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Comrade Musk Wants to Launch “Pravda” Website to Rate Journalists

Tesla CEO increasingly intolerant of media, investor critics, even taking shots at owners.

by on May.24, 2018

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has another new idea: a news site! He'd call it Pravda.

It’s hard to tell whether Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s latest idea was more influenced by the old Soviet Union or the current resident of the White House.

Like President Donald Trump, the billionaire entrepreneur has had his run-ins with the media, Tesla coming under increasing scrutiny in recent months due to production problems, lawsuits, quality issues and mounting financial losses. So, it seems, Musk might lift the name for the old Soviet government’s official media mouthpiece, Pravda, and use it as a way to fire back at critical journalists.

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“Going to create a site where the public can rate the core truth of any article & track the credibility score over time of each journalist, editor & publication,” Musk said in his latest burst of tweets. “Thinking of calling it Pravda …” (more…)

Uber Posts Positive Q1 Earnings After Tough 2017

Shuttering of Arizona ops stings as Waymo, Lyft take off.

by on May.24, 2018

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi has made an impact on the company in the short time he's been there.

After nearly a year of problems and attempts to rectify them, including the addition of a new CEO, Uber Technologies’ first quarter results reveal some of the positive impact of changes implemented across the ride-sharing company.

Uber reported net income of $2.5 billion on gross bookings of $11.29 billion, an increase of 55% compared with the year-ago period. The company’s net revenue grew 67% to $2.5 billion.

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Much of the company’s positive results can be attributed to the changes implemented by new CEO Dara Khosrowshahi and two significant transactions: the sale of GrabTaxi Holdings Pte Ltd. and a joint venture with Yandex N.V. (more…)

Trump Auto Tariff Threat Triggering Backlash

President calls auto industry "critical to our strength as a nation," but critics warn new tariffs could "undermine" global trade.

by on May.24, 2018

GM CEO Mary Barra welcomes President Donald Trump's efforts to "level the playing field."

President Donald Trump is once again threatening to slap steep tariffs on imported cars, trucks and auto parts, his latest in a series of moves challenging free trade that also sees a continuing effort to rewrite the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Trump said he asked Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to investigate whether auto imports are a threat to national security. If so, he would be able to sidestep Congress and institute tariffs under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 — one of the strongest trade tools in the president’s arsenal. But the proposal is already triggering a backlash from trade partners in Europe and other parts of the world.

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“Core industries such as automobiles and automotive parts are critical to our strength as a nation,” Trump said in a short statement released by the White House Press Office. (more…)

Safety Groups Want Tesla Autopilot Name Banned

Groups argue it is “deceptive and misleading.”

by on May.23, 2018

Despite Tesla's claims to the contrary, safety advocates believe the company's use of the name Autopilot is misleading.

It’s called Autopilot but, at least for now, Tesla’s semi-autonomous technology is a not completely reliable co-pilot, it can require rapid human intervention to avert a crash. And that, two consumer groups argue, makes the use of the Autopilot name “deceptive and misleading.”

The Center for Auto Safety, or CAS, and Consumer Watchdog aren’t the first to raise concerns about the Tesla technology. German regulators briefly considered banning the name, Autopilot. But the American non-profit safety groups have taken their concerns to the Federal Trade Commission, asking it to initiate an investigation of how Tesla not only has named, but also how it promotes its semi-autonomous system.

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In a letter to the federal agency, they claim Tesla has taken steps to “mislead and deceive customers into believing that Autopilot is safer and more capable than it is known to be.” (more…)

Trump Promises Good News for Auto Workers

Presiden implies deal on NAFTA is near, but others dispute the notion.

by on May.23, 2018

President Donald Trump promised American auto workers they'd be "very happy" very soon.

President Donald Trump implied that the end of negotiations over NAFTA are near and that the end result will be good for hourly workers at automakers across the U.S.

“There will be big news coming soon for our great American Autoworkers. After many decades of losing your jobs to other countries, you have waited long enough!” Trump said in a tweet.

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One of Trump’s campaign promises was to secure a new North American Free Trade Agreement that was more favorable to the U.S. The three countries – Canada, Mexico and the U.S. – have been in talks for nearly a year now. (more…)

Bosch Exec Predicts 50 Percent Rise in 2018 EV Sales

Annual sales expected to rise from 1% to 1.5% of total sales.

by on May.23, 2018

The Chevy Bolt will be joined by two dozen other GM battery-electric vehicles by 2023.

Sales of battery electric vehicles are growing steadily and impressively, according to a key executive at Robert Bosch Gmbh, one of the world’s top automotive suppliers.

Sujit Jain, Bosch Group regional president, Passenger Cars and Electric Vehicles, Powertrain Solutions Division, noted the market share of battery electric vehicles has steadily grown in the U.S. since 2013, reaching nearly 1%.

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On the surface, the number appears small, but the rate of growth has been impressive with EV sales possibly reaching 1.5% this year, Jain said after a presentation at the Bosch Mobility Experience at the company’s North American test track in suburban Detroit. (more…)

Musk Strikes Back After Tough Reviews of Model 3

CEO suggested problems were related to software issue.

by on May.22, 2018

Tesla's Elon Musk took to twitter to defend and explain some of the issues Consumer Reports came across in reviewing the Model 3.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk took to twitter – as he often does – to defend his company and the Model 3 and explain problems that Consumer Reports told its readers about were easily fixed.

The magazine, which stopped short of giving the Model 3 an endorsement, pointed out that the new sedan performed poorly in braking tests. In fact, it said it tested two vehicles and each of them performed worse in the 60-to-0 mph test than a new Ford F-150 truck.

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This happened even after the car it owned received a software update to improve the vehicle’s braking system. (more…)

China Cutting Tariffs on Imported Vehicles

But revised rate is still six times higher than what U.S. levies.

by on May.22, 2018

Chinese President Xi Jinping announced plans to cut tariffs on cars to 15% and components to 6%.

Under mounting trade pressure from the U.S., China said Tuesday that it will reduce duties on imported passenger vehicles from 25% to 15%, while also cutting the tariff on imported automotive parts and components to 6%.

Chinese President Ji Xinping had promised to cut tariffs in comments made last month, though it is unclear if the move will go far enough to satisfy critics as diverse as Tesla CEO Elon Musk and U.S. President Donald Trump. With the exception of pickup trucks, the American tariff on imported vehicles is just 2.5%.

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In a series of tweets last month, Trump referred to the automotive imbalance asked, “Does that sound like free or fair trade? No, it sounds like STUPID TRADE – going on for years!” (more…)

China Tariffs on Hold as Trade War Talk Recedes

Two countries putting a deal together.

by on May.21, 2018

The Trump administration is backing away from proposed tariffs on a variety items imported from China.

The announcement by the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin that the Trump administration will suspend any plans to impose tariffs on Chinese imports lowers the risks for American and European carmakers, fearing the impact of a trade war.

Companies such as Mercedes-Benz and BMW, which export American-made vehicles to China, will apparently be spared, facing the substantial tariffs the Peoples Republic of China had proposed imposing on vehicles exported from the United States.

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Importers of vehicles from China, such General Motors, also will be spared American tariffs on vehicles from Chinese factories. (more…)

Performance Version of Tesla Model 3 Will Be “Quicker than a BMW” – But Cost $78,000

Will “beat anything in its class on a track,” tweets Tesla’s Musk.

by on May.21, 2018

Tesla CEO Musk claims the performance Model 3 will not only be faster, but handle better than the BMW M3.

Despite a painfully slow ramp-up of production, Tesla is planning to add a new high-performance version of its Model 3 sedan that CEO Elon Musk claims will be “quicker than a BMW,” and be able to “beat anything in its class on a track.”

In a series of tweets over the weekend, Musk fleshed out details about the all-wheel-drive electric vehicle, noting that it will launch from 0 to 60 in 3.5 seconds, top out at an Autobahn-burning 155 mph, and still yield 310 miles per charge – at least when driven a bit less aggressively. But the yet-unnamed performance version of the Model 3 will also cost $78,000, or about twice as much as a base version of the electric sedan.

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That steep jump actually isn’t entirely out of line, at least when comparing to the likes of a BMW 3-Series sedan. The German sports sedan starts at $34,900, around the same figure as a Model 3 before factoring in the $7,500 federal tax credit. The BMW M3 starts at $66,500, though appears to have less standard equipment than the Model 3 performance version. The Tesla includes AWD, for example, an otherwise $5,000 option.

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