Archive for the ‘Politicians’ Category

Traffic Fatalities Fall in 2017, Stemming Two-Year Rise

Decline despite Americans driving more than ever.

by on Oct.04, 2018

Traffic fatalities in the U.S. fell for the first time in two years, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

After two years of increased traffic deaths on U.S. roadways, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported fatalities fell 1.8% in 2017.

The previous increases came despite newer vehicles being the safest ever built so the causes of the spike – which came after nearly two decades of declines – were difficult to pinpoint for federal safety officials to nail down.

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In 2017, deaths related to pedestrians, drunk driving, speeding, bicyclists and motorcyclists all fell. The overall rate of fatalities fell to 1.16 deaths per 100 million miles traveled. This happened ever as Americans set another record for miles traveled behind the wheel, jumping 1.2% last year. (more…)

Electrify America Set Expand EV Charging Infrastructure

Stations designed to raise awareness for EVs.

by on Oct.04, 2018

Electrify America is getting ready to build $200 million worth of new EV fast chargers.

Electrify America, the organization created out of the Volkswagen diesel scandal to promote the use of electric vehicles, plans to invest $200 million in Zero Emission Vehicle infrastructure primarily in California.

The investment, which will start next summer and take 30 months to complete, will follow a plan outlined originally by the California Air Resources Board to raise awareness of electric-charging capacity.

Plug In!

Electrify America was established to implement the $2 billion ZEV Investment Commitment outlined in Volkswagen’s court-approved settlement involving 2.0-liter TDI diesel vehicles. (more…)

Unions Withhold Support for New NAFTA Touted by Trump

Leaders want to see how some provisions will be enforced.

by on Oct.03, 2018

UAW President Gary Jones wants to see how certain provisions of the new NAFTA are enforced before offering full-throated support of the deal.

One constituency, organized labor, is withholding its support to the revision to the North American Free Trade Agreement unveiled this week by President Donald Trump.

“For a quarter century NAFTA has been disastrous for working people in the U.S., Canada and Mexico and a gift to corporations offshoring good U.S. jobs,” the UAW, which supported Trump’s push to revamp NAFTA, said in a statement.

Dig Deeper!

“The true test of a new NAFTA agreement will be in whether it protects and enhances opportunities for the U.S. workforce and leads to higher wages and benefits for UAW members and manufacturing workers who have suffered for far too long,” Gary Jones, the UAW’s new president noted.  (more…)

Flying Cars Zooming Toward Takeoff

Pal-V, Terrafugia, Uber, Google all readying flying autos.

by on Oct.02, 2018

A convoy of Pal-V Liberty flying cars makes their way through the countryside.

A Dutch company called Pal-V said it had started taking orders for its Liberty model, a three-wheeled car which sprouts a tail-plane, a propeller and helicopter-like rotor blades when the driver wants to fly.

Before it takes off, the wings and propellers are folded up, against the bodywork so it can maneuver on city streets.

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The Times of London, in its report on the Liberty, noted that entrepreneurs have long promised that flying cars are hovering just around the corner. (more…)

NAFTA Gone! United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement Takes Over

New deal supplants old one; changes may not help auto industry.

by on Oct.01, 2018

President Donald Trump says the new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement means plenty of new jobs for U.S. workers.

This story has been updated with new information.

Talking and hand-wringing has shifted to hand shakes and back slapping as renegotiation of the long-standing trade agreement between the United States, Canada and Mexico is finally complete — with significant changes for the auto industry.

The new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) replaces the $1.2 trillion North American Free Trade Agreement and with it, comes many new jobs, according to its main driver, President Donald Trump. However, the auto industry is taking a wait-and-see attitude.

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“These measures will support many – hundreds of thousands – American jobs,” Trump said in remarks at the White House. “It means far more American jobs, and these are high-quality jobs.”  (more…)

Brexit Woes Starting to Impact Automakers

Companies warning of job losses in the UK.

by on Oct.01, 2018

Toyota Plant Director Marvin Cooke told the BBC that the plant could close if a "no-plan" Brexit takes place. (Photo credit: BBC)

With the United States finally resolving the trade agreement with Mexico and Canada, the Brexit saga automatically elevates to the level of grave importance for automakers.

Manufacturers have warned for months that Brexit, Great Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union approved by UK voters two years ago, holds devastating consequences from automakers. Carmakers with factories in Britain are already paying more for parts because of the devaluation of the British pound.

Global News!

Toyota Motor Corp. is now threatening manufacturing jobs in the UK. The company could be forced to halt production at its Midlands U.K. factory in the event Britain leaves the European Union without a deal, the plant’s managing director, Marvin Cooke, told the BBC over the weekend. (more…)

Musk Settles: Pays SEC $20M, Resigns as Chairman

Tesla also paying $20M bringing total to $40M in penalties.

by on Sep.29, 2018

Tesla CEO Elon Musk settled with the SEC paying a $20 million fine and resigning as the chairman of the company.

After an initial round of defiance, Tesla CEO Elon Musk elected to take the path of least resistance with the Securities and Exchange Commission, agreeing to resign as chairman and pay a $20 million fine.

Tesla will pay an additional $20 million as part of the deal with the agency, bringing the total paid to $40 million.

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“The total package of remedies and relief announced today are specifically designed to address the misconduct at issue by strengthening Tesla’s corporate governance and oversight to protect investors,” Stephanie Avakian, co-director of the SEC’s Enforcement Division, said in a statement. (more…)

In Rare Rebuke, Senate Republicans Blast Trump Over Tariffs

President rejects meeting with PM Trudeau while warning of attack on Canadian autos.

by on Sep.27, 2018

President Donald Trump has been rebuked by Republican lawmakers and automakers for enacting $200 billion in tariffs against China.

President Donald Trump and his increasingly aggressive trade measures are coming under fire from unusual quarters: the GOP side of the Senate and normally Republican-friendly automakers.

The backlash comes just days after the Trump Administration enacted $200 billion in new tariffs on Chinese imports and in the wake of the president’s decision not to meet with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Instead, Trump is warning of new barriers to Canadian-made autos and auto parts that could create nightmares for an auto industry dependent upon a continent-wide production network.

Trade News!

The White House is also readying possible tariffs on European-made automobiles, something that could draw the EU into what is rapidly becoming a global trade war. And the latest threats have finally triggered a pushback from Republicans who have, until now, been loath to seem at odds with the former businessman now leading the country. (more…)

CAFE Standards Hearing Hits Metro Detroit

Automakers tell Trump to keep CAFE unchanged from Obama standards.

by on Sep.25, 2018

Jim Hackett, Ford president and CEO, said last week that his company was in favor of keeping the Obama administration fuel economy standards.

The public hearings on the Trump administration’s proposal to roll back corporate average fuel economy standards, or CAFE, headed to the Detroit area after officials spent a day in California getting blasted for the new standards.

The first hearing was held in Fresno, California, and saw a mix of local and state politicians as well as environmental groups take the administration to task for scaling the back the fuel economy standards to current levels until 2026 rather than keeping the 54.5 mpg standard expected for 2025.

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“California will take whatever actions are needed to protect our people and follow the law,” Mary Nichols, chairwoman of the California Air Resources Board, testified at the hearing in central California, which has some of the nation’s worst air pollution. (more…)

The Beast is Loose: New Presidential Limo is on the Prowl

Over-sized Cadillac set to give Pres. Trump his first ride to UN.

by on Sep.24, 2018

The new version of "The Beast," the nickname for the presidential limo, roamed the streets for the first time in New York City.

There’s a beast on the prowl in Manhattan. Make that “The Beast,” the nickname that’s been used for years to describe the heavily fortified limousines used for U.S. presidents. An all-new version, a specially designed Cadillac, made its debut on the streets of New York City Sunday and will be put to work on its first official assignment chauffeuring President Donald Trump to the United Nations Tuesday.

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This marks the first time the president has gotten new wheels since President Barack Obama was inaugurated back in January 2009, and it’s the product of a $15.8 million contract that General Motors won back in 2014. (more…)