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Archive for the ‘China’ Category

Toyota Paints the Future of Mobility With e-Palette Concept

“A multi-purpose moving space.”

by on Jan.08, 2018

Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda introduces the company's new e-Palette battery-electric van at CES 2018.

Think of the concept vehicle Toyota unveiled at CES Monday as something of a blank canvas. The e-Palette can serve as anything from a driverless ride-sharing vehicle to an automated delivery van – even a mobile store where commuters can shop on their way to work.

The battery-drive prototype will make the transition from concept to reality two years from now when Toyota puts several versions of the e-Palette into service during the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. And the giant automaker has already signed up several e-commerce partners, including Amazon, Pizza Hut and the ride-sharing service Uber.

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Think of e-Palette as a “multi-purpose moving space,” said Akio Toyoda, the CEO of Toyota Motor Corp. and grandson of its founder. “Every e-Palette can be reconfigured for different purposes within a single day.” (more…)

China Seeks to Add AI to 50% of Vehicles by 2020

Government looking to become world leader in AI development and use.

by on Jan.05, 2018

The pollution in China has gotten so bad due, in part, to scenes like this. The government is implementing plans to cut it down.

China continues to set the pace when it comes to implementing new technology. The National Development and Reform Commission, or NDRC, wants to implement artificial intelligence technology in at least half of all its new cars by 2020.

The government also plans to cover 90% of its large cities and highways with a wireless network so the cars can talk to each other and the roads, according to the government agency.

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These actions are part of a comprehensive national smart car strategy the NDRC is seeking public feedback for, it said in a statement. It’s part of the country’s plan to be the world leader in AI by 2025, with the goal of China’s automakers being seen as producing quality smart cars by 2035. (more…)

GM Sales Top 4M in China for First Time

China totals more than 1M more than U.S.

by on Jan.04, 2018

GM Executive Vice President and GM China President Matt Tsien said the automaker set a new sales record in China.

General Motors and its joint ventures sold more than 4 million vehicles in China last year, marking the first time its topped that mark, the automaker said. The total accounts for more than half of the company’s global sales.

GM’s retail sales in China totaled 4,040,789 units, up 4.4% from the previous high in 2016. China was GM’s largest retail market for the sixth consecutive year. In contrast, GM sold barely more than 3 million vehicles in the United States.

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GM Canada sold 302,826 vehicles in 2017, up 13.3% over the previous year. Other regions haven’t reported but the company pulled out of the European market in last summer by selling its stake its stake in Opel and Vauxhall to PSA. (more…)

LeEco CEO Defies China’s Order to Return, Stays in US

Jia Yueting stays put to complete $1B in fund raising for Faraday Future.

by on Jan.02, 2018

Chinese billionaire Jia Yueting has money riding on both LeEco and Faraday Future.

Jia Yueting, CEO of Faraday Future, defied orders to return to China and meet with federal regulators there concerning the company’s debt, deciding instead that the company’s financial future was here and now in the U.S. raising funds for the beleaguered start-up automaker.

The China Securities Regulatory Commission ordering Jia Yueting to return to China to address mounting debt from LeEco – he’s the CEO – to protect investors’ rights. Instead Yueting sent his younger brother, Jia Yueming, to meet with the government officials, explaining he needed to remain in the U.S. to wrap up deals to secure the $1 billion in funding that Faraday needs.

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“I am deeply sorry and blame myself for the negative impact of LeEco’s debt crisis,” he said in the statement that was posted on his official WeChat account, according to Reuters.  (more…)

China Bans Production of 553 Vehicle Models

Government looks to make dramatic improvements to air quality.

by on Dec.29, 2017

China is taking dramatic steps to improve the air quality in its largest cities.

China continues to crack down on the causes of air pollution in its largest cities with the latest measure being the banning of production of 553 vehicles starting in January.

The halt begins Jan. 1, the China Vehicle Technology Service Center said, according to Bloomberg News. While many of the vehicles affected are vehicles produced by Chinese manufacturers, also on the list are models from Audi, Mercedes-Benz and Chevrolet.

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The move reflects the seriousness of the problem and the government’s determination to get it resolved. In recent months, the government has cut back steel production, restricted coal use and rolled out a plan to eliminate internal combustion engines in cars by 2040. (more…)

Less Polarizing Jeep Cherokee Set to Debut at NAIAS

Mid-cycle update adopts more classic Jeep face.

by on Dec.19, 2017

The Jeep Cherokee gets a mid-cycle refresh for the 2019 model year, and it debuts at the Detroit Auto Show next month.

‘Tis the season for automakers to hand out gifts to loyal fans in the form of sneak previews of products coming to the North American International Auto Show next month. And among the more notorious teasers to cross our desk was one offering pics of the 2019 Jeep Cherokee.

The Cherokee nameplate has been around for more than four decades, though it was briefly renamed Liberty here in the U.S. When the nameplate was revived for the 2014 model-year it set heads spinning and tongues clacking due to the unusual design – especially the unusual, two-tier lighting.

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The 2019 edition may be a mid-cycle update but it gets more than just the usual minor tweaks, at least based on what these images reveal. Among other things, that includes more traditional headlamps framing the classic, keystone-style Jeep seven-slat grille. (more…)

Ford Hopes Alibaba’s Online Sales Plan is Purrfect

Vending machine approach expected to increase online sales.

by on Dec.19, 2017

Ford is looking to expand its online sales in China through its partnership with Alibaba and its cat-shaped vending machines for cars.

Ford Motor Co.’s new three-year deal with Alibaba, considered China’s version of Amazon, offers the automaker a new outlet for selling its vehicles in the country.

The idea of buying a new car on the internet isn’t exactly novel, but Alibaba offers Dearborn, Michigan-based Ford more options than simply “click to proceed to checkout” on its Tmall online store.

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Ford, which has seen its sales in China stagnate this year, and when signed it deal last month with Alibaba, the automaker was looking to expand its capability of selling vehicles online. The company’s year-to-date sales in China total more than 1,056,000 units, a 6% decrease year over year. (more…)

Honda Offers Some Insight

Japanese automaker promises “new approach” with 2019 Insight remake.

by on Dec.19, 2017

Honda is hoping the third time will be the charm with the Insight hybrid, which will debut in Detroit next month.

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. That’s clearly a mantra for Honda as it gets ready to reveal a prototype version of its 2019 Insight model at next month’s North American International Auto Show. Then again, the Japanese automaker might be looking at another adage: the third time’s a charm.

For now, Honda isn’t saying much beyond promising it will take a “new approach” with the third-generation hybrid-electric vehicle, among other things opting for a conventional, albeit sleek and sexy design. It will also get a new, two-motor gas-electric drivetrain.

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“You won’t have to be an electrification advocate to appreciate the new Insight – it’s a great car in its own right, independent of what’s happening under the hood,” said Henio Arcangeli, Jr., sales chief and general manager of the Honda Division in the U.S. “The all-new Insight embodies Honda’s approach to creating electrified vehicles without the typical tradeoffs.” (more…)

Volvo Sets Up Subscription Service for Polestar

First slots are completely sold out.

by on Dec.15, 2017

Volvo' first offering from its Polestar high performance division, the Polestar 1, will be built at its new plant in China.

Polestar, the new electric performance brand of Volvo Cars, announced the initial launch markets for its first car, the Polestar 1, in the United States and China and Western Europe.

Since its launch in October, Polestar has seen customers line up for the new Polestar 1 subscription with both performance enthusiast and electric car fans depleting the early production slots available.

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By offering its vehicles, starting with the Volvo XC40 for a flat monthly subscription, Polestar expects to step away from the old-school, dealer-focused method of selling cars and adopted the model used to great success by Netflix and Spotify.  (more…)

Ford Denies Plan to Move Next-Gen Fusion to China

Wire report claims midsize model will follow Focus as Ford cuts costs.

by on Dec.14, 2017

The Fusion has lost momentum in a U.S. market increasingly focused on SUVs and CUVs.

Ford Motor Co. says it has no plan to consolidate production of its next-generation Fusion and Mondeo models in China for shipment to markets around the world, countering a report by Reuters.

On Wednesday, the news service referenced automotive suppliers and other sources to indicate the midsize sedans would move out of their current plants in Europe and Mexico with a facility in China taking over as Ford’s single production source. Ford earlier this year announced a similar strategy for the smaller Focus model.

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“We have no plans to export the next-generation Fusion/Mondeo from China to North America and Europe,” Ford said in a statement responding to the wire report. “Fusion/Mondeo are an important part of the Ford car lineup. We will have more information to share about the next Fusion/Mondeo at a later date.”

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