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Denso Readies Driver Monitor for Big Trucks

Supplier adapts tech for commercial vehicles.

by on May.16, 2018

Denise's adapted its driver monitor sensor for use in large commercial vehicles.

Denso Corp. is looking to keep drivers of large commercial vehicles alert and awake behind the wheel, or least let them know when they should pull over, with its newly released a driver status monitor that can be used by vehicles already on the road.

The driver status monitor is can be placed in existing vehicles on the road and can therefore accelerate the introduction of safety devices to large commercial vehicles.

Tech News!

If drowsy or distracted driving is detected, the monitor voices an alert. It is now sold by Denso Sales and Denso service stations across Japan and will be released outside the country later this year. (more…)

Honda Kicks Off Production of Two New Models

Honda Insight, Acura RDX heading to dealers shortly.

by on May.16, 2018

Acura RDX production is underway at Honda's plant in Ohio.

Honda is celebrating the start of production of two new vehicle this the all-new 2019 Honda Insight in Greensburg, Indiana, and the 2019 Acura RDX at its plant in East Liberty, Ohio.

The 2019 Acura RDX is described as the first in a new generation of Acura products built around Acura’s “Precision Crafted Performance” brand direction. The new RDX was a clean-sheet, top-to-bottom redesign of Acura’s perennial top-selling five-passenger luxury SUV, brought to life through new capital investment of $54 million in new technologies and processes at the East Liberty Auto Plant.

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“This new RDX defines the future of Acura, and our Ohio team did an incredible job preparing this first in a new generation of Acura vehicles for our customers,” said Jim Hefner, plant manager at the East Liberty Auto Plant. (more…)

Uber Rival Didi Chuxing Ready to Test Autonomous Vehicles in California

China-based ride-sharing company making inroads in the U.S.

by on May.15, 2018

Uber's autonomous vehicle testing has been suspended, but rival Didi Chuxing is now testing AVs in California.

Uber has scaled back its autonomous vehicle program after one of its self-driving vehicles killed a pedestrian in Arizona in March.

But one of its major rivals for ride-sharing dollars around the world appears to be charging ahead.

Pushing the Envelope!

Didi Chuxing, the China-based ride-hailing service that bought Uber’s business in China last year, obtained a permit to test autonomous vehicles on public roads in California. Didi is the latest to join the growing list of companies developing self-driving vehicles in the state but perhaps one of the most significant because of the company’s huge presence in China, the world’s largest ride-sharing market, and its potential global reach. (more…)

Fiat Chrysler Backs Off Proposed CAFE Rollbacks

Automaker changes tone about move to stifle tougher fuel economy rules.

by on May.15, 2018

FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne amended his position on the rollback of CAFE standards after meeting with President Trump.

This story has been updated with new information.

Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne is now adding to the remarks he made after a meeting with President Donald Trump in which he appeared to endorse the Trump administration’s efforts to roll back fuel economy standard and revoke the state of California’s ability to enforce tighter standards.

“I appreciated the opportunity to talk to the President today about our shared commitment to the automotive industry,” Marchionne said in a statement after the White House meeting at which Trump reportedly described Marchionne as his favorite person in the room.

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“Consumer preferences and technological advancements in our business are constantly evolving. Therefore, revisiting and assessing EPA standards, as was originally intended, is the right thing to do. With this process just beginning, it would be a mistake to jump to conclusions and pre-judge the outcome.  (more…)

US Seeing Gas Prices Rise Across the Country

Jump in gas prices costing average American $450 annually.

by on May.14, 2018

Folks are going to be spending more on gasoline in the weeks ahead as Iran sanctions and summer blends are pushing prices higher.

The price of gasoline continues to climb with a gallon of gasoline costing 50 cents more than it did at this time last year.

At $2.87, the national gas price average jumped 6 cents on the week in part due to the White House’s decision to re-impose sanctions on Iran, according to AAA’s weekly survey.

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“The Administration’s move combined with the switchover to summer blend, growing global demand and shrinking supply continues to fuel pump prices as we approach the summer driving season,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. (more…)

Mercedes Shuts Down Alabama Plant due to Fire-Related Parts Shortage

Automaker looking for new source for parts.

by on May.14, 2018

Mercedes-Benz has halted production of SUVs, like the GLS, at its Vance, Alabama production line.

The parts shortage that cut production at Ford, General Motors and Fiat Chrysler has forced Mercedes-Benz to stop building sport-utility vehicles at its assembly plant in Vance, Alabama, the German automaker confirmed.

Meanwhile, Ford Motor Co. has informed employees idled last week that the temporary layoff will extend through this week.

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The Mercedes-Benz U.S International Inc. plant in Alabama exhausted its supply of cockpit cross-members and canceled production for its SUV operations, Felyicia Jerald, MBUSI spokeswoman, said in an e-mail. SUV production halted Thursday, Jerald said. (more…)

Mitsubishi Motors Profits Rebound Big in FY17

Third leg of Alliance enjoys turnaround year.

by on May.11, 2018

The new Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross is helping to draw new buyers to the Japanese brand.

Once considered an also ran, Mitsubishi Motor Co has found new life on the heels of its alliance with Renault and Nissan.

Mitsubishi Motors reported net sales were up 15% year-on-year to 2.19 trillion yen, or $20.1 billion, for Fiscal Year 2017, ending March 31, 2018. Operating profit rose sharply to 98.2 billion yen, or $899.5 million, representing an operating margin of 4.5%, compared with an operating profit of 5.1 billion yen, or $45.8 million, in the same period of Fiscal Year 2016.

Industry News!

The company generated net income of 107.6 billion yen, $988.3 million, for the latest 12-month period, reversing a net loss of 198.5 billion yen, or $1.8 billion, in the prior fiscal year, the company reported. (more…)

Ford Execs Fend Off Shareholder Concerns About Emissions, Compensation

Shareholders express thoughts about company, execs at annual meeting.

by on May.10, 2018

Ford CEO Jim Hackett and Chairman Bill Ford told shareholders that they are in favor of leaving CAFE standards where they are.

Ford Motor Co. top officers fended off challenges from environmentalists and stockholders during the company’s annual meeting, but shareholder dissatisfaction was clear once the votes were counted.

Executive Chairman William Clay Ford Jr. said there was a lot of “misunderstanding” about the company’s position on corporate average fuel economy, which the Trump administration has proposed rolling back.

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“We are not asking for a rollback. We want California at the table. We are working for one national standard that includes California,” the chairman insisted in response to a question during the “online” meeting by shareholder, who asked about the company’s lobbying efforts. (more…)

UPS Buys Electric Delivery Vans for European Cities

Delivery company keeps up history of using alt-fuel vehicles.

by on May.10, 2018

UPS is working with UK tech firm Arrival on the development of new battery-electric delivery vans for Europe.

UPS has announced that it is working with UK-based technology firm Arrival to develop a pilot fleet of 35 electric delivery vehicles that will be tested in London and Paris.

Both cities are moving towards tighter restrictions on vehicles with internal combustion engines and zero tailpipe emission, lightweight composite vehicles have a battery range of more than 150 miles.

EV News!

The range is considerably better higher than other EVs currently in service, UPS officials said. (more…)

Subaru Sets Assembly of Ascent in Motion

New eight-passenger ute is company's largest vehicle.

by on May.10, 2018

Subaru employees in Indiana marked the occasion of the first new Ascent rolling off the production line.

Subaru has begun production of its new Ascent, a three-row sport utility vehicle with seating for eight passengers, at the company’s assembly plant in Lafayette, Indiana plant.

The addition of the new ute to the production mix created 200 jobs, following an investment of $140 million in equipment and expansion investments.

Product News!

“The Subaru Ascent is a great addition to our production line-up,” said Tom Easterday, senior executive vice president of Subaru of Indiana Automotive Inc., or SIA. (more…)

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