Auto News for Oct. 8

How much would you pay for a gas station? How about $5.8 million? That is how much a developer paid to acquire a station in ritzy Bethesda, Maryland. It is not the value of the station itself, but the land it sits on. To put this in perspective, three gas stations in New Jersey recently sold for a total of $1.9 million.

There will be no strike against Fiat Chrysler. The United Auto Workers Union said it has reached a tentative agreement with the automaker on a second proposed contract that contains “significant gains” that the union said “addresses our members’ principal concerns about their jobs and futures.” The proposal now goes to a group of local union leaders at Chrysler. If they approve it, further details will then be released. And, of course, the deal must be given the green light by the rank and file. Facing a midnight strike threat, the tentative agreement was announced at 11:41 p.m. last night.

On Capitol Hill, a house committee will hear today from Volkswagen Group of America President and CEO Michael Horn and EPA officials. In prepared testimony, Horn said he learned of “possible emissions non-compliance” in the spring of 2014, earlier than previously known, and was told that the company was working with EPA and other agencies on the matter. It was in September of this year that VW disclosed the hidden pollution software. Horn will announce that VW has withdrawn its application for U.S. emissions certification for 2016 diesels. He does not outline a timetable or method for bringing U.S. diesels into compliance with regulations saying technical teams are working on a solution that will be tested and then submitted to the appropriate agencies for their review. “We will find remedies for our customers, and we will work to ensure that this will never happen again,” he said in the prepared text.

Kia is expanding the sale of its electric Soul to New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Maryland. The Soul EV will soon be available in ten states.

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Mitsubishi will show off a wild looking all-electric compact SUV at the Tokyo show called the eX concept. It is said to be a showcase of next generation electric vehicles with all-wheel drive and “automated driving technologies.” The front end is a new interpretation of the makers “Dynamic Shield” design. We will learn more when the show opens to the press on Oct. 28.



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