By on November 21, 2015


While we were hanging outside the Staples Center begging passersby for photos, information and leftover shrimp from the Los Angeles Auto Show to share with you all (well, maybe not the shrimp), there was still news happening that we didn’t get the chance to cover.

So, here it is in condensed form.


Volkswagen ECM Supplier Bosch Under Investigation by U.S. Department of Justice

According to Automotive News, federal prosecutors aren’t solely interested in Volkswagen.

Automotive supplier Bosch, which provided EDC17 model engine control modules used in Volkswagen’s dirty diesels, is under investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice as the latter tries to determine exactly how many people knew Volkswagen was cheating on diesel emissions tests.

The EDC17 engine control module was used on Volkswagen’s 2-liter turbodiesel four-cylinder engines.

It was reported earlier that the Environmental Protection Agency didn’t believe Bosch to be actively involved in Volkswagen’s emissions cheating.


Daimler Bringing 330 New Jobs to Detroit

Daimler, through their subsidiary Detroit (the company), will bring 330 jobs to Detroit (the city, and also the company) as part of a $475 million investment to produce DT12 automated manual transmissions for the North American market. Detroit (the company) will also produce DD5 and DD8 medium-duty engines in the near future.

(Why can’t they just call it Detroit Diesel again?)

The announcement, made Friday, comes after an announcement in September that Daimler Trucks will move its headquarters — and approximately 30 jobs — from New Jersey to Michigan by 2017. The move to Michigan also follows a similar move by Daimler’s car division, Mercedes-Benz, from New Jersey to Atlanta, Georgia.

[Photo credit: Detroit via Twitter]

Matthias Müller

Volkswagen Announces Supervisory, Management Board Changes, Compliance Commissioner

Dr. Horst Neumann, responsible for Human Resources and Organization on Volkswagen’s Board of Management, will retire November 30. He will be replaced, on an interim basis, by Matthias Müller.

The retirement is just the latest in a long string of management changes at Volkswagen Group AG since the beginning of the ongoing scandal into the company’s illegally polluting diesel cars.

Jörg Hofmann and Johan Järvklo have been appointed as members of Volkswagen’s Supervisory Board as of November 20 and November 22, respectively. They replace Mr. Berthold Huber and Mr. Hartmut Meine. Huber was the interim replacement for Ferdinand Piëch after the latter’s dustup with former CEO Martin Winterkorn, who was replaced by Matthias Müller, who was in “Mystic River” with Kevin*.

In other Volkswagen People Mover News, Dr. Michael Steiner, previously Head of Total Vehicle Development/Quality at Porsche, will be Volkswagen Group’s Compliance Commissioner. He will report to Müller and be responsible for talking to regulatory authorities about how Volkswagen cheated with its 2-liter diesels but definitely not its 3-liter diesels.

*Not true.

[Photo credit: Volkswagen AG, via Wikimedia Commons]


EV Drivers Getting Closer To Charging Wherever They Damn Well Want

Just like the early days of cellular phones, electric vehicle owners deal with limits on which network they can use to charge their cars. According to the newly formed ROEV Association — of which Audi, BMW, Honda and Nissan are members, along with numerous EV charging network companies — those issues of network interoperability will become a thing of the past.

Announced at the 2015 Los Angeles Auto Show, the goal of the ROEV Association — which sounds like a post-Bush Administration conservative think tank — is to be “a neutral collaboration of industry stakeholders designed to support EV adoption by facilitating public charging network interoperability.”

To be specific, the association’s goal is not to resolve the ever-present problem of charger types.

EV advocate Chelsea Sexton explained to TTAC, “It’s less about the connectors and more about the networks (ChargePoint, EVgo, Greenlots, etc.) figuring out a way for drivers to be able to “roam” between any of them without multiple memberships.”

While ROEV might sound like an association made up of corporations wanting to help out the little guy, it’s actually a response by those companies to the Electric Vehicle Charging Stations Open Access Act in California which basically does exactly what its name says.


Kia Completes Construction of Mexican Assembly Plant

After a $3 billion investment and 13 months of construction, Kia is ready to test its new shiny toy in Pesquería, Mexico and make sure the robots can put the doors on the right way around.

The plant is the first in Latin America for the automaker, stated Kia in a release. Kia only started selling cars in Mexico this past July. The vast majority — about 60 percent — of the vehicles slated to be built at the new Mexican plant will be exported to the United States and Canada. The plant will build the Forte compact sedan as its first model.

In the long term, Kia expects to create 14,000 direct jobs and 56,000 indirect jobs.

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10 Comments on “What We Missed in the News, Post-LA Auto Show Edition...”

  • avatar

    Interesting that Mercedes is pushing AMT’s in heavy trucks in the US, as they have basically replaced manuals in Europe. Automatics for very heavy trucks not that popular there.

    • 0 avatar

      I think it is an “American” preference for Automatics in very heavy transportation. AFAIK, the tractor-trailer transports for the 70-ton M1A1 Abrahms tanks are all 18-speed triple-range fully-automatics made by Allison especially for FWD.

      And……. Over the years I have rented some commercial semi-tractors from Ryder that were 18-speed fully automatics but only certified up to 40-tons (which is the weight limit on my CDL anyway).

      IIRC, the preference for fully automatic heavy haulers was enhanced by the reduced wear and tear on the drive trains and a more precise matching of load vs torque at 1200 rpm diesel governor speeds.

      There are even industrially-rated CVTs on the roads, I have been told but I have never driven one.

      • 0 avatar

        They use AMT’s as they are kinder on drive trains and more fuel efficient than Automatics

        • 0 avatar

          Way back in the 1960s we used IHC 1.5 ton trucks on the flightline that had an electric AMT.

          It had a shift lever mounted on the floor, with a electric push-button switch that the driver would depress in order to shift gears manually. No clutch pedal, but a yellow light on the dashboard that flashed when you had to upshift or downshift.

          It was kinda nifty in its day. Took a little bit getting used to because if you left it in high-gear at a stop, the engine would really bog down if you tried to drive off again. without shifting to low gear.

          For the reasons you mentioned I think AMTs will become more widely used in the future, although the Allison HD automatics are also pretty decent for they allow the driver to focus more on traffic without having to interact with the power-train.

  • avatar

    I’d like to buy an electric car. There is “free” electric car charging at my place of employment. The reason “free” is in quotes is that the only way to get the car charged for free is to use valet parking. While valet parking is ostensibly free, we all know what happens when you don’t tip the valet.

    Which means “free” charging would cost more than gasoline.

  • avatar

    Kia plans to export 60% (“vast majority” :-) of its Mexican production and they’re going to be little crampy sedans?

    Why not start with Sportage or Sorento if they’re destined for the US?

    • 0 avatar

      With Mexico population and economy both growing faster than US over the long haul, expect that 60% to be a high water mark.

    • 0 avatar

      The Forte is just the 1st model (one reason why the Forte severely lags the Elantra in sales in the US is the lack of supply comparatively).

      In all likelihood the new Sportage (also lacking in supply) and the Soul or a Soul variant will be built at the new plant as well.

      The Sorento is already built in Kia’s Georgia plant (they probably wish they didn’t have to build the Santa Fe Sport for Hyundai there – would then be able to increase Optima and Sorento production); along those lines, would not be surprised if the Mexico plant ends up building a Hyundai model.

  • avatar

    If TTAC actually showed everything introduced at the show, then I have to say, that was a major waste of convention center space.

    Interesting must be banned from the show, unless your design inspires symptoms of depression, it cannot be shown.

  • avatar

    Based on how their dishwashers look and feel, Bosch should make their own cars. Very solid, with very few buttons (mostly hidden ones). And I like the logo.

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