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Archive for the ‘Business’ Category

“Boutique” EV Company, Now Named Canoo, Plans to Market by Subscription Only

Former Evelozcity, wants to change the way cars are designed, built and marketed.

by on Mar.26, 2019

Canoo's leadership team is looking to change the way electric vehicles are built and bought.

In a market crowded with wannabe battery-car manufacturers, Los Angeles-based Canoo hopes to create a niche for itself with what’s its describing as a vehicle using “minimalist design that maximizes interior space.”

“Boutique” start-up Canoo is trying to to pitch itself as the alternative to conventional automotive manufacturers, as well as some of its new EV competitors, among other things by “Liberating you from the tyranny of auto ownership.” That translates into offering its planned products only through a subscription service.

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Originally known as Evelozcity, Canoo has yet to show any of the vehicles it’s planning to bring to market, something that might raise questions about the start-up’s viability. But to gain at least a little credibility, the company has announced it is hiring three battery-car veterans from BMW and rival EV wannabe Faraday Future. (more…)

First Drive: 2020 Kia Telluride

Automaker expands into a new segment.

by on Mar.25, 2019

Kia is playing catch up when it comes to its sport-utility line-up. The new Telluride is a big move in that direction.

With the introduction of the 2020 Kia Telluride, the South Korean automaker is moving into a whole new arena.

Kia has succeeded over the year in building its reputation as a challenger brand by building well-designed cars while earning plaudits for quality and winning customers with its economical pricing.

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With the introduction of 2020 Telluride, Kia, which also has shown an opportunistic willingness to take chances, is moving upscale into what has become perhaps the single most competitive space the car business today – the midsized sport utility segment.  (more…)

Order Domino’s Pizza at Touch of a Button: In Your Car

Pizza company joins Starbucks and other with car-based apps.

by on Mar.25, 2019

Domino's is developing a in-car app that allows you to order a pie on the fly.

First it was building a car specially designed to autonomously deliver its pies, now Domino’s is looking to develop an in-car app that allows users to order a pizza while they’re on the go.

Working with developer Xevo Inc., the Ann Arbor, Michigan-based pizza maker is following in the footsteps of Starbucks and others to allow motorists to order on the fly. The company doesn’t have a specific tie-up with a brand yet, but if the picture is any indication, General Motors is the leading contender.

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Domino’s plans to launch its AnyWare pizza ordering platform, which will be part of Xevo Market, sometime this year. It will be preloaded in the vehicle’s infotainment system. (more…)

Tesla Fights SEC’s Claims about Musk Tweets

Company contents Musk not required to clear every tweet.

by on Mar.25, 2019

Elon Musk's lawyers contend he is not in contempt of court due to tweet that said the EV maker could build 500,000 vehicles in 2019.

The ongoing back and forth between the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and Tesla CEO Elon Musk and the company came to a head in court filings in Manhattan Friday and earlier today with Musk’s attorneys contending he did nothing wrong.

The SEC believes the brash leader of the California-based electric vehicle maker is in contempt of court for a tweet he published on Feb. 19 that the company could build about 500,000 vehicles in 2019. Musk did not get the tweet reviewed by the company’s legal team before posting it.

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The agency called it a “blatant” violation of the fraud settlement agreement the sides agreed to last year. In addition to getting “material” tweets cleared he and Tesla each paid $20 million fines and he gave up his title as Chairman of the company. (more…)

Women in Auto: Q&A With Mitsubishi Motors CMO Kimberley Gardiner

Changing perspectives.

by on Mar.25, 2019

Mitsubishi Motors CMO Kimberley Gardiner talks about International Women's Month and the impact of women in the auto industry.

Its been five years since Mary Barra first smashed through the glass ceiling by being named the chief executive – and, later, chairman, of General Motors. Despite that, women still have a long way to go to be equally represented inside the auto industry, especially when it comes to the “C suites.” But there are more signs of change.

That includes Mitsubishi Motors’ decision to name Kimberley Gardiner as its chief marketing officer. Appointed to the post in January, she will oversee short- and long-range planning, retail marketing, data analytics and other strategic efforts as the Japanese brand struggles to rebuild its presence in the American market.

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Gardiner is no newcomer to the auto industry, having spent a number of years at Kia and, before that, Toyota and its Lexus and Scion brands. She spoke with TheDetroitBureau.com about International Women’s Month and the challenges and opportunity women face in the auto industry. (more…)

Deal with Mobile Gaming Company May Save Faraday Future

California-based EV maker to launch a “two-brand strategy” in China.

by on Mar.25, 2019

Faraday Future has been at death's door for several months now, but a new deal with an investor may clear the way for its return to life.

Once again, struggling battery-carmaker Faraday Future may have found a way back from the abyss, this time with the help of Chinese mobile gaming company The9 Limited.

The California-based FF is getting a $600 million lifeline from The9 as part of a new, 50/50 joint venture that will target the Chinese market with a new battery-electric vehicle based on Faraday’s FF91 concept.

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Only a handful of details have yet to be released but the long-troubled Faraday said the plan is to produce up to 300,000 vehicles in China. It also said it will have the right to produce additional vehicles in China in the future. (more…)

Used Car Sales Tracking at Record Pace as New Car Sales Fade

Higher prices on new vehicles, large number of off-lease cars spur move.

by on Mar.22, 2019

Used vehicle sales are on the rise and appear likely to set a new record again in 2019.

New car sales are on a very slow decline in the U.S., part of that decline is the appeal of used vehicles which are expected to hit a record of more than 41 million units in 2019, after setting a new record last year of 40.2 million.

What’s driving trend? Increased prices on new cars is making them less appealing, plus the interest rate hikes are pushing folks out of the new car market. However, they can certainly afford a used vehicle that comes with a much lower price tag that offsets the higher interest rates charged for used over new cars.

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On top of all that, according to Edmunds.com analysts, the industry is expecting a record number of lease returns this year will give shoppers more options than ever in the used market. (more…)

GM Investing $300M in Detroit-Area Plant for New EVs

Barra declines to reveal contents of Trump phone call.

by on Mar.22, 2019

GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra discusses the addition of 400 new jobs at the plant in Orion, Michigan.

General Motors continues its push toward an electric future by investing $300 million in a metro Detroit assembly plant to build a new Chevrolet battery-electric vehicle. The new investment also means 400 new jobs at the site.

The project is part of a broader, $1.8 billion U.S. investment program, CEO Mary Barra revealed Friday morning. The announcement comes just two days after President Donald Trump fired the latest in a series of broadsides at the automaker over its plan to close four U.S plants, including two assembly lines.

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“We are excited to bring these jobs and this investment to the U.S.,” Barra said in prepared remarks. (more…)

Former UAW VP Jewell Expected to Plead Guilty

Six others have already been found guilty.

by on Mar.22, 2019

Former UAW Vice President Norwood Jewell is expected to plead guilty in federal court next month.

Former UAW Vice President Norwood Jewell is expected to U.S. District Court early next month to plead guilty on charges of violating federal labor law and could be sentenced to up to five years in prison.

Jewell, who abruptly quit his UAW post in December 2017, months before he was scheduled to leave office, is the second top union official implicated in the ongoing investigation. He accepted more than $40,000 in travel and gifts.

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Federal prosecutors are investigating a scam in which the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles executive responsible for relations with the UAW used money designated for training UAW workers for lavish parties and gifts.  (more…)

Porsche’s New Cayenne Coupe is Pretty – and Pretty Powerful

Newest SUV makes 541 hp and hits 60 in 3.7 seconds.

by on Mar.22, 2019

Porsche is letting the Cayenne lead a new product segment once again with the 2020 Cayenne Coupe.

There were plenty of skeptics when Porsche announced plans to build a sport-utility vehicle barely two decades back. No one’s laughing now, as SUVs now make up the biggest selling – and most profitable part of the Porsche line-up.

So, there should be no surprise that the Schwabian marque is looking to expand that line-up. It recently announced plans for an all-electric crossover, but the next ute in the line-up will be a coupe version of the original Porsche Cayenne.

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Like other recent German “coupes,” this one doesn’t require you to sacrifice convenience. Think of more as a “coupe-like” version of the Cayenne, with a steeply raked roof and four doors. Whatever you call it, the appearance is striking and, arguably, less awkward than some of the other recent “coupe” SUVs. (more…)