Category: Industry

By on January 20, 2017

BMW plant

According to BMW’s new head of purchasing, Markus Duesmann, the company intends to expand its cooperation with Daimler AG in acquiring automotive components from suppliers.

The competing automakers began their cooperative purchasing in 2008, limiting it to elements most manufacturers typically share already — items like seating frames, radiators, tires, or air conditioning systems. Despite the cost benefits and leverage from their massed buying power, the companies still keep each other at arm’s length. More recently, however, the two have managed to maintain a healthy rivalry while seeking mutually beneficial ventures togetherRead More >

By on January 17, 2017

2016 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel HFE

The Environmental Protection Agency alleged last week Fiat Chrysler Automobiles had installed undisclosed emissions software in 104,000 of its diesel vehicles — issuing the company a notice of violation for its Jeep Grand Cherokee and Ram 1500.

While the EPA continues its investigation into whether or not FCA will become the next Volkswagen, Canadian law firm Sotos LLP and America’s Heninger Garrison Davis LLC have coincidentally teamed-up to launch class action lawsuits on behalf of consumers. Read More >

By on January 17, 2017

pumping fuel

It would be fair to suggest that government agencies have held the automotive industry by the testicles with both hands for much of the Obama administration. America’s fuel economy and emissions targets are noble, but have cost manufacturers peace of mind and plenty of money. Enter President-elect Donald Trump, who spent a great deal of his campaign promising to repeal some of those standards and change things for the industry.

Are the current targets too lofty? Most automakers would say yes, but it depends on who you’re asking. However, the odds of Trump rolling back efficiency standards in a meaningful way is on par with us returning to the Bronze Age. While not impossible, it’s incredibly difficult to turn back the tide of progress. Even if the 45th President of the United States did manage to dismantle the EPA, abolish Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) regulations, and convince China to nuke us into the Stone Age, there remains the outside world to consider. Read More >

By on January 16, 2017

ford logoAbout a month after Ford began deliveries of the 2013 Escape, it suddenly recalled every single unit equipped with a 1.6-liter EcoBoost engine. A faulty fuel line in the engine compartment posed a fire risk so bad that Ford actually urged people not to drive their cars until the necessary repairs had been carried out.

However, the 1.6 liter Ford Kugas sold in South Africa — essentially renamed world-market Escapes — never received the same sort of attention. Almost 50 Kugas have spontaneously combusted so far, leading to one fatality, and the Blue Oval is just now issuing a “voluntary” recall.

Anyone recall the 1970s Ford Pinto? Read More >

By on January 13, 2017

Takata

Automotive parts supplier Takata Corp, along with three of its former employees, were charged by federal prosecutors with concealing the deadly defect of its airbag inflators.

The devices have been subject to an unprecedentedly massive recall and have have been linked to at least 11 fatalities in the United States. Takata has agreed to plead guilty to the charges against it and will pay $1 billion in restitution.  Read More >

By on January 6, 2017

INFINITI QX50

After a report appeared claiming that Nissan is scrapping a joint development effort with Mercedes-Benz, the Japanese automaker’s CEO says the two partners haven’t split up.

Japan’s second-largest carmaker and Germany’s oldest made an agreement in 2010 to share engines and platforms for Infiniti and several compact Mercedes-Benz models. A new platform is planned for a cooperative factory in Mexico opening this year, and a decision to back out would throw a wrench into the future of the $1 billion plant Read More >

By on January 4, 2017

citroen-numero-9

Pininfarina SpA will be see Carlo Bonzanigo succeeding Fabio Filippini as the Italian styling firm’s reigning design director on January 9th.

Filippini’s decision to leave Pininfarina for “personal reasons” comes during a difficult time for the shop. While his responsibility for heading new projects is essentially over, he has promised to remain on board as a personal advisor to company CEO Silvio Angori, and will continue to provide oversight for old projects leading up to a concept car unveiling at March’s Geneva Auto Show. Read More >

By on December 29, 2016

Ford Police Interceptor Utility

North America’s romantic entanglement with the sport utility vehicle is not limited to retail consumers, as police fleets in the United States and Canada have been getting in on the action for a while now. Valuing durability and flexibility above all else, law enforcement’s gradual shift toward SUVs seems to have been inevitable.

Ford said that sales of its Explorer-based Interceptor Utility surpassed its Taurus-based Interceptor Sedan in 2014, claiming that the SUV had “officially” become North America’s most popular police vehicle. While that might not be entirely accurate until current fleets retire the horde of large sedans that proved so popular in the past, the utility trend is growing and departments have plenty of praise for them — especially departments rife with oversized officers.  Read More >

By on December 22, 2016

2017 Acura ILX blue

Consumer Reports’ Annual Owner Satisfaction Survey was released today, showcasing exactly how owners feel about the vehicular choices they’ve made this year.

While numerous manufacturers managed to keep owners living in automotive tranquility, some lacked the required magic. There was even one automaker that had a nearly 50/50 split of producing customers that, if given the chance, would travel back in time to stop themselves from engaging in the single purchase that created the dystopian hell they unknowingly forced themselves into.

It was Fiat.

Of course it was, and this news won’t shattering anyone’s reality. The automaker has consistently found itself near the bottom of every list we’ve come across this year. The Italian automaker did manage to keep all of its models out of the steaming mound of cars people most regretted buying, however — it happened to be one of very few FCA divisions eligible to make that claim. Read More >

By on December 22, 2016

2017 Super Duty STX

Ford Motor Company has issued two safety-related recalls for around 9,400 North American vehicles, with both issues posing a fire risk.

The automaker is ordering back over 8,000 2017 Super Duty trucks that lack proper fuel tank strap reinforcements, in addition to roughly 1,300 other vehicles equipped with 3.5-liter EcoBoost engines. Read More >

By on December 20, 2016

volvo emblem logo grille

Volvo has only recently started exhuming itself from its post-recession sales hole and pushing its disastrous fling with Ford into the past. Turning a corner, the company has sold over 470,000 cars so far this year, aided largely by the successes of its XC90 SUV. Operating earnings having tripled in the first half of this year.

Now, the company has raised 5 billion Swedish crowns — $532 million — from the sale of newly-issued preference shares to a group of Swedish institutional investors.

All signs point to a confident company that wants back into the stock market. Read More >

By on December 20, 2016

Tesla Supercharger

Tesla announced Friday that it will impose an additional fee of forty cents per minute on vehicles left idle in a Supercharger space for more than five minutes.

The new expense is apparently another attempt by the company to clamp down on the habitual misuse of its charging network. Since many Supercharging locations are literally parking spots and a Model S takes longer to “refuel” than a gas-powered car, it makes sense that Tesla drivers might wander off to search for coffee. Read More >

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