TSB Investigating Quebec Drone Crash with Passenger Aircraft

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) is investigating the collision between a drone and a passenger aircraft that took place on approach to Jean Lesage International Airport (CYQB) in Québec City, Quebec with 2 crew members and 6 passengers on board.

The Beechcraft King Air turboprop was approaching runway 24 and had just completed the final approach fix when the crew noticed a drone – an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) – at the extremity of the left wing. The aircraft hit the UAV at an altitude of 1500 feet and the crew declared an emergency. Continue reading

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WEC: Toyota Bests Porsche with One Two Finish at Fuji

AutoInformed.com on WECToyota beats Porsche at Fuji – aka Suzuka – during the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) at the 7th of 9 rounds of 2017 season. The Porsche LMP Team settled for third and fourth place finishes.

The six-hour race on the Fuji International Speedway was hindered by persistent rain, plus fog and staged in only 14-degree Celsius ambient temperature and 16-degree track temperature. Continue reading

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NAFTA Talks Stalled. Doomed?

Click to enlarge for NAFTA Trade in auto sector for 201

The fourth round of North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) negotiations between the United States, Canada, and Mexico began October 11, 2017 in Washington, D.C.

“So far, the previous rounds of negotiations have produced little progress on the issues of greatest concern to the automotive industry, and this slow pace of resolving issues on the table calls into question the prospect of wrapping up negotiations by the end of the calendar year, according to the respected think tank The Center for Automotive Research, aka CAR. Continue reading

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Brinks Trucks Not Going to the Bank. ATM Machines to Empty?

AutoInformed.com on Brinks versus Unifor

With the 72-hour strike notice Brink’s now risks simultaneous labor disputes in Ontario and British Columbia.

Unifor, representing more than 1,000 members in British Columbia and Ontario, has issued a strike notice to Brink’s Canada Limited.

The crucial dispute continues to be the “all off” crewing practice, where the use of two-person crews means the driver and messenger (bag person? grin) are both forced to disembark from the vehicle at drop-offs and pick-ups, leaving them vulnerable to attack. Continue reading

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BMW Group Sales of EVs Pass 10,000 in September 2017

Autoinformed.com on EV and Hybrid sales

It bodes badly for the Detroit Three that China, the world’s largest market, and India, soon to surpass North America as the world’s second largest market,  have both embraced EVs as the future.

BMW Group sales of electrified vehicles  – hybrid and pure EVs – in the first three quarters of 2017 exceeded those of all of 2016. During September, electrified sales topped the 10,000 point for the first time in a single month. With the company’s electrified line-up totaling­ nine models, a sum of 10,786 (+50.5%) BMW i, BMW iPerformance and MINI Electric vehicles were delivered in September. This brings the year-to-date total to 68,687 (+64.2%).

The results show that GM and Ford Motor are lagging badly on the EV racetrack. FCA isn’t even out of the paddock. Continue reading

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Unifor Workers Agree to Weak CAMI Deal from GM

AutoInformed.com Unifor Local 88/GM-CAMI Bargaining Committee

“The end result was not the result we were hoping for, it shows the true colors of GM. They have the capability to produce globally, and that is where our fight must continue. Our strike truly shows that unless the government takes an active interest in saving jobs, the corporations will continue to look elsewhere for every cent of profit,” said Mike Van Boekel, Unifor Local 88/GM-CAMI Bargaining Committee Chair.

Unifor Local 88 members working at GM CAMI Assembly in Ingersoll ratified an Agreement by 85.9% and Trades by 78.7%. Unifor Local 88 members attended local ratification meeting today and voted to ratify a four-year contract after a 4-week strike.

In a clear victory for General Motors the agreement does not get what Unifor said it wanted since workers walked out on Sept. 17 –  a pledge from GM that Ingersoll jobs wouldn’t be sent to the carmaker’s two plants in Mexico. Those plants also assemble the company’s strong selling Chevrolet Equinox.  To be fair, Unifor was taking on a rich, powerfull American corporation and the NAFTA treaty as well. Continue reading

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Deal in Ontario, Québec Class Actions against Ford. Quality, Customer Satisfaction, Repair Steps Taken in U.S., Mexico

Autoinformed.con on Ford Explorer Exhaust Odor Service CampaignA deal has been proposed in class action lawsuits in Ontario and Québec against Ford Motor Company and Ford Motor Company of Canada alleging that exhaust odor may enter the passenger compartment of the 2011-2015 Ford Explorers sold and leased in Canada. The so-called “Class Vehicles” are allegedly defective. It’s a dream settlement for Ford in Canada, as it turns out in the U.S. with far more numerous owners, and Mexico.
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Drone Hits Passenger Skyjet Inbound for Quebec City

On 12 October 2017, a Skyjet turboprop flight (not pictured) was struck by a drone while inbound to Jean Lesage International Airport in Québec City. This is the first time a drone hit a passenger aircraft in Canada. The jet landed safely. During 2017 to date, 1,596 drone incidents have been reported to Transport Canada. Of these, 131 are deemed to have been of aviation safety concern. Canada has more than 33,000 registered aircraft.

It is only inevitable that drones will continue to pose a threat to people who fly commercially. Unfortunately, the growth in the use of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), also known as drones, will more than triple in size from an estimated 1.1 million vehicles at the end of 2016 to more than 3.5 million units by 2021 according to the U.S. FAA. Will it take fatalities to get drones under control? (FAA Proposes Talking About Regulations for Drones and FAA Belatedly Issues Rules for Some Drones) Continue reading

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Chinese Junk Recall – Martha Stewart Whiteware Cake Knife

AutoInformed.com on Macys Recalls Martha Stewart Whiteware Cake Knife

More Chinese made-junk. This time military personnel are at risk.

Macy’s Recalls Martha Stewart Whiteware Cake Knife and Server sets due to cutting hazard for users including U.S. Military personnel. The handles on the Chinese-made knife and server can break during use. Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled cake knife and server sets and contact Macy’s for a full refund.

Macy’s says it has received four reports of the handles on the knife and server breaking, resulting in lacerations, including cuts requiring stitches. They were sold to unsuspecting consumers at Macy’s stores nationwide and online, and at Military Exchanges between January 2014 and July 2017 for about $25 at Macy’s and $15 at Military Exchanges.  Continue reading

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Auto Parts Maker Y-Tec Fires Workers for Unionizing

AutoInfomred.com on Y-Tec Union Busting

Y-Tec brings charges against the Union President then fires him because he has charges against him.

A Japanese-owned auto parts manufacturer in Thailand – Y-Tec – is conducting a brutal crackdown after workers formed a union, according to IndustriALL, a global federation of trade unions. Y-Tec monitored union members with closed circuit televisions, submitted them to random drug tests, dismissed some and forced others to resign, and laid a defamation charge against the union president over a social media post.

The auto parts manufacturer in Prachinburi, Thailand is owned by Yamashita Rubber. It employs about 2,000 workers, and produces hose tubes, engine mounts, suspension bushings and dynamic dampers for Daihatsu, Isuzu, Suzuki, Sanyo and other companies. It has two plants in Prachinburi, opened in 1997 and 2013.   Continue reading

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Goodbye to American Sports Car Racer Bruce Leven

AutoInformed.com on Bruce Leven and Sports Car RacingGentlemen racer and privateer Bruce Levin has taken his final checkered flag just as the 2017 IMSA season was in its final laps. During the late 1970s and 1980s, the Seattle business competed at the top level of North American sports-car racing, driving Porsche’s with Hurley Heywood, Al Hulbert and David Hobbs among other hot shoes. He was born in Chicago on June 12, 1938, and two years later moved with his family to Seattle. Chicago of course is the home of Wacker Drive. Fred Wacker was also a sports car racer until a tragic accident into the crowd at Watkins Glen when it was a street race caused him to put away his leather driving gloves. Continue reading

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Ford Dropping Car Business – Reallocating $7B in Capital

AutoInformed.com on FOrd Ceding the Car Business

Where the pieces fall is unknown – whether Humpty Dumpty comes together again as a benign HAL transportation robot is anybody’s guess.

What do you do when your stock is languishing on Wall Street at ~$12 a share and you have grown during eight straight years of expanding U.S. vehicle sales, but are still short of achieving an 8% Automotive Operating Margin that is routinely obtained by offshore automakers? It gets worse when your costs have grown as fast as revenue. It’s even grimmer when capital spending has grown even faster, and the Family – you know the name on the building people – is restive and infighting.

It’s time for Ford to reorganize yet again. This time around it’s as radical a turnaround plan as ever seen in Dearborn with Ford essentially ceding the car market to other major auto makers and reallocating the $7 billion saved to bets – with wildly uncertain odds – in the connected car and autonomous car areas, as well as the newly emerging interactive road system.   Continue reading

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U.S. Sales Drop in September. Domestics Struggle with Cars

September U.S. auto sales dropped notably when compared to September 2016, but were still relatively strong,according to AutoData. It said that the seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) in September was 17.76 million units compared to 18.05 million units a year ago. Industry-wide, 1,435,689 light vehicles were sold in September, compared to 1,512,556 in August and 1,522,297 in July.

Un-adjusted for business days, sales for all brands were down 0.5% from September 2015 but up 0.5% year-to-date. Offshore brands outperformed the market last month as crossover and truck sales increased and cars held their place and up 0.7% for the year.

FCA sales dropped for the calendar year -7.9% at 1.58m (year-over-year); Ford Motor was off -2.7% at 1.9m; General Motors sales declined -0.8% at 2.2m.

Detroit Three makers continued to have problems selling cars – as Ford’s announcement that it is mostly abandoning the car market (the Fiesta ST is the first known casualty) and spending the $7 billion saved on crossovers and autonomous vehicles, as well as a new Dearborn campus that allegedly will attract Silicone Valley talent away from California weather and lifestyles, the unlimited capital Google and Tesla, which trades in stories and promises, but not actual earnings. Michigan Makes Rules for The Research, Testing, Use, and Ultimately Public Sale of Autonomous Vehicles Continue reading

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Lies and Deflections Worth Noting on Virgin Islands & Puerto Rico from Bureaucrats Doing Nothing to help U.S. Citizens

AutoInformed.com on Trump's Katrina

Incompetence and racism(?) from Beltway bureaucrats on roads easily traveled by a Detroit 4X4 SUV or pickup.

The mayor of Puerto Rico’s largest city earned a rebuke from President Donald Trump Saturday after pleading for more federal assistance in the wake of Hurricane Maria. The 3.5 million U.S. citizens are at a considerable disadvantage because they are Spanish speaking, not white, and they have zero, non, null set votes in the electoral college. This makes President Bush’s Hurricane Katrina disaster look like a charity event.  Meanwhile Trump has between carrying out a vendetta with black NFL players who are exercising their constitutional rights by protesting police brutality and murders against people of color. AutoInformed is not sure that Trump knows what a U.S. territory is.

“We are dying, and you are killing us with the inefficiency, and the bureaucracy,” San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz said Friday at a news conference. She highlighted donations from companies and others, including 200,000 pounds of food donated by Goya, as a contrast to federal help.

“This is what we got last night. Four pallets of water, three pallets of meals, and 12 pallets of infant food — which, I gave them to the people of Comerio, where people are drinking off a creek,” she said. “So, I am done being polite. I am done being politically correct. I am mad as hell,” said Carmen Yulín Cruz. See Puerto Rico Crisis: San Juan Mayor Pleads for Federal … – NBC News and In Puerto Rico, Containers Full Of Goods Sit Undistributed At Ports – NPR and Media accesses Puerto Rico roads FEMA won’t drive with aid – MSNBC, and the most outrageous of all under the category how to keep minorities in their place now that we can’t lynch them anymore: Doctor quits Puerto Rico medical relief team over ‘spa day’ – MSNBC.  Do my toe nails greaser and maybe I’ll give you a sip of water. 

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Autonomous Vehicles Buying Stampede – GM and Strobe

AutoInformed.com on LIDAR and Autonomous Vehicles

Betcha designers just love the roof mounted sensors even though their IQ is higher than…

General Motors Co (NYSE: GM) has acquired LIDAR technology company Strobe, Inc. As part of the deal, Strobe’s engineering overhead joins GM’s Cruise Automation team to “define and develop next-generation LIDAR solutions for self-driving vehicles.”

LIDAR uses light to create high-resolution images that provide a more accurate view of the world than cameras or radar alone. As self-driving technology continues to evolve, LIDAR’s accuracy will play a critical role in its deployment. Long gone is the original fantasy that State and Federal road markings would be adequate – the confusing signs don’t even work for human-directed vehicles.
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