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Renault-Nissan, Microsoft Ink New Connected Car Deal

Renault-Nissan, Microsoft Ink New Connected Car Deal

by on Sep.26, 2016

Renault-Nissan and Microsoft are teaming up to develop next-generation connected car technology.

Renault-Nissan and Microsoft just inked a global, multiyear deal to partner on next-generation technologies that will advance connected driving experiences like navigation, mobile services and, ultimately, autonomous driving.

The new venture is only the latest in a series of alliances that have sprung up in recent years between old-line automobile manufacturers with their expertise in bending metal and mass production and tech companies with their roots in the digital economy.

Your Auto Insider!

Microsoft, however, is something of a veteran at partnering with car companies having entered into a venture with the Ford Motor Co. nearly a decade ago when connected cars were a novelty and self-driving cars still belonged in science fiction movies as far as the general public was concerned. One of the fruits of the Ford-Microsoft alliance with the oft-criticized Sync system. (more…)

GM Pact Approved by Canadian Workers

New deal calls for $420 million in investments.

by on Sep.26, 2016

GM committed to invest its plant in Oshawa, Ontario, as part of the new deal.

General Motors workers represented by Unifor ratified a new contract that includes pay raises totaling 4% during the course of the agreement, thousands of dollars in bonuses and $420 million in investment by GM in its Canadian operations in Oshawa, St. Catharines and Woodstock, Ontario.

The ratification vote was closer than expected, 65% to 35%, reflecting a measure of disappointment among Canadian workers regarding the continuation of the 10-year grow-in period for new workers to reach the contract’s top wage. The ratification results among skilled trades was even closer as the agreement was approved by just 56% of the union members voting on the pact.

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However, union leaders said they were satisfied with the outcome of the negotiations. The new contract did meet the union’s top goal of winning commitments for new investment, Unifor officials said. (more…)

UAW President Vows to Block Trans-Pacific Partnership

Williams believes deal will cost jobs.

by on Sep.26, 2016

UAW President Dennis Williams said the union will fight the approval of the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

The United Auto Workers, while committed to supporting Hillary Clinton in the upcoming Presidential contest with Donald Trump, is vowing to help defeat the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement touted by President Barack Obama.

Dennis Williams, president of the UAW who has been an important political ally of Obama for more than two decades, told reporters during a roundtable discussion that he simply disagrees with the President on TPP.

Union News!

“I’ve known the President since 1994. We’re friends. But he and I just disagree on this,” said Williams, who was invited to ride in the Presidential limousine when Obama visited Detroit for the North American International Auto Show in January. (more…)

Chevy’s 2018 Equinox Comes with Mileage-Raising Surprise: A Diesel

New compact SUV will be a global vehicle for the brand.

by on Sep.23, 2016

The all-new 2018 Chevrolet Equinox borrows exterior design cues from other vehicles in the brand's line-up.

General Motors Co. took the wraps off the 2018 Chevrolet Equinox for the first time and revealed that it plans to offer customers a diesel engine in the next generation compact utility vehicle — one of the industry’s most coveted and competitive segments.

Alan Batey, Global Chevrolet president, said GM went all out to insure the next generation Equinox satisfies the desires of a broad swath of customers. The compact SUV segment is now the industry’s single-largest segment surpassing midsized SUVs, which was the most popular vehicle solid in the U.S for nearly three decades.

Product News!

However, the ground is shifting around automakers and the compact SUV segment has become critical as automakers battle for the affections of younger buyers. (more…)

GM Expects Improved Second-Half Earnings

Company's positive news runs counter to that of Ford.

by on Sep.22, 2016

GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra appears to be on track for another solid year as the company re-affirmed its financial guidance for the 2016.

General Motors Co. re-affirmed its earlier forecast, calling for the company to make up to $6 per share and said it expects to exceed its cost-savings target of $5.5 billion, which will be more than enough to offset increased spending on new technology and ride-sharing.

The optimistic outlook was in sharp contrast from its crosstown rival Ford Motor Co., which reduced its profit forecast for the second half. Ford expects slower sales as well as higher costs for incentives and the launch of new vehicles and other initiatives.

Financial News!

GM also released a new report aimed providing additional insights about the company for the investment community. (more…)

Lyft Founder Predicts Death of Car Ownership by 2025

Zimmer believes people in large cities will give up having a car.

by on Sep.22, 2016

Lyft co-founder John Zimmer, right, suggests that car ownership could be extinct in large cities by 2025.

The idea or concept of privately owned cars in trucks is headed for history’s scrap heap, according to the co-founder of the ride-sharing service Lyft.

John Zimmer, Lyft’s co-founder, predicted in a blog post this week that private ownership of cars could disappear from some major cities as soon as 2025. He noted that the what it costs to own a car, i.e. fuel, maintenance, insurance, parking, etc., is just more than some folks want to deal with.

Insight!

“As a country, we’ve long celebrated cars as symbols of freedom and identity. But for many people — especially millennials — this doesn’t ring true. We see car ownership as a burden,” he wrote, observing that statistics show that for the average American the cost of car ownership runs approximately $9,000. (more…)

Toyota: No Plans to Give Up on Cars

Despite shift by buyers to utility vehicles, cars big part of portfolio.

by on Sep.21, 2016

Toyota's Bill Fay said that despite the ongoing shift from cars to trucks and utility vehicles, the automaker plans to have robust car line-up.

Sales of new cars in the U.S. are in flux as trucks and utility vehicles claim an increasing share of the market.

Toyota, the most popular Asian brand in the United States, is headed for record truck sales of more than 1.4 million units in the U.S. this year. But despite the shift, Toyota, which has produces some of the most popular passenger cars in the United States, isn’t about to give up on cars

Product News!

“We aren’t giving up on passenger cars,” said Bill Fay, Toyota Motor Sales vice president in charge of the Toyota Division. (more…)

Obama Administration Setting New Policies for Autonomous Vehicles

Guidelines try to make testing safer while melding state and federal interests.

by on Sep.20, 2016

The Obama Administration is releasing new policies for autonomous vehicle development and testing.

The Obama Administration, which has played an active role in the car business since taking office, is releasing a new policy initiative to promote the development of automated vehicles in hopes of making American roads and highways safer and more efficient.

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s new Automated Vehicle Policy was devised to insure that automated vehicles or vehicles that can take over some or all of the driving task can pass a series of uniform tests to ensure the safety of the public, according to information supplied by The White House.

Auto Safety News!

“Realizing the full potential of automated vehicles requires Americans to be confident that they will be safe – and the federal government has a critical responsibility on that front,” a White House briefing paper circulated prior to the official announcement noted. (more…)

GM, Canadian Auto Workers Beat Strike Deadline with New Deal

Unifor secures new investment in Oshawa plant.

by on Sep.20, 2016

Canadian auto workers and General Motors reached a deal late Monday averting a strike.

This story has been updated with additional information.

General Motors reached a tentative settlement Canadian auto workers by promising $520 million in new investment at the company’s assembly plant in Oshawa, Ontario, and at an engine and transmission plant in St. Catherines, Ontario.

The settlement came just as s strike deadline set for 11:59 p.m. Monday was set to expire, following a lengthy bargaining session during which several key issues were finally resolved, said Jerry Dias, the president of Unifor, the union representing more than 3,900 GM workers in Ontario during a post-midnight press conference.

Labor News!

Dias said the union negotiators met Unifor’s top objective of obtaining promises from GM that will require the automaker major new investments in Canada with C$400 million for Oshawa and another C$120 million for St. Catherines, according to media reports. (more…)

Volkswagen Unveils Cybersecurity Joint Venture

German maker looks to foil hackers.

by on Sep.19, 2016

Volkswagen has formed a new joint venture to foil the efforts of hackers.

After years of minimizing the threat from intruders to expanding computer systems that are now part of every car and truck, carmakers are taking the dangers more and more seriously.

General Motors Chief Executive Officer Mary Barra described the threat as very serious and in need of immediate attention during a conference in July and other companies, such as Mercedes-Benz, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Honda agreed they need to address the issue.

Auto Security News!

Now Volkswagen AG has announced that it plans to form a partnership with an Israeli security firm that will be targeted against cyber intruders. The new joint venture will be Cymotive Technologies, VW said. (more…)