GM Asks for Relief on Fuel Rules While Betting Big on EVs

CEO Barra talks about GM's battery-based future.

by on Oct.30, 2018

General Motors Chairman and CEO Mary Barra talked about the company's future batter-electric vehicles at CityLab Detroit 2018.

General Motors has proposed downshifting the federal fuel-economy standards it signed off when it went bankrupt a decade ago, but its top executive said she hopes the automaker can help hasten the switch to electric vehicles.

GM said in a document released this week it favors annual increase in fuel-efficiency standards based on “historic rates” rather than the Obama era rules or a proposal from Trump administration proposal that would basically loosen the current standards.

News You Can Trust!

Mary Barra, GM chairman and chief executive officer, noted in remarks in Detroit that GM has taken a leading role in the development of electric vehicles and is now developing its fourth generation of EVs.   Read the rest of this entry »

FCA May Reassess Plan to Move Ram Pickup out of Mexico

Company may need to continue production South of the Border to meet strong demand.

by on Oct.29, 2018

Fiat Chrysler outsold rival Ford Motor Co. in September, led by strong sales of its Ram pickup truck.

While Fiat Chrysler Automobiles said Monday it is moving ahead with plans to shift production of its Ram pickup from Mexico to Michigan, a statement appeared to open up the opportunity that it will continue to build the newly redesigned truck at its Saltillo, Mexico plant.

Such a decision would be a critical one by new FCA CEO Michael Manley and likely reflect the fact that demand for the 2019 Ram truck is so strong the company’s current U.S. operations simply can’t keep up, resulting in potential customers having to shift to products like the Ford F-Series and the two newly redesigned trucks launched this year by General Motors.

Product News Now!

“Moving the Ram Heavy Duty to Warren from Mexico is our plan of record. Of course, we always assess latest market and economic conditions when making significant industrial moves,” FCA said in a statement on Monday. Read the rest of this entry »

Easter Comes Early for the Ford Ranger

Automaker's marketing team hides Easter eggs in promo pictures.

by on Oct.29, 2018

Some Ford's picture promoting the new Ranger pickup feature Easter eggs hidden in the background.

Ford Motor Co. is hyping the Ranger, its new entry in the fast-growing midsize truck segment, with a mix of media focusing on its capability, technology and economy. However, it’s throwing in a few Easter eggs for good measure.

No, not actual dyed eggs, but hidden images within the promotional pictures of the new truck slated to hit dealer showrooms in early 2019.

Dig Deeper!

The pictures have an array of things lurking in the background ranging from the imaginary jackalope to the Loch Ness monster and more. The first two were in the images released during the North American International Auto Show in January and now there are eight total. Read the rest of this entry »

Hyundai Management Shake-Up Coincides with Product Strategy Shift

"Our strategy is to launch more SUVs."

by on Oct.29, 2018

A lack of product diversity, which is being remedied, has hurt Hyundai sales. Hyundai's Kyung Soo Lee is heading back to South Korea for it.

Hyundai has an unexpected vacancy at the top. Kyung Soo Lee, the CEO of the carmaker’s U.S. operations is on his way back to South Korea and, for the moment, it is not clear when a replacement will be named, according to a company spokesman.

The shake-up, which Hyundai described as “part of a regular, group-wide personnel change,” comes at a critical time for the Korean carmaker. After years of rapid growth in the American market, Hyundai’s momentum began to slow, mid-decade, a problem largely blamed on a lack of a competitive truck line-up. With the arrival of the little Kona, Hyundai is hoping to kick-start sales, with even more products in the pipeline, according to senior officials.

Business News!

Hyundai reportedly has a fully electric SUV in development and, as TheDetroitBureau.com recently reported, it is moving closer to launching a production version of the wildly popular Santa Cruz pickup, though it appears that move could be pushed back by a year from the early target of 2020. Read the rest of this entry »

GM Setting its Own Course for Emissions Standards

Call for California-like plan different from other automakers.

by on Oct.29, 2018

General Motors is breaking from the automotive pack with its call for an national emissions policy similar to California's.

General Motors call to use California’s Zero Emission Standard in all 50 states is setting up a potential conflict with the other carmakers.

GM is asking the Environmental Protection Agency for a new fuel-economy standard that would take the California’s Zero Emission Standard for EVs the rule for all 50 states and steer millions of new consumers into electric vehicles — a position very different that of the Trump administration, which has made no secret of its desire to obliterate the California ZEV mandate.

News You Can Trust!

Meanwhile, the Auto Alliance, in a statement issued the same day as GM’s surprise announcement, praised the Trump administration for offering to modify the fuel economy and greenhouse gas standards. Read the rest of this entry »

FCA, Mopar Offer Sneak Peek at SEMA Offerings

Ram trucks get massive makeovers.

by on Oct.26, 2018

Mopar's Low Down Ram gets lower and meaner for SEMA. It's one of two Rams heading to the show in Las Vegas.

With SEMA right around the corner, Fiat Chrysler officials are providing an early look at two entries it’s bringing to the Las Vegas show: The Low Down Ram and Ram Rebel.

The pickup trucks, customized with a combination of Mopar production and prototype parts and accessories, are two of 14 personalized rides, as well as hundreds of Mopar products, that will be on display in the brand’s 15,345-square-foot exhibit in the Las Vegas Convention Center.

The Last Word!

“The SEMA Show is truly the greatest stage for our brand to demonstrate what owners and enthusiasts can create with a little imagination and a selection of Mopar parts and accessories,” said Steve Beahm, Head of Parts & Service (Mopar) and Passenger Car Brands, FCA – North America.  Read the rest of this entry »

Tesla: No Subpoena from Justice Department — Yet

FBI interview former employees about Model 3 production.

by on Oct.26, 2018

The FBI is interviewing former Tesla employees about Model 3 production. Tesla officials say no company officials have been subpoenaed.

Tesla Inc. and CEO Elon Musk may have resolved their issues with the Securities and Exchange Commission, but an ongoing criminal investigation by the Department of Justice appears to be motoring along in high gear.

The company told the Wall Street Journal that it hasn’t been subpoenaed by the DoJ regarding potentially fraudulent claims made by Musk and the company about the Model 3.

Breaking News!

Officials at the Palo Alto, California-based EV maker say they cooperated with what they described as a “voluntary request” for documents from the Justice Department in September, a Tesla spokesperson told Reuters.  Read the rest of this entry »

Jaguar Land Rover Dedicates New European Plant

New site offers flexibility and workforce diversity.

by on Oct.26, 2018

Jaguar Land Rover put the finishing touches on tis new $1.59 billion assembly plant in Nitra, Slovakia.

Jaguar Land Rover has opened its state-of-the-art $1.59 billion manufacturing facility in Nitra, Slovakia.

While the core of its business is in the United Kingdom, Jaguar Land Rover’s investment in Nitra marks the latest step in the company’s global expansion strategy following the opening of its Chinese joint venture in 2014 and Brazilian plant in 2016, JLR officials said.

News Now!

The creation of new international factories allows Jaguar Land Rover to offer its customers even more exciting new models, protect against currency fluctuations and support a globally competitive business. Read the rest of this entry »

New Vehicle Sales Expected to Cool in October

Despite slide, market is historically strong.

by on Oct.26, 2018

Jeep is expected to help Fiat Chrysler to another sales increase in October.

Sales of new vehicles are expected to cool slightly in October with an estimated seasonally adjusted annual rate of 17.1 million units.

The forecast reflects a 6.7% decrease in sales from September 2018 and a 2.1% decrease from October 2017 as Edmunds predicts that 1.322 million cars and trucks will be sold in the U.S.

Business News!

The anticipated decline in sales comes on the heels of a volatile month in the stock market, which has been one of the major backstops for car sales for months now, according to the carmakers themselves. Read the rest of this entry »

Minor Collisions Can Boost Repair Costs by $3,000 When Car Uses New Safety Technologies

And even making repairs can be more difficult, says AAA.

by on Oct.26, 2018

The ProPilot Assist display indicates when the system sees highway lane markers and is active.

New safety systems, such as blind-spot detection and forward collision warning, can help motorists steer clear of trouble, but when a collision does occur, warns a new AAA study, the cost of making repairs is likely to skyrocket.

And even something as simple as replacing a broken or chipped windshield can create real headaches, not only adding to the cost of a repair but requiring motorists to find a properly equipped collision shop with properly trained technicians.

Dig Deeper!

The problem is expected to become much more widespread in the years to come, as automakers are now making advanced driver assistance systems, or ADAS, available on a growing line-up of products, often as standard features, or as part of low-cost safety packages. Read the rest of this entry »

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