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GM Expands Electric Vehicle Leadership Team

Bolt team leader Fletcher gets plum new role.

by on Sep.24, 2018

Pamela Fletcher, left, will now answer directly to GM CEO Mary Barra.

General Motors is expanding its commitment to its electric vehicle program by moving three top executives into new positions that should elevate the company’s electrification program.

Pamela Fletcher, GM’s vice president of global electric vehicle programs, is getting a new, higher ranking position on Oct. 1: Vice President of Innovation, according to the Detroit News. Fletcher, who once shepherded the development and production of the Chevrolet Bolt, will answer directly GM CEO Mary Barra.

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Fletcher’s been steadily moving up the ladder, moving into her current position last fall. She joins a growing list of women in high-responsibility, high-profile jobs at General Motors. (more…)

Tesla Losing Top Executives as Uncertainty Sets In

Four top leaders have departed in last month.

by on Sep.21, 2018

Four of Tesla's top executives have departed the company during the last four to six weeks.

Tesla’s been hit by wave after wave of difficult news, situations and investigations, apparently causing some executives to rethink the viability of the company.

Liam O’Connor, Tesla’s vice president of global supply management, is the latest of a group of executives to depart the company. He joined Tesla in 2015 after a four-year run with Apple, Bloomberg reports an unnamed insider said O’Connor is leaving the company within the next several weeks.

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His departure marks at least the fourth executive to leave California-based EV maker within the last month. Justin McAnear, vice president of worldwide finance and operation; Gabrielle Toledano, human resources chief; and Dave Morton, chief accounting officer, have also put in their notices. In all, more than 40 executives have reportedly left Tesla in 2018 alone, the news service reports. (more…)

Nissan Recalls 240K Vehicles for Potential Fire Problem

Action covers cars and utility vehicles.

by on Sep.21, 2018

Nissan's 2017 and 2018 Pathfinders are part of a recall of 240,000 vehicles due to possible fire hazard.

Nissan announced it is recalling nearly 240,000 cars and SUVs worldwide – 215K in the U.S. – because of a fire risk. The Japanese automaker is also recommending vehicle owners park the vehicles outdoors in some cases.

According to the automaker, due to faulty seals on the anti-lock brake pump, brake fluid can leak onto a circuit board, causing an electrical short and increasing the fire risk. Should an owner see the anti-lock brake warning light for more than 10 seconds after starting the engine, Nissan recommends not driving the vehicle and to park it outdoors away from homes and other structures or vehicles.

Safety News!

The recall covers certain 2015 to 2017 Nissan Murano, 2016 and 2017 Nissan Maxima, 2017 through 2018 Nissan Pathfinder and 2017 Infiniti QX60 vehicles. (more…)

New Vehicle Costs On the Rise as Insurance Premiums Skyrocket

Know what it'll cost to insure your vehicle before you buy.

by on Sep.20, 2018

The Tesla Model S is the most expensive mainstream vehicle to insure, according to a new report.

Car insurance premiums are rising quickly, and when interest rates are also climbing, new vehicle buyers have a lot to consider when determining what kind of car they can afford.

The average monthly car payment is more than $500 now and insurance rates have jumped by more than a third between 2010 and 2016, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Finding ways to cut those burdensome premiums should be a top priority for shoppers.

News You Can Trust!

How much you pay for car insurance depends on a variety of factors, including age, driving record and location as well as the type of vehicle you want to buy. (more…)

Jackson Stepping Down as AutoNation CEO

Former Mercedes-Benz USA president remains executive chair until 2021.

by on Sep.20, 2018

AutoNation CEO Mike Jackson is stepping down from the post next spring.

The auto industry is going to be a little less colorful in the near future as AutoNation’s Mike Jackson is stepping down as Chief Executive Officer next year; however, he will remain executive chairman until 2021.

“AutoNation is the retail automotive industry leader,” Jackson said in a statement. “The company is ready for its next chapter with a strong foundation, a coast to coast brand, a comprehensive Brand Extension strategy, and a transformational digital consumer car buying experience.”

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Jackson is one of the industry’s most outspoken figures, often a go-to executive for reporters looking for an expert perspective on almost any industry topic. He took over as AutoNation CEO in 1999, hired by founder H. Wayne Huizenga from Mercedes-Benz USA where was president. (more…)

Trump’s Latest Round of Tariffs Impacts Car Prices

Prices will really jump after Jan. 1 when 25% tariffs hit.

by on Sep.19, 2018

Prices on new cars may jump 25% after the first of the year due to the new tariffs on China by the Trump administration.

President Donald Trump must be out of eyes by now. His ongoing, eye-for-an-eye style trade tariff war continues, and will raise prices on Chinese goods another 10% starting next week, fanning fears about the prices of new vehicles and parts.

The Trump administration levied the new 10% tariff on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods on Monday night. They take effect on Sept. 24, and are set to jump to 25% on Jan. 1. To keep pace, of of course, China retaliated with $60 billion worth of new tariffs of its own.

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As usual automakers have decried the new tariffs, complaining the new levies impinge their ability to import or export vehicles as well as the parts for repairs. Thus far, Trump has turned a deaf ear to the complaints. (more…)

New Ferrari CEO Camilleri Lays Out New Five-Year Plan

Iconic automaker building new ute and supercar in next five years.

by on Sep.18, 2018

Ferrari's new five-year plan appears to follow the road map that recently deceased CEO Sergio Marchionne laid out.

Ferrari’s new CEO Louis Camilleri unveiled the iconic brand’s latest five-year plan that could be described as doing what it does best while ensuring it keeps an eye on the future.

Camilleri was only recently installed in the top spot after the unexpected passing of Sergio Marchionne laid out a near-term future that revives some of the company’s past, but also keeps the promises Marchionne made.

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“Our objectives are ambitious, but they are based on a meticulously constructed model pipeline, our enviable pricing power and appropriate investment levels,” Camilleri told investors. (more…)

Volkswagen Reveals $6B “Electric for All” Plans

German automaker will debut five-door hatchback in 2019.

by on Sep.17, 2018

Thomas Ulbrich, left, and Christian Senger outline Volkswagen's plans for its MEB-based electric vehicles.

Volkswagen AG is readying to kick off its long-expected onslaught of electric vehicles from its MEB platform, revealing an investment of more than $6 billion for plant upgrades to produce more than 10 million EVs by the end of 2025.

The moves are part of what VW dubs its “Electric for All” plan, based off the flexibility of its modular electric drive, or MEB, platform. It’s expected to the base for as many as 27 model between now and 2025.

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“We will make electric vehicles popular and get as many people as possible excited about electric cars,” said Brand Board Member for E-Mobility Thomas Ulbrich. “The MEB is one of the most important projects in the history of Volkswagen – a technological milestone, similar to the transition from the Beetle to the Golf.” (more…)

Lucid Secures $1 Billion Investment from Saudis

PIF looking for a hedge as it expands the value of the fund.

by on Sep.17, 2018

Lucid executives were on the hunt for additional investors, and struck a $1 billion with the Saudis.

After being seen as the key to Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s now-dead plans to take the EV maker private, Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund is now investing $1 billion into EV start up Lucid Motors.

The new pact gives Lucid the cash it needs to kick off production of its first-ever model, the Air, in 2020, at its plant in Arizona. Lucid officials have said the new model will cost about $60,000.

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It’s widely believed the Saudis have been searching for ways to hedge against its oil exports for some time now, explaining the earlier dalliance with Tesla and Musk. The two sides had talks about the fund backing Musk’s plan, which could have required more than $40 billion from the Saudis. (more…)

Infotainment Technology Getting Better, JD Power study says

Systems improve for third consecutive year.

by on Sep.14, 2018

The Ford Mustang earned the highest score in J.D. Power's 2018 Multimedia Quality and Satisfaction Study.

If you own a car built in the last decade, you’ve been there. You attempt to make a call using the hands-free system – regardless of the manufacturer – and you get a list of people the nice lady in the dashboard would like you to choose from and none of the options are the one you want.

It’s this kind of technology that is both enticing and enraging all at the same time and is most often the target of complaints by new vehicle owners. However, the folks at J.D. Power claim the user experience is getting better.

The Last Word!

According to the J.D. Power 2018 Multimedia Quality and Satisfaction Study, the number of reported problems with in-car audio, communication, entertainment and navigation technologies has decreased for a third consecutive year, with several technology standouts emerging among manufacturers. (more…)

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