2018 February | TheDetroitBureau.com - Part 2
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Archive for February, 2018

Armormax Tesla: Faster Than a Speeding Bullet, Can Stop One Too!

International Armoring Co. produces world's fastest bulletproof car.

by on Feb.26, 2018

The Armormax Tesla Model S P100D is bulletproof, but by adding just 550 pounds, it allows the vehicle to perform normally.

Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk may or may not have hinted around that the Model S P100D is faster than a speeding bullet, but now thanks to International Armoring Corp., it doesn’t have to outrun the slug, it can stop it.

International Armoring and several other companies have been taking high-priced luxury vehicles, such as Mercedes-Benzes, BMWs, Cadillacs and more, for the well-heeled who have security concerns and adding ballistic protection and other security technologies for decades.

Product News!

So it was only a matter of time before a Tesla found its way into the Ogden, Utah-based company’s hands. It has been armoring vehicles for 25 years. (more…)

Geely Chairman Shufu Shaking Up Auto Industry

Daimler may have gained a new strategic partner.

by on Feb.26, 2018

Geely Chairman Li Shufu, left, and Volvo CEO Stefan Jacoby after Shufu signed the papers to take the majority interest in Volvo Cars.

Daimler AG and its principal Chinese partner, BAIC, plan to invest almost $2 billion in a state-of-the-art factory in China, even as Li Shufu, the ambitious entrepreneur, who has made Geely into an automotive power begins to digest his purchase of a 9.7% stake in the company.

Adding to the intrigue, Daimler and BAIC, the company built around Beijing Jeep and a key Geely competitor, plan to use the money to revamp a factory they jointly own to build both Mercedes-Benz luxury and electric vehicles from Mercedes new line of electric vehicles.

An Electrifying News Source!

The investment was clearly planned prior to Li Shufu’s dramatic disclosure he had quietly acquired 9.7% of Daimler AG’s shares. The Chinese entrepreneur, who has built his company into the largest privately owned auto company in China, also hinted that he was prepared to acquire more shares even as he prepared to visit Germany for a round of talks with Daimler executive in Stuttgart and officials from the German government in Berlin. (more…)

CAR Study: Autonomous Revolution Coming Slower than Expected

Public's interest in EVs is much strong than self-driving cars.

by on Feb.26, 2018

A new study from the Center for Automotive Research shows that consumers are more interested in EVs that self-driving cars.

Despite all the new truck, sport utility vehicle and crossover vehicles launched at last month’s North American International Auto Show, presentations from carmakers also focused on the future of connected and autonomous vehicle technologies, new mobility service models, and advanced powertrain solutions, according to a new study from the Center for Automotive Research noted.

“Automakers are making big bets and hope they will pay off. Ford Chairman Bill Ford summed up the divide when he announced his company’s $11 billion investment in EVs in January 2018, “… we’re all in now. The only question is will the customers be there with us, and we think they will,” noted the CAR study, which was released last week at a meeting to the Automotive Press Association in Detroit.

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Meanwhile the U.S. automotive industry is in the midst of a critical period. Light vehicle sales are plateauing at a very high level and include a rich mix of pickups, SUVs and CUVs that are producing record profits. (more…)

Fiat Chrysler Said to be Exiting Diesel Business on Car Side

Plan reportedly set to be announced in June.

by on Feb.26, 2018

FCA appears ready phase out diesels in all but pickups and Jeeps.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles plans to end production of diesel-powered passenger cars by 2022, according to a newly published report, though it left open the possibility the automaker will continue offering the high-mileage technology in some of its trucks.

The plan is set to be announced in June as part of the broader five-year strategy the carmaker will unveil – about the same time it is expected to outline plans to replace the soon-to-retire CEO Sergio Marchionne.

Global News!

A phase-out of diesel production by FCA would not be entirely unexpected in the wake of the Volkswagen emissions cheating scandal sales of the technology has slumped in many markets, especially in Europe. And regulators in many places, including the city of Paris, are now considering diesel bans. Porsche last week announced its own plan to phase-out the technology. (more…)

Polestar 1 Making its European Debut in Geneva

First electric performance hybrid will be on the stand.

by on Feb.26, 2018

Thomas Ingenlath, Polestar CEO, said the Polestar 1 will make its European debut at the Geneva Motor Show.

Polestar, the electric performance brand from Volvo, will make its European debut at the Geneva Motor Show when it shows off the company’s first car, the Polestar 1.

“We are looking forward to exhibiting at the Geneva Motor Show and are eager to hear feedback and see the reactions from the public on our first car and our new brand,” said Thomas Ingenlath, chief executive officer at Polestar.

Global News!

“Our stand in Geneva will be a powerful incarnation of what our brand embodies: uncompromised, pure and progressive design,” he added. (more…)

Geely Buys 9.7% of Daimler AG for $9.2 Billion

Chinese company now Daimler's largest shareholder.

by on Feb.23, 2018

Geely Chairman Li Khufu purchased 9.7% of Daimler AG for $9.2 billion.

Li Shufu, Geely’s chairman and majority owner, continues to sample different flavors from the automotive industry buffet, spending $9.2 billion for a 9.7% stake in Daimler AG.

The purchase, which was revealed in a regulatory filing, makes Shufu Daimler’s largest single shareholder ahead of the Kuwait Investment Authority, which holds 6.8%. Nearly 71% of Daimler shares are held by institutional holders, like Shufu.

The Last Word!

“We are delighted, with Li Shufu, to have won over another long-term investor who is convinced of Daimler’s innovative prowess, strategy and future potential,” a Daimler spokesperson told Reuters. “Daimler knows and respects Li Shufu as a Chinese entrepreneur of particular competence and forward thinking.” (more…)

Lawmakers Look at Alternatives to Gas Tax as Highway Infrastructure Crumbles

Rebuilding America’s roads will be costly – per-mile fees may be one solution.

by on Feb.23, 2018

President Donald Trump is backing a 25-cent increase in the national gas tax to pay for infrastructure improvements.

Lawmakers in Hawaii have taken the first step towards adding new fees for owners of electrified vehicles, a move a Senate committee chairman describes as a way to get hybrid and EV owners to “pay their fair share” towards maintaining the state’s bridges and roads.

With the U.S. transportation infrastructure crumbling and state and federal highway funds running short, lawmakers and regulators are searching for ways to raise new money. President Donald Trump, who made a massive infrastructure program a cornerstone of his campaign for the White House, has gone so far as to suggest federal gas taxes might need to be more than doubled.

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That proposal has gotten a cold reception from Congress, no surprise after Republicans barely pushed through a tax cut late last year and now face a tough midterm battle to retain control of both the House and Senate. But with taxpayers also demanding road repairs there’s growing interest in finding alternative solutions, such as pay-as-you-go fees. And even though Congress decided to retain tax credits for zero-emissions vehicles, that could be offset with new registration and usage fees. (more…)

First Drive: 2019 Hyundai Nexo Fuel-Cell Vehicle

An Olympic effort: Hyundai’s 2nd-generation hydrogen car delivers mainstream manners, 400-mile range.

by on Feb.23, 2018

Hyundai offered Winter Olympic visitors a chance to test drive the new Nexo outfitted with its latest Level 4 autonomous drive

With the winter games heading into their final days, busloads of tourists have been flowing through the gates of Pyeonchang’s Olympic Village, but on this crisp, sunny morning, a steady stream of visitors veers off shortly before reaching the turnstiles, detouring to a small, downtown corner where a cluster of new SUVs are parked.

With a little patience, they’ll have the chance to go for a test drive in what some are calling the vehicle of the future – in this case, twice over. The slate gray Hyundai Nexo SUVs are not only powered by zero-emission hydrogen fuel-cells but use the Korean carmaker’s latest Level 4 autonomous vehicle technology.

Reviews You Can Trust!

I climb into the shotgun seat alongside a Hyundai engineer assigned to serve as a backup “operator,” just in case something unexpected happens along the 10-minute route, In passable English, he explains that the Korean carmaker hopes to have its first hands-free vehicle on sale “in a couple years.” But the Nexo itself, he quickly adds, will be in showrooms in barely a year.

(more…)

Nexteer Opening New Plant in Morocco

New facility to be open in 2019

by on Feb.23, 2018

Nexteer Automotive is opening a new plant in Morocco in 2019.

Nexteer, the Chinese-owned automotive supplier organized around the steering-gear business that once belonged to General Motors, plans to open a plant in Kenitra, Morocco.

The new 18,000-square-meter factory will be the company’s first in Africa and is scheduled for a ground-breaking ceremony in late March 2018. Once the facility begins production in 2019, it will be counted as Nexteer’s 25th plant in its global manufacturing footprint.

Global News!

Analysts consider North Africa, with young growing population and low vehicle density, a potentially lucrative market for global automakers. (more…)

New Vehicle Sales Expected to Drop in February

Only Toyota, VW and Audi expected to see small increases.

by on Feb.23, 2018

Sluggish sales in the U.S. are expected to continue into February.

Carmakers are quick to point out that one month of sales figures don’t represent a trend, but analysts are now predicting that new vehicle sales are poised to slide again in February, following the drop in January.

Edmunds, a leading car shopping and information platform, is predicting 1.27 million new cars and trucks will be sold in the U.S. this month for an estimated seasonally adjusted annual rate or SAAR of 16.8 million.

Sales News!

The figures reflects a 10.8% increase in sales compared with last month, but a 4.1% decrease from February 2017, Edmunds said. (more…)