Category: Alliances

By on September 26, 2015

Red Bull Ring

Red Bull’s F1 team is the latest victim of Volkswagen’s emissions scandal, as a possible deal between the team and the automaker has gone “up in smoke.”

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By on September 18, 2015


Like a bad reality show, the figurative clock is ticking for the Toyota/BMW courtship that may or may not be spawning a sports car.

Reuters reported (via Automotive News Europe) that Toyota spokesman said the companies would make a decision on whether to pursue the joint project further.

“By the end of the year we will approve whether or not we will make it,” a Toyota spokesman told Reuters. “The whole study before that, on what kind of platform, on what kind of architecture, that’s been progressing quite well. We haven’t yet decided to give the green light to the project, but it’s coming up.”

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By on September 16, 2015

GM Ventures Sees Potential in Fuel Saving Technology

General Motors may use an advanced cylinder deactivation technology, co-developed with Delphi and Silicon Valley startup Tula Technologies, in its SUVs and V-8 cars to shut down up to six cylinders to maximize fuel economy, Automotive News reported.

According to the automaker, GM in 2012 invested in Tula, which specializes in automotive engineering. The automaker announced in January that it would pursue the advanced cylinder deactivation technology for some of its SUVs, which could improve fuel economy by 15 percent in cars with engines with more than four cylinders.

The system, dubbed Dynamic Skip Fire, keeps the throttle open during operation and controls cylinder firing through a special valve that cuts off oil to the deactivated cylinders’ valve lifters. According to the company, the engine computer changes the deactivated cylinders to avoid vibration or noise.

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By on September 16, 2015

Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn (right) and Daimler CEO Dieter Z

Speaking to journalists in Frankfurt, Nissan chief Carlos Ghosn told journalists that he’d be open to any alliance with an automaker if the opportunity presented itself.

“Any single opportunity we have in front of us … we will entertain,” Ghosn said, according to The Detroit Bureau.

Nissan and Daimler together released Wednesday an update on its joint projects including its factory in Aguascalientes, Mexico that’ll produce both the Infiniti Q30 and Mercedes-Benz GLA.

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By on September 16, 2015


Suzuki, while at Frankfurt showing off its new Baleno hatchback and next-generation Vitara, is dealing with a financial problem of sorts.

In order to buy itself back from Volkswagen, the Japanese automaker will have to shell out 471.74 billion yen — or $3.9 billion USD. Suzuki plans to purchase as many of those shares back as possible during off-hours trading, before the bell rings Thursday morning.

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By on September 15, 2015


Toyota’s compact crossover C-HR will be making another auto show appearance before its production version is unveiled next year at the Geneva Auto Show, and its quite possible that the model could make or break Scion’s future in the U.S.

Toyota hasn’t released many details about the C-HR, other than to say that it’ll be built on the same, global TGNA structure that the next-generation Prius is built on and would have a similar hybrid powertrain.

The small crossover would fit entirely within Scion’s wheelhouse of younger buyers who apparently can’t get enough of crossovers, and would help make relevant a brand that is, um, struggling with sales. Read More >

By on September 5, 2015

Toyota announces $50 million in funding partnership with MIT and Stanford University for artificial intelligence research collaboration.

Toyota announced Friday it would invest $50 million in research facilities at Stanford and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to study and develop artificial intelligence for future safety and autonomous driving.

The facilities will teach computers to recognize and monitor objects — a swerving car vs. a parking one was provided as one example — on the road that drivers are too busy for because “Candy Crush.”

The joint programs at MIT and Stanford will first develop enhanced safety systems designed to “share control” with drivers and computers. Eventually, researchers believe, people will just forget that they care and give up driving to the robots.

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By on September 4, 2015


As the price of oil and gas sinks to below $50/barrell, so does Russia’s economy. The former Soviet state, highly dependant on oil and gas revenues for growth, is expected to experience economic shrinkage between 3.4 and 6 percent this year. That isn’t good if you’re doing business in rubles and some automakers are beating a hasty retreat.

Not Mazda.

Like Ford and Hyundai-Kia, Mazda is sticking it out in Russia with their manufacturing partner Sollers (which is also the manufacturing partner of Ford since 2011). The two have just signed a Memorandum of Understanding to begin assessing a new engine plant in the country.

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By on September 3, 2015


Renault has released their latest global pickup concept, the Alaskan, and by global they mean almost everywhere except Alaska.

Go figure.

Regardless, the Alaskan looks like a beefed-up version of the Hyundai Santa Cruz pickup concept revealed in Detroit. Renault said the Alaskan is part of a new global push for their LCV business. We bet Mercedes will have something to say about this very soon.

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By on September 3, 2015

UAW Member Assembling Corvette in Bowling Green Circa 2015

Automakers may try to negotiate a massive health care co-op with the United Auto Workers — similar to the one it has with its retirees — and potentially change private health care in the U.S., Bloomberg is reporting.

At issue are the roughly 300,000 workers and beneficiaries, and 750,000 retirees and their families who rely on the UAW for health care.

The pool of more than one million workers and their families could give the Big Three unprecedented negotiating power with U.S. hospitals and clinics.

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