Posts Tagged ‘auto news’

EV Credit Survives New Tax Reform Process

Keeping credit expected to help improve sales.

by on Dec.15, 2017

GM CEO Mary Barra has been pushing to keep the EV tax credit as lawmakers have been looking for ways to cut it.

After banging the drum asking for minimal changes to NAFTA for months and not being heard, it appears their similar efforts on tax credits for electric vehicle buyers were heard by the U.S. House of Representatives.

Automotive News reported that U.S. House and Senate negotiators are keeping the electric-vehicle tax credit as part of a compromise package on tax reform, according to a Republican familiar with process.

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In early iterations of the $1.5 trillion House tax bill, the $7,500 electric-vehicle tax credit was eliminated, causing auto industry leaders to push back on its elimination and demand it be left in place. (more…)

Volvo Taps Brakes on Drive Me Autonomous Vehicle Program

Move delays program by four years.

by on Dec.15, 2017

The Simonovski family is one of the first two to participate in Volvo's Drive Me program.

Volvo’s tapping the brakes on its Drive Me test program in Sweden as it believes the technology is not quite ready for humans.

It was expected to yield big results when its introduced in 2014. Designed to get real people, in Sweden, behind the wheel of autonomous vehicles for additional testing, the program is being slowed down after engineers decided the program wasn’t ready for prime time.

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Initially, Volvo said that 100 self-driving cars would be made available for members of the public to drive on the streets of Gothenburg, Sweden, the automaker’s hometown, by the end of this year. (more…)

Ford Transforming Old Detroit Neighborhood Into Heart of Its Mobility Push

“The Factory” will become headquarters of its autonomous and electric drive programs.

by on Dec.15, 2017

Ford is moving its autonomous vehicle and EV business and strategy teams to "The Factory" in Detroit's Historic Corktown neighborhood.

A long-abandoned building, long known as “The Factory” to residents of Detroit’s old Corktown neighborhood, is getting not only a complete makeover, but also the chance to play a role in the dramatic makeover of both the Motor City and the Ford Motor Co.

Ford is renovating the facility to become the headquarters of its aggressive push into autonomous technology and electrified vehicles. About 220 employees will move to the site, 20 minutes from its main corporate campus in the western suburb of Dearborn.

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One of the advantages of the new location, which is in one of the hottest neighborhoods in a fast-reviving city, is the appeal it will have to the young programmers and other employees Ford hopes to hire, says Sherif Marakby, the director of the autonomous and electrified unit, which has been dubbed Team Edison. (more…)

Volvo Sets Up Subscription Service for Polestar

First slots are completely sold out.

by on Dec.15, 2017

Volvo' first offering from its Polestar high performance division, the Polestar 1, will be built at its new plant in China.

Polestar, the new electric performance brand of Volvo Cars, announced the initial launch markets for its first car, the Polestar 1, in the United States and China and Western Europe.

Since its launch in October, Polestar has seen customers line up for the new Polestar 1 subscription with both performance enthusiast and electric car fans depleting the early production slots available.

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By offering its vehicles, starting with the Volvo XC40 for a flat monthly subscription, Polestar expects to step away from the old-school, dealer-focused method of selling cars and adopted the model used to great success by Netflix and Spotify.  (more…)

Former Union Leader Ashton Quits GM Board

Resignation comes at investigators scrutinize UAW funds.

by on Dec.15, 2017

Former UAW Vice President Joe Ashton resigned from the General Motors' Board of Directors as federal investigators.

General Motors Co. announced Joseph Ashton, a former United Auto Workers vice president who led the union’s GM department, resigned from the company’s board effectively immediately.

Ashton was nominated to the GM board by the UAW Retiree Medical Benefits trust, which administers funds that pay for health benefits for UAW-GM retirees and holds a large block of General Motors stock.

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The trust received the stock has part of the restructuring of GM supervised by the federal government after the company was forced into bankruptcy in 2009. (more…)

Audi Not Selling Off Ducati After All

But still looking to shave nearly $12 billion in costs.

by on Dec.14, 2017

A Ducati sport bike sits alongside an Audi, which contemplated selling the Italian motorcycle maker to offset diesel gate costs.

German automaker Audi has scrubbed plans to sell off Ducati, its Italian motorcycle brand, a move initially triggered by its need to cut costs in the wake of parent company Volkswagen’s diesel emissions crisis.

Audi acquired the widely respected motorcycle brand in 2012 through another Italian subsidiary, Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A., the high-performance supercar manufacturer. Ferdinand Piech, the long-time boss at Audi parent Volkswagen AG, had long coveted Ducati, though analysts have routinely questioned what the brand brings to Audi or VW.

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So, there was little resistance when Audi said it would sell off Ducati as part of a plan to trim its costs by 10 billion euros, or $11.8 billion. But Audi CEO Rupert Stadler this week said that is no longer necessary. “I can assure you that Ducati belongs to the Audi family,” said Stadler. “Ducati is the perfect implementation of our premium philosophy in the world of motorbikes.” (more…)

Holiday Travelers Expected to Set Another New Record, AAA Says

A record 107.3 million people are expected to make some sort of trip.

by on Dec.14, 2017

This guy may have the right idea on how to avoid possible delays drivers may experience due to the record number of travelers during the holidays.

If you’re planning to travel to see loved ones, or at least those you tolerate, this holiday season, it’ll be a bad news/good news scenario.

AAA is predicting that more than 107.3 million others will be joining you on your trek between Dec. 23, and Jan. 1, which is a new record. This will likely contribute to delays and other issues of all sorts during that time.

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This will be the highest year-end travel volume on record, the group says, and a 3.1% increase compared with last year. This will be the ninth consecutive year of rising year-end holiday travel. (more…)

Ford Denies Plan to Move Next-Gen Fusion to China

Wire report claims midsize model will follow Focus as Ford cuts costs.

by on Dec.14, 2017

The Fusion has lost momentum in a U.S. market increasingly focused on SUVs and CUVs.

Ford Motor Co. says it has no plan to consolidate production of its next-generation Fusion and Mondeo models in China for shipment to markets around the world, countering a report by Reuters.

On Wednesday, the news service referenced automotive suppliers and other sources to indicate the midsize sedans would move out of their current plants in Europe and Mexico with a facility in China taking over as Ford’s single production source. Ford earlier this year announced a similar strategy for the smaller Focus model.

Industry News!

“We have no plans to export the next-generation Fusion/Mondeo from China to North America and Europe,” Ford said in a statement responding to the wire report. “Fusion/Mondeo are an important part of the Ford car lineup. We will have more information to share about the next Fusion/Mondeo at a later date.”

(more…)

PepsiCo Joins List of Tesla Semi Truck Buyers

Giant beverage and food producer orders 50 trucks.

by on Dec.14, 2017

PepsiCo is the latest company to plunk down deposit money on Tesla's semi truck. The company ordered 100 trucks.

PepsiCo has become the latest big-time user of commercial trucks to sign an order for Elon Musk’s battery-electric semi trucks.

Pepsi placed the largest order yet by reserving 100 Tesla semi trucks, meaning the company wrote a $2 million check. The soda and snack company plans to use the trucks for shipments of beverages and snacks foods from factories or distribution centers to retailers, and is currently deciding which routes would best suit the electric trucks.

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Tesla claims the semi, which was unveiled last month, has a range of 500 miles when towing a full 80,000-pound load, and that 400 miles of range can be restored in just 30 minutes at one of its new Megacharger stations. (more…)

First Look: 2018 Mercedes-Benz G-Class

Mercedes reinterprets maker's military-based classic.

by on Dec.14, 2017

The new Mercedes-Benz G-Class gets a makeover for the 2018 model year.

Daimler AG has updated its G-Class sport utility vehicle, which like the Jeep Wrangler, began its life more than 40 years ago as a military vehicle but is now one of the most coveted vehicles in the Mercedes-Benz model line.

The G-Class or Geländewagen or G-Wagen as its now known was developed as cross-country vehicle for use in remote places such as the desert or Arctic region is a midsized, boxy style SUV that is built for Daimler by Magna-Steyr in Graz, Austria.

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The redesign, which is described as the most extensive in the vehicle’s long history and includes a more spacious cabin, maintains the ute’s iconic elements to give the G-Class its unique appearance such as distinctive door handles, exterior protective strip, exposed spare wheel on the rear door and the prominent indicator lights. (more…)

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