Archive for the ‘Volvo’ Category

Exterior Airbags Could Save Lives of Passengers and Pedestrians

ZF bag automatically triggers ahead of an collision.

by on Jun.13, 2019

Auto supplier ZF has developed exterior airbags to help mitigate injuries to both vehicle occupants as well as pedestrians.

Today’s cars are loaded with smart safety systems, including technology like forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, designed to prevent crashes. But when a crash does occur, airbags can substantially reduce the risk for vehicle occupants.

Today’s airbags can pop out of all sorts of nooks and crannies, including the steering wheel, the instrument panel and a vehicle’s headliner. But ZF has unveiled a new airbag concept that is mounted outside the vehicle where it can be triggered in the milliseconds before a crash occurs, rather than after an impact already has taken place.

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“Occupant safety is paramount when developing new vehicles for automated and autonomous driving,” said Michael Büchsner, head of ZF’s Passive Safety Systems Division. “Our concept of the pre-crash external side airbag is a great example of how ZF wants to achieve its Vision Zero, a world without accidents and emissions.” (more…)

Lexus Lifts the Covers on Updates RX Line in Bid to Retain CUV Dominance

More aggressive styling, more features – but there also are plenty of new competitors.

by on May.30, 2019

Lexus VP Lisa Materazzo shows off the 2020 RX 350 F Sport during a CA event Wednesday.

For countless American family buyers, the Lexus RX has served as the luxurious alternative to a minivan. Almost from the moment it was introduced, 22 years ago, it has dominated the high-line midsize crossover market, and that’s a position Lexus is determined to retain as what was once a small niche has become one of the U.S. luxury market’s largest segments.

Four years after launching the fourth-generation RX, Lexus is giving the CUV a significant enough “refresh” to stage a roll-out event for journalists in both the U.S. and China on Wednesday night. What they got to see was a vehicle with more distinctive styling, more high-tech features and more advanced safety gear as a standard feature – but with the 2020 Lexus RX facing significantly more competition than ever before, the question is whether it can maintain its traditional momentum.

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Part of the challenge is that Lexus has, since it first launched in 1989, been a Baby Boomer brand, and the RX line is one of the examples of that, said Rebecca Lindland, an automotive analyst with RebeccaDrives. “The RX,” she added. “is no longer aspirational” for the subsequent generations “just starting their families.”

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Nothing Mild About Mercedes’ First Mild Hybrid, the GLE 580 4Matic

Gas-electric model rivals AMG version of the midsize SUV.

by on May.24, 2019

The new Mercedes-Benz GLE 580 4Matic gets a big boost out of its 48-volt assist system.

Mercedes-Benz is getting serious about electrification, as it demonstrated earlier this month by launching sales of its first long-range battery-electric vehicle, the EQC.

The German automaker plans to introduce at least 10 BEVs in the coming years, as well as an assortment of plug-in and conventional hybrids. To that list of electrified options you now can add the first mild hybrid, the Mercedes-Benz GLE 580 4Matic.

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Mild hybrids typically come with small lithium-ion battery packs powering a relatively low-power electrical architecture. Even at 48-volts, however, the technology can be quite useful. In the case of the GLE 580, it powers the new active suspension system, as well as the Stop/Start integrated starter/generator, or ISG. But the biggest surprise is that it adds a performance boost that, at least briefly, lets the new variant outperform the AMG 53 version of the midsize SUV.

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EU Auto Tariffs Deadline Fast Approaching

European and American automakers alike hope for delay.

by on May.15, 2019

President Donald Trump has until May to either enact new tariffs on EU autos or order a delay.

With one trade war already underway, the White House could kick off another battle this weekend as the May 18 deadline nears for Pres. Donald Trump to decide whether to impose tariffs on European auto imports.

Any move would follow the completion of a Commerce Department study completed last February that concluded auto imports pose a threat to America’s national security. The president has not given a clear indication of how – or whether – he will respond as a 90-day deadline approaches, though he has had harsh words about European automakers in the past, at one point threatening to banish all Mercedes products from the streets of his home city, New York.

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Auto imports from Europe totaled $56.4 billion last year, according to Commerce figures, Germany responsible for the bulk of that. The risk of new tariffs sent shares of German manufacturers BMW, Daimler and Volkswagen reeling in recent days. But even U.S. automakers, as well as suppliers and dealers, have been pressing the Trump Administration to hold back on launching a new front in the trade war.

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You Probably Won’t Be Able to Pronounce Its Name, But Zotye is Betting You’ll Want to Buy One of its SUVs

Stealing a page from the Koreans – and undercutting them, in the process.

by on May.03, 2019

The Zotye T600 shown making its debut at Auto Shanghai last month.

At 69, Duke Hale has been selling cars, either at a dealership or working for an automaker, for 50 years, but he’s betting he can become a sort of automotive Pied Piper to Millennials and Gen-Z.

He and a team of aging Baby Boom industry veterans are getting ready to start selling what may become the first cars imported from a local Chinese carmaker. It’s no easy task, his California-based start-up, known as HAAH, is still pitching its idea to the dealers who will have to bet on a brand that’s not only unknown to American car buyers but which is saddled with the ungainly name, Zotye.

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Of course, it wouldn’t be the first time U.S. motorists were won over by a brand whose name they’ve had to struggle with. Think Hyundai, which Americanized its name to “Hun-day.” The Chinese brand, pronounced “Zoh-tee,” hopes it can lift some other pages from the Korean carmaker’s playbook, starting with a price low enough to make it an appealing alternative to a used vehicle.

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Volvo Cars Q1 Profits Fall Due to Rising Tariffs, Price Pressure

Automaker sells more cars, but makes less money.

by on Apr.29, 2019

Hakan Samuelsson, Volvo Cars president and CEO, said the company's profits fell in Q1 due to higher tariffs and pricing pressure.

Volvo Cars’ operating profit and net income dropped during the first quarter despite increases in revenue and unit sales, the company reported.

“The continued growth in Volvo Car sales which we have seen in the first quarter clearly shows the quality of our product portfolio. We grew in all regions gaining market share while revenue rose faster than sales due to our product mix,” said Volvo CEO Hakan Samuelsson.

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However, compared with last year, Volvo’s profitability was undercut by higher tariffs and increased price pressure in many markets, he said. (more…)

Volvo Bringing Out Full-Electric XC40 By Year’s End

New model will be second all-electric behind Polestar 2.

by on Apr.01, 2019

Volvo is going full electric on the XC40 by the end of the year, making it the company's second full-electrified vehicle.

Volvo is expanding its electric vehicle line-up, in a manner of speaking, with the news that it plans to release an all-electric version of its popular small utility vehicle, the XC40, by the end of this year.

The Swedish-based, Chinese-owned automaker recently released its first all-electric vehicle, the Polestar 2 at the Geneva Motor Show. That vehicle will hit the market in 2020. However, Polestar is the Volvo’s performance-oriented all-electric sub-brand so the XC40 news comes as a bit of a surprise.

Electrifying News!

Following the trend of the industry, late last year Volvo said planned to introduce a slew of new electric products. (more…)

Volvo Raises $677M With New Bond Issue

Automaker taps debt markets again instead of IPO.

by on Mar.26, 2019

Volvo Chief Executive Hakan Samuelsson said that trade tensions between the U.S. and China as well as the EU were one reason to halt its IPO last year.

More than half a year removed from squelching a run at a stock market listing, Volvo Cars raised 600 million euros, or $677 million, with a new bond issue on Tuesday.

The new issue is the second in the last year for the Swedish/Chinese automaker, which is owned by China’s Geely, as it looks to find ways to fund its ongoing development of battery-electric cars and self-driving vehicles.

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Volvo said on the Tuesday the bond would mature in April 2024, pay a fixed coupon of 2.125% and have an issue price was 99.625, equating to a yield of 2.205% and a Euro mid-swap of 215 basis points. The settlement was expected to be April 2, and the bonds would be listed on the Luxembourg Stock Exchange, Volvo said. (more…)

Volvo Using Cameras to Prevent Distracted, Drunk Driving

Move comes after plans to keep top speed to 112 mph.

by on Mar.21, 2019

Volvo plans to use in-car cameras and other sensors to help prevent drunk and distracted driving crashes.

Volvo Cars is looking to finish what it loosely describes as a safety “triangle” by using in-car cameras and other sensors to prevent crashes and fatalies due to drunk or distracted drivers by 2021.

Last month, the company introduced the first “side” of the triangle by limiting the top speed of its non-Polestar vehicles to 112 mph. Now by ensuring whomever is behind the wheel is capable of making appropriate decisions, Volvo believes it is significantly closer to its goal of zero traffic deaths.

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“When it comes to safety, our aim is to avoid accidents altogether rather than limit the impact when an accident is imminent and unavoidable,” said Henrik Green, senior vice president, Research & Development at Volvo Cars. “In this case, cameras will monitor for behavior that may lead to serious injury or death.” (more…)

Volvo to Limit Speed of All Future Models to 112 MPH

Move to address “dangers of speeding” comes as part of Vision 2020 safety plan.

by on Mar.04, 2019

Volvo Chief Executive Hakan Samuelsson said to improve the safety of its vehicles, they will be limited to 112 mph starting in 2021.

As part of its plan to prevent all deaths in future products, Volvo said Monday that it will limit the top speed to a maximum 180 kmh, or 112 mph starting with all models produced in 2021.

The automaker has laid out a strategy, dubbed Vision 2020, that aims to prevent all deaths and serious injuries in its products. It has been rolling out an assortment of passive and active safety features to help reach that goal, but sees the new self-imposed speed limit as a critical element in reaching its target.

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“Because of our research, we know where the problem areas are when it comes to ending serious injuries and fatalities in our cars,” said Håkan Samuelsson, president and chief executive of Volvo Cars. “And while a speed limitation is not a cure-all, it’s worth doing if we can even save one life.” (more…)


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