Archive for the ‘Europe’ Category

Global Auto Sales Set to Hit Record in 2018

Industry coming tantalizing close to 100 million mark.

by on Feb.16, 2018

Despite sluggish sales in the U.S. and China, global auto sales are expected to set a new record in 2018.

Global auto sales are expected to hit an all-time record in 2018 of 97.3 million vehicles, according to a new forecast by LMC Automotive.

That 2.1% jump over 2017 would come despite a weak market in North America, as well as softening growth in what is now the world’s largest automotive market, China, LMC researchers said during a media conference call.

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The U.S., in particular, posted its first annual decline in vehicle sales since the market hit bottom in 2010, and it remains unclear what will happen in 2018, LMC Managing Director Pete Kelly cautioning that it “could go either way.” (more…)

Ford Updates Transit Connect Min, er, Small Van

Maker looking to draw Baby Boomers with active lives with updated model.

by on Feb.08, 2018

Chicago native Jim Belushi, left, and Ford Vice President Mark LaNeve debut the Ford Transit Connect in Chicago as The Blues Brothers.

Though it claims to still be out of the minivan market, Ford’s new Transit Connect Wagon sure hopes that entrepreneurs with families will take a shine to its new offering.

The company unveiled the new small van – they don’t call it a minivan – at the Chicago Auto Show today after giving the media an early look last week. Ford executives said the new wagon is aimed at Baby Boomers with active lifestyles, who also may have a small business.

Product News!

If anyone needed any convincing it’s the Baby Boomer generation they want, one need only look at Ford Vice president, U.S. Marketing, Sales and Service Mark LaNeve and film and television star and Chicago native Jim Belushi playing the parts of The Blues Brothers at the intro of the squarish small van in the Windy City today. (more…)

Tesla Loses Big Money in 2017: $1.96B

Model 3 production issue escalate expenses, offsetting record revenues.

by on Feb.07, 2018

Production of the new Model 3 has run into some snags, according to Tesla.

Tesla reported its revenues rose in the final quarter of 2017 to $3.3 billion, which was better than last year’s Q4 result of 2.3 billion. However, the increased revenue also brought a bigger loss of $675 million, or 4.01 a share, compared with $619 million, or $3.70 a share.

For the full year, revenue rose 55.7% to $11.7 billion due in large measure to achieving record sales results for its Model S and X electric vehicles; however, the company still lost money for the year and is well behind early production goals for the Model 3.

An Electrifying News Source!

The company lost $1.96 billion, or $11.83 a share, this year compared with $694 million, or $4.68 a share, in 2016 as its operating expenses were nearly double from the year-ago figure. (more…)

German Union Workers Accept New Contract

New deal includes 4.3% pay raise, shorter work week provision.

by on Feb.07, 2018

German workers secured a new contract with a 4.3% pay raise and new rules for a shorter work week.

Union members in Baden-Württemberg, one of the most prosperous regions of German and the home of companies such as Daimler AG, Porsche and Bosch, appear to have gained a major bargaining victory, gaining a 4.3% pay increase and a reduction of the average work week to allow more time off for family leave.

The deal between IG Metall and the Suedwestmetall employers’ federation, which represent the employers, including major carmakers, calls, for workers in Germany to get a 4.3% pay increase April starting April 1.

Union News!

The workers will also receive other payments spread over the following 27 months until 2020, IG Metall’s Roman Zitzelsberger told reporters at the conclusion of the talks. (more…)

Mercedes Takes Covers Off Fourth-Generation A-Class

New entry-level Benz gets higher-class technology.

by on Feb.06, 2018

Dieter Zetsche introduces the new Mercedes-Benz A-Class wagon and sedan in Amsterdam.

At a time when sport utility vehicles seem to be taking over the world, Mercedes-Benz hasn’t hesitated to take the wraps off one of the smallest passenger cars in its line-up: the fourth generation A-Class.

The latest iteration comes with a slew of new technology, semi-autonomous driving capability and technical improvements aimed at improving the vehicles driving dynamics.

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The new A-Class is the first Mercedes-Benz model to feature the new multimedia system MBUX – Mercedes-Benz User Experience, which, thanks to artificial intelligence, can be individualized and will also adapt to suit the user. The goal is to create an emotional connection between the vehicle, driver and passengers, Mercedes-Benz officials said as they rolled out the new system. (more…)

US Tax Windfall Doubles Toyota’s Q3 Profits

Automaker revised full-year earnings forecasts for third time.

by on Feb.06, 2018

Despite giving the Camry a stylish makeover the sedan continued to lose sales momentum last quarter.

Toyota reported a 54% increase in operating profit in Q3 despite weak sales in the U.S. However, it was the U.S. that help to double its profits from the year-ago period, courtesy of President Donald Trump’s recently passed tax plan.

Operating profit was 673.6 billion yen, or $5.98 billion, in the quarter that ended Dec. 31, an increase of 214.7 billion yen, or $1.91 billion. Additionally, net income rose nearly 94% to 941.8 billion yen, or $8.36 billion, the company said.

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The results pushed Toyota to revise its full-year earnings forecast for the third time, although its prediction for sales remained unchanged at 8.95 million for the year ending March 31. (more…)

Accounting Adjustment Masks Record Full Year Earnings for General Motors

Workers will get $11,750 in profit-sharing.

by on Feb.06, 2018

GM CEO Mary Barra has pushed for major changes in GM's strategy, and the 2017 numbers suggest her approach is paying off.

General Motors officially reported a net loss for 2017, but the real numbers were masked by a series of accounting adjustments and actually climbed into record territory for the year.

The adjusted, $12.8 billion in pretax profits, which worked out to $6.62 a share – an 8.2% year-over-year gain – comes as good news to workers as well as investors at a time when economic uncertainty has shocked Wall Street. About 50,000 U.S. hourly employees will share the maker’s success with profit-sharing checks averaging $11,750 apiece. That bonus actually dipped from $12,000 last year.

Business News!

“The actions we took to further strengthen our core business and advance our vision for personal mobility made 2017 a transformative year,” said GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra, in comments during a media and analyst conference call. “We will continue executing our plan and reshaping our company to position it for long-term success.”

(more…)

Ferrari Will Ride Hybrid, SUV Sales to Debt-Free Status

Marchionne says new vehicle sales will make company debt-free a year early.

by on Feb.02, 2018

Ferrari CEO Sergio Marchionne said the company will be debt-free sooner than expected.

What Oprah Winfrey is the giving away free cars, Sergio Marchionne is to promising to make automakers debt-free!

Marchionne told investors in a conference call today that the Italian sportscar maker will be debt-free a year earlier than he predicted, while pushing earnings to $2.5 billion by 2022. The sweater-wearing leader told FCA investors that the company would be debt-free by the end of the year.

The Last Word!

He believed that the increased production levels and coming products, especially hybrids, EVs and the sport-utility vehicle will drive the increase in earnings. (more…)

Denso Reveals Improved Night-Vision Sensor

Better sensor helps recognize objects in road more quickly.

by on Feb.02, 2018

Denso's new vision sensor provides a 40% improvement, potentially cutting response time of driver assistance technologies.

Denso Corp., one of the world’s largest automotive suppliers, announced it has developed a new standard vision sensor that at night can detect pedestrians, cyclists, road signs, driving lanes and other objects or road users.

Working in conjunction with a millimeter-wave radar sensor, the new vision sensor allows automobiles to automatically activate emergency braking when obstacles are identified, helping reduce accidents and improve overall vehicle safety.

Tech News!

The system is featured in the 2018 Toyota Alphard and Vellfire, which were released in Japan last month. In addition to Japan, the MPVs are sold in China, Russia and smaller Asian and Middle Eastern countries. (more…)

Toyota Recalls 654K Vehicles for Airbag Issue

Airbag issue unrelated to Takata's ongoing problems.

by on Feb.01, 2018

Toyota is recalling certain Priuses among 645,000 vehicles globally due to an airbag issue.

Toyota issued a recall for approximately 645,000 vehicles around to world due to an electrical problem that may prevent the vehicle’s airbag from inflating during a crash.

The action covers certain Toyota Prius and Lexus RX and NX SUVs. Also covered are some Toyota Alphard, Vellfire, Sienta, Noah, Voxy, Esquire, Probox, Succeed, Corolla, Highlander, Levin and Hilux models. All were produced between May 2015 to March 2016.

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An open electrical circuit could occur over time, the automaker warned, that would set off an airbag warning light and could stop the side and front air bags from deploying. (more…)