VW Group Electric Shuffle – Emden, Hanover to build EVs

AutoInformed.com on VW to Electrify 3 German Plants

The transition to e-mobility means fewer jobs as a result.

The Supervisory Board of Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft has approved new production assignment plans that ultimately will eliminate assembly jobs. The plants in Emden and Hanover will be converted to build electric vehicles: models from the ID. Family. They will begin rolling off the assembly lines in 2022. In order to serve growth in Europe going forward, the Group will be expanding its production capacity post-2022 with an additional plant in Eastern Europe. WV Group has 660,000 employees all over the world – 290,000 of them in Germany.

In the future, electric small cars and sedans from several brands will be built in Emden, while Hanover will specialize in the production of the ID. BUZZ family, in addition to building vehicles with conventional drives. I.D. BUZZ, a VW Microbus like EV, will arrive at dealerships after a compact four-door I.D. model in 2022. Volkswagen is mainly targeting the markets in North America, Europe and China with both the I.D. BUZZ and the I.D. family overall. Continue reading

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Mazda-Toyota Plant Under Construction in U.S.

AutoInformed.com on Mazda Toyota Manufacturing

Toyota’s attempt to prop up an ailing Mazda along with the politically convenient claim about creating jobs?

In Huntsville, Alabama dirt is now moving for what will become a jointly owned-and-operated automotive production plant that will have the capacity to build 300,000 vehicles a year.

Beginning in 2021. Mazda Toyota Manufacturing, U.S.A., Inc. (MTMUS) is expected to create 4,000 jobs, with a $1.6 billion investment split by the two companies.

The plant will build Toyota’s Corolla, whose all-new 2020 model which will make its public debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show in California, and Mazda’s yet-to-be revealed crossover model. (Read AutoInformed on:  Toyota and Mazda JV to Build Cars in U.S. Trumped?, Mazda and Toyota Establish JV to build Vehicles in Alabama) Continue reading

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Trade Union Leader Assassinated in Turkey

AutoInformed.com on Turkish Union Leader assassinated at Goodyear factory

The Turkish government is not a U.S. friend. President Trump is using U.S. people as political pawns while members of his administration collected huge fees from Turkey.

The IndustriALL Global Union tells AutoInformed that it “is horrified to hear that Brother Abdullah Karacan, general president of our Turkish affiliate DİSK/Lastik-İş (Rubber and Chemical Workers’ Union) was assassinated last week, while visiting union members at a Goodyear factory in the city of Adapazarı.”

Regional president of Lastik-İş Mustafa Sipahi and shop steward Osman Bayraktar were also hit by the gunman. Bayraktar remains in critical condition after the attack. Continue reading

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Hyundai Motor Links to UAV Startup Top Flight

Hyundai Motor has formed a “strategic partnership” with Top Flight Technologies, a startup in hybrid-electric unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) technologies, in the latest automaker move  in an attempt to position itself for unknown as future mobility solutions. Potential areas for business development include cargo transport, inspection services and surveillance missions for industrial sites.

AutoInformed.com on Top Flight Technologies Drones

Hyundai’s Top Flight deal is another example of activity at all auto companies who are trying to create a foothold in future mobility markets, whatever that means or whatever it becomes.

The Boston-based startup and Korean Hyundai will “explore ways to accelerate the commercial application and deployment of UAVs across various sectors and markets. Joint efforts will extend to seeking new business opportunities around UAVs, using Top Flight’s patented hybrid-electric power system. The global UAV (aka ‘drones’) market, is growing at a fast pace, expected to garner $22.1 billion by 2026. Continue reading

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Global Light Vehicle Sales Drop in October

AutoInformed.com on Global Light Vehicle Sales - October 2018. Courtesy LMC Global Light Vehicle (LV) sales fell 3.8% in year-on-year (YoY) terms in October, while the selling rate rose to 92.2 million units/year, from September’s 90.2 million units/year, according to consultancy LMC. The continuing cooling of the Chinese LV market is a significant influence over global sales, while Western Europe has been slow to recover from WLTP-related disruption (Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicle Test Procedure). North American sales were virtually flat YoY in October, with some of the few areas of growth coming from Japan and Korea. (October Western European Passenger Car Sales Drop -7.3%, Brexit Panic Takes Hold. Auto Industry Urges – Begs? – Negotiators to Avert the Business Killing Worst-Case Scenario) Continue reading

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Aston Martin DBX SUV Prototype Now in Testing

AutoInformed.com on Aston Martin DBX performance truck

Looks to be a thoroughly mainstream crossover SUV?

Aston Martin’s first SUV – DBX – has the first development prototype being put through its paces along a Welsh Rally stage in the hands of the company’s Chief Engineer, Matt Becker. This first test is the start of an extensive testing program – begun in Wales, as a nod to Aston Martins’ new St Athan production facility in the Vale of Glamorgan.

Although simulation is an essential part of DBX’s early development phase, this first prototype drive in Wales starts ‘real world’ testing, in which the SUV will be subjected to a punishing regime that will ultimately see development prototypes of the all-new machine tackle some of the world’s harshest environments, from the Arctic and deserts of the Middle East to high Alpine passes and the high-speed demands of the German autobahn and Nürburgring Nordschleife. (Read: Glub? Aston Martin Going into Submarine Business!)

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Chevy Performance Releases Colorado ZR2 Race Parts

AutoInformed.com on Colorado racings parts

The aftermarket parts were developed by Chevrolet Performance engineering in collaboration with Multimatic and Hall Racing.

Well they are not saying there’s a little Colorado ZR2 inside every Corvette yet, however Chevrolet continues to expand the Colorado ZR2 mid-size truck’s performance envelope with the introduction of 15 factory race components developed and validated over 10,000 miles of off-road racing.

The 15 new components  – $500 to +$4,000 MSRP – claim to elevate Colorado ZR2’s desert-running abilities to “professional levels.” It’s all part of the performance truck segment that is exploding at GM, Ford, Ram and Toyota. Continue reading

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Delphi: Improved Efficiency, Emissions with Autonomous Hardware, Software and a Super Computerized Controller

AutoInformed.com on SAE Autonomous Vehicle Driving Levels

SAE Autonomous Vehicle Driving Levels.

What do you get when you combine autonomous vehicle hardware with vehicle-to-vehicle or vehicle-to-infrastructure via the cloud and add a super control computer? (See SAE Autonomous Driving Levels)

Well, thinking outside the existing controller and regulatory boxes, Delphi claims that by adding a super controller, improved emissions, fuel economy and possibly safety can all be improved. It’s dubbed Intelligent Driving in Michigan and will likely have lots of competition from competing suppliers or automakers.

A morning of test driving a 1.8-liter, turbocharged, mild hybrid gasoline fueled Volkswagen Passat on a new test track at Kettering University in Flint (nee GMI) shows that an intelligent cruise control system made smarter with position, road and traffic data can boost fuel economy by  ~16%.

On average for the group of journalists I was with, the Intelligent Drive system improved fuel consumption by 16% compared to not using the system, while showing only about 4% longer time to complete the route. The Intelligent Driving system can be calibrated to be more or less aggressive. Comparing my personal data, both with and without Intelligent Driving active, the Intelligent Driving controls used 18% less fuel and took 16 seconds longer (144 seconds).

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Mercedes-AMG Petronas Win F1 Constructors’ Championship

AutoInformed.com on Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport Win 2018 F1 Constructors Championship in Brazil.

Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport Win 2018 F1 Constructors Championship in Brazil. Ferrari was second.

Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport have won the FIA Formula One Constructors’ Championship for the fifth consecutive time last Sunday Ferrari was second. It was also a victory for the latest and most sophisticated automotive technology claimed Mercedes-Benz.

“When we re-joined Formula One with a works Mercedes team in 2010, it was part of a long-term strategic plan,” said Ola Källenius, member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, responsible for Group Research & Mercedes-Benz Cars Development. “One of our objectives was to showcase the performance capabilities of Mercedes technology on the race track. Continue reading

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Moovel Shows Digital Marketplace for Mobility as a Service

AutoInformed.com on moovel

Fare Connect combines the performance of moovel’s mobile-ticketing software with the speed of contact-less technology, thereby further simplifying access to mobility.

Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) pioneer moovel (sic) will be showcasing the latest products to  help cities with mobility is at this year’s Smart City Expo World Congress, which is being held in Barcelona from November 13 to 15.

The Smart City Expo World Congress says it wants to strengthen cities with a unique platform focusing on sustainable and future-oriented urban development. As a Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) platform, moovel offers cities and transit authorities the opportunity to boost access to mobility and thus make it more attractive with a tailored mobility app. Continue reading

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Johnson Controls to Sell Power Solutions for $13.2 Billion

Johnson Controls International (NYSE: JCI) today announced an agreement to sell its Power Solutions business to Brookfield Business Partners L.P. (NYSE:BBU) (TSX:BBU.UN) together with institutional partners including Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec in a cash transaction valued at $13.2 billion. Johnson appears to be selling a profitable business unit with a bright future in order to bolster other businesses. Continue reading

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Magna International Posts Record Q3 Earnings

AutoInformed.com on Magna Earnings 9 months 2018Magna International Inc. (TSX: MG; NYSE: MGA) today reported financial results for the third quarter ended September 30, 2018:  Record third quarter sales, up 9% year over year to $9.6 billion. However, sales were slightly lower than Magna anticipated, mainly due to lower than expected light vehicle production. Adjusted EBIT was below the comparable quarter in 2017 and was less than what Magna expected.  Continue reading

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Daimler and Bosch Target San José for Automated Ride-Hailing


A highly selective test, but a small step toward an autonomous future.

San José, the third city in California, is planned to be the pilot for trials, during the second half of 2019 for a highly and fully automated driving (SAE Level 4/5) on-demand ride-hailing service.

Daimler, Bosch and San José have signed a memorandum of understanding to pursue this test. Using automated Mercedes-Benz S-Class vehicles, Daimler will offer the service to a selected users in the San Carlos/Stevens Creek corridor between downtown and west San José. With its population expected to grow 40% in the next two decades, the metropolitan area faces growing transportation challenges. Continue reading

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SAE Autonomous Driving Levels

AutoInformed.com on SAE Autonomous Vehicle Driving Levels

SAE Autonomous Vehicle Driving Levels. Click to Enlarge.

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Ford Buys E-Scooter Company Spin

Ford Smart Mobility has bought Spin, a San Francisco-based electric scooter-sharing company that provides customers “an alternative for first- and last-mile transportation.” Spin, a dockless electric scooter sharing company is said to be a leading micro-mobility service provider with operations in 13 cities and campuses across the U.S. Using a Spin electric scooter costs $1 to rent and 15 cents per minute.

AutoInformed.com on Ford Spin E-Scooter

Ford Spin E-Scooter.

Spin is the latest move by Ford in the so-called “mobility space,” as the company attempts to build businesses that will help its poor operational  and stock performance. Some company or companies – and it is an open and ever-expanding field – will provide mobility businesses to help customers get places more easily, more quickly and, allegedly, less expensively. Continue reading

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