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Ford Celebrates Production of 10 Millionth Mustang

Just like the first one, it came out Wimbledon White.

by on Aug.08, 2018

Ford marked the production of the 10 millionth Mustang with a huge party, including the very first Mustang built. Both are in Wimbledon White.

Ford Motor Co. celebrated the building of 10 million Mustangs in style with a parade, air show and lunch for hundreds at the assembly plant outside Detroit in Flat Rock, Michigan, where the fabled pony car is now built.

A parade of 54 Mustangs, one from each year the car has been sold during the past half century since it debuted at the 1964 World’s Fair in New York City was organized in the parking lot in front of Ford World Headquarters in Dearborn, Michigan.

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As the Mustang owners sipped coffee and munched on donuts, they talked about how much their lives intertwined with the car and its storied history that includes a starring role in more movies than any other vehicle. (more…)

Nissan Selling Electric Vehicle Battery Business

Automaker offloading group to China's Envision.

by on Aug.08, 2018

Nissan is selling its EV battery operations, including the plant in Tennessee, to Envision, a Chinese company.

Nissan is preparing to sell its battery business, including a piece in the United States, to a company, based in China, specializing in production of sustainable energy, the automaker announced.

The deal covers Nissan assets in Japan, United Kingdom and U.S., including a battery factory in Smyrna, Tennessee that now employs 400.

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Nissan Motor Co. said it has entered into a definitive agreement with Envision Group, a sustainable energy operator, for the sale of Nissan’s electric battery operations and production facilities to Envision. Nissan will retain a 25% stake in a new company set up when the deal with Envision Group closes. (more…)

Advanced Driver Assistance Systems Could Cause, Not Prevent Crashes, Warns New IIHS Study

Drivers may expect new systems, like Tesla Autopilot, to completely take over driving duties.

by on Aug.07, 2018

Tesla's own semi-autonomous Autopilot tech came under suspicion after this January crash.

Federal safety investigators raced to the scene of a crash involving a Tesla Model S sedan last January after the vehicle slammed into the back of a firetruck stopped on a California highway, regulators wanting to know why that happened despite the vehicle using the carmaker’s advanced driver assistance system specifically designed to prevent such a crash.

“ADAS” systems are being introduced on a wide range of vehicles and, according to industry experts, could substantially reduce the number of crashes, injuries and fatalities on U.S. roads. But a new study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety raises serious concerns about the technology. After testing five different systems offered by four automakers, IIHS warns that even though ADAS can prevent some accidents, the technology also could miss some potential problems and, in some situations, actually steer into a crash.

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A major concern is that these new, semi-autonomous systems still require drivers to be constantly vigilant, and occasionally intervene, said IIHS chief researcher David Zuby. But that’s often easy to forget. “If the systems seem too capable, then drivers may not give them the attention required to use them safely.” (more…)

Toyota Motor Reports Increased Q1 Profits

Strong sales in U.S. and cost-cutting efforts pave way to profits.

by on Aug.03, 2018

Toyota's Masayoshi Shirayanagi noted that increased trade tensions and U.S. tariffs will eat into Toyota's bottom line.

Toyota Motor Corp. rode a wave of increased sales and decreased costs to a 7.2% increase in net income in its fiscal first quarter of 2018. Revenues also increased 4.5% during the quarter.

The company also announced it was ending its partnership with Isuzu Motor Ltd. The companies built diesel engines, but with oil burners falling out of favor, replaced by EVs and potentially fuel cells down the road, the two sides will split.

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Toyota owns a 5.89% stake in Isuzu. (more…)

Tesla Q2 Losses Double, But Profits Promised in Q3

Investors happy to see capex spend drop, stock jumps nearly 5%.

by on Aug.01, 2018

Tesla CEO delivered enough positives in the second quarter to excite investors. The company's stock rose 5% in after hours trading.

Tesla Inc.’s mad dash efforts to meet its ever-shifting production quotas didn’t result in a narrowing of financial losses for Q2, not that CEO Elon Musk implied that. However, the end result was a doubling of losses on a year-over-year basis.

In the second quarter of 2018, Tesla’s automotive business saw revenue rise to $3.1 billion compared with $2 billion for the same period last year; however, losses jumped to $717.5 million, or $4.22 a share, from $336.4 million, or $2.04 a share.

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However, the letter produced to explain the quarterly results suggests that only good times are on the horizon despite the company missing analyst expectations for losses this quarter. Ultimately, shareholders were pleased with the results as the stock jumped nearly 5% after hours on the news.  (more…)

Audi Set to Reveal PB 18 e-tron Concept

Pebble Beach debut sets in motion Audi’s entry into battery-car market.

by on Jul.30, 2018

For now, Audi is billing the PB 18 as a concept, but could it be working up a challenge to the planned Tesla Roadster electric supercar?

With its first long-range battery-electric SUV set to make its launch later this year, Audi is setting the stage for its entry into the emerging market with the upcoming debut of the PB 18 e-tron Concept.

The name is a bit of code, though one not difficult to figure out, as the electric supercar will be unveiled during this coming month’s series of classic car events capped off by the Aug. 26 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.

Electrifying!

“It also recalls the LeMans-series winner Audi R18 e-tron, whose technology inspired the solutions for various details,” the German automaker says in a statement accompanying this teaser image, adding that, “The Audi PB 18 e-tron was conceived and designed by the new Audi Design Loft in Malibu, California.” (more…)

Daimler AG Pushing Forward on Restructuring Plans

Company's move to split into three units provides more freedom.

by on Jul.26, 2018

Daimler AG is splitting into three separate entities to improve efficiency and profitability.

Daimler AG took another step toward a restructuring aimed at giving its three key operating units – cars, trucks and financial services – greater freedom and flexibility.

The plan approved by the company’s supervisory board this week creates three new operating companies while the parent company, Daimler AG, retains oversight and governance, according to the company’s announcement.

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“The new structure positions Daimler to tackle the rapid pace of change in the mobility sector and the corresponding strategic challenges. Legally independent divisions will sharpen our focus on the future success of the business.” Manfred Bischoff, chairman of the Supervisory Board of Daimler AG. (more…)

Ford Q2 Earnings Hurt by China, Supplier Fire

Automaker revises full-year guidance downward.

by on Jul.25, 2018

Jim Hackett, Ford president and CEO, said the company is moving to invest in areas that will return the best profits.

Ford’s second-quarter earnings were down compared with year-ago results, driven there by poor sales in China and the loss of truck sales when its supplier suffered a fire that forced the company to shut down its truck production lines for eight days.

The automaker reported net income of $1.1 billion, or 27 cents a share, on revenue of $38.9 billion, compared with 2017 results of net income of $2.1 billion, or 51 cents a share, on revenue of $39.9 billion.

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“This quarter we achieved solid results in North America, offset in part by unexpected challenges with our overseas operations and headwinds in the business environment,” said Jim Hackett, president and CEO, in a statement. (more…)

FCA Reports Lower Than Expected Earnings as it Mourns Marchionne

Former chief memorialized with a moment of silence on earnings call.

by on Jul.25, 2018

Mike Manley, new CEO of FCA, led a moment of silence today before leading the reporting of the company's second quarter earnings.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles reported Q2 earnings that were lower than expected, but that was surpassed by news that former CEO Sergio Marchionne died due to complications from surgery in Switzerland.

The company’s executives, including the newly appointed replacement for Marchionne, Mike Manley, soldiered on through the earnings call, starting with a moment of silence to honor the man many believe saved Chrysler from extinction.

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Then they moved on, as they believed Marchionne would have insisted, to describe how slow sales in China put a drag on the company’s earnings results despite impressive sales in North America during the first half of the year. (more…)

General Motors Reports Flat Earnings for Second Quarter

Rising incentives on pickups drain profits.

by on Jul.25, 2018

GM's profits were hurt by increased incentives on its full-size pickups during the second quarter.

General Motors posted earnings for the second quarter that were basically flat as rising incentives and lower prices on its pickup trucks took a bite out of the company’s profits.

GM’s income from continuing operations of $2.4 billion, down $0.1 billion, compared to the second quarter of 2017 due to a driven primarily by the decline pricing and trim mix for the company’s the current-generation full-size pickup truck models, which is due to be replaced next year, and increased commodity costs.

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The decline in the profitability of the company’s pick-up truck business was partially offset by improved performance in GM Financial and China. (more…)