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Posts Tagged ‘joseph szczesny’

GM, Ford Stay on Offense in China

Ford sales down big, but maker on product offensive.

by on Apr.19, 2017

Matt Tsien, who heads up GM China, said the steady stream of new product is a big driver behind the automaker's March sales increase.

General Motors reported its sales climbed 16% to a record level in March, while Ford Motor Co.’s sales dropped 21%.

The sales increase left GM China executives in an upbeat mood as the critical Shanghai Auto Show officially opened this week. Overall GM delivered 345,448 vehicles in March for the company’s year-over-year growth since last August as the Buick, Cadillac and Baojun brands all reached new sales highs for March.

Global Auto News!

“SUVs, MPVs and luxury vehicles will help us further tap into the market’s growth potential,” said GM Executive Vice President and GM China President Matt Tsien. (more…)

First Drive: 2017 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid

New entry poised to take on Toyota Prius.

by on Apr.18, 2017

The 2017 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid is giving the Toyota Prius a serious challenger atop the hybrid mountain.

The automobile industry hybrid segment has been dominated by Toyota for many years and up until now other automakers have mounted what can be best described as half-hearted attempts to challenge the Japanese auto giant’s grip on the category.

However, with the introduction of the Ioniq, Hyundai, the ambitious South Korean automaker, is making a serious bid to gain share in the segment, which promises to grow in the future.

Product News!

The 2017 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid also can claim to be the most efficient vehicle on the road even as its new drivetrain also delivers ample power in an all new vehicle with a comfortable interior that also handles nicely, even in a heavy downpour. (more…)

Honda Frees Up Silicon Valley Unit to Lead Innovation

New group will consider a broader spectrum of technologies.

by on Apr.17, 2017

Honda's Silicon Valley R&D facility is the home of Honda R&D Innovation Inc.

Honda has turned its Silicon Valley Lab in Mountain View, California, into a new company officially called Honda R&D Innovations Inc., tasked with pursuing research and product development beyond just cars.

It will also look partnerships with other companies and start-up companies on future projects.

Tech News!

“We’re witnessing a convergence of technologies that will transform mobility, create new business opportunities, and change the way we manufacture products,” said Honda Innovations CEO Nick Sugimoto, who previously served as the senior program director of Honda Silicon Valley Lab. (more…)

GM Investing $14M in New Autonomous Tech Site for Cruise Automation

Maker planning to add 1,100 new jobs.

by on Apr.17, 2017

The race to bring the first fully autonomous vehicle to market is heating up. GM spent $1 billion to acquire Cruise Automation as part of their effort.

General Motors is preparing add more than 1,100 jobs and invest $14 million in a new research and development facility for Cruise Automation in San Francisco.

The investments, which are part of the $600 million GM has set aside this year to fund automated vehicles, will allow Cruise Automation to expand development of self-driving technologies.

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“Expanding our team at Cruise Automation and linking them with our global engineering talent is another important step in our work to redefine the future of personal mobility,” said GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra. (more…)

U.S. Auto Dealer Revenue, Employment Rose in 2016

Despite increases, profits remained flat.

by on Apr.14, 2017

NADA Chief Economist Steven Szakaly noted in the newly released NADA Data report U.S. dealers hired more people in 2016.

In 2016, new-car dealerships directly employed a record 1,131,900 workers, a 2.4% increase from the previous year, according to NADA Data 2016, the annual financial profile of new-car dealerships.

The economic impact of auto dealers was detailed in the new report from the National Automobile Dealers Association, which indicated employment, wages at U.S. new-car dealerships all continued to rise in 2016.

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“Total dealership employment has consistently risen every year since the Great Recession,” said NADA Chief Economist Steven Szakaly. “In addition, hundreds of thousands of other local jobs are dependent on dealerships,” he said.  (more…)

Carmakers Want Peace With California

AAM’s Bainwol hopes midterm CAFE review brings consensus.

by on Apr.14, 2017

AAM President Mitch Bainwol is hoping the results of the recently re-instituted midterm review fuel-economy standards will bring consensus.

The auto industry isn’t looking for a war with the State of California, says Mitch Bainwol, president of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers.

However, the alliance does want to see a dispassionate review of federal fuel-economy standards, Bainwol said during an appearance at the NADA-J.D. Power Automotive Forum in New York City this week, which is why it supported the Trump administration’s decision to review the federal standards imposed earlier this year by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency by former President Barack Obama.

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The 2022-2025 standards were imposed without the technical study or midterm review, which would determine whether the standards could be met technically and at a reasonable cost, Bainwol said. The Trump administration’s action basically re-instates the midterm review, which should offer a clear view of whether the standards could drive up the cost of new vehicles, he said. (more…)

Trump’s Border Tax Plan Headed for Oblivion

Economist suggests it would have caused a trade war.

by on Apr.13, 2017

Pressure from the CEOs of Ford, General Motors and Fiat Chrysler may have helped derail President Trump's border tax plans.

The chances that the Trump administration will be able to impose a border tax on imports into the United States appears to be declining and pressure from the auto industry may have played a significant role.

Early in his presidency, Trump indicated that he viewed the border tax as tool for rebuilding the manufacturing base in the United States, which was one of, if not the central promise he made repeatedly during the contentious 2016 Presidential campaign.

Financial News!

However, chances of the Trump administration triggering a trade war with the border tax appear to have diminished. (more…)

Porsche Readying to Rule US Performance Market

Maker updates four models to better compete.

by on Apr.13, 2017

Porsche plans to offer 20 variations of its vehicles to keep sales strong in the highly competitive U.S. market in the next few months.

The U.S. is the most important performance market in the world and Porsche plans over the next few months to offer more than 20 new variations of its vehicles to its American and Canadian customers to ensure it stays on top, according to Klaus Zellmer, Porsche USA CEO.

“Demand for performance cars in the U.S. has never been stronger,” Zellmer said during the company’s press conference at the New York International Auto Show.

The Auto Show Beat!

He also noted that the German sport car maker also offers more choices than its competitors. “Our line-up has never been better balanced between two and four door models,” added Zellmer. (more…)

Mercedes Keeps Riding the SUV Boom with AMG Offerings

New GLC63 S Coupe runs 0 to 60 in 3.7 seconds.

by on Apr.12, 2017

Mercedes unveiled its new GLC63 S Coupe at the NYIAS. The AMG-tuned model sprints from 0 to 60 mph in 3.7 seconds.

Sport utility vehicles now account for more than 30% of the vehicles sold by Mercedes-Benz worldwide and the German luxury car brand is preparing to expand its SUV offerings with a pair of unique vehicles from its AMG performance brand.

Brita Seeger, head of Mercedes-Benz Cars sales and marketing, noted during a presentation at the New York International Auto Show that during the past four years Mercedes-Benz had completely renewed C-, E- and S-Class lines “with amazing new design and technology.

Performance News!

Mercedes-Benz has also renewed its SUV portfolio, which has helped boost Mercedes to four consecutive years of stronger sales. (more…)

AutoNation’s Jackson Rains on Tesla’s Valuation Parade

CEO claims GM is undervalued.

by on Apr.11, 2017

AutoNation CEO Mike Jackson (right) said today that Tesla was overvalued while GM was just the opposite.

Tesla stock is clearly overvalued while General Motors is undervalued, AutoNation CEO Mike Jackson said during an appearance at the annual Automotive Forum hosted by NADA J.D. Power the day before the New York International Auto Show.

While Jackson’s view is held by plenty of industry folks, at least one auto executive believes that Tesla’s current valuation is rooted in something substantial. Mark O’Neil, COO of Cox Automotive, noted that Tesla is changing consumer expectations of the automotive retailing experience.

Financial News!

However, Jackson’s belief may be more rooted in the perspective that the traditional U.S. automakers are currently undervalued. He said today’s reality is that, “Gas is affordable as far as the eye can see.” (more…)