Posts Tagged ‘paul eisenstein’

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.

Stay in the Loop!

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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Audi Out: Follows Growing Group of Automakers Abandoning Detroit Auto Show

NAIAS still studying possible date change to revive flagging fortunes.

by on May.11, 2018

Audi has traditionally used the NAIAS for major intros, like the Q8 Concept it debuted in 2017.

Already hit by key defections, the organizers of the North American International Auto Show in Detroit learned Thursday that Audi will also be a no-show in January 2019 – though the luxury arm of Volkswagen Group said it will “continue to evaluate” a return at a later date.

A once-regional event, the NAIAS became the most significant auto show in the U.S., and one of the world’s most widely watched, when it added the “International” designation in 1989. At its peak around the start of the new millennium, Detroit could count on virtually every manufacturer to participate, with some years seeing more than 70 new cars, trucks, concepts and crossovers debut.

Breaking News!

As the industry plunged into recession, things began to change. Some manufacturers, such as Nissan, pulled out temporarily, but others decided to abandon the Motor City event entirely. That included some of the most exclusive marques, like Ferrari, as well as mainstream and luxury brands like Mazda, which was a hold out this past January. Volvo had no corporate presence, though its local dealers did roll a few vehicles into Detroit’s Cobo Hall convention center. Now, it seems, the exodus is turning into a rout. Audi follows Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Porsche in planning to stay home next January. (more…)

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.

News You Can Trust!

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.

Product News!

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.

Get Charged Up!

“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.

Breaking News!

“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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