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UAW Taps Veteran Bureaucrat to be Next President

Election to be held next year at convention.

by on Dec.01, 2017

The UAW's powerful "Reuther" caucus selected Gary Jones to replace Dennis Williams next year.

Gary Jones, a trained accountant and former Ford Motor Co. employee, has been tapped to become the next president of the United Auto Workers next June.

Jones, a long-time union staff member who has been a member of the UAW’s executive board for the past five years, was selected as the candidate of choice of the so-called “Reuther” or administrative caucus, which has dominated the union’s internal politics since the late 1940s.

Union News!

The officials vote for UAW president won’t come until next year during the convention. But during the past 70 years no challenger has ever succeeded in mounting a successful contest for the union presidency.  (more…)

Uber Facing Criminal Probe Due to “Espionage”

Query is delaying ongoing lawsuit between Waymo and Uber.

by on Dec.01, 2017

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, who has faced one problem after another since his arrival at the company, is now dealing with a criminal investigation.

Federal prosecutors are apparently probing allegations that Uber engaged in “espionage” to uncover the trade secrets of rivals.

The investigation has prompted a federal judge to delay a trial in the mega lawsuit that Google and its self-driving-car unit have filed against Uber.

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Waymo has charged that Uber hired away a senior Google engineer to steal key secrets about its Lidar system. Waymo CEO John Krafcik has said the Lidar unit is a vital piece of the company’s self-driving car system.  (more…)

Lincoln Losing Letter-Based Labels, Going Back to Names

Experience in China sealed the deal as customers couldn't pronounce letters.

by on Nov.30, 2017

Lincoln's Kumar Galhotra says the brand will be returning to using names for its cars rather than letters.

Lincoln is getting rid of the often confusing letter-based nomenclature that it has used for the past several years.

Kumar Galhotra, president of the Lincoln Motor Car Co., said during the Lincoln press conference at the Los Angeles Auto Show that the names such as MKX are going away. In the future Lincoln vehicles will have names that suggest travel and serve to underscore Lincoln’s commitment to making every customer’s journey of any kind more “effortless,” he said.

Auto Show News!

The theme already fits with names such as Navigator and Continental that Lincoln has used over the years. The name Nautilus, which will be used for the vehicle replacing the Lincoln MKX fits because its Latin root means sailor or seafarer. (more…)

Porsche Rolls Out Not One, But Four New Models

Third-generation Cayenne sport-ute sees the spotlight too.

by on Nov.30, 2017

Porsche CEO Oliver Blume introduces four new Porsches at this year's Los Angeles Auto Show.

The influence of the California market has on the management of Porsche AG was clearly on display during the press days leading into the Los Angeles Auto Show as the German sports car maker unveiled not one but four new sports cars and the new Porsche Cayenne in the U.S. for the first time.

Oliver Blume, Porsche’s chief executive officer, noted that if California was an independent country, it would be Porsche’s fifth-largest market and Porsche has always paid attention to the preferences of enthusiasts in California who have been instrumental in shaping the Porsche product line throughout the company’s life.

A Real Performer!

“Our cars are built in Southern Germany but they always seem to look better here in Southern California,” Blume said.  (more…)

Subaru Lets the Dogs Out … For a Drive in LA

Ascent is the largest Subaru yet and expected to keep sales rising.

by on Nov.30, 2017

Subaru of America President Thomas Doll introduces the dogs that "drove" the new Ascent onto the stage at the LA. Auto Show.

With the help of family of charming and well-behaved Golden Retrievers, Subaru officially unveiled a major addition to its product line, the 2019 Subaru Ascent, a family-oriented, three-row crossover vehicle.

Subaru executives note Subaru of America Inc. is building on nine consecutive years of sales growth. Sales have doubled in the just the past five years, added Tom Doll, Subaru of America president.  The addition of a three-row SUV, the largest vehicle Subaru has ever built, will help maintain the company’s sales momentum next year, he added.

LA Auto Show News!

The Ascent draws on Subaru’s history of delivering a solid driving experience while the Ascent also offers a spacious interior, comfortable and flexible seating options and a host of new safety, driver assist and in-vehicle technologies.  (more…)

Infiniti Takes Wraps Off of new QX50 in Los Angeles

New ute features breakthrough engine and helps round out SUV portfolio.

by on Nov.29, 2017

The all-new Infiniti QX50 is expected to be one of the pivot factors in driving the brand's sales beyond 200,000 units annually.

Infiniti unveiled its new mid-sized sport-utility vehicle, the 2019 QX50, ahead of the Los Angeles Auto Show. The new QX50 is expected to become a key part of its product line.

Christian Meunier, Infiniti Global Division vice president, described the QX50 as a luxury crossover with cutting edge technologies, standout design and unrivaled interior space, riding on an entirely new platform.

LA Auto Show News!

“The 2019 QX50 is the most important vehicle we have ever launched, and it embodies everything the brand stands for: Beautiful design, advanced technology and empowering performance. As a luxury mid-size crossover, it’s the right vehicle at the right time in one of the world’s fastest growing segments,” Meunier said. (more…)

Lincoln Brings New Nautilus SUV to the Surface

Luxury brand unveils new mid-size SUV in Los Angeles.

by on Nov.29, 2017

The 2019 Lincoln Nautilus gives Ford's luxury brand a mid-sized SUV it can compete with.

The next new vehicle from the Lincoln brand will be a mid-sized sport utility vehicle, the 2019 Lincoln Nautilus, which will reach showrooms next summer featuring the latest in driver-assistance technology as well as a new design.

With the introduction of Nautilus, Lincoln will round out a fresh and strong lineup of utility vehicles that meet the demands of affluent customers in both North America and Asia, noted Lincoln President Kumar Galhotra during a preview at the new Dream Hotel in Hollywood during the run up to the opening of the annual Los Angeles Auto Show.

Auto Show News!

“We’re excited to add Nautilus to our Lincoln family of luxury SUVs, along with a new name that better reflects the ideas and attitudes of our clients” said Galhotra, who noted the current version of a mid-sized SUV from Lincoln, the MKX, is on track to post its best sales since the pre-recession year of 2007.   (more…)

Big Three Meet With VP Pence, Urge Keeping NAFTA Intact

Talks at an impasse on U.S.-favorable issues.

by on Nov.28, 2017

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer complained that officials from Mexico and Canada are unwilling to budge on issues important to the U.S.

With the three-way discussions about change NAFTA stalled on key issues, the auto industry – and the North American economy generally – could be in for a bone-jarring shock if the talks failed.

The concern was evident Monday when key executives from General Motors, Ford Motor Co. and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V., came to Washington D.C, for a meeting on trade and manufacturing policy with Vice President Mike Pence, who often serves as the Trump administration’s emissary to business.

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GM, Ford and FCA have all come to rely on a North American wide production base, which developed under NAFTA, to compete with carmakers from Asia and Europe.  (more…)

New Vehicle Sales Expected to Dip in November

Midsize car sales continue to get hammered.

by on Nov.27, 2017

November auto sales are expected to decline 1% despite a bump from Black Friday.

Even with the help of a big day on Black Friday, new car sales are still expected to fall in November as analysts predict a drop of 1% year-over-year for an estimated 17.1 million seasonally adjusted annual rate or SAAR.

“Following two months of more than 18 million SAAR, we project November sales to return to the low 17 million range,” said Tim Fleming, analyst for Kelley Blue Book.

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“The strong numbers from the last two months were influenced by replacement demand in the hurricane-impacted regions of Texas and Florida, which appears to be largely satisfied at this point,” Fleming said.  (more…)

NAFTA Talks Fail to Make Headway as New Year Looms

Mexico and Canada not giving U.S. what it wants.

by on Nov.22, 2017

President Donald Trump has reiterated he has no problem replacing NAFTA with unilateral treaties.

With chances the of failure rising, delegates from the United States, Mexico and Canada have wrapped up another round of talks centered on revising the North American Free Trade Agreement without making any progress on a range of key issues such as automobiles and agriculture.

The negotiations held in Mexico City were aimed at reforming the NAFTA pact enough to head off U.S. President Donald Trump’s threats to scrap it.

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The latest round focused on trade remedies, rules of origin, which are critical to the auto industry, and matters related to agriculture, which represents a key element of any kind of agreement, Mexico’s chief technical negotiator, Kenneth Smith, told reporters.  (more…)