Archive for the ‘Automakers’ Category

Tesla to Hold Musk to a Higher Standard for Compensation

No cash or bonuses unless carmaker hits milestones.

by on Jan.23, 2018

Elon Musk won't receive any compensation from Tesla until the EV maker begins hitting select stock and operational milestones.

With Tesla still struggling with serious production problems and a balance sheet that has been sinking deeper into the red, the battery-carmaker said Tuesday that its billionaire founder and CEO Elon Musk won’t be in line for any form of compensation until it reaches stock and operational milestones.

While investors continue to back the company, its shares rebounding sharply since a deeper-than-expected third-quarter loss was announced last autumn, there has been growing concern about the delays in ramping up production of the new Model 3. That has raised concerns the company might have to raise more capital to compensation for its rapid cash burn.

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“Tesla and all of its shareholders” will have to perform “extraordinarily well before Musk is to receive any form of compensation going forward, the company said. But the announcement also took aim at another concern that some investors and analysts have raised in recent months: whether the South African-born Musk would remain onboard. (more…)

What Does New China-Only Jeep Grand Commandeer Reveal About Upcoming Jeep Grand Wagoneer?

Official debut set for Beijing Motor Show in April.

by on Jan.23, 2018

The Jeep Grand Commander will debut in China before it hits U.S. dealerships in 2020.

Jeep expects to reach a critical milestone this year, topping 2 million sales worldwide, or more than triple its volume when the old Chrysler emerged from bankruptcy and was transformed into FiatChrysler early in the decade.

To get there, Jeep has taken a two-pronged approach: entering into new markets and both expanding and updating its line-up. Nowhere is that strategy paying off like China, a market that has only belatedly been caught up in the SUV craze. To take advantage of that trend, the automaker is launching an all-new model specifically targeting the Chinese market, the Jeep Grand Commander.

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According to Jeep, the three-row, seven-seat model has been designed specifically for China. But it just happens to be coming online not long before the company plans to launch another three-row model, the Grand Wagoneer. And that raises the question: how much of what we’re seeing in China will carry over into the American seven-seat SUV? (more…)

Former FCA Executive Pleads Guilty to Federal Charges

Iacobelli takes plea deal; likely to serve 96 months.

by on Jan.23, 2018

FCA's former top negotiator, Alfonse Iacobelli, right, pleaded guilty in the federal investigation of corruption at FCA and the UAW.

One of the key figures in the corruption charges that have damaged the United Auto Workers and raised questions about the management of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles pleaded guilty to federal criminal charges.

Alphonse Iacobelli, Former Fiat Chrysler Automobiles labor relations chief, pleaded guilty to two charges related to a conspiracy to siphon millions from an employee training fund operated jointly by the company and the union. Sentencing was delayed to May 29, but Iacobelli could face up to 96 months in prison, according to the plea deal with federal prosecutors.

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Iacobelli pleaded guilty to conspiring to violate the Labor Management Relations Act and for subscribing a false tax return before U.S. District Judge Paul Borman in Detroit. (more…)

Gas Prices Rising — Get Used to It, AAA Says

Market actions suggest price increase last month is first of many.

by on Jan.23, 2018

Gas prices went up slightly last month, AAA says, adding its a trend drivers may want to get used to.

The price of gasoline across the U.S. crept up by 1 cent to $2.54 per gallon last month, indicating that the price of gasoline is likely to climb even higher in the months to come according to new report by AAA.

Gas prices increased for 41 states with Florida seeing the largest jump at the pump with a 9-cent increase, AAA said, while the federal Energy Information Administration reported that demand for gasoline decreased only slightly.

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“For consumers, the questions is: how high are gas prices going to go in 2018,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. (more…)

Waymo Coming to Atlanta

Self-driving minivans will soon be traversing Atlanta streets.

by on Jan.23, 2018

Waymo's driverless Chrysler Pacifica Hybrids may be seen on Atlanta roads pretty soon.

Looks like Waymo is moving from AZ to the ATL! The self-driving car company put out a tweet letting Atlantans know that it was the next stop on Waymo’s tour.

“Hello ATL! Metro Atlanta is the next stop for Waymo’s test program. Now that we have the world’s first fully self-driving vehicles on public roads in AZ, we’re looking to take our tech to more cities,” the company tweeted.

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Georgia is the seventh state that Waymo has tested its vehicles in, although its only admitted to starting to map the city of Atlanta at this point. The company’s been testing and evolving its self-driving vehicles for nine years now. (more…)

Safety Groups Join Forces, Push for Traffic Safety Reforms

Groups rallying around 16 optimal laws that should be in place across U.S.

by on Jan.22, 2018

KidsAndCars.org President and Founder Janette Fennell pushed for the changes outlined in the SafeRoads.org report.

Rhode Island and South Dakota are the best and worst states, respectively, for driver safety in the U.S., according to a new report out by Advocates for Highway Safety.

The group’s annual report, the 2018 Roadmap for Highway Safety, gives each state a ranking based on what the safety advocacy group considers 16 fundamental traffic safety laws to ensure roadway safety. Rhode Island employs 13 of the 16 while South Dakota just two.

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“Advocates has spent decades fighting for vehicle safety technology and we too believe driverless cars have the potential to one day make our roads a dramatically safer place,” said Advocates’ President Cathy Chase, during a press conference earlier today. (more…)

Audi Forced to Deal with Diesel Emission Problem

VW's luxury brand has until Feb. 2 to fix the problem.

by on Jan.22, 2018

Audi's 3.0-liter diesels were part of the diesel scandal from 2013–15.

Audi’s in trouble once again for problems with emission levels on 127,000 diesel-powered vehicles around the world. The transport ministry ordered the recall of the vehicles because they contained illicit emission-control software.

The authority gave Audi until Feb. 2 to come up with a plan to update vehicle software that controls the emissions and make it impossible for them to be tampered with, according to Bild am Sonntag, a German newspaper.

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The order, which affects 77,600 vehicles in Germany, requires Audi to bring them up to Euro 6 emissions standards. The order affects 77,600 vehicles in Germany, the paper reported. (more…)

NYC Could Join List of Cities With Congestion Charge for Drivers

Even Uber drivers would have to pay fees in Midtown, Downtown.

by on Jan.22, 2018

New York City may become the first U.S. city to charge a congestion fee, similar to those charged in London or Singapore.

After facing years of delays New York City seems set to become the first American metropolis to enact a congestion charge on drivers passing through its crowded Midtown and Downtown streets.

The proposal, issued by the “Fix NYC” task force would hit drivers of passenger vehicles with a congestion charge of $11.52, if enacted, while trucks would pay $25.34. Even taxis and ride-share vehicles would have to pay between $2 and $4 a ride. If approved by state officials, New York would join cities like London, Milan, Stockholm and Singapore that have been using congestion charges to try to reduce central city gridlock.

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The measure is backed by Governor Andrew Cuomo and some lawmakers who opposed similar proposals in the past now appear to be ready to sign on. “Though I have been a critic of congestion pricing in the past and still remain skeptical, the plan released today … offers a wide variety of innovative suggestions,” said Democratic Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. (more…)

Mazda NAO CEO Denies Toyota Merger Speculation

Toyota deal is just a deal, CEO says. Despite EV growth, gas engines to stay.

by on Jan.22, 2018

Masahiro Moro, Mazda NAO president and CEO, told a crowd in Detroit that the factory deal with Toyota was not a prelude to a merger.

Mazda’s recent partnership with Toyota to produce EVs at a new plant in Alabama is just that — a partnership. Masahiro Moro, Mazda North America Operations president and CEO, told a crowd that Mazda plans to remain an independent automaker for foreseeable future.

Moro, the company’s top executive discussed Mazda’s future during the Automotive News World Congress in Detroit. He also noted that while electric vehicles and fuel cells are important, Mazda believes it can squeeze substantially more fuel savings from its internal combustion engine during the next decade.

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The automaker does not have an EV or even a hybrid in its U.S. line-up, but the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has named Mazda as the most fuel-efficient brand in the industry five years in a row, Moro noted.  (more…)

Aston Martin Recalls Entire Run of New DB11 Sports Coupes

Faulty wiring could cause unexpected airbag deployment.

by on Jan.22, 2018

The convertible, or Volante, version of the DB11 was added to the mix last year.

Aston Martin is recalling the entire run of its newest sports coupe, the DB11, due to a defect that could cause the vehicle’s driver’s side airbag to inadvertently deploy.

The problem is not related to defective Takata airbags but rather is caused by a wiring issue in steering columns provided by Daimler AG, an ally of the British sports car company. Daimler itself has recalled over 1 million vehicles due to the defect.

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Airbag problems have become a major headache for automotive manufacturers in recent years, though the majority of problems have involved faulty Takata airbags that have so far been linked to at least 21 deaths and hundreds of injuries.

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