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Archive for the ‘Regulatory’ Category

Big Three Group Supports Trump Report on USMCA Benefits

Support comes despite conflicting study from IMF.

by on Apr.19, 2019

A new report from the U.S. Trade Representative says the new USMCA will bring substantial benefits; however, an IMF study suggests otherwise.

Detroit’s automakers are rushing to defend a report from the Trump administration that touts the benefits of the new North American Free Trade Agreement.

The Trump administration report, produced by the United States Trade Representative (USTR), was released Thursday in advance of less than an underwhelming independent government estimate of the economic impact of proposed U.S. Mexico Canada Agreement, or USMCA.

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Trump has portrayed the new agreement he negotiated as a replacement for NAFTA as likely to lead to a rush of new investment and jobs in the U.S. and an end to the outsourcing he and others have blamed for a hollowing out of American manufacturing. (more…)

German Prosecutors Charger Former VW CEO Winterkorn with Fraud

Lawyers charge four other executives as well.

by on Apr.15, 2019

Former VW CEO Martin Winterkorn was charged by German prosecutors with fraud related to the diesel emissions scandal.

Former Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn was charged with fraud on Monday by German prosecutors for his role in the automaker’s diesel emissions testing scandal. The scandal came to light in 2015.

“Former Chief Executive Dr. Martin Winterkorn is being charged with a particularly serious case of fraud, a violation of the law against unfair competition and breach of fiduciary trust,” the prosecutors’ office said in a statement.

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Prosecutors also said that Winterkorn and four other managers faced charges, but did not give the names of the other four or say whether they were still employed by Volkswagen. Winterkorn’s lawyer, Felix Doerr, declined to comment, saying he had not seen all of the paperwork, according to Reuters. (more…)

Survey: Most Americans See EVs as City, Commuter Cars

Majority see the need for just 75 miles of daily range.

by on Apr.12, 2019

One of several recent Mini electric vehicle concepts.

Sales of battery-based vehicles have finally begun to escalate as their availability – along with public awareness – grows. But a new survey suggests that consumers are pigeonholing them into a niche that could limit their popularity.

Nearly two out of three American consumers said they saw the best way to use a battery vehicle was for commuting or as a city car, according to the survey by Mini USA, the British automaker that is itself preparing to enter the electric vehicle market.

Electrifying News!

“It is important for us as a brand to understand how consumers want to use their electric vehicles, and what they know and don’t know about them as we move closer to the launch of the MINI Cooper S E electric vehicle in the U.S.,” said Andrew Cutler, Head of Corporate Communications, MINI USA.

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Wait Times at U.S.-Mexico Border Rising, Impacting Autos

Wait times as long as 17 hours becoming common.

by on Apr.09, 2019

Trucks are already waiting in long lines to cross the U.S.-Mexico border, sometimes as long as 17 hours.

Automakers and suppliers are beginning to feel the sting of long delays at the U.S.-Mexico border crossing that have cut the number of inbound trucks to the U.S. by half due to delays as a long as 17 hours.

The reason for the delay is a decision by the Trump administration to move 750 border agents from commercial to immigration duties in order to deal with the influx of families seeking asylum in the United States.

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The result has been massive backlogs at crossing points, which can be problematic for a just-in-time industry like automotive, which does $1.7 billion in daily trade across the border. Many times parts travel back and forth across the border before finding their way into a finished automobile. (more…)

Unlikely Partners: Tesla Helps FCA Head Off Massive EU Fine

Automakers will "pool" emissions numbers.

by on Apr.08, 2019

It appears that European sales of the Model 3 are going to not only help Tesla, but Fiat Chrysler as well.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has come up with an intriguing way to head off hundreds of millions of dollars in fines from the European Union for missing its emissions targets, a solution that will team it up with its upstart competitor Tesla.

FCA is using an “open pool” option that will allow it to count Tesla’s growing sales in Europe as if they were its own products. Tesla has used a similar approach in the United States, a move that was particularly critical in its early years.

Business News!

“The whole point of a CO2 credit market is to leverage the most cost-effective ways to reduce overall greenhouse gas emissions in the market,” FCA said in a statement. “The purchase pool provides flexibility to deliver products our customers are willing to buy while managing compliance with the lowest cost approach.” (more…)

EU Claims VW, BMW and Daimler Colluded to Limit Emissions Tech

Automakers slowed use of new tech from 2006 to 2014.

by on Apr.05, 2019

Volkswagen as well as BMW and Daimler colluded to limit use of improved emissions technology in their European vehicles, an EU investigation found.

After completing its investigation, it was determined that collusion did occur … between Volkswagen, BMW and Daimler AG, European Union investigators said in a preliminary report.

EU authorities declared the three German automakers colluded to limit the development of emissions-cleaning technology in their vehicles, violating EU laws between 2006 and 2014. The union’s antitrust regulator, according to Associated Press, recently completed an investigation into the actions of the three companies.

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It determined that the three automakers agreed to limit the use of exhaust-improving technologies for gasoline- and diesel-powered vehicles. The result limited the access of Europeans to less polluting cars, but not the price. (more…)

Tesla, SEC Set to Engage in Legal Battle Royal Over Tweet

Both sides heading to court April 4 on contempt charge.

by on Mar.27, 2019

CEO Elon Musk is facing a contempt charge levied by the Securities and Exchange Commission on April 4.

The ongoing feud between Tesla CEO Elon Musk and the Securities and Exchange Commission about whether or not the brash executive should be held in contempt over a recent tweet is going to be resolved April 4 – in U.S. District Court.

U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan scheduled oral arguments on an SEC contempt motion in the Manhattan court after both sides elected to skip an evidentiary hearing. The agency is accusing Musk of violating the terms of a fraud settlement reach last year with a tweet on Feb. 19.

Legal News!

In the tweet, he told his 24 million followers that the California-based EV maker could produce about 500,000 vehicles this year. He did not get prior approval for the tweet from Tesla’s legal team. (more…)

Oslo First City to Institute Wireless Charging for Electric Vehicles

City wants taxis to be zero-emission vehicles by 2023.

by on Mar.22, 2019

Oslo wants to install induction plates into taxi stands to allow them recharge wirelessly by 2023.

One of the issues limiting the appeal of electric vehicles is recharging, but Oslo, Norway will be the world’s first city to mitigate that problem as it will install wireless charging systems for taxi cabs.

The city is requiring all of its taxis be zero-emission vehicles by 2023 while Norway is requiring all new vehicles sold in the country be the same by 2025. The new induction-based chargers aim to make recharging quick and easy, according to Finnish utility Fortum.

The Last Word!

“The future is electric, and it is already here, right now. Wireless charging is a potential game changer,” said Sture Portvik, Oslo’s electro mobility manager, in a statement. “From 2023 onward, all taxis in Oslo will be zero emission.  (more…)

Toyota CEO “Sad” About Being Declared “National Security Threat,” But Plans $3B More in U.S. Investments

Tariffs actually could backfire and see investment plan cut back, warns top Toyota official.

by on Mar.15, 2019

Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda called the prospect of his company being called a "national security threat" by the Trump administration "sad."

Toyota plans to boost by $3 billion its investment in the U.S. market, a decision that comes as the automaker – and other foreign-based brands – are facing the possibility of huge new tariffs from an American president who has labeled them a “national security threat.”

That designation is something that “makes feel sad,” Akio Toyoda, the Japanese giant’s CEO, said during an appearance at the Economic Club of Washington. “I hope that this kind of conversation can go away,” the grandson of Toyota’s founder said through an interpreter.

Business News!

Separately, the head of Toyota’s North American operations cautioned that those planned investments, which include $749 million to upgrade existing plants in five states, could be cut back if the Trump administration moves ahead with tariffs, something experts have warned could actually result in lower U.S. car sales and a sharp loss of automotive jobs. (more…)

SEC Suing VW, former CEO, for ”Massive Fraud” in Emissions Cheating Scandal

Lawsuit "legally and factually flawed," the automaker responds.

by on Mar.15, 2019

Former VW CEO Martin Winterkorn faces legal problems in Germany, as well as the U.S.

Volkswagen’s ongoing efforts to end a scandal triggered by its cheating on diesel emissions testing just took a turn for the worse, the Securities and Exchange Commission accusing both the automaker and former CEO Martin Winterkorn of committing a “massive fraud” on U.S. investors.

The automaker has acknowledged it used “defeat devices” to rig its diesel engines to illegally pass emissions tests and has so far laid out over $30 billion in fines and settlements. It is still facing other legal headaches, including a separate lawsuit by investors and ongoing investigations in Europe, one resulting in the arrest and jailing of the former CEO of its Audi subsidiary. But it responded to the latest challenge by declaring the SEC lawsuit “legally and factually flawed.”

Breaking News!

The SEC lawsuit, filed in San Francisco, claims the automaker and former CEO Winterkorn concealed the depth of the scandal – and the potential penalties – from both investors and federal regulators. The Thursday complaint noted that in the year before the cheating was discovered and publicized by the EPA Volkswagen issued $13 billion in bonds and securities in the U.S. Those value of those financial devices were directly impacted once the carmaker’s subterfuge was revealed.

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