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Toyota’s Patent Leader Among Automakers

Automaker maintains leadership position, but Ford only three spots lower.

by on Jun.19, 2018

Toyota Engineer Cassie Grant works on advancing the technologies of a vehicle display meter.

While Akio Toyoda spoke of transforming the company that bears his family name from an automaker into a mobility company, Toyota’s engineers and scientists have steadily expanded their research and development efforts to include mobility solutions and technology during the past several years.

The results of their continuous improvement of existing technology and innovation of new solutions has generated a lot of patents.

Electrifying!

In 2017, Toyota was awarded 2,015 patents by the United States Patent and Trademark Office — the most of any automaker, according to records compiled annually by the Intellectual Property Owners Association. (more…)

Apple Raises Profile in Race for Autonomous Vehicles with Waymo Exec Hire

Hiring Waydo signals company's intentions.

by on Jun.19, 2018

Former Waymo engineer has moved over to Apple and Project Titan.

Apple has hired one of Waymo’s top engineers, Jamie Waydo, to work on its secretive self-driving car program named Project Titan.

According to Silicon Valley news site, The Information, the tech giant Waydo, who was focused on making sure software and hardware worked together in the name of safety. The question is whether or not Waymo will fight back.

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Waymo sued Uber after the ride-sharing company acquired a company founded by an engineer who had left Google to launch his own start up. The $1.8 billion lawsuit was ultimately settled for less than $275 million after several bitter exchanges in federal court. (more…)

Ford Jumping into the Taxi Business

NYC's Nissan mandate is going away, opening the market.

by on Jun.18, 2018

Ford's new Transit Connect Taxi is powered by a diesel engine expected to get at least 30 mpg when testing is complete.

The taxi business is about to get more competitive as Ford prepares to introduce two new taxis: the new 2019 Transit Connect Taxi with a diesel engine and the 2019 Fusion Hybrid Taxi.

“Taxi operators want vehicles that are reliable, efficient and comfortable,” said Imran Jalal, brand and communications manager for Ford fleet marketing.

Product News!

“Transit Connect Taxi and Fusion Hybrid Taxi offer all three with special attention to potentially help lower fuel costs. Plus, Fusion Hybrid underscores our commitment to introduce even more efficient and capable hybrids in the future.” (more…)

UAW President Jones Shakes Up Roles of Top Negotiators

Estrada moved from GM to FCA.

by on Jun.15, 2018

UAW former GM VP Cindy Estrada was part of an investigation by federal officials about the potential misuse of union funds. She now heads up FCA.

In one of his first moves, Gary Jones, the newly elected United Auto Workers president, tapped three new vice presidents to handle day-to-day relations and negotiations with Detroit three auto workers, and the choices included a few surprises.

Jones shifted Cindy Estrada from the General Motors Department, the first woman to head what has been long regarded the union’s flagship department, to lead negotiations at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. Department.

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Jones said he selected Estrada for Fiat Chrysler because the work force is younger and more technically savvy then their counterparts at GM and Ford, which have not hired as many new employees as FCA.  (more…)

New UAW Chief Takes Office With Full War Chest

Officers get 31% raise after rank-and-file gets dues hike.

by on Jun.15, 2018

Newly elected UAW President Gary Jones acknowledges the crowd at the union's quadrennial meeting.

The United Auto Workers installed a new president this week as Gary Jones replaced Dennis Williams in the corner office at union headquarters in Solidarity House in Detroit.

During its quadrennial Constitutional Convention, the union also installed a new Secretary Treasurer, Ray Curry, and one new vice president Rory Gamble.

Union News!

Jones had been part of the UAW’s financial staff at union headquarters during for several years before returning to his home region in the western United States to serve two terms as a regional director and as a member of the union’s executive board before becoming the candidate of the union’s administration caucus, which controls all of the levers of power inside the union. (more…)

Diesel Scandal Continues to Grow With New Daimler Recall

Company order to recall 238K vehicles in Germany.

by on Jun.14, 2018

Daimler AG's Dieter Zetsche attempted to assuage concerns of investors about diesel engines during the company's annual meeting.

The diesel cheating scandal is almost three years old, but it just seems to keep getting bigger.

Daimler AG has been hit by the German government with an order to recall 238,000 vehicles in Germany after they were identified has being equipped with illegal software that hide diesel emissions.

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In all, there are a total of 774,000 diesel vehicles across Europe, containing the so-called “defeat devices” software and Daimler indicated it would recall all of them Daimler said it would refit the software but denied any wrongdoing. (more…)

Hyundai Ready to Turn Kona EV Loose

New EV ready to compete with segment leaders.

by on Jun.13, 2018

Hyundai unveiled the all-electric version version of its Kona model at the NY Auto Show.

The battery-electric version of the Kona, Hyundai’s new crossover utility vehicle, will have a range of 250 miles when it goes on sale next fall.

Michael O’Brien, Hyundai vice president of corporate, product and digital planning, said during a media gathering in Detroit that the EV version of the Kona will have the range to match that of the Chevrolet Bolt, which is currently stated to be 238 miles.

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Hyundai is still in the planning stages of the launch of the Kona EV had has not yet decided whether to make it available in all 50 states. However, it will definitely be available in the 10 “Zev States” that follow the emissions standards set down by the State of California to encourage the use of electric vehicles. (more…)

GM Increasing Bolt Production, Per Sustainability Report

The Orion plant will also produce Maven autonomous car.

by on Jun.13, 2018

Chevy Bolt production will be increased for this year and next due to rising demand for the EV.

General Motors Co. said will increase production of its Bolt battery-electric vehicle this year in response to global demand, according to 2017 sustainability report it released ahead of the company’s annual shareholders meeting.

The Bolt EV is built at GM’s Orion Assembly plant in suburban Detroit.

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GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra also said at least 20 new all-electric vehicles will launch globally by 2023, and that GM is partnering with utilities and governments to accelerate the growth of charging infrastructure as it looks to deliver on its vision of an “all-electric, emissions-free” future. “We believe the future is electric,” she said. (more…)

GM Impacted Already by Rising Costs Due to Trump Tariffs

CEO Barra says no changes planned yet.

by on Jun.12, 2018

General Motors Chairman and CEO Mary Barra talks with media prior to the start of the 2018 General Motors annual shareholders meeting.

Tariffs on aluminum and steel are already beginning to push up costs General Motors top executive acknowledged before the company’s annual shareholders meeting in Detroit.

GM is beginning to see cost increases as a result of the tariffs imposed on aluminum and steel by the Trump administration, GM Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Marry Barra said Tuesday ahead of the company’s meeting.

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Barra told reporters that the trade negotiations are still incomplete so it is difficult to have a complete picture of the impact of tariffs will have on the General Motors or the automobile industry in general.  (more…)

UAW, FCA Head to Court to Retrieve Stolen Funds

Union pledges safeguards in place to prevent future problems.

by on Jun.12, 2018

UAW President Dennis Williams told members that new safeguards will prevent future attempts to steal from training funds.

The scandal-ridden UAW-Chrysler National Training Center has filed a civil lawsuit against a former Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. executive and the widow of United Auto Workers leader in a bid to claw back millions of dollars they embezzled from the NTC during the years.

Dennis Williams, the UAW outgoing president, also took aim at the theft of the joint funds during a speech on the opening day of the unions Constitution Convention.

Union News!

“To be clear: those who misallocated or misused training center funds betrayed our trust,” the retiring president told the 1,100 delegates gathered in Detroit “The UAW has zero tolerance for corruption, wrongdoing, at any level of this organization.” (more…)

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