Archive for April, 2019

Drivers Warming to Arrival of Autonomous Vehicles

Good news for automakers investing billions into new technology.

by on Apr.30, 2019

Waymo's autonomous ride service, Waymo One, is already in service.

Automakers are investing billions of dollars into the research and development of autonomous vehicles with some already offering limited amounts of self-driving capability. However, is this what automobile owners really want?

There is new evidence they’re quickly warming to the idea of a self-driving vehicle.

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According to a survey of 1,146 automobile owners published by online car marketplace CarGurus, they’re both more enthusiastic and less worried about driverless cars than a year ago, and close to a third think they’ll own a self-driving car within the next decade. (more…)

Amazon Prime Delivering Right to Ford, Lincoln Vehicles

New offering expands partnership between Ford, Amazon.

by on Apr.30, 2019

Ford is teaming up with Amazon to bring its Key by Amazon In-Car delivery service to eligible Ford and Lincoln vehicles.

Online shopping, led by Amazon, has made it easier than ever to get what you need at the click of a button. However, it’s also led to a new form of theft as boxes are left on front porches across America.

Amazon’s attempted a variety of things to cut down on those incidents, including Amazon Locker, where shoppers who are concerned about the safety of their purchases can send them to a locked box that can only be opened with a special code issued to that customer.

Product News!

It’s effective, but who wants to drive to essentially a post office box to get your goodies. Now, Amazon is teaming with Ford to make deliveries safer and more convenient for Amazon Prime members. The “Key by Amazon In-Car delivery” makes it so the online retailer can deliver packages to the shopper’s vehicle. (more…)

GM CEO Barra Confirms Plans for Electric Pickup

Could target competitors from Ford, Rivian, Tesla.

by on Apr.30, 2019

GM claims it "future-proofed" the current Silverado to accept electrified drivetrain options.

General Motors will build an all-electric pickup, CEO Mary Barra said Tuesday, confirming a report that first appeared in in February.

The executive declined to provide details about the project, but the news took few industry observers by surprise considering that Ford and Tesla have also announced plans to build all-electric trucks, as has Detroit-based start-up Rivian.

Electrifying News!

GM “will not cede our leadership” in the truck segment, Barra said during a conference call with industry analysts and media to discuss the automaker’s first-quarter earnings.


Strong Sales of Pricey Pickups Help GM Beat Earnings Estimate

But sliding U.S. market share worries investors.

by on Apr.30, 2019

GM CEO Mary Barra shown in March announcing a major investment in battery-car production.

Cost-cutting and pricey pickups. That was the formula for General Motors as it managed to beat Wall Street’s earnings expectations for the first quarter of 2019 with adjusted earnings of $1.41 a share, 30 cents better than the consensus forecast.

But that wasn’t enough to satisfy investors who have been driving down GM shares in morning trading, the market appearing to react to weak sales and the automaker’s home market share decline from 16.9% during the fourth quarter of 2018 to 15.6% during the most recent three-month period.

Earnings News!

“GM’s first-quarter operating results were in line with expectations we shared in January,” CEO and Chairman Mary Barra said during a conference call with analysts and the media Tuesday morning. “My confidence in the year ahead remains strong, driven by our all-new full-size truck launch and our ongoing business transformation.”


FCA Partnering With Google, Samsung on Connected Car Tech

System will include over-the-air updates and support future autonomous vehicle efforts.

by on Apr.30, 2019

Fiat Chrysler is partnering with Google and Samsung to upgrade its in-car infotainment, including Uconnect.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles will team up with Google and Samsung in a push to put connected car technology in all of its vehicles by 2022, the automaker announced on Tuesday.

The new system being developed by the three partners will use and update FCA’s current Uconnect system and rely on the Google Android operating system. It will allow the automaker to offer a common system worldwide, rather than an infotainment system that is currently tailored to individual markets.

Business News!

“The modern, in-vehicle experience must be designed for seamless connectivity and digital content, and provide an integrated, but familiar experience for the on-the-go consumer,” said Patrick Brady, vice president of Engineering at Google. (more…)

As Sales Spiral Down, Daimler Kills Smart — in the U.S.

Kitschy partnership with Smart never lived up to expectations.

by on Apr.30, 2019

Smart car has offered battery-power options for the fortwo in the United States.

After years of trying, Daimler AG is ready to give up trying to sell Smart cars in the United States.

The German automaker said it plans to suspend sales of all-electric Smart EQ fortwo cars in the United States and Canada this fall at the end of 2019 model year. Officials from Mercedes-Benz USA have confirmed after reports of the brand’s demise in the U.S.

News You Can Trust!

The Smart EQ is currently the only Smart model on sale in the U.S. but through the first quarter Smart sales have fallen to less than 300 units, leaving the brand in dire straits. (more…)

Are Motorists Willing to Sell Their Privacy?

JLR offers some buyers cryptocurrency for driving data.

by on Apr.29, 2019

Jaguar Land Rover is offering owners in Shannon, Ireland, cryptocurrency rewards in return for "useful data."

How much are you willing to let outsiders know about how, and perhaps even where, you drive? That’s becoming an increasingly serious question in an era when businesses crave getting as much information as possible about customers.

Pretty much where and when you drive, your phone will be tracking your movements. And Progressive and several other insurance companies are offering motorists discounts if they’re willing to use a device that tracks how a customer drives. The more sedate you operate your vehicle, they promise, the lower your insurance rates.

Beyond the Headlines!

Now, Jaguar Land Rover is teaming up with the IOTA Foundation, a German cryptocurrency group. It is rolling out a program that would let motorists trade what it describes as “useful” data in return for crytofunds that could be used to pay for such things as parking, electric car charging, or even coffee.


Nissan Shoots Down Renault Merger Proposal

Companies enduring tension-filled time.

by on Apr.29, 2019

New Renault Chairman Jean-Dominique Senard and CEO Thierry Bollore proposed a merger between Renault and Nissan that was shot down.

After months of dancing around the possibility of Nissan Motor and Renault SA merging in some form, Nissan rejected Renault’s offer enter in to merger talks.

Renault’s proposal is that the two companies would form a holding company, and each company would own about a 50% stake. Each company would have equal board representation, according to Bloomberg News. The new company would be headquartered on neutral ground outside France or Japan, potentially Singapore.

Global News!

Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa told Renault CEO Thierry Bollore and Chairman Jean-Dominique Senard, Nissan wasn’t interested in a full merger at this point, the Financial Times reported. Saikawa has been beating the drum for Nissan to gain more control in the current partnership. (more…)

Mitsubishi Could Be Next to Reenter U.S. Pickup Market

As sales surge, more manufacturers look for an opening.

by on Apr.29, 2019

Mitsubishi could be back in the U.S. pickup market with an Americanized version of the Triton.

Mitsubishi could be one of the next manufacturers to target the booming U.S. pickup market, according to the company’s North American chief operating officer.

With truck sales, in general, booming, and pickups, in particular, generating a disproportionate share of industry earnings in the region, an assortment of manufacturers have either gotten back into the game or are looking for ways to join established brands like Chevrolet, Ford, Ram and Toyota.

Product News!

The Japanese automaker would “have to have one that’s the right fit for Mitsubishi, for our demographic, and something that’s really competitive in the market,” Mitsubishi North America COO Mark Chaffin told trade publication Ward’s.


Tesla May be Looking to Raise More Capital

Musk, SEC reach deal on Twitter use.

by on Apr.29, 2019

Tesla CEO Elon Musk said now was a good time to explore raising capital, but then suggested the company wouldn't.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s passing comment about getting additional money for the electric vehicle maker during the company’s earnings call last week may have had more meaning behind than expected.

During the call, during which the company announced it lost $700 million during the first quarter, Musk was asked about the possibility of raising more money for the company.

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“There is some merit to raising capital,” Musk said. “It’s probably about the right time.” (more…)