Posts Tagged ‘car news’

10 Major Automakers Meet With Trump Over CAFE Today

Session could focus on opposition from California.

by on May.11, 2018

Former Ford CEO Mark Fields generated controversy last year when he warned Pres. Trump CAFE could cost 1 million U.S. jobs.

Senior executives from ten of the auto industry’s largest manufacturers will be meeting with President Donald Trump at the White House today to discuss the administration’s plans to roll back federal fuel economy standards.

A draft proposal developed by the Environmental Protection Agency would freeze requirements at 2020 levels rather than continuing a phase-in established by the Obama White House that was set to reach 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025. The new target would come in somewhere in the low 40 mpg range and hold through 2026.

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But the meeting could prove to be an anxious one. Consumer and environmental groups have been ramping up opposition and any announcement from the White House would come at a time when fuel prices are surging to levels not seen in years. Meanwhile, any rollback could pit the Trump Administration – and the auto industry – against California which is threatening to effectively stall the cuts by using authority given the state under the Clean Air Act of 1970.

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Pass the Bubbly? Rolls-Royce Cullinan Promises a Luxury Ride Even on the Roughest Trails

British marque officially introduces its first off-roader since the days of Lawrence of Arabia.

by on May.10, 2018

The slogan for the new Rolls-Royce Cullinan hints at its capabilities: "Effortless, Everywhere."

Don’t call it an SUV. Rolls-Royce prefers to refer to its all-new Cullinan as “an all-terrain, high-bodied car that makes the idea of authentic, luxury off-road travel a reality for the first time.”

Whether you stick with SUV, borrow “Sport Activity Vehicle from Rolls’ parent BMW, or find some other, more elegant term, the Cullinan really does appear to live up to its promise of delivering go-anywhere drivability, even as the folks luxuriating in the back can sip on champagne chilled to the perfect temperature by a built-in refrigerator.

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“Our customers expect to go everywhere in luxury, effortlessly and without compromise,” said Torsten Muller-Otvos, the CEO of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. “The super-luxury lifestyle is evolving (and) luxury is no longer an urban concept. More and more it is about embracing and experiencing the wider world.”

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Ford Halting All F-150 Production, Some Super Duty Trucks, in Wake of Fire

“A fluid situation,” but 7,600 workers already idled.

by on May.09, 2018

The shutdown happens just as Ford hoped to boost F-150 demand with the addition of a new diesel model.

Hours after a top official warned of a “fluid situation,” Ford Motor Co. said it is shutting off the tap on its most profitable and popular product line, its F-150 pickup.

The move follows a fire at a Michigan plant producing critical components for the truck. The incident also impacts some production at General Motors, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Mercedes-Benz. But Ford appears to be the hardest hit, especially considering the booming demand for its full-size pickup which has been the nation’s best-selling motor vehicle for decades, nearly 900,000 F-150s sold last year.

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Ford temporarily laid off workers at its truck plant in Kansas City earlier this week and Joe Hinrichs, executive vice president of Global Operations, said early Wednesday that the automaker faced a “fluid situation” as it struggled to find an alternative source for the magnesium radiator supports used in its F-150 line-up. Hours later, the automaker also said it would idle the Dearborn Truck Plant near its suburban Detroit headquarters.

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Pedestrian Deaths Skyrocketing – Pot, SUVs and Smartphones Catching Blame

Tech distractions and possible tech solutions.

by on May.09, 2018

Despite recent efforts to improve safety, pedestrian deaths have risen for the past few years.

Highway deaths have been on the rise in recent years, reversing a long period of improved roadway safety. And one reason for the deadly turnaround has been the skyrocketing increase in pedestrian fatalities.

Since 2009, the number of pedestrians killed in motor vehicle crashes has jumped by nearly 50%, and a number of factors are being blamed, including the use of mobile devices by both motorists and pedestrians. But a new study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety puts a chunk of the blame on the increasing number of SUVs on the road.

Safety First!

Both the number SUVs and their design appear to be factors, according to David Harkey, the president of the insurance industry trade groups, who noted that, “SUVs have higher front ends, and often the design for the vehicle is much more vertical than passenger cars.” That can make for a more blunt impact and less likelihood that a pedestrian being struck by an SUV might be able to roll off the vehicle and reduce injuries.

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Toyota Earnings Jump, Despite Rising U.S. Incentives

Record R&D spending could hurt operating profit.

by on May.09, 2018

Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda is not only pushing for automotive sales growth, but leading the company into the emerging mobility sector.

Toyota saw earnings jump 21% between January and March, the final quarter of its fiscal year, despite having to sharply ramp up incentives in a slowing U.S. automotive market.

The automaker reported a profit of 480.8 billion yen, or $4.4 billion, up from 398 billion yen the year before. Toyota’s sales also rose 2% to 7.58 trillion yen, or $69 billion. For the full fiscal year, it earned 2.49 trillion yen, or $23 billion, a 36% increase, with sales rising 6%, to 29.38 trillion yen, or $268 billion.

Beyond the Numbers!

The strong performance helped highlight the cost-cutting efforts initiated by CEO and President Akio Toyoda, the grandson of Toyota’s founder declaring, “We’ve become a leaner, trimmer company … and in the past year we’ve developed our remaining fat into muscle, so that we’re in a strong position to be more competitive.”

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Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S Edition 1: A Special Version of a Special Car

Limited edition debut model of new four-door sports car.

by on May.08, 2018

The 2019 Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S Edition 1 will officially mark the four-door GT's debut.

When you’re set to launch a special new model like the four-version of the Mercedes-AMG GT, perhaps you should expect a special edition. And that’s precisely what the German automaker has in mind.

Just a few months after we got our first good look at the AMG GT 4-Door Coupe, Mercedes has pulled the wraps off a limited-edition launch model that will herald the sports car’s entry into its line-up. But expect to pay dearly, as you’ll only find it available on the top trim version of the GT 4-Door.

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Considering that package already makes an impressive 630 horsepower and 664 pound-feet of torque out of its twin-turbo 4.0-liter V-8, it’s also no surprise that the 2019 Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S Edition 1 is largely focused on cosmetic enhancements.

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Auto Industry Backs Away from Trump Mileage Rollback

“We support standards that increase year over year,” says auto trade group chief.

by on May.08, 2018

Automakers are reversing course and telling the EPA not to order a major mileage cut.

The auto industry appears to be pulling back its support of the planned rollback in Obama-era fuel economy standards that the Trump Administration is expected to announce in the coming days.

Manufacturers are also putting pressure on the White House to work out a compromise with the State of California over its unique ability to set even tougher emissions and mileage standards. EPA chief Scott Pruitt had indicated a desire to eliminate the waiver first approved by Congress as part of the original 1970 Clean Air Act.

We're Clearing the Air!

The industry about-face comes barely a year after top leaders raised concerns about the Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards during a meeting with then-new president — former Ford CEO Mark Fields warning the Obama target of 54.5 miles per gallon could cost 1 million jobs.

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One in Five Americans Wants to Own an Electric Vehicle

But how many will follow through is another matter entirely.

by on May.08, 2018

If the new study is any indication, sales of electric cars could soon climb into the millions.

Automakers are investing tens of billions of dollars gearing up to produce a new generation of plug-based vehicles, a worrisome effort considering that all electrified vehicles – from mild hybrids to pure battery-electric vehicles – accounted for just 3% of the overall American market last year.

But a new study finds that a full 20% of U.S. motorists want their next car, truck or crossover to be electric, according to the AAA. That’s up from 15% in just a year, the travel service reports and, perhaps not so coincidentally, the increase comes at a time when manufacturers are beginning to roll out an assortment of new models that offer longer range and quicker charging at a lower cost.

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“Today, electric vehicles have mainstream appeal,” said Greg Brannon, AAA’s director of Automotive Engineering. “While concern for the environment is still a major motivator, AAA found U.S. drivers are also attracted to the lower long-term costs and advanced technology features that many of these vehicles offer.”

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EPA, Automakers Face Mounting Legal and Public Pressure to Leave Mileage Standards in Place

EPA sued by 17 states and District of Columbia; while automakers face public shaming campaign.

by on May.07, 2018

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt's plans to rollback CAFE has triggered a major backlash.

A coalition of consumer and environmental groups plans to drive from Washington, D.C. to Detroit this week to deliver over 250,000 signatures demanding that the auto industry  — Ford in particular — back off on its call to roll back the Corporate Average Fuel Economy, or CAFE, standards.

If that doesn’t work, a separate coalition, this one comprising 17 states and the District of Columbia, has filed suit against the Environmental Protection Agency to prevent Administrator Scott Pruitt from going ahead with plans to rollback mileage rules established under the Obama Administration. While the EPA hasn’t announced a final plan, a draft resolution indicated it would target something just under 42 miles per gallon, down from the original 2025 target of 54.5 mpg.

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“This is about health, it’s about life and death,” California Governor Jerry Brown said last week during a news conference announcing the lawsuit. “This phalanx of states will defend the nation’s clean car standards to boost gas mileage and curb toxic air pollution,” Brown said while referring to the controversial EPA chief as “Outlaw Pruitt.”

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Production Version of Kia Niro EV Breaks Cover

Timing of U.S. launch unclear.

by on May.04, 2018

The long-range version of the Kia Niro EV will get 236 miles out of a 64 kWh battery pack.

We got a first look at the concept version of Kia’s all-electric Niro model during the Consumer Electronics Show earlier this year. The Korean carmaker has now pulled the wraps off the production model during the Fifth International Electric Vehicle Expo in Seoul.

A quick glance suggests the version that will be rolling into showrooms is a bit more conservative than the CES show car, with relatively conventional lights and bumpers. Perhaps the biggest difference between the Niro EV and earlier versions of the crossover can be seen in the textured, albeit solid, grille – which actually bears more than a passing likeness to the snout on the all-electric Hyundai Kona that debuted at the New York International Auto Show barely a month ago.

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Kia is being sparse when it comes to offering details about the Niro EV, though it did indicate the battery-electric vehicle will be offered with a choice of two different batteries – at least in some markets – the more powerful, 64 kWh pack will provide enough energy to travel an estimated 236 miles between charges, the 39.2 kWh pack reducing range to around 149 miles.

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