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General Motors Expands Maven Gig to San Francisco

GM's car-sharing service aimed at freelancers growing.

by on Jun.22, 2017

GM is expanding its Maven Gig, which is aimed at freelancers, offerings in San Francisco.

General Motors’ newest mobility service, Maven Gig, is spreading its wings on the West Coast by opening operations to San Francisco.

Created specifically to provide vehicles for independent, freelance driving jobs or “gigs,” such as GrubHub, Instacart, Roadie and ridesharing services, GM launched Maven Gig in San Diego last month as part of growing portfolio of car sharing and mobility services.

Beyond the Headlines!

“Freelancers in the sharing economy want flexibility and Maven Gig is a seamless way to maximize opportunities,” said Rachel Bhattacharya, director of Commercial Mobility Strategy for Maven. “If the driver has a lull on one service they can easily flip to another and keep hustling,” she said. (more…)

BMW Taps Magna to Produce New 5 Series EV

Canadian supplier now builds EVs for two luxury makers.

by on Jun.20, 2017

BMW announced it has selected Magna to build its new 5 Series EV, the 530e. Magna will produce it at its plant in Graz, Austria.

BMW announced that its new plug-in hybrid, the 530e, will be built at Magna’s contract manufacturing plant in Graz, Austria, starting this summer.

Magna noted the decision by BMW to have the 530e built in Graz means that the Canadian company is now the manufacturing partner for two premium electrified vehicles – the BMW 530e and the Jaguar I-PACE.

Global Auto News!

BMW’s decision to build the 530e in Graz isn’t exactly a surprise since Magna already builds the 5-Series for the German luxury carmaker at the manufacturing complex. (more…)

Fuel Economy Ratings Still Drive New Car Purchases

Bigger vehicles with improved mileage means better sales.

by on Jun.20, 2017

The fuel economy of the Toyota RAV4 has risen by 10 mpg in five years. Sales have jumped by 166% during that time.

Improvements in fuel economy have helped manufacturers gain a competitive edge in selling pickups, crossovers and sport utility vehicles, according to the authors of The Car Book.

A new analysis from the Consumer Federation of America indicates SUVs, pickups and crossovers that improved fuel economy ratings by at least 10% between 2011 to 2016, saw a 59% increase in sales.

Sales News!

On the other hand, vehicles in the same segment that lagged behind in fuel economy with less than a 10% increase in miles per gallon from during the same period experienced a 41% increase in sales, almost 20 points less. (more…)

Toyota Leaves Nothing to Chance with New Camry Launch

Toyota's top-selling midsize sedan still drives company's global efforts.

by on Jun.19, 2017

Toyota designers were looking to add to excitement to the new Camry for 2018 as the maker remains committed to the "car" segment.

Toyota Motor Co. isn’t leaving anything to chance as it prepares for the launch of the new 2018 Toyota Camry, which will be the star of the largest advertising campaign the company has ever mounted.

“We’re almost doubling the size of the outgoing model’s marketing effort,” said Jack Hollis, who was promoted to group vice president and general manager of the Toyota Division is early March.

News You Can Trust!

His ascension to the top spot came as Toyota was preparing for the launch of the eighth generation Camry, which is played a dominant role in the mid-sized passenger car segment for three decades. (more…)

General Motors Opens Supplier Park in Texas

Company controlled by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross first into the complex.

by on Jun.19, 2017

GM's Arlington, Texas, plant will have its future products supported by a new supplier park.

General Motors plans to open a new supplier park to support future vehicle production at its Arlington Assembly, which is located between Dallas and Fort Worth, Texas, that will bring 600 jobs to the U.S.

The move comes with some help from a company controlled by U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross.

News Now!

The Arlington Plant, which assembles full-size sport utility vehicles for both the U.S and for export, and the new supplier park are expected to house up to 1,250 employees and bring 850 new jobs to Arlington, Texas. (more…)

U.S. Gas Prices Continue to Slide

Even with uptick in summer driving miles, prices remain low.

by on Jun.16, 2017

Gas prices continue to slide even as the summer driving season is nearly in full swing. However, prices aren't expected to drop much more.

Despite record demand for motor fuel over the Memorial Day holiday, which traditionally marks the start of the summer driving season, the price of gasoline has dropped this week and is now less expensive than it was a year ago, according to AAA.

With price of a gallon of gasoline averaging $2.32 per gallon as the price of fuel declined this week in 27 states in the southeast and Midwest, AAA reported. Motorists in several states also saw double-digit price drops.

Stay in the Know!

The national price drop is due to an unexpected build up of crude oil last week combined with ongoing high gasoline production runs, an increase in gasoline stocks and a drop in gasoline demand on the heels of the Memorial Day holiday. (more…)

Fiat Chrysler’s Diesel Problems Getting Worse

VW diesel researchers find problems with FCA's diesel emissions.

by on Jun.15, 2017

The Ram 1500 turbodiesel has won a number of awards - but the EPA claims it was rigged to pass emissions tests.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. is facing potentially devastating and expensive Volkswagen-style problems involving its diesel engines.

A new series of tests by researchers from West Virginia, who uncovered the cheating on emission tests by Volkswagen, have yielded significant discrepancies between laboratory tests and road tests of tests of FCA vehicles equipped with diesel engines.

News Now!

The company is already facing a civil lawsuit filed by the U.S. Department of Justice that claims the company used “defeat devices” to cheat on emissions testing. If the tests hold up, it could undermine that work and lead to a very big fine for FCA, according to observers. (more…)

GM Hits Road With New Fleet of 130 Fully Autonomous Bolt EVs

Company plans to test them in Michigan, California and Arizona.

by on Jun.14, 2017

GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra shows off one of the 130 new self-driving Bolt EVs produced at its Orion Assembly plant.

General Motors announced it has finished building 130 self-driving vehicles for its San Francisco-based Cruise Automation unit to test its system for automated driving on roads in California, Arizona and Michigan.

“This production milestone brings us one step closer to making our vision of personal mobility a reality,” said GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra.

Technology and Business News!

The new batch of Chevrolet Bolt electric test vehicles built at its Orion Assembly plant outside Detroit is equipped with the latest generation of self-driving technology and will join the more than 50 Bolt EVs with an older version of the system GM now has operating in test fleets in San Francisco; Scottsdale, Arizona; and Detroit, GM officials said. (more…)

China Cracking Down on Smaller Automakers

New policies aim to increase production of electric vehicles.

by on Jun.13, 2017

China is looking to increase is EV sales to 30% of all new car sales by 2030 and is using new policies to get there.

China’s top economic planning agency said it plans to tighten regulations for construction of new factories for vehicles using internal combustion engines and gasoline for fuel.

The new rules apparently have two goals. First, they will reduce the potential for the kind of overcapacity that plagues automobile industries in North America, Europe and other parts of Asia such as Japan where sales of new vehicles appear to have peaked as the country’s population ages.

Global Auto News!

Additionally, China’s new policies indicates the government wants to cut down on small “zombie” type car and truck makers that have been supported by provincial governments across China and helps promote Chinese efforts to promote the wider use of electric vehicles.   (more…)

Fitch Raises Rating on General Motors

Agency cites strong financial position, product line.

by on Jun.13, 2017

Fitch Ratings raised General Motors' debt rating as well as that of GM Financial.

Fitch Ratings has upgraded the debt ratings for General Motors Co. and its finance subsidiary General Motors Financial Company Inc.

GM debt was raised to investment grade last year, but the upgrade of GM’s ratings is supported by fundamental improvement in the company’s credit profile largely resulting from its work to improve product profitability while maintaining a relatively conservative balance sheet, according to the analysis by Fitch.

News You Can Trust!

Raising the credit rating to investment grade has been one of GM’s goals since it emerged from bankruptcy in the summer of 2009.  (more…)