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Archive for the ‘Automobiles’ Category

First Look: 2019 Volvo V60

New wagon bears striking resemblance to bigger V90.

by on Feb.22, 2018

The new Volvo V60 bears a strong resemblance to the maker's V90 wagon.

Volvo Cars unveiled the new V60 five-door, a midsize wagon with a sporty flair that will fit comfortably into the Swedish car makers portfolio, which emphasizes styling and practicality.

“The family estate driver is an important customer for our business and has been for generations,” said Håkan Samuelsson, president and CEO of Volvo Cars. “The new V60 honors that tradition, but also takes it much further.”

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The V60 combines a luxurious interior, ample space, advanced connectivity and Volvo Cars’ latest driver assistance features and other safety technology.  While the V90 will continue to offer a premium, luxury experience, the V60 is sportier alternative to older models. The car is expected to appear in the U.S. in 2019. (more…)

Autonomous EVs Will Drive Ride-Share Costs by 50 Percent

BP economist predicts vehicles will run twice as much, leading to price drops.

by on Feb.22, 2018

BP Chief Economist Spencer Dale predicts that the prices of ride-sharing companies will fall 50% with the arrival of autonomous vehicles.

With the first wave of self-driving cars expected to reach the streets in the early 2020, the price of ride-sharing trips offered by Uber and Lyft could drop by half, according an estimate from one of Great Britain’s leading energy experts.

BP Chief Economist Spencer Dale said at an International Petroleum Week conference in London that self-driving cars initially will be too expensive for normal people to buy and instead will be snapped up by commercial companies.

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“The vast majority of these will be purchased by commercial fleets offering mobility services, so think Uber or Lyft. The potential here — if you suddenly get an Uber or Lyft without paying for a driver — is that it leads to a significant fall in the cost. We estimate that could reduce the cost of that type of service by around 40% or 50%,” Dale said during his appearance at the conference. (more…)

New Backup Technology Takes Safety Several Steps Forward, Says IIHS Study

Rear autobraking can prevent a wide range of crashes.

by on Feb.22, 2018

IIHS said Subaru and Cadillac had the best rear autobraking systems of the versions tested.

Motorists risk getting into crashes anytime they move their vehicle, including backing into or out of a parking spot. While rear crashes are less likely to result in injuries or death, they can still generate significant repair costs.

That’s where an assortment of new rear crash prevention technologies are coming into play. These cover a range of alternatives, including rear-facing cameras, sonar parking sensors, radar-based cross-traffic alert, and rear auto-braking systems that can not only detect a potential obstacle but also prevent the car from hitting it, even if the driver doesn’t react quickly enough.

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“Let’s face it. Some days we all could use help backing up, whether that’s in a garage with pillars that obscure your view, in a crowded mall parking lot or on a busy downtown street,” said David Zuby, the chief research officer for the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety which, for the first time, has evaluated and rated the most advanced of these systems, rear autobraking, on six 2017 models. (more…)

Ford Ousts EVP Nair After Investigation

Company mum on investigation details.

by on Feb.21, 2018

Ford's Raj Nair is out after an internal investigation revealed he engaged in "inappropriate behavior." Nair apologized.

Raj Nair, Ford Motor Co.’s executive vice president and president, North America, resigned from the company effective immediately.

His departure comes after an internal investigation into reports of inappropriate behavior. The company said the review determined certain behavior by Nair was inconsistent with the company’s code of conduct.

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“I sincerely regret that there have been instances where I have not exhibited leadership behaviors consistent with the principles that the Company and I have always espoused,” Nair said in a released statement. “I continue to have the utmost faith in the people of Ford Motor Company and wish them continued success in the future.” (more…)

Mercedes Moving to Build New Plant in Germany

New plant comes as competitor expands in U.S.

by on Feb.21, 2018

Markus Schäfer, Mercedes board member, marks the groundbreaking of the company's new plant in Germany.

Mercedes-Benz Cars broke ground on a new factory on its home ground in Sindelfingen outside of Stuttgart that the automaker claims will be the most modern production center in the world when it opens in 2020.

“Our ‘Factory 56’ will define a new way of building cars. With its ‘Factory 56’, Mercedes-Benz Cars is creating the car plant of the future,” said Markus Schäfer, member of the Divisional Board of Mercedes-Benz Cars, Production and Supply Chain.

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“It combines three trend-setting features: It is consistently digital and flexible – and it brings the term ‘green production’ to life. As the inventor of the car, we are reinventing production.” (more…)

GM’s Proposed $2.8B Investment Could Head Off Showdown or Shutdown in South Korea

Automaker looking at two new models; but union warning of strike.

by on Feb.21, 2018

GM is looking to shut down its underutilized Gunsan plant in South Korea.

General Motors is offering to add two new models to its South Korean line-up as part of a $2.8-billion, 10-year investment plan that could forestall a clash with the government and its union workers.

A week ago, GM announced plans to close its underutilized Gunsan plant, one of four assembly lines in Korea, and it strongly hinted that it was considering pulling out of the country entirely if it couldn’t reverse deep, ongoing losses.

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In return, the Detroit automaker is seeking financial assistance from the South Korean government and is expected to also seek some aid from its traditionally militant unions. But, in turn, workers are warning that if GM doesn’t move quickly to assure a future for those plants they could strike. (more…)

Lexus Downsizing With New UX Crossover

Are those fins we see?

by on Feb.21, 2018

Lexus is filling a hole in its line-up with the UX compact crossover.

The eagerly awaited Lexus UX is finally set to make the transition from concept to production, Toyota’s luxury brand set to pull the wraps off the compact crossover at the upcoming Geneva Motor Show.

With utility vehicles gaining ground on conventional sedans and coupes in virtually every major market, the Lexus UX will fill another critical niche, the fast-growing compact crossover segment, just below the brand’s current NX model.

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While the teaser image Lexus has released has been designed to keep most details hidden, it does reveal a few interesting things. The production UX, for one thing, apparently carries over the subtle fins shown on the earlier NX concept. Meanwhile, a bit of Photoshop magic uncovers what appeared to be a UX 250h badge, indicating a hybrid version of the new ute is in the plans. (more…)

Kia’s K900 Getting New Look

Reports of its demise are clearly exaggerated.

by on Feb.21, 2018

Rumored to be going away, the K900 is instead coming back with the promise of being better than ever.

With last year’s launch of the well-reviewed Kia Stinger many folks expected the Korean carmaker would abandon its first foray into the luxury market, the much more staid K900.

But as Mark Twain might have said, reports of the big sedan’s demise have been greatly exaggerated – as this newly released image of the next-generation K900 aims to demonstrate. Set to go on sale later this year, it will keep the Stinger company in Kia showrooms around the world.

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“The new model combines sophisticated exterior design, effortless performance and a spacious cabin distinguished by luxurious materials and elegant styling,” Kia said in a statement accompanying this teaser image. “New technologies protect occupants, enhance interior comfort and give the driver greater confidence at the wheel.” (more…)

BMW Rolling into Geneva with Multiple Debuts

The new X4 to be unveiled, plus X2, M3 CS and i8 also bow.

by on Feb.21, 2018

The 2019 BMW X4 grows in all dimensions but one, with its roofline lowered a mere 0.1 inches.

BMW plans to show a number of vehicles at the Geneva Auto Show next month, including additions to its line-up of electrified vehicles.

The rollouts will include the new edition of the first Sports Activity Coupe, the X4, which is at the premium end of the midsize class, of which BMW has sold more than 200,000 units.

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The new X4 is described as having expressive exterior design; premium interior ambience, state-of-the-art driver assistance systems and latest BMW Connected Drive functions as well as significantly enhanced driving dynamics thanks to equipment including M Sport suspension. (more…)

New Report: Daimler Software Cheat Beats Emission Tests

German maker cooperating with investigators.

by on Feb.20, 2018

Daimler's claims that its new diesel engine would be able to meet all emissions regulations turned out to be false.

Investigators in the United States are still probing whether Daimler AG cheated on U.S. diesel emissions tests.

The investigations apparently follow the lawsuits filed in 2016 by a number of customers, claiming their cars had software made to fool emission tests. The software is similar to Volkswagen’s, according to the German newspaper Bild am Sonntag.

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Mercedes-Benz, Daimler’s principal automotive subsidiary, no longer sells cars powered by diesel engines and has no plans to return diesel-powered vehicles to the U.S. market, senior company executives told TheDetroitBureau.com last month. (more…)