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Ford Opens New Silicon Valley Lab

Transforming the car into an open-source platform.

by on Jun.18, 2012

Ford's Sync system gave the maker a taste of what it could achieve working with the high-tech world.

Forget the Rust Belt, Ford Motor Co. is now officially a part of the high-tech world of the Silicon Valley.

Recognizing the rapidly increasing role of digital technology in the automobile, the automaker has opened up a new electronics research lab within a silicon chip’s throw of such high-tech giants as Apple, Google and Intel.

“We have been innovating for more than a century at Ford, but we acknowledge we don’t have a monopoly on creativity,” observed Ford Executive Chairman Bill Ford during the formal dedication of the new lab in Mountain View, California. “Our new office will complement our existing research efforts by allowing us to tap into the region that has been driving consumer technology forward in recent decades.”

Long associated with U.S. the industrial heartland, Ford has been expanding its global reach with a network of so-called “Research and Innovation” facilitiesin  Aachen, Germany; Nanjing, China; and its home in the Detroit suburb of Dearborn.  It also has hired on technology scouts in Tel Aviv, Israel.

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“We want Silicon Valley to view Ford as a platform that is open, accessible and ready for their innovative ideas and technologies,” said Paul Mascarenas, chief technical officer and vice president of Ford Research and Advanced Engineering. “We are looking for unexpected solutions for the future, and we believe Silicon Valley is the right place to round out our global research organization.


Picking Tomorrow’s Top Collector Cars

Hagerty identifies “emerging collectibles.”

by on Jan.20, 2012

The new collector car? An original Honda S800.

Okay, just maybe a Saab 9-4X might turn out to be something rare a decade from now considering how few rolled off the assembly line before the Swedish automaker went belly-up. But we’re having a hard time believing that something from the final year of the Pontiac Aztek will ever count as having a “collector car” in your garage.

The reality is that there are an awful lot of different products on the market, and plenty more used vehicles you can choose from.  So, if you were really interested in starting a hobby as a collector – and didn’t have a seven-figure nest egg to tap – where would you begin.

The Final Word!

Luckily, we’ve got some friends in the right places, notably including McKeel Hagerty, the CEO of Hagerty Insurance, to lend some help.  Don’t bother to question his bona fides.  His firm is one of the largest in the business serving automotive collectors and that means he’s got the data to show what’s trending up.


Daimler Boosts ’10 Profit Forecast to $7.6 Billion

Maker credits sales jump, projects more revenue growth.

by on Jul.27, 2010

Growing demand for Mercedes-Benz products has parent Daimler AG swimming in cash.

A 27% increase in sales during the second quarter has prompted Daimler AG to raise its estimate on full year profits to more than  $7.6 billion.

“Our strategy is paying off.  We have a very dynamic development of unit sales and revenue in all divisions. After what was already a very good first quarter, we achieved excellent results in the second quarter,” stated Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars.

Follow the Money!

Mercedes-Benz Cars and Daimler Trucks, in particular, posted significant improvements in their operating profit, added Zetsche, who should feel some personal relief at the latest developments.  Only a year ago, despite the Daimler board’s decision to extend his contract, there were sharp questions being raised about the chairman’s personal long-term prospects.

“We anticipate significant revenue growth in 2010 and we are targeting earnings before interest and taxes from the ongoing business of Euro 6 billion.”