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Kalanick Forced Out as CEO of Uber

Embattled founder resigns as turmoil wracks ride-sharing giant.

by on Jun.21, 2017

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick has been forced to resign in the wake of lawsuits, sexual harassment charges and other complaints about the company.

With his company facing an array of problems, including lawsuits, complaints about sexual harassment, and the exodus of key senior executives, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick has been forced to resign.

The news was announced early Wednesday, barely a week after the embattled Kalanick said he would take an indefinite leave of absence motivated, at least in part, by the death of his mother in a boating accident. The ride-sharing giant said Kalanick will remain on its board of directors.

News Now!

For his part, the 40-year-old Kalanick appeared to recognize he had become not a leader but a polarizing distraction for Uber Technologies, Inc., in a statement noting that “rather than be distracted with another fight,” his departure will let Uber focus on building its business. (more…)

Jaguar Set to Reveal 2nd SUV

New Jaguar E-Pace to make world premiere on July 13 in London.

by on Jun.21, 2017

The new Jaguar E-Pace will compete with compact SUVs like the Audi Q3.

Jaguar is adding a second utility vehicle to its line-up, the compact E-Pace set to make its debut in London next month, with sales set to start in early 2018.

The compact performance utility vehicle will complement the bigger F-Pace which has already become the British marque’s best-seller since going on sale last year. Meanwhile, Jaguar is working up a third ute, the battery-powered I-Pace that is still more than a year from coming to market.

2018 Product News!

While Jaguar is saving a number of details for the London debut on July 13 it has already confirmed that the E-Pace will carry a base price of $38,600 – plus delivery fees – or about $3,000 less than the starting price for the 2017 F-Pace.

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Audi A8 Set to Swing Into View With Debut of New Spider-Man Flick

Complete makeover to introduce new design language, new safety and infotainment tech.

by on Jun.20, 2017

Spider-Man's alter ego - played by actor Tom Holland - goes for a drive in Audi's new A8

Automakers are breaking with tradition these days. Where you might have once expected to see Audi unveil its next-generation flagship at a major auto show, the luxury brand is planning to reveal the all-new, 2018 A8 on the silver screen.

The automaker has already begun teasing the new sedan in a series of digital shorts, including one titled “Driver’s test,” but those who want a closer look at the A8 will have to pick up tickets for “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” the latest take on the classic Marvel comic, which web-swings into U.S. theaters on July 7th.

We're Swinging!

The 2018 Audi A8 will be a critical entry for Volkswagen AG’s luxury brand. It is the first product to feature the full new design language developed under Marc Lichte, the styling chief who joined the marque in 2014. The big sedan also introduces an assortment of new technologies, including the new Audi AI traffic jam pilot.

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Ford Moving Focus to China

Scrapping plans for Mexican production entirely saves another $500M.

by on Jun.20, 2017

Ford had planned to shift production of the Focus to Hermosillo, Mexico, but instead will produce it in China.

In a surprise move, Ford Motor Co. says it won’t move production of its Focus model to Mexico., but rather Ford plans to move it to China.

That would make the Ford Focus the first mainstream model to be imported from China, a move that could also raise the ire of President Donald Trump, who has been pressing the auto industry to bring more production – and jobs – back to the U.S.

News Now!

But with sales of the compact vehicle line sliding sharply, Joe Hinrichs, Ford President of Global Operations, said the move will save the carmaker about $500 million. Ford had already said it would save at least $500 million by scrubbing plans to build an entirely new Mexican plant for the Focus and other small car lines. (more…)

NTSB Report Largely Clears Tesla in May 2016 Fatal Crash

Joshua Brown repeatedly ignored warnings to put his hands back on the wheel.

by on Jun.20, 2017

The Tesla Model S was completely destroyed in a May 2016 crash that killed Joshua Brown.

A fatal Florida crash that took the life of a former Navy SEAL in May 2016 likely could have been prevented if the driver had responded to warnings to put his hands back on the wheel, rather than relying on the Tesla sedan’s semi-autonomous Autopilot system, according to a new report by the National Transportation Safety Board.

Joshua Brown was killed when his Tesla Model S ran into a semi-truck near Williston, Florida. The Autopilot system appeared not to have recognized the danger when the truck turned in front of Brown’s vehicle. But the NTSB said Brown should have been able to spot the problem and react. Instead, he “took no braking, steering or other actions to avoid the collision.”

Breaking News!

Brown had set the cruise control on his electric sedan to 74 miles per hour – while operating in a 65 mph zone—just two minutes before the crash.

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Honda Set to Reveal All-New Accord on July 14

Gen-10 sedan getting Civic design cues, Type-R engine.

by on Jun.19, 2017

The new 2018 Accord will clearly borrow key design cues from the Honda Civic.

One of the most important automotive unveilings of the year – at least for Honda fans – will take place next month, the automaker pulling the wraps an all-new version of the midsize Accord sedan on July 14th.

The Japanese automaker offered up a teaser image to substitute for hard details about the new model – though we did get a look at a heavily camouflaged version of the 2018 Honda Accord during a visit to the company’s Japanese proving grounds last month.

News and Reviews You Can Trust!

During that visit we got to drive an early prototype complete with the new turbocharged inline-four engine that will replace the familiar Honda V-6 in the tenth-generation Accord. The new model is new from the ground up and is also expected to feature a new suspension system similar to what was offered on a “mule” car we drove during the proving grounds visit.

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Tesla Isn’t the Only Company Planning to Build Green Trucks

Daimler, Ford, several start-ups looking at battery, hydrogen power.

by on Jun.19, 2017

The Nikola One heavy-duty rig will be able to travel up to 1,200 miles on a fill-up, meaning Tesla's got some tough competition.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk isn’t content with his two current battery-electric cars, and has plenty of new options in the works to follow the production launch of the downsized Model 3 set for next month.

In an April tweet, Musk revealed plans to unveil a battery-powered semi-truck in September while also confirming long-rumored plans to add an electric pickup truck to the Tesla line-up, as well. But Musk isn’t the only one who wants to go clean and green in the truck market. Several competitors are laying out plans to launch alternative power models of their own.

Truck News!

That includes both Daimler AG, which could deliver a battery-electric model through any of its five different commercial truck brands, as well as a Salt Lake City-based start-up – which, ironically, has also tapped Musk hero Nikola Tesla for its own name. Nikola Motors has a hydrogen fuel-cell-powered heavy truck it hopes to have in production within the next couple years. (more…)

Ford Goes Off-Road With New Expedition FX4

A ute for all occasions.

by on Jun.19, 2017

Buyers have already been taking the Expedition off road; Ford adds features to make that easier.

If you’ve thought about the big Ford Expedition as nothing more than a minivan alternative, you might need to think again with the debut of the new FX4 edition.

All versions of the 2018 Ford Expedition migrate to an aluminum-intensive body, sharing the same engineering approach as the full-size F-150 pickup. The people-mover also gets a new powertrain package and updated safety and infotainment technologies.

Product News!

But Ford is taking another tip from the F-150 line-up, where the FX4 package is a perennial buyer favorite. The off-road trim level will now be offered for Expedition buyers, as well.

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83 and Counting, Mercedes Flooding Market with New Models

New small cars, electric vehicles among those heading to market.

by on Jun.16, 2017

The 2018 Mercedes-Benz E400 Coupe.

A handful of reporters got the chance to check out the newest addition to the Mercedes-Benz line-up this week, slaloming through the winding mountain roads north of Vancouver, British Columbia in the 2018 E-400 Coupe. But even as the media drive was underway, Mercedes confirmed yet another version of the midsize mainstay was on its way, the completely redesigned E-Class Cabriolet.

By the time both the E-Class coupe and convertible reach showrooms in the coming months, Mercedes will have a whopping 83 different products on sale in the U.S., and there are a number of additional products available for buyers abroad that don’t make it to the States, such as the little A-Class line and the big R-Class people-mover.

The Last Word!

But Mercedes isn’t about to relax. If anything, it is ramping up its product assault with an array of offerings now in various stages of development, including its first pickup and an assortment of battery-electric vehicles, or BEVs, that will be sold through a new sub-brand, Mercedes-EQ.

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Automakers Want Free Hand to Test Autonomous Vehicles – But GOP Might Cut Out Federal, State Safety Regulators

Industry insists a freer hand will bring self-driving technology to market more quickly.

by on Jun.16, 2017

Waymo recently launched a pilot ride-sharing program in Phoenix using autonomous Chrysler minivans.

As they move closer to bringing autonomous and fully driverless vehicles to market, automakers and tech firms such as General Motors, Ford, Waymo and Tesla are pressing the federal government to loosen up regulations limiting the way they can test their prototypes on public roads.

Even before the Obama Administration concluded its second term, the feds were working up new autonomous guidelines. But now, under the Trump Administration, it appears Congress could give the auto industry even more freedom to move forward while limiting the power of both individual states and even federal safety regulators.

Tech News!

Congress wants to “continue working with all parties in a bipartisan manner as we refine language and move forward towards a consensus package,” said U.S. Representative Bob Latta, chairman of a panel that oversees automotive regulations.

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