Archive for the ‘Automobiles’ Category

Dyson Confirms Plans to Build Electric Vehicles at New Singapore Plant

Factory set to open in 2020.

by on Oct.23, 2018

Company founder James Dyson has been hinting at plans to build an EV for a number of years.

While best known for its vacuums and fans, British company Dyson has confirmed long-standing expectations that it will enter the electric vehicle market, announcing plans to build a new assembly plant in Singapore.

Dyson has been investing heavily in advanced battery technology, among other things acquiring Michigan-based Sakti3, a pioneer in the development of solid state technology. But after writing down some of the purchase price, it is not clear if the British manufacturer will use conventional lithium-ion or more advanced battery technology for the vehicles it is planning.

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The decision to choose Singapore for its new factory “offers access to high-growth markets as well as an extensive supply chain and a highly skilled workforce,” Dyson CEO Jim Rowan told employees in a letter. “Singapore has a comparatively high cost base, but also great technology expertise and focus. It is therefore the right place to make high quality technology loaded machines, and the right place to make our electric vehicle.” (more…)

Ford Sees Big Growth Opportunities for New Ranger Pickup

Late to the party but “We can’t go back and change the past.”

by on Oct.22, 2018

Ford's Joe Hinrichs introduced the first of the new Ranger midsize pickups and elaborated on Ford's future truck plans.

The first production versions of Ford’s new Ranger pickups are getting ready to roll off the assembly line, the automaker announced at a Monday morning event at its Wayne Truck Plant in suburban Detroit.

The announcement caps an $850 million makeover of the factory that had previously been producing such slow-selling models as the Focus sedan and C-Max people-mover. And it lets Ford move forward on plans to virtually eliminate its traditional passenger car line-up, the number-two domestic automaker shifting its attention to pickups, SUVs, CUVs and other light trucks.

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“We’re excited by the growth we’re seeing in the midsize pickup segment,” said Joe Hinrichs, Ford’s president of the Americas, as he addressed reporters and Ford employees outside the Wayne plant. (more…)

Want Better Teen Drivers? Get Better-Driving Parents

New study shows teens follow parental examples.

by on Oct.22, 2018

Teen drivers are most likely to follow the examples set by their parents when behind the wheel.

Parents of teen drivers can do one simple thing to make their progeny better behind the wheel: drive better themselves.

According to a new survey conducted earlier this month among 1,000 U.S. teen drivers, 79% of them said they rely on their parents or guardians more than anyone else to serve as a role model for their driving.

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As vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teenagers, says the National Safety Council, and talking with young drivers about appropriate behavior when driving, and then modeling it is the surest way to produce a smarter, better teenaged driver. (more…)

Audi Again Delaying Launch of E-Tron Electric SUV

Software problems blamed, but automaker also faces push for higher battery prices.

by on Oct.22, 2018

Audi was ready to take on the industry leader, Tesla, with the all-new e-tron, which will be delayed four weeks.

Audi will delay the launch of its first long-range electric vehicle, the e-tron, by about four weeks, the automaker confirmed, due to a software problem.

It would be the latest in a series of problems that repeatedly pushed back the unveiling of the e-tron, which Audi finally unveiled in mid-September. The German automaker had initially hoped to reveal the electric SUV earlier in the year, ahead of archrival Mercedes-Benz, which revealed its own battery-powered ute, the EQC two weeks earlier.

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According to a report by the Reuters news service, Audi blamed a “software development issue,” the automaker needing to receive regulatory approval after modifying some of the code used to control the electric vehicle’s drivetrain. (more…)

Musk’s Boring Company Set to Offer Test Rides in Pilot Tunnel

Short stretch to debut on Dec. 10.

by on Oct.22, 2018

On Dec. 10, Elon Musk's Boring Company will offer free test rides in Los Angeles its test tunnel in California.

Elon Musk’s Boring Company plans to unveil its first “test tunnel” in the Los Angeles suburb of Hawthorne on Dec. 10, and will offer “free rides” to the public a day later, the 47-year-old executive tweeted.

The ultimate goal, Musk previously announced, was to set up a network of underground tunnels that will permit vehicles, pedestrians and bicyclists to whisk around the City of Angels at speeds of up to 150 mph, avoiding the city’s notoriously gridlocked streets. Musk has indicated rides for individuals could run as little as $1.

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“The first tunnel is almost done,” Musk tweeted Sunday night to his 23 million followers. The pilot tunnel  “Opens Dec 10,” he tweeted, adding, “Opening event that night & free rides for the public the next day.” (more…)

Daimler Cuts Earnings Estimates as Outlook Gets Tougher

Mercedes-Benz Cars saw earnings slip, driving new forecast.

by on Oct.19, 2018

Sales of the Mercedes-Benz GLE are off this year as are other models, causing Daimler to revise its earnings forecast downward.

Daimler AG trimmed its earnings outlook for 2018, blaming the rising cost of fines and litigation over the emissions from the company’s diesel engines and a sharp reduction in the earnings by Mercedes-Benz Cars for the expected decline.

“The main factor is an increase in expected expenses in connection with ongoing governmental proceedings and measures in various regions with regard to Mercedes-Benz diesel vehicles,” said as the company revised its financial guidance.

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“Furthermore, against the backdrop of a recent ruling by the European Court of Justice, provisions have been recognized for the potential need to take action on certain vehicles still operating with the previously used refrigerant R134a,” the company said. (more…)

Ford Boosting by 1/3 Production of $400,000 GT Supercar

“Demand outstripping supply by more than six-to-one.”

by on Oct.19, 2018

Ford is extending its production run of the current Ford GT to 1,350 cars. Fans have until Nov. 8 to apply to buy one.

Ford now plans to produce 1,350 of its $400,000 GT supercars, more than a third higher than the original 1,000-vehicle run it had planned when the two-seater was getting ready to come to market in 2016.

As with the original batch, however, potential buyers still will have to go through a qualification process, the Detroit automaker primarily targeting loyal customers, particularly those who purchased an earlier version of the GT.

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“The response to our Ford GT has been unprecedented, with initial demand outstripping supply by more than six-to-one,” Hermann Salenbauch, director of Ford Performance, said in a statement. “By extending the Ford GT production run for a limited period, we’re able to maintain the exclusivity of the ultra-desirable supercar while offering the ownership experience to a greater number of customers.” (more…)

Tesla Launches Lowest-Price Version of Model 3 Yet – But It’s Still Not the $35,000 Sedan Promised

New version actually will start at $45,000 before incentives – if fed tax credits will still be available.

by on Oct.19, 2018

Tesla CEO Elon Musk made good on his prediction of 55,000 Model 3 sedans in Q3. Now he's offering lower-priced variants.

With production finally on the rise at its Fremont, California assembly plant, Tesla is expanding the line-up of Model 3 variants, CEO Elon Musk late Thursday announcing what he billed as the lowest-price version of the battery-sedan yet offered.

But potential buyers might need to check the fine print carefully. According to a tweet from Musk, the new version of the Model 3 will cost $35,000 with the “true cost of ownership is closer to $31k after gas savings.”

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But this is not the $35,000 Model 3 that Musk promised to build when the sedan was first unveiled two years ago, setting off a flurry of activity, with about 400,000 potential buyers eventually putting down $1,000 deposits. The list price is actually $10,000 more. (more…)

Ford, VW Looking at Potentially Major Alliance

Update: Ford rules out merger or equity swap with VW.

by on Oct.18, 2018

Ford Motor Co. entered into a MoU with Volkswagen AG to work on some undetermined projects.

(This story has been updated to reflect comments from Ford ruling out a merger or equity swap.)

Like many an automotive manufacturer, Ford Motor Co. has been forming alliances with erstwhile rivals such as General Motors in a bid to reduce development costs and speed new products to market. But one potential partnership has been generating widespread buzz in industry circles, observers wondering just how far Ford might take things with German giant Volkswagen AG.

The two companies inked an MoU, or memorandum of understanding, announcing they will explore a number of possible projects, including the joint development and production of commercial vehicles.

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But industry analysts are now suggesting such a partnership could reach far beyond the commercial vehicle market, some even wondering whether there could be full-fledged merger or, at the least, an equity swap, in their future. (more…)

NHTSA Investigating 54,400 Ford Trucks for Tailgate Problem

Power tailgates fall for no reason.

by on Oct.18, 2018

NHTSA is investigating a problem with power tailgates on some 2017 Ford F-250s and F-350s.

The power tailgates on some Ford F-Series pickups are opening for no reason causing the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to open a preliminary investigation to determine the cause of the problem.

There have been five instances in which the tailgate has opened while the truck was driving, according to the agency. Right now, the query covers 54,400 F-250 and F-350 Super Duty trucks from the 2017 model year.

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Complaints reveal the tailgate just falls open while traveling at speed, sometimes causing damage. One person said it fell while they were driving 65 mph, damaging the tailgate and the trailer they were towing. Another person said opened at least 12 times while driving. (more…)

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