Author Archive

Traffic Fatalities Fall in 2017, Stemming Two-Year Rise

Decline despite Americans driving more than ever.

by on Oct.04, 2018

Traffic fatalities in the U.S. fell for the first time in two years, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

After two years of increased traffic deaths on U.S. roadways, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported fatalities fell 1.8% in 2017.

The previous increases came despite newer vehicles being the safest ever built so the causes of the spike – which came after nearly two decades of declines – were difficult to pinpoint for federal safety officials to nail down.

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In 2017, deaths related to pedestrians, drunk driving, speeding, bicyclists and motorcyclists all fell. The overall rate of fatalities fell to 1.16 deaths per 100 million miles traveled. This happened ever as Americans set another record for miles traveled behind the wheel, jumping 1.2% last year. (more…)

Cadillac’s Super Cruise Outperforms Tesla’s Autopilot

Driver monitoring system the key differentiator.

by on Oct.04, 2018

Cadillac Super Cruise outperformed Tesla's Autopilot during track and on-road testing by Consumer Reports.

A large part of the notoriety surrounding Tesla’s vehicles is the much-publicized Autopilot semi-autonomous system. However, a recent comparison of the existing systems reveals that while Autopilot might be best-known, it is not best.

That honor, according to Consumer Reports, belongs to Cadillac’s Super Cruise technology.

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The magazine claims Cadillac’s system does “the best job of balancing high-tech capabilities with ensuring the car is operated safely and that the driver is paying attention.” The technology will be available on all GM brands by 2020. (more…)

Lexus Lets its Emotions Flow With New RC Coupe

New model offers improved ride and handling.

by on Oct.03, 2018

The 2019 Lexus RC 300 couple ensure the brand has at least one compelling offering from a design perspective.

Lexus designers have been charged with the task of creating more emotion-evoking vehicles in recent years. However, the RC has always been that buzz-generating offering from Toyota’s luxury brand and the 2019 model shown in Paris continues that trend.

The exterior of the coupe gets an evolutionary upgrade rather than wholesale redesign with tweaks to the sporty look that also give it an elegant feel. However, those changes include updates to the aerodynamics to give it a“sharper and more refined” drive philosophy that was introduced by the LC, officials note.

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The changes include a new front bumper corner that flows down from the headlamps and a grille mesh pattern comprising shapes which gradually transform from top to bottom, creating an intriguing visual tension, Lexus says. The vertical arrangement of the extra-small triple LED headlamps and new L-shaped LED clearance lamps add to the car’s elegance. (more…)

Tesla Hits Third Quarter Model 3 Production Target

EV maker puts out 55,849 Model 3 sedans.

by on Oct.02, 2018

Tesla's Model 3 production has been the focus of the company much of the year, but the company made its Q3 production goal of 50,000 to 55,000 sedans.

Of the many things that Tesla CEO Elon Musk has uttered or tweeted in the past few months, none may have been more important than what he said, and meant, on Aug. 1 — Tesla would build 50,000 to 55,000 Model 3 sedans in the third quarter.

Musk has made and missed more production predictions than any modern day CEO. However, this time, the company made his – and analysts – forecasts by producing 55,849 Model 3s in Q3. Analysts predicted 55,600.

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Overall, Tesla built an impressive 83,500 vehicles during the period, exceeding analysts predictions of 80,000 vehicles, and more than three times the previous year’s tally of 26,150 units. During Q3, Model S sedan sales rose to 14,470 from 14,065 a year earlier, while Model X sport-utility vehicle deliveries rose to 13,190 from 11,865.  (more…)

Fiat Chrysler Chief Manley Shuffles Executive Team

Gorlier takes over supervision of European operations.

by on Oct.01, 2018

FCA CEO Mike Manley handed out new assignments to his executive team including naming Pietro Gorlier to COO with oversight of European operations.

After just about six weeks as CEO, Fiat Chrysler’s Mike Manley has shuffled the company’s top managers to his liking, with one appointment in particular drawing attention.

He announced the changes in an email sent to employees.

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“The next five years will continue to be extremely challenging for our industry, with tougher regulations, intense competition and probably slower industry growth around the world,” he wrote.  (more…)

NAFTA Gone! United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement Takes Over

New deal supplants old one; changes may not help auto industry.

by on Oct.01, 2018

President Donald Trump says the new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement means plenty of new jobs for U.S. workers.

This story has been updated with new information.

Talking and hand-wringing has shifted to hand shakes and back slapping as renegotiation of the long-standing trade agreement between the United States, Canada and Mexico is finally complete — with significant changes for the auto industry.

The new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) replaces the $1.2 trillion North American Free Trade Agreement and with it, comes many new jobs, according to its main driver, President Donald Trump. However, the auto industry is taking a wait-and-see attitude.

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“These measures will support many – hundreds of thousands – American jobs,” Trump said in remarks at the White House. “It means far more American jobs, and these are high-quality jobs.”  (more…)

Musk Settles: Pays SEC $20M, Resigns as Chairman

Tesla also paying $20M bringing total to $40M in penalties.

by on Sep.29, 2018

Tesla CEO Elon Musk settled with the SEC paying a $20 million fine and resigning as the chairman of the company.

After an initial round of defiance, Tesla CEO Elon Musk elected to take the path of least resistance with the Securities and Exchange Commission, agreeing to resign as chairman and pay a $20 million fine.

Tesla will pay an additional $20 million as part of the deal with the agency, bringing the total paid to $40 million.

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“The total package of remedies and relief announced today are specifically designed to address the misconduct at issue by strengthening Tesla’s corporate governance and oversight to protect investors,” Stephanie Avakian, co-director of the SEC’s Enforcement Division, said in a statement. (more…)

Is Ford Semi Committed? Maker Reveals EV Concept Truck

Level 4 autonomy and a slew of tech is packed into the concept.

by on Sep.28, 2018

Ford's F-Vision concept debuted at the IAA show in Germany. For now, it's just a concept officials claim.

Does Tesla have another competitor in the battery-electric semi truck arena? Maybe.

Ford Motor Co. took the wraps off an electric semi truck concept called the F-Vision at the IAA Commercial Vehicles expo in Hannover, Germany. The company’s vision is similar in many ways to Tesla’s offering with a high level of autonomy and a sleek exterior design.

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However, it would appear that Elon Musk and the gang in Palo Alto can breathe easier – at least about this anyway – as Ford says the new F-Vision is only a concept. (more…)

Honda Issues Recalls for Rear Cameras and Airbags

Two actions: one new, one an ongoing effort.

by on Sep.28, 2018

Honda is recalling 232,000 Accords and Insight hybrids to fix a malfunctioning rear camera system.

Honda issued two recalls one to fix a new problem and a second to resolve an ongoing effort in the biggest recall in history.

A malfunctioning rear camera is forcing Honda to recall about 232,000 2018 Accord vehicles and 2019 Insight hybrid cars in the U.S.  The problem lies in the software for the rear camera display, which fails to work.

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There have been no reports of accidents or injuries related to the problem, according to Honda Motor Co. officials. (more…)

Project Black S Prototype Shows Infiniti’s Electric Future in Paris

Nissan's luxury brand moving to EVs for 2021.

by on Sep.27, 2018

The Infiniti Project Black S fuses high-performance dual-hybrid technology with brand’s award-winning VR30 3.0-liter V6 twin-turbo engine.

Infiniti is ready to storm into Paris next month revealing its progress toward the electrification of its portfolio by 2021 with the new Project Black S prototype.

The prototype, which started as a design study in 2017, features Formula One dual-hybrid electric power train technology adapted for use in an everyday driver. It also showcases the advantages of being part of a large conglomerate as experts from across the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance all played a role in its development.

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“The Project Black S represents the very top end of electrification in the Alliance portfolio, and is another example of Infiniti’s entrepreneurial spirit on its journey to electrification from 2021 onward,” said Roland Krueger, chairman and global president at Infiniti, in a statement.  (more…)