Archive for the ‘Sedans’ Category

VW Workers Voting on UAW Representation in Chattanooga Plant

Union hoping third time is the charm.

by on Jun.14, 2019

The UAW's third election in five years at VW's Chattanooga plant is going on now.

It’s going to come down to the wire.

For the third time in the last half decade, hourly workers are Volkswagen’s plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee, are voting to decide if they want the United Auto Workers union to represent them. It was a contentious vote the first time around and only slightly less so this time.

The Last Word!

The UAW hasn’t fared well in its organizing efforts in the South, losing by significant margins in recent attempts in Mississippi and Alabama. A variety of factors played into those defeats: a strong anti-union group of workers named Southern Momentum, Republican politicians claiming doom and gloom and the UAW itself as stories of union leaders stealing money to do home repairs, pay off mortgages and other things for themselves have splashed across newspapers and television screens. (more…)

Hyundai, Kia Invest in Autonomous Software Startup Aurora

Investment expands Korean automakers autonomous program.

by on Jun.13, 2019

Hyundai and Kia are investing in self-driving startup Aurora to accelerate its autonomous program.

Hyundai Motor Co. said it plans to invest in self-driving car software startup Aurora along with Kia Motors Corp. to speed up development of autonomous vehicle technologies.

“With the new investment, the companies have agreed to expand research to a wide range of models and to build an optimal platform for Hyundai and Kia’s autonomous vehicles,” Hyundai said in a statement, according to Reuters.

Technology News!

Aurora said in a blog post that Hyundai and Kia’s investment is part of a series B financing round, which has now raised more than $600 million. (more…)

Exterior Airbags Could Save Lives of Passengers and Pedestrians

ZF bag automatically triggers ahead of an collision.

by on Jun.13, 2019

Auto supplier ZF has developed exterior airbags to help mitigate injuries to both vehicle occupants as well as pedestrians.

Today’s cars are loaded with smart safety systems, including technology like forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, designed to prevent crashes. But when a crash does occur, airbags can substantially reduce the risk for vehicle occupants.

Today’s airbags can pop out of all sorts of nooks and crannies, including the steering wheel, the instrument panel and a vehicle’s headliner. But ZF has unveiled a new airbag concept that is mounted outside the vehicle where it can be triggered in the milliseconds before a crash occurs, rather than after an impact already has taken place.

Safety News!

“Occupant safety is paramount when developing new vehicles for automated and autonomous driving,” said Michael Büchsner, head of ZF’s Passive Safety Systems Division. “Our concept of the pre-crash external side airbag is a great example of how ZF wants to achieve its Vision Zero, a world without accidents and emissions.” (more…)

Ford Recalling 1.2 Million Explorer SUVs

Steering control on utes may be affected.

by on Jun.12, 2019

Ford is recalling 1.2 million Explorers for a problem that could reduce steering control.

Ford Motor Co. is recalling 1.2 million of its popular Explorer sport-utility vehicles due to a defect that could reduce the driver’s ability to steer the vehicle.

The problem stems from an issue with the rear suspension toe link. The automaker noted that the affected vehicles are exposed to frequent full rear suspension articulation (jounce and rebound) may experience a fractured rear suspension toe link.

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A fracture of a rear toe link significantly diminishes steering control, increasing the risk of a crash. The second-largest U.S. automaker said the recall covers 2011-2017 model year Explorers.  (more…)

Musk Hypes Tesla Performance, Future to Shareholders

CEO suggests a Tesla with a 400-mile range is coming soon.

by on Jun.12, 2019

Tesla CEO Elon Musk told shareholders that the company would likely set a new production record in the second quarter.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk walked into the EV maker’s annual meeting facing a slew of tough questions and, as usual, overwhelmed attendees with a slew of positives resulting in enough happy investors to see the stock jump above $220 a share to start the day.

However, the enthusiasm of the previous night’s meeting wasn’t enough to sustain the momentum and the stock fell nearly 6% to just over $211 a share in mid-day trading.

Business News!

The brash leader of the world’s biggest seller of battery electric vehicles swept aside concerns about ongoing issues with crashes involving Autopilot, day-to-day funding of the company and demand for the company’s first mainstream vehicles. (more…)

Trump Criticizes GM Investment in China

Says company is having to pay more because of tariffs.

by on Jun.12, 2019

President Donald Trump criticized GM's investment in China on CNBC.

General Motors’ investment in China has come under fire from President Donald Trump who declared in recent interview it was a bad investment.

GM now sells more cars in China than it does in the United States and during the past two decades the company has insisted the investment in China has not hurt its operations in the U.S. Instead, profits from its Chinese operations has helped it invest in new products in the United States and helped it meet pension obligations.

News You Can Trust!

Only a small part of GM production of more than 3 million units is exported back to the U.S. and the Trump administration recently refused to roll back the tariffs on the Chinese-made Buicks GM sells in the U.S.  (more…)

Tesla Workers Less Keen on EV Maker than Last Year

EV maker not sweating the satisfaction slide.

by on Jun.10, 2019

Tesla took 5,000 orders for the Model 3 last week, Musk said, but ultimately its production goal is 10,000 a week.

Tesla employees expressed concerned about layoffs and executive losses in feedback to Glassdoor.com.

Tesla Inc.’s employees aren’t enjoying their jobs as much as they once did citing concerns about potential layoffs, executive turnover and changing corporate strategy, according to two job websites that track these rankings.

The Palo Alto, California-based EV maker placed 16th on LinkedIn’s annual “Top Companies 2019” list, which came out in April. That’s a significant decline from its fifth-place spot last year and sixth place in 2017.

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Meanwhile, Tesla’s overall company rating at Glassdoor.com fell to 3.2 out of 5.0 stars based on reviews written in the first quarter of this year. That’s down from its high-water mark of 3.6 in 2017, according to historical data compiled by Glassdoor at Reuters’ request. The average rating of the nearly 1 million employers reviewed on the site is 3.4.  (more…)

BMW Opens $1 Billion Plant in Mexico

Automaker opens site despite Trump administration's tariff threats.

by on Jun.10, 2019

BMW opened its $1 billion plant in San Luis Potosi, Mexico, despite the turmoil surrounding the Trump administration's tariff threats.

Amid the turmoil about U.S. tariffs on Mexican made goods, the BMW Group dedicated its newest assembly plant in San Luis Potosi, Mexico.

“The new plant in San Luis Potosi is an important pillar of the BMW Group’s global production strategy. We aim to achieve a balance in our production and sales in the different world regions,” Oliver Zipse, member of the Board of Management of BMW AG responsible for Production, said during the ceremony.

Business News!

“We want to strengthen our footprint in important and growing markets. San Luis Potosi will significantly boost our regional production flexibility in the Americas. From here, we are delivering our locally produced BMW 3 Series sedan to customers worldwide.” (more…)

Mercedes-AMG Unveils Most Powerful 4 Cylinder Ever

New powerplant puts out 416 horsepower.

by on Jun.07, 2019

Mercedes-AMG produced a new 416 horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged four cylinder: the most-powerful ever.

The days of anemic four-cylinder engines passed long ago, and most of us have had a chance to push a peppy four banger to its limits with a fair bit of enjoyment.

However, in recent years, the horsepower numbers have been creeping up to unprecedented levels surpassing 300 hp. Mercedes-Benz and its performance partner, AMG, have now taken it to a new level with its 2.0-liter turbocharged four cylinder that puts out 416 hp.

The Last Word!

The new figure is 40 hp more than the M133 engine it replaces. The M139 is now the new titleholder for most powerful four cylinder at 416-hp and 369 lb-ft of torque. That engine is for the S-badged AMG. The lower trim, non-S model gets a 382 hp and 354 lb-ft four cylinder. (more…)

Auto Loans, Payments Reach Record Highs

New benchmarks set for new and used vehicles.

by on Jun.07, 2019

People are taking out bigger loans for their vehicles, and that means bigger payments: Both have reached record highs.

Despite the fact that automakers are selling fewer vehicles, they continue to make more money per sale because buyers are borrowing more and, as a result, paying more each month for those new vehicles.

The average amount borrowed to buy a new vehicle hit a record $32,187 during the first quarter, according to Experian, which tracks millions of auto loans each month. The trend has spilled over to used vehicles where the average loan also hit a record, $20,137.

Business News!

“We have not seen a slowdown in loan demand. In fact, volume for new and used loans is up from previous years,” said Melinda Zabritski, senior director of automotive financial solutions for Experian. (more…)


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