New Tire Technology Needed for Electric Vehicles? on EV Tires

“We are working with automakers to introduce…

Marketing malarkey or genuine technological advance? Goodyear during the 2018 Geneva International Motor Show teased its EfficientGrip Performance with Electric Drive Technology (sic), a prototype tire for the growing electric vehicle market that will be on the road by 2019 in Europe as the diesel engine is dead and the gasoline engine is slowly dying because of regulations.

Goodyear claims testing reveals that traditional tires can wear out up to 30% faster on electric vehicles due to the powerful, instant torque from electric motors and the additional vehicle weight from heavy battery packs. Yes, but haven’t automakers and tire supplies already designed for this? Continue reading

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Troubled Asset Relief Program – Total Cost $32B

Timothy Geithner and Sergio Marchione.

The Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) of 2008 and other desperate actions let the Department of the Treasury promote stability in financial markets through the purchase and guarantee of “troubled assets.”

It was a latter part of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 – controversial, politically fought over and opposed by Republican conservatives – and ultimately successful here and globally. Continue reading

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Luck o’ the Irish is a Sober DD on Drunk Driving and St Patrick's Day

In every State impaired driving is illegal.

Every day, about 29 people in the United States die in alcohol-impaired vehicle crashes. This is more than one an hour during 2016. While it’s true that drunk-driving fatalities have fallen by a third in the last three decades, drunk-driving calamities claim more than 10,000 lives per year. In 2016, there were 10,497 people who lost their life in a drunk-driving crash, a 1.7% increase from 2015. Continue reading

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Clocks Spring Forward as Recalls Tick On

Some recalls get lost in the mail.

During 2017, there were 813 new vehicle safety recalls affecting more than 30 million vehicles in the United States. The Safe Cars Save Lives from NHTSA says check for recalls at least twice a year – every March when setting clocks forward and every November when setting clocks back. Continue reading

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Mazda and Toyota Establish JV to build Vehicles in Alabama on Mazda Toyota Manufacturing

Toyota trying to bolster an ailing Mazda ?

Mazda Motor Corporation and Toyota Motor Corporation have established their new joint-venture company “Mazda Toyota Manufacturing, U.S.A., Inc.” (MTMUS) that will produce vehicles in Huntsville, Alabama starting in 2021.

First announced in August of 2017 (Toyota and Mazda JV to Build Cars in U.S. Trumped?), a new plant will make 150,000 Mazda crossover model that will be newly introduced to the North American market and 150,000 Toyota Corolla compacts. Continue reading

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Ford Driving Skills for Life Allows Saudi Women to Participate

Next the right to vote?

Ford Motor Company and Jeddah-based Effat University are finishing the inaugural session of Ford Driving Skills for Life for Her this week, a version of Ford’s safe driving program for teens and new drivers. Ford claims that this serves Saudi women ahead of them acquiring a driver’s license for the first time.

P.R. Stunt, marketing program, or a natural extension of an existing  clearly beneficial program – take your pick – the global debut in the Kingdom coincides with International Women’s Day today. Continue reading

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US Car Sales Plummet in February. Trucks Gain Again

AutoInformed on Trump Trade Wars

Click to Enlarge before Trade Wars commence.

US auto sales weakened in February with car sales driving off a cliff, down-12%. AutoData says the seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) for February was 17.08 million units versus 17.45 million units a year ago. Total industry unit deliveries, including all brands un-adjusted for business days, decreased -2.4% compared to last February. Sales were down -12.7% compared to January 2018. International nameplate sales – and potential Trump Trade Wars collateral damage – were essentially flat, up just 0.2% from February 2017. (Trump Tantrum on Trade Kills Jobs, Distracts from Expanding Russian Collusion Investigations and Criminal Indictments; Largest US Auto Exporter – BMW Manufacturing; Trump versus Auto Industry – Outcome Could be Ugly; Collision Course – Trump, Mexico, NAFTA) Continue reading

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Cadillac Names Deborah Wahl Global Chief Marketing Officer on Cadillac Marketing

Deborah Wahl, Cadillac Global Chief Marketing Officer.

What do the Golden Starches and Cadillac have in common? Well, Cadillac has appointed Deborah Wahl as Global Chief Marketing Officer, effective March 26. Wahl will be based in the company’s New York headquarters and report to Cadillac President Johan de Nysschen*. In a release Cadillac said Deborah will lead the strategic marketing for the Cadillac brand around the world, “building on the transformational work that has been done over the past several years.”

While it’s true that General Motors has spend a lot of money on the faded, but once leading luxury brand, global sales of 157,000 during 2017 (-9%) show that the transformational work has yet to take hold, and a revolving door at the top continues. Moreover, this ain’t fast food.
Continue reading

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Trump Tantrum on Trade Kills Jobs, Distracts from Expanding Russian Collusion Investigations and Criminal Indictments on Trade and Steel and ALuminum Tariffs

Another disaster coming for U.S. jobs and manufacturing. Click to Enlarge

It was the beginning of March – not even April Fool’s Day yet, when President Trump heralded a 25% tariff on imported steel and a 10% tariff on imported aluminum from all U.S. trading partners. This latest boneheaded plan from the beleaguered, chaotic non-Administration seems designed to distract attention from the growing investigation with indictments and the growing number of links between Trump land and the Russians.

It’s real effect – as the special council will proceed apace with more Russian indictments – will be to hurt American jobs, thereby screwing the people he is allegedly making America Great again for. Continue reading

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Climate Change Trading Grows from Québec, California to add Ontario – Total Population 61m, 4th Largest Global Economy

The California Cap-and-Trade Program and Québec Cap-and-Trade System are now officially linked with the Ontario Cap-and-Trade Program. This allows the mutual acceptance of compliance instruments issued by each jurisdiction, and the jurisdictions to hold joint auctions of greenhouse gas (GHG) allowances.

All three jurisdictions say they are confident that this successful relationship and its fight against climate change will encourage and motivate more jurisdictions in North America and around the world to follow their example. Continue reading

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Chinese take 10% stake in Daimler. Unwelcome? on Chinese stake in Daimler

Putting positive face on unfriendly move?

Daimler AG confirms that the entrepreneur Li Shufu has acquired 9.69% (103,619,340 shares) of the company. Shufu owns Geely, and Volvo. In an unconvincing statement that lost nothing in translation Daimler said, “it is pleased to announce that with Li Shufu it could win another long-term orientated shareholder, which is convinced by Daimler’s innovation strength, the strategy and the future potential.” Yes, but Daimler already has a large product line portfolio and a manufacturing presence in China and with BAIC. Mercedes-Benz sells 25% of its cars in China right now. Continue reading

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Top Ten 2018 Vehicles on Chevrolet Bolt EV

The future of transportation?

Seven substantially revised or all-new new vehicles made the 2018 Annual Top Picks list from Consumer Reports: Toyota Corolla and Toyota Camry, Chevrolet Bolt, Kia Optima, Ford F-150, BMW X3 and Audi A4. Three of CR’s 10 Top Picks were repeats from 2017 –  Chevrolet Impala, Subaru Forester and Toyota Highlander.

It’s counter intuitive that a majority of all-new vehicles dominated the CR list that is published in the Annual New Car April Issue. “New” usually means new problems in automotive land. – new assembly problems, new hardware problems, and new infotainment and software glitches.  Confirmation that these are Top Ten vehicles will come with the eventual publication of in-use problems reported by owners during the initial year or years of ownership in subsequent CR reliability surveys. Continue reading

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2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio$80,000+! on Alfa Romeo Stelvia Quadrifoglio

The history of the Quadrifoglio dates back to the 1923 Targa Florio, one of the oldest and most famous racing events of all time – a dangerous open road endurance race held in the mountains of Sicily.

What’s claimed to be the world’s fastest “buyable” SUV starts at $80,000 for a 505 horsepower V6 in a bland two-box truck wrapper with a  0-60 mph time  in an estimated 3.9 seconds and a top speed of 176 mph. With the most powerful Alfa Romeo production engine ever, Stelvio Quadrifoglio** is the “halo” model in the truck lineup lineup.

This high-performance SUV (or is that a crossover truck?) has an all-aluminum, direct-injection 2.9-liter 24-valve bi-turbo intercooled V6 engine, rated at a best-in-class 505 horsepower and 443 lb.-ft. of torque, and a standard Q4 all-wheel-drive system. A Stelvio Quadrifoglio lapped Nürburgring in a record 7 minutes 51.7 seconds, fastest time ever posted by a production SUV, according to Alfa.(Take that Porsche Cayenne.) Continue reading

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Ford Motor Shakes Up Senior Management During Sexual Harassment Debacle

Not a Word from Bill Ford?

Ford Motor Company today announced changes to its senior management team as it struggles with numerous sexual harassment charges, electrification and mobility business shifts and Silicon Valley competitors that threaten its future.

With a couple of  exceptions, the management team is y-chromosome male as is the norm at automakers. Notable was the lack of Bill Ford comments in the release? Continue reading

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Me Too? Raj Nair, President North America, Fired by Ford on Ford Sexual Harrassment

Ford in the mud up to its axles.

Ford Motor Company said late yesterday that Raj Nair, executive vice president and president, North America, is leaving Ford now. The firing came after what appears to be a hastily conducted internal investigation into stories of “inappropriate behavior” by the senior executive. This likely is a Ford smoke/word-screen for the latest revelations that its Blue Oval run “me too” assembly lines abuse women, and condones or tolerates actions that are of course in full view in the Red Zone White House. Ford claimed that certain behavior by Nair was “inconsistent with the company’s code of conduct.”

The latest Ford problem follows an ongoing scandal at its two Chicago assembly plants that saw three black women testify Tuesday in front of Chicago alderman about loutish Ford supervisor behaviors with sexual harassment and intimidation they say claimed they endured while working at Ford, which claims it has a program in place to address such concerns. The UAW also appears to be complicit in the criminal behavior, even though it has a phantom “no tolerance policy” that it invokes in such situations. It’s not clear if Nair was involved either directly or ind erectly.

Job One at Ford appears to include masturbating on the assembly line, showing off pictures of penises, molesting and propositioning women and retaliating against those who refused to “go along with the program,” thereby providing an expanded definition of “tit for tat.” Continue reading

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