US v Fiat Chrysler on Diesel Emissions Defeat Devices on alleged defeat devices on Chrysler EcoDiesel engines

Not as clean as thought?

The US Department of Justice (DOJ) for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has filed a civil complaint in federal court in Detroit, Michigan, against Fiat Chrysler alleging 104,000 light duty diesel vehicles with 3-liter liter EcoDiesel engines are equipped with software that defeat the emissions controls.The action is wide ranging against FCA US, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V., V.M. Motori S.p.A., and V.M. North America, Inc.

The complaint alleges that the undisclosed software functions cause the vehicles’ emission control systems to perform differently, and less effectively, during certain normal driving conditions than on federal emission tests, resulting in increased emissions of harmful air pollutants. In other words, Volkswagen2 – the American-Italian sequel. Continue reading

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Mark Fields Out, Jim Hackett in as Ford Motor CEO on Ford CEO ShakeupJim Hackett, 62, was named today as Ford Motor Company president and CEO, succeeding Mark Fields, 56, “who is retiring” after 28 years at the Dearborn-based vehicle maker.

Hackett, who will report to Executive Chairman Bill Ford, led Steelcase’s turnaround to become the world’s largest office furniture maker during a 20-year career in Western Michigan, the football player also served briefly as interim Athletic Director at the University of Michigan.

Hackett led Ford Smart Mobility – arguably the future of the industry with ride sharing, electric vehicle, sales of big data and autonomous cars thrown in –  since March 2016. Ford is far, far far behind the industry here, and needs to make partnerships or buy companies. He served on Ford’s board from 2013 to 2016. No word on whether he will redecorate Fields’ office with Steelcase regalia. Continue reading

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Milestones – One Millionth Porsche 911 on the Porsche 911In Zuffenhausen the one-millionth 911 sports car model has left the production line – a 911 Carrera S in “Irish Green,” which was not popular on the original 911 in 1963. The two-door performance car remains the most important reputational model as Porsche maintains its position as one of the most significant car manufacturers in the world – even though sales of trucks and sedans now provide most its profits.

The one-millionth 911 will not be sold. Before it moves on to join  the collection at the Porsche Museum, it will take a world tour -including sprints in the Scottish Highlands, around the Nürburgring, and events in the USA, and  China. This remains a selling or leasing business. Continue reading

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William Berman COO of AutoNation Resigns

Wendy Byrd Kang takes delivery of a Honda Fit –AutoNation’s eighth millionth sale. The U.S. Army Specialist had returned from deployment in Afghanistan.

AutoNationNYSE: AN – America’s largest automotive retailer has announced the resignation of William Berman as President and Chief Operating Officer for unknown reasons.

Berman, it’s claimed, will continue to serve as an employee in an advisory capacity through 30 June 2017.

Mike Jackson, AutoNation’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, assumes all operating responsibilities as AutoNation hunts for a new President and CEO. Continue reading

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WEC – Porsche 919 Hybrid on Pole in Spa. Toyota Faster on World Endurance Cup - SPA 2017Reigning world champion Neel Jani (CH) and Porsche rookie André Lotterer (DE) took the pole position for the second round of the FIA World Endurance Championship, aka WEC, during the qualifying session today at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium.

The 25-minute session was marred by an early red flag. Nonetheless a 919 Hybrid will start for the 16th time in total from P1 since its debut in 2014. Following three Toyotas on the grid, Porsche drivers Timo Bernhard (DE) and Brendon Hartley (NZ) qualified 5th for the six-hour race on Saturday. Qualifying, took place in cool, dry conditions. For the six-hour race on Saturday, raising temperatures and sunshine are forecast. Continue reading

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Toyota R&D Centers Expand in Michigan on Toyota R&D in MichiganToyota Motor North America (TMNA) celebrated the 40th anniversary of its North American research and development operations as it opened an expanded TMNA R&D Purchasing and Prototype Development centers in York Township, Michigan. The $154 million investment moved direct procurement and supplier engineering development talent from Erlanger, Kentucky, and vehicle development and powertrain from California. Continue reading

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Ford Motor Virtual Annual Meeting Dumps Personal Contact

AutInformed on Ford Motor Dividend and Languishing Stock Price

Remember this photo during the Ford virtual annual meeting or it’s audio only.

Ford Motor Company [NYSE:F] will hold a virtual Annual Meeting of Shareholders beginning at 8:30 a.m. EDT on Thursday 11 May 2017. For the first time, the annual meeting is being conducted through an audio broadcast accessible from a computer, tablet or smart phone.

Executives – phantom sounds on the web – will thereby be insulated from personal contact with stockholders and not subject to photographs. Members of the news media will be able to access the meeting through a listen-only audio webcast.  Continue reading

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GM Rebuffs Pending Greenlight Director Nominations on Greenlight GM Stock Porposal

GM asserts – with no contradictory evidence – that the rating agencies’ views have not changed since their initial public statements, which were issued after Greenlight filed its public presentation.

GM has once gain voiced its full and vigorous condemnation of what appears to be a typical Wall Street investment firm raid by Greenlight to make money with potentially, perhaps certainly, ruinous consequences for the survival of the business and jobs.

“Greenlight’s candidates were nominated specifically to advance Greenlight’s dual-class stock plan, which GM’s Board views as high-risk and detrimental to the long-term best interests of GM and its shareholders, and do not have the depth or breadth of relevant experience, at the same level of complexity, that our directors bring. Their experience is already fully represented by the current GM Board members,” according to GM’s latest statement. (GM Reports 2017 Q1 Net Income of $2.6 Billion – up +33.5%) Continue reading

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April Showers – U.S. Auto Sales Drop Yet Again

U.S. auto sales during April 2017 continued a four-month slump as AutoData says the seasonally adjusted annual rate, aka SAAR, was 16.88 million units compared to 17.40 million units a year ago. Overall, industry deliveries to auto dealers were down 8.3% from March 2017. Continue reading

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IndyCar Wrecking League – Phoenix on IndyCar RacingSimon Pagenaud, driver of the #1Team Penske Chevrolet wins the IndyCar Phoenix Grand Prix at the Phoenix International Raceway in Avondale, Arizona. The series has been marred by accidents that halted the action on the first lap of three of the four races thus far in 2017. Pagenaud is defending champion.

IndyCar has thus far done nothing about the wrecks caused by overly aggressive moves at the start and the terrible yellow-light racing that results.  There were only four lead changes at Phoenix and 32 caution laps, with 21 run under the yellow at the start of the race. Continue reading

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GM Reports 2017 Q1 Net Income of $2.6 Billion – up +33.5% on GM Q1 2017 Financial Results

Click to enlarge.

GM says it financial performance for Q1 2017 produced a net income of $2.6 billion. Earnings per share or (EPS-diluted) were $1.70, up +37%. GM set Q1 records for revenue, EBIT-adjusted and EBIT-adjusted margin. There were also Q1 records for GM North America with an EBIT-adjusted of $3.4 billion, +49%, and a margin of 11.7%, up 3 percentage points. GM Financial had net revenue of $2.9 billion, up +38.7%. Continue reading

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FAA Tests Drone Detection Systems at DFW on FAA Drone DetectionThe Federal Aviation Administration, aka FAA, and its partners are conducting detection research on unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) – popularly called drones – at Dallas/Fort Worth International (DFW) Airport. The fast-growing drone industry presents serious opportunities for terrorism.

The work is part of the FAA’s Pathfinder Program for UAS detection at airports. (Drones – FAA Releases Updated Sighting Reports) Continue reading

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California Air Resources Board – Ways to Lower Pollution Exposure for People Living, Working near Urban Highways

AutoInformed.comThe California Air Resources Board, aka CARB, has a new guide designed to provide public health, air quality and urban planning policy-makers with options for reducing exposure to traffic pollution for people who live or work near busy roads. Strategies to Reduce Air Pollution Exposure Near High-Volume Roadways is a technical advisory about the potential health implications of living and working in existing or planned developments near hectic roads. Options are discussed that planners and others can put into place to protect public health in developments close to freeways and as so-called “infill” development, which is the opposite of urban sprawl, continues. Continue reading

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Chevrolet Bolt EV at 4.5 Million Miles on Chevrolet Bolt Electic VehicleChevrolet claims that 3,492 Bolt EV owners in the United States have driven 4,570,300 miles in total as of 2 April 2017 since the small, crossover vehicle went on sale in December 2016.

These all-electric propelled miles by Chevy’s calculation have resulted in more than 175,000 gallons of fuel saved – based on the average EPA-estimated 26 mpg for 2017 vehicles in the U.S.   Continue reading

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Dale Earnhardt Jr. to Quit NASCAR After 2017 Season on NASCAR Concussion SCAT3 Protocol

Earnhardt Jr.  winning the first of two Sprint Cup Can-Am Duel races at Daytona International Speedway – February 2016.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. will quit full-time driving following the 2017 NASCAR season. The 14-time Most Popular Driver has won 26 races in 603 starts during a career that began at age 24 in 1999. He won the Daytona 500 in 2004 and 2014 and took two NASCAR championships  in 1998 and 1999.

Medical issues are possibly the reason for retirement. Earnhardt, 42, returned to racing this year after a concussion sidelined him from NASCAR’s top series for half of the 2016 season. Through his rehabilitation, Earnhardt became a vocal advocate for research of sports-related brain injuries. This likely means he will never have a job affiliated with the NFL. (See AutoInformed on NASCAR Expands Concussion Protocol to SCAT3) Continue reading

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