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Toyota Announces New Features for 2020 Model-Year Line-Up

Safety is focus of new upgrades.

by on Jun.14, 2019

For the 2020 model year, the Toyota plans to offer some upgrades across most of its vehicle line-up.

When Toyota Motor North America rolls out its vehicle line-up for the 2020 model year, they’ll sport two new features: Automatic Engine Shut Off and Automatic Park, as well as have options for a few others.

Starting with 2020 model year vehicles, Toyota will phase in an automatic park system, which is designed to help reduce the risk of roll-away vehicles. The feature will be available in vehicles with an electronic means of shifting and/or applying the parking brake.

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It will automatically shift the vehicle into the “park” position and/or apply the electronic parking brake, in the event the driver exits the vehicle without placing the vehicle in “park,” Toyota officials said. (more…)

Nissan Recruits New Design Chief from Lincoln

Woodhouse helped to lead luxury brand's renaissance.

by on Jun.14, 2019

Dave Woodhouse played a key roll in Lincoln's renaissance and is now heading up Nissan North America's design team.

Nissan has hired away the top designer at the Lincoln brand from the Ford Motor Co. to serve as its new design chief in North America.

David Woodhouse, who has overseen Lincoln design during Ford’s recent efforts to revive the brand, will serve as vice president, Nissan Design America, Nissan announced.

Business News!

In this role, Woodhouse will lead all Nissan and Infiniti design activities in North America. He will also serve on the company’s Global Nissan Design Management Committee. (more…)

Hyundai, Kia Invest in Autonomous Software Startup Aurora

Investment expands Korean automakers autonomous program.

by on Jun.13, 2019

Hyundai and Kia are investing in self-driving startup Aurora to accelerate its autonomous program.

Hyundai Motor Co. said it plans to invest in self-driving car software startup Aurora along with Kia Motors Corp. to speed up development of autonomous vehicle technologies.

“With the new investment, the companies have agreed to expand research to a wide range of models and to build an optimal platform for Hyundai and Kia’s autonomous vehicles,” Hyundai said in a statement, according to Reuters.

Technology News!

Aurora said in a blog post that Hyundai and Kia’s investment is part of a series B financing round, which has now raised more than $600 million. (more…)

Ford Begins Testing Autonomous Vehicles in Detroit

Automaker working with Argo AI on self-driving program.

by on Jun.13, 2019

The new Ford Fusion Hybrid is a third-generation test vehicle that Argo AI is now testing in Detroit.

Ford Motor Co. has begun testing autonomous vehicles around its new engineering campus in Detroit’s Corktown neighborhood with its AV partner Pittsburgh-based Argo AI even as it launches a new research center in Israel with an eye on developing new technology.

Peter Rander, president of Argo AI, said the new vehicles being tested in Detroit are equipped with a significantly upgraded sensor suite, including new sets of radar and cameras with higher resolution and higher dynamic range.

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When trying to see an object that’s very far away, a lower resolution camera may only be able to represent it as a pixel or two. But with higher resolution, you may be able to get a dozen pixels out of the same far away object. In concert with upgraded software, this means our vehicles are getting better at seeing what’s farther ahead and classifying what it is, Rander said in a blog post on the Argo website. (more…)

Toyota, SoftBank Preparing Launch of Self-Driving Venture

Monet looks compete with other autonomous entities.

by on Jun.12, 2019

Monet Technologies, led by CEO Junichi Miyakawa, will operate the new self-driving joint venture created by Toyota Motor and SoftBank.

Toyota Motor and its partner SoftBank plan to begin operating a self-driving venture, originated by Monet, in Southeast Asia in 2020.

The move would mark a shift for Japan’s third biggest telco as it looks abroad for growth and potentially bring it into competition with portfolio companies of parent SoftBank Group Corp. and its $100 billion Vision Fund, which has invested in major ride-hailing firms around the world.

Global News!

Monet, which is developing an on-demand self-driving service platform, is planning to export a basic version of the system, Chief Executive Junichi Miyakawa told Reuters. (more…)

Trump Criticizes GM Investment in China

Says company is having to pay more because of tariffs.

by on Jun.12, 2019

President Donald Trump criticized GM's investment in China on CNBC.

General Motors’ investment in China has come under fire from President Donald Trump who declared in recent interview it was a bad investment.

GM now sells more cars in China than it does in the United States and during the past two decades the company has insisted the investment in China has not hurt its operations in the U.S. Instead, profits from its Chinese operations has helped it invest in new products in the United States and helped it meet pension obligations.

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Only a small part of GM production of more than 3 million units is exported back to the U.S. and the Trump administration recently refused to roll back the tariffs on the Chinese-made Buicks GM sells in the U.S.  (more…)

First Drive: 2020 Land Rover Discovery Sport

New Disco relies on old Rover toughness and modern technology.

by on Jun.11, 2019

The 2020 Land Rover Discovery Sport features the brand's renown capability while mixing it a slew of new technology.

The new 2020 Land Rover Discovery Sport has been revised to make it more versatile and technologically advanced.

The new Discovery Sport strikes a balance between a bold evolution of the original design and the familiarity that comes with its capability. Design cues, including the clamshell hood, rising beltline and tapered roof remain, but the new model is a bold exterior evolution.

Reviews You Can Trust!

Modernity and refinement are reflected in the new front and rear bumpers, grille design and LED lights, making the Discovery Sport a compelling, sophisticated and sporty addition to the Discovery family. (more…)

Trump Administration Rejects Carmakers Pleas on Emissions

California at odds with federal government.

by on Jun.11, 2019

President Donald Trump thought he would win industry support from leaders about CAFE cuts but instead has seen opposition.

The Trump administration has turned down an auto industry request to find a compromise with the State of California on emission rules for new vehicles.

The Los Angeles Times reported the administration is moving forward with plans to weaken vehicle pollution rules, rejecting a last-minute appeal from the world’s largest car manufacturers to restart negotiations with California.

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The companies warned Trump the proposed plan to rollback anti-pollution regulations, fuel-economy standards could produce untenable instability for the industry that could hurt car companies’ bottom lines. (more…)

Ford Shuttering UK Engine Plant, Selling Russian Factories

Brexit driving automakers out of United Kingdom.

by on Jun.10, 2019

Ford is shutting down its Bridgend, South Wales, UK plant due to Brexit-related issues.

Ford Motor Co. is closing its engine factory in the United Kingdom as part of an overhaul of its unprofitable European operations while also selling off its factories in Russia.

The shutdown of the Bridgend, South Wales plant, which employs more than 1,500 workers and builds engines for several Ford models in Europe, including the Fiesta and B-Max, comes amid the turmoil spawned by Brexit.

Global News!

Automakers have said Brexit will make it more expensive and more difficult to import components from the European Union. (more…)

BMW Opens $1 Billion Plant in Mexico

Automaker opens site despite Trump administration's tariff threats.

by on Jun.10, 2019

BMW opened its $1 billion plant in San Luis Potosi, Mexico, despite the turmoil surrounding the Trump administration's tariff threats.

Amid the turmoil about U.S. tariffs on Mexican made goods, the BMW Group dedicated its newest assembly plant in San Luis Potosi, Mexico.

“The new plant in San Luis Potosi is an important pillar of the BMW Group’s global production strategy. We aim to achieve a balance in our production and sales in the different world regions,” Oliver Zipse, member of the Board of Management of BMW AG responsible for Production, said during the ceremony.

Business News!

“We want to strengthen our footprint in important and growing markets. San Luis Potosi will significantly boost our regional production flexibility in the Americas. From here, we are delivering our locally produced BMW 3 Series sedan to customers worldwide.” (more…)


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