Chinese CATL and Honda Alliance to Make EV Batteries, Technology and Maybe Autonomous Vehicles

Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. (SZ: 300750) and Honda (TYO: 7267)have signed an agreement for a “comprehensive strategic alliance on new energy vehicle batteries to strengthen their strategic partnership and promote the popularization of electrified vehicles.” Honda has acquired ~1% of CATL shares through CATL’s non-public issuance of stocks. This makes Honda a leading strategic partner of CATL.

The companies said the agreement will enable them to begin discussions on a broad range of areas including joint development, stable supply, and the recycling and reuse of batteries. Honda is spreading the risk and costs and hedging its bets on battery electric vehicles, the development of which is threatened by the ongoing Covid crisis that has already cost automotive companies billions of dollars. A key byproduct of EVS is autonomous vehicles – which may not justify the investment required for a decade or more. Continue reading

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Toyota Plating Machine Significantly Reduces CO2

Ken Zino on Toyota Stamping-type Plating - AutoInformed

Toyota is also providing its patents and expertise to vacuum press manufacturer Mikado Technos, which has incorporated its own technologies to develop and manufacture a stamping-type plating machine for sale through Kanematsu.

As the world swelters and arctic fires burn uncontrolled, Toyota Motor Corporation is reducing CO2. Toyota is using the world’s first stamping-type plating technology that has a polymer membrane (solid electrolyte membrane), through which metal ions can pass, to apply plating only to areas requiring it. The technology is used in the plating process for forming copper, nickel, and other metal coatings on substrates during the manufacturing of electronic parts.

This new stamping-type plating machine eliminates the need of a dipping process where parts to be plated are completely immersed in multiple baths of plating solution, which is required in the most common plating processes at present. As a result, waste solution can be dramatically reduced to about one-thirtieth and CO2 emissions to about one-third, which contributes to a significant reduction in environmental impact. The technology also reduces plating time and the process footprint.
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Covid Coupon – Carryover Pricing on 2021 Corvette

AutoInformed - Ken Zino of AutoInformed,com on 2021 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Coupe and ConvertibleThe 2021 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray has carryover pricing – the same as the introductory model – with MSRP starting at $59,995 for the coupe and $67,495 for the convertible. Both models include destination freight charge.
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COVID-19 Auto Related Closings, Openings, Closings

AutoInformed.com on COVID-19 - Stringency of U.S. Response Lags-

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Up next on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Quaker State 400 presented by Walmart this Sunday, July 12, at 4 p.m. ET on FS1, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. Other races start tomorrow on the 9th. (see NASCAR below)

The “Tour of Europe in 1949 Hours” restarts today from Turin (6 July). The marketing ploy is a European tour on board the Abarth 695 70th Anniversario, on a multi-stage route of around 3,700 km, from the Netherlands to Portugal. More than half of the 1,949 limited edition models have already been sold It’s restarting after the prolonged pit stop over the last few months due to the COVIS-19 lockdown.

After starting in late February from the Dutch village of Lijnden, about 10 km from Amsterdam, the Abarth 695 first reached Belgium, then arrived in Germany. It stopped there due to the lockdown, when the special series returned to Turin – the city ​​of Abarth’s first office, which remains the headquarters of the Scorpion brand and the Heritage Hub, housing some of the most important cars produced by Abarth throughout its history.

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Uber to Acquire Postmates, Cornershop Closing in Days

Uber Technologies, Inc. (NYSE: UBER) and Postmates Inc. say they have reached an agreement where Uber will acquire Postmates for approximately $2.65 billion in an all-stock transaction. The Postmates transaction brings together Uber’s global Rides and Eats platform with Postmates’ delivery business in the U.S. Postmates is roughly the same as Uber Eats, with different geographic  areas and customers.

Postmates does business with small- and medium-sized restaurants, particularly local favorites that draw customers to the Postmates brand. Postmates has been an early pioneer of “delivery-as-a-service,” which complements Uber’s growing survival efforts in the delivery of groceries, essentials, and other goods.
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Toyota Recalls 266k More Prius Models for Stalling

Ken Zino of AutoInformed.com on Toyota Prius Recalls

Sudden stalling caused by a software defect.

Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing is recalling more than 266,000 2013-2015 Prius and 2014-2017 Prius V hybrid vehicles originally not included in recall 18V-684. Excessive voltage in the Intelligent Power Module (IPM) within the Denso inverter may cause the hybrid system to shut down, causing the vehicle to suddenly stall while being driven.

With this safety defect, power steering and braking will not be affected. However, a hybrid system that shuts down without entering a fail-safe mode could result in the vehicle losing motive power while driving at higher speeds, increasing the risk of a crash.   Continue reading

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Xpeng Now Delivering P7 Intelligent EV Sports Sedan

AutoInformed Ken Zino of AutoInformed.com on Xpeng P7 EV

China is clearly moving forward on being a dominant player in high technology and emergent digital technologies.

Xpeng Motors has begun nation-wide delivery of its new P7 smart EV sports sedan to customers. The “super-long range” sports sedan Xpeng P7, a pure EV, is the company’s second production model at ~$32,400 – $49,200.The P7 is available through Xpeng’s growing 190-store sales and service network, including 99 experience centers, 64 service centers and 27 sales outlets in 57 cities in China.

The P7 claims cutting-edge autonomous vehicle and electric vehicle technology. On paper it’s formidable. P7 arrives as the Trump Administration is being outflanked in a trade war that Trump started and is losing.
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BMW Motorrad Expands Rent-A-Ride

Ken Zino of AutoInformed.com on BMW Motorrad Rent-a-Ride.

The Rent-A-Ride platform will be continuously expanded.

With currently 89 participating rental partners in seven countries, Rent-A-Ride is the largest motorcycle rental platform in Europe. By year end, BMW Motorrad aims to expand it to include more than 100 rental partners in 12 countries. By consistently expanding the rental partners and participating countries, the goal for 2021 is to become the worldwide leader in this segment of motorcycle rental.

At www.rentaride.com customers can reserve a virtually new BMW motorcycle and, if necessary, rider equipment with just a few clicks, to go on a ride with friends or to take a bike out for a thorough test ride. The motorcycles are explained in detail by on site at BMW Motorrad partners and handed over in a relaxed atmosphere. If a long distance journey is currently too hazardous for you, you can rent your dream bike from Rent-A-Ride in a flexible and uncomplicated way and go on a motorcycle discovery tour.
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4 July 2020 – We Hold These Truths to be Self-Evident

Ken Zino of AutoInformed.com on the Fourth of July 2020 – We Hold These Truths to be Self-EvidentAs a nation founded on a proposition that is simple to state but challenging to live by and fulfill, this Fourth of July sees us examining ourselves and our leadership against what Jefferson believed was innately possible as a gift from our creator.

Few nations or kingdoms have been blessed at their origin with such a profound and explicit pledge that believes in equality and when properly governed that the goodness of people will emerge.
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Chinese Junk Watch – Cub Scout Pins Recalled for Lead

Ken Zino of AutoInformed.com on Recalled Chinese Made Cub Scout Activity Pins With Lead - CPSC

Take the pin away from children. Now.

The Boy Scouts of America are recalling Cub Scout activity pins due to violation of the federal lead content ban – recall 20-144 . The pins are made in China according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

The pin’s face and shaft contain levels of lead that exceed the federal lead content ban. Lead is toxic if ingested by young children and can cause adverse health issues.
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New Fiat 500 Debuts at the Quirinale and Palazzo Chigi

AutoInformed - Ken Zino of AutoInformed.com on Fiat 500 EV

A socially responsible car presented in a socially responsible way to socially responsible government leaders.

The New 500 made its institutional debut at the Palazzo del Quirinale, where Fiat Chrysler Automobiles full-electric car was presented to the President of the Italian Republic, Sergio Mattarella, by John Elkann, Chairman of FCA. FCA Management then traveled to Palazzo Chigi to present the New 500 to Giuseppe Conte, the Italian Prime Minister.

The New 500 BEV was created, designed and engineered in Turin. “Just another shining example of the creativity and innovation of which the company and the city – where Fiat was founded over 120 years ago – are proud,” FCA said. Continue reading

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Q2 US Sales Snippets and Notes

BMW of North America announced today 1 July Q2 2020 sales results for the BMW and MINI brands in the U.S.  For the sales period ending June 30, 2020, BMW brand sales totaled 50,957 vehicles, a decrease of 39.3% vs the 83,976 vehicles sold in the same time last year. MINI brand sales totaled 5,288 vehicles, a decrease of 41.5% vs the 9,044 vehicles sold in the first quarter of 2019.

Since the onset of the global pandemic in the U.S. in mid-March, BMW has instituted several measures to sell and service vehicles across the U.S.  While the situation has differed greatly from state-to-state, at many locations, BMW has accelerated its use of digital sales practices, allowing customers to move further down the path to purchase online before visiting a store, and enabled virtual transactions so that purchases may be completed digitally and vehicles delivered.  Dealers are also offering “invisible” service where vehicles in need of service or maintenance are picked up and dropped off without interaction.

Ford Motor Company Q2 overall sales were down -33.3% at 433,869. Ford brand sales at 412,588 dropped -34%. Ford car at 40653 sank -61%. Ford truck at 278,891was off -22.2%. Lincoln brand at 21,281 dropped -18%. Shutdowns and shelter-in-place restrictions had the largest impact on fleet sales in Q2. Daily rental was down -94%, while commercial was off -78% from production shutdowns – commercial performance did improve sequentially through the quarter Ford claimed. Continue reading

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GM Reports Q2 US Sales at -34% Year-over-Year

ken Zino of AutoInformed.com on GM Q2 2020 Sales

Trucks are leading the recovery.

General Motors (NYSE: GM) announced today that it delivered 492,489 vehicles in the second quarter of 2020, a decrease in total vehicle sales of about -34% compared to a year ago. However, GM said demand outpaced supply in the latter half of the quarter.

“While the industry experienced significant declines due to the outbreak of COVID-19, full-size pickup truck sales performed exceptionally well, and overall sales showed signs of recovery, especially deliveries to retail customers,” GM claimed.
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Ford, Wayne State University and ACCESS Coalition Expand Mobile COVID-19 Testing

AutoInformed - Ken Zino of AutoInformed.com on Ford, Wayne State University and ACCESS Coalition Expands Mobile COVID-19 TestingFord Motor Company, Wayne State University, the Wayne State University Physician Group and ACCESS coalition have expanded mobile COVID-19 testing beyond first responders and health care workers. It is now also serving local communities in need as the plague is once again on the rise in Michigan.

Since launching in April, the mobile testing operation has added four Ford Transits – each fully equipped for mobile COVID-19 testing – as clinical test vehicles to conduct and support testing for symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals.
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The Confederate Flag, Conservative Politics and NASCAR

Ken Zino of AutoInformed.com on NASCAR versus systemic racism

It’s time to remember and act upon again the principles we fought the Civil War over.

Years before NASCAR banned the Confederate flag, the auto racing giant tried to distance itself from the highly divisive symbol that Sports Illustrated noted was “as easy to find at NASCAR races as cutoff jeans, cowboy hats and beer.”  (AutoInformed: NASCAR Disavows Racist Confederate Flag

Black Lives Matter – NASCAR Drivers Walk Wallace to His Starting Position at Talladega Superspeedway, Noose Found Hanging in NASCAR Garage at Talladega, NASCAR Finally Bans Confederate Traitors’ Flag at All Races, Venues and Properties, NASCAR Humor – Guess the Car. Are They Kidding?) Continue reading

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