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Archive for September, 2017

VW Doubles Warranty Hoping to Put Diesel Scandal in Rearview Mirror

But cost of emissions scam surges past $30 bil mark.

by on Sep.29, 2017

The 2018 VW Golf family will come under the new People First Warranty program.

Volkswagen is doubling the bumper-to-bumper warranty on its U.S. Line-up to six years and 72,000 miles, it announced during a Detroit news event on Friday.

The move affects its entire range of models, extending the longer warranty it launched with the debut of the new Tiguan and Atlas SUV models earlier this year. Hyundai, Kia and Mitsubisi offer have 10/100 warranties, but only for powertrain coverage.

The Last Word!

The new warranties come as the German maker struggles to regain momentum lost in the wake of the emissions scandal that meant that it could no longer offer U.S. buyers the diesel options that had accounted for as much as a fifth of its sales in the American market. At the same time, VW announced it was taking an additional $2.9 billion charge to cover costs related to the scandal for the third quarter, bringing to $30 billion the expenses the rigging scheme has so far cost the company.

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Elon Musk Wants to Send You to Mars – or at Least Around the World in an Hour

SpaceX aims to land two cargo ships on Mars by 2022.

by on Sep.29, 2017

An artist's rendering of SpaceX BFR spaceships on Mars. While the sky is blue and sunsets are red on Earth, it's the other way around on Mars.

Elon Musk is clearly out to change the way we travel, both where we go and how we get there. The visionary entrepreneur has laid out a series of plans for his SpaceX rocket company that would not only set the stage for colonizing Mars but speed up the process of getting to just about any place on Earth.

Musk has revealed plans for a next-generation spacecraft – dubbed BFR, for “Big Falcon Rocket” – that could be used to go from New York to Shanghai, for example, in less than a half-hour. With the internal nickname, “Big Fucking Rocket,” it would also be the vehicle to get man back to the moon and even Mars, Musk announcing plans to land two cargo ships on the Red Planet in 2022, and astronauts two years later.

Science Fiction to Reality?

“That’s not a typo — although it is aspirational,” said the South African-born Musk, during a presentation at the International Astronautical Congress, or IAC, in Australia, early today.

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Alfa Romeo Claims Stelvio Quadrifoglio Fastest Sport-Ute

Did they forget about the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk?

by on Sep.29, 2017

The 2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio set a new SUV record at Germany's famous Nürburgring.

Fiat Chrysler produces the fastest sport-utility on the planet, the question is how do you quantify fastest?

Earlier this year, the company rolled out the 707-horsepower Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk. Using the same 6.2-liter supercharged V8 powerplant as the newly minted Hellcat model. Jeep has never been shy about offering performance versions of the Grand Cherokee, but the Trackhawk is about 50% more powerful than any SUV it previously offered.

News Now!

However, another member of the FCA family is now boasting it has the fastest SUV in the world: Alfa Romeo and the Stelvio Quadrifoglio. (more…)

GM Launches 1.0-T Engine in China

The new powerplants arrive as government pushes for electric vehicles.

by on Sep.29, 2017

GM is rolling out its new 1.0T and 1.3T engines in China as the government is pushing for electric vehicles.

As the Chinese government puts pressure on for carmakers to build more electric vehicles, General Motors is putting its new-generation ECOTEC 1.0-T and 1.3-T dual injection engines into service in China.

The turbocharged engines were developed as part of a global architecture with the support of GM’s worldwide manufacturing and supply chain networks. They will power Buick and Chevrolet models built and sold in the domestic market starting later this year, GM officials said.

Global Auto News!

“GM is integrating our unmatched global resources with our local capabilities to offer reliable, durable and efficient propulsion systems,” said Michael Carman, GM China vice president of Global Propulsion Systems. “These new engines will offer a great ownership and driving experience to our customers across China.” (more…)

Pricing on New Ford Super Duty Limited Approaches $100K

The new model is a long way from the early low-priced farmer's hauler.

by on Sep.29, 2017

Ford's top of the line Super Duty pickup truck now comes in just shy of $100,000.

The price of Ford Motor Co.’s latest addition to the company’s expensive pickup fleet is now fixed at just under $100,000.

Ford unveiled the new F-Series Super Duty Limited that sets new luxury standards for high-end heavy-duty truckers at the Texas State Fair in Dallas, Texas.

Product News!

With pricing at $87,100, the F-450 Limited delivers technology and comfort previously reserved only in premium flagship sedans, Ford officials said. In addition, it is capable of towing more than 30,000 lbs. – about the weight of a stealthy Air Force F-35 fighter plane. (more…)

Renault-Nissan’s Ghosn Raises Caution Flag for U.S. Auto Market

Exec expects NAFTA to survive, despite threats from Trump.

by on Sep.28, 2017

Carlos Ghosn relinquished his title as Nissan CEO this year to focus more on Mitsubishi.

After months of decline, September could bring some good news for U.S. automakers, with a modest upturn in new vehicle sales. But don’t expect that upturn to last long, warns Carlos Ghosn, CEO of the Renault-Nissan Alliance.

The Brazilian-born executive said that sales in the U.S. market are likely to remain “stable,” meaning no growth. On the other hand, he told CNBC he doesn’t expect the serious downturn that some observers have begun to worry about after months of weak sales.

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Beyond the Headlines!

Asked if there’s an opportunity for the American market to grow, following three record years of sales, Ghosn said, “I’m not planning on that,” adding that, “For the next six years we’re seeing a stable U.S. market (but) we don’t see growth in the U.S.”

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Chevy Marks 100 Years of Pickups With Two Special Centennial Editions

Original One-Ton model was cobbled together by factory workers.

by on Sep.28, 2017

The 2018 Chevrolet Silverado Centennial Edition.

It’s coming up on 100 years since some Chevy workers cobbled together a handful of parts to create the One-Ton, the bowtie brands first pickup truck, and the Detroit automaker is launching a 100-day celebration to mark the centennial.

The festivities include the debut of two special-edition models, Centennial Edition versions of both the 2018 Chevrolet Colorado and Silverado trucks. Among other things, the two models get a variety of nice touches, such as chrome trim, tow hooks and mirror caps. They also showcase various versions of the familiar bowtie logo Chevy has used over the years.

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Keep on Truckin'!

“The Chevy Trucks Centennial is a huge milestone for us,” said the brand’s truck marketing and advertising chief Sandor Piszar. “It’s important that we share this celebration with our loyal customers who have helped us achieve this accomplishment.”

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Traffic Jams to Cost NYC More Than $90B by 2026

Average commuter pays more than $1,400 annually due to traffic.

by on Sep.28, 2017

Traffic jams cost hundreds of billions of dollars annually and that figure is only rising, according to a new study.

Not only do traffic jams cause tension, anger and even road rage, they also cost money — billions of dollars annually, according to a new study.

Earlier this year, Inrix calculated that congestion costs U.S. drivers an average of $1,400 per driver each year. That was using 2016 statistics and much of the costs came from time and fuel, but also the increased cost they pay for goods.

News You Can Trust!

For those of you living or who are frequent visitors to Los Angeles, New York, Washington, Atlanta and Dallas, it will come as no surprise that those sprawling metropolises face the highest costs from such bottlenecks, according Seattle-based traffic data firm Inrix. (more…)

AutoGravity Expands its Reach in Auto Financing World

New app helps company reach younger buyers.

by on Sep.28, 2017

AutoGravity has lined up $1 billion in financing to enable buyers to secure new and used vehicles.

AutoGravity, a car shopping and financing smart phone app, has lined up more than $1 billion in financing for new and used vehicles for its overwhelmingly youthful users as it expands its presence in automotive finance.

Launched two years ago, AutoGravity now has the support from an impressive array of “captive” finance companies, including those belonging to Daimler AG and Volkswagen, which have invested in the service.

Financing News!

Earlier this month, Hyundai Capital America, which does business as “Hyundai Motor Finance,” “Kia Motors Finance,” and “Genesis Finance,” signed on to AutoGravity. (more…)

Toyota, Mazda, Denso Join Forces for EV Development

New joint venture designed to produce new technologies.

by on Sep.28, 2017

Toyota, Mazda and Denso created a new joint venture to develop electric vehicle technology.

Toyota Motor Corp is setting up a new venture with Mazda Motor Corp. and Denso to develop electric vehicle technology for what has become a worldwide race to develop electric vehicles to meet demands for cleaner air.

Toyota is putting up 90% of the capital for the new venture, EV C.A. Spirit Co. Ltd. Denso and Mazda will put 5% each. The new venture will be based in Nagoya, Toyota’s home base in Japan. Denso is one of Toyota’s most trusted suppliers of sophisticated components, including electronics.

Plugging You In!

The venture will be staffed by selected engineers from the three companies to ensure the efficient implementation of the joint technological development projects, according to a statement released by Toyota. (more…)