Archive for the ‘Europe’ Category

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…)

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.

Performance News!

“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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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.

Product News!

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…)

Hyundai, Kia Announce Global Reorganization Plans

Korean carmakers will get more regional autonomy in U.S., Europe.

by on Jun.18, 2018

The new organization is aimed at making the two brands more responsive to local markets.

Hyundai and sibling Korean carmaker Kia already operate as largely autonomous entities. Now, their regional operations in the U.S. and Europe will operate as largely independent operations to “spur sustainable growth and enhance innovation.”

The move to boost regional autonomy by Korea’s largest automaker is no surprise and follows in the footsteps of what has already been done by major Japanese automakers such as Toyota and Nissan. The first step will come with the establishment of new North American regional headquarters for each of the brands on July 2. Europe will follow shortly afterwards, as will other key global regions.

The Inside Story!

In a statement, the Hyundai Motor Group – which includes both Hyundai Motor Co. and Kia Motor Corp. – said the move will impact “every aspect of the business, ranging from product planning, marketing, sales, and manufacturing,”

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Byton Taking Second Byte at the Apple with New Concept

New model predicted to be available in 2021.

by on Jun.15, 2018

Byton introduced its second EV concept, the K-Byte, at CES Shanghai.

With a newly gained $500 million in its pocket, electric carmaker Byton rolled out the new K-Byte, an autonomous electric vehicle concept, at CES Shanghai.

The K-Byte is the company’s second concept. At CES 2018, it debuted its first-ever vehicle, a crossover-style EV that now gets the moniker M-Byte.

Product News!

The new K-Byte would seem to be just another of a slew of newly minted autonomous battery-electric concepts that have been unveiled in the last 12 months, but this one is a little different. Byton officials claim it will be capable of Level 4 autonomy when it hits the road in 2021. (more…)

Diesel Scandal Continues to Grow With New Daimler Recall

Company order to recall 238K vehicles in Germany.

by on Jun.14, 2018

Daimler AG's Dieter Zetsche attempted to assuage concerns of investors about diesel engines during the company's annual meeting.

The diesel cheating scandal is almost three years old, but it just seems to keep getting bigger.

Daimler AG has been hit by the German government with an order to recall 238,000 vehicles in Germany after they were identified has being equipped with illegal software that hide diesel emissions.

Global News!

In all, there are a total of 774,000 diesel vehicles across Europe, containing the so-called “defeat devices” software and Daimler indicated it would recall all of them Daimler said it would refit the software but denied any wrongdoing. (more…)

Electrifying Jaguar I-Pace Sets a Benchmark Even Tesla Will Have to Clear

Performance, handling, style and spaciousness come together to redefine the BEV.

by on Jun.14, 2018

Whether on a track or a back country road the 2019 Jaguar I-Pace is a real game-changer.

I have seen – and driven – the future, and it is electric.

And I found it in a place you normally wouldn’t go looking, Faro, in the heart of Portugal’s Algarve region. When my plane touched down there, earlier this week, I was looking forward to some pleasant driving time. It’s beautiful countryside with lots of winding, lightly traveled mountain roads that pass through pastoral villages almost lost in time. As for the vehicle I’d crossed the ocean to test out, the new Jaguar I-Pace was, if nothing else, distinctively styled, both inside and out. Whether it would deliver that sometimes intangible concept we describe as “fun-to-drive” was going to be the real question.

When the first mass market battery-electric vehicles came to market early in this decade, about the most you could say for them was that they were environmentally friendly. They were slow, stodgy and required you to keep a constant eye on the range gauge lest you find yourself stranded miles from home. Tesla kicked it up a big notch by offering range comparable to a gas-powered vehicle and, with the optional Ludicrous Mode, blindingly fast acceleration. That said, the Models S, X and 3 each have their shortfalls. For most of us, they’re still not quite serious alternatives to conventional vehicles.

Electrifying Reviews!

The I-Pace, on the other hand, changes the equation. It is easy to fall back on clichés when trying to describe Jaguar’s first all-electric model, but it truly is electrifying, and by virtually every measure, it not only sets a benchmark for future battery-electric vehicles but also shows that BEVs can pose a direct challenge to conventional gas-powered models when it comes to not only design, interior space, comfort and utility, but performance and handling, as well.

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VW Tagged With $1B Fine in Germany for Diesel Scandal

Penalty doesn't prevent civil lawsuits against maker.

by on Jun.13, 2018

VW's new CEO Herbert Diess recently noted the company would have to work hard to regain the public's trust.

Volkswagen AG’s diesel cheating scandal has resulted in the automaker writing another large check, $1 billion, for violating German emissions controls mandates.

The fine is just the latest in a litany of payouts related to the automaker’s attempts to circumvent emissions rules in the U.S. and other countries.

Global News!

The $1 billion fine by German authorities is one of the largest in the country’s history. However, its significantly less than what it agreed to in a U.S. plea agreement in January 2017 when VW agreed to pay $4.3 billion in criminal and civil penalties for installing illegal software in diesel engines.  (more…)

Parking Dispute Threatens Car Sharing in Toronto

Lack of parking means no spots to leave cars.

by on Jun.08, 2018

Car2Go bade farewell to its 80,000 users in Toronto because of a problem with securing parking spaces.

Car2Go, Daimler AG’s car sharing program, is threatening to shut down its growing operations in Toronto in a dispute over parking spaces in residential areas.

The Canadian Broadcasting Company reported Car2Go has thousands of residents of Toronto, who rely on its vehicles, upset over news that it may shut down after the Toronto city council delayed a pilot project that would have allowed the company to buy parking permits in residential areas.

We Keep You In the Know!

The council voted 30-2 to send the proposed pilot back for more study. If approved, it would have allowed the sale of some 2,000 parking permits to car-sharing companies, allowing their users to park vehicles in various downtown neighborhoods while exempting them from three-hour limits, according to the CBC.  (more…)

Volvo Hopes to Electrify Customers – and Investors

All-electric models now expected to generate half its sales by mid-2020s, with 1/3 self-driving.

by on Jun.08, 2018

The Volvo 40.2 Concept hints at what's coming with the marque's first all-electric vehicle.

Volvo took a lead in the push into electrification last year, announcing it would use some of battery-based drive system on all future products, whether mild, conventional or plug-in hybrids, or pure battery-electric. And, last January, it gave us a hint of what that first BEV would be with the debut of its 40.2 concept.

The production version will follow in 2019 and, if Volvo’s latest forecast is any indication, so will plenty of other all-electric models, as the Swedish automaker now says it wants them to generate half of its sales by mid-decade.

Plug In!

The mid-term plan Volvo is laying out is nothing if not ambitious. It also predicts that half of the Chinese-owned automaker’s sales will come from self-driving vehicles, and that half of its volume will come through its Care by Volvo subscription service, rather than conventional sales and leasing. Oh, and add a goal of boosting volume – and profitability – to match other premium manufacturers.

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