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US-China Trade War May Cost BMW $600M Next Year

Automaker's SUV exports cut off due to tariffs.

by on Oct.15, 2018

An early version of the 2019 X5 rolls down the BMW assembly line in Spartanburg, SC. The plant isn't shipping utes to China and that could cost the company big.

BMW expects its earnings to drop by almost $600 million next year if the trade war between the U.S. and China remains frozen in place, the German automaker’s CFO Nicolas Peter said during an interview with Automobilwoche, one of Germany’s leading automotive magazines.

Tariffs between the United States and China have cut exports of sport-utility vehicles from its U.S. plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina, to China, resulting in a hit to earnings of just below 300 million euros, Peter said, according to an extract of an article.

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“If the tariffs remain in 2019, it could have a full-year impact of half a billion euros,” Peter added.  (more…)

GM Shows Support of Gender Equality with Board Appointment

Company named tops globally for gender equality.

by on Oct.12, 2018

International executive and former CIA deputy director Jami Miscik is joining General Motors board of directors.

General Motors has added a female executive with broad experience in international affairs to its board of directors and, in the process, signals its support of gender equality.

The addition of Jami Miscik, the CEO and vice chair of Kissinger Associates, a geopolitical consulting firm founded by former Secretary of State and Presidential adviser Henry Kissinger, brings the total membership of GM’s board to 12.

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The GM board now includes 11 outsiders and is made up of six men and six women. (more…)

Mercedes-Benz Readying to Launch New S-Class Hybrid

Third-gen model puts out more than 400 horsepower.

by on Oct.11, 2018

The third-generation Mercedes-Benz S 560 e is being readied for launch by the automaker.

Mercedes-Benz is preparing for the launch of the third generation of the new S 560 e plug-in hybrid sedan.

The modified components and the intelligent powertrain management in S 560 e new anticipatory functions give the customer enhanced electric performance and added convenience thanks to faster charging times.

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In the luxury sedan – available exclusively with a long wheelbase – the efficiency of the 9G-TRONIC plug-in-hybrid transmission and a new lithium-ion battery are good for an all-electric range of around 50 kilometers or about 30 miles.  (more…)

Hyundai Shows Off Electric Version of Kona Crossover

New electric crossover gets 258 miles on a charge.

by on Oct.10, 2018

The new 2019 Hyundai Kona electric has a range of 258 miles.

Hyundai has unveiled a battery-electric version of the Kona crossover, the company’s first compact electric crossover for the U.S. market, which it hopes appeals to consumers with active, eco-focused lifestyles of all kinds.

“Our new Kona Electric crossover is a stylish and efficient compact CUV, tailored to the needs of customers who pursue eco-focused active lifestyles requiring generous range,” said Mike O’Brien, vice president of Product, Corporate and Digital Planning, Hyundai Motor America.

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“We’re confident it will set new standards for the electric-propelled compact CUV segment, with outstanding range flexibility, appealing design, cutting-edge connectivity and class-leading available safety features,” O’Brien added. (more…)

GM Lauded by EPA for Commitment to Renewable Energy

Arlington Assembly plant makes top 100 list.

by on Oct.10, 2018

GM's Arlington, Texas plant is one of the most environmentally friendly in the country.

General Motors’ Arlington Assembly plant has earned a spot on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s National Top 100 List of the largest users of green power.

The Arlington plant ranks 76 on list, earning the recognition of the Green Power Partnership effort to power all its global facilities with 100% renewable energy by 2050.

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“Receiving this recognition from the EPA is a true honor for the men and women at Arlington Assembly and UAW Local 276,” said Lamar Rucker, plant executive director at Arlington Assembly. “We take great pride in responsibly building world-class vehicles for our customers around the globe,” he said. (more…)

First Drive: 2019 Ford Edge ST

Automaker creates its fastest SUV ever.

by on Oct.09, 2018

Ford is looking to pump some excitement into its midsize SUV with an ST performance package.

Ford Motor Co. has offered, sometimes with minimal fanfare, a wide variety of very impressive performance vehicles that have turned some relatively sedate vehicles into something else for enthusiastic fans in Europe, North America and China.

Now Ford is offering the first SUV from its performance team — the 2019 Ford Edge ST, which is powered by a 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6 engine that has been calibrated to produce 335 horsepower and 380 foot-pounds of torque with the help of an all-new 8-speed transmission. Ford also says it is capable of going from zero to 60 in less than six seconds making it the quickest SUV ever put on the road by Ford.

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The 2019 Edge ST is also equipped with all-wheel drive disconnect. The technology, a first for Ford, uses information received from dozens of sensors and artificial intelligence to determine within milliseconds whether all-wheel drive is needed, and then seamlessly shift between FWD and AWD without the need for driver input to save fuel. (more…)

Mercedes-Benz Kicks Off GLE Production in Alabama

Automaker charging ahead on EV facilities.

by on Oct.09, 2018

Markus Schäfer, member of the Divisional Board of Management Mercedes-Benz Cars, and Jason Hoff, president and CEO of MBUSI, kick off GLE production in Alabama.

The first all-new Mercedes-Benz GLE, which is based on a completely new SUV platform, left the production lines in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, last week as the company also broke ground on a new battery plant near the site of the German automaker’s assembly plant in the southern U.S.

“The widely export oriented Mercedes-Benz plant in Tuscaloosa is a high-tech production facility with a successful history and an exciting future in terms of our brand in the United States,” said Markus Schaefer, head of Mercedes-Benz Cars, Production and Supply Chain, who was on hand for the ceremony attended.

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“We aim to play a pioneering role in the development of e-mobility and are well prepared to accomplish this mission,” he said. (more…)

Ford Readying for Launch of New Midsize Ranger Pickup

Once mothballed nameplate being built near Detroit.

by on Oct.08, 2018

Ford will offer a wide range of Ranger body styles, beds and powertrain configurations.

Ford Motor Co. has released the horsepower, torque, towing and payload numbers for the all-new 2019 Ford Ranger, as the launch of Ford’s long-awaited now-midsize pickup draws closer.

The company confirmed it will begin building the new version of the Ranger, which was one of truck the automaker’s most popular and most durable vehicles, at the Michigan Assembly Plant in suburban Detroit before the end of the year.

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The original Ranger made its debut in the early 1980s and remained in production until December 2011 when Ford finally closed the assembly plant in St. Paul, Minnesota. (more…)

First Drive: 2019 Ford Edge

New model gets an exterior update and new safety tech.

by on Oct.05, 2018

The 2019 Ford Edge looks to keep the automaker at the forefront of the sport-utility segment.

The Ford Motor Co. has long been at the forefront of transforming the United States into a nation of SUV drivers, going all the way back to the introduction of the Ford Explorer in 1990.

I suspect Ford is already preparing to party like it’s the 1990s by launching a 30th Anniversary version of Explorer in 2020. But it is also steadily upgrading the rest of its growing portfolio of SUVs and crossovers with the launch of the 2019 Ford Edge, which gets an impressive list of updates to driveline, suspension and safety equipment for the new model year.

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Sandwiched as it is between the popular Ford Escape and the Explorer, the two-row Edge sells reasonably well – roughly 140,000 units last year – and Ford is betting new features will make it standout more in a crowded corner of the new vehicle market. (more…)

Honda Implementing New Tech to Make Smart Intersections

Automaker working with Marysville, Ohio, to test technology.

by on Oct.05, 2018

Honda's Smart Technology uses V2X technology to make drivers aware of potential hazards in an intersection.

Honda has demonstrated its “Smart Intersection” technology that connects a vehicle to its surroundings to help reduce traffic collisions at intersections, which account for 20% of the 35,000 traffic deaths that occur annually in the U.S. and 40% of all collisions.

The technology was developed in partnership with Marysville, Ohio, the home of Honda’s Research and Development unit where, as part of a Smart Mobility Corridor project that addresses the limitations of on-board vehicle sensors in reducing traffic collisions at roadway intersections.

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“Honda believes that V2X technology is an essential component of a smarter and safer transportation ecosystem and can play a role in our dream for a zero-collision society,” said Ted Klaus, vice president of strategic research at Honda R&D Americas Inc.  (more…)