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Safety Advocates Push for Adoption of Drunk Driving Deterrents

Groups pushing for installation of devices in new vehicles.

by on Mar.15, 2019

Former NHTSA Chief Joan Claybrook is leading the charge for ignition interlock devices to prevent drunk driving.

Safety advocates and other groups are looking to add some momentum to new ignition interlock technology that would prevent drunk drivers from getting behind the wheel and driving, saving thousands of lives annually.

Joan Claybrook, a former administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), urged Congress to pass a law forcing automakers to include passive ignition-interlock systems in all new motor vehicles within as little as three years.

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“I don’t know what’s the matter with the industry on this issue,” Claybrook said during testimony Thursday before the House consumer protection and commerce subcommittee. (more…)

Porsche Grabs Top Score in Power Customer Service Index

Buick takes top honors in non-premium segment.

by on Mar.14, 2019

Porsche took first place in JD Power's 2019 Customer Satisfaction Index, ahead of Lexus and Cadillac.

Communication is key to the success or failure of any relationship, and perhaps nowhere is that more true than in the service department of an auto dealership.

Auto dealers that communicate the best, i.e. the way consumers want, finished atop J.D. Power’s new Customer Service Index ranking. This year, that means Porsche, Lexus and Cadillac took the top three spots in the luxury car rankings.

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In the mainstream results, Buick, Mini and somewhat surprisingly, Mitsubishi took the first three spots. Mitsubishi’s third-place finish came as a result of the greatest improvement (27 points) in the entire study year-over-year. (more…)

Ford Officials Confirm Looming Salaried Employee Cuts

Numbers of white-collar jobs to be slashed not revealed.

by on Mar.13, 2019

Ford plans to cut thousands of salaried jobs as part of an $11 billion restructuring taking place between now and next year.

With General Motors caught square in the crosshairs by critics chastising the recent salaried job cuts and plant closures, Ford Motor Co. officials may be the next target, confirming today they plan to cut an unspecified number of salaried employees.

The job cuts were announced last year as part of an $11 billion global reorganization. However, no specifics were applied to how many or where they would occur. Ford officials even now won’t confirm how many.

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Said Deep, a Ford spokesman, declined to tell Reuters say how many jobs are being cut but said the company expects the process to be completed by the end of June. He said the restructuring “has resulted in some separations of salaried employees and the reassignment of others.”  (more…)

Renault Nissan Mitsubishi Alliance Reconfigures Board of Directors

Ghosn denied board meeting appearance by judge.

by on Mar.12, 2019

The leaders of Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi celebrate the reconfiguration of the Alliance's board of directors.

Former Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Chairman Carlos Ghosn may be free from jail, the leaders of the three-headed monster don’t want him free to exercise any more influence over the company in his role on the board of directors.

Fortunately, a Tokyo court gave them what they wanted, banning the former boss from taking part in the meeting of the board of the directors.

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“Mr. Ghosn is disappointed that the Court denied his request to attend the Nissan Board of Directors meeting,” according to a statement issued by a spokesman.  (more…)

Honda Recalling 1.1M Vehicles to Replace Airbags

Automaker just the latest to make big push to complete repairs.

by on Mar.12, 2019

American Honda is recalling 1.1 million vehicles due to faulty Takata airbags.

American Honda’s Takata nightmare continues with a voluntarily recall of about 1.1 million Acura and Honda vehicles in the United States to replace, for free, Takata desiccated replacement driver front airbag inflators that may rupture if an airbag deploys in a crash.

Takata’s faulty airbags triggered the largest automotive recall in history. The airbags deployed with such force that pieces of plastic and metal were propelled into the vehicle cabin killing nearly two dozen and injuring more than 125 people.

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Honda was one of Takata’s biggest customers. The vehicles involved in this recall were previously repaired using specific Takata desiccated replacement inflators (PSDI-5D) or entire replacement airbag modules containing these inflators, neither subject to recall at that time. Those replacement inflators are now deemed defective as well. (more…)

Tesla Backtracks on Store Closures; Raises Prices 3% Instead

$35K Model 3 exempt from price increase.

by on Mar.11, 2019

Tesla announced it will only close half of its stores and offset that by raising prices 3%.

Tesla buyers looking to walk into a store to buy a new vehicle were disappointed recently when Chief Elon Musk said the company would close the stores to cut costs — now they can rejoice.

In a blog post, the company announced it would only close about half of the stores across the country, after a spate of negative back about the move initially.

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“Over the past two weeks we have been closely evaluating every single Tesla retail location, and we have decided to keep significantly more stores open than previously announced,” the electric carmaker said.  (more…)

February Auto Sales in China Drop 13.8%

New energy vehicles, i.e. EVs, rose 53.6% last month.

by on Mar.11, 2019

New vehicle sales in China, like the Mazda CX-4, fell during the month of February 13.8%.

Automakers hoping that China might bail them out of sluggish sales in the U.S. are going to be disappointed as sales in the world’s largest market fell 13.8% in February.

The drop is eight consecutive month that China, only just two years ago posting double-digit increases, has seen buyers keep their money in their wallets. Sales fell 16% in January and 13% in December. Overall, 1.48 million new vehicles were sold in China last month, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.

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“The trend experienced last year has continued into this year, and the economic situation has also been weak. This has dragged down consumption,” CAAM’s Deputy Secretary General Shi Jianhua told reporters at a news briefing in Beijing. (more…)

BMW: The Leading US Exporter of New Vehicles

Automaker's SUVs extreme popularity give it the title.

by on Mar.08, 2019

BMW shipped more than 234,000 SUVs and coupes from the U.S.

Once again, BMW is the top exporter of vehicles from the United States. For the fifth year in a row, the German automaker’s X series sport activity vehicles took it to the top of the heap.

The company said it exported 234,689 units of its sport-utilities and coupes from its Spartanburg, South Carolina, plant during 2018, totaling more than $8.4 billion in 2018.

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“Despite…the ongoing uncertainty regarding trade and tariffs, plant Spartanburg is still positively contributing to the U.S. balance of trade,” said Knudt Flor, president and CEO of BMW Manufacturing Co LLC. (more…)

GAC Chairman Says Company Pushing US Entry Back Again

He blamed tariff uncertainty and brand name problem: Trumpchi.

by on Mar.08, 2019

GAC Motor President Yu Jun (center) says the company will be ready to enter the U.S. market in 2020. That entry time has been delayed again to later in the year.

Chinese automaker Guangzhou Automobile Group has once again delayed its entry into the U.S. market due to President Donald Trump’s implementation of tariffs as well as the man himself.

During the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January, GAC officials said they were pushing back their timetable to sell vehicles in America, looking to begin now sometime in early 2020 rather than late 2019.

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However, GAC Chairman Zeng Qinghong told reporters at China’s annual parliament meeting in Beijing Friday that it would be even longer now, not establishing a time frame. He mentioned the uncertainty surrounding tariffs – discussions between the U.S. and China are ongoing – but also something personally tied to the president: his last name, sort of. (more…)

Las Vegas Ponders Bet on Musk’s High-Speed Tunnel

Mile-long tunnel would ferry riders using high-volume cars.

by on Mar.07, 2019

Instead of cars, the Las Vegas version of Elon Musk's high-speed underground tunnels would use high-volume passenger cars, like a subway or train.

Sin City looks like it’s ready to indulge Elon Musk and his plans to build an underground high-speed transport system to ferry 1 million tourists back and forth across the city, starting January 2021, if approved.

Through the Boring Co., Musk will build the system, which is similar to what he’s proposed for Los Angeles, at a cost of $35 million to $55 million. The plan has already drawn the support of Las Vegas’ tourism agency.

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“It’s really innovative. I think it will be an attraction in and of itself, frankly,” Steve Hill, president and CEO of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, told The Associated Press. (more…)

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