Auto News for Jan. 7

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Chevrolet now has a Volt and a Bolt. It unveiled the Bolt EV at the Consumer Electronics show in Las Vegas saying it offers more than 200 miles of range on a full charge and will sell for less than $30,000 after tax credits. Production will begin by the end of the year. It will offer a 10.2” color touch screen, rear camera, and a driving range projection based on the time of day, typography, weather and the owner’s driving habits.

Writing in the Detroit News, Henry Payne notes that battery powered cars generated just a 2.4 percent share of the market last year. With gas prices low and consumers preferring crossovers and sport utility vehicles, he quotes one expert who said the regulators are what are driving electric car production. See more at:

http://www.detroitnews.com/story/business/autos/2016/01/06/disconnect-grows-electric-cars/78394366/

Chevy will introduce a hatchback version of the Cruze at the Detroit show next week. Interesting in that sales figures indicate hatchbacks are not as hugely popular here in the states as they are in Europe.

A couple of additional notes on 2015 auto sales: The Mustang easily outsold the Camaro and BMW was the best selling luxury brand narrowly beating out Lexus and Mercedes.

He perhaps stated the obvious. Volkswagen’s CEO Herbert Diess said the company’s “most important task in 2016 is to solve the diesel issue in the U.S.”  At the Consumer Electronics show, Diess said VW is doing everything it can to “make things right” adding “We disappointed our customers, and the American people, for which I am truly sorry and for which I apologize.” The company is working with U.S. regulators on a solution to the emissions problem and Diess expects to gain their approval in the “coming weeks, and months.”

Mercedes announced it has been awarded a test license for autonomous driving in Nevada. It said three standard production E-Class vehicles have been approved to drive themselves. Yet the head of the Toyota Research Institute said yesterday that automakers are a “long way from the finish line” when it comes to fully autonomous driving. Along with a number of legal issues, there are questions about how systems will operate in ice and snowstorms, on poorly marked roads, in big city gridlock, or simply what happens if a key sensor fails.

 

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