Posts Tagged ‘paul eisenstein’

China’s Great Wall Planning Bid for FCA – But Will Trump Be a Roadblock

Chinese maker could seek a complete acquisition or just go for the lucrative Jeep brand.

by on Aug.21, 2017

FCA CEO Donald Trump, right, met with Pres Trump and GM CEO Mary Barra earlier this year.

Chinese automaker Great Wall Motors is expected to make a formal bid to acquire all, or at least some of the assets of, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, according to several reports out of Asia Monday morning.

The news comes a week after initial reports surfaced that FCA had rejected an earlier bid from an unspecified Chinese automotive manufacturer. At the time, there was speculation several of that country’s native carmakers might seek such a deal with the spotlight focusing on both Great Wall and Guangzhou Automobile Group, which currently has a joint venture with FCA to produce Jeeps.

Breaking News!

Great Wall is the largest Chinese producer of sport-utility vehicles and pickups, something that would be a “perfect fit” with FCA’s Jeep and Ram brands, said analyst Joe Phillippi, of AutoTrends Consulting. It is not clear if Great Wall would seek to acquire just those two divisions or all of Fiat Chrysler.

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Dream On! Woodward Dream Cruise Brings Back Memories

World’s largest classic car event continues gaining momentum.

by on Aug.20, 2017

A little Deuce Coupe works its way down Woodward Ave. on Saturday during the Dream Cruise.

He might only be 10, but Ashley McInnis didn’t need much time to find the car of his dreams. Walking down the sidewalk along Woodward Avenue his eyes grew wide as he spotted a pearl white Ford GT.

“I love it,” the youngster from Yorktown, Virginia gushed to his grandfather, adding “I may have to take out a loan to get it.” When advised it would cost more than $400,000, he paused for a moment, trying to figure out how long that would take on the money he makes on his paper route. “It may take me a little while to pay it off,” he said.

We're Cruising!

McInnis was just one of as many as 1.5 million people estimated to line a 17-miles stretch of Woodward Ave., metro Detroit’s main thoroughfare, for the annual Woodward Dream Cruise.  And while there were a handful of new GTs and Ferraris, even the occasional Lamborghini and McLaren, the real focus was on the classic sort of muscle cars and hot rods that used to cruise the once quiet suburban roadway back in the 1960s and ‘70s.

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Bad Week for Those Suing Takata, GM

Courts side with airbag maker; GM derails $1b settlement over faulty ignition switches.

by on Aug.18, 2017

As many as 18 people are known to have died due to faulty Takata airbag inflators.

Motorists looking for settlements related to two of the biggest safety scandals in recent years were in for some unpleasant surprises this week.

General Motors derailed a deal that could have forced it to provide $1 billion in stock to thousands of plaintiffs suing over the company’s faulty ignition switches which were linked to more than 100 deaths and hundreds of injuries.

The Last Word!

Separately, a Delaware bankruptcy court halted a collection of lawsuits filed against the Japanese auto partsmaker seeking damages related to faulty airbags now linked to as many as 18 deaths and about 180 injuries worldwide – though the suits may continue after a 90-day ordered by Judge Brendan Shannon.

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Ford Patent Shows How Autonomous Car’s Steering Wheel, Pedals Could Fold Away

Design would allow manual driving or completely driverless operation.

by on Aug.18, 2017

A patent application illustration shows how Ford would hide the controls in driverless mode.

Autonomous vehicles, we’re regularly told, are just around the corner, and fully driverless vehicles will soon follow. Ford, for one, has said it hopes to remove the driver from the picture entirely by 2021.

Now, a patent granted Ford this month reveals that the self-driving cars Ford is working on could give an owner the option to choose which mode it will operate in. Push a button and the steering wheel and pedals fold up and out of sight. Push again and they reappear, allowing manual driving.

Stay in the Loop!

That option may be essential, at least initially, as autonomous vehicle experts warn that coming up with a vehicle that can operate without a driver on all roads and under all conditions, may take years to develop, despite the optimistic prognostications of automakers like Ford, Daimler, Nissan and tech companies such as Google spin-off Waymo.

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End of Economic Councils Pose Trouble for Auto Industry

by on Aug.18, 2017

GM CEO Barra enjoyed a laugh with Trump during an automotive summit earlier this year.

Members of another White House advisory council resigned Friday, two days after President Donald Trump tweeted that he was “ending” a pair of economic advisory boards formed after his inauguration. In fact, the CEOs on those boards had voted to disband hours earlier in response to  the controversy over the president’s comments about the rioting in Charlottesville, VA over the weekend.

“General Motors is about unity and inclusion and so am I,” GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra said, in a statement. “Recent events, particularly those in Charlottesville, Virginia, and its aftermath, require that we come together as a country and reinforce values and ideals that unite us – tolerance, inclusion and diversity – and speak against those which divide us – racism, bigotry and any politics based on ethnicity.”

Breaking News!

GM declined to comment when asked whether Barra would have joined the fast-growing list of executives who were quitting in response to the Trump’s comments on Charlottesville, but several company sources said the industry’s first female CEO was caught in a difficult position: needing to publicly express GM’s position on racism and the desire to maintain the close ear of the president. That’s especially significant considering the White House is addressing a wide range of issues that will have serious impact on the auto industry, including federal fuel economy standards and the North American Free Trade Agreement.

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Ford Readying Wave of New Products, Says CEO Hackett

Automaker agrees to pay $10 mil to settle harassment claims.

by on Aug.17, 2017

Prior to joining Ford, Jim Hackett was Steelcase CEO and served as Interim U-Michigan Athletic Director.

While Ford has won praise for its push into autonomous vehicles, car-sharing and other futuristic mobility programs, it has also been criticized for a lack of new products today, something CEO Jim Hackett said the Detroit carmaker is addressing.

In an interview with the Associated Press, the former Steelcase chief executive – who took over at Ford following a management shake-up in May – say there is plenty “in the hopper,” though he declined to offer details on what new products are coming. Ford has revealed plans to revive its Bronco SUV and Ranger pickup nameplates, but critics say the carmaker also needs to revitalize its mainstream passenger car and luxury line-ups.

Industry News!

Separately, Ford confirmed Thursday that it will pay up to $10.1 million to settle sexual and racial harassment allegations linked to its two Chicago-area factories. It also will add new training programs for workers at those plants.

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BMW Teases Z4 Concept Ahead of Pebble Beach Unveiling

Bavarian marque teases one of two new reveals for Concours.

by on Aug.15, 2017

The new BMW Z4 Concept teases a roadster developed as part of a partnership with Toyota.

There were more than a few tears shed when BMW announced that its long-in-the-tooth Z4 Roadster was going away. And what might follow was clouded in some confusion considering all the upcoming changes to the maker’s line-up.

But was got a hint that an all-new version of the Z4 was in the works last month and now, the Bavarian maker says it will give us more details later this week during the unveiling of the new BMW Z4 Concept at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance over the weekend.

Future Product!

A new teaser image gives us a good look at both the front end and side of the roadster show car, the concept expected to hew closely to what the production model will look like when revealed in the near future. Among the details we’re hoping to confirm is speculation that the new model will share the same platform as the next-generation Toyota Supra.

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Germany, Home of the Autobahn, Could Be Next to Begin Phase-Out of Internal Combustion Engine

“The approach is the right one,” says Chancellor Angela Merkel.

by on Aug.15, 2017

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, center, with several former Opel executives.

It’s the home of the Autobahn, super-smooth highways where German motorists can generally drive as fast as their gas and diesel-powered cars will allow. But Chancellor Angela Merkel signaled that Germany’s drivers may soon have to switch to battery-electric and other zero-emissions vehicles.

In an interview with the country’s Super Illu weekly, Merkel expressed support for new plans to phase out the internal combustion engine in countries including Norway and the United Kingdom.

Global News!

“The approach is the right one,” she said, though the Chancellor hesitated about offering a precise timetable for such a move in Germany, saying, “I can’t give you a precise year yet.”

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Pushing the Limits in the 2018 Ford F-150 Limited

Review: We put Ford's work and luxury truck through its paces.

by on Aug.14, 2017

It can be a dirty job, but someone has to do it.

It’s confession time: few things scare me more than having to back up a trailer – like the one carrying the big boat I was to drive down the ramp and load into Portage Lake last Friday.

It takes confidence, patience and skill to avoid doing some serious damage, or at least embarrassingly yourself in front of the folks watching as you slip into reverse. Alternatively, it helps to have a Ford F-150 pickup equipped with the maker’s Pro Trailer Backup Assist system, something that makes the process about as simple as playing a videogame.

Reviews You Can Trust!

Pro Trailer Assist was one of a handful of features I got to try this past week while checking out the newly updated 2018 Ford F-150. My mule for the day: a fully loaded 4×4 version of the 3.5-liter Limited Crew Cab edition, at $64,440 – $1,295 in destination fees – one of the most lavishly equipped and expensive half-ton pickups on the market.

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Infiniti Goes Forward into the Past with Retro-Futuristic Prototype 9.

Modern take on old racer integrates future electric drivetrain.

by on Aug.14, 2017

The Infiniti Prototype 9.

Grand prix racer or classic Indy 500 entry? You might get to wondering when you get your first look at the Infiniti Prototype 9, especially if that happens out at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance next weekend.

But despite going to the world’s most famous classic car event to reveal one-seat racer, this is not a competitor to one of the original Mercedes-Benz Silver Arrows. What Infiniti is calling “a journey back in time,” is actually a completely modern take, down to its fully electric drivetrain.

Classic News!

“Prototype 9 celebrates the tradition of ingenuity, craftsmanship and passion of our forebears at Nissan Motor Corporation, on whose shoulders we stand today,” says Alfonso Albaisa, Infiniti’s Senior Vice President, Global Design.

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