Archive for the ‘NAFTA’ Category

Ford, VW Discussions Now Far More Wide-Ranging Than Originally Planned

by on Nov.02, 2018

Ford and VW initially wanted to discuss cooperation on light commercial vehicles.

Talks between Ford and Volkswagen are covering far more territory than originally planned, when the two signed a memorandum of understanding in June that initially focused on joint development of commercial vehicles.

While Ford officials have told TheDetroitBureau.com there is no thought to an exchange of equity, virtually everything else seems at least open for discussion, with a number of key ventures being considered. According to various U.S. and European sources, these include joint development of a small pickup, cooperation on electrified and autonomous vehicles and possibly even collaboration on sales and marketing in trouble-spot markets, such as Europe and Latin America.

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Several reports have suggested that a major announcement could be in the offing, and a source close to the talks told TheDetroitBureau that “There could be an update by the end of the year.” But that person stressed that not all the discussions underway are likely to be resolved immediately, and could be spread out over months, even years – even “if everything (being negotiated) comes true.”

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First Drive: 2019 Honda Accord Hybrid

Plenty of power, polish make it a keeper.

by on Nov.02, 2018

The 2018 Honda Accord Hybrid won the North American Car of the Year for this year.

Honda has taken its share of quality lumps lately, but its also shown it makes terrific cars such as the Civic and Accord, which was named North American Car of the Year back in January.

Now Honda has rolled out the hybrid version of the Accord and it is also just as impressive in its own ways the Accord that runs only on gasoline.

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But the 2019 Accord Hybrid’s blend of gasoline and electric motors make the car even more versatile particularly in urban driving where the EV mode and extra low-end torque from the combined powertrain give the Accord an added dimension that is both practical and pleasing to drive in heavy traffic.  (more…)

First Official Look: 2019 BMW 8-Series Convertible

New Bavarian flagship rolls back its top.

by on Nov.01, 2018

BMW's got a replacement for the 6-Series convertible with the new 850i for 2019.

We’ve been seeing some leaked images in recent days, but now we can offer you an official first look at BMW’s new flagship convertible.

There were more than a few folks disappointed to learn that the 6-Series Cabriolet was going away. But if you have the budget, it’s going to be difficult to complain about the new 850i ragtop. Oh, and yes, it skips the hardtop approach taken by some premium convertibles in favor of a more traditional cloth top.

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Set to make its official debut later this month at the Los Angeles Auto Show, the sleek new cabrio has a lot in common, as you’d likely expect, with the coupe version of the 8-Series that made its formal debut early in October at the Paris Motor Show. (more…)

Siemens Jumps into Autonomous Vehicle Race

Supplier converts Munich campus to real-world AV test facility.

by on Oct.31, 2018

Siemens has jumped into the autonomous vehicle business, converting its Munich campus into a testing facility.

Siemens Mobility, along with five partners, is launching a test of connected and autonomous driving at the company’s Munich research campus to test and refine intelligent infrastructure, cloud-based software service and automated electric vehicles.

“Our research project is another milestone to serving the so-called first and last mile in a multimodal mobility mix that includes autonomous vehicles,” said Michael Peter, CEO of Siemens Mobility.

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“Our infrastructure is a critically important component for providing secure and efficient on-demand transportation in urban and rural areas,” he said. (more…)

Fiat Chrysler’s Q3 Profits Dinged Due to Diesel Emission Charges

Record earnings before diesel issue may mean dividend payment.

by on Oct.30, 2018

Fiat Chrysler's third quarter earnings were hurt by charges tied to possible diesel emissions violations.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles net income dropped 38% during the third quarter despite record adjusted earnings before interest and taxes of 2 billion euros, or $2.27 billion, opening the door for the company to pay its first dividend since it was re-organized in 2014.

However, net profit decline 38% to 600 million euros, or $681.16 million, including a 700 million charge related to U.S. diesel emissions matters. FCA is now under investigation by U.S. Department of Justice for the company’s failure to disclose software on about 104,000 diesel-powered pickups and SUVs that regulators said could be similar to the “defeat devices” Volkswagen AG used to cheat emissions-testing on millions of its diesel-powered vehicles.

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FCA’s worldwide shipments increased by 3% and net revenue grew by 9% to 28.8 billion euros during the quarter. Despite cost of the diesel penalties, FCA’s adjusted EBIT in the North America region grew by 51% with margin at 10.2%, according to the financial information released by the company. (more…)

Green Car of the Year Finalists Revealed

“Green” comes in many forms.

by on Oct.30, 2018

The 2019 Insight is Honda's third attempt to market a mainstream, entry-level hybrid: an a possible winner of Green Car of the Year.

Not all that long ago, motorists looking for an environmentally friendly vehicle were likely in for a long search, with only a handful of models on the market. These days, it’s becoming a lot easier, as more and more new alternatives come to market, seemingly almost every week.

And that’s convinced the organizers of the annual Green Car of the Year Awards to expand their program this year. “Green comes in many forms,” they explain, noting that this year will bring new awards for the Luxury Green Car of the Year and the Green SUV of the Year.

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The three awards will be handed out at the Los Angeles International Auto Show just a month from now, and could see the jury highlight the wide range of “green” technologies now available to American motorists. (more…)

FCA May Reassess Plan to Move Ram Pickup out of Mexico

Company may need to continue production South of the Border to meet strong demand.

by on Oct.29, 2018

Fiat Chrysler outsold rival Ford Motor Co. in September, led by strong sales of its Ram pickup truck.

While Fiat Chrysler Automobiles said Monday it is moving ahead with plans to shift production of its Ram pickup from Mexico to Michigan, a statement appeared to open up the opportunity that it will continue to build the newly redesigned truck at its Saltillo, Mexico plant.

Such a decision would be a critical one by new FCA CEO Michael Manley and likely reflect the fact that demand for the 2019 Ram truck is so strong the company’s current U.S. operations simply can’t keep up, resulting in potential customers having to shift to products like the Ford F-Series and the two newly redesigned trucks launched this year by General Motors.

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“Moving the Ram Heavy Duty to Warren from Mexico is our plan of record. Of course, we always assess latest market and economic conditions when making significant industrial moves,” FCA said in a statement on Monday. (more…)

Jaguar Land Rover Dedicates New European Plant

New site offers flexibility and workforce diversity.

by on Oct.26, 2018

Jaguar Land Rover put the finishing touches on tis new $1.59 billion assembly plant in Nitra, Slovakia.

Jaguar Land Rover has opened its state-of-the-art $1.59 billion manufacturing facility in Nitra, Slovakia.

While the core of its business is in the United Kingdom, Jaguar Land Rover’s investment in Nitra marks the latest step in the company’s global expansion strategy following the opening of its Chinese joint venture in 2014 and Brazilian plant in 2016, JLR officials said.

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The creation of new international factories allows Jaguar Land Rover to offer its customers even more exciting new models, protect against currency fluctuations and support a globally competitive business. (more…)

Tesla’s Musk Says Company Focusing on What’s Next

Company looking to expand Model 3 production.

by on Oct.25, 2018

Tesla CEO Elon Musk is now focusing on the next task: another profitable quarter.

With a profitable quarter now in the books, Tesla CEO Elon Musk is looking to meet the next set of challenges, starting first with making a profit next quarter.

“It will be our aspiration for all quarters going forward,” he told analysts during the company’s earnings call yesterday. He also outlined additional goals for the company moving forward and dismissed negative notions about the company’s first profitable quarter in years.

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Musk said the company’s profit didn’t come at the expense of other things, such as cutting back on product development. In fact, he said he’d just approved the prototype for the Model Y and other improvements on the company’s second-generation Roadster. He confirmed the Model Y would be in production in 2020. (more…)

Daimler AG Stumbles as Third Quarter Earnings Drop

CEO Zetsche expresses optimism about fourth quarter.

by on Oct.25, 2018

Daimler AG's Dieter Zetsche expressed optimism about the fourth quarter.

Daimler Group earnings declined by 26% during the third quarter as earnings before interest and taxes dropped to 2.5 billion euros from the 3.4 billion posted in the third quarter of 2017.

Daimler’s net earnings of 1.76 billion euros were significantly below the prior-year figure of 2.23 billion euros but Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche said the outlook for the balance of the year was encouraging.

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“The automotive industry and thus also Daimler are still in a very challenging environment. The continued high demand from our customers makes us confident for the fourth quarter,” Zetsche said. (more…)