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Hyundai Launching New Fuel Cell SUV Next Year

Hyundai Motor has announced that its second-generation fuel-cell SUV will be launched early next year. The new model has yet to be named. Engineers for the South Korean company carried out testing of two prototypes of the new car in the Snowy Mountains in Australia last month. Hyundai says the new hydrogen fuel cell model has 20 percent better performance and that it has improved the hydrogen storage in the vehicle. The company says the new vehicle will travel more than 360 miles between fill-ups. That is 40 percent farther than its first generation... 
 

Fiat Chrysler Closing Down Dodge Viper Plant In Detroit

Fiat Chrysler (NYSE:FCAU) is shutting down the plant that built the Dodge Viper by the end of August. FCA’s Conner Assembly Plant in Michigan will close on August 31. In a notice filed with the state of Michigan on June 30, the company said, “The plant closing will be permanent and will involve the entire facility.” The plant has been building the Viper for over 25 years. The 392,000-square-foot plant was built in 1966 and became part of Chrysler in 1995. The Detroit factory makes small numbers of Dodge Vipers by hand. The plant also made... 
 

Ford Moving Focus Production To China

Ford Motor Co. (NYSE:F) has announced that will be moving some production of its Focus small car to China. The Focus has been built at the Michigan Assembly plant in Wayne, Michigan for years. The current Focus will be phased out of production in Wayne in mid-2018. The company will then import the vehicles to the United States. Ford described the production shift from Mexico to China as a purely financial move. The company says that the move, slated for mid-2019, will save $500 million in reduced tooling costs. Ford now has to retool only one plant,... 
 

Honda’s Future Plans Hinge On Electric And Autonomous Vehicles

Honda Motor Co. (NYSE:HMC) shared its plans for the future at a media event this week. Honda president and CEO Takahiro Hachigo discussed the plans while speaking about the broader vision for the company over the next 13 years. Honda is currently Japan’s third-largest automaker. According to Hachigo’s statement, Honda intends to have vehicles capable of Level 3 freeway driving available by 2020 and has set a target of 2025 for introducing vehicles with Level 4 autonomous driving capability. The Society of Automotive Engineers defined Level 3... 
 

Lyft And Waymo Announce Self-Driving Car Collaboration

Lyft and Waymo have announced that they are partnering to test driverless car technology. The companies confirmed the partnership on Sunday. In an email, a Lyft spokeswoman said, “We can confirm that we are partnering with Waymo to safely and responsibly launch self-driving vehicle pilots.” Waymo and Lyft started discussing a partnership last summer, according to people familiar with the deal. A Waymo spokesman said, “We’re looking forward to working with Lyft to explore new self-driving products that will make our roads... 
 

Volkswagen Fined $2.8B Over Emissions Scandal

U.S. District Judge Sean Cox has accepted a plea agreement that allows Volkswagen to pay a $2.8 billion criminal fine for purposely cheating on greenhouse gas emissions tests. The $2.8 billion fine is part of a larger $4.3 billion settlement reached between Volkswagen and the U.S. Justice Department in January. Attorneys for both the German automaker and the Justice Department had asked Cox to accept the plea. Cox called the case a “deliberate massive fraud perpetrated by Volkwagen’s management.” Six weeks ago, VW pleaded guilty to criminal... 
 

General Motors Pulls Out Of Venezuela Over Factory Seizure

General Motors (NYSE:GM) has announced that it is ending its operations in Venezuela after its only factory in the country was confiscated yesterday. According to reports, GM was notified this week that an embargo of its plant, bank accounts and other assets in the country had been ordered by a low-level court. Venezuelan news reports said the seizure stemmed from a lawsuit that dated from the early 2000s. GM said that the taking of assets from the plant caused the company irreparable damage. The company said in a statement, “GM strongly rejects... 
 

Tesla Adding New Products To Its Lineup

Palo Alto-based Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ:TSLA) has announced its plans to add more models to its vehicle lineup. Shares of the company jumped nearly 3 percent after the announcement. Tesla’s stock was $304.77 a share in Thursday afternoon trading on Wall Street, valuing the company at $49.2 billion. Tesla plans to unveil an electric semi-truck later this year. Chief Executive Elon Musk said on Twitter, “Tesla Semi truck unveil set for September. Team has done an amazing job. Seriously next level.” Musk indicated that the semi-truck would likely... 
 

Volkswagen Reaches Settlement With 10 States

Volkswagen (VLKAY) has announced that it has settled environmental claims with 10 different US states for $157.45 million. The participating states include Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington. The attorneys general of those states have all agreed to drop pending litigation against the German automaker. Not every state will receive the same amount of money. The settlement addresses consumer claims alongside state-level ones. As part of the settlement, Volkswagen has also... 
 

Guilty Plea For Volkswagen In Emissions Case

Volkswagen AG pleaded guilty Friday in a Detroit federal court to criminal charges for cheating on government emissions tests. Volkswagen General Counsel Manfred Döss entered the guilty plea on the company’s behalf before U.S. District Judge Sean F. Cox. The company pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud the U.S., commit wire fraud, violate the Clean Air Act, obstruction of justice, and import violations. Volkswagen signed a plea agreement with U.S. Justice Department weeks before the formal court hearings. The plea agreement includes a... 
 

General Motors Exits European Business With Opel Sale

General Motors (NYSE:GM) has announced that it is selling its Opel business to France’s PSA Group for about 2.2 billion euros. PSA is also buying the Vauxhall brand and the European arm of GM’s financial division. The total transaction is valued at about $2.3 billion. According to a statement by the companies, the transaction includes 11 manufacturing facilities and one engineering center that employ about 40,000 people collectively. The operations being sold are responsible for one-tenth of GM’s global sales and 18 percent of its workforce.... 
 

Fiat Chrysler To Invest $1B In U.S. Plants

Fiat Chrysler (NYSE:FCAU) has announced that it will invest $1 billion in two U.S. factories over the next few years, creating 2,000 new jobs. The automaker said it will modernize a factory in the Detroit suburb of Warren, Michigan, to increase production of hot-selling SUVs. It will also upgrade a factory complex in Toledo, Ohio with new equipment to make a new pickup truck. Fiat Chrysler said the factory upgrades would be done in 2020. The company has not disclosed how much would be invested in each plant or how many new jobs would be created... 
 

Tesla Shares Fall On Missed Production Estimates

Tesla Motors Inc. (NASDAQ:TSLA) missed forecasts for fourth-quarter deliveries, sending its shares lower in pre-market trading. The Palo Alto, California-based company delivered about 22,200 vehicles in the final three months of last year, less than the forecasted 25,000 units. The results brought its full-year tally to 76,230 vehicles, lower than its forecast for about 80,000 units. Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk has a bad habit of setting ambitious targets and timelines and coming up short. Nearly every quarter, the company finds itself explaining... 
 

Toyota Jumps Into The Car-Sharing Industry

Toyota (NYSE:TM) has become the latest company to bet on a car-sharing model created by a startup. The company has announced making a $10 million strategic investment through its Mirai Creation Investment Limited Partnership in SF-based car sharing provider Getaround. Getaround was the winner of TechCrunch’s Disrupt Battlefield startup competition in New York in 2011. The platform allows car owners to rent out their own vehicles when they’re not in use to help offset the cost of car ownership. The investment in Getaround is a sign that Toyota... 
 

Tesla Surprises Wall Street With Earnings Beat

Tesla Motors’ (NASDAQ:TSLA) most recent earnings report caught Wall Street by surprise. The company posted its first profit in three years after selling more vehicles than expected. Tesla reported a profit of 71 cents a share for the third quarter. Wall Street had been expecting a loss of 54 cents a share. Revenue rose 145 percent to $2.3 billion in the quarter when compared to the same quarter a year ago. In an August e-mail, Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk pushed workers to cut costs, increase deliveries, and drive the results into positive... 
 

Tesla Beats Delivery Estimates For Third Quarter

For the third quarter, Telsa (NASDAQ:TSLA) announced that it delivered 24,500 of its electric vehicles. That was a 70 percent increase from last quarter’s delivery of 14,402 and a 111 percent increase from the same quarter last year. Tesla claims that it’ll have 50,000 vehicles by the end of the second half. The company has been taking aggressive measures to keep sales of the Model S and Model X strong. In a press release, the company revealed that 15,800 Model S and 8,700 Model X vehicles were sold in the third quarter. Another 5,500 vehicles... 
 

Chevrolet Bolt EV Boasts 238 Miles Per Charge

General Motors (NYSE:GM) subsidiary Chevrolet is taking on the 200-mile range Tesla Model 3 electric sedan with its 238-mile range 2017 Bolt EV. The federally tested range of 238 miles per charge is enough to travel from Los Angeles to Las Vegas on a single charge. This is the longest range available for battery-powered cars in that price range. The EPA tests all automobiles sold in the U.S. for fuel economy and automakers are required to provide those numbers to prospective buyers. For electric cars, the agency also publishes average time to recharge... 
 

Tesla Launches New Far-ranging Battery Pack

Tesla Motors (NASDAQ:TSLA) announced a new battery pack for its performance cars yesterday. The new 100 kilowatt-hour battery pack allows cars to accelerate more quickly and drive longer on a single charge. Because of the new battery pack, Tesla’s new Model S P100D is the third fastest accelerating production car ever produced. Tesla’s new Model S P100D also has the longest range ever for a production electric vehicle at 315 miles. Tesla’s first car, the $100,000 Roadster, traveled a little over 200 miles on a single charge. The Model S had... 
 

Volkswagen To Pay $15B In Penalties To U.S. For Emissions Cheating

Volkswagen has announced that it has reached an agreement to pay about $15 billion in penalties in a settlement with U.S. regulators over the company’s use of devices that let it cheat on emission tests. Volkswagen also settled an inquiry by attorneys general in 42 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico over defrauding consumers for $500 million in penalties. The company is still facing a criminal investigation in the United States. As part of the settlement, Volkswagen will offer to buy back the cars based on prescandal, “clean trade”... 
 

Fiat Chrysler And Google Partner On Self Driving Minivans

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has announced that it is forming a partnership with Google to develop 100 self driving minivan prototypes. The two companies will be working to create 100 self driving Chrysler Pacifica hybrid minivans. Fiat Chrysler’s CEO, Sergio Marchionne, said the Chrysler Pacifica minivans produced with Google will look physically different than the regular models after Google installs its sensors and self-driving technology. The 2017 Chrysler Pacifica is on sale now at dealerships. The companies plan to co-locate engineering... 
 

FBI: Vehicles More Vulnerable to Hacking Each Day

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the FBI warned this week that the increasing use of computers in autos pose more risks of cyberattacks. This warning follows a high profile demonstration of eight months ago published by Wired that showed a Jeep Cherokee being controlled remotely on the Internet. Shortly afterwards, Fiat Chrysler recalled over 1.4 million vulnerable vehicles. Manufacturers see excellent promise in making vehicles with network capabilities that are advanced for everything from fleet management to entertainment. However,... 
 

SiriusXM Sees Success In The Embrace Of The Auto Industry (NASDAQ:SIRI)

SiriusXM has become a financial powerhouse at a time when other radio and digital music outlets are struggling to make a profit. Last year, the company reportedly earned $510 million on $4.6 billion in revenue. The company attributes most of its success to its presence in cars across the nation. According to the company, 75 percent of all new vehicles sold in the United States come with satellite radio installed. SiriusXM has nearly 30 million people paying for radio, a form of media that has always been free. With more than 175 channels, SiriusXM... 
 

Autonomous Vehicles Making Small Steps Forward

It has been years since Google (and others) began working on technology for a self-driving vehicle. And while the count is up to 7 companies with autonomous vehicles in development (and currently testing on roads in California) there is still more work to be done. On the plus side, the latest report from Google (and the California Department of Motor Vehicles) found that, collectively, these vehicles covered 523,958 miles these vehicles covered between September of 2014 and December of 2015, 424,331 were covered by Google. On the minus side, though,... 
 

Look Out Tesla, Electric Porsche Is Going To Happen

If you thought most electric cars were not that cool, except the a Tesla, maybe you would like a new Porsche, an electric model. The first 100% electrically powered Porsche is on its way. Porsche plans to offer an all-electric performance car by the end of the decade. The four-door car, which looks like a futuristic version of today’s Porsche Panamera, will be able to go 310 miles on a single charge, Porsche has claimed. The car will charge quickly, too, according to Porsche, reaching 80% of a full charge in only 15 minutes, enough to drive... 
 
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