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Archive for the ‘China’ Category

McLaren Planning 18 “New Models and Derivatives” by 2025

$1.6 billion “Track25” project to include successor to McLaren P1 hypercar, with all models using hybrid drivelines.

by on Jul.12, 2018

McLaren CEO Mike Flewitt talks through the details of "Track25," the company's product plans until 2025.

McLaren is doing more than just smoking up the track at the Goodwood Festival of Speed this week. The British supercar company is also lifting the covers on what would become the most aggressive product program in its history.

Dubbed “Track25,” it will see McLaren invest £1.2 billion, or about $1.6 billion, to bring 18 all-new models and derivatives to market by 2025. That list will include a next-generation “successor: to the company’s P1 hypercar.

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But perhaps the most significant element of the announcement was the decision by McLaren to equip all of its future sports car and supercars with hybrid drivetrains. The P1, of which 375 was produced between 2013 and 2015, was the first electrified McLaren, relying on a hybrid system borrowed from the company’s Formula One racing technology. (more…)

GM Sales Rise as Ford’s Fall in China

Ford sales likely to suffer until next year.

by on Jul.12, 2018

While Ford's Mustang is still selling well, the rest of its line-up is not, contributing to a double-digit decline in the first half of 2018.

General Motors posted a slight gain in sales in China during the second quarter, but Ford Motor Co. continued to stumble with a double-digit decline that deepened its woes in the world’s largest market for new vehicles.

In what is described as a slow market, GM and its joint venture partners delivered 858,344 vehicles in China during the second quarter of 2018 as sales grew 0.7% from a year earlier.

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Ford’s China slump intensified, as vehicle sales tumbled 38% in June and the automaker recorded its worst-ever first half. Ford sold 62,057 vehicles in China in June, taking its sales for the first half of the year to 400,443, down 25% compared with the year-ago period. (more…)

FBI Arrests Apple Secrets Thief While Leaving for China

Former employee had been hired by XMotors.

by on Jul.11, 2018

CEO Tim Cook has been coy about Apple's self-driving car program, but it was the victim of proprietary information theft.

In what looked like something out of a James Patterson novel, FBI agents swooped in and arrested a former Apple employee who was boarding a plane for China after earlier swiping a passel of corporate secrets about Apple’s autonomous vehicle technology.

Xiaolang Zhang was a person of interest in an investigation about the theft of information from Apple by the FBI. He had already interviewed several times by Apple.

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He booked a last-minute flight to China on July 7, and then was arrested at the San Jose International Airport by FBI agents. Zhang has been charged with theft of trade secrets, according to a criminal complaint filed Monday in federal court in San Jose. (more…)

BMW Inks Three New Deals in China

Automaker shifting some ute production from South Carolina to China.

by on Jul.11, 2018

Baidu Vice President Zhenyu Li, left, and Klaus Fröhlich, member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, Development, celebrate a new deal.

BMW has signed three new agreements with key partners in China that it says will bolster the company’s presence in the world’s largest automotive market.

The BMW Group and the Chinese manufacturer Great Wall Motor inked an agreement to produce Mini electric vehicles through a new 50:50 joint venture, Spotlight Automotive Limited, dedicated to the development and production of electric vehicles in China.

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In addition, the BMW Group also expanded its successful BMW Brilliance Automotive partnership. In recent years, BBA has become a cornerstone of the BMW brand’s success in its largest market. As part of the expanded venture, BMW is now expected to move some production from its massive assembly plant in South Carolina to China.  (more…)

Italian Design House Pinfarina Reveals 1st Teaser of New Electric Luxury Car

“World’s newest car brand” also appoints first Board of Directors.

by on Jul.10, 2018

Automobili Pininfarina revealed PF0 concept design images ahead of private client viewings of the all-electric ultra-luxury hypercar.

Italian design house Pininfarina has gone through plenty of changes in recent years, starting with a financial meltdown and its acquisition by India’s Mahindra & Mahindra. In April, the renamed Automobile Pininfarina announced plans to become a luxury auto brand focused on electric vehicles, and it’s now offering up a teaser image of what it will officially debut less than two months from now.

The rendering you see here of what will be called the PF0 was accompanied by an announcement that Pininfarina has appointed its first Board of Directors. That includes long-time automotive insider Michael Perschke, who will serve as the start-up carmaker’s chief executive officer. Former Volvo exec Per Svantesson has been named Automobili Pininfarina’s chief operating officer.

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“Automobili Pininfarina is a pioneering new business created to service the most discerning clients in the world,” said Perschke, in a prepared statement “Our product portfolio will launch with an innovative, zero-emissions hypercar that represents the progression we aim to make at the pinnacle of the luxury and sports car market.” (more…)

Bugatti Confirms Rumors of “Strictly Limited” New Model

“Happiness is not around the corner. It is the corner.”

by on Jul.10, 2018

Bugatti is bringing out a new vehicle, the Divo. Only 40 of the racers named after Albert Divo will be made.

Bugatti has finally confirmed long-standing rumors that it is preparing to launch an all-new and “strictly limited” model, dubbed Divo, which is now scheduled to make its public debut during the annual Pebble Beach Concours weekend late next month.

Expected to be based off the same platform as the current Chiron, the Bugatti Divo has been described by some who claim to have seen an early prototype as “controversial.” Only 40 of them will be produced and are expected to be targeted for track use.

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“Happiness is not around the corner. It is the corner. The Divo is made for corners,” said Bugatti Automobiles President Stephan Winkelmann in a statement, adding, “With the Divo we want to thrill people around the world.” (more…)

Tesla Set to Move on New Plant in Shanghai, Announcing Deal Even as it Raises Chinese Prices

Battery-carmaker is 1st from U.S. to raise prices as trade war escalates.

by on Jul.10, 2018

Tesla's new Shanghai plant is expected to be at least as large as its factory in Fremont, California - and include battery production, as well.

(This story has been updated with new information.)

Pres. Donald Trump’s trade war has claimed its first automotive victim, Tesla announcing it will raise prices on some models on sale in China by $20,000 or more to reflect the impact of new tariffs on American-made vehicles.

At the same time, CEO Elon Musk is on his way to China, numerous reports indicating Tesla is set to lock down a deal with authorities in Shanghai to set up the company’s first foreign assembly plant. Musk confirmed construction will begin in about three months and the facility will produce 500,000 vehicles annually once it is ramped up to full production.

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Despite the news about tariffs – which could depress sales in the world’s largest battery-car market in the near-term – investors appear to be buoyed by reports that Tesla will move forward on a Chinese assembly plant. Musk has also indicated that the automaker is working on plans to set up a second foreign plant somewhere in Europe.

(more…)

US Appeals Court Upholds $10B VW Deal With Diesel Owners

Court dismisses objections by small owners group to settlement.

by on Jul.09, 2018

Former VW Group CEO Martin Winterkorn was indicted by German authorities in May.

After a nearly two-year delay, a $10 billion settlement between Volkswagen AG and diesel car owners involved in the emissions cheating scandal has been approved by a U.S. appeals court.

The 9thU.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the deal delivered “tangible, substantial benefits” and the federal judge who approved it did more than enough to ensure it was fair, despite several objections from some owners.

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VW will spend up to $10 billion compensating owners of about 475,000 Volkswagens and Audi vehicles with 2.0-liter diesel engines.VW agreed to offer owners of the 2.0-liter vehicles between $5,100 and $10,000 in compensation, in addition to the estimated value of the vehicle. (more…)

Auto Industry in the Crosshairs as First Shots Fired in China Trade War

Ford, BMW, Volvo and GM could be particularly hard-hit.

by on Jul.06, 2018

President Donald Trump ordered $50 billion in new tariffs on Chinese goods.

Words, rather than gunshots, rang out overnight as the Trump administration officially enacted an estimated $50 billion in new trade tariffs on China, leading the massive Asian giant to strike back with new duties worth about $34 billion.

The U.S., Chinese officials declared, has launched “the biggest trade war in economic history.” The government, borrowing a page from the Trump playbook, called the U.S. administration “a gang of hoodlums.” The White House, meanwhile, said it was in for the long-term, if need be, and could levy billions of dollars in additional tariffs against one of America’s biggest trade partners.

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The battle, which few analysts expect to be resolved quickly, will impact a broad spectrum of industrial sectors, everything from entertainment to agriculture, though automotive manufacturers could be particularly hard-hit. (more…)

General Motors Building Mini-Pickup in China

No word on small truck coming to the US.

by on Jul.06, 2018

General Motors new Wuling Rong Guang mini-pickup truck is ready to work.

Trucks are keeping sales of new vehicles afloat in the U.S. and the traditional full-size pickup trucks is king of the road.

But General Motors is experimenting with new downsized pickup trucks in China.

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The SAIC-GM-Wuling has added the new Wuling Rong Guang mini-pickup to the Rong Guang family. The new mini-pickup will be available in variations powered by a choice of 1.5-liter or 1.8-liter engines, and a single or crew cab and in American dollars, prices start under $8,000. (more…)