“You Want to Be There” When the EV Market Takes Off, Ford CEO Hackett Tells Shareholders

The upcoming “Mustang-inspired,” all-electric SUV will “reconceptualize’ the way cars are designed.

by on May.09, 2019

Ford is counting on its "Mustang-inspired," long-range electric SUV, codenamed Mach1, to help it plug into the emerging BEV market.

Ford Motor Co. will launch its “Mustang-inspired,” crossover later this year, its first long-range battery-electric vehicle, and CEO Jim Hackett told shareholders that while the EV market has been slow to build momentum, “When it happens you want to be there.”

Hackett focused a lot of his energy on describing the automaker’s electrification plans during Ford’s first “virtual” shareholders meeting on Thursday, clearly hoping to build support for a program in which it plans to invest $11 billion by 2022, more than double what Hackett’s predecessor, Mark Fields, had committed to spend by 2020. All told, Ford has laid out plans to roll out 40 hybrids, plug-ins and pure battery-electric vehicles, or BEVs.

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The question is whether there will be a market for those vehicles, especially when considering the generally tepid response for earlier Ford battery-based models like the C-Max Energi, a PHEV, and the Ford Focus Electric, a BEV. Read the rest of this entry »

Dyson Reveals Electric Car Patents; Offers New Hints About Project

Project set to ramp up next month, says founder James Dyson, with debut likely in 2021.

by on May.09, 2019

James Dyson, creator of the top-selling vacuum, has moved another step closer to producing his electric vehicle.

It’s best known for its distinctive vacuums and, perhaps, for the hand-dryers popping up in public restrooms around the world, but Britain’s Dyson Ltd. now wants to become a major player in the battery-car market.

The company today released copies of several new patents it has been awarded that provide a good glimpse of what it’s working on: a long three-row crossover with only a vestigial engine compartment and its batteries and motors mounted below the floorboards.

Electrifying News!

In reality, the British inventor told employees in an e-mail that the images in the patents “don’t reveal what our vehicle will really look like or give any specifics around what it will do.” Nonetheless, Dyson added that the patents do “provide a glimpse of some of the inventive steps” that will be incorporated in the company’s upcoming electric vehicles. Read the rest of this entry »

Mercedes-Benz Taking Orders for New EQC Electric Crossover

New electric crossover already faces competition from VW's ID.3.

by on May.09, 2019

Mercedes-Benz is taking orders for its new EQC electric crossover vehicle.

Mercedes-Benz has begun taking orders for its new electric vehicle, the EQC, which the German luxury-car maker describes as the “Mercedes-Benz of EVs.”

“With the Mercedes-Benz EQC, we are entering a new era of mobility,” said Britta Seeger, member of the board of management of Daimler AG responsible for Mercedes-Benz Cars Sales.

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“It is part of the growing family of all-electric vehicles at Mercedes-Benz and combines brand-defining features such as quality, safety and comfort. We offer our customers progressive design and unique ride comfort – and this with a range absolutely suitable for everyday use.” Read the rest of this entry »

Rolls-Royce Celebrates 115th Year With Bespoke Phantom Auction

Sotheby's to handle charity auction.

by on May.09, 2019

Rolls-Royce is honoring its 115th birthday with a bespoke red Phantom that will be auctioned off for charity by Sotheby's.

Rolls-Royce marks its 115thbirthday this year. To celebrate the occasion, the quintessentially British luxury carmaker is looking to do something special.

It’s teaming with RM Sotheby’s to raise money for charity. The two top names in luxury and wealth threw a party complete with a five-course dinner at Sotheby’s newly redesigned 90,000--square-foot New York City headquarters to announce plans build a one-off, bespoke 2020 Rolls-Royce Phantom to be auctioned off this fall exclusively on Sotheby’s online auction service.

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“While Roll-Royce motor cars have a history of crossing the block at RM Sotheby’s, tonight we are looking to the future of the brand,” said Martin Fritsches, president and CEO of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Americas.  Read the rest of this entry »

Barely One in Six Americans “Likely” to Buy an EV Next Time They’re in the Market

New AAA study finds millions more might enter market – if gas prices top $5/gallon.

by on May.09, 2019

The Jaguar I-Pace is one of the winners of AAA's annual Top Green Vehicle Award.

Less than one in six Americans say they’d give serious consideration to buying an all-electric vehicle next time they’re in the market for a new car, truck or crossover, according to a new AAA study, a finding that could spell trouble for the automakers ready to launch dozens of new battery-electric vehicles, or BEVs, over the next several years.

The good news for the industry is that as many as 40 million Americans say they’d at least consider the merits of an all-electric model. But, according to the study released today, U.S. motorists remain confused about both the benefits and limitations of battery-cars.

Green Car News!

“Today, more than 200,000 electric cars can be found on roads across the country as almost every manufacturer sells them,” said Greg Brannon, AAA’s director of Automotive Engineering. “But, like other new vehicle technologies, Americans don’t have the full story and that could be causing the gap between interest and action.”

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EV Start-Up Workhorse Expected to Buy GM’s Shuttered Lordstown Plant

GM also planning $700 million investment at three Ohio plants.

by on May.08, 2019

This may not be the last vehicle produced at GM's Lordstown, Ohio plant. The automaker is talking with Workhorse to sell the plant.

General Motors will begin the process of selling its shuttered Lordstown, Ohio, assembly plant to Cincinnati-based Workhorse Group and another newly formed venture, the automaker said Wednesday afternoon, largely confirming a tweet issued by President Donald Trump earlier in the day.

If the deal is completed, Workhorse is expected to use the sprawling factory, about an hour southeast of Cleveland, to produce electric trucks, creating hundreds of jobs in the process. The other “newly formed” company partnering in the deal is being led by Workhorse founder Steve Burns.

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“This potential agreement creates a positive outcome for all parties involved and will help solidify the leadership of Workhorse’s role in the EV community,” said Workhorse CEO Duane Hughes. Read the rest of this entry »

Toyota Earnings Fall as U.S. Market Softens

Executives say more cost cuts coming.

by on May.08, 2019

Akio Toyota, Toyota's chairman, said the company needed to implement changes more quickly to restore profits to acceptable levels.

Toyota’s full-year financial results were a mixed bag for 2019 with operating profit inching up 2.8% due to improved sales, tighter cost controls and lower incentives in the U.S. market.

Operating profit increased to $21.66 billion, or 2.40 trillion yen, in the automaker’s fiscal full year ended March 31, Toyota said on Wednesday. However, the money hitting the Japanese automaker’s bottom line fell 25% to $16.96 billion, or 1.88 trillion yen.

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The hits to the bottom line were driven lower by special losses on equity securities that compared against robust results the year before that were artificially inflated by a windfall U.S. income tax gain. Toyota’s revenue increased 2.9% to $272.78 billion, or 30.23 trillion yen. Read the rest of this entry »

Honda Takes Q4 Loss, Sees Full-Year Profits Fall 42%

Automaker changing its vehicle development process.

by on May.08, 2019

Honda CEO Takahiro Hachigo said the company lost money in the fourth quarter.

Honda Motor Co. sold more vehicles during first quarter of 2019 than it did during the same period last year, yet reported a $118 million loss, or 13 billion yen, for its fiscal fourth quarter, the company reported.

The Japanese automaker cited unfavorable exchange rates, income tax expenses and other costs as the reasons for the quarterly loss. It reported a 107.7 billion yen profit during Q4 2018.

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For the full fiscal year, the company reported a profit of $5.5 billion, or 610.3 billion yen, which is down 42% due largely to a lost tax break in the U.S. Read the rest of this entry »

Tesla Cars Now Can Diagnose Problems, Even Pre-Order Parts

EV maker adds still more OTA update functionality.

by on May.08, 2019

Tesla is now making it possible for its vehicles to self-diagnose some problems with its vehicles, eliminating some maintenance headaches before they happen.

It’s the sort of headache every motorist dreads: a problem that crops up unexpectedly, leaving them stranded on the side of the road.

But Tesla thinks it may be able to prevent at least some of those sudden breakdowns from occurring by introducing a new feature to its vehicles that not only can diagnose problems, but also, in some cases, send an alert to a the Tesla Service Center to pre-order the necessary repair parts.

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“Our cars can keep tabs on certain components to let you know if they need replacing and order parts ahead of you next service visit,” the company said this week. Read the rest of this entry »

Fiat Chrysler Tabs Infiniti’s Meunier to Head Jeep

Manley reaches outside company for top brand's new leader.

by on May.08, 2019

Former Infiniti Chief Christian Meunier is taking charge of Fiat Chrysler's top brand: Jeep.

In a surprise move, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. has gone outside the company to recruit a new chief to head up its most important brand: Jeep.

FCA announced it has tapped Christian Meunier to serve as Global President of the Jeep brand.

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Meunier joins FCA with broad background in the global automotive experience. In his most recent post before joining FCA, he was Chairman and Global President for Infiniti Motor Co. Ltd. at Nissan. Read the rest of this entry »

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