Detroit Bureau on Twitter

Author Archive

Ride- and Car-Sharing Cuts into Vehicle Sales, Study Claims

Sudden lack of options forced change in habits.

by on Aug.11, 2017

Through the first half of 2017, Lyft has already exceeded its total ridership for all of 2016.

A new study by researchers from three universities reveals that the consumers are likely to buy or lease fewer vehicles in areas served by ride-sharing companies, such as Uber or Lyft, or car-sharing oufits.

Researchers at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute, Texas A&M Transportation Institute and Columbia University surveyed more than 1,200 people in Austin, Texas, to examine how their habits changed after Uber and Lyft pulled drivers out of the city due to change in a local law.

The Inside Story!

“On-demand, ride-sourcing services have grown tremendously in the last decade and they promise a host of potential public benefits—reduced energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, easing of road congestion, as well as affordability, and accessibility,” said Robert Hampshire, a professor at UMTRI and lead author of the new study.  (more…)

Daimler AG Gobbles Up Another Mobile App Company

Latest acquisition folded into existing subsidiary.

by on Aug.10, 2017

Daimler AG acquired Familonet Gmbh as part of its expanding mobility efforts.

Daimler AG continues to expand its portfolio of mobility companies with the acquisition of Familonet Gmbh, a startup company from Hamburg, Germany, which has created an app with more than 2 million registered users.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed but the moovel Group, a subsidiary of Daimler AG, acquired 100% of Familonet. In addition, personnel from Familonet will become part of the moovel Group’s development team in Hamburg. Daimler noted it was interested not only in the firm’s registered in users, but also the talent behind firm’s app.

Tech News!

“The expertise and skills of Familonet are an ideal addition to the moovel development team at the Hamburg site. Both the geo-fencing technology and the team of developers with location expertise are a major win for moovel,” said Oliver Wahlen, chief technology officer of moovel Group. (more…)

FCA Analyst Pleads Guilty in UAW Scandal

UAW's Williams thinks scandal affected Nissan vote.

by on Aug.10, 2017

UAW President Dennis Williams believes the FCA-UAW scandal impacted the organizing vote at Nissan's plant in Mississippi.

One of two Fiat Chrysler officials charged with participating in conspiracy to defraud a joint FCA-UAW training fund of more than $2 million pleaded guilty in federal court and could face up to 37 months in prison when he is sentenced in December.

Jerome Durden, 61, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to defraud the U.S. government, a felony, and one misdemeanor charge of failing to file a tax return for the approximately $4,000 he received in 2013 from the conspiracy. Durden allegedly used the money to pay a credit-card bill.

Stay in the Loop!

Durden, who was a financial analyst at FCA, is expected to cooperate with prosecutors as they build their case against other conspirators, including Al Iacobelli, FCA’s former head of labor relations, and Monica Morgan, the wife of the late General Holiefield, former head of the UAW’s Fiat Chrysler department. (more…)

GM Sales Climb in China as Ford’s Slip in July

Ford sales down year-to-date as well.

by on Aug.09, 2017

Cadillac sales rose 37% in July. ATS sales performed well during the month.

General Motors Co. sales may have dropped in the U.S. last month, but the automaker posted record sales in China, the company’s largest single market. Conversely Ford Motor Co. reported its sales slipped despite steady growth in sales by the company’s Lincoln brand last month.

GM and its joint ventures reported that retail sales increased 6.3% from a year earlier to 287,581 vehicles. For the year, GM surpassed 2 million deliveries in China as sales in the first seven months totaled 2.05 million units down 1.3% from last year’s pace.

Global Auto News!

The Buick, Cadillac and Baojun brands reached all-time highs for July sales, while Chevrolet posted growth of 24% on an annual basis. GM’s performance was strong across many segments, with SUVs remaining the biggest riser – generating growth of 50% year over year. (more…)

New Vehicle Fuel-Economy Averages Improve in July

Rise attributed to decline in truck sales.

by on Aug.08, 2017

The average fuel economy of new vehicles sold in the U.S. during July improved compared to June.

The average fuel economy of new vehicles purchased by Americans improved during July, according to a monthly survey by the University of Michigan.

The average fuel economy (window-sticker value) of new vehicles sold in the U.S. in July was 25.4 mpg—up 0.3 mpg from June, Michael Sivak and Brandon Schoettle, researchers from U-M’s Transportation Institute said.

Beyond the Headlines!

The increase likely reflects the decreased proportion of light trucks in the sales mix in July compared to June. The value for July is up 5.3 mpg since the first month of the organization’s monitoring began in October 2007, but still down 0.1 mpg from the peak of 25.5 mpg reached in August 2014, the report for July sales noted. (more…)

Demand for Cybersecurity Experts in Auto Industry Soars

Makers searching for help with hacking.

by on Aug.07, 2017

Automakers, like Tesla, are searching for cybersecurity experts to help keep vehicles and occupants safe.

The demand for automotive cybersecurity researchers is outstripping supply as automakers continue to cram more and more computer-based technology into new vehicles.

This offers hackers more and more opportunities to breach systems in vehicles. Stories abound of vehicles being hacked in various scenarios, including one where a tech publication paid hackers to take control of a vehicle while driving.

Technology News!

The list of “definitely hacked” includes Fiat Chrysler, Volkswagen and Delphi Automotive, reports the Hill, the Washington D.C. based website focused on policy and political issues. Add Tesla and others to list as well. (more…)

Manufacturers Group Blasts Trump on Trade Policies

Organization chides Trump for breaking promises.

by on Aug.07, 2017

The Alliance of American Manufacturers blasted Donald Trump for not following through on his campaign promises about trade with China.

The Trump administration’s lack of progress on trade issues has come under fire from a group of manufacturing companies and labor unions.

“Don’t let the president’s tweets fool you. Every chance the administration has had to make meaningful change on trade policy, they’ve kicked the can down the road,” said Scott Paul, president of the Alliance for American Manufacturing.

Performance News!

“Just over one year ago, President-elect Trump promised to get tough on China’s trade cheating by stopping Beijing’s intellectual property theft, massive overcapacity and currency manipulation. Now as president, Trump is currently zero for three on these issues,” Paul said.  (more…)

UAW Loses Battle at Nissan Mississippi Plant

Workers vote down union by wide margin.

by on Aug.05, 2017

Employees at Nissan's Canton, Mississippi, plant voted against UAW representation by a wide margin.

Nissan workers voted down a bid by the United Auto Workers to unionize employees at the company’s big assembly plant in Canton, Mississippi, by a wide margin.

The final tally in the election conducted by the National Labor Relations Board was 2244 to 1307.

News You Can Trust!

“With this vote, the voice of Nissan employees has been heard. They have rejected the UAW and chosen to self-represent, continuing the direct relationship they enjoy with the company,” the company said in a statement issued after the votes were counted. (more…)

BMW Chief Krüger Defends Use of Diesels

Maker offering incentives to buyers.

by on Aug.04, 2017

BMW CEO Harald Krüger believes that state-of-the-art diesels will play an important role in future mobility.

Despite a series of scandals that have tarnished the image of diesel engines, cost manufacturers billions in fines penalties and recalls and now threaten to drag them in a wider legal morass, BMW’s top executive is insisting diesel engines can have a significant role in the industry’s future.

State-of-the art diesels will definitely play an important role in future mobility, said BMW CEO Harald Krüger.

News Now!

“Modern efficient diesel engines ensure lower CO2 emissions. On average, BMW Group diesel vehicles emit 40% less NOX than the German average, as reported by the Germany Federal Environment agency in April 2017. This is also true for both our Euro 5 and Euro 6 vehicles,” he said. (more…)

Volkswagen Penalized Again for Dieselgate Scandal

Maker not eligible for European Investment Bank loans.

by on Aug.03, 2017

VW's diesel scandal has had a secondary impact on the maker: no more low-cost R&D loans from the European Investment Bank.

For now, Volkswagen is no longer eligible for low-cost financing to help finance research and development from the European Investment Bank

The bank’s decision, which is part of the fallout from the diesel scandal that engulfed the company two years ago, comes as carmakers are scrambling to find money in the hunt for new technology.

News Now!

The hold on new loans came after the European Anti-Fraud Office, known as OLAF, concluded that Volkswagen misled authorities about how it used $472 million earmarked, at VW’s request, to help finance the development of cleaner more efficient engines.  (more…)