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Automakers Warn Trump Administration About Tariff Impact

Proposed tariffs could add $6,000 to price of a new car.

by on Jul.20, 2018

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross is leading the Section 232 investigation into whether or not imported automobiles and parts represent a threat to the U.S.

During the U.S. Department of Commerce’s public comment hearing today, the Trump administration was warned the steep tariffs it has under consideration could add a total of $83 billion to the cost of new vehicles sold to American consumers.

“Higher auto tariffs will harm American families and workers, along with the economy” and “would raise the price of an imported car nearly $6,000 and the price of a U.S.-built car $2,000,” the Auto Alliance said in a statement prepared for the hearing.

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Meanwhile, dozens of employees from Toyota’s 10 U.S. assembly plants descended on Washington D.C., to oppose the government’s threat to impose a 25% tariff on imported vehicles and parts. They were joined by U.S. production workers from other international automakers across the country. (more…)

Auto Industry Unites to Challenge Trump Tariffs

UAW lone dissenter, seeks targeted tariffs.

by on Jul.19, 2018

Representatives from six auto groups testified at a U.S. Department of Commerce public hearing against new tariffs proposed by President Donald Trump.

With one exception – the UAW – the automotive industry is prepared to take a united stand against tariffs as the U.S. Department of Commerce holds a one-day public hearing on a Trump administration proposal to levy 25% tariffs on imported automobiles in the name of national security.

Seven associations representing almost 10 million jobs across the auto sector in the U.S. have joined together to urge the White House to not impose higher tariffs on imported autos and auto parts.

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“Raising tariffs on autos and auto parts would be a massive tax on consumers who buy or service their vehicles – whether imported or domestically produced. These higher costs will inevitably lead to declining sales and the loss of American jobs, as well as an increase in vehicle service and repair costs that may result in consumers delaying critical vehicle maintenance,” said the groups in an open letter to President Donald Trump. (more…)

Mini Shows Off Battery-Electric Concept at Goodwood

Concept is the base for the new Mini EV coming fall of 2019.

by on Jul.17, 2018

Mini's Electric Concept was on display at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.

During England’s annual Goodwood Festival of Speed, Mini presented the Mini Electric Concept, which offers an early look at both of Mini’s first fully electric model scheduled for release in 2019.

The first fully electric model from the history-rich British brand builds on the Mini brand’s DNA that has made the city its natural habitat and urban mobility a large part of its appeal.

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The new model fits the Mini template by turning electric mobility into an emotionally engaging experience brimming with driving fun, style and individuality.  (more…)

Detroit Automakers Could Come Out Losers Even if Trump Scuttles Import Tariffs

One alternative could open U.S. up to flood of foreign-made pickups.

by on Jul.16, 2018

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, center, proposed eliminating all tariffs between trading partners.

The auto industry has been actively trying to get President Donald Trump to back off his threat to impose a 25% tariff on imported automobiles, even Detroit-based carmakers warning that such a move could wind up raising prices, slowing sales, reducing U.S. exports and hurting American jobs.

Ironically, one of the likely alternatives to new tariffs could be great news for American consumers – but a potential disaster for Detroit’s Big Three, opening them up to a new wave of competition in the most profitable segment of the U.S. automotive market.

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel, among others, has raised the prospect of effectively eliminating automotive tariffs entirely, while others are saying they should be a uniform figure shared among all major trading partners. That approach could force the U.S. to eliminate the so-called “chicken tax,” the relic of an old, Euro-American trade dispute that has effectively closed off the American pickup truck market for the past half-century. (more…)

Aston Martin Wants to Take to the Air

Automaker brings flying Volante Vision Concept to British air show.

by on Jul.16, 2018

A rendering shows the Aston Martin Volante Concept flying over London, possibly heading to Paris.

We’ve heard some of Aston Martin’s products describes as “rockets” before. But now, it seems, the automaker truly does want to take to the air.

Aston today pulled the wraps off the Volante Vision Concept at the annual Farmborough International Air Show outside London. There are a number of projects currently underway to develop flying automobiles. Some are aimed at ride-sharing services like Uber, others for individual owners. The Volante Vision Concept, Aston explains, “aims to bring luxury personal transportation to the sky.”

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The project teams the British automaker up with aerospace giant Rolls-Royce, Cranfield University and Cranfield Aerospace Solutions. The design they’ve come up with would have vertical take-off and landing, or VTOL, capabilities, potentially allowing it to take off from a parking lot or field, rather than having to go to a conventional airstrip. (more…)

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…)

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…)

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…)

EV Sales on the Rise in First Half of 2018 in the US

Bolt sales are up in first half, production to increase.

by on Jul.05, 2018

Sales of the Chevy Bolt rose 3.5% in the first half of 2018.

Rising gas prices and improved range appear to be creating an appealing environment for plug-in electric vehicle sales with no company reaping better results than General Motors in the first half of the year.

The company’s Chevy Bolt EV saw sales rise during the second quarter of the year.

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U.S. and global demand for the Chevrolet Bolt EV has been very strong in 2018, with global sales estimated to be up more than 35% year over year in the second quarter and up more than 40% in the first half. (more…)