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Union Group Claims Racist Activities Increasing in Auto Plants

Reports of hanging nooses, harassment on the uptick.

by on Feb.16, 2018

UAW President Dennis Williams said that the union is trying to eliminate racism and sexual harassment in plants.

Union activists have detailed a recent series of racial slurs and taunts in plants belonging to car makers and suppliers.

The report follows recent complaints by the EEOC detailing a climate of sexual harassment at Ford Motor Co. plant in Chicago that prompted warnings such behavior would not be tolerated from the company’s top executives, including CEO Jim Hackett, who visited the plant to re-inforce the message.

Union News!

United Auto Workers President Dennis Williams also said the union, which represents more than 415,000 employees at work sites across the country, harassment should not and would not be tolerated. (more…)

Autonomous Cars Will Have Same Impact as Smart Phones, Experts Claim

AI will make an enormous difference in future cars.

by on Feb.16, 2018

Autonomous vehicles are going to impact society as much as smart phones and the Internet, some experts say.

Autonomous vehicles will re-shape the world as decisively or even more decisively than the Internet or smart phones, one of the automotive industry’s top authorities on artificial intelligence told a panel sponsored by the Ann Arbor, Michigan-based Center for Automotive Research.

David Atkinson, head, Systems & Technology and Chief Research Scientist for Artificial Intelligence Silicon Valley Research & Development Center Continental AG, noted he spent most of his career, which stretches back into the 1980s working on variety of projects for the U.S. Department of Defense.

Technology News!

Atkinson said he took a job with Continental to work on the artificial intelligence applications that are critical to the development of autonomous vehicles. (more…)

China Extending Incentives for Electric Vehicles

Government pushing hard to increase number of EVs on roads.

by on Feb.15, 2018

Good news for Tesla and other EV makers in China as the government has extended incentives on electric vehicles.

The Chinese government appears to have extended the hefty incentives that helped ignite the rapid sales of electric vehicles in China, according to Bruce Belzowski, managing director of the automotive futures program at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute.

Belzowski said during a UMTRI-sponsored conference on “Marketing New Powertrain Technologies,” said the Chinese government is prepared to go great lengths to promote the development of electric vehicles.

Global News!

While the Chinese now build millions of internal combustion engines every year, the government has concluded that the global automakers Japan, the United States and Western Europe have a major edge built around 100 years of experience, he noted.   (more…)

Toyota Set to Reveal Supra at Geneva Motor Show

New model likely to come with Gazoo Racing badges.

by on Feb.15, 2018

Japanese auto magazine, Best Car, revealed several pictures of the yet-to-be-unveiled sports car, including this racing version.

This story has been updated with new information.

Toyota Motor Co. dropped a broad hint that it is preparing to unveil a concept car at the upcoming 2018 Geneva Motor Show that will signal the impending return of one of its most famous nameplates, the Supra.

However, a Japanese auto magazine, Best Car, released early pictures of the alleged sports car along with a smattering of technical information. The pictures show a vehicle closely related to its MKIV concept car from a few years ago.

Product News!

The automaker offered only a partial look at the new Supra, a car that helped embellish the Japanese automaker’s reputation for building some of the world’s best cars. The Supra has been gone – but hardly forgotten – from the Toyota model line for the better part of two decades. (more…)

Maven Making Move to Toronto

Service expands into new country.

by on Feb.14, 2018

GM's car-sharing service, Maven, continues to grow. The on-demand access to vehicles is now in Canada's largest city, Toronto.

General Motors car-sharing service, Maven, which offers customers access to personalized, on-demand mobility services, has opened for business in Toronto, Canada’s largest city.

So far, GM has rolled out Maven in more than a dozen cities in North America, including New York and Los Angeles.

News Now!

“Toronto has a unique spirit. Residents are constantly on the go and want more sharing and mobility options,” said Julia Steyn, vice president, General Motors Urban Mobility and Maven. “Maven offers cars Torontonians want to drive to help them be there for the moments that matter.” (more…)

Automotive Consumer Debt Continues to Rise

Despite selling fewer vehicles, loan originations rose last quarter.

by on Feb.14, 2018

Americans borrowed more money to buy new vehicles in 2017 despite the fact that they bought fewer vehicles.

The amount of money Americans borrowed to finance the purchase of new vehicles increased again during the fourth quarter of 2017, according to new figures published by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

The Federal Reserve Bank of NY said the value of auto loans approved during the fourth quarter increased by $8 billion over the same period in 2016 when sales were of vehicles were relatively stronger. In addition, the value of automotive loans or debts held by lenders increased in 2017 by $64 billion to $1.22 trillion even though overall new vehicle sales dropped last year.

Financial News!

The percentage of delinquent auto loans also dropped in the fourth quarter to 2.3% from 2.4%, the report noted. (more…)

Nvidia, Continental Partnering on New Autonomous Vehicle Tech

New deal seeks to accelerate system development.

by on Feb.13, 2018

Continental CEO Elmar Degenhart, left, and Jensen Huang, Nvidia founder and CEO, say their new deal will accelerate autonomous vehicle development.

Continental AG, the giant automotive supplier, and Nvidia, one of Silicon Valley’s fast-growing tech companies, are planning to combine their talents on system for self-driving cars.

The goal, the latest in a string of partnerships between technology and automotive companies, expects to have a product ready by 2021. Nvidia has already become a supplier of choice to customers in the automotive industry, such as Audi, that also have long-standing links to Continental.

Tech News!

The companies said the system will be used for driver-assist safety features all the way up to cars with no steering wheel or pedals. Nvidia, based in Santa Clara, California, makes computer processing units and artificial intelligence, or AI, software that reads sensors and makes decisions for autonomous vehicles.  (more…)

Demolition Teams Ready to Roll at GM’s Old Janesville Plant

New company looking to redevelop old plant.

by on Feb.13, 2018

GM's former plant in Janesville, Wisconsin appears to be on the verge of demolition and redevelopment.

A St. Louis-based development company is moving ahead with plans for the demolition of General Motors’ old assembly plant in Janesville, Wisconsin, which was once of the most profitable factories in GM vast manufacturing portfolio.

The plant was still turning out full-sized Chevrolet sport utility vehicles when it closed for good in the middle of the bitter recession amid the financial crisis that forced GM to file for bankruptcy.

News You Can Trust!

The 4.8 million square-foot plant, which sits on 300 acres near the center of Janesville was sold in December 2017 to Commercial Development of St. Louis, Missouri. Commercial Development told local officials that it plans to re-develop the property. (more…)

GM Sales Increase in China as Ford Sales Fall in January

Cadillac leading the way for GM.

by on Feb.12, 2018

Cadillac set a sales record in January in China, now the luxury division's largest market.

General Motors and its joint ventures in China delivered 367,712 vehicles in January, posting a year-over-year increase of 14.5%, but Ford Motor Co. suffered a reversal as sales dropped by 1% to 75,990 vehicles.

Nissan sales rose 13.1%. while Toyota Motor Co. sales rose 12.4%. Toyota Motor Corp aims to sell 1.4 million vehicles in China in 2018, nearly 9% more than it sold last year. Ford’s top executive in China abruptly resigned last month, citing personal reasons.

Sales News!

GM, which is preparing to introduce 15 new or refreshed models in China this year, saw Cadillac set a new monthly sales record in what is now the brand’s largest market. (more…)

Mopar Gets Mitts on Ram 1500 in Chicago

FCA's aftermarket arm brings style, functionality to Ram trucks.

by on Feb.09, 2018

The outdoor-sport-themed 2019 Ram 1500 highlights the 200-plus Mopar parts and accessories available for the all-new truck.

Fiat Chrysler Automobile N.V.’s Ram and Mopar brands combined at the Chicago Auto Show to display an outdoor-sport-themed 2019 Ram 1500 that was modified with a selection of the more than 200 Mopar parts and accessories.

The show truck highlighted the menu of Mopar products available for the new Ram 1500. The fit, finish and function of all Mopar parts and accessories were developed in concert with Ram engineers and designers to harmonize with the all-new Ram.

Truck News!

“At the Chicago Auto Show, Mopar is showcasing the art of the possible when it comes to accessorizing the all-new Ram 1500,” said Pietro Gorlier, Head of Parts and Service (Mopar), FCA. “With more than 200 parts and accessories, available at launch, Mopar delivers the largest array of factory-backed, authentic products to personalize the new Ram 1500 and make it truly one of a kind.” (more…)