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UAW Teams Up With Germany’s IG Metall

Push on to organize VW, BMW, Mercedes plants in U.S.

by on Nov.20, 2015

The UAW gets the nod from the NLRB to hold a new election at VW's Tennessee plant.

The United Auto Workers Union and the powerful German trade union IG Metall are forming a joint project to explore new models of employee representation in the United States.

The UAW also announced the National Labor Relations Board has scheduled a representation election for December 3 among skilled trades workers at the Volkswagen of America plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

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Roughly 200 workers will be eligible to vote.  The union lost a representation election in February, 2014, but that ballot included both production workers and skilled trades.


New Consortium Aims to Help EV Owners ROEV More Freely

Taking down the barriers to battery-car ownership.

by on Nov.20, 2015

"This is the future of EV charging in the U.S.," says BMW's Rob Healey.

There are three key factors limiting broader consumer acceptance of battery-electric vehicles, according to most analysts: their high price, limited range and the lack of a readily available charging network.

A new consortium, announced at this week’s L.A. Auto Show, could help resolve the latter issue. Dubbed ROEV, short for Roaming for Electric Vehicle charging, the new venture aims to make it easier for owners of battery-based vehicles to plug in wherever they go. It will let them access the vast majority of public charge stations without having to sign up with a variety of different service providers.

Get Charged Up!

The goal is to “make sure every station is capable of serving every vehicle out there,” explained Brendan Jones, a vice president of NRG EVgo, one of the partners in the new charging consortium. “ROEV is reducing the barrier (to EVs by letting) people know they can charge anywhere.”


Reborn Karma Will Get Power from BMW

Former Fisker plug-in to abandon unpopular GM powertrain.

by on Nov.13, 2015

The original Fisker Karma relied on a 2.0-liter I-4 range extender from GM.

The newly reborn and now Chinese-owned Karma Automotive has signed a major powertrain deal with BMW, the German automaker set to provide key components for the plug-in hybrid soon set to go back into production.

Karma is the new name for what was originally known as Fisker Automotive, the California-based start-up that collapsed into bankruptcy in 2013. The deal with BMW allows it to replace the old 2.0-liter engine provided by General Motors for the original version of the Fisker Karma plug-in.

The Last Word!

The deal “is giving Karma Automotive the opportunity to bring a stunning car back to the market, and the partnership with BMW and their outstanding track record is a great fit for the future,” said Karma CEO Tom Corcoran. “We will continue to develop beautiful cars with the latest cutting edge hybrid and EV technology.”


BMW Earnings Accelerate – But Maker Warns China Could Put on the Brakes

by on Nov.03, 2015

On track: BMW expects models like the new 7-Series to continue boosting its sales.

BMW delivered a 20% surge in third-quarter earnings, but the maker cautioned that a slowdown in the Chinese market could put the brakes on its bottom line in the months ahead.

The Bavarian maker has enjoyed a global surge in demand for its luxury products – while also benefiting from the addition of a number of new models, analyst said.  Demand has benefitted from both the U.S. automotive rebound as well as growing sales in China, which is generally expected to become the world’s largest luxury car market. But how soon is now uncertain.

By the Numbers!

“We continue to chart a course of profitable growth, with reported figures continuing their upward trend in the first nine months of the year”, said BMW Chairman Harald Krüger, in a prepared statement


Mini Uncovers New Convertible

Bigger is better?

by on Oct.22, 2015

The new Mini Convertible grows by more than four inches and gains plenty of interior space.

The Mini makeover, it seems, is in full swing, and the latest addition to the British maker’s line-up comes with a makeover of the Mini Convertible.

As with other recent remakes, the 2017 Mini Convertible grows a little larger than the outgoing ragtop, with a bit more emphasis on practicality this time around. But the fun factor isn’t being played down, and like the new Mini Hardtop launched last year, the Convertible now shares its underlying architecture, as well as its powertrain options, with Mini’s sibling BMW brand.

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“The new MINI Convertible has a great balance of playful personalization and sophistication. It’s open-top driving without compromise,” says David Duncan, vice president MINI of the Americas, adding that, “The front wheel drive BMW architecture and engines make it fun-to-drive and practical in any driving conditions.”


BMW Adds New Pocket Rocket With 2016 M2

TwinPower delivers strong performance and "laudable" mileage.

by on Oct.13, 2015

Coming at you: the 2016 BMW M2.

BMW is adding a new, pint-sized member to its high-performance family with the debut of the 2016 BMW M2. And with its TwinPower turbo-six, the Bavarian maker says the new M2 will deliver more torque than past-generation M3 models.

Set to go on sale next spring, the M2 fills a gap left open with the introduction of the latest 2-Series. The 2016 BMW M2 replaces the old 1 M Coupe.

Your High-Performance Auto Site!

The new two-door boasts a wider track than the mainstream 2-Series, and introduces new, lightweight aluminum suspension technology. To deliver maximum power to the pavement, it also boasts a fully variable Active M Differential.


Is Your Diesel Dirty? And Other Key Questions About the VW Cheating Scandal

10 questions on the VW diesel crisis and auto industry cheating.

by on Sep.25, 2015

BMW disputes reports its X3 model -- shown here at its debut -- doesn't meet emissions rules.

Both BMW and Daimler AG, parent of the Mercedes-Benz and Smart brands, have issued formal statements insisting they did not cheat on diesel emissions tests, unlike German rival Volkswagen and its Audi brand.

VW now has acknowledged that 11 million vehicles – including 482,000 sold in the U.S. – were secretly fitted with software designed to help them pass emissions tests. Otherwise, the vehicles delivered increased performance and better mileage but also produced up to 40 times the permissible level of noxious emissions.

In the Know!

Are other automakers cheating? And why would they? What about you, if you’re a diesel owner or still thinking about buying one? Here are some key questions and answers.


BMW 330e Expands Maker’s Electric Line-up

Latest eDrive model continues EV growth.

by on Sep.18, 2015

The future may be electric for BMW. The maker introduced its new 330e in Frankfurt.

It appears that more than just Tesla’s Elon Musk thinks that the auto industry’s future is electric. The recent Frankfurt Motor Show was inundated with EVs, with the most intriguing perhaps being BMW’s 330e.

For 2016, BMW redesigned the 3-Series and has been steadily showing off the variants of it for several months, but the maker waited for the biggest stage, Frankfurt, to charge into the most technologically advanced 3-Series ever made.

Plug In!

The 330e uses the company’s well-regarded modular eDrive plug-in technology from its i3 electric city can and the i8 supercar. It produces 252 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque from the combination of the electric motor and its 2.0-liter four cylinder engine. (more…)

BMW Unveils New X1 Luxury Compact Crossover

Maker recovers from executive slip to hype new CUV.

by on Sep.17, 2015

The 2016 BMW X1 is taller, longer and wider than its predecessor making for a more comfortable ride.

Lost in the hubbub surrounding the collapse of Harald Krueger, BMW’s CEO, is the fact the Bavarian brand has its next-gen luxury compact crossover, the X1, ready for the market just as sales in the segment are taking off.

The compact crossover area is growing not only in terms of the metal moved by dealers, but also in the number of companies participating in the arena. The luxury portion of the market is growing faster than the rest so the company’s timing is perfect.

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The new X1 is is taller, wider and longer than its predecessor meaning that the smallest of BMW’s crossov, er, sports-activity vehicles has more room for passengers and a better view of the road for the driver. (more…)

BMW Cancels Frankfurt Debuts After CEO Collapses

Bavarian maker cancels Frankfurt news conference.

by on Sep.15, 2015

BMW CEO Harald Krueger unexpectedly collapses as he begins his opening comments. Photo courtesy AP.

The Frankfurt Motor Show got off to an unexpectedly rough start when BMW CEO Harald Krueger unexpectedly collapsed during the maker’s news conference, the first of the 2015 show.

Krueger stumbled suddenly while addressing a standing-room-only crowd in the large hall BMW is using to show off an assortment of new and older products. BMW staff quickly rushed the stage and helped Krueger to his feet and off the stage.

Breaking News!

Moments later, a BMW official announced that the maker was canceling the news conference but would attempt to reschedule it later during the two-day Frankfurt Motor Show press preview.