Detroit Bureau on Twitter

Author Archive

General Motors Recalling 1.2 Million Trucks, Sport-Utes

Problem causing temporary power steering failure.

by on Sep.13, 2018

GM is recalling 2015 Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra trucks for a problem with the truck's power steering..

General Motors is recalling more than 1.2 million full-size trucks and sport-utility vehicles to correct a steering problem causing crashes.

The company reveals that the power steering may fail and then recover due to a voltage drop in the vehicle’s electrical system. The dip makes the vehicles more susceptible to a loss of control and a crash.

Beyond the Headlines!

GM says it has reports of 30 incidents related to the problem, including two injuries. No deaths have been reported. (more…)

Porsche Expands Subscription-Style Plans

Automaker lets drivers play Host or simply Drive with new programs.

by on Sep.12, 2018

For as little as $269, Porsche offers four hours in a select vehicles as part of its new Porsche Drive program.

Porsche, one of the early innovators of the vehicle subscription program, is taking the concept to another level — actually two levels.

The German automaker’s North American operation is offering two new ways for drivers to get behind the wheel of a Porsche whether for a few hours or for weeks with its Porsche Drive and Porsche Host programs.

News Now!

“We want to offer a choice in how people experience the thrill of driving a Porsche,” said Klaus Zellmer, president and CEO of Porsche Cars North America Inc.  (more…)

More than a Third of Teens Texting Behind the Wheel

The younger the driver, the more likely they are to text and drive.

by on Sep.11, 2018

More than a third of teen drivers text while driving, according to a new study.

A new study is recommending tougher laws for texting while driving after it was determined that more than a third of teenage drivers engage in the dangerous – and possibly deadly – activity while behind the wheel.

Researchers surveyed 101,397 teens age 14 and up, from 35 states, who had driven a vehicle in the past 30 days. All but one of the states banned texting by drivers under age 21. However, 38% of the teens said they had texted while driving at least once.

Insight!

The results make the case for stronger enforcement of laws on mobile phone use while driving but are also a warning to parents, Motao Zhu, the study’s senior author, told Reuters. (more…)

The Cheapest Place to Own an Electric Vehicle? New Orleans

Short commutes, lower electricity costs put the Big Easy on top.

by on Sep.11, 2018

New Orleans is the cheapest city in the country for electric vehicle commuters, according to Crescent Electric.

It’s generally accepted that it’s cheaper on an annual basis to drive an electric car than a gasoline- or diesel-powered vehicle.

Electricity is cheaper than both oil-based options, but how big a bang you’re getting for your buck really depends on where you live, according to a study by Crescent Electric. The study examined the 52 largest markets in the U.S. to determine the cheapest to own an electric vehicle.

Beyond the Headlines!

Right now, the livin’ is cheap in the Big Easy for EV owners. New Orleans is the cheapest place to own an electric vehicle at just more than $54 a year. (more…)

Volvo Backs Out of IPO Due to Trade and Market Conditions

Trump's ongoing tensions with China and Europe push decision.

by on Sep.10, 2018

Volvo Chief Executive Hakan Samuelsson said that trade tensions between the U.S. and China as well as the EU were one reason to halt its IPO.

President Donald Trump’s seemingly ongoing trade war with, well, everyone as well as a less-than-robust period for auto stocks has forced Volvo Cars to put off its initial public offering — for now, anyway.

Volvo Cars, which is owned by China-based Geely, previously announced it was considering the IPO to help raise funds for additional research and expanding of production. However, the current trade tensions between the U.S. and China as well as the European Union has forced a rethink.

News Now!

“We’ve come to the conclusion that the timing is not optimal for an IPO right now,” Volvo Chief Executive Hakan Samuelsson told Reuters by telephone on Monday.  (more…)

Mercedes’ Future Comes Alive With Vision Urbanetic

New vehicle is Mercedes' glimpse into future mobility.

by on Sep.10, 2018

Mercedes-Benz unveiled its Vision Urbanetic concept. Shown here as a people mover, it's the company's take on future mobility.

Mercedes-Benz looked into the future to find ways to move people and things efficiently and quietly around cities and developed the Vision Urbanetic concept, which uses an electric powertrain and configurable bodies to do exactly that.

The result is a self-driving, electrically powered chassis that can take different switchable bodies for people moving or goods transport. As a ride-sharing vehicle, Vision Urbanetic can accommodate up to 12 passengers, while the cargo module can carry up to ten EPAL pallets.

Product News!

The interior cargo space is about 12.5 feet long while the entire vehicle is nearly 17 feet long. The vehicle can be incorporated into an IT infrastructure that analyzes in real time the supply and demand within a defined area.  (more…)

Trump Puts Ford in Twitter Crosshairs About China-Built Focus

President says car should be U.S.-built, Ford says it's not profitable.

by on Sep.10, 2018

President Trump is tweeting about Ford again, claiming the automaker should build the Focus Active in the U.S.

Ford Motor Co. is back in the twitter crosshairs of President Donald Trump, who claims the automaker should be able to build a vehicle profitably in the U.S. instead of China due to the tariffs he’s put in place.

“’Ford has abruptly killed a plan to sell a Chinese-made small vehicle in the U.S. because of the prospect of higher U.S. Tariffs.’ CNBC. This is just the beginning. This car can now be BUILT IN THE U.S.A. and Ford will pay no tariffs!” Trump tweeted Sunday.

News Now!

In late August, Ford announced its was cancelling its plans to sell the Ford Focus Active, a wagon-like crossover built in China, in the U.S. because the 25% tariff Trump instituted on vehicles imported from China into the United States made it unprofitable. (more…)

BMW Unleashes the Latest X2: the M35i

Newest ute puts out 302 horsepower, rushing form 0 to 60 in 4.9 seconds.

by on Sep.07, 2018

The 2019 BMW X2 M35i puts out 302 horsepower from a 2.0-liter twin-turbo 4 cylinder.

BMW continues to expand its presence in the fast-growing small luxury utility segment with the introduction a new X2 sport activity vehicle: the X2 M35i.

The automaker’s M-branded vehicles are known for their high level of performance and the 2019 X2 M35i keeps that legacy intact with a 302 horsepower 2.0-liter TwinPower turbocharged 4-cylinder engine.

Product News!

The new engine is produced by BMW M GmbH, which is akin to Mercedes-Benz relationship with AMG. It’s the first M Performance 4-cylinder engine and at the same time BMW’s most powerful production 4-cylinder version yet. BMW M left almost no major engine component group untouched. (more…)

Simple Car Maintenance Can Avoid Costly Tickets

A little cash now may eliminate a big expense down the road.

by on Sep.07, 2018

Simple repairs can save a driver a lot of money down the road.

Few things are as annoying as that warning light that suddenly pops up on your dashboard. All too often, drivers put off dealing with those potentially costly repairs until it’s too late.

However, in the course of vehicle ownership, there are often maintenance issues that fall into the same category as the “warning light repairs,” but those fixes may cost you more than money — they can mean court time due to the ticket you may be issued.

Subscribe Now!

“Ignoring certain vehicle repairs may seem to save money in the short term but can lead to extra costs, such as fines or ‘fix-it’ tickets, if these problems are not taken care of when they arise,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council.  (more…)

Hey! BMW Introducing New AI-Enabled In-Car Assistant

New digital assistant available in March 2019

by on Sep.06, 2018

BMW has developed its own in-car, AI-enabled digital assistant. The system's functions can be accessed by simply saying, "Hey BMW!"

“Hey Google!” appears to have more competition as BMW follows the lead of Mercedes-Benz, Ford and other automakers by making an AI-enabled assistant available in its vehicles with a simple call out: “Hey BMW!”

The BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant is a new proprietary in-car AI assistant that uses an always on-call technology platform. It is an intelligent, digital character that responds to the prompt “Hey BMW” and has the ability to control vehicle settings, navigation and entertainment systems as well as explain vehicle functions and even conducting a conversation.

We Keep You Plugged In!

The BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant will debut in 2019 and mark the start of a new era in which drivers will increasingly be able to operate their car and access its functions and information through voice control, the automaker noted. (more…)