Archive for the ‘Diesel’ Category

BMW Recalling 1.6 Million Vehicles Worldwide Due to Fire Risk

Company including 54,700 vehicles in U.S. and Canada.

by on Oct.23, 2018

Some of BMW's 5-Series are the target of the maker's latest safety recall, involving 1.6 million vehicles around the world.

BMW is recalling 1.6 million vehicles around the world, including 54,700 in the U.S. and Canada, due to a potential fire hazard.

The action is really an expansion of an earlier recall of 480,000 vehicles in Europe and Asia. In the affected vehicles a fluid leak could cause a fire. More than 40 fires were reported in South Korea.

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In fact, the South Korean government recommended owners of the affected vehicles stop driving them until they could be repaired. Police raided the automaker’s office in Seoul while investigating the issue, after videos of cars engulfed by fire went viral. (more…)

Gas Prices Remain High Despite Drop in Consumption

Hurricane Michael and a pipe rupture impact pricing.

by on Oct.17, 2018

Gas prices jumped due to recent weather and infrastructure events, but the rise has leveled off this week.

An unseasonal rise in the cost of gasoline this autumn appears to have leveled off this week, according to AAA.

At $2.89, the national gas price average is 2 cents cheaper than it was a week ago amid consumer gasoline demand declining for a third week. But the price of gasoline, on average, is 4 cents more than a month ago and 42 cents more expensive than in October 2017.

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The majority of states have seen gas prices decrease on the week with the exception of a handful of states, some of which were impacted by fuel disruptions on the west coast and in the southeast. (more…)

German Automakers Face 50:50 Chance of Collapse, VW CEO Warns

Herbert Diess warns battery-cars could cost jobs – and may not be as clean as promised.

by on Oct.16, 2018

VW boss Herbert Diess, left,helps unveil the VW BUDD-e and eGolf Touch electric concepts.

When the U.S. economy collapsed a decade ago two of the three Detroit-based automakers plunged into bankruptcy, surviving only with the help of a massive federal bailout – and that’s the fate that could be facing the German auto industry, as well, the CEO of Volkswagen warned today.

The country’s powerful auto industry faces a 50:50 chance of suffering the same fate that nearly destroyed Detroit’s Big Three manufacturers, Herbert Diess said during a supplier conference in Wolkfsburg VW’s home town.

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“From today’s point of view the chances are perhaps 50-50 that the German auto industry will still belong among the global elite in 10 years’ time,” said Diess, who was appointed VW’s chief executive earlier this year, following a senior management shake-up.

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Audi CEO Rupert Stadler Now Out of Job and Still in Jail

Ousted exec “wishes to concentrate on his defense.”

by on Oct.03, 2018

Audi's Board of Management Chairman Rupert Stadler has been fired and remains in jail on charges related to dieselgate.

During any other year, Audi CEO Rupert Stadler would have been a notable presence at the Paris Auto Show where the brand formally introduced to the public this week its new e-tron battery-electric vehicle. But Stadler was a no-show because he remains in a German jail where he has been locked up since June in connection with VW’s diesel emissions scandal.

And even if he eventually beats the charges he now faces, Stadler will have to go looking for a new job. About the same time Audi was revealing the e-tron in Paris, the Volkswagen Group announced that it was terminating Stadler, effective immediately.

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In a statement, the company said they had reached “an agreement with Rupert Stadler on the termination,” adding that “Due to his ongoing pretrial detention, he is unable to fulfill his duties as a member of the board of management and wishes to concentrate on his defense.” (more…)

Future of Alliance with Nissan/Renault the Big Question as Zetsche Prepares to End Role as Daimler CEO

Zetche and Nissan/Renault’s Ghosn insist there is more to come during Paris new conference.

by on Oct.03, 2018

Zetsche and Ghosn first met when the German exec was working at Freightliner and the Brazilian-born Ghosn worked for Michelin.

Since launching the first in a broad series of joint ventures nine years ago, Daimler AG and the Nissan/Renault/Mitsubishi Alliance have generated what they claim to be billions of dollars in “synergies” that have allowed them to expand their product lines and grow into new markets.

But in recent months, the future of that partnership has come under question. The last major new project was announced three years ago. And now, with Daimler Chief Executive Dieter Zetsche planning to relinquish the CEO title next year, that has raised new questions about whether his successor, Ola Kallenius, would keep the alliance going.

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“Without the chemistry between us, maybe this wouldn’t have happened,” said Zetsche, during a joint news conference with Nissan/Renault/Mitsubishi Alliance chief Carlos Ghosn. But considering the results the partnership has generated, “I don’t see from my perspective why the momentum in this relationship should change.”

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Ford’s Rouge Complex Gets New Product Line to Celebrate Centennial

“What was once dismissed as a Rust Belt relic has become relevant all over again.”

by on Sep.27, 2018

The Rouge plant produces a new F-Series pickup, on average, every 53 seconds.

Ford Motor Co. will launch production of an all-new hybrid version of its F-150 pickup for the 2020 model-year at its sprawling River Rouge Complex near Detroit.

The announcement came at a day-long event called to celebrate the centennial of what was once hailed as the “American alter to the new god of mass production.” Commonly known as “The Rouge,” it was the brainchild of company founder Henry Ford and, for many years, the largest automotive manufacturing center in the world, renowned for its ability to take raw materials off ships and railroad cars at one end and spew out completed cars and trucks at the other.

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Today, the Rouge has been somewhat downsized, some of its original operations closed, while others, such as its steel plant, have been sold off. But with 93 buildings covering a roughly 1.5 square-mile campus, its own docks and 100 miles of railroad track weaving through the complex, the Rouge remains one of the industry’s largest automotive manufacturing centers. And it is the primary production site for Ford’s various F-Series pickups which have, for decades, collectively been the country’s best-selling automotive product line.

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First Drive: 2019 BMW X5

A crossover by any other name: a worthy successor to mark the X5's 20th anniversary.

by on Sep.27, 2018

BMW will offer three versions of the 2019 X5, including a plug-in hybrid to come later in the year.

Few new models have done more to redefine a brand – indeed, to help transform the auto business overall – like the BMW X5. But there were plenty of doubters when the Bavarian automaker first announced plans to add a sport-utility vehicle to its line-up back in the late 1990s.

Even BMW seemed to have some doubts, deciding to call the new line a “Sport-Activity Vehicle,” rather than an SUV. But those concerns were quickly forgotten, demand for the midsize ute taking off from almost the moment the first X5 rolled out of BMW’s then-new assembly plant in Spartanburg South Carolina in 1999. The first generation alone generated more than 600,000 sales and, with production of the third-gen X5 now winding down, that’s jumped to more than 2.1 million.

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These days, BMW offers a full range of Sport-Activity Vehicles, from the little X1 all the way up to the new X7 set to launch next year as a crossover alternative to the brand’s traditional flagship, the 7-Series. But much like the 5-Series sedan, the X5 remains a lynchpin of that line-up, meant to combine both the utility of a crossover and the performance of a classic BMW sedan.

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Porsche Dropping Diesels

First German automaker to abandon “oil-burners.”

by on Sep.24, 2018

Porsche is facing allegations it rigged some versions of the Cayenne to boost exhaust noise at the expense of higher emissions.

Porsche is set to become the first German automaker to completely abandon diesel engines, the sports carmaker has confirmed.

The move, confirmed by CEO Oliver Blume in the Bild am Sonntag newspaper, comes in the wake of the emissions cheating scandal that has so far cost parent Volkswagen AG around $30 billion in fines, settlements and buybacks.

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“There won’t be any Porsche diesels in the future,” Blume told the German newspaper, explaining that the company wants to concentrate on “what we can do particularly well,” notably, “powerful petrol, hybrid and, from 2019, purely electric vehicles.”

(more…)

The Beast is Loose: New Presidential Limo is on the Prowl

Over-sized Cadillac set to give Pres. Trump his first ride to UN.

by on Sep.24, 2018

The new version of "The Beast," the nickname for the presidential limo, roamed the streets for the first time in New York City.

There’s a beast on the prowl in Manhattan. Make that “The Beast,” the nickname that’s been used for years to describe the heavily fortified limousines used for U.S. presidents. An all-new version, a specially designed Cadillac, made its debut on the streets of New York City Sunday and will be put to work on its first official assignment chauffeuring President Donald Trump to the United Nations Tuesday.

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This marks the first time the president has gotten new wheels since President Barack Obama was inaugurated back in January 2009, and it’s the product of a $15.8 million contract that General Motors won back in 2014. (more…)

Merkel Pressing German Automakers for Diesel Pollution Solution

Companies scrambling to find a cleaner diesel.

by on Sep.24, 2018

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, center, is pressing German automakers for a solution for cleaner diesels.

With driving bans aimed at diesel engines looming in several German cities, German Chancellor Angela Merkel is pressing German carmakers for help in coming up with ways to make vehicles cleaner while avoiding limits on traffic, averting a potential political crisis that could threaten her government.

The government, however, is yet to come up with a specific plan though it indicated some progress is being made after a high-level meeting in Berlin attended by Volkswagen AG CEO Herbert Diess, Daimler AG CEO Dieter Zetsche and BMW AG chief Harald Krüger, Finance Minister Olaf Scholz and Minister of Transport Andreas Scheuer also took part in the deliberations at the Chancellery, according to German press accounts

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Scheuer indicated carmakers rejected expensive hardware retrofits of diesel vehicles that had been suggested for vehicles from the emission class Euro 5. Reports from German regulators have described the retrofits as “technically feasible and economically justifiable.”  (more…)