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Posts Tagged ‘Center for Automotive Research’

GM Teams up with Stanford Auto Research Center

Goal is to “cultivate creative technology solutions.”

by on May.21, 2013

GM product czar Mary Barra is herself a Stanford grad.

General Motors is teaming up with Stanford University’s Center for Automotive Research in Palo Alto, California – the Detroit maker’s latest step in building up its high-tech research and development capabilities in Silicon Valley.

The announcement comes just days after Mercedes-Benz served as the lead automotive partner at the annual Google I/O developers conference and underscores the increasing emphasis the auto industry is placing on digital technology.

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GM opened a research center in Palo Alto in 2006. A half dozen other automakers, including Mercedes’ parent Daimler AG, BMW, Volkswagen, Ford Motor Co., Renault/Nissan and Toyota, have established research centers in Silicon Valley, while Tesla Motors is based in Palo Alto and runs an assembly plant in Freemont. Google, which is based in nearby Mountain View, has meanwhile become a force in the auto industry and could play an even bigger role in the future thanks to its push to develop autonomous vehicles.

Mary Barra, GM senior vice president of Global Product Development, says the maker decided to team up with Stanford “to mine the best and brightest ideas and recruit top students studying toward careers in science, technology, engineering and math.”

One of the biggest problems the auto industry – and Detroit makers in particular – has is attracting top high-tech engineers who are often lured to more sexy jobs in the digital industry.

(Mercedes Goes Digital with Help from Google. Click Here for the story.)

“Joining the Center for Automotive Research at Stanford is a natural fit for GM,” Barra said. “In order to create the world’s best vehicles, we make every effort to remain on the cutting edge of automotive development. Our membership in CARS will allow us both to expand and share our knowledge with students, faculty and industry partners as we work together to move the industry forward.”

The Center for Automotive Research at Stanford bills itself as a community of faculty and students from a range of disciplines aimed at discovering, building, and deploying critical ideas and innovations for the next generation of cars and drivers. It provides shared resources for research, teaching, student project teams and new educational initiatives across many research centers, including the law and business schools.

“GM is dedicated to helping develop the next generation of science, technology, engineering and mathematics professionals and advancing the industry,” Barra said. “The Center for Automotive Research at Stanford offers us not only the chance to contribute to the education of future leaders, but also cultivate new and creative vehicle technology solutions.”

Barra is one of several senior GM executives – a list also including Susan Docherty, head of Chevrolet in Europe — to have earned a degree from Stanford, which also is one of GM’s key engineering and business recruitment institutions.

Auto Industry Generating $135 bil in Annual Taxes

“A massive economic driver.”

by on Apr.11, 2012

It's that time of year, again.

Before fretting over the check you might have to write Uncle Sam in the coming days consider the hefty tax payout the auto industry makes each year – about $135 billion annually, according to a new study by the Center for Automotive Research.

In fact, the industry generates about 13% of all state tax revenues, according to the CAR study which was commissioned by the trade group the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, or AAM.

If anything, “As economic conditions continue to improve, auto companies could see an increase in sales and employment that would generate additional state and federal tax revenues,” said Kim Hill, director of the Sustainability and Economic Development Strategies group at CAR and the study’s lead researcher.

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About $43 billion of those taxes go to the U.S. Treasury — $14 billion in the form of income taxes and another $29 billion from federal motor fuel taxes.

The study found that $91.5 billion went into various state coffers, equaling about 13% of what the 50 states take in from taxes.  Of that, $30 billion comes from taxes and fees on the sale and service of automobiles – half of that from new vehicle sales.  The rest, more than $60 billion, is generated from state fuel taxes, licensing and registration fees, according to CAR.


Analysts: Expect Moderate Auto Sales Growth

Economic woes continue to keep shoppers from buying new cars.

by on Mar.30, 2011

CAR's Sean McAlinden, left, and Canadian auto analyst Dennis DesRosiers answer questions about the state of the U.S. auto industry.

While some still hold out for huge buildup in auto sales, a pair of analysts said they believe the recovery will be moderate and steady through most of the current decade.

Speaking at the Center for Automotive Research’s Road to Renewal II conference in Dearborn, Canadian auto analyst Dennis DesRosiers said many consumers remain skeptical about buying a new car as the economy continues to come back from the worst recession since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

“It’s hard to sign up for a new vehicle when you see the value of your house going down every year,” DesRosiers said.

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Sean McAlinden, CAR’s executive vice president of research and chief economist, agreed that sales growth will be moderate. He projected 13.4 million vehicle sales in 2011, rising to 14.4 million in 2013 and 14.9 million in 2014. Then again, DesRosiers said he made his projections before the current crisis in Japan where the recent earthquake and tsunami threaten to stop production at auto plants all around the world.


California Likely to Dominate Battery Car Market, Says New Study

Texas, NY and Florida also expected to bring strong demand.

by on Feb.14, 2011

That driveway where the Nissan Leaf is parked is likely to be in California, says a new study.

While General Motors may be ready to move up the 50-state rollout of its new Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid, a new study suggests that California and a handful of other states will dominate demand for battery cars.

In 2015, demand for advanced propulsion vehicles – which includes plug-ins, pure battery-electric vehicles, or BEVs, as well hydrogen-powered fuel-cell vehicles – will reach nearly 35,000 a year in California, about as much as the next five states combined, forecasts the Center for Automotive Research, in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

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By that point, there will be an estimated 112,328 of these advanced propulsion vehicles registered in California, compared to 25,746 in Texas, the state projected to have the second-highest demand.

That’s no surprise considering the Golden State is already home to more hybrids, such as the Toyota Prius and Ford Escape Hybrid, than anyplace else.  There are currently 50 hybrids for every 10,000 California residents, about twice as many as any other state in the U.S.


Study: U.S. Aid to Auto Industry Saved 1 Million Jobs

Assistance saved nearly $100 million in personal income.

by on Nov.30, 2010

Government assistance to General Motors and Chrysler enabled orderly bankruptcy proceedings and led to the saving of more than 1.14 million jobs in 2009 alone, according to a recently released study by an automotive think tank.

The study, by the Ann Arbor-based Center for Automotive Research, estimated that an additional 314,400 jobs was saved in 2010. The government help save $96.5 billion in potential personal income losses and allowed $28.6 billion in social security and personal income taxes to be paid to the federal government.

At the time of the bailout, some pundits, and even some lawmakers, suggested that Chrysler and GM didn’t deserve the government’s help. Some even suggested that the bailout was a waste of government money.


CAR President Assumes Chairman’s Role; David Cole retires

New leader wants auto think tank to grow by 25 percent.

by on Oct.01, 2010

CAR President and CEO Jay Baron has added the title of chairman.

Just as the auto industry is at a crossroads, so is one its major think tanks, the Center for Automotive Research.

Now, CAR will move forward with a new leader. CAR President and CEO Jay Baron will take on the the role of chairman, replacing the organization’s long-time leader, David Cole, who is now chairman emeritus. He said that the industry needs the research and direction that CAR provides.

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“We are facing one of the greatest technological challenges every thrust upon an industry – to improve fuel economy,” Baron said.

He said that his plan is to grow the organization by as much as 25 percent so it can answer difficult questions such as what green jobs will look like in the future, whether Washington is making the right policy decisions for cars, how much will people pay for fuel economy, how to address safety and others.

U.S. Automobile Industry Makes $500 Billion Dollar Contribution to the Economy

Latest study shows more than eight million jobs created.

by on Apr.22, 2010

There are sound economic reasons why all industrialized nations, except the U.S., protect their auto industry.

The U.S. auto industry provides a substantial contribution to U.S. economic health, according to the latest study released this morning by the Sustainable Transportation and Communities group at the Center for Automotive Research (CAR).

The non-profit research organization looked at the economic and employment impact of automakers, parts suppliers, and dealerships in contributing to the economies of all 50 states.

The automotive industry spends $16 to $18 billion dollars a year on research and product development, half a trillion dollars on employee compensation, and is the major leader of the overall manufacturing contribution to the gross domestic product.

“It is difficult to imagine manufacturing surviving in this country without the automotive Sector, said Kim Hill, director of the Sustainable Transportation and Communities group at CAR, and the study’s lead.

“The industry’s impact is huge on a host of other sectors as diverse as raw materials, construction, machinery, legal, computers and semiconductors, financial, advertising, health care and education. In this time of national introspection concerning the value of the U.S.-based auto industry, it is clear the value is quite high,” Hill said.


UAW Labor Costs Still Not Competitive

Parity with transplants, especially Koreans, is a long way off.

by on Dec.16, 2009

Smart, flexible, innovative and tough, Gettelfinger for nine years has kept the union moving forward.

Smart and tough, Gettelfinger for nine years has kept the shrinking union relatively intact.

The revised labor contracts that were the result of the Chrysler and General Motors bankruptcies are still not competitive with non-unionized transplants in U.S., particularly those run by Hyundai and Kia that pay as little as $12 an hour, according to the Chief Economist of the Center For Automotive Research. Honda’s costs are estimated at twice that.



At GM so-called first tier jobs for existing workers with benefits cost an estimated $59 an hour.


Next Year as Bad as This for Auto Industry?

Maybe not, but years will elapse before halcyon days return.

by on Dec.15, 2009

While there are some positive signs for the economy that might help 2010 turn out to be a better year than this, Dr. Sean McAlinden, of the Center for Automotive Research, says next year is only good if you compare it to a disastrous 2009.

While the chief economist of the respected non-profit think tank says that production for the year could rise to 12.4 million units at best, the industry will likely never see the 17.4 million units of the recent, now long forgotten past.

The next peak? Maybe 16 million units by the middle of the next decade.

Moreover, McAlinden hedges his optimism with some inconvenient facts.

  • No recession in recorded history has ever been this deep or this long.
  • Auto sales since the 1948 recession do not rise until Gross Domestic Product reaches more than 3% growth rates.
  • No one is forecasting that even 3% growth will be achieved next year.
  • We are looking at the lowest sales rates since the 1970s.
Numbers, Good or Bad!

Numbers, Good or Bad!

His cautious outlook – and his is a relatively optimistic scenario if you look at other analysts – comes after the government pumped in more than $123 billion in support of the industry and its suppliers during the last year.


Auto Industry Observations of David Cole

Here is a frank view of the state of the business.

by on Aug.21, 2009


White House emissaries are, for the first time, “beginning to understand the auto industry.”

At a private meeting this week, I was privileged to hear what I think is a balanced view of the domestic auto industry’s current situation and an astute outlook for the foreseeable future.  

The speaker was Dr. David E. Cole, engineering professor emeritus from the University of Michigan and chairman of Ann Arbor’s Center for Automotive Research (CAR). Industry, academia, government and media have long recognized Cole for his intimate knowledge of the auto industry and his balanced views of it.

This is not surprising, since before earning three degrees in mechanical engineering, he grew up in the industry as son of the legendary Edward N. Cole, president of General Motors and lead developer of both the small block Chevy V-8 engine of 1955 and the radical rear-engined Corvair of 1960.  

First, let’s dispense with the false rumor going around the internet this summer alleging that representatives of President Obama’s automotive team had met with Cole and proposed repealing the “laws of physics” which interfered with environmentalist goals for cars. He’s never met with any of the Obama team, he reported, and the rumor is a distorted version of a meeting Cole had several years ago with a couple of Congressmen who questioned the Second Law of Thermodynamics.  

Inside Scoop!

Inside Scoop!

On the whole, like GM’s Bob Lutz, Cole feels White House automotive emissaries are, for the first time, “beginning to understand the auto industry.” “They’re not at the grad school level yet,” he commented, “it’s more like third or fourth grade, but they’re learning.”