Archive for the ‘Executives’ 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…)

Hackett Says Ford Making Headway on Turnaround

Rollout of new Ranger leads new product onslaught.

by on Oct.23, 2018

Ford CEO Jim Hackett is talking to employees and dealers about the changes coming to the automaker.

Ford isn’t standing still in the face of changing business and economic climate, the company’s top executive said this week.

Ford Motor Co. CEO Jim Hackett was also talking up the company’s prospects as he met with dealers and employees this week.

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At a meeting with some 4,000 dealers in Las Vegas Hackett had stressed that Ford is working on a turnaround plan that will re-invigorating the company’s operations.   (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…)

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…)

FCA Sells Magneti Marelli for $7.1B to KKR’s Calsonic Kansei

CEO Manley signs off on deal Marchionne started.

by on Oct.22, 2018

Selling off Magneti Marelli could accelerate the development of EVs and AVs FCA CEO considers critical to FCA's success.

After two years of speculation about if it and when it would do so, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles agreed to sell Magneti Marelli to KKR’s Calsonic Kansei for $7.14 billion, or 6.2 billion euros.

The new company, which is now the world’s seventh largest auto supplier, will be called Magneti Marelli CK Holdings. The new company boasts revenue of 15.2 billion euros, or $17.5 billion, the companies said.

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“This combination with Calsonic Kansei has emerged as an ideal opportunity to accelerate Magneti Marelli’s future growth,” Manley said on Monday of the FCA unit, which specializes in lighting, powertrain and high-tech electronics. (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…)

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…)

Departure of Manufacturing Chief Accelerates Tesla Management Defections

Three top execs have bailed out since September, including brand new accounting chief.

by on Oct.18, 2018

Tesla's VP of Manufacturing, Gilbert Passin, has left the electric vehicle maker without offering an explanation.

While a variety of factors may be in play, Tesla is having more and more trouble holding onto key executives, three top members of its management team bailing out since just the beginning of September.

The latest to walk: Gilbert Passin, the battery-carmaker’s vice president of manufacturing. His departure comes barely a month after both Tesla’s chief accounting officer and chief people officer quit. While the company contends it has a deep enough pool of talent to weather these and prior departures, the management turmoil comes at a time when Tesla is under heavy pressure to accelerate production and sales in order to deliver the long-sought profit that CEO Elon Musk has promised for the second half of 2018.

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Musk himself is facing a variety of pressures, among other things to find a new chairman for Tesla, a role he agreed to forfeit as part of a settlement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Musk also paid a $20 million fine after settling SEC allegations of fraud linked to the company’s abortive effort to go private. (more…)