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Lexus Offers Full Look at New ES Before Beijing Debut

Shares the same architecture at new Avalon.

by on Apr.20, 2018

Lexus provided an early look at the new ES ahead of its Beijing debut.

As its debut creeps closer, Lexus elected to reveal an early look at the new ES in advance of its premier next week in Beijing.

Expected to borrow heavily from the Avalon, the first photo reveals a similar design aestetic when it comes to the grille. The front grille on the Avalon is massive and on the ES it sticks to the traditional spindle grille, but it’s much larger than on past editions.

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The brand offered a new pic and short film of the vehicle and said even less. (more…)

Musk Gets Preliminary Approval for Testing Tunnel in L.A.

Los Angelse City Council must provide a final approval.

by on Apr.20, 2018

Elon Musk's Boring Co. got preliminary approval for a proof of concept tunnel under Los Angeles.

The City of Los Angeles has approved Elon Musk to be more boring, er, to do more boring of tunnels that is.

Actually, Los Angeles City Council’s public works committee approved an environmental review exemption for a tunnel that Musk, through his Boring Co., wants to dig to test his underground transportation system.

Pushing the Envelope!

The committee approved the measure noting it was in favor of any idea that could help alleviate the crippling traffic jams that so often plague the city and surrounding areas. The motion now heads to the full City Council for approval. (more…)

Senate Strikes Down Rule Protecting Against Discriminatory Lending

House expected to pass Senate measure for Trump to approve.

by on Apr.19, 2018

The National Auto Dealers Association, led by Chairman Wes Lutz, applauded the reversal of CFPB guidance over potentially discriminatory lending practices.

The U.S. House of Representatives is expected to take up a measure passed by the Senate on Wednesday that wiped out guidance from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau designed to eliminate lenders from discriminating against auto buyers based on race or national origin.

The guidance, which was offered in 2013 by the Obama Administration, was considered controversial at the time and faced fierce opposition from Republicans as well as banks, lenders and finance companies.

Industry News!

The Senate asked the General Accounting Office to era to review whether or not the guidance, which was aimed at preventing auto lenders from charging borrowers higher rates based on factors such as race or national origin, should have been subject to Congressional review. (more…)

Tesla Going Round the Clock on Model 3 Production

EV maker looks to up Model 3 build rate to 6K weekly.

by on Apr.19, 2018

Tesla CEO Elon Musk is looking to make the Fremont, California plant a 24/7 operation to meet a new Model 3 production goal of 6,000 units weekly.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk is borrowing from a famous ‘50s rock ‘n’ roll ditty in order to get Model 3 production levels back on track: they’re going to work around the clock.

Musk ordered a weeklong shut down of the company’s plant in Fremont, California, to resolve once and for all the production bottlenecks the facility was experiencing related to Tesla’s first mass-market vehicle, the Model 3.

Product News!

The company’s founder, who has taken to sleeping on the plant floor regularly, said one of the big problems was the plant was too automated. “Humans are underrated,” he said. (more…)

Daimler AG May Supply Engines for Volvo Cars

Move comes days after Volvo chairman talks about partnerships.

by on Apr.19, 2018

Volvo may source engines for some of its vehicles from Daimler AG in the future.

Volvo may source engines from Daimler AG, raising the spectre of Mercedes-Benz and the Swedish-Chinese automaker forming some sort of official partnership in the near future.

The revelation comes mere weeks after Geely founder Li Shufu spent more than $9 billion to acquire a 9.69% stake in Daimler AG, and days after he said that partnerships between companies were critical to future growth. He also noted that companies that don’t team up are likely to be gobbled up.

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Further than supplying engines, Manager Magazin in Germany reported the partnership could extend beyond that into a potential ownership stake in Volvo Cars of “a couple percent.” (more…)

Teens Improving Some Areas of Distracted Driving, Studies Reveal

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month.

by on Apr.18, 2018

Teen drivers are still texting and driving at alarming rates, but those rates are coming down slightly.

If there is a “symbol” for distracted driving, it’s the texting-while-driving teenager barreling down the road. While crashes remain the single largest cause of death for teens, things are improving in some areas.

A recent American Automobile Association poll revealed that 94% of teen drivers acknowledge the dangers of texting and driving, while 35% of those polled admitted to still committing the act. That’s an improvement in terms of cutting down on that behavior.

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April is Distracted Driving Awareness month. Distracted driving is the cause of a quarter of all crashes, but that number jumps to 58% when teenagers are involved. It takes only three seconds for a driver’s attention to be diverted for a crash to occur – an issue that is exacerbated in teens who don’t have years of driving experience. (more…)

Summer Driving Season Calls for Automotive Check Up

AAA recommends a BET on your vehicle.

by on Apr.17, 2018

AAA suggests getting your vehicle looked at before taking any summer trips.

The summer driving season is getting closer, although a look out one’s window may contradict that statement, and that means more driving and, more than likely, some sort of long-distance family trip.

While most folks start preparing for the inevitable rise in gas prices that will add costs to a trip, AAA warns that the majority of travelers should expect some sort of car trouble or breakdown while traveling the U.S.

News You Can Trust!

A new analysis of AAA roadside data shows that vehicles 10 years and older are twice as likely to end up stranded on the side of the road compared to newer vehicles and on top of that, the odds of needing a tow quadruples. (more…)

Mustang: World’s Best-Selling Sports Car for Third Year in a Row

Exports to Asia and Europe pushing pony car to the top.

by on Apr.17, 2018

The Ford Mustang is the world's best-selling sports car three years running.

When the Ford Mustang turned 50, the automaker decided it was time to see just how popular the pony car was, and it began selling one of America’s first muscle cars globally.

Turned out to be a fine idea.

Industry News!

Now that the Mustang is about to turn the big Five-Four, it is also celebrating its third consecutive year as the best-selling sports car in the world, according to IHS Markit. Global Mustang registrations in 2017 totaled 125,809 cars, according to Ford. (more…)

Toyota, Lexus Adding V2X Tech to Vehicles Starting 2021

Brands hope to accelerate development of technology.

by on Apr.16, 2018

Jim Lentz, CEO of Toyota Motor North America, said the company plans to equip Toyota and Lexus vehicles with V2X tech in 2021.

Though some vehicles already utilize V2X communication, Toyota and Lexus plan to advance the technology further by introducing it into their lineups beginning in 2021 and rolling out across their portfolios by the mid-2020s.

The company announced today that its Dedicated Short-Range Communications (DSRC) systems will use the technology to talk to other vehicles (V2V) and infrastructure (V2I) in hopes of cutting down on collisions, injuries and fatalities.

Industry News!

“By allowing vehicles’ intelligent systems to collaborate more broadly and effectively through DSRC technology, we can help drivers realize a future with zero fatalities from crashes, better traffic flow and less congestion,” said Jim Lentz, CEO of Toyota Motor North America (TMNA), in a statement. (more…)

Sagging Diesel Sales Pushes Jaguar Land Rover to Lay Off 1K Workers

Company cutting production at two plants in England.

by on Apr.16, 2018

Jaguar Land Rover plans to lay off about 1,000 workers this year as diesel sales have declined.

Many tout the rise of the electric vehicle as a way to create new opportunities and new jobs, but one would be hard pressed to convince the 1,000 employees that Jaguar Land Rover plans to lay off due to the decline of diesel.

JLR, which is owned by parent company Tata Motors, is not only cutting jobs, but is also reducing production at two of its English factories as demand for diesel cars slumps due to higher taxes and regulatory changes related to Britain’s exit from the European Union.

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British new car registrations have been falling during the past year which the industry has blamed, in part, on weakening consumer confidence in the wake of the Brexit vote, after record demand in 2015 and 2016. (more…)