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Archive for the ‘Automobiles’ Category

VW, Navistar Partnering on New Electric Truck for 2019

Partnership expected to generation $500M in cost savings.

by on Sep.25, 2017

Cummins and Tesla will be joined in the electric truck market by an offering from VW and Navistar.

The battery-powered truck market is the new hotness as Volkswagen AG and Navistar International Corp. said they were partnering on a new EV truck that would hit the market in 2019.

Executives from the two companies said they would jointly produces a new medium-duty truck powered by batteries the end of that year, according to Reuters. They also said they would be producing next-gen “big bore” diesels.

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The two companies joined forces last year when VW took a 16.6% stake in Illinois-based Navistar. Executives said they expect the pairing will save $500 million in development costs during the first five years of the partnership. (more…)

Damage Control: Is it Too Late for Uber?

New CEO apologizes, but can he save business in London — and elsewhere?

by on Sep.25, 2017

Uber's new CEO Dara Khosrowshahi is already trying to find ways to raise morale and the moral compass of the company.

Uber’s new CEO Dara Khosrowshahi has been on the job less than six weeks and is already facing more crises than the average top executive faces in a career.

He faced his latest biggest hurdle — the revocation of Uber’s license to operate in London — by dealing with it head on: a full-page advertisement apologizing to the city and its residents for not tackling a variety of problems.

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“While Uber has revolutionized the way people move in cities around the world, it’s equally true that we’ve got things wrong along the way,” he wrote in a letter first published London’s The Evening Standard. “On behalf of everyone at Uber globally, I apologize for the mistakes we’ve made.” (more…)

Porsche’s Mission E Compounds Problems for Tesla, Could Cripple Model S

California EV maker facing margin crunch as it struggles to claw into the black.

by on Sep.25, 2017

Tesla's Model S is facing pricing issues, in part, due to increased competition, like the upcoming Porsche Mission E.

For Tesla, the good news is that there are more than enough buyers standing in line for the new Model 3 than the California carmaker can handle through at least early 2019. The bad news is that demand has been sliding for the older Models S and X, forcing Tesla to slash prices by as much as $30,000.

And the challenge could soon get even tougher – for both Tesla’s high-line and lower-end products – as a flood of new competitors enter the market.

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That includes the Porsche Mission E, the German maker’s eagerly awaited first battery-electric vehicle. Set to go on sale in 2019, the German automaker’s CEO this month said that it will enter the market with a base price of “an entry-level Panamera,” or somewhere just south of $90,000. That would position it right on top of the base Tesla Model S. (more…)

When it Comes to Jobs, Automakers Give – and Take Away

Industry announces plans for 12,000 jobs long-term, but cutbacks costing thousands now.

by on Sep.25, 2017

Mercedes is one of the automakers getting set to expand U.S. operations and create new jobs.

If you’re looking for a job at an auto assembly plant, hang tight, there will be thousands of new openings over the next several years. But for now, you might want to look elsewhere.

The auto industry was one of the sparks that helped set fire to the U.S. economy after the Great Recession, and since just the beginning of the year, manufacturers ranging BMW to Volvo have announced plans to add at least 12,000 new jobs as they add new U.S. assembly plants or expand existing ones.

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GM Cutting 1K Jobs at Tennessee Plant

Move designed to cut down on rising inventories.

by on Sep.25, 2017

GM's Spring Hill, Tennessee, plant is laying off 1,000 workers as the company attempts to quell rising inventories.

General Motors plans to idle 1,000 workers at its Spring Hill, Tennessee, assembly plant as it, like other automakers, continues to grapple with weakening sales and an uncertain market.

GM is still calculating how many permanent and temporary workers will be furloughed, company officials. The layoffs, which will start after Thanksgiving, will be indefinite.

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The automaker also confirmed it will spend $294 million to update the factory to build a new compact sport-utility vehicle that will be sold by the Cadillac division.  (more…)

London Kicks Uber from the Curb

Transport authority says Uber's not "fit and proper."

by on Sep.22, 2017

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi has faced one problem after another since his arrival at the company.

Uber’s new CEO Dara Khosrowshahi may be rethinking his decision to take the ride-sharing company’s top job after the latest blow: London has revoked its license to operate.

The Silicon Valley company is the world’s largest ride-sharing firm and the loss of London’s 3.5 million users is a severe blow. Transport for London, the city’s transport authority, determined that the company was “not fit and proper to hold a private vehicle hire license.”

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“Uber’s approach and conduct demonstrate a lack of corporate responsibility in relation to a number of issues which have potential public safety and security implications,” the agency said. “TfL must also be satisfied that an operator is fit and proper to hold a license.” (more…)

Rural America Less Likely to Buckle Up, More Likely to Die in Car Crash

Study shows unbelted occupants account for half of deaths.

by on Sep.22, 2017

Front occupants are twice as likely to die in a crash if there's someone unbelted in back.

While seat belt usage rates in the United States are – and have been – above 90% for more than a decade, there is still a “problem” area: rural America.

According to a new study from Centers for Disease Control, America’s most rural counties had motor-vehicle death rates 3 to 10 times higher than those in the most urban counties, largely due to a lack of seatbelt use.

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“We know seat belts save lives,” said CDC Director Brenda Fitzgerald, M.D. “These findings remind us that no matter what kind of road you are traveling on, it is important for everyone to buckle up every time on every trip.” (more…)

Lexus LS: Struggling for Relevance in a Rapidly Changing Market

Retaining an “upstart” mindset critical in an increasingly uncertain industry.

by on Sep.22, 2017

The 2018 Lexus LS 500 features bold new exterior styling, which has been the focus of the company's higher ups.

From automotive upstart to part of the industry’s elite — there’ve been a lot of changes since Lexus made its debut nearly three decades ago. Now, there are new players trying to shake up the established order and its Toyota’s luxury brand that’s on the defensive.

Nothing symbolizes the challenges the Japanese marque faces like the 2018 LS, the fifth-generation remake of its flagship sedan. Since Lexus made its debut in 1989, the LS has symbolized everything the brand stands for: affordable, elegant, high-tech – and green, the full-size sedan becoming the first in its segment offered with a hybrid drivetrain option.

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But at a time when SUVs, rather than sedans, have come to dominate the sales charts, is the LS still relevant? And is Lexus, more broadly, keeping pace with the changes reshaping the auto industry, including the race to electrify that has seen major manufacturers like BMW and Mercedes-Benz announce plans to offer battery-based options for every single product they build? (more…)

Mercedes Moves Closer to Launch of New SUV Family

Alabama plant will build part of the battery-based family in future.

by on Sep.22, 2017

Mercedes will build its EQC, an SUV-style electric vehicle for the 2019 model year.

Mercedes-Benz isn’t ready just yet to say when it will bring out the EV version of a sport-utility vehicle under the EQ brand, which was first unveiled a year ago at the Paris Auto Show.

Markus Schaefer, member of the Divisional Board of Mercedes-Benz Cars, Production and Supply Chain, declined to tell reporters during a press conference at the Mercedes-Benz plant outside Tuscaloosa, when the plant would build its first electric vehicle.

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Major automakers such as Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen, BMW, Toyota, General Motors and Ford are all lining up to build new EVs, but the market outlook for the vehicles still remains uncertain despite pressure from national and local governments around the world, which are concerned about pollution from vehicles in major urban centers. (more…)

GM Talks With Unifor Deadlocked Over New Product

Union holds rally against NAFTA.

by on Sep.22, 2017

With GM talks halted, Unifor President Jerry Dias held a rally against NAFTA in Ottawa.

With negotiations at General Motors’ former CAMI plant in Ingersoll, Ontario, at a standstill, Unifor is holding a rally in the Canadian capital of Ottawa today to sound off against the North American Free Trade Agreement.

The union wants the deal renegotiated because it says the deal has cost Canada’s auto sector jobs and investment during the past 25 years, and it is part of the reason the why the workers are on the picket line right now.

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The 3,000 workers at the Ingersoll plant went on strike early Monday when negotiators from GM and Unifor reached an impasse over the automaker’s future plans for the plant, which has just started building a new version of the popular Chevrolet Equinox. In August, GM idled 600 employees at the Ingersoll plant as it shifted production of the GMC Terrain to Mexico. (more…)