Archive for the ‘Fuel Economy’ Category

First Drive: 2018 Mazda6 Signature

Company continues its pairing of sportiness and comfort in this sedan.

by on Nov.06, 2018

Mazda is staying the midsize sedan game and its latest iteration of the Mazda6 is one of the better options.

Sedans have fallen out of favor with motorists in the United States sales tallies suggest. Ford Motor Co. and Fiat Chrysler Automobile N.V. indicate, with the exception of muscle cars, they are prepared to exit the segment, perhaps for good.

But the midsize sedan segment remains one of the largest in the business; accounting for sales of more than an estimated 1.5 million units and drawing interest from key manufacturers such Toyota, Honda, Hyundai and Mazda, specifically with its Mazda6.

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Mazda has made a substantial effort to re-engineer its midsized sedan for 2018 and while its predecessor was awfully good, the 2018 Mazda6 with its retuned suspension, quieter cabin and revamped connectivity, has been made even better. (more…)

Honda Aligns With GM on Fuel Economy Rules

Japanese automaker pushes Trump administration to compromise.

by on Nov.01, 2018

Honda is aligning with General Motors in calling for tougher, but unified fuel economy standards in the U.S.

Honda has joined General Motors on calling the EPA to abandon its proposed fuel-economy rollback and is asking federal officials to negotiate with states like California to offer a single, comprehensive update to federal fuel-economy standards.

“Despite continued development of exciting new automotive technologies, the long-term achievements of this industry will depend as much on policies as on powertrains,” Honda noted in its response to the Trump administration.

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“The regulatory framework and policy levers will define the landscape in which our industry operates and competes. Managing this transition thoughtfully is of paramount importance to industry and society alike,” Honda continued regarding the administration’s proposal to freeze the fuel economy standards at 2021 levels and end California’s ability to set its own rules on fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions. (more…)

GM Asks for Relief on Fuel Rules While Betting Big on EVs

CEO Barra talks about GM's battery-based future.

by on Oct.30, 2018

General Motors Chairman and CEO Mary Barra talked about the company's future batter-electric vehicles at CityLab Detroit 2018.

General Motors has proposed downshifting the federal fuel-economy standards it signed off when it went bankrupt a decade ago, but its top executive said she hopes the automaker can help hasten the switch to electric vehicles.

GM said in a document released this week it favors annual increase in fuel-efficiency standards based on “historic rates” rather than the Obama era rules or a proposal from Trump administration proposal that would basically loosen the current standards.

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Mary Barra, GM chairman and chief executive officer, noted in remarks in Detroit that GM has taken a leading role in the development of electric vehicles and is now developing its fourth generation of EVs.   (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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Next-Gen Mercedes GLE Hybrid Will Go 62 Miles Electric Only

If it hits the target, it would set a new benchmark.

by on Oct.12, 2018

For 2019, the GLE hybrid will travel 62 miles in electric-only mode as compared with 10 miles in the current model.

Mercedes-Benz’s push into electrified vehicles isn’t limited to its EQ line-up expected to debut next year some time, it’s looking to amp up many of its next-gen offerings of current vehicles, such as the GLE.

The next-generation of the GLE hybrid, which will be a 2020 model coming out next fall, will be able to travel 62 miles in electric-only mode, according to Automotive News Europe. The current hybrid travels just 10 miles on batteries only.

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Ola Kallenius, head of Daimler Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Car Development, told the publication that the move is to help meet increasingly stringent fuel economy and emissions standards around the world. (more…)

New Chevy Silverado Turbo-Four Nabs Top Mileage Rating

For many truck buyers, mileage matters as much as payload, towing.

by on Oct.10, 2018

The 2019 Chevrolet Silverado will get up to 20 mpg in the city with the new turbo-four engine.

Who says pickup buyers only focus on power, payload and towing capacity? Operating costs are, for many customers – and especially those operating truck fleets – one of the most important factors they consider when choosing what model to buy.

That includes service and repairs, of course, but fuel costs are one of the biggest concerns, which is a key reason why automakers have been offering buyers a growing range of alternatives to the classic, big displacement V-8s that long dominated the full-size pickup segment.

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Chevrolet is hoping it will score a hit with potential buyers with the new, 2.7-liter turbocharged engine it is adding to its powertrain option list for the all-new 2019 Silverado. While not quite up to the numbers delivered by some of the diesel engines now available in the full-size segment, Chevy’s turbo-four nabs a tie as the most fuel-efficient gas engine available for U.S. buyers.

(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.”

(more…)

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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CAFE Standards Hearing Hits Metro Detroit

Automakers tell Trump to keep CAFE unchanged from Obama standards.

by on Sep.25, 2018

Jim Hackett, Ford president and CEO, said last week that his company was in favor of keeping the Obama administration fuel economy standards.

The public hearings on the Trump administration’s proposal to roll back corporate average fuel economy standards, or CAFE, headed to the Detroit area after officials spent a day in California getting blasted for the new standards.

The first hearing was held in Fresno, California, and saw a mix of local and state politicians as well as environmental groups take the administration to task for scaling the back the fuel economy standards to current levels until 2026 rather than keeping the 54.5 mpg standard expected for 2025.

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“California will take whatever actions are needed to protect our people and follow the law,” Mary Nichols, chairwoman of the California Air Resources Board, testified at the hearing in central California, which has some of the nation’s worst air pollution. (more…)

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