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Polestar Moving Ahead With Development of New EV

Company testing verification prototypes in Sweden.

by on Oct.05, 2018

The all-new Polestar 1 performance PHEV is taking another step toward production with verification prototypes being tested in Sweden.

The development of the battery electric vehicles from Polestar, Volvo’s emerging battery electric vehicle brand, has taken another step forward.

The development of the Polestar 1 has moved off the computer and drawing board “with the production of the first series of “road-going” verification prototype, or VP, cars in Sweden.

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“The assembly of the VP cars means that the Polestar 1 has taken its next step towards production,” says Thomas Ingenlath, chief executive officer of Polestar.  (more…)

Acura Launching New Iteration of ILX Sedan

Redesigned model now gateway for the luxury brand.

by on Oct.04, 2018

The Acura ILX gets a major exterior update for 2019 as the brand looks to attract millennials.

Acura is ready to launch the 2019 Acura ILX with a design that was influenced by the Precision Concept vehicle as Honda’s luxury brand continues the design transformation of its line-up.

The revamped ILX also is equipped with the “AcuraWatch” active safety and driver-assistive technology now standard on the ILX and now standard on all Acura sedans and SUVs. It also is equipped with a dual-screen user interface with new graphics, quicker response as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

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At the same time, Honda has reduced the price, boosting the ILX’s position as the gateway to the Acura brand. (more…)

Electrify America Set Expand EV Charging Infrastructure

Stations designed to raise awareness for EVs.

by on Oct.04, 2018

Electrify America is getting ready to build $200 million worth of new EV fast chargers.

Electrify America, the organization created out of the Volkswagen diesel scandal to promote the use of electric vehicles, plans to invest $200 million in Zero Emission Vehicle infrastructure primarily in California.

The investment, which will start next summer and take 30 months to complete, will follow a plan outlined originally by the California Air Resources Board to raise awareness of electric-charging capacity.

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Electrify America was established to implement the $2 billion ZEV Investment Commitment outlined in Volkswagen’s court-approved settlement involving 2.0-liter TDI diesel vehicles. (more…)

Unions Withhold Support for New NAFTA Touted by Trump

Leaders want to see how some provisions will be enforced.

by on Oct.03, 2018

UAW President Gary Jones wants to see how certain provisions of the new NAFTA are enforced before offering full-throated support of the deal.

One constituency, organized labor, is withholding its support to the revision to the North American Free Trade Agreement unveiled this week by President Donald Trump.

“For a quarter century NAFTA has been disastrous for working people in the U.S., Canada and Mexico and a gift to corporations offshoring good U.S. jobs,” the UAW, which supported Trump’s push to revamp NAFTA, said in a statement.

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“The true test of a new NAFTA agreement will be in whether it protects and enhances opportunities for the U.S. workforce and leads to higher wages and benefits for UAW members and manufacturing workers who have suffered for far too long,” Gary Jones, the UAW’s new president noted.  (more…)

Fiat Chrysler Outsells Ford in September

Makers struggle to overcome Hurricane Harvey-led sales from last year.

by on Oct.02, 2018

Fiat Chrysler outsold rival Ford Motor Co. in September, led by strong sales of its Ram pickup truck.

In a dramatic reversal of fortune, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles outsold Ford Motor Co. during the month of September and moved with striking distance of Toyota, the leading Japanese automaker.

FCA US reported U.S. sales of 199,819 vehicles, a 15% increase compared with sales in September 2017 of 174,266 vehicles.

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Meanwhile, Ford Motor’s September U.S. sales declined 11.2% on total sales of 197,404 units. Sales by Toyota Motor North America declined by more 10% with on sales of 203,095 Toyota and Lexus units. (more…)

Flying Cars Zooming Toward Takeoff

Pal-V, Terrafugia, Uber, Google all readying flying autos.

by on Oct.02, 2018

A convoy of Pal-V Liberty flying cars makes their way through the countryside.

A Dutch company called Pal-V said it had started taking orders for its Liberty model, a three-wheeled car which sprouts a tail-plane, a propeller and helicopter-like rotor blades when the driver wants to fly.

Before it takes off, the wings and propellers are folded up, against the bodywork so it can maneuver on city streets.

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The Times of London, in its report on the Liberty, noted that entrepreneurs have long promised that flying cars are hovering just around the corner. (more…)

Brexit Woes Starting to Impact Automakers

Companies warning of job losses in the UK.

by on Oct.01, 2018

Toyota Plant Director Marvin Cooke told the BBC that the plant could close if a "no-plan" Brexit takes place. (Photo credit: BBC)

With the United States finally resolving the trade agreement with Mexico and Canada, the Brexit saga automatically elevates to the level of grave importance for automakers.

Manufacturers have warned for months that Brexit, Great Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union approved by UK voters two years ago, holds devastating consequences from automakers. Carmakers with factories in Britain are already paying more for parts because of the devaluation of the British pound.

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Toyota Motor Corp. is now threatening manufacturing jobs in the UK. The company could be forced to halt production at its Midlands U.K. factory in the event Britain leaves the European Union without a deal, the plant’s managing director, Marvin Cooke, told the BBC over the weekend. (more…)

VW, Stanford U Partner to Develop New Fuel Cell Technology

New process could cut price significantly.

by on Sep.28, 2018

New technology being developed by Volkswagen and Stanford University might make this type of fueling up a reality.

Volkswagen has teamed up with Stanford University to develop a process to manufacture the fuel cells that can power vehicles in the future by reducing the amount of platinum used.

Fuel-cell technology is regarded as a serious alternative to battery-electric technology, but it has always come with a comparatively high cost.

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One of the biggest cost drivers for fuel cells is the use of the platinum, which is required as a catalyst to operate the fuel cell.  (more…)

New Vehicle Sales Expected to Hit 17M-Unit Pace in September

Despite brisk pace, total will fall short over August numbers.

by on Sep.27, 2018

Despite a strong daily sales rate, U.S. new vehicle sales in September will fall short of August's results.

The total number of vehicles sold in September is likely to drop, according estimates from Edmunds and Cox Automotive.

Total sales volume in September, even though running ahead of August’s pace, is forecast to decline nearly 60,000 units from last month and nearly 100,000 units compared to September 2017, Cox said.

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“Year-over-year comparisons are challenging this September, as the industry saw record sales levels last year,” noted Charlie Chesbrough, senior economist at Cox Automotive. (more…)

Steel Workers Ready to Strike

Despite "lavish" profits, company's pushing workers for cuts.

by on Sep.27, 2018

United Steel Workers union members rally in Indiana, looking to keep wages and benefits from being cut.

A dispute over wages has left the United Steel Workers union at odds with two key makers of steel that control a large piece of the steel-making capacity in the United States.

Both United States Steel and Arcelor Mittal have been major beneficiaries of the tariffs imposed by the Trump administration. “Steel is going phenomenally well,” Trump boasted during a press conference this week.

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However, that hasn’t benefitted everyone. Ford CEO Jim Hackett said in an interview that rising prices, resulting from the tariffs, are likely to cost Ford Motor Co $1 billion this year and next. (more…)