Archive for the ‘NAFTA’ 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…)

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…)

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.

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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.

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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…)

NAFTA Talks Halted — For Now

Talks on hold until after Mexico's presidential election July 1.

by on Jun.14, 2018

Trade representatives from Canada, Mexico and the U.S. agreed to halt talks until after July 1.

The North American Free Trade Agreement isn’t dead — yet.

The laborious pace of talks which has resulted in several missed deadlines for completion will continue, according to Canada’s top negotiator, Chrystia Freeland.

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“We decided … to continue our negotiations on NAFTA,” Freeland said after meeting U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer in Washington D.C. (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.

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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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Trump Spat With Canada’s Trudeau May Kill NAFTA

Trump complains that Trudeau treated him disrespectfully at the G7.

by on Jun.11, 2018

President Donald Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the recent G7 Summit.

A diplomatic dustup between the U.S. and Canada over the weekend could wind up killing the North American Free Trade Agreement, leaving the North American and global auto industry in a lurch.

The U.S., Canada and Mexico had been engaged in last ditch talks in effort to reach an agreement on a replacement for the existing trade agreement between the three countries, which the Trump administration has threatened to junk, claiming it was unfair to U.S. interests.

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As the negotiations carried on, House Speaker Paul Ryan has already warned that the time for reaching agreement that could clear U.S. Congress already passed. The chances of a meeting in the minds among representatives of the North American countries dimmed further after a blow-up, involving Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and President Donald Trump. (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.

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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…)

First Drive: 2019 Lexus ES 350

Bigger, faster, roomier — better.

by on Jun.07, 2018

The new Lexus ES is bigger, more powerful and has more tech than its predecessor.

Lexus has built its reputation on the quality, reliability and durability of its luxury cars and utility vehicles. But now, with the new vehicles such as the ES, Lexus is reaching out to match its German and Japanese competitors in styling and overall performance.

For one thing, the new 2019 ES 350 is impressive looking all the way around. The new exterior sheet metal is clean and gives the car a sportier and more up-to-date appearance that should wear well over the years. The front fascia on the new 2019 Lexus ES also more refined and just looks better than the previous generation and car just looks handsome when it is sitting at the curb or in motion.

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Each of the three variants of the ES – the standard, the new F-Sport and the hybrid – are separated by design details but overall the differences, to my eye, are relatively minor. (more…)

EVs at the Tipping Point? Global Sales Could Surge 25% to 1.6m in 2018

Nearly 200 electrified vehicles already on the market.

by on Jun.05, 2018

Automakers are planning to launch as many as 400 electrified vehicles by decade's end, including an all-electric version of the upcoming Maserati Alfieri.

After a painfully slow start, sales of electrified vehicles finally seem to be gaining some desperately needed traction, a new study suggesting global sales of hybrids, plug-ins and pure battery-electric vehicles will reach 1.6 million this year, a 25% increase from 2017.

The shift comes at a critical time for the auto industry considering even manufacturers like Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, long skeptical of battery-based technologies, are ramping up production plans. About 165 models are already available in various markets worldwide, according to the study by London-based ReportBuyer, and that will grow to “more than 400 models” by 2025.

We're Clearing the Air!

“If all the announcements made so far were to come true, there will be about 25 million EVs sold by 2025 or 20% of all cars sold would be EVs,” the electrified vehicle study forecast. While that includes a mix of different products, many of which combine gas and electric powertrains on one platform, other studies have forecast that BEVs alone could account for 20% of the total world vehicle market by 2030.

(more…)

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