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Ford Recalling Nearly 450K Cars Due to Fire, Latch Problems

Automaker spending $295 million to resolve issues.

by on Mar.29, 2017

The 2014 and 2015 Ford Fiesta ST is being recalled for a coolant problem that could lead to an engine fire.

Ford issued two recalls today affecting nearly 450,000 vehicles and are expected to cost the company $295 million to resolve.

The first of the two involves about 231,000 vehicles equipped with 1.6-liter inline 4-cylinder engines, which pose a potential fire hazard. The vehicles with these engines include the 2013-2014 Fusion built at the Hermosillo, Mexico, factory, 2014-2015 Fiesta ST, 2014 Escape and the 2013-2015 Transit Connect.

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The problem centers on a coolant problem. After the engine overheats, due to a lack of circulating coolant, the engine block can crack. Oil may leak from the crack and catch on fire. The automaker says there are 29 reports of fires in North America, but no injuries or deaths. (more…)

GM Squashes Proposal to Split Stock into Two Classes

Investor Einhorn pushing plan at shareholder meeting.

by on Mar.28, 2017

David Einhorn, head of Greenlight Capital, wants GM to split its stock into two classes. He believes the move would nearly double the company's stock price.

General Motors today rejected an investor-proposed plan that called for the automaker to split its common stock into two classes, suggesting the idea could harm the company.

Billionaire investor David Einhorn, who runs Greenlight Capital, suggested that the company common stock into two classes: one that would receive the current dividends and a second that would participate in all earnings and future growth of the company.

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The rejection won’t stop Einhorn, who is one of the world’s best poker players, from submitting his proposal for a vote of the company’s shareholders at GM’s annual meeting later this year. (more…)

Drivers Think Autonomous Vehicles will End Distracted Driving

New study shows drivers need a primer on self-driving vehicles.

by on Mar.28, 2017

A new study shows that drivers believe autonomous vehicles will cut down on distracted driving.

As the theory that is self-driving vehicles moves closer to reality, drivers clearly have mixed feelings on what it means for them; however, a new study shows that most think a major benefit will be substantial reduction in distracted driving.

According to a new survey released by Erie Insurance, 59% of drivers believe automated vehicles will eliminate distracted driving. In fact, 66% of the men firmly believed this while just a little more than half, 52%, of the women felt this way.

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However, those results there reveal that consumers don’t have a clear picture on what the role of the driver is when behind the wheel, or big red button depending upon which automated vehicle is being driven. (more…)

Ferrari Finds the Time to Celebrate 70th Anniversary

High-performance time piece requires a high price tag: $127K to start.

by on Mar.24, 2017

Ferrari celebrates the introduction of its new watch line commemorating the company's 70th anniversary.

Long considered one of the world’s premier automakers, Ferrari is celebrating its 70th anniversary this year. Of course, any auto aficionado worth his or her salt is desperately searching for a way to take part in this milestone.

Naturally, the first impulse is to simply got out and buy a new Ferrari. Of course, there is that issue of what one to get: LaFerrari? California? 488 Spider? All fine choices, but even with the production increases pushed through by Sergio Marchionne, it’s unlikely you’ll get behind the wheel of a new model this year.

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The used market is always a possibility, but who wants to scour Craigslist or Autotrader for a used Ferrari. The cheapest one currently on Ebay Motors – a 1994 348 in red, of course – has a “Buy It Now” price of $64,995. (more…)

Toyota Cleans California Air Using Eco-Friendly Billboards

Maker's zero-emissions Mirai is a "vehicle of change."

by on Mar.23, 2017

The Toyota Mirai eco-billboard campaign will help clear the air from April 3–May 28. This is one of 37 billboards in the Los Angeles area.

The tables are turning in Los Angeles these days when it comes to smog. For decades, the City of Angels has battled a daily haze that comes with the crushing number of cars on its congested freeways.

However, many automakers are now producing vehicles with lower emissions, and no emissions in the case of the Toyota Mirai fuel cell-powered sedan. Toyota is now not only leading with what powers its vehicles, but also advertising the air clean.

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The Japanese maker is showing off its new zero-emissions vehicle with series of 37 eco-billboards in L.A. and San Francisco coated in a smog-reducing layer of titanium dioxide catalyst. (more…)

Ford Taking 50% Hit to Q1 Earnings

Falling sales, big mobility investment cuts into profits.

by on Mar.23, 2017

Ford expects first quarter profits to fall 50% due to sliding sales, the company told investors.

Sliding vehicle sales and the ongoing in investment in mobility enterprises are going to cut Ford Motor Co. profits by 50% and reduce full-year profits by nearly $1.5 billion.

The assertions were made by Ford executives during investor conference calls and in filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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The company noted it expects first quarter 2017 earnings per share between 30 cents and 35 cents, which equates to just under $1.9 billion and lower than the first quarter of 2016. Last year, the automaker earned 68 cents per share for the first quarter and had a record quarterly pre-tax profit of $3.8 billion: One of its best quarters ever. (more…)

McLaren Teases New BP23 Model Coming in 2019

New three-seater hybrid supercar is already sold out.

by on Mar.22, 2017

McLaren is teasing its next supercar, currently codenamed the BP23. The Hyper-GT won't see the road until 2019.

McLaren is a company on the move. Just weeks after debuting its new 720S at the Geneva Motor Show, the company is hyping its BP23 model.

Its what?

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The new Hyper-GT car is the second offering from the McLaren Special Operations team and the name BP23 is simply code for that this is the second vehicle, No. 2, and it has three seats, No. 3. The current name is unlikely to follow it over to production. (more…)

France Investigating FCA for Diesel Emission Violations

Automaker joins Volkswagen, PSA Group and Renault in group of potential violators.

by on Mar.21, 2017

FCA is under investigation by French prosecutors for diesel emissions violations. The company said its vehicles are compliant.

Less than a week after clearing Opel of wrongdoing in diesel emissions testing, French prosecutors are investigating Fiat Chrysler Automobiles over similar allegations, according to Reuters.

“I can confirm that a judicial investigation has been opened into aggravated cheating,” the source told Reuters.

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Recently, four automakers were referred to authorities for further investigation – and possible prosecution – after testing by French authorities revealed higher than allowable diesel emission elvels. The four were Volkswagen, Renault, FCA and PSA Group. (more…)

Buying the Right New Car Could Net Big Profits Later

Own a '71 Plymouth 'Cuda convertible? You may be a millionaire.

by on Mar.21, 2017

This 1971 Plymouth Barracuda convertible appreciated more than 55,000% — yes, the comma is in the right spot. Photo credit: Barrett-Jackson.com

There’s nothing that beats that “new car” smell — except if you accurately predict that your new car will smell like money in 40 years.

In the vast majority of cases, new vehicles are money losers, or a depreciating asset if you want a fancier term, for the buyer. However, there are a few vehicles that beat the odds and increase in value over time.

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Case in point: the 1971 Plymouth Barracuda convertible. The ‘Cuda featured a drop top and a 426 Hemi all for $4,296 when it debuted more than 45 years ago. Now it’s valued at $2.5 million, a 58,000% increase in value over time, according to Black Book, which provides up-to-date pricing information for classic cars. (more…)

Another Day, Another Smack for Uber — President Resigns

After company announces plans to add COO, president decides to go.

by on Mar.20, 2017

Another tough day for Uber CEO Travis Kalanick as the company's recently hired president, Jeff Jones, resigned.

The old adage says when it rains, it pours and if you’re Uber CEO Travis Kalanick, it must feel like a hurricane is swirling around your office. The San Francisco-based ride services company suffered another setback over the weekend as Jeff Jones, the company’s recently hired president, resigned.

His departure is just the latest in snafus that have plagued the company, harming its perception with consumers and investors alike. Ironically, Jones, who came over after a stint at mega-retailer Target, came on board to improve Uber’s reputation.

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He quit less than seven months after he joined the company. The reasons for his departure weren’t immediately announced; however, in an email to employees Kalanick praised Jones for his work and dropped a pretty big hint as to why Jones left. (more…)