EPA Keeps 54.5 MPG Fuel Economy Rules in Place

AutoInformed.com on 54.5 mpg fuel economy from EPA

“Automakers are well positioned to meet greenhouse gas emissions standards for model years 2022-2025,” said U.S. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy.

Automakers are squealing about the just announced EPA plan to keep 54.5 mpg fuel economy regulations in place after a detailed technical analysis of the industries progress thus far.

The agency’s rule still must be finalized after a 30-day comment period that would close before Donald Trump’s inauguration. 

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Black Friday Boosts November U.S. Auto Sales

When November U.S. auto sales are released tomorrow, it’s expected to tally at 1,365,369 new cars and trucks sold with an estimated Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate (SAAR) of 17.6 million. The projected sales volume is unchanged from October 2016, but a 2.7% increase from November 2015. This would be a November record, eclipsing the 1,329,668 new cars sold in November last year. Year-to-date sales are essentially the same – as the 15,838,458 sales recorded through the first eleven months of 2015’s record-breaking year. Continue reading

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Audi, BMW, Daimler, Ford, Porsche, Volkswagen Plan EV Charging Network

AutoInformed.com on EU Electric Vehicle Charging NetworkIn what appears to be a breakthrough in cooperation among automakers, the BMW Group, Daimler, Ford Motor and Volkswagen with Audi and Porsche have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to create the highest-powered charging network in Europe. The Joint Venture formation is subject to execution agreements and merger control approval in various jurisdictions. Notably absent are FCA, Renault, Citroen, Nissan and other major Japanese and Korean automakers.

The goal is to quickly build a high-powered charging network with power levels up to 350 Kw. This will be faster than the most powerful charging system in use today. Construction starts in 2017. Continue reading

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Milestones – Ford Twin Cities Plant in Minnesota

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Ford Ranger created the compact truck market in the U.S. Ford abandoned the perennial Top Ten seller because it wouldn’t spend the money to update Ranger to make it competitive with newer Toyota and Nissan small pickups.

There’s a new book ($39.95 plus shipping and tax) published December 1 by the University of Minnesota Press, The Ford Century in Minnesota, about its Twin Cities plant.

The book will prove of considerable interest – and good reading – by and for automotive, enthusiasts, historians, journalists, as well as both Labor and Industry folks.

It’s a big book, 364 pages in a large folio format with nearly 200 photographs, many never previously published. It’s a good book that I highly recommend. Continue reading

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VW Diesel Emissions Settlements – Wisconsin Tax Rules

AutoInformed.com - VW Diesel ScandalVolkswagen reached a settlement with Federal and California regulators when it agreed to make cash payments to VW and Audi owners with vehicles that have illegal diesel emissions. To avoid confusion, the Wisconsin Department of Revenue has issued guidance on the sales tax implications of this settlement for Wisconsin residents. Tax implications, of course, will depend on local regulations, and whether a pollution fix is ultimately approved. The fact that VW cheated to meet the standards doesn’t bode well for a legal fix. (AutoInformed.com on  U.S. Court Grants $14.7 Billion Plea in VW Diesel Fraud Case. Criminal Charges, Fines, Stockholder Lawsuits Outstanding) Continue reading

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Thanksgiving 2016 Sees a Divided People

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The larger issue remains a U.S. strategy conducted and, alas, directed in Washington by big money interests that care not about the health and welfare of its citizens who are not sharing in the wealth.

Thanksgiving is rooted in the traditions of early 17th century pilgrims, illegal immigrants or transplants, as celebrations of survival because of bountiful, and more importantly shared harvests. This was the beginning of “We the People.”

President George Washington presiding from New York City, a freedom fighter that the British regarded as a terrorist – first designated the celebration of Thanksgiving by our national government a century later in 1789. Previously the Continental Congress of our nascent republic proclaimed several such days at varying times during the war of rebellion against England. Continue reading

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Three New 2017 AMG GT Models on Sale

AutoInformed.com on AMG GTAMG is extending its in-house-developed family of sports cars with the addition of three new models. The selling claim is motor racing technology for the road and cutting-edge features.

“The AMG GT R is an elite athlete that delivers a breathtaking driving experience” AMG said.
Continue reading

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Holiday Travel Put at 36.8 billion Miles

AutoInformed.com on Thanksgiving Travel and SpendingAmericans are expected to log 36.8 billion miles on the road this holiday visiting family and friends – a 46% increase (11.6 billion miles) compared to 2015.* These findings are based on the results of an online survey commissioned Bridgestone and conducted by Harris Poll in October 2015 and November 2016. (See U.S. Thanksgiving: 48.7 Million Traveling. Most on Wheels) The survey also found that Americans plan to spend a combined average of $48.9 billion on travel – airfare, hotel, meals, gas – during the holiday season, about $3 billion less than last year. ** Continue reading

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Under Water? Biggest Cash Deals on Black Friday

AutoInformed.com on Bl;ack Friday Auto DealsWith new car dealerships striving to meet year-end sales goals, and automakers offering generous incentive and rebate programs, Black Friday has become one of the busiest sale days of the year at many auto dealerships.

Shoppers should focus on 2016 model year vehicles, which dealers are rushing to clear off their lots. They therefore have the most generous deals. Continue reading

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Teamsters Strike at Selland Auto Transport

EAutoInformed.com on Teamsters Strike at Selland Auto Transportarly this morning, 250 drivers, mechanics and owner-operators who work for Selland Auto Transport went on strike over Selland’s “multiple violations of federal law meant to protect workers’ rights.”

The workers are picketing at 11 locations in Washington, Oregon, Montana, California, and Utah with picket signs that say “On Strike/Selland Doesn’t Deliver.” Continue reading

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Trump Claims Jobs Victory on Minor Tweak in Ford Production

AutoInformed.com on Lincoln MKC and Donald Trump.

Ford employee Karen Hannon on the MKC Louisville assembly line.

In a terse statement at the end of last week, Ford Motor Company said it confirmed “with the President-elect Trump that, with his support, our small Lincoln utility vehicle made at the Louisville Assembly Plant will stay in Kentucky.

“We are encouraged that President-elect Trump and the new Congress will pursue policies that will improve U.S. competitiveness and make it possible to keep production of this vehicle here in the United States,” Ford said.

Trump used twitter to say that he recorded a hard-won victory for American autoworkers by persuading Ford to keep a Lincoln plant in Louisville, Ky., rather than move it to Mexico. Well, not quite. All Ford had said was that it was moving the Lincoln MKC – a compact crossover built off the Ford Escape architecture to Mexico. Continue reading

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NextEV NIO EP9 – World’s Fastest EV?

AutoInformed.com on NextEV NIO EP9Today, at the Saatchi Gallery in London, UK, electric car company *NextEV unveiled its brand, NIO.  NextEV claims that the electric car brand will help users “rediscover the ‘joyful lifestyle’ of car ownership by creating vehicles that deliver superior performance, an aesthetic design and unique user experiences.”

NextEV unveiled its electric supercar, NIO EP9, which set a new lap record at the Nürburgring Nordschleife. Last month, the EP9 lapped the 20.8 km ‘Green Hell’ in 7m 05.12s, beating the previous EV lap record, making it the fastest electric car in the world. This month, it broke the EV record at Circuit Paul Ricard in France, recording a time of 1m 52.78s, outdoing the previous record of 2m 40s. Continue reading

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Bahrain – Audi One, Two. Porsche Wins Drivers’ Title

AutoInformed.com on 2016 WEC at BahrainIn its last race in World Endurance Cup, Audi dominated Bahrain by taking the first two spots on the podium. However, the new WEC driver world champions, Romain Dumas (FR), Neel Jani (CH) and Marc Lieb (DE) in the #2 Porsche only came in sixth after contact with another car early in the race. Since Toyota had another hapless race –Stéphane Sarrazin, Mike Conway and Kamui Kobayashi in the #6 Toyota Hybrid began the race with an outside chance of the drivers’ World Championship, but fifth place was not enough to beat the Porsche #2 team. This was enough for Porsche to take the Drivers title after securing the maker’s title two weeks ago at Shanghai (Porsche Clinches WEC Manufacturer’s Title at Shanghai). Continue reading

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Bahrain – Porsche Battling Toyota, Audi for WEC Drivers’ Title

AutoInformed.com on WEC - Bahrain 2016Porsche might have been the favorite having captured the maker’s championship (Porsche Clinches WEC Manufacturer’s Title at Shanghai) two weeks ago in Shanghai, but Audi put in a strong Bahrain qualifying session, while Toyota once again flubbed it.

The #8 Audi R18 took the first spot on the grid in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) finale, despite an engine change directly before qualifying. Having set the six best times in nine qualifying sessions this year, Audi has dominated qualifying during the 2016 season, the last one it will run in WEC. During the 2015 season, no other car managed to start from the front row of the grid than the Porsche 919.(Audi Dumps World Endurance Cup Racing and Le Mans after 18 Years of Success for Boring Formula E?) Continue reading

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Lexus Serves Sriracha IS – Hot and Spicy

AutoInformed.com on Lexus Sriracha ISWhether this is an early April Fool’s spoof or luxury automaker Lexus is serious about bringing a playful, potentially dangerous take to a concept IS sedan by partnering with Sriracha sauce remains to be seen.

Marketing spoof, sense of humor from the humorless Japanese, or just plain fun, fast food without substance – you decide? Continue reading

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