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Next-Gen Mercedes GLE Hybrid Will Go 62 Miles Electric Only

If it hits the target, it would set a new benchmark.

by on Oct.12, 2018

For 2019, the GLE hybrid will travel 62 miles in electric-only mode as compared with 10 miles in the current model.

Mercedes-Benz’s push into electrified vehicles isn’t limited to its EQ line-up expected to debut next year some time, it’s looking to amp up many of its next-gen offerings of current vehicles, such as the GLE.

The next-generation of the GLE hybrid, which will be a 2020 model coming out next fall, will be able to travel 62 miles in electric-only mode, according to Automotive News Europe. The current hybrid travels just 10 miles on batteries only.

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Ola Kallenius, head of Daimler Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Car Development, told the publication that the move is to help meet increasingly stringent fuel economy and emissions standards around the world. (more…)

Average Age of Vehicles in the U.S. is Higher than Ever

Average car is now 10.5 years old.

by on Oct.12, 2018

The average age of a vehicle on U.S. roadways these days is 10.5 years.

The average age of a vehicle driven in America has steadily risen during the past few years and the latest study reveals that the average is even higher still – 10.5 years in 2017 up from 9.3 years in 2009 – but it also unmasks some other interesting facts.

First, trucks are kept much longer than vehicles on average while SUVs are kept less, although that could be related to the recent surge in SUV sales offsetting the overall ages of utes in the market. Car sit in between, the two.

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The average age of a pickup truck in 2009 was 11.2 years and now it is 13.6 years: a difference of 2.4 years. Meanwhile SUVs in 2009 were an average of 7.1 years old and as of last year, they were 8.5 years old. (more…)

Toyota Rated as Best Automotive Brand

Sixteen auto brands make Top 100 — GM and FCA brands not on the list.

by on Oct.11, 2018

Toyota was the top automotive brand in this year's Best Global Brands Top 100 list, taking seventh overall.

A quick poll of people asking what automaker is the best might net several folks saying “Tesla!” and while it does have a massive market cap, they’d be wrong. The best brand? Toyota.

According to Interbrand’s 2018 Best Global Brands report, Apple was the top company on the list with a valuation of $214 billion. Toyota was seventh on the list at $53 billion, which was up 6% over last year’s result.

Insight!

Overall, 15 automotive brands made the Top 100 list and while there aren’t really any surprises about what ones are on the list, those that are not on the list may be reason to take pause. None of the General Motors brands made this year’s list. The aforementioned Tesla did not make the list either. Nor did any of Fiat Chrysler’s brands. (more…)

Bollinger Takes Wraps off New B2 Pickup Truck

New truck expected to be available by 2020.

by on Oct.11, 2018

The new Bollinger B2 pickup truck is expected to hit U.S. roadways in 2020.

Plenty have talked about it – Elon Musk most prominently – but only one company seems close to producing a battery-electric truck and that’s Bollinger Motors.

The now-Michigan-based EV maker debuted its B1 SUV less than a year ago with a promise of a pickup truck in the near future. Well, as one prominent politician likes to claim: promises made, promises kept. Only this time, it appears to be true.

Electrifying!

“The new B2 incorporates everything that we’ve learned in making the B1, and takes it in an exciting new direction. It’s always been the plan to have both the B1 and B2 start off our line-up,” said Robert Bollinger, founder and CEO, Autoblog reported.  (more…)

Woebcken Out as CEO of VW America, Audi Boss Keogh Takes Over

Bentley's Del Rosso takes over Audi for Keogh.

by on Oct.10, 2018

Hinrich Woebcken is out as the CEO of VW's North American operations, replaced by Audi chief Scott Keogh.

Volkswagen Group of America is shuffling the deck at the top for a new leader, but didn’t go too far to find him: former Audi of America chief Scott Keogh is replacing Hinrich Woebcken as President and CEO.

Keogh, 49, joined Audi in 2006 as Chief Marketing Officer and ascended to President in 2012. He’s played a major role in the near-luxury brand’s continuous sales growth for more than a decade. In fact, sales doubled between 2010 and 2015.

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Woebcken took over VWofA in January 2016. He came on during a difficult time for the brand as it was in the early stages of dealing with a global diesel scandal, which was uncovered by U.S. federal environmental regulators. (more…)

Trump Set to Allow Year-Round Sale of E15 Fuel

President appears to be catering to corn farmers.

by on Oct.09, 2018

President Donald Trump is expected to lift the summer time sales ban on E15 gasoline, allowing year-round sales.

President Donald Trump is looking to make farmers happy, corn farmers anyway, with plans to remove the ethanol restriction on gasoline and allow E15 blends to be sold year-round.

Currently, the blend is banned between June 1 and Sept. 15 each year because of concerns that the special blend combines with the higher summer temps to produce smog. Advocates for ethanol claim the charge is unfounded.

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E15 contains 15% ethanol while most gasolines are already made up of 10% ethanol.  (more…)

Faraday Fritters Away Funding, Future Fading Fast — Again

Company not paying vendors while fighting with investor.

by on Oct.08, 2018

More than 300 Faraday workers gathered at the plant last weekend to help clean it up.

Less than a year after it was rumored to be out of money, budding electric vehicle maker Faraday Future appears to be out of money again — even after getting an $800 million infusion from a Chinese conglomerate.

According to a filing with Hong Kong Stock Exchange, the healthcare division of Chinese real estate group Evergrande is accusing Faraday Future founder and CEO Jia Yueting of trying to back out of the deal the two sides made in January.

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Evergrande officials claim that Jia blew through the $800 million and wanted another $700 million, and say they will take “all necessary actions” to protect itself and its shareholders. Conversely, Jia claims the company agreed to make two payments and after making the first, is trying to get out of the second, a $700 million payment due in 2019. (more…)

Strong Demand, Interest Rates Causing Jump in Used Car Prices

Compact, midsize sedans driving the shift.

by on Oct.08, 2018

Used vehicle prices are on the rise and that's unlikely to change in the near term, especially for compact and midsize sedans.

Car buyers looking for a deal by getting a used car are going to be sorely disappointed — used vehicle prices are on the rise.

According to the latest data from Manheim, used vehicle values set a new record for the third month in a row, which is unusual. The abnormal summer bounce began in mid-June and drove prices higher for 11 straight weeks.

Insight!

That changed some with the arrival of September, which saw several weeks of normalizing depreciation. However, it wasn’t enough to offset the overall jump in prices as 3-year-old vehicles are now worth 4.5% more than they would normally be worth had typical depreciation occurred through July and August, according to Manheim. (more…)

Ford Redesigning Company Structure, Salaried Job Cuts Coming in ’19

Number of white collar jobs to be shed unknown right now.

by on Oct.05, 2018

Ford CEO Jim Hackett has talked about a turnaround at the automaker and now it looks like it's happening.

Ford Motor Co. CEO Jim Hackett has talked about making the automaker a more “fit” company going forward, and now it’s clear what that means: salaried job cuts.

The automaker is “redesigning” its white collar workforce to be leaner, have few layers and offer the remaining employees more power to make decisions, and implement those decisions more quickly.

The Last Word!

Currently, Ford employs 70,000 salaried workers, among its more than 285,000 overall employees worldwide. Of that total, about 85,000 work in the U.S. The number of jobs that will be cut is unknown at this point as the plan is still be formulated. (more…)

Toyota Recalls 2.4 Million Priuses Worldwide; 807K in US

Second time for this repair.

by on Oct.05, 2018

The Toyota Prius has been recalled due to a problem with stalling.

Toyota is recalling 2.4 million Prius hybrids worldwide – including 807,000 in the U.S. – that could stall while driving.

The Japanese automaker said the action covers certain 2010 to 2014 Prius hybrids and certain 2012 to 2014 Prius V hybrids. The problem stems from the vehicle failing to move into “fail-safe driving mode” when the car’s hybrid system “faults.”

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While it issue happens rarely, “the vehicle could lose power and stall. While power steering and braking would remain operational, a vehicle stall while driving at higher speeds could increase the risk of a crash.” (more…)