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GM Leads Ford in Pickup Sales at Midpoint of 2018

Midsize trucks giving GM the sales lead.

by on Jul.12, 2018

Chevy's Centennial Edition Silverado and Colorado have enjoyed impressive sales since being introduced.

America loves a good rivalry and Americans also love pickup trucks.

Domestic automakers have been relying on the latter, pickups, to help drive profits for much of the last two decades, and Ford and General Motors have long found ways to irritate one another when it comes to sell more trucks than the other.

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Now there is a new way: GM has sold more pickups through the first half of 2018 than Ford. GM sold 478,671 pickups, up 12% from last year, according to Kelley Blue Book data. Ford sold 451,138 pickups, a 5% increase. (more…)

FBI Arrests Apple Secrets Thief While Leaving for China

Former employee had been hired by XMotors.

by on Jul.11, 2018

CEO Tim Cook has been coy about Apple's self-driving car program, but it was the victim of proprietary information theft.

In what looked like something out of a James Patterson novel, FBI agents swooped in and arrested a former Apple employee who was boarding a plane for China after earlier swiping a passel of corporate secrets about Apple’s autonomous vehicle technology.

Xiaolang Zhang was a person of interest in an investigation about the theft of information from Apple by the FBI. He had already interviewed several times by Apple.

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He booked a last-minute flight to China on July 7, and then was arrested at the San Jose International Airport by FBI agents. Zhang has been charged with theft of trade secrets, according to a criminal complaint filed Monday in federal court in San Jose. (more…)

McLaren Fills in Holes in New Longtail’s Story at Goodwood

New 600LT debuts at speed fest in Great Britain.

by on Jul.11, 2018

The new 600LT boasts a 3.8-liter twin-turbo V8 producing 592 horsepower and 457 pound-feet of torque and a 0-62 mph time of 2.9 seconds.

About two weeks ago, McLaren offered up some of its plans for a new, track-ready car named the 600LT, just the fourth longtail edition in the company’s history.

However, the original announcement was a little light on details that speed fans enjoy, such just how fast is the new model. While it was known that the new sport series model is powered by a 3.8-liter twin-turbo putting out 592 horsepower and 457 foot-pounds of torque.

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Now, just before it makes its debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, McLaren unveiled some performance numbers. The 3.8-liter delivers “astonishing levels of performance,” according to the automaker. (more…)

Tesla Model 3s for Everyone! Invitation to Order No Longer Needed

EV maker opens ordering process to everyone.

by on Jul.10, 2018

Tesla opened up the ordering process for the Model 3 to everyone, not just those with invitations.

Looking to generate more sales — and perhaps more importantly, the cash from reservation deposits — Tesla opened the sale of its entry-level sedan, the Model 3, to anyone who wants to go online and order one.

Prior to now, buyers needed an invitation to purchase the Model 3. Now anyone can go online and place an order; however, the big catch is the $2,500 deposit required at the time the order is placed. The buyer will get a delivery date after the deposit is accepted. The website currently states delivery can be take three to five months.

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The deposit is non-refundable, which is different than what earlier, invite-only orderers were allowed. Reports suggest that nearly a quarter of the 400,000 potential buyers who plunked down deposits have cancelled their orders. (more…)

US Appeals Court Upholds $10B VW Deal With Diesel Owners

Court dismisses objections by small owners group to settlement.

by on Jul.09, 2018

Former VW Group CEO Martin Winterkorn was indicted by German authorities in May.

After a nearly two-year delay, a $10 billion settlement between Volkswagen AG and diesel car owners involved in the emissions cheating scandal has been approved by a U.S. appeals court.

The 9thU.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the deal delivered “tangible, substantial benefits” and the federal judge who approved it did more than enough to ensure it was fair, despite several objections from some owners.

Global News!

VW will spend up to $10 billion compensating owners of about 475,000 Volkswagens and Audi vehicles with 2.0-liter diesel engines.VW agreed to offer owners of the 2.0-liter vehicles between $5,100 and $10,000 in compensation, in addition to the estimated value of the vehicle. (more…)

Nissan Admits to Second Round of Emissions, Mileage Tampering

Officials say 19 models affected in latest scandal.

by on Jul.09, 2018

Nissan's latest emissions and fuel economy testing scandal impacts the Note, the brand's top-selling vehicle in Japan.

For the second time in less than a year, Nissan Motor admitted to employees improperly measure exhaust emissions and fuel economy for 19 vehicle models sold in Japan.

Sample test environments for emissions and fuel economy in final vehicle inspections at most of its Japanese plants were not compliant with domestic standards, according to Nissan, which added the inspection reports were based on altered measurements.

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The measurements do not impact any vehicles shipped overseas, including the U.S., Nissan officials said. The company made a similar admission last October. Then it admitted that the practice had gone on for decades with uncertified inspectors signing off on the test results. (more…)

Bill Allowing National Testing for Autonomous Vehicle Testing Remains Stalled

Foreign competitors are gaining on U.S. in the arena.

by on Jul.09, 2018

Nissan is conducting on-road autonomous vehicle testing in Europe, including London, shown here.

As automakers scramble to find what U.S. states are best for testing autonomous vehicles, Congressional efforts to communize rules for all 50 states, once on the fast track, appears to have stalled and there is no timetable for a restart.

In today’s political climate, it would be easy to assume that partisanship is the reason the efforts have ground to a halt in the U.S. Senate, but the bill had strong bipartisan support coming out of committee.

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However, the Senate is tied up with other responsibilities, such as the looming Supreme Court justice approval process and other legislative agenda items, according to the Automotive News. (more…)

Volvo Launches New Mobility Brand

Named M, the new brand offers a updated take on car-sharing.

by on Jul.06, 2018

Volvo Cars' mobility unit launched its own brand today: M. Featuring much of what you'd expect, like car-sharing services, as well as new options.

Volvo Cars has taken the lead on variety of changes within the automotive industry in the past decade or so, including autonomous driving, electric vehicle development and other mobility-oriented technologies and services.

The company is adding to that legacy with M, a new brand that will expand the company’s global mobility operations by providing dependable, on-demand access to cars and services through an intuitive app.

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“Volvo Cars is becoming more than just a car company. We recognize that urban consumers are rethinking traditional car ownership. M is part of our answer. We are evolving to become a direct-to-consumer services provider under our new mission ‘Freedom to Move’,” said Håkan Samuelsson, Volvo Cars president and chief executive. (more…)

EV Sales on the Rise in First Half of 2018 in the US

Bolt sales are up in first half, production to increase.

by on Jul.05, 2018

Sales of the Chevy Bolt rose 3.5% in the first half of 2018.

Rising gas prices and improved range appear to be creating an appealing environment for plug-in electric vehicle sales with no company reaping better results than General Motors in the first half of the year.

The company’s Chevy Bolt EV saw sales rise during the second quarter of the year.

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U.S. and global demand for the Chevrolet Bolt EV has been very strong in 2018, with global sales estimated to be up more than 35% year over year in the second quarter and up more than 40% in the first half. (more…)

Trump Slams Harley Again; Claims Other Motorcycle Makers Coming to U.S.

President offers no proof of new company coming to America.

by on Jul.03, 2018

Trump took Harley-Davidson to task again today in a tweet, claiming new motorcycle companies were coming to the U.S.

President Trump looks to be adding insult to injury as far as Harley-Davidson, and potentially other motorcycle manufacturers, are concerned.

Trump has taken several opportunities to malign the Wisconsin-based motorcycle manufacturer in recent days after it announced it would shift some production from its U.S.-based facilities to an overseas plant.

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The move is designed to circumvent the tariff increase the European Union has placed on motorcycles in response to Trump’s steel and aluminum tariffs on the EU. The tax moved from 6% to 31%, adding $2,200 to the cost of a motorcycle. (more…)