Dale Earnhardt Jr. to Quit NASCAR After 2017 Season

AutoInformed.com 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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Ford Mustang Claimed as Most Popular Sports Car Globally

AutoInformed.com on 2018 Ford MustangFord says its Mustang has been the best-selling sports car in the United States during the last 50 years, and now the original pony car is the most popular sports car globally, according to its interpretation of IHS new vehicle registration data. During 2016 more than 150,000 Mustangs were sold, with global sales increasing 6% compared to 2015 with ~45,000 Mustangs sold outside the United States.(Freshened Ford Mustang Shown in Los Angeles) Continue reading

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Mercedes-Benz Car Sharing Expands to Berlin via Croove

AutoInformed.com on Croove and Mercedes-BenzFour months after a small pilot program in Munich, a private car-sharing platform from Mercedes-Benz is slowly being expanding into in other major German cities. Now Croove is in Berlin with a program that continues to be open to vehicles of all makes, a decided departure from General Motor’s Lyft car sharing. (Lyft and GM Express Drive Expands to Colorado, California, Maven Debuts “Elevated” Car Sharing in Baltimore) Continue reading

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Toyota to Use Hydrogen Fuel Cells for Zero Emission Trucking

AutoInformed.com on Toyota Project Portal Class 8 TruckA Toyota feasibility study will assess the potential use of fuel cells in heavy-duty applications starting with the Port of Los Angeles. Announced at a press conference with Port and employees from the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and the California Energy Commission (CEC), the zero-emission truck is billed as a proof of concept that will take part in an experiment about the potential of fuel cells in large trucks. Continue reading

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Silverstone: Toyota Beats Porsche. Chan Racing Wins LMP2. Ford Bests Ferrari, Porsche in GT Pro. Ferrari takes GT Am

AutoInformed.com on Silverstone 2017In the opening of the 2017 World Endurance Cup sports car racing series, Toyota beat the reigning world champion Porsche in LMP1 – the top class at Silverstone. In LMP2, which has become a spec series this year Chan Racing won.  Ford led GT Pro, ahead of Ferrari and Porsche. Ferrari won GT Am, ahead of Aston Martin and Porsche.

The race – pure England at this time of year (or any time) – was run under mixed weather conditions, forcing teams to choose between tires – slicks, so-called intermediates or rain rubber in changing conditions that forced drivers to extract the best performance out of the world’s most exciting racing machines. Continue reading

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Silverstone – WEC Opening Round Pits Toyota against Porsche in the run-up to the Grueling 24 Hours at Le Mans

AutoInformed.com on WECThe first 2017 track appearance in real racing form sees Porsche and Toyota dueling with two very different LMP1 cars with mixed qualifying results in the fastest, most expensive top class.

This is key to preparation for the 24 hours of Le Mans, the race that is the gold standard for sports car makers. Continue reading

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New Car Dealership Employment Sets Record in 2016

AutoInformed.com on Wages at New Car DealershipsNew Car Dealership employment, wages and payroll  increased in 2016, according to a new report released by the National Automobile Dealers Association.  In 2016, new-car dealerships directly employed a record 1,131,900 workers, a 2.4% increase from the previous year, according to NADA Data 2016, an annual financial profile of new-car dealerships. Continue reading

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Greenlight or Red Light – GM Proxy Fight Coming?

AutoInformed.com on Greenlight v GM Proxy fight

It’s all about money. What a surprise coming from a Wall Street firm.

Greenlight Capital, Inc. yesterday announced that it has filed a preliminary proxy with the Securities and Exchange Commission to nominate three” highly-qualified,” independent candidates for election to the Board of Directors of General Motors Company’s (NYSE: GM) at the 2017 Annual Meeting of Shareholders, and to let shareholders vote on its Plan to split GM’s common stock into two classes.

In the filing, Greenlight – a $10 billion investment firm – said in essence that GM lied when it asserted that a credit downgrade was possible if the stock were split into two classes. Greenlight also said it repeats its request that GM has denied on numerous occasions to consent for Greenlight to speak directly to the rating agencies about the Plan so that it can be accurately evaluated by a formal rating committee. Continue reading

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Dodge Challenger SRT Demon Runs Fastest Quarter-Mile Ever

AutoInformed.com on Dodge Challenger SRT Demon With 840 horsepower and 770 pounds-feet of torque from a supercharged 6.2-liter Hemi V8 engine, the new 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon is the most-powerful production muscle car in history. It posted the world’s fastest quarter-mile with an elapsed time (ET) of 9.65 seconds and a 140-mph trap speed – certified by the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA). Try that in a factory-made Camaro or Mustang. Continue reading

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Porsche Q1 2017 Best in History

AutoInformed.com

The Porsche Macan SUV is off-road capable, if anyone buying one cares.

Porsche AG during Q1 2017 delivered ~60,000 vehicles globally. This means the sedan and truck maker – enmired in the Volkswagen dieselgate scandal because of its stock holdings in VW – exceeded the number of Porsche’s delivered in Q1 of 2016 by ~7%.

This is Porsche’s best first quarter in its history. Growth came from China, the company’s home market of Germany, supported by the Panamera and Macan model lines that had double-digit growth. Continue reading

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Daimler Group Q1 EBIT Significantly Better Than Expectations

AutoInformed.comDaimler Group AG (ticker: DAI) has achieved a Group EBIT* for Q1 of 2017 that is significantly above stock market expectations in Daimler’s view.

The Daimler Group EBIT of €4.008 million for Q1 of 2017 surpassed Q1 2016 EBIT at €2.148 million.

All figures are preliminary and unaudited. Continue reading

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Volkswagen America Launches Best SUV Warranty

AutoInformed.com on Volkswagen Atlas Crossover SUV Warrantyr WarrantyWhen the all-new 2018 Volkswagen Atlas and Volkswagen Tiguan arrive in dealerships during the next few months, they will carry the best transferable bumper-to-bumper warranty among SUVs in America, Volkswagen said today.

It is offering a six-year or 72,000-mile (whichever occurs first) New Vehicle Limited Warranty, with coverage that’s transferable beyond the first owner. This is an expensive – post Dieselgate – image building program. Continue reading

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Technology Key for US Transportation Infrastructure

AutoInformed.comEvery year, nearly $200 billion is spent on transportation-related infrastructure, according to the American Road & Transportation Builders Association.

Therefore,  Department of Transportation (aka DOT) government employees responsible for the construction, management and maintenance of the main arteries that traverse the U.S  should have comprehensive decision-making tools or so maintains Logicalis US, an international managed services provider. Continue reading

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Qoros Shows Model K-EV Concept at Shanghai This Week

AutoInformed,com on Qoros EVWhile U.S. journalists are obsessing over the New York Auto Show this week (not a mea culpa, but AutoInformed is admittedly part of this) in the world’s largest car market – China – Qoros Automotive will reveal its Model K-EV, an electric concept car at Shanghai Auto 2017. (Qorus, New Chinese Brand Coming to China, Europe, Mid-East)

K-EV has, arguably, forward-looking design and technologies, including an unusual asymmetric door design, including a gull-wing door on the driver’s side that automatically opens when activated. The front passenger’s door includes a two-hinged system that can open outward like a conventional door or slide horizontally. The rear passenger-side door has a sliding system for passengers entering and exiting the car. Continue reading

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2018 S-Class Takes Driver Assistance Upward?

AutoInformed.com on Driver Assist systemsDaimler is gushing about extended driver assistance functions on the new S‑Class that appears to be a continuation of industry trends. This fall – in what is perhaps over-billed as a major step towards autonomous vehicles via driver assistance systems – the Mercedes-Benz S-Class will have Active Distance Assist and Active Steering Assist – forgive the marketing quasi-babble for these complex driver aids that are necessary steps on the road to autonomous vehicles.

Daimler says these will now help the driver in keeping a safe distance and steering the vehicle. The  speed is also now automatically adjusted in curves and at road intersections. Also on board are Active Emergency Stop Assist and an improved Active Lane Change Assist. Continue reading

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