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Volkswagen AG’s Legal Woes Continue to Expand

Automaker enduring two diesel-scandal lawsuits in Germany.

by on Sep.13, 2018

Former VW Group CEO Martin Winterkorn is accused of failing to provide info about the diesel scandal soon enough.

Volkswagen AG’s legal woes from the fallout from rigging of diesel emissions tests continue to expand as it faces a class action lawsuit courtesy of a new law in Germany designed to protect the interests of consumers.

The Federation of German Consumer Organizations, or Vzbv, said it would undertake “pioneering work” with motorists’ lobby group ADAC, or General German Automobile Club, by filing for damages on behalf of Volkswagen owners with diesel engines.

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The class action was made possible after the German cabinet approved a law that allows consumer protection organizations to litigate on behalf of the consumers, avoiding the high costs of individual lawsuits.  (more…)

Mercedes-Benz Debuting New GLE Ute at Paris Motor Show

German automaker skipping Detroit show.

by on Sep.12, 2018

Mercedes-Benz plans to debut the new 2019 GLE at the Paris Motor Show next month instead of in Detroit in January.

Mercedes-Benz plans to show the new 2019 GLE at the Paris Auto Show, marking a bit of a change in its marketing strategy.

In the past, the GLE, which is built at the big Mercedes-Benz assembly plant in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, would probably been shown at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January since the vehicle will go on sale in the U.S. in 2019.

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The GLE will also be exported to China, though sales of the GLA have been crimped in the Chinese market by new tariffs. Mercedes, however, has elected to skip the 2019 NAIAS but is eager to show of the new GLE, which will reach the market with loads of new technology. (more…)

Ram Using “Family” Colors on New Farm Trucks

Case Red and New Holland Blue keep truck colors in the family.

by on Sep.11, 2018

Ram has added two new colors for its "farm" trucks: Case Red, above, and New Holland Blue.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. plans to utilize the colors from farming equipment to enhance the appeal of Ram in the nation’s farming communities.

The 2018 Ram Chassis Cab Harvest Edition is specifically designed for farming. The truck is visually distinguished by two limited availability colors: Case IH Red and New Holland Blue.

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Case IH and New Holland farm tractors and other agricultural equipment are manufactured by subsidiaries of CNH Industrial. CNH Industrial N.V. shares a common ancestry with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. CNH, which like Fiat Chrysler N.V., which are controlled by Exor, the holding company owned by the Agnellis, Fiat’s founding family. (more…)

Investor Suit Against VW AG Gets Underway in Germany

Shareholders seeking $10.4 billion in damages.

by on Sep.11, 2018

The $10.4 billion investor lawsuit against Volkswagen AG is underway in Germany.

The trial to determine if Volkswagen AG executives disclosed critical information about the diesel scandal to investors in a timely manner has gotten underway.

Investors are seeking almost $10.4 billion, saying Volkswagen had not provided information they needed to decide what to do with their shares before the scandal became public.

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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency accused Volkswagen in September 2015 of manipulating diesel emissions, sending the shares sharply lower. The scandal also stranded billions of dollars in investment in diesel technology and shifted the entire industry’s trajectory away from diesel and toward battery electric vehicles. (more…)

Nissan, EVgo Complete 500-Mile Charging Network

Battery-electric drivers covered from Boston to D.C. on I-95.

by on Sep.07, 2018

Nissan and EVgo just completed a 500-mile corridor of nine fast charging stations on I-95 between Boston and Washington D.C.

Nissan and EVgo have completed the installation of a series of nine electric vehicle fast charging stations along 500 miles of the I-95 corridor in the Northeastern corner of the United States.

The completion of the Northeast fast charging corridor provides a comprehensive charging infrastructure, offers owners of electric vehicle peace of mind and convenience when travelling the heavily-traveled corridor, stretching from Boston to Washington D.C.

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Fear of “running out of electrons” is often cited as one of the primary reasons consumers shy away from purchasing or leasing battery-electric vehicles even though the range of EVs is gradually improving. Price is also a major factor inhibiting the growth of electric vehicle sales, according to analysts but the need for charging capacity remains a major factor in limiting sales of EVs. (more…)

EV Sales Expected to Jump to 30% Overall by 2030, Supplier Claims

Schaeffler execs say America will lag China, Europe in EV acceptance.

by on Sep.06, 2018

Schaeffler's Mover electric vehicle is designed to also be autonomous acting as a shuttle in certain areas.

Electric vehicles could account for 30% of the cars and trucks sold worldwide by 2030, executives from one of the auto industry’s major suppliers said during a symposium the company organized in Detroit.

Marc McGrath, president of Schaeffler Automotive Americas, said the shift to electric vehicles will be slower in North America than in China or Europe where “people are running away from diesel” and several cities have moving to ban the internal combustion engine altogether.

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Schaeffler, a German-based company that supplies high-precision components and systems in engine, transmission, and chassis applications, as well as rolling and plain bearings.  (more…)

Trucks, Sport-Utes Continue to Gain Market Share

Crossovers and utes remain atop customers' wishlists.

by on Sep.05, 2018

The Hyundai Kona is just one of the many utility vehicles gaining sales traction in the U.S. these days.

Trucks and utility vehicles continue to take an ever-increasing share of the new vehicles sales in the United States once again during August.

The changes rolled right across the industry changing the balance of sales by brands ranging from Mercedes-Benz to Hyundai. Mercedes, which made its reputation selling luxury sedans, doesn’t even have a pickup truck in its model line but utility vehicles now account for 50% of its sales in the U.S.

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Over the years, Hyundai has built its sales on selling efficient, competitively priced passenger cars. However, this year’s, Hyundai, which doesn’t sell any kind to truck in the U.S., has seen its sales of utility vehicles grow to account for 49% of its total sales in the U.S., according to Mike O’Brien, Hyundai vice president of product, corporate and digital planning. (more…)

August Auto Sales Turn in Better-Than-Expected Results

Positive economic news overwhelms sales deterrents.

by on Sep.04, 2018

Fiat Chrysler sales rose in August, including a 10% jump in Wranglers, and Ram set a new record.

Despite talk of sales slowing, Fiat Chrysler N.V., Nissan, Volkswagen and Audi all reported sales increases for August.

FCA reported sales of 193,718 vehicles, a 10% increase compared with sales in August 2017 of 176,033 units. Overall, FCA US retail sales rose 17% to 164,727 vehicles. Fleet sales, which the company is trying to cut down, accounted for 15% of total sales.

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Sales were led by both the Jeep and Ram brands. Ram posted two new records for the month. (more…)

NAFTA Deal Facing Significant Uphill Challenges

Trump plans to make Canada suffer to become part of the deal.

by on Sep.04, 2018

President Donald Trump said he plans to make getting a deal done with Canada very difficult because he doesn't plan to compromise — at all.

The North American Free Trade Agreement faces an uncertain future despite a tentative pact between the U.S. and Mexico that would spare Detroit carmakers from punishing tariffs on any vehicles they build in Mexico.

Most of the vehicles built in Mexico by General Motors, Ford Motor Co. and Fiat Chrysler meet the new rules of origin that are part of the tentative agreement between the U.S. and the lame-duck Mexican government, which is scheduled to leave office at the end of November.

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Vehicles built in Mexico by Honda, Nissan and Toyota, however, could potentially face tariffs, according to analysts, who have reviewed the documents. (more…)