Posts Tagged ‘TheDetroitBureau.com.’

Dyson’s EV Efforts Following a Familiar Path

Entrepreneur plans to start with a low-volume, premium car then add two.

by on Feb.14, 2018

James Dyson confirmed plans to produce an electric vehicle by 2020.

Stop me if you’ve heard this one: a quirky entrepreneur decides to get into the automotive business by developing an electric vehicle, even though he has no real experience in that arena. The grand plan calls for three vehicles to anchor the company.

Sound familiar?

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Yes. But it’s not Elon Musk and Tesla, but rather James Dyson, the famous inventor of the Dyson vacuum and many other products. Dyson recently revealed plans to produce an EV using a solid state batteries rather than the lithium ion panels currently used by automakers. (more…)

Nissan Set to Reveal All-New Altima at NY Auto Show

Nissan hopes to hang onto midsize buyers in an SUV market.

by on Feb.14, 2018

Nissan is looking to ensure that its Altima midsize sedan continues to attract buyers in the competitive segment.

Midsize sedans. Remember them? In reality, while SUVs and CUVs have been gaining lots of momentum in the U.S. marketplace, the classic family four-door is still a seriously popular alternative, ringing up millions of sales each year.

It helps to have new sheet metal in the market, and last year saw two critical offerings, the completely remade Toyota Camry and Honda Accord – the latter being named North American Car of the Year, with Camry a runner-up. Now, it’s Nissan’s turn to weigh in, and the Japanese automaker has confirmed we’ll get our first look at the 2019 Altima at the New York Auto Show in a little more than a month.

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Spy shots have been popping up in recent months and they suggest we won’t see any radical shift away from Nissan’s current formula. A brief statement from the second-largest Japanese car manufacturer says that, “New Yorkers have always loved the Altima, making the Northeast region the most popular market for Nissan’s best-selling sedan and NYIAS the ideal place to reveal the next generation.” (more…)

New Mercedes-Benz C-Class Getting More Power, More Smarts

Semi-autonomous tech moves over from the S-Class.

by on Feb.14, 2018

The most important of the introductions by Mercedes-Benz at the Geneva Motor Show may be the midcycle refresh of the C-Class.

It’s going to be a busy Geneva Motor Show for Mercedes-Benz, the automaker rolling out an assortment of new models for global or European debuts, including the new four-door AMG GT, the updated S- and G-Class models, the all-new A-Class, and an updated C-Class.

While that compact sedan may only be getting a midcycle refresh it could prove to be the most significant of the introductions considering that the C-Class remains Mercedes’ global best-seller, generating more than 400,000 sales in 2017. Freshening it up will be critical at a time when more and more buyers are shifting from passenger cars to SUVs and CUVs.

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Both the C-Class sedan and wagon models will be updated for 2019, and while exterior and interior changes will be modest, buyers will be tempted with an increase in power, as well as the addition of new semi-autonomous technology lifted from the lofty S-Class and able to handle a limited amount of hands-free driving. (more…)

Maven Making Move to Toronto

Service expands into new country.

by on Feb.14, 2018

GM's car-sharing service, Maven, continues to grow. The on-demand access to vehicles is now in Canada's largest city, Toronto.

General Motors car-sharing service, Maven, which offers customers access to personalized, on-demand mobility services, has opened for business in Toronto, Canada’s largest city.

So far, GM has rolled out Maven in more than a dozen cities in North America, including New York and Los Angeles.

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“Toronto has a unique spirit. Residents are constantly on the go and want more sharing and mobility options,” said Julia Steyn, vice president, General Motors Urban Mobility and Maven. “Maven offers cars Torontonians want to drive to help them be there for the moments that matter.” (more…)

Automotive Consumer Debt Continues to Rise

Despite selling fewer vehicles, loan originations rose last quarter.

by on Feb.14, 2018

Americans borrowed more money to buy new vehicles in 2017 despite the fact that they bought fewer vehicles.

The amount of money Americans borrowed to finance the purchase of new vehicles increased again during the fourth quarter of 2017, according to new figures published by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

The Federal Reserve Bank of NY said the value of auto loans approved during the fourth quarter increased by $8 billion over the same period in 2016 when sales were of vehicles were relatively stronger. In addition, the value of automotive loans or debts held by lenders increased in 2017 by $64 billion to $1.22 trillion even though overall new vehicle sales dropped last year.

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The percentage of delinquent auto loans also dropped in the fourth quarter to 2.3% from 2.4%, the report noted. (more…)

Pot Smokers Not Only Thing High on 4/20 – Traffic Accidents Too

New study shows double-digit percent increase in traffic fatalities.

by on Feb.13, 2018

Marijuana advocates celebrate "4/20" annually by smoking pot. Researchers say that traffic fatalities rise by 12% that day. Photo credit: Daily Camera

Each year on April 20, thousands of people in the United States celebrate 4/20, the date 2o- years ago that High Times, a marijuana advocacy publication, designated to celebrate what it perceived as the virtues of smoking pot.

However, a new study shows that it’s not only people that get high on that day, traffic fatality rates get high(er) as well.

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Actually the results of the study are more educated guess than stone cold fact. Researchers cannot not fully determine if marijuana-intoxicated drivers caused the rise in vehicle deaths on 4/20, but they appear to be the most likely culprits, according to John Staples, an internist and researcher at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. (more…)

Nvidia, Continental Partnering on New Autonomous Vehicle Tech

New deal seeks to accelerate system development.

by on Feb.13, 2018

Continental CEO Elmar Degenhart, left, and Jensen Huang, Nvidia founder and CEO, say their new deal will accelerate autonomous vehicle development.

Continental AG, the giant automotive supplier, and Nvidia, one of Silicon Valley’s fast-growing tech companies, are planning to combine their talents on system for self-driving cars.

The goal, the latest in a string of partnerships between technology and automotive companies, expects to have a product ready by 2021. Nvidia has already become a supplier of choice to customers in the automotive industry, such as Audi, that also have long-standing links to Continental.

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The companies said the system will be used for driver-assist safety features all the way up to cars with no steering wheel or pedals. Nvidia, based in Santa Clara, California, makes computer processing units and artificial intelligence, or AI, software that reads sensors and makes decisions for autonomous vehicles.  (more…)

Demolition Teams Ready to Roll at GM’s Old Janesville Plant

New company looking to redevelop old plant.

by on Feb.13, 2018

GM's former plant in Janesville, Wisconsin appears to be on the verge of demolition and redevelopment.

A St. Louis-based development company is moving ahead with plans for the demolition of General Motors’ old assembly plant in Janesville, Wisconsin, which was once of the most profitable factories in GM vast manufacturing portfolio.

The plant was still turning out full-sized Chevrolet sport utility vehicles when it closed for good in the middle of the bitter recession amid the financial crisis that forced GM to file for bankruptcy.

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The 4.8 million square-foot plant, which sits on 300 acres near the center of Janesville was sold in December 2017 to Commercial Development of St. Louis, Missouri. Commercial Development told local officials that it plans to re-develop the property. (more…)

Update: Ghosn Successor Plan Wins Thumbs Up from French Government – But Support Comes with Stiff Price

France demanding Renault formally merge with Japanese ally Nissan.

by on Feb.12, 2018

Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance chief Carlos Ghosn will get the man he wants to succeed him when he retires: COO Thierry Bollore.

Carlos Ghosn’s plan to name his successor later this week has cleared a critical hurdle despite creating some turmoil – including the resignation of one of French automaker Renault’s senior board members.

The French government, which owns a major stake in Renault, now says it will accept Ghosn’s plan to appoint Thierry Bollore as the carmaker’s chief operating officer and his heir-apparent. But the government also said that it wants an agreement that Ghosn will push to form an “integrated” company – translation: a merger – with Japan’s Nissan, rather than the current alliance structure. Ghosn has long preferred to see the two companies coordinate efforts but remain independent.

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Ghosn, who will turn 64 next month, is expected to be given another four-year contract as chairman, CEO and president of Renault in June, but naming Bollore his successor “is perfectly acceptable to the French shareholder,” according to a source in the government’s finance ministry who spoke to the Reuters news service on Monday. (more…)

Ford, Mazda Expand ‘Do Not Drive’ Takata Recall

Automakers broaden small pickup recall after additional testing.

by on Feb.12, 2018

Owners of certain 2006 Ford Rangers are being told to park their trucks immediately as part of a recall to repair faulty Takata airbags.

This story has been updated with additional information.

Ford and Mazda issued a warning to about 35,000 Ranger and B-Series small pickups to stop driving the trucks immediately due to potential problems with Takata-made airbags. The action is essentially an extension of a smaller recall Ford issued last month.

In January, Ford issued the same order for 2,900 Ranger pickups for the 2006 model year because of the faulty inflators from Takata. The company became aware of a second death that occurred in a truck from the same “production run” of vehicles causing Ford to send out the urgent warning to owners.

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Mazda Motor Corp. followed suit for about 1,800 2006 Mazda B-series trucks that were built by Ford after it had issued a warning for 160 trucks last month. NHTSA said the vehicles pose “an immediate risk to safety” and asked owners to immediately schedule a free repair. (more…)