Auto News for July 20

  A Chevrolet dealership in Columbus, Ohio has a new owner. Mark Wahlberg acquired the business with businessman Jay Feldman who already owns eight Chevy dealerships.

 Tesla shares were downgraded by Needham & Company concerned that cancellations for the Model 3 are outpacing deposits as cancelations accelerate due to a long waiting period. One analyst said 24 percent of Model 3 orders have been canceled. Tesla shares closed down 1.1 percent Thursday and in early trading this morning were down almost 1 percent.

 In response, Tesla said refunds are not outnumbering reservations. A company spokesman said such claims are unequivocally false.

 Hyundai has unveiled a special edition Iron Man edition of its Kona SUV at the opening day of the San Diego Comic-Con. The Kona Iron Man Edition will be available to customers via a limited global production run.

 

Production is scheduled to begin in December, with the first units available in the first quarter of 2019.

 Among other things, it has a unique front-lighting signature, including a custom daytime running light form that closely resembles the facemask and eye shape of the Iron Man suit. Inside is an Iron Man shift knob, a special head up display and custom seat design.

 Hyundai also announced it has cut the price of its Sonata Plug-In by $1,350 to $33,250.

 Volvo has reported its highest ever quarterly operating profit covering the second quarter of 2018. Retail sales rose 14 percent and revenues increased nearly 27 percent.

 “These results confirm that Volvo Cars is now well-positioned for a new period of sustainable global growth,” said Håkan Samuelsson, president and chief executive. “

 The Volvo S60 is pictured.

 

 

 

 

 

Auto News for July 19 – Ford recall – Industry take on tariff increase

 Ford is recalling 550,000 vehicles saying they may roll away even if the shift is in Park, and drivers have removed the ignition key. There would be no warning message or audible chime.

 If the parking brake is not applied, a degraded shifter cable bushing that detaches from the transmission could result in unintended vehicle movement, increasing the risk of injury or crash.

 Ford is not aware of any accidents or injuries related to this condition.

 The recall involves 2013-16 model year Fusion and 2013-14 Escape vehicles. If you own one of these vehicles check with your local dealer for repairs.

 The Detroit News reports this morning that only 2 percent of all vehicles sold this year have a manual shifter citing data from Edmunds. Your teen may have conquered the intricacies of Windows 10 but what about a six speed stick?

 Owners of the Tesla Model S have been ordered by the German government to repay the $4,640 subsidy on their electric vehicle. Officials said the cars are too expensive to quality for the program, according to MarketWatch.

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 (As readers of this column well know, I have tried very hard to keep politics out of this daily offering. But I do believe we should all know the industry’s take on this key issue.)

 Proposed higher tariffs on cars would raise the price of an imported car nearly $6,000 and the price of a U.S. built vehicle $2,000 according to testimony to be presented to a Department of Commerce hearing in Washington today.

 The administration ordered an investigation into whether imported vehicles and parts pose a threat to national security which led to today’s hearing. If that is found to be the case, the administration said it would impose higher tariffs on imported cars and parts.

 The tariffs would equate to an $83 billion tax on U.S. consumers according to Jennifer Thomas, Vice President of Federal Government Affairs at the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers. The Alliance is a trade association representing 12 automakers – both domestic and international nameplates.

 “Higher auto tariffs will harm American families and workers, along with the economy,” she will tell the committee.

 Members account for approximately 70 percent of new car sales in the U.S.

 Thomas said the tariffs would drive down auto sales, slow production and result in job reductions.

  “A Peterson Institute analysis projects a job loss of about 200,000, and if other countries retaliate with tariffs, American job losses would reach more than 600,000 – that’s almost 10% of auto jobs in this country.” Thomas said in her prepared remarks.  

 “Trade retaliation would further threaten U.S. auto exports. Last year, about $100 billion in autos and auto parts were shipped from our ports to more than 88 countries. Retaliatory tariffs would restrict access to international markets, depress auto exports, reduce jobs, and threaten the industry’s competitiveness in today’s global market,” she added.

 

 

  

 

Auto News for July 18 – Lambo milestone & A Huge Classic Car Event

A couple of milestones for Lamborghini!

Seven years after its market introduction, the Aventador achieved an important milestone with 8,000 units produced. Chassis number 8,000 is an Aventador S Roadster: It will be delivered to a customer in Japan.
After just four years of production Huracán number 11,000 rolled off the assembly line. The blue car, chassis number 11,000, is destined for the Italian market.

The mobility division of BMW Group said it is the first to operate both ride hailing and car sharing within a single app. ReachNow members can choose to drive themselves, hail an immediate ride, or schedule a pick-up for later, all within a single app.

You might not be able to attend but car buffs around the world should be aware of how big this coming weekend’s Silverstone Classic is.

The event, held about 90 minutes north of London, has attracted 1,000 entries in a classic car racing event with the infield and surrounding area filled with classic cars, an estimated 10,000 of them according to backers.

An estimated 100,000 fans are expected to attend and some will bid on a selection of race and classic cars to be auctioned off “at the home of British motor sport.”

Silverstone is also the home of the British Grand Prix.

Auto News for July 17

Time does pass by quickly when you are building cars.

VW chat

July 15th marked the 10th anniversary of the day that officials gathered to announce the decision to build an automobile assembly facility in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

This decision resulted an initial investment of approximately $1 billion in Chattanooga, and the commitment to hire 2000 team members.

Over the past decade, this investment has grown to more than $2.3 billion, resulting in 3500 jobs and the assembly of nearly 800,000 vehicles.

With a heat wave over parts of the country producing a “feels like” temperature of 100 degrees or more, experts warn there are a number of items that should not be left behind when you lock up your sun exposed car.

A disposable cigarette lighter is one. Left out in the sun on a dashboard, a lighter caught fire and destroyed the car it was in.

Small pens can burst and leave ink stains behind that are difficult to clean up.

Aerosol cans are an obvious do not leave behind item along with gas cans but canned carbonated beverages can blow up and leak if the interior gets hot enough.

Disposable batteries can leak acid and if left on a seat can burn holes in the upholstery.

So it would be a good idea if your part of the nation is caught up in the excessive heat to take a gander or two around the interior of your vehicle before leaving it out in the sun for the day.

Chevrolet said its City Express van is no longer available. It was a compact van based on the Nissan NV200 built by Nissan at a plant in Cuernavaca, Mexico.

Auto News for July 16

“Purchased Friday. Totaled Saturday,” is the way one official described it. The owner of a $300,000 McLaren 720S was driving too fast in Great Falls, Virginia, police said and crashed into a tree destroying the car. Rescue personnel said the driver sustained non-life threatening injuries.

Lambo

Lamborghini reported that sales for the first six months of its fiscal year rose 11 percent worldwide. That is a record and surpasses the full year sales numbers of only five years ago. The Lamborghini Huracan is pictured.

Teaser pic

Pininfarina has released a teaser photo of a luxury electric “hypercar” that is targeted to accelerate to 62 miles per hour in under two seconds. Further, the maker said it will feature a top speed in excess of 250 mph and have a range of over 300 miles. Some may catch a glimpse of the new offering at the Monterey Car Week next month. North America is likely to be the firm’s largest market.

Which one would be the better investment? Putting your money in the S&P 500 or buying a classic car? Under certain circumstances, a new study from Kwik-Lift said the car would be the place to stash cash.
For instance, it said a ’69 Camaro brought in returns more than 50 percent higher than the S&P. Do check with an investment specialist before proceeding.

Auto News for July 13 – Tiny Car – Big Power!!!!

It’s Friday the 13th, so let’s have some fun!

Imagine taking a tiny “city car,” one three inches longer than the Chevrolet Spark, and plunking a 4.7-liter, 430 horsepower V8 in it. Not to forget the 361 lb-ft of torque.

Cygnet_V8_4-jpg

That is what Aston Martin engineers and designers have done with a one-off of its Cygnet city car for an unidentified buyer. Speed tops out at 170 with a 0-60 in just 3.2 seconds. The transmission is a seven-speed manual.

Needless to say, this tiny jewel box of a performance car is the talk of the acclaimed Goodwood Festival of speed now under way in the UK.

Cygnet_V8_9-jpg

Just about everything had to be beefed up to make this one off work from frame, to brakes, tire size, well, you name it.

Aston added a roll cage and special Recaro bucket seats in its division devoted to one off vehicles. There are little touches of luxury with leather pull straps on the unique carbon door cards and two USB ports alongside the controls for air conditioning.

Cygnet_V8_11-jpg

The maker called it, “One of the most exciting, outrageous and diminutive creations ever to wear the famous Aston Martin wings…” Top Gear said it is not so much “a pocket rocket as a microscopic missile.”

Based on the Toyota IQ, the Cygnet was produced from 2011 to 2013 and never really caught on in the market place.

McLaren announced that its sports car and supercar range will be 100 percent hybrid by 2025. Between now and that date, the company will introduce 18 new models and derivatives.

That would increase production by almost 75 per cent over current levels to around 6,000 cars a year by the middle of the next decade. As now, all will be hand-assembled at the McLaren Production Centre in Woking, England, the company said.

 

Auto News for July 12 – Fusion name may live on – Corvette vs. McLaren

 The Detroit News reports this morning that Ford may keep the Fusion name when it discards the sedan early next decade for a sport wagon directly aimed at the Subaru Outback. It is said to be a high roofed hatchback that may be mounted on the current Fusion’s chassis. The paper cited unnamed officials familiar with the automaker’s future plans.

 If you are a fan of high performance cars, you might want to click on the paper’s website for a comparison of the Corvette ZR1 and the McLaren 720S.

 https://www.detroitnews.com/autos/

 Top officials at VW in Germany are considering possible production of an electric Beetle that would also be a four door! Britain’s auto magazine, Autocar, said it would share VW’s MEB electric vehicle platform and that is big enough to allow the four door model. And the magazine said production of the gas powered two door Beetle will end next year.

 Rolls-Royce closed its main office and manufacturing plant early to allow workers to watch England’s key game in the World Cup competition. One official said closing down “means a large group of people… have the chance to watch the game and share in the sense of national pride that comes with this great occasion.”

 Unfortunately, as you may know, England lost to Croatia 2-1.

 

Auto News for July 11 – Very Exclusive Bentley Coming

 

 Bugatti is working on a very limited edition car to be called Divo, named after Albert Divo, the French racing driver who won the famous Targa Florio race on a mountainous circuit in Sicily for Bugatti twice in the late 1920s.

 Divo will have its world premiere on August 24th at The Quail – A Motorsports Gathering – in California.

 It is said to be light and nimble with “enormous down force and g forces” underlined by “a new and strong design language.”

 Only 40 will be built and the price, shall we say, will be high.

 Raleigh North Carolina and Corpus Christi Texas are the best cities in the U.S. to drive in according to a new study from WalletHub.

 It ranked municipalities on cost of ownership and maintenance, traffic and infrastructure, safety and access to vehicles and maintenance.

 Orlando Florida, Greensboro North Carolina and Plano Texas rounded out the top five.

 On the other end were Boston, Seattle, Philadelphia, Oakland, San Francisco and Detroit. They also had the highest annual hours spent in traffic congestion.

 In the second half of 2019, Bosch and Daimler will offer a limited number of customers a driverless shuttle service with automated vehicles on select routes in a California metropolis. The city, in the Silicon Valley, has not yet been named.

 “The decisive factor is to introduce a safe, dependable and mature system,” says Dr. Michael Hafner, Head of Automated Driving at Daimler AG. “Safety has the highest priority, and is the constant theme of all aspects and development stages on our way to the start of series production.”

 The vehicles will be a “mobile super computer” and Nvidia will supply the required platform which can run the Artificial Intelligence algorithms generated by Bosch and Daimler for the vehicle’s movement.

 A network of control units collates the data from all sensors with radar, video, lidar and ultrasound technology, evaluates them within milliseconds and plans the movements of the vehicle. All in all, the control unit network has a computing capacity of hundreds of trillion operations per second. That’s as much as several SClass Mercedes vehicles together could reach just a few years ago, the companies said.

 Daimler is the parent company of Mercedes.

Auto News for July 11

 Bugatti is working on a very limited edition car to be called Divo, named after Albert Divo, the French racing driver who won the famous Targa Florio race on a mountainous circuit in Sicily for Bugatti twice in the late 1920s.

 Divo will have its world premiere on August 24th at The Quail – A Motorsports Gathering – in California.

 It is said to be light and nimble with “enormous down force and g forces” underlined by “a new and strong design language.”

 Only 40 will be built and the price, shall we say, will be high.

 Raleigh North Carolina and Corpus Christi Texas are the best cities in the U.S. to drive in according to a new study from WalletHub.

 It ranked municipalities on cost of ownership and maintenance, traffic and infrastructure, safety and access to vehicles and maintenance.

 Orlando Florida, Greensboro North Carolina and Plano Texas rounded out the top five.

 On the other end were Boston, Seattle, Philadelphia, Oakland, San Francisco and Detroit. They also had the highest annual hours spent in traffic congestion.

 In the second half of 2019, Bosch and Daimler will offer a limited number of customers a driverless shuttle service with automated vehicles on select routes in a California metropolis. The city, in the Silicon Valley, has not yet been named.

 “The decisive factor is to introduce a safe, dependable and mature system,” says Dr. Michael Hafner, Head of Automated Driving at Daimler AG. “Safety has the highest priority, and is the constant theme of all aspects and development stages on our way to the start of series production.”

 The vehicles will be a “mobile super computer” and Nvidia will supply the required platform which can run the Artificial Intelligence algorithms generated by Bosch and Daimler for the vehicle’s movement.

 A network of control units collates the data from all sensors with radar, video, lidar and ultrasound technology, evaluates them within milliseconds and plans the movements of the vehicle. All in all, the control unit network has a computing capacity of hundreds of trillion operations per second. That’s as much as several SClass Mercedes vehicles together could reach just a few years ago, the companies said.

 Daimler is the parent company of Mercedes.

Auto News for July 10

Sources tell the Detroit News that backers of the big Detroit Auto Show are putting the final touches on a plan to stage the show in June instead of January starting in the year 2020.

A final decision may be announced no later than July 24th, the paper said. The 2019 display presumably will remain a wintertime event.

Organizers were forced to look at a total revamp after several automakers, including Audi and BMW, pulled out of the show.

Nissan Brand Logo

Nissan said some of its line workers falsified emission or fuel economy tests on vehicles that were sold only in Japan.

The discrepancies were discovered during an internal investigation that found 1,171 vehicles that were “non-compliant” in one form or another.
That investigation continues and Nissan announced it has hired a Japanese law firm to aid the effort.

Tesla-logo-2003-2500x2500

Various reports this morning say Tesla has signed an agreement with local authorities to build a plant in Shanghai that would produce about 500,000 vehicles a year. It is a move that would allow the automaker to greatly expand its presence in Asia and avoid high import tariffs.

Subaru said its 2019 Legacy model will carry a starting price of $22,545, an increase of $350 from the current offering. The Outback base model will start at $26,345 an increase of $450. Both models for the New Year will feature added standard equipment and upgraded interiors.

Nearly 30 states saw an increase in gas prices in the past week and the national average rose by one penny to $2.87, according to AAA.

The increase was caused by higher demand as motorists hit the road during the warm weather months plus an increase in crude prices.

Today’s gas price average is six-cents cheaper than last month, but 61-cents more expensive than at the same time last year.