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GM Plans to Launch 18 New Models in China in 2017

Automaker leaning toward green vehicles.

by on Jan.20, 2017

GM plans to introduce 18 new vehicles into the Chinese market this year. The automaker set a sales record in China last year.

After setting a sales record in 2016, General Motors China plans to launch 18 new and refreshed models this year to achieve continued growth in what is now company’s largest retail market.

Half of the models to be introduced in 2017 under the Buick, Chevrolet, Cadillac, Baojun and Wuling brands will be SUVs or MPVs, GM executives said. The products are expected to build on GM’s 2016 sales record of 3.87 million vehicles.

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“2017 will be an even better year for General Motors in China,” said GM Executive Vice President and President of GM China Matt Tsien. “We will continue to create safer, simpler and better ways for customers to move about productively and enjoyably.’’ (more…)

Trump EPA Pick Eyes Taking Power from California

Pruitt believes in states' rights, except California.

by on Jan.19, 2017

Scott Pruitt, Trump's choice to head the EPA, believes the agency has overstepped its authority.

The Trump Administration’s choice to head the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency highlighted the stark difference between his expected approach to issues involving automakers, if confirmed, and those of previous administrations during his Senate confirmation testimony.

Scott Pruitt, the former oil industry lawyer and Oklahoma Attorney General, who is President-elect Donald Trump’s choice to head the EPA, told a Senate committee he was a fervent believer in a “states’ rights” approach to environmental regulation and controls.

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However, at the same time Pruitt said that he planned to review the State of California’s right to set its own air quality regulations. (more…)

Daimler Acquires Mobile Payment Firm

German company gains foothold in competitive market.

by on Jan.18, 2017

Bodo Uebber, a Daimler board member, says "Mercedes pay" is a fundamental part of the company's digitization strategy.

Daimler Financial Services AG has announced it plans to acquire the electronic payment services provider PayCash Europe SA. The move is a sign of the increasing competition among makers looking for ways to allow users of mobility services, such as ride-sharing, car-sharing, etc. to pay for those services.

With a new foothold in the ePayment business, Daimler AG is preparing to its own electronic payment services provider under the “Mercedes pay” brand name. Terms of the acquisition by Daimler Financial Services AG were not disclosed.

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However, the acquisition signals an intensification of the fight for digital payment services by automakers, which see it as a crucial element of expanding transportation services such as ride sharing. (more…)

Gasoline Price Climb With Start of the New Year

OPEC cuts still impacting prices.

by on Jan.17, 2017

Gas prices continue to rise as OPEC's production cuts appear to be having their intended effect. (Photo credit: Brendan Strong)

The average price of gasoline across the U.S. continues to increase, reaching an average of $2.37 per gallon, the most expensive it has been since June 2016, just as the fuel economy of new vehicles purchased in the U.S. declined during 2015.

AAA’s weekly survey of fuel prices observed that gasoline prices have moved higher by three cents per gallon on the week and 17 cents per gallon on the month.

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Retail prices have increased for 40 of the past 42 days as a result of market reactions to the OPEC oil cut agreement. Traders and industry alike will keep a close eye on OPEC compliance as they await the release of the first output report which is expected in mid-February, AAA reported. (more…)

Honda Commits to $372 Million Canadian Investment

Despite uncertainty posed by incoming Trump administration, Honda presses ahead.

by on Jan.17, 2017

Honda's investing $372 million into its facility north of Toronto that produces the Civic despite uncertainty generated by Donald Trump.

Despite the anxiety created by the uncertainty about the trade policies of the incoming Trump administration, Honda Motor Co. plans to move forward with a $372 million project to refurbish and expand its Canadian Assembly plant located north of Toronto.

Honda will invest $372 million in its Alliston factory, with financial support from the federal government and province of Ontario. The governments of Canada and Ontario will each contribute $30 million during three years.

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In addition to retaining 4,000 jobs in Ontario, this funding will support advanced and clean technologies and position Honda Canada Manufacturing’s Alliston plants to be globally competitive for years to come, the Ontario Ministry of Development noted in a statement. (more…)

NADA Chief Implores Trump to Undo Obama Auto Rules

Welch criticizes implementation of tougher emissions standards.

by on Jan.16, 2017

NADA's Peter Welch claims the new emissions standards put in place by the Obama administration will cause vehicle prices to rise.

National Auto Dealers Association is asking the incoming administration of President-elect Donald Trump to void the Obama Administration’s move to approve the rules requiring automakers to cut greenhouse gases for model years 2022-2025.

Hours after the administration issued its ruling, NADA President Peter Welch issued a statement, charging that the Obama administration had just made new cars and trucks more expensive to working men and women.

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“Expensive and unaffordable new cars will drive Americans into less efficient, less clean and less safe used cars – undermining the very goals of this policy,” Welch said. (more…)

Chinese Automaker Opening R&D Facility in US

Site will be in Michigan or California.

by on Jan.13, 2017

GAC announced plans to open a new research center in the U.S. by the end of the year.

Guangzhou Automobile Group Co., which is eager to break into the U.S. market, used a press conference at the North American International Auto Show to announce that it plans to open Research and Development center in the U.S.

The center will open this year, probably with a few months, GAC.

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The location of the center hasn’t been announced yet but chances are it will be either in California or in Michigan where several Chinese companies linked to the auto industry, including Nexteer and SAIC have opened offices in recent years. (more…)

Uber Exec Sees Bright Future for Ride Sharing

Company has no plans to go completely autonomous.

by on Jan.12, 2017

Uber continues to grow around the world, as "mobility" continues to evolve said Uber exec Shant Marakby.

With the transformation of mobility gaining momentum, Uber’s potential for growth is immense; one of the company’s top executives told the annual Automotive News World Congress.

Shant Marakby, a former Ford Motor Co. executive who is now Uber’s vice president of global vehicle programs, said Uber’s ride-sharing business has caught on and continues to expand In cities such as New York, Los Angeles, London and Paris.

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Further, the company expects to expand even more by adding autonomous vehicles in the future and help curb the use of surge pricing, which is unpopular with customers. (more…)

GM Plans to Stay in Passenger Car Business, Reuss Says

Car czar also explains how Chevy Bolt came to life.

by on Jan.12, 2017

GM's Mark Reuss told an audience in Detroit last night that the company plans to remain in the passenger car business.

Unlike some of its competitors, General Motors has no plans to pull out of parts of the passenger car business, GM Executive Vice President Mark Reuss told the annual Automotive News World Congress.

“We really don’t have to,” he said.

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Reuss said General Motors global scale allows it to continue building cars in various segments. GM does plan to retire older models that are now sold in more remote markets outside the United States, but they will be replaced by vehicles built from global platforms that serve multiple regions, he said. (more…)

Waymo Casts Wide Net for Potential Users

Krafcik outlines company's plans.

by on Jan.10, 2017

Chrysler and Waymo have limited their partnership to 100 of the modified minivans.

Waymo plans to target multiple segments with self-driving technology once it is ready for the road, Waymo Chief Executive Officer John Krafcik said during a talk at the annual Automotive News World Congress.

“The first point to keep in mind is we’re not making a car,” Krafcik said. “We’re working on making a better driver, he said.

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Better and safer “drivers” are the key to reducing the staggering number of road fatalities, which are estimated at 1.5 million annually, according to the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development. (more…)