Archive for the ‘Markets’ Category

Uber Fatality Now Deemed “Entirely Avoidable”

Safety driver was watching television right before crash.

by on Jun.22, 2018

The Tempe (Arizona) Police Department released the video footage of Uber's collision with a pedestrian.

After initially faulting the pedestrian killed in a crash with an autonomous Uber car in March, the Tempe (Arizona) Police Department is calling the collision “entirely avoidable” after determining the safety driver was streaming Hulu on her phone while behind the wheel.

According to the department’s 318-page report, the driver, Rafaela Vasquez, was watching a television show on her phone for 5.3 seconds prior to looking up and seeing 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg crossing the road in front of her.

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Vasquez applied the brakes just 0.5 seconds before the collision. The report says that Vasquez could be charged with vehicular manslaughter. She was watching the television show “The Voice” for 42 minutes with it ending at 9:59 p.m., which is about the time that Herzberg was struck. (more…)

Jeep Tops “Most American” Vehicle List for 2018

Honda takes No. 2 and 3 spots with Odyssey and Ridgeline.

by on Jun.22, 2018

Cars.com tracked where the top 10 most American vehicles are built.

With the importance of where a vehicle is built dominating today’s political climate, some political leaders should be happy with the news that two of the top three “Most American” are produced by Japanese automakers.

The most American car produced, according to a new survey by Cars.com, is the Jeep Cherokee, which is made at the company’s plant in Belivdere, Illinois.

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The Cherokee, last year’s No. 2 car on the index, has a domestic parts content of 72% for the 2018 model year — and all engines and transmissions from the U.S., the Illinois-built Cherokee topped more than 100 vehicles to top the list. (more…)

Trump Doubles Down on 20% Tariff Threat on EU Imported Vehicles

President tweets threat, pushes for more cars to be built in U.S.

by on Jun.22, 2018

President Donald Trump issued another threat to place a tariff on EU-build vehicles coming into the U.S.

U.S. President Donald Trump doubled down on his threat to impose a 20% tariff on all European Union-assembled cars coming into the United States in a tweet this morning.

“Based on the Tariffs and Trade Barriers placed on the U.S. and it great companies and workers by the European Union, if these Tariffs and Barriers are not soon broken down and removed, we will be placing a 20% Tariff on all of their cars coming into the U.S. Build them here!” Trump wrote on Twitter.

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The move comes a little more than a month after Trump asked the Commerce Department, led by Wilbur Ross, to investigate whether or not auto imports pose a national security threat. (more…)

First Look: 2019 Volvo S60

Sedan becomes second to offer Care by Volvo.

by on Jun.21, 2018

The 2019 Volvo S60 is now manufactured in the United States in Charleston, South Carolina.

Volvo Cars showed off the new S60 sedan and a subscription service that will ease the hassle of having a car at the company’s first-ever U.S.-based assembly plant just outside Charleston, South Carolina.

The 2019 S60, the first Volvo to be made in the U.S., will be available in Momentum, R-Design and Inscription level trims that includes some of the latest technology developed by the Swedish carmaker.

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The new S60 is the first Volvo car to be sold without a diesel engine, signaling the company’s industry-leading commitment to electrification and a long-term future beyond the traditional combustion engine. In 2017, Volvo Cars was the first global car maker to announce its strategy that from 2019 all new models will have an electrified option. (more…)

AMG Electrifies: Mercedes’ New E53 Takes 1st Step towards Battery-Based Performance

48V powertrain set to debut later this year.

by on Jun.21, 2018

The Mercedes-AMG E53 will be offered in sedan, coupe and cabrio body styles.

Whether on track or on the road, Mercedes’ AMG brand offers a broad array of models that have relied on a variety of methods to maximize performance, including turbo and supercharging. Now, however, AMG is pushing into a new world with the upcoming launch of the E53.

The performance version of the familiar Mercedes E-Class will pair a turbocharged inline-six engine with an electrically driven supercharger to turn out an impressive 429 horsepower and 384 pound-feet of torque. But unlike traditional “blowers,” which need to rev up before they deliver full boost, the new system will deliver maximum power essentially the moment the driver’s foot hits the throttle.

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“Electric forced induction devices mitigate turbo lag,” explains Brian Cotter, the U.S. product manager for the AMG brand. But it promises to do even more, Cotter says, suggesting that electrified drivetrain technology could radically change the world of performance driving in the coming years.

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Swedish Ambassador Slams Trump Tariffs at Volvo Plant Opening

Volvo CEO proposes "no tariff" auto zones.

by on Jun.21, 2018

Volvo's new Charleston, South Carolina plant is now up and running with S60 sports sedans rolling down the line. The XC90 comes in a few years.

The new S60 rolling down the line wasn’t the entire story during the official opening of new Volvo Cars factory outside Charleston, South Carolina, as complaints about trade and tariffs nearly stole the show.

With U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley sitting close by, Karin Olofsdotter, Sweden’s ambassador to the United States, who was invited to speak during the brief ceremony, took the opportunity to send a message to the Trump administration.

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Speaking emphatically, she chided the Trump administration for implementing tariffs that inhibit “fair” trade and investment and undermine economic development in both Europe and the United States. (more…)

No More What If: Mazda Bringing Out a Faster Miata

Engineers squeeze out a 17% power increase.

by on Jun.20, 2018

The 2019 Mazda Miata gets a bunch of new safety tech, but more importantly: a 17% boost in power.

The Mazda Miata has always been a “but what if…” car.

The “what if?” What if it had more power? It’s a roadster and that generally means that the car is more about the experience of driving rather than how far back are you being pressed into your seat when you push the go pedal to the floor.

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Well, Mazda’s heard enough “what ifs” apparently since it it’s now upping the power in the latest iteration of the MX-5, known casually as the Miata. Mazda’s engineers enriched Miata’s SkyActiv-G 2.0-liter engine with the goals of improved response, performance, feel and efficiency.  (more…)

Volvo Launches Car Production at First-Ever US Plant

Automaker will add second vehicle in 2021.

by on Jun.20, 2018

Volvo's first-ever manufacturing plant in the U.S. is building the new S60 sports sedan.

Volvo Cars opened its first manufacturing plant in the U.S. near Charleston, South Carolina, as it expands its global manufacturing footprint beyond Europe and Asia for the first time.

Volvo officials said the establishment of the plant in South Carolina follows the company’s manufacturing strategy “to build where it sells.”

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“The Charleston plant establishes the U.S. as our third ‘home’ market,” said Hakan Samuelsson, the president and chief executive of Volvo Cars. “The sedan segment and the SPA platform’s proven ability to boost profitability offer significant growth opportunities for Volvo Cars in the U.S. and globally.” (more…)

Big Surprises in 2018 JD Power Initial Quality Survey

Overall quality reaches record high – and Korean brands lead the surge.

by on Jun.20, 2018

The Genesis G90 topped its segment while the Genesis brand led the industry overall.

New vehicle quality has reached an all-time high according to the latest J.D. Power Initial Quality Survey, and the 2018 IQS reveals a number of surprising trends, starting with the fact that three Korean brands lead this year’s study.

The latest IQS, which looks at “things-gone-wrong” with vehicles during the first 90 days of ownership, reveals that traditional mechanical issues, whether powertrain problems or squeaks, rattles and wind noise, are today increasingly rare. Motorists are far more likely to experience issues with infotainment and advanced driver assistance systems, but many of those problems are also being addressed.

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“There’s no question that most automakers are doing a great job of listening to consumers and are producing vehicle quality of the highest caliber,” said Dave Sargent, the head of global automotive research for Power. “That said, some vehicle owners are still finding problems. As vehicles become more complex and automated, it is critical that consumers have complete confidence in automakers’ ability to deliver fault-free vehicles.”

(more…)

Korean Newcomer Genesis Tops Vehicle Satisfaction List

Nissan, GMC, Hyundai and Ram also score well in annual Vehicle Satisfaction Awards.

by on Jun.19, 2018

Genesis was the top brand overall in the 2018 VSA, while the G90 sedan was top Luxury Car.

Reflecting the massive shift from sedans and coupes to SUVs, CUVs and pickups, light trucks are doing a better job of pleasing buyers, at least if the 2018 Vehicle Satisfaction Awards are any indication. And SUVs are the most satisfying products of all, reports consulting and research firm AutoPacific, Inc.

But that isn’t a hard and fast rule. Genesis, the new Korean luxury brand that has yet to introduce its first utility vehicle, was the number one brand in the 2018 VSA, edging out more established competitors, such as Lexus, and achieving the highest score ever in the annual satisfaction study.

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“In just two years, Genesis has reached a level of owner satisfaction unattained by more established luxury brands,” said AutoPacific President George Peterson, adding that the Genesis G90 sedan also won the VSA for Luxury Car for the second year in a row.

(more…)

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