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Dodge Gets a Look at its Future Now

Competition offers potential glimpse of future products.

by on Jun.16, 2017

The first-place winning sketch for the FCA US Drive for Design competition, designed by Davis Kunselman, Mount de Sales Academy in Macon, Georgia.

For years, the hallmark of Fiat Chrysler products – and before that simply Chrysler – have been their compelling designs. The Dodge brand, in particular, leads this tradition.

However, nothing stands still and even the brand’s wildly popular retro designs for the Challenger and Charger feature updated takes on timeless designs that bring new aficionados to the Dodge brand.

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The company says long, flowing shapes accented with razor-sharp edges, inlets and exits that tap into cooling airflow with minimal drag, and wheels sized to leave little room for anything else – are the design keys for Dodge three decades from now. (more…)

Tesla Looking to Make Move to India

Indian government may be looking to lure EV makers to the country.

by on Jun.15, 2017

Tesla CEO Elon Musk says the EV maker is in talks to sell vehicles and build a new plant in India.

The world seems to be Elon Musk’s oyster and he keeps finding pearls. The latest gem comes as the Tesla founder confirms that the company is in talks with the Indian government to sell and build vehicles in the country.

As is so often the case with Musk, he broke the news on Twitter, following another of dozens of requests from Indian tweeters asking him to bring his ever-expanding line-up of electric vehicles to the sub-continent.

Global Auto News!

“In discussions with the government of India requesting temporary relief on import penalties/restrictions until a local factory is built,” he tweeted recently. (more…)

Takata Close to Filing Bankruptcy

Talks with Key for financial help may not close in time.

by on Jun.15, 2017

The troubled supplier is close to filing bankruptcy, sources claim. The filing could come as early as next week.

The long saga that has become the deal between Takata Corp. and Key Safety Systems Inc. may be winding to a close as sources report the Japanese company is close to filing bankruptcy, perhaps as early as next week.

Reuters reports that Takata has been hammering out a deal with Key for financial backing, and trying to deal with the billions of dollars in liabilities it owes due to its defective air bag inflators.

Safety News!

Another sticking point is the $850 million owed by the Japanese airbag system maker to major global automakers, which is part of a settlement reached earlier this year. The company has until 2018 to pay the $850 million. Neither Takata nor Key commented on the story, Reuters reported. (more…)

GM Plants Seeing Extended Summer Shutdowns

Company extends downtime to shave down inventory glut.

by on Jun.14, 2017

A worker at GM's Fairfax, Kansas, plant shines up a new Chevy Malibu, which isn't selling well this year.

Hourly employees at two General Motors plants are going to get some extra time off this summer as the company is extending the normal two-week shutdown period to as many as five weeks to help shave off some bloated inventory.

The company’s Lordstown, Ohio, and Fairfax, Kansas, plants produce the Chevy Cruze and Malibu respectively. The two cars are suffering through sluggish retail sales performances this year, although overall Cruze sales are up 36% due to fleet and commercial sales.

Manufacturing News!

GM is likely to take the time to change up the lines to adjust to the stark increase in SUV and crossover sales in the U.S. (more…)

Waymo Puts Firefly out to Autonomous Automotive Pasture

Tech giant retires little bubble cars in favor of Chrysler Pacificas.

by on Jun.14, 2017

Waymo is retiring the Firefly in favor of a more real-world vehicle: the Chrysler Pacifica minivan.

As Waymo, formerly known as Google’s autonomous vehicle program, continues to develop its self-driving vehicles, it’s clear that one part of the program won’t carry on: the Firefly, also known as Google’s “little marshmallow car” or a dozen other nicknames.

The company announced it plans to retire its fleet of “Fireflies,” the actual name of the quirky looking cars, instead focusing its fleet of Chrysler Pacifica minivans for further development.

Stay in the Loop!

The small two-seat egg-shaped car introduced many to the idea of a self-driving car. In fact, the company took a legally blind passenger in Austin, Texas, on what it claimed was the world’s first actual autonomous trip. (more…)

Apple CEO Cook Admits to Active Autonomous Autos Program

Company developing the system, not the actual car.

by on Jun.13, 2017

Apple CEO Tim Cook fessed up to the fact that the tech company is working on an autonomous vehicle.

Apple CEO Tim Cook finally confirmed what the automotive world was certain it already knew: Apple is working on an autonomous vehicle and has been for some time.

The prospect of a viable autonomous vehicle has drawn significant interest – and investement – from automotive and technology companies, particularly in the last five years. While the automakers have been fairly transparent about their plans, as has tech giant Google, Apple’s been very quiet about its efforts.

Tech News!

However, the program, nicknamed Project Titan, is out in the open now.

“We’re focusing on autonomous systems,” Cook told Bloomberg Television. “It’s a core technology that we view as very important.” He likened the effort to “the mother of all AI projects,” saying it’s “probably one of the most difficult AI projects to work on.” (more…)

GM Vehicles Top “Most American” List for 2017

U.S. automakers dominate top spots.

by on Jun.12, 2017

The Chevrolet Traverse tied with its siblings, the GMC Acadia and Buick Enclave, as the most American vehicle.

Want to start an argument? Ask someone if their Ford Taurus is a more American car than the Toyota Camry.

This ongoing battle what automakers are building the most “American” vehicles just got some new ammunition: the 2017 Kogod Made in America Auto Index. The list is compiled by the business school at American University in Washington, D.C.

Beyond the Headlines!

If you’re in favor of American companies building the most “American” vehicles, you’re going to like the study’s results. For this year, three General Motors models – Buick Enclave, GMC Acadia and Chevrolet Traverse – were tied at the top the list. (more…)

Tesla CEO Musk Says Superchargers Going Solar

Company expects to add 10,000 new stations by end of year.

by on Jun.12, 2017

Tesla is expanding its Supercharger network in the U.S. and, Musk recently tweeted, aims to convert them to using solar power.

As quickly as President Donald Trump ended U.S. involvement in the Paris Climate Treaty, automakers – and more than 100 other companies – with equal speed said they planned to continue meeting the goals of the treaty.

The move so upset Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk that he resigned from a committee that advises the president on a variety of business matters. However, not long after, a Twitter follower of Musk’s called him out, implying his stance was a bit hypocritical.

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“Unfortunately I can stand at the Tesla superchargers and see the coal power plant. Play the shell game all you want these are coal powered,” wrote David Kennedy. (more…)

Hyundai Motor America Recalling 600,000 Vehicles

Problems with hood latches, warning lights force action.

by on Jun.08, 2017

Both Santa Fe and Sport are being recalled due to a faulty hood latch cable.

Hyundai announced it will recall nearly 600,000 vehicles by the end of June to resolve two separate issues: faulty hood latches and parking brake warning lights.

Both recalls will begin June 30.

Safety News!

The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration said the company 437,400 Santa Fe and Santa Fe Sport crossovers due to a faulty cable for the secondary hood latch. The cable may corrode and prevent the hood from latching. (more…)

Teens Three Times More Likely to Die in Car Crashes

Teenage driving deaths up 10% year-over-year.

by on Jun.06, 2017

A new study shows that teenage drivers are three times more likely to die in a car accident than adults.

If it hasn’t done so already, your local school district is about to shut down for summer vacation giving a new lease on life to a spate of young drivers who now get to add time to their newfound freedom.

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety calls the time between Memorial and Labor days as the “100 Deadliest Days,” because of that combination of free time and inexperienced drivers on U.S. roads. The group revealed a new study that shows drivers ages 16-17 years old are three times as likely as adults to be involved in a deadly crash.

Safety News!

During this time of year, the average number of deadly teen driver crashes climbs 15% compared to the rest of the year. During the past five years, more than 1,600 people were killed in crashes involving inexperienced teen drivers during this time frame. (more…)