Japanese-brand Automakers Generate 1.52 Million Jobs in US

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A new employment study prepared for the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association’s U.S. office (JAMA USA) by Rutgers University Economics Professor Thomas J. Prusa, PhD, shows Japanese-brand automakers generate 1.52 million jobs throughout the U.S.

It doesn’t estimate how many jobs are lost to oversees manufacturing and imports. Thus, are the loud one-sided volleys in the ongoing automotive trade wars. Continue reading

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Trump Tariffs Hurt New Auto Prices, Jobs, Consumers

AutoInformed.com:

Trump’s proposed tariffs are opposed by virtually every trade group associated with manufacturing.

The National Auto Dealers Association, usually on the Republican right wing side of issues, says that “even after taking into account the mitigating effects of the new United States Mexico Canada Agreement (USMCA, which is not passed), tariffs on autos and auto parts under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 would still be extremely detrimental to consumers and the U.S. economy, and cause significant vehicle prices increases and job losses.”

It appears that NADA is starting to understand research by the respected Center for Automotive Research – oft cited by AutoInformed – that across-the-board tariffs on autos and auto parts would lead to large increases in the prices of all new vehicles sold in the U.S. – along with significant decreases in both annual new-car sales and auto industry jobs. Continue reading

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Woodstock Revisited? Volkswagen ‘Light’ Bus Recreated

AutoInformed.com on Recreation of the Woodstock Light bus- Volkswagen Type 2 van.

Recreation of the Woodstock Light bus, a Volkswagen Type 2 van.

After more than 50 years, the ‘Light’ bus—a Volkswagen Type 2 van made world famous after its appearance at the 1969 Woodstock Art and Music Fair will run again, thanks to money from Volkswagen of America and the greater Volkswagen community. Artist Dr. Bob Hieronimus, who painted the original Light bus, will unveil a recreation this weekend at the Orange Country Transporter Organization (O.C.T.O.) Winter Meet in Long Beach, California.

“The bus is really about being one people on one planet,” says Hieronimus, who is also a ‘symbologist’. “On every side of the bus is a story – many stories – and the stories all point to unification, working together and a higher consciousness, which is what Light really is all about.” Continue reading

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EU Passenger car registrations ‐4.6% in January 2019

During January 2019, the European passenger car market saw a slow start to the year, posting a -4.6% decline compared to one year ago. This makes for six straight months of decline before the impending Brexit disaster takes hold.

AutoInformed.com on Jan 2019 EU Passenger Car Sales

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Battery Handlers or Sorters Untrained, at Risk from Lithium

AutoInformed on Braille Lithium Ion Battery FAA ViolationsOne-fifth of battery handlers and sorters did not receive or provide battery sorting training for new employees, placing their ability to manage spent batteries in question. This potentially puts lead battery recyclers’ employees at risk.

Battery Council International says the lead battery recycling process was uniquely designed for lead batteries. Lead batteries have almost a 100% recycling rate. However, when lithium batteries enter the lead battery recycling stream, they pose a serious threat to lead battery recyclers’ employees and equipment. This is because lithium batteries can explode if they are crushed during the lead battery recycling process. Continue reading

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Doomsday? No-Deal Brexit Impact on UK Light Vehicle Market

AutoInformed.com on no-deal Brexit

A self-administered injection of economic Bubonic Plague?!?

Our friends at LMC Automotive consultancy write that if there are no significant changes to Brexit-related legislation in the UK Parliament between now and 29 March, the automatic operation of law will see the UK leave the EU, with or without a deal.

“The politics appear impossible to predict, but we can examine some aspects of a no-deal scenario, which is no longer unlikely. Our newly launched European Light Vehicle Trade Flow Forecast reveals where some of the biggest risks lie,” said LMC. Continue reading

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J.D. Power – Most Owners Love Their Three-Year-Old Wheels

AutoInformed.com on 2019 US Vehicle Dependability Study by J.D. Power

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Cupid is Japanese in the continuing love story for most owners and their vehicles as overall dependability for three-year-old vehicles improves 4% from last year. Lexus Ranks Highest among Luxury Brands. Toyota Ranks Highest among Mass Market Brands, according to the J.D. Power 2019 U.S. Vehicle Dependability Study (VDS).

“Vehicle dependability continues to improve, but I wouldn’t say that everything is rosy,” noted Dave Sargent, Vice President of Global Automotive at J.D. Power. “Vehicles are more reliable than ever, but automakers are wrestling with problems such as voice recognition, transmission shifts and battery failures. Continue reading

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Travelers Attacks Distracted Driving, Cybersecurity, Weather

AutoInformed.comThe Travelers Institute (NYSE: TRV) has announced its series of 2019 educational forums focused on combating distracted driving, managing cyber risks, insuring autonomous vehicles and preparing for severe weather events. The public policy division of The Travelers Companies presents the programs free of charge and they are open to the public. (Will Updated Ontario Distracted Driving Laws Induce Drivers to Finally Put Down Their Connected Mobile Devices?) Continue reading

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The UK’s First Independent 5G Test Bed for CAVs Now Live

AutoInformed.com on The Airspan led 5G for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CAVs) consortium, AutoAir, working at the Millbrook Proving Grounds (UK)

These are fundamental steps towards enabling the key 5G use cases for CAVs – connected and autonomous vehicles. The AutoAir test bed at Millbrook can also directly contribute to 5G in other adjacent sectors such as Rail Transportation.

An Airspan led consortium of 5G for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CAVs), AutoAir, is working now at the Millbrook Proving Grounds, UK. The consortium announced final deployment of a Hyper-Dense small-cell network of 89 base stations operating in the 2.3 and 3.4-3.8 GHz mid-band spectrum, including a 22-sector high-speed mobility 57-71 GHz mm Wave highway system, delivering 5 Gbit/s every 300m.

The live public demonstrations showed the system delivering greater than 1 Gbit/s capacity to a McLaren sports car traveling at 160 mph on the Millbrook high-speed bowl with handovers occurring every 2 seconds. Real-time Telemetry was provided by McLaren’s Altas system. Continue reading

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FAA Playing Catchup on Drones. Again.

AutoInformed.com on UAS or DronesThe Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has posted a rule in the Federal Register requiring small drone owners to display the FAA-issued registration number on an outside surface of the aircraft. (Duh, airplane owners have been doing this since the last century- editor.) Owners and operators may no longer place or write registration numbers in an interior compartment. The rule is effective on February 25. The markings must be in place for any flight after that date. Continue reading

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Most Loved Vehicle Awards – Tesla and Chevrolet

AutoInformed.com on Most Loved Vehicle Awards - Tesla and Chevrolet

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The Tesla Model 3 comes in at the top spot of this year’s Most Loved Vehicle Awards, according to Strategic Vision’s 2018 Customer Love Index (CLI) measure. The same research claims Chevrolet is building strong connections with their products and messages.

CLI puports to measure the amount of love that consumers have for products. Along all aspects of the vehicle, from styling and performance to tire and wipers, “Love” is the holy grail of customer experience. Love directly influences customer loyalty and product advocacy and is measured in terms of “emographics,” or the emotional profile of a population, which is crucial to understanding the “why” of decision-making. Continue reading

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Rubber Soul? First-Ever UX to Celebrate a Sneaker

AutoInformed.com on Lexus 2019 Sole of the UX - a rubber sneaker?

Lexus 2019 Sole of the UX – a rubber sneaker?

Lexus says that to celebrate the launch of the first-ever 2019 UX, a compact crossover, Lexus partnered with designer John Elliott to create the “Sole of the UX” — custom tires inspired by his John Elliott x Nike AF1 shoe.

“The tires re-imagine the classic silhouette of Elliott’s sneaker, embodying the spirit of clean, purposeful, and modern design. Tires that, like the crossover itself, are inspired by and designed for the city,” Lexus said. Continue reading

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Wither US Automotive Sales? Uncertainties Abound

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CAR’s latest automotive sales outlook forecasts U.S. light vehicle sales at 16.8 million units for 2019. The forecast includes a continuation of sales declines in 2020 down to 16.5 million units in 2021.

As most know by now, U.S. auto sales thumped most forecasts to end 2018 at 17.3 million units. However, AutoInformed notes that forecasters we respect are not as optimistic about 2019. The latest “on the other hand” cautionary signal comes from the Center for Automotive Research.

CAR notes that there are “many risks to the 2019 automotive outlook: Will 2019 be the start of the economic downturn? How will U.S. trade policies affect the auto industry? Will regulatory and technological developments start to change what products are made and sold in North America?” Continue reading

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Cars for Cheese? EU Turning Point in Japanese Localization

AutoInformed.com on EU Japanese Brand Light Vehicle Production as a Percent of Country Light Vehicle Production - Courtesy LMC Automotive Consultancy

Bloody hell have the British gone daft?

Our friends at consultancy LMC Automotive write that “over the past 30 years or so, Japanese OEMs have been significant investors in the UK’s automotive industry. However, Nissan’s recent decision to cancel capacity expansion plans, and not build the next X-Trail model at its UK flagship plant in Sunderland, could potentially mark a more general turning point in Japan’s commitment to the automotive industry in Britain.”

AutoInformed viewers might remember that we have been flummoxed at the prospect of Brexit – a job destroying machine fueled by xenophobia, the breakup of small villages and resentment over sending Eurocrats in Belgium British Pounds. It’s not only angry white Trump voters who are self-destructive, the UK under the Brexit fiasco is about to lose £9 Billion a year due to a conservative Republican-like temper tantrum that will materially hurt middle class workers, as well as society as a whole. Continue reading

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Midwest Automotive Media Association Family Vehicles of Year

AutoInform.ed.com on MAMA Family Vehicle Awards - Chicago Auto Show February 2019

“Choosing a family vehicle is an important decision,” said MAMA award coordinator Tim Healey. We agree

The Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA) announced at the Chicago Auto Show that the 2019 Subaru Ascent has been named the winner of its ninth annual Family Vehicle of the Year award, and the 2019 Volvo XC40 has been named the inaugural winner of the Luxury Family Vehicle of the Year award. MAMA is a nonprofit group of automotive journalists  (including AutoInformed) and public relations professionals. MAMA developed the awards to help car-shopping families make a wise decision when they’re ready for a new vehicle.

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