Archive for the ‘Markets’ Category

Walmart Set to Add Super Fast-Chargers in 34 States

Chargers will deliver up to 200 miles in 10 minutes.

by on Apr.19, 2018

The new Walmart chargers will be capable of boosting range by as much as 20 miles a minute.

Walmart, the world’s largest retailer could soon operate one of the nation’s larger vehicle charging networks.

The Arkansas-based company is partnering up with Electrify America to set up 100 fast-charger stations at stores in 34 states by mid-2019. That’s part of 2,000 chargers Electrify America aims to have in place by then at 500 stations across the U.S.

Electrifying!

“Along with providing our customers with an enhanced shopping experience through added convenience, this initiative also allows us to contribute to the expansion of our nation’s EV charging station infrastructure,” said Mark Vanderhelm, Vice President of Energy for Walmart, Inc.

(more…)

Cargo Expanding Opportunities for Ridesharing Drivers

Company offering new services to users.

by on Apr.19, 2018

Cargo is offering Uber and other ridesharing drivers a way to expand the services they offer and get more cash.

Carsharing is expected to re-shape the automotive business, but it is also creating business opportunities that go beyond the rides offered by companies such as Uber and Lyft.

Cargo, self-described as an “in-car commerce” platform for the rideshare economy, has partnered with The Coca-Cola Company to offer beverages to thousands of rideshare cars across the U.S. that are equipped with Cargo apps and systems.

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“We’re very excited to enter this new distribution channel in rideshare with Cargo,” said John Carroll, vice president and general manager eCommerce for Coca-Cola.  (more…)

Brand boss de Nysschen out in Shake-Up at Cadillac

Move comes at launch of critical new products.

by on Apr.18, 2018

Johan de Nysschen, now former Caddy chief, said in New York last month Caddy's upcoming product lines could double current sales.

Just weeks after presiding over the debut of two critical new products, the CT6 V-Sport sedan and XT4 sport-utility vehicle, Johan de Nysschen is out as the head of the Cadillac brand, replaced by Steve Carlisle, a fast-track executive credited with major turnarounds for parent General Motors in Canada and Thailand.

With extensive experience in the global luxury car market, including stints with BMW, Audi and Infiniti, de Nysschen laid out broad plans for Cadillac’s revival after joining the brand in 2014. That ranged from additions to its product portfolio to the decision to move Caddy from Detroit to New York City to give it more distance from the parent company and put it at the center of one of the country’s biggest luxury car markets. But several sources suggested senior GM management was growingly increasingly concerned about Caddy’s weak performance in its home market.

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“We appreciate Johan’s efforts over the last four years in setting a stronger foundation for Cadillac,” said General Motors President Dan Ammann, who helped lure de Nysschen from Infiniti to Cadillac. “Looking forward, the world is changing rapidly, and, beginning with the launch of the new XT4, it is paramount that we capitalize immediately on the opportunities that arise from this rate of change. This move will further accelerate our efforts in that regard.” (more…)

Walking a Tightrope: Ford Trying to Please All with New Mustang Variants

The original pony car continues to draw new fans.

by on Apr.18, 2018

The Ford Mustang is celebrating 54 years, and the current best-selling sports car in the world intends to remain so.

(This story has been updated with new information.)

You can’t stand still in the muscle car market. What’s hot today could be all but forgotten tomorrow. That’s something Ford Motor Co. learned when rival General Motors brought back the Chevrolet Camaro in 2010, delivering a sucker punch to the long-dominant Ford Mustang.

Since launching an all-new version of the Mustang to mark the nameplate’s 50th anniversary four years ago, Ford has retaken its crown as king of the pony car hill. It has now been the world’s best-selling sports car for three years in a row.

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And Ford is determined to maintain that lead with a series of Mustang variants set to come to market during the next 18 months. That includes not only the latest version of the GT500 but a first-ever Mustang hybrid. (more…)

Teens Improving Some Areas of Distracted Driving, Studies Reveal

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month.

by on Apr.18, 2018

Teen drivers are still texting and driving at alarming rates, but those rates are coming down slightly.

If there is a “symbol” for distracted driving, it’s the texting-while-driving teenager barreling down the road. While crashes remain the single largest cause of death for teens, things are improving in some areas.

A recent American Automobile Association poll revealed that 94% of teen drivers acknowledge the dangers of texting and driving, while 35% of those polled admitted to still committing the act. That’s an improvement in terms of cutting down on that behavior.

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April is Distracted Driving Awareness month. Distracted driving is the cause of a quarter of all crashes, but that number jumps to 58% when teenagers are involved. It takes only three seconds for a driver’s attention to be diverted for a crash to occur – an issue that is exacerbated in teens who don’t have years of driving experience. (more…)

Toyota Continues to Count on Cars

Last year's Camry gets support from new Avalon, Corolla hatchback.

by on Apr.18, 2018

The 2019 Toyota Avalon is the latest sign that the future is bright for cars at Toyota.

Unlike some of its major rivals, Toyota isn’t ready to give up on the passenger car market. If anything they are getting new models ready that are expected to build on the company strong position in car side of the business, Toyota officials said this week as they showed off two new models during a press preview in Southern California this week.

“We’re still very, very bullish on the passenger cars,” said Ed Laukes, group vice president of marketing for the Toyota Division during the preview, which highlighted the 2019 Toyota Avalon and 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback. The Avalon goes on sales later this spring and the Corolla hatchback will appear later this year.

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Last week, General Motors announced it was takings its big passenger-car plant in Lordstown, Ohio, down to one shift at the end of June because of the falling demand for compact cars. (more…)

Gas Prices on the Rise as Temps Do the Same

Summer driving season a month away, but prices on the move.

by on Apr.18, 2018

Gas prices continue to rise as the summer driving season creeps ever closer.

Gasoline continues to get more expensive across the U.S. even though the beginning of the summer driving season is still more than a month away, according to the survey of prices at the pump by AAA.

With the price of gasoline averaging $2.71 per gallon, prices are at their highest point in nearly three years. On the week, the national average increased a nickel.

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“Expensive crude oil prices, unrest in the Middle East, strong domestic demand, record production rates and global oil supply sur have created the perfect storm to drive spring gas prices toward new heights,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson.  (more…)

Ford Suffers, GM Coasts in March Sales in China

Volkswagen posts a sales increased in March.

by on Apr.17, 2018

Strong Malibu sales in March helped GM to a small sales gain of 2%.

Ford Motor Co. saw its sales in China, the world’s largest automotive market, drop by 11% during March, while General Motors eked out a 2% gain as its sales continue to grow.

GM, which will now report its China sales quarterly rather than monthly in the future, said its joint ventures in China delivered a March record of 352,346 vehicles. Buick and Cadillac enjoyed record deliveries in March, while Chevrolet grew 35% from a year earlier, GM said.

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Sales in the first three months of 2018 increased 8% on an annual basis to 986,052 units. (more…)

Model 3 Production Halt Raises New Worries About Tesla

Automaker wants to “improve automation and systematically address bottlenecks.”

by on Apr.17, 2018

Tesla is shutting down its plant temporarily to resolve production problems that have delayed Model 3 production.

Tesla is temporarily idling its troubled Fremont, California assembly plant for as long as five days, the automaker has confirmed, in order to “improve automation and systematically address bottlenecks.”

The factory, originally built by General Motors, is Tesla’s only automotive manufacturing facility and currently produces the company’s three battery-electric vehicles, the Models S, X and 3. The latter EV is Tesla’s first “affordable,” long-range vehicle and is meant to push the company into the mainstream – and its balance sheet into the black.

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But the factory has been in what CEO Elon Musk calls “production hell” since the first Model 3 rolled off the line last July, running up unexpected deficits and leading some to question the company’s very survival. (more…)

China Phasing Out JV Rule Limiting Foreign Auto Plant Ownership

Rule has been major chafing point with foreign manufacturers – also helped build up domestic Chinese auto industry.

by on Apr.17, 2018

China is phasing out the rules requiring foreign automakers to adopt a Chinese company for a joint venture to do business.

China announced plans to phase out rules requiring foreign automakers to partner with domestic Chinese companies if they want to open an assembly plant in the booming market. The announcement comes barely a week after President Xi Jinping indicated the country would begin rolling back its 25% tariff on foreign-made autos.

The rule required companies like General Motors, Volkswagen and Toyota to give local companies like GAC and SAIC a 50% stake in their Chinese operations. That approach not only limited their profits but effectively also helped fund the development of the domestic Chinese auto industry, a number of those manufacturers now setting up brands of their own that they hope to turn into worldwide competitors.

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“Following a five-year transition period, all ownership restrictions will be lifted,” the National Development and Reform Commission said in a statement. (more…)