Detroit Bureau on Twitter

Archive for the ‘Markets’ Category

Nissan Slashes Profit Predictions — Again

Falling sales in wake of Ghosn arrests drive down profits.

by on Apr.24, 2019

Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa has had to revised full-year profit forecasts — twice.

With its ongoing battle with former Chairman Carlos Ghosn as a backdrop, Nissan’s executive team had to add to the difficulties by announcing it was tracking to miss its full-year profit goals — and even worse, it will make less than its Alliance partner, Renault.

The Japanese automaker cut its forecast for its preliminary operating profit for the second time to 318 billion yen, or $2.8 billion, for the year ended March, from 450 billion yen.

News Now!

Nissan officials cited higher costs related to U.S. warranties, an “adverse operating environment” and the “impact of recent corporate issues on sales,” i.e. fallout from the problems related to Ghosn. (more…)

NHTSA Analyzing 12.3M Non-Takata Airbags Due to Possible Defect

ZF-TRW produced airbags for six automakers.

by on Apr.24, 2019

The 2011–13 Kia Optima has already been recalled once for an airbag problem.

As U.S. auto safety regulators are attempting to wind down the ongoing Takata airbag debacle, they are now investigating nearly 12.3 million vehicles with airbags that may not inflate during a collision.

The vehicles are equipped with airbags produced by ZF-TRW, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and could be responsible for as many as eight fatalities. The airbags do not inflate due to faulty control units.

News You Can Trust!

The investigation involves 2010-2019 model year vehicles produced by Fiat Chrysler, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Mitsubishi and Toyota. (more…)

Ford Investing $500M in Rivian; Will Use Start-Up’s Platform for New BEV

Ford steps in after Rivian talks with GM falter.

by on Apr.24, 2019

RJ Scaringe, Rivian founder and CEO, and Ford Executive Chairman Bill Ford are all smiles after Ford Motor Co.'s $500 million investment in Rivian.

(This story has been updated to include details of Ford’s talks with VW about an EV partnership.)

Ford Motor Co. will invest $500 million in battery-electric vehicle company Rivian, a move that will allow the 116-year-old automaker to use the start-up’s skateboard-like platform for one of its own electric vehicles.

The announcement comes a little more than two months after suburban Detroit-based Rivian inked a separate, $750 million investment deal with a consortium led by online retailer Amazon. Together, the two new partnerships are expected to help firmly establish the start-up and allow Rivian to move forward with plans to produce two vehicles it revealed at the Los Angeles Auto Show last November that will be sold under its own brand.

News Now!

“We believe (this) marks a step forward, not only for our respective companies but also the industry, as we move toward a sustainable future,” said Jim Hackett, Ford’s chief executive officer. “For Ford, the news today is fully consistent with the vision to become the world’s most trusted company regarding smart vehicles for a smart world.” (more…)

Porsche Owners Impact Carbon Footprint Through Program

New program uses offsetting to shrink carbon footprint.

by on Apr.24, 2019

Porsche's reducing the carbon footprint of vehicles at its Experience Centers in Atlanta, above, and Los Angeles through its Impact program.

Porsche Cars North America is taking steps to reduce the carbon footprint of its customers in the U.S.

PCNA is moving to use carbon offsetting at U.S. Porsche Experience Centers in Atlanta and Los Angeles. It has enrolled all cars at its two Experience Centers – and its fleet in the monthly subscription pilot, Porsche Passport – in Porsche Impact, which has been available to customers in Germany, the UK, and Poland since late 2018.

Business News!

“At Porsche, we are continually focused on innovative and sustainable business practices,” said Klaus Zellmer, president and CEO of PCNA. (more…)

Waymo to Re-Use Old Detroit Plant to Build New Autonomous Vehicles

Google spin-off to partner with supplier American Axle.

by on Apr.23, 2019

Waymo plans to use a facility on the north side of Detroit to convert Chrysler Pacifica Hybrids and other vehicles for its Waymo One fleet.

A major Silicon Valley tech firm is setting up a base in Detroit, Google spinoff Waymo taking over a plant in the Motor City where it plans to convert vehicles to operate as part of its autonomous ride-sharing service.

Waymo CEO John Krafcik first announced in a blog post Tuesday that the company will lease an unused factory owned by American Axle & Manufacturing on Detroit’s north side. It will be used to convert such vehicles as the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivan that will be a mainstay of the expanding Waymo One ride-sharing service.

Business News!

“There has been a real risk that the shift of the automotive industry could move from Detroit to Silicon Valley, and we’ve been fighting that every step of the way,” Detroit Mayor Michael Duggan said after learning about Waymo’s plans. “I think a major statement was made today in the battle of Detroit and Silicon Valley that a major Silicon Valley company has said the future of vehicles in the city of Detroit.” (more…)

Google Maps Taking Guesswork Out of EV Charging

A search now show charger availability, type and other helpful info.

by on Apr.23, 2019

ChargePoint, Electrify America and other companies are adding more charging stations across the U.S.

For years, the knock against electric vehicles has been finding a place to charge up and how long it’ll take EV owners to do so. Google Maps is now taking the sting out of some of those problems.

“If you’ve ever driven to an electric vehicle (EV) charging station only to find that all ports are occupied,” wrote Alex Donaldson, project manager, Google Maps, in a blog post, “you know that you could end up waiting in line for anywhere between minutes to hours — which can really put a damper on your day when you have places to go and things to do.”

Electrifying News!

Google Maps will now show you the location and availability of charging stations when you use the search function. The feature was teased in a company blog post last fall, but now the tech giant is making it available in real time in the U.S. as well as the United Kingdom.  (more…)

Macron, Abe Discuss Japan’s Investigation of Carlos Ghosn

Ghosn's wife pushed Macron to talk with Abe about the case.

by on Apr.23, 2019

Former Renault CEO Carlos Ghosn, left, and French President Emmanuel Macron, center, tour Renault's plant in northern France.

A day after former Renault Nissan chief Carlos Ghosn was slapped with a new charge by Japanese prosecutors, the leaders of the two countries the automakers claim as home discussed the ongoing investigation.

French President Emmanuel Macron and Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe discussed the future of the now-shaky Alliance as well as the aforementioned Ghosn.

Global News!

“This industrial partnership has shown its resilience,” a French presidency official said in a statement. “It is now up to the industry leaders in charge to make the alliance even more solid so that it can face up to the technological disruptions underway in the auto industry.”  (more…)

First Drive: 2019 Volkswagen Atlas

Better late than never, Atlas gives VW a solid entry in SUV battle.

by on Apr.23, 2019

The 2019 Volkswagen Atlas gives the automaker a strong contender in the highly competitive SUV segment.

Utility vehicles are a stretch for any number of automakers and while Volkswagen has made and pioneered any number of vehicles styles during its history it was a bit slow of coming around to developing one of the perennial favorites of the of the U.S. – the midsized SUV.

However, Volkswagen of America has come around and the 2019 Volkswagen Atlas is a very solid entry into what has now become a crowded and very competitive field where manufacturers are going all out to win over customers with attractive new vehicles.

Reviews You Can Trust!

The Atlas, as its name suggests, is solid, roomy, loaded with new technology and three rows of seating. Moreover, the powertrain does well under different conditions and has more than enough power to handle everyday chores such as commuting and running errands that include hauling extra passengers and or gear and cargo. (more…)

Tesla Investors Fret as Automaker Prepares to Release Q1 Earnings

Expected poor sales with no turnaround in sight causing worry.

by on Apr.23, 2019

Tesla CEO Elon Musk is bracing for tough first quarter results. Investors aren't optimistic.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has already signaled that first quarter earnings weren’t going to look good. Just how bad they might be is the big question that has investors and analysts alike in a frenzy.

The automaker won’t report earnings until after the final bell on Wall Street on Wednesday, but based on the poor Q1 sales numbers it revealed a few weeks back, the general consensus isn’t very positive. Analysts polled by FactSet are forecasting a consensus adjusted loss of $0.99 a share.

Business News!

On the plus side, that’s significantly better than the $3.35 a share Tesla lost during the first quarter of 2018. But that was during a period Musk described as “production hell,” when the automaker was struggling to fix issues at both its Reno Gigafactory battery plant and its Fremont, California, assembly line. With those problems largely resolved, Tesla managed to pull a profit for the final half of 2018. (more…)

Hyundai, Kia App Let’s Owner Control Electric Vehicle Settings

First-ever innovation controls acceleration, torque, brake regeneration.

by on Apr.22, 2019

Hyundai and Kia have an app that will allow users to control a variety of settings on their smart phone.

The smart phone has become the key – in some cases literally – to expansion of convenience-based technology in today’s cars, trucks and sport-utilities. Now, Hyundai and Kia are taking it a step further.

The companies have introduced the first-ever app that allows the user to check and adjust a variety of settings on its electric vehicles. Until now, apps have been used for everything from tracking vehicles to starting it remotely to using it as a key to get into the car.

Global News!

However, this new – and, as of now, unnamed app – allows the user to change the settings on everything from speed limits, available torque, throttle response, regenerative braking, climate control usage and, of course, acceleration response. (more…)