SEAT Sets Profit Record of €143m in 2016

AutoInformed.com on SEAT

SEAT is the only company that designs, develops, manufactures and markets vehicles in Spain.

SEAT posted its best financial results in its history in 2016, concluding the year with an operating profit of €143* million (2015: €-7 million), and profit after tax before extraordinary effects of €232 million euros (2015: €6 million). Worldwide sales were nearly 410,000 vehicles.

SEAT is a member of the Volkswagen Group, the multinational has its headquarters in Martorell (Barcelona), exporting 81% of its vehicles in over 80 countries through a network of 1,700 dealerships. Continue reading

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CARB Defies Trump on Vehicle Emission Standards

AutoInformed.com on California emission standards

The courts have long upheld California’s right to set its own emission standards.

The California Air Resources Board voted unanimously to continue with its vehicle greenhouse gas emission standards and zero-emission vehicle program for cars and light trucks sold in California through 2025. This occurred  as Nit Twit Trump was getting his butt kicked on the non-affordable non-health care act that would “replace the Affordable Health Care Act on day one” of his now beleaguered Administration. Sixty plus days in, Trump folded without a Plan B to make good on his promise to kill health care for the elderly and middle class, while giving tax cuts to the supper-rich. (CARB Issues Mid-Term CAFE, Green House Gas Review and Trump Lies – Healthcare Bill Boots 24m, Eventually Keeps 52m from Insurance Because of Tax Cuts for Favored Rich) Continue reading

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Texas Drunk Driving Deaths Lead Nation

AutoInformed.com on drunk driving.

In other research, drivers told NHTSA that they rarely consider traffic situations when deciding when to use their phone.

Texas leads the nation as the state with the most traffic deaths due to drunk driving and the most traffic deaths overall in the U.S. in 2015, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, aka NHTSA. More than 35% of road deaths in Texas resulted from alcohol-impaired driving.

Each day, 28 people in the United States die in an alcohol-related vehicle crash. That’s one person every 53 minutes, says NHTSA. Drunk driving fatalities have fallen by a third in the last three decades; however, the chance of being in an alcohol-impaired crash is still one in three over the course of a lifetime. These deaths and damages contribute to a cost of $52 billion per year. Continue reading

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Population Growth – Maricopa County Adds 222 People Per Day

AutoInformed.com on population growth

Click to enlarge.

Maricopa County, Ariz., replaced Harris County, Texas, as the county with the nation’s highest annual population growth, according to U.S. Census Bureau population just released. Harris County was the largest numeric gainer for eight years in a row.

Maricopa County gained 81,360 people between July 1, 2015 and July 1, 2016, or about 222 people per day, while the nation’s second-largest population gainer, Harris County, gained 56,587 people, or about 155 people per day on average. Continue reading

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Life Sentences for Maruti Suzuki Workers

AutoInformed.com on Corrupt Indian Courts - Maruti Suzuki CaseThe Gurgaon district court in India has sentenced 13 union officials to life imprisonment. To express their dissent against the judgment, workers in six different Maruti Suzuki plants downed their tools for one hour this week.

The contentious case in India’s notoriously biased courts backed up by violent police forces that favor ownership and the rich, stems from a violent incident at Maruti Suzuki on 18 July 2012 that resulted in the death of a manager. Continue reading

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Tesla True Believers Note Quality Problems, Still Love Brand

AutoInformed - Tesla Model S P100D

Tesla True Believers are immune to being unhappy because of quality problems.

Quality troubles accompanying Tesla Model S and Model X have little influence on the gushing affection Tesla True Believers have for these cars and the brand, according to a Teal owners J.D. Power report titled “Tesla: Beyond the Hype.”

“Tesla owners see themselves as pioneers who enjoy being early adopters of new technology,” claimed Kathleen Rizk, director, global automotive consulting at J.D. Power. Continue reading

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Digital Media is Dirty, Rife with Kickbacks, Fraudulent Claims

The Association of National Advertisers is going after  digital media from Amazon, Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Foursquare because they do not have independent audits of ad campaigns.

“Embrace the transparency,” said Bill Duggan, exec VP, ANA. The ANA polled its members from the ad industry, and virtually all of them viewed independent audits of digital media as positive. The rest were neutral or likely had some privacy concerns about tracking consumers, Mr. Duggan said. Continue reading

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2 Millionth Duramax Diesel Engine Built

AutoInformed.com on Duromax Diesel EnginesGeneral Motors, DMAX, and I.U.E.-CWA Local 755 employees celebrated the assembly of the 2 millionth Duramax 6.6L V-8 turbo-diesel engine this week. Groundbreaking for the new DMAX, Ltd. plant began in 1998, with the first engine rolling off the line 17 July 2000. DMAX when established had GM taking 60% ownership. Isuzu owns 40% of the joint venture. Continue reading

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CARB Issues Next Gen Emissions Reduction Plan

AutoInformed.com on Global Warming and CO2The California Air Resources Board approved what it says are “two critical efforts” to provide cleaner air for all Californians. CARB approved the State Strategy for the State Implementation Plan (State SIP Strategy), which describes CARB’s commitment for further reducing vehicle emissions needed to meet federal air quality standards over the next 15 years. The Board also approved the South Coast Air Quality Management District’s comprehensive air quality plan.

It was a double-barrel shotgun blast aimed accurately at the beleaguered Nit Twit Trump Administration. Twelve other states have adopted California emission standards on for vehicles. The courts have consistently held – for decades – that California has the right to do so. (Memo: Trump can’t fire Federal or Supreme Court justices. Reload.)  Continue reading

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Microsoft Licenses Toyota Connected Car Technology

Microsoft Corporation has a new licensing agreement with Toyota Corporation that includes broad coverage for connected car technologies needed for autonomous vehicles. Today’s agreement builds on a previous ones going back to 2011 that include their collaboration on the Azure-based Toyota Big Data Center. Whether customers will accept Giant Smartphones on wheels remains an open question. Continue reading

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U.S. Leads Powertrain Aftermarket but Trails in Trends

The U.S. leads the North American fore sales of powertrain aftermarket components, accounting for 86% of overall sales, or $10.3 billion, in 2016. However, through 2021, aftermarket powertrain demand in Mexico will expand at the fastest rate, though from an admittedly small base. Factors sustaining demand in Mexico include the advanced age of much of the country’s light vehicle population buoying the probability that long-lasting powertrain components will need to be repaired or replaced, according to a study from The Freedonia Group, a Cleveland-based consultancy.

Mexico’s hot climate contributes to vehicle overheating and powertrain component damage along with poor road conditions in many areas, increasing powertrain wear and tear. How this differs from U.S. conditions was not clear. As was the silence on where the U.S. sold parts were built. Continue reading

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FAA Aviation Forecast: Continued Growth in Air Travel, Drones

AutoInformed.comThe FAA in its annual Aviation Forecast Report Fiscal Years 2017 to 2037 says there will be “sustained and continued growth” in the ~2%-5% range will occur in nearly every aspect of air travel from general aviation, private flying, to large commercial airline passenger levels. U.S. Real GDP is forecast to increase from $16.6 trillion in 2016 to $25.4 trillion in 2037, an average annual rate of 2.1%. World GDP is forecast to grow at a faster pace of 2.8% over the same 21-year period, from $76.7 trillion to $137.1 trillion.  Continue reading

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FCA Dedicates World Class Manufacturing Academy

FCA U.S. celebrated the opening of two new training facilities in the Hoosier state of Indiana during a ceremony today at the World Class Manufacturing Academy housed inside the Tipton Transmission Plant. Via a live feed linking the Tipton location with a second training site at the UAW-Chrysler National Training Center (NTC) in Kokomo, FCA showed a hands-on curriculum that was developed for 8,200 local powertrain employees. Continue reading

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Corvette Racing Wins Third Straight Twelve Hours of Sebring

AutoInformed.com on 12 Hours of Sebring

The No. 3 Chevrolet Corvette C7.R driven by Antonio Garcia, Jan Magnussen, Mike Rockenfeller were first last Saturday, winning the IMSA 12 Hours of Sebring GTLM Class.

There’s a reason why factory teams field multiple car entries in sports car endurance racing as was amply demonstrated last weekend during the Twelve Hours of Sebring. And it come about last year at the 12Hours of Sebring. In 2016, the No. 3 Corvette crashed spectacularly, ending up 41st overall in the 48-car field. But the No. 4 Corvette team car took the GT Le Mans (GTLM – production based cars) class win.

This year, at the 65th Twelve Hours of Sebring, the racing gods reversed the roles: The No. 4 Corvette finished 46th – that’s last place – after cooling issues that couldn’t be solved sent the car to the trailer. That left the No. 3 Corvette running against the Ford Chip Ganassi team that sent three Ford GTs to Sebring, hoping to complete their string of  top endurance race wins – the 2016 24 Hours of Le Mans, the 2017 Rolex 24 at Daytona, and now the Twelve Hours of Sebring.

The Ford GTs posted faster lap times than the Corvette, as did one of the two new Porsche 911 RSRs. However, this is endurance racing. Speed matters. Who is leading on the last lap is decisive.  Caveat – speed in the pits can be a big help, and with four classes  of cars on the track, traffic is a large factor as well. Continue reading

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Daimler at China Development Forum – Pure Money, Politics

AutoInformed.com on China

The only place there isn’t traffic in China is at a Communist-run facility.

The China Development Forum that just took place in Beijing sees government representatives and international business leaders discuss the future of China’s economic development. China, of course, is at odds with President Trump for its import taxes – automobiles being high on the list – and its trade policies and currency manipulation. (Trump versus Auto Industry – Outcome Could be Ugly)

Several hundred attendees explored the topic “China and the World: Economic Transformation through Structural Reform” in sessions at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse. Daimler Chairman Dieter Zetsche at the forum outlined trends in the automotive industry and the company’s approach to reshaping mobility. Continue reading

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