rattled by tumbling stocks and noisy political fights about the independence of the Federal Reserve Board and the government shutdown triggered by a bitter partisan fight over funding for President Donald Trump’s border wall.

During the last two decades, December has become one of the busiest months of the years for new vehicle sales. Manufacturers have packed have been advertising year-end deals since before Thanksgiving, and carmakers also have uncorked the incentive cash.

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But the end of the month is traditionally the period when dealers close a large number of sales and it is yet to be determined whether turmoil surrounding the stock market and in Washington D.C. will actually have an impact on sales of new vehicles. (more…)

Nissan Exec Kelly Released; Ghosn Still in Tokyo Detention

Late-night release comes five weeks after arrest.

by on Dec.26, 2018

Greg Kelly's wife told Japanese TV that she believes her husband is a victim of a Nissan power grab.

Greg Kelly, an ousted Nissan Motor Co. executive caught up in a financial corruption scandal, has been released on bail after being held for more than a month in the Tokyo Detention Center.

Kelly was arrested Nov. 19, immediately after arriving in Japan on a corporate jet. He accompanied Carlos Ghosn, then Nissan’s chairman, as well as the head of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance. Ghosn, who is at the center of the scandal, will remain in detention until at least Jan. 1.

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Prosecutors had also attempted to keep Kelly in custody, arguing he is a flight risk. The court ultimately ruled that he could be released on bail of 70 million yen, or $636,000. The American executive must also abide by restrictions on his movement. (more…)

Daimler Delivers E-Truck to Penske for Testing

Penske testing Freightliner medium-duty battery-electric truck.

by on Dec.24, 2018

Daimler AG's Freightliner subsidiary delivered the first battery-electric medium-truck truck to Penske for testing.

Daimler AG has pushed ahead with its plans to sell electric trucks as Freightliner, its North American subsidiary, delivered its first medium-duty battery-electric truck to a customer in the U.S.

Penske Truck Leasing, which is operated long-time Daimler ally, Roger Penske, plans to operate the electric truck in local distribution traffic in the Northwest Pacific and in California, Daimler announced

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With the delivery of the Freightliner eM2, Daimler Trucks is starting day-to-day operational testing of heavy-duty and medium-duty e-trucks in the United States, Daimler said. (more…)

Shifting Market, Declining Sales Force Nissan to Cut Production, Jobs in Mexico

Automaker wants to “maintain production in line with demand.”

by on Dec.21, 2018

A new Sentra on the Nissan assembly plant in Aguascalientes, Mexico. Poor sales of the Sentra and other Nissan cars are the reason for 1,000 layoffs.

Facing declining demand in the North American market, as well as other headwinds, Nissan confirmed it will cut production at two Mexican assembly plants and lay off about 1,000 workers “over the next several months.”

Layoffs have already begun at the Nissan plant in Aguascalientes that produces models such as the Sentra sedan for the Mexican domestic market, as well as for the U.S. and other export markets, Nissan spokesman Brian Brockman told TheDetroitBureau.com.

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“We’ve seen a decline in sales in Mexico, which is one of the driving forces, as is an overall decline in North American sales,” said Brockman. (more…)