| The Voice of the Automotive World - Part 2
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Toyota Readying to Build Hybrid Transmissions in Poland

Toyota second maker in a week to announce new operations in the country.

by on Oct.21, 2016

Toyota's new plant in Poland will build transmissions for the hybrid version of the Auris.

Toyota Motor Europe has announced plans to build a new plant in Europe that will produce transmissions used in hybrid cars.

European motorists, with their heavy orientation towards diesel engines, have traditionally been skeptical of hybrids. But the market is changing and a new generation of “plug-in” hybrids that can run on electricity or gasoline are slowly catching the attention of European buyers.

Product News!

Going forward, Toyota Motor Europe expects its hybrid sales in Europe to increase from its current level of 31% of total sales to a target of 50% by 2020. For Poland, the Toyota investment is the second major investment by a global automaker this month. Mercedes-Benz also committed to building a new engine plant in Poland. Read the rest of this entry »

New Trump Lashes Out Ford for Mexico Plans

Bill Ford's efforts to curb false narrative for naught.

by on Oct.21, 2016

Donald Trump's son, Eric, is picking up where his father left off by implying Ford is moving all manufacturing jobs to Mexico.

Ford just can’t seem to escape the fallout from the Presidential campaign of Donald Trump, who has repeatedly attacked the automaker claiming it is moving jobs to Mexico.

Now Eric Trump, Trump’s second son and one of the GOP candidates top campaign surrogates, is going after Ford for its plan to shift small-car production to Mexico.

Political News!

Top Ford executives have tried everything from tweets, television interviews, statement from the public relations staff and even a face to face meeting with executive chairman William Clay Ford Jr. to dissuade the Republican candidate from using the automaker in his campaign broadsides. Read the rest of this entry »

Fisker Offers Up Tease of New Battery Car

Long range car to use new graphene supercapacitor, not conventional battery.

by on Oct.21, 2016

Henrik Fisker offers a first teaser image of the new electric car he wants to launch next year.

Just two weeks after announcing plans to launch an all-new electric car company, Henrik Fisker is offering a hint of what’s to come with a teaser image of his first battery car.

A little Photoshop magic reveals some more of the details hidden in the shadows of the image as received from the Danish designer who first tried his hand at building cars of his own with the plug-in hybrid Fisker Karma. The most obvious detail is the use of gull-wing doors, front and back. But it’s also apparent that the coupe-like sedan offers more interior space than a conventional vehicle of its size.


Set to target the likes of the now-familiar Tesla Model S, the as yet-unnamed new model will use a breakthrough power source, a graphene supercapacitor, rather than a lithium-ion battery, to yield at least 400 miles of range.

Read the rest of this entry »

California’s Proposed Autonomous Testing Rules Rile Google, Automakers

Companies claim proposed rules make development difficult.

by on Oct.20, 2016

Google and several automakers expressed concern about California's proposed testing rules for self-driving cars.

As Tesla’s Elon Musk announced all of the maker’s new vehicles will be capable of Level 5 autonomous driving, other automakers were expressing their concerns about the state of California’s proposed rules for testing self-driving vehicles in the Golden State.

During a public hearing outlining the proposed rules Google and several automakers objected to a variety of mandates, claiming that they would hinder the ability to conduct effective testing, including requiring compliance with the guidelines that federal regulators made voluntary last month.

Political News!

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s new Automated Vehicle Policy was devised to insure that automated vehicles or vehicles that can take over some or all of the driving task can pass a series of uniform tests to ensure the safety of the public, according to information supplied by The White House. Read the rest of this entry »

Tesla’s Musk Claims Autonomous Car Critics Are “Killing People”

Too much attention to crashes scares off the public, CEO claims.

by on Oct.20, 2016

Tesla CEO Elon Musk said that the media is complicit in the 1.2 million global traffic deaths each year because it writes stories about autonomous vehicle crashes.

Critics of self-driving cars may be “killing people” by building consumer resistance to the technology, said Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk.

Proponents of autonomous vehicles – including not only Musk but also U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx – contend the technology could eventually result in the elimination of most, perhaps all, highway deaths. But early prototypes, as well as vehicles equipped with semi-autonomous systems, have been involved in a number of crashes, including a May 9 accident in Florida in a Tesla Model S that resulted in the death of a former Navy SEAL.

Safety News!

Nonetheless, the South African-born Tesla founder, said that reporting on such events is counterproductive because when, “you write an article that effectively dissuades people from using an autonomous car, you’re killing people.” Read the rest of this entry »

Ghosn to Add New Duties as Chairman of Mitsubishi

“It is going to be difficult.”

by on Oct.20, 2016

Saving Mitsubishi "will require tough decisions," said new Chairman Carlos Ghosn.

Already serving as the CEO of both French automaker Renault, as well as its Japanese alliance partner Nissan, Carlos Ghosn will now become chairman of embattled automaker Mitsubishi.

It will put the Brazilian-born executive in a familiar role. He became chief operating officer at Nissan in 1999, following a $6 billion investment by Renault, and helped turned the then-struggling Japanese company around. Following a series of scandals, Mitsubishi now needs similar help.

Breaking News!

And it could also help boost give a big boost to the Renault-Nissan Alliance, adding just enough volume for the Franco-Japanese partnership to brush aside rival Toyota to become the world’s best-selling auto company.

Read the rest of this entry »

Faraday Future Set to Reveal First Car at CES

LeEco’s autonomous debut short-circuited when its car wouldn’t run.

by on Oct.20, 2016

The LeEco LeSee concept.

Tesla Motors isn’t the only automotive upstart attempting to make news about electric and autonomous vehicles. Several potential competitors have their own, futuristic models to reveal – though, as Chinese-owned LeEco demonstrated Wednesday, there are plenty of pitfalls along the path.

With billionaire investor Jia Yueting on hand for a public unveiling in San Francisco, LeEco’s event went off the rails when the LeSee, its prototype autonomous electric vehicle, couldn’t drive down the runway, forcing Jia to run down the ramp on his own.

Plug In!

Jia, who made a fortune in the Chinese electronics industry, is clearly hoping to do better with a second automotive start-up he is funding, California-based Faraday Future. That company made its debut last January at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, and will be back at the 2017 CES in less than three months to unveil its first production model.

Read the rest of this entry »

Tesla Wins Race to Full Autonomy

Musk declines to speculate on regulatory approvals.

by on Oct.20, 2016

All Tesla models going forward will be capable of fully autonomous driving once regulatory approvals happen.

The race to be the first automaker to produce a fully autonomous vehicle is over … according to Tesla’s Elon Musk anyway.

Tech News!

Effective immediately, all Teslas rolling off the production line are being equipped to be fully self-driving, including the maker’s first entry-level sedan, the Model 3, when it goes into production late next year, the CEO noted. Read the rest of this entry »

Gas Prices Starting to Fall in October

Some parts of country still over $2.50 a gallon.

by on Oct.20, 2016

Unexpected refinery maintenance has caused prices in some areas to rise slightly, but gas prices are down on average.

The national average price for regular unleaded gasoline has dropped for nearly two weeks after a brief spike during September, according to the information collected by AAA.

Unleaded gasoline was selling for $2.23.5 cents per gallon this week, AAA reported. The average price represents a decrease of two cents per gallon compared to one week ago, but remains five cents more than last month.

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Drivers across the country continue to see savings at the pump and are paying an average of three cents less per gallon year-over-year while the price of crude oil remains well below its historical highs, AAA said. Read the rest of this entry »

Surprise! All New Tesla Models Fully Autonomous

Musk says all models equipped for Level 5 autonomy.

by on Oct.19, 2016

Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced tonight that going forward all Tesla models will be capable of Level 5 autonomous driving.

Tesla’s Elon Musk announced tonight that all of the company’s vehicles going forward will be equipped to be fully autonomous, including its mass-market car, the Model 3, when it debuts late in 2017.

Musk, who delayed the announcement by two days, said the vehicles are Level 5 autonomy capable, which means they are capable of dealing with all environments and traffic conditions. The new vehicles now utilize eight cameras providing 360-degree coverage around the car.

News Now!

He believes that the safety level of the fully autonomous vehicle is “twice that of a person, maybe better,” he said during a late evening conference call. “I think that it’s unexpected by most people.” Read the rest of this entry »