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Ford’s Autonomic Inks Deal in China With Alibaba Cloud

New deal boosts autonomous vehicle business potential

by on Aug.17, 2018

Liu Fei, director of Automobile Division, Alibaba Cloud (left) and Gavin Sherry, CEO and co-founder of Autonomic, after signing the deal.

Ford Motor Co. has taken another step toward bolstering its sinking operations in China with a new partnership to put autonomous vehicle technology into the Chinese market.

Autonomic, a wholly owned subsidiary of Ford Smart Mobility LLC and the cloud computing arm of Alibaba Group, one of the world’s leading Internet-oriented companies, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to bring to China the Transportation Mobility Cloud – a transportation and mobility solution for connected vehicles developed by Autonomic.

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“The TMC is positioned to help automakers succeed and meet growing demand for connected vehicles and mobility services in China,” said Gavin Sherry, co-founder and CEO of Autonomic. (more…)

First Drive: 2018 Nissan Titan

V8-powered beast is also nimble.

by on Aug.16, 2018

For 2018, Nissan offers a full range of rugged TITAN half-ton pickups, including Single Cab, King Cab and Crew Cab body configurations.

Everyone knows that the truck market is dominated by Chevrolet, Ford and Ram. It’s sort of a given.

But when all is said done Nissan also builds a very good full-size pickup truck, the Titan, which was updated for the 2018 model year. It is comfortable, maneuverable and rides well on everyday errands while offering a lot of the carrying capacity that has come to define the pickup truck over the past 100 years. It is also equipped with full complement of the latest technology.

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On the outside the Nissan Titan is certainly a handsome with bold face and grille, tall cab and rear box that’s flanked by a pair of muscular wheel wells. Nissan’s focus on improved aerodynamics incorporates a front spoiler, roof and tailgate spoilers, front tow hook hole cover, underbody covers, rear tire wind deflectors and a seal between the cab and bed. The Titan also features an Active Grille Shutter, which helps reduce drag and LED headlights and taillights also are available as are puddle lamps. (more…)

Ford Builds on Racing Past With New Cobra Jet

New 'Stang ready in time for annual Dream Cruise.

by on Aug.16, 2018

The 2018 Ford Mustang Cobra Jet debuted just in time for the ultimate muscle car gathering: the Woodward Dream Cruise.

Ford Motor Co. took advantage of the preparations for the Woodward Dream Cruise to unveil a drag-racing version of the Ford Mustang.

Eric Cin, director of vehicle performance and accessories, said the new Cobra Jet will be the quickest drag racing Mustang ever, capable of covering a quarter-mile in the mid-8-second range.

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The 2018 Mustang Cobra Jet is a limited-edition turnkey race car that honors the 50th anniversary of the original that dominated drag strips in 1968, according to Cin, who said Ford plans to build only 68 and the demand already exceeds the limited supply. (more…)

Chinese EV Maker Nio Eyes $1.8B IPO on NYSE

EV maker joins other Chinese automakers on exchange.

by on Aug.16, 2018

Chinese EV maker Nio is preparing its $1.8 billion IPO for the New York Stock Exchange.

A Chinese electric vehicle start-up, Nio, which is backed by one of China’s largest technology companies, is preparing for a $1.8 billion initial public offering of its American depositary.

It represents the biggest U.S. listing by a Chinese automaker, according to reports from China.

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Nio is backed by Tencent Holdings Ltd, a company with holdings the internet, technology and gaming as well as other ventures, including the emerging automotive-oriented mobility industry, has is seeking a float of up to $1.8 billion, according to its filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. It will go public on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “NIO.”  (more…)

Chevy Goes Big With Engines for New Tahoe, Suburban

Company offering 6.2-liter V8 in more trim levels.

by on Aug.15, 2018

The new Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban Premier Plus Special Editions feature the 420 horsepower 6.2-liter V8 engine.

Facing renewed competition from the new Lincoln Navigator, General Motors is taking steps to beef up the market position of two of its most profitable vehicles, the Chevrolet Tahoe and Chevrolet Suburban.

Chevrolet is expanding the availability of the 6.2-liter V-8 engine within its full-size SUV line-up by introducing the Tahoe and Suburban Premier Plus special editions, GM said.

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The available 6.2-liter V-8 produces 420 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque. The engine comes with three state-of-the-art technologies — direct injection, Active Fuel Management and continuously variable valve timing — to make the most of power, torque and efficiency across a broad range of operating conditions. (more…)

Rising Inflation Challenges Profitability for Automakers

Car companies getting hit on rising material costs due to Trump tariffs.

by on Aug.14, 2018

Trucks are still protected in the U.S. by a 25% tariff, despite a lower tax on all other vehicles.

A rising rate of inflation now poses an additional threat to an auto industry already under pressure from new tariffs and trade restrictions.

From June 2017 to June 2018, the U.S. Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers rose 2.9%, the largest 12-month increase since the period ending February 2012, the U.S. Department of Labor. The Congressional Budget Office, in a report in which it indicated it expects U.S. economic growth to slow next year, also said this week it expects the rate inflation to top 3.1% through the last half of 2018.

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U.S. workers’ paychecks are worth less than they were a year ago, the Labor Department reported Friday, as modest wage gains have not kept pace with inflation. (more…)

Honda Adds Upgraded Safety Tech on 10th-Gen Civic

New option ups the safety factor for new Civic.

by on Aug.14, 2018

The 10th-generation Honda Civic gets a new "Sport" update as well as the Honda Sensing safety technology.

Honda is making its “Honda Sensing” driver assistance technology standard on the 2019 Honda Civic sedan and coupe.

The suite of safety technology, which includes collision mitigation braking with forward collision warning; road departure mitigation, incorporating lane departure warning, lane keeping assist and adaptive cruise control, is standard or available equipment on all Honda car and light truck nameplates, Honda officials noted.

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The 10th-generation Civic line-up for the 2019 model year will also include updated styling and new Sport trim for both body styles. (more…)

Jeep Museum May be in the Works With Help From FCA

New gallery might be at Toledo plant.

by on Aug.13, 2018

The success of this year's Jeep Fest in Toledo has organizers thinking there might be enough support for a museum.xx

Auto museums aren’t exactly thriving these days but the fans in Toledo, Ohio, the birthplace of the iconic Jeep, are talking up the possibility of creating a Jeep Museum with help from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.

Dozens or rare Jeeps turned up this past weekend for the Jeep fest at the Sea Gate Convention Center in Toledo, which only served to bolster support for the idea, according to local news reports.

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Organizers of Jeep Fest, which attracted Jeep fans from 27 states, said they have held talks about establishing a museum with FCA, which has made the Jeep brands its major profit center since the old Chrysler Group’s 2009 bankruptcy. (more…)

Car Dealership Numbers Holding Steady in US

Online sales not hurting auto dealers yet.

by on Aug.10, 2018

Auto dealership levels are virtually unchanged year-over-year, according to a new report.

Urban Science released statistics and insights today from its 2018 mid-year Automotive Franchise Activity Report, indicating continued stability in the number of automotive dealerships in the United States.

As of July 1, 2018, there were 18,252 dealerships (rooftops), a 0.2% increase from the Jan. 1, 2018, total of 18,213. The number of franchises, or brands a dealership sells, also experienced a period of stability, slightly decreasing from 32,029 on Jan.1, 2017 to 32,024 as of July 1, 2018.

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Despite the shrinkage of “brick-and-mortar” retailing that has emptied shopping malls across the country and threats from online sales, car dealerships, the centerpiece of automotive retailing are holding their own, according to a new study by Detroit-based Urban Science. (more…)

California Thumbs Nose at Trump on Clean Air Standard

State plans to adhere to Obama-era rules.

by on Aug.10, 2018

California plans to stay with its tougher, Obama-era fuel economy and emissions standards.

The California Air Resources Board has come out swinging in its battle with over clean-air and fuel efficiency standards.

CARB, which will bear the burden of any clash with the administration, re-affirmed its commitment to the standards set in place by an agreement between the State of California and the Obama administration to ensure that cars and light-duty trucks for model years 2021–25 continue to meet standards that protect public health, save consumers money, and fight climate change.

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“Dirty, gas guzzling vehicles are a direct assault on public health and foreclose our ability to rein in air pollution and greenhouse gases,” said CARB Chair Mary D. Nichols in a statement. “California will take all actions to ensure that the smart standards we developed in partnership with the auto industry to cut greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles stay in place.” (more…)

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