Honda, Toyota and BMW Caught Up in U.S. Patent Violation Probe

The United States will look into components employed by some Japanese and German automakers to see if any vehicle models sold in the country violate patent laws. Probes will be conducted into 25 automakers and parts suppliers by the U.S. International Trade Commission, including Honda, Toyota, and BMW, as well as popular Japanese parts suppliers Aisin and Denso.

Intellectual Ventures II filed a complaint in March alleging thermoplastic parts used in motors, power steering units, water pumps, and other drivetrain components were being implemented in vehicles without its knowledge. It believes the companies are infringing on its patent rights and have reached out to the Trade Commission to conduct an investigation.

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Take This Powertrain and Use It, Toyota Hopes to Tell Other Automakers

It hasn’t given the plan a green light just yet, but Toyota is seriously considering letting other automakers tap into its engine, transmission and hybrid technology.

The automaker’s powertrain division chief has opened up on his desire to give rivals everything they need to offer customers a cutting-edge, fuel-efficient vehicle. Why should R&D departments muss their hair when they could just buy off-the-shelf gear from Toyota?

Sergio, are you listening?

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8 Things You'll Need for Your First Track Day

The Wise Guide team writes about things we think you’ll like, introducing you to great products, services and special deals. We do have affiliate partnerships, so we may earn revenue from the products and services you buy.

We love the idea of people taking their car out to a track day: It’s a great way to learn about handling dynamics and the limits of your car (and your own nerves).

However, going to a track day isn’t just a matter of taking your car as-is — there are things you and your car are going to need. From auto parts, to accessories, to tools, here are some of the basics.

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Carl Icahn Definitely, Probably Secures Purchase of Pep Boys, Maybe

Stop us if you’ve heard this one before:

Billionaire investor, activist and horse racing enthusiast Carl Icahn bid to buy Pep Boys on Tuesday for just over $1 billion, outpricing Japanese tire giant Bridgestone for the franchise, Bloomberg reported (via Automotive News).

Bridgestone’s refusal to tender a competing offer after its final bid of $947 million for the 800 Pep Boys stores seemingly means that Icahn is the winner — although we’ve been here before.

Icahn offered up to $18.50 per share of the company, of which he already owns 12 percent, which is slightly higher than the company’s stock during trading Wednesday.

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Pep Boys Agrees to $947M Bid From Bridgestone

Bridgestone will buy Pep Boys for $947 million, shunning a competing bid from investor Carl Icahn, to complete its purchase of the auto parts chain, Bloomberg reported (via Automotive News).

The bidding between Icahn and Bridgestone began in October when the auto parts chain shunned a $800 million price from Icahn to agree to an $835 million bid from the Japanese tire giant. Icahn raised his bid first to $863 million, then up to up to $1 billion for the chain, but Pep Boys ultimately decided the $947 million offer from Bridgestone was a better deal.

The last-minute bid for the chain would create the world’s largest chain of 3,000 stores, including Bridgestone’s Tires Plus, Firestone Complete Auto Care, Hibdon Tires Plus and Wheel Works stores.

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Carl Icahn Offers to Buy Pep Boys for $863 Million

After disclosing that he had purchased a 12-percent stake of the company, billionaire investor Carl Icahn submitted an offer of $863 million for the Pep Boys chain of automotive parts stores, according to the New York Times.

Icahn’s offer Tuesday of $15.50 per share is higher than Bridgestone’s offer of $15 per share in October for the chain of 800 stores. The Japanese tire giant offered to buy the chain to add to its 2,200 stores including Tires Plus, Firestone Complete Auto Care, Hibdon Tires Plus and Wheel Works to make one of the largest parts, tire and service chains in the U.S.

Pep Boys’ deal with Bridgestone included a $35 million breakup fee, according to the Wall Street Journal, which Icahn is willing to pay as part of his offer. Officials at Pep Boys said publicly that Icahn’s offer could be a “superior proposal” to the Bridgestone deal.

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Hammer Time: Whatever Happened To Black Friday?

We used to always hang out together on the day after Thanksgiving.

Black Friday was a complete knockout when she was a young lady. Sexy, seductive, easy to please, and so damn smart! The two of us would go out shopping and pretty much knock out everything I could ever need for my cars before lunch. She was a true gearhead at heart, and for a long time she made my life easy. Oil change packages for $5. A gallon of coolant for a buck. Free spark plugs. She had an uncanny ability to find every item I would ever need for my family garage. With her small army of circulars and rebates, I could get it all for only about 20- to 30-percent off the retail price.

She… was… awesome!

My wife and friends would hang out with her as well. Everyone loved Black Friday for her fun and chatty nature. It wasn’t just the deals that made Black Friday so enticing back then. It was the experience of enjoying that one day when she was the true queen of retail America.

But then she had what could only be described as a mid-life crisis.

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Question Of The Day: Did You Ever Get Screwed On A Rebate?

2007 was a nutty time for my car business when it came to buying parts and supplies.

All the auto parts stores around my dealership were busy blowing their financial brains out in the pursuit of commercial business. I was retailing all the good cars I could find at the auctions, and it wasn’t long before I started to see an armada of amazing deals come to my door.

12 free gallons of coolant (8 store brand concentrates, 4 Dex-Cool) at Autozone. 16 quarts of free synthetic motor oil plus 24 more quarts of conventional oil at O’Reillys. Advance Auto Parts would guarantee the lowest price. Then O’Reillys offered “cost plus” deals that I could barely even fathom. While the parts stores were busy slashing each other’s throats, I was steadfastly collecting all the cheap and free products that came from the marketshare bloodbath.

Armor All, Meguiars, Turtle Wax, auto care products that were trying to get a retail presence… all were practically free for the taking if you were willing to keep up with the offers. 2007 netted me enough auto care products to handle the next three years of my business.

This ended in early 2008, and by 2009, you could often get better deals by lurking at the Bob Is The Oil Guy web site. That’s when I started noticing a nasty trend. Things started to get a bit too cute with the rebates.

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Canadian Built Cars Have The Most Foreign Parts Content

More than any other country, Canadian-built vehicles seem to have an inordinate amount of foreign parts content, according to a study done by Scotiabank Economics.

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Hammer Time: The Trickle Down Effect

Local propaganda almost always serves to screw the little guy. With rare exception, it never fails to do so.

We need a new stadium!”, cries the billionaire whose team already got one just two decades go. “Please pay for it John Q Public!”

“Hey! What about me?”, screams the local electric company CEO. “We really need to double the monthly service charge for our local residents to manage our costs. But let’s also throw in a double digit rate reduction for those who use a lot of energy. Like the billionaire and his businesses. After all, they create the jobs out here!”

And the story drones on. The trash company that owns a multitude of companies that have virtually nothing to do with trash, wants to hike your bill. Because they need to hit their numbers. Just like everybody else. The insurance company. The gas company. The local government. The state government. Heck, every local monopolist and oligopoly is thrusting their well oiled lobbyist machines right at your shrinking wallet.

Guess who else is doing it now? The auto parts stores.

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  • Cleve Palmer 10 days ago my 2021 Limited Eco Diesel, almost caused me to collide with other veicles as I tried to get to the side of the road as the veicle lost power, engine shut down with no warning, other that sputtering.Vehicle Just turned 13,500 miles. Dealer says Fuel pump failed, metal debris in Fuel System, Oil not yet checked for metal fragmants. Says parts unavailable, could take 2 months to get, only 1.5 days to repair. How can they do a recall with no parts?
  • NormSV650 Everyone is partnering to make batteries in North America today, except the Japanese.
  • Arthur Dailey "A massive chrome bumper" listed on the brochure/ad as a selling/design feature. How I miss 1970s auto design.
  • Master Baiter Taycan a massive success?
  • Robert Levins I love the Stutz lavish luxury designs but this one has a tough time blending “Squared” off 1980’s roof line with previous decades of beautiful sweeping fenders, hoods, and deck lids. I do like this one for what it is, I admire it. I can see this model doing well with the big oil Saudis and such. If I had a lot money and wanted a”Stutz” car I would most likely not be buying this one.