Aston Martin DBS Superleggera. A £300K Movie Prop

AutoInformed.com on Aston Martin DBS SuperleggeraThe Aston Martin DBS Superleggera is about to become the newest James Bond inspired car, thanks to the most recent collaboration between Aston Martin and EON Productions to make On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Bond films, 50 On Her Majesty’s Secret Service DBS Superleggera special edition cars will be sold. Painted Olive Green to match the original 1969 Aston Martin DBS driven by James Bond in the movie, DBS Superleggera has (marketing babble alert) “a new level of brutish elegance.” Continue reading

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Chrysler Recalls 400,000 Ram Trucks for Tailgate Openings

Chrysler (FCA US) is recalling 410,351 model year 2015-2017 Ram 1500, 2500 and 3500 pickup trucks equipped with an 8-foot truck bed and a power locking tailgate. Chrysler is also recalling all 2018 Ram 1500, 2500 and 3500 pickup trucks built before April 1, 2018 that are equipped with a power locking tailgate.

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An impressive sales history of Ram pickups and Jeeps could be a huge liability.

The tailgate actuator limiter tab may fracture and cause the tailgate to unlatch and open while driving. If the tailgate opens while the vehicle is being driven, cargo may fall out the vehicle and create a road hazard, increasing the risk of crash. Continue reading

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European Reservations Open for Electric Honda e

AuoInformed.com on European Honda e Reservations OpenHonda announced today that reservations for its new urban electric vehicle – Honda e – are now open in the UK, Germany, France and Norway. A dedicated online reservation website allows customers to reserve a priority status to order the Honda e with a refundable reservation fee of £800. Customers will then be able to place an order from later this year with first deliveries of the vehicle from Spring 2020. Continue reading

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BMW Stops Sales and Leasing of Mini, 5-Series, X1 and Rolls-Royce models for Bad Seat Belts. No Accidents, Injuries Known

Autoinformed.comBMW of North America is recalling some model year 2016-2017 X1 sDrive28i, X1 xDrive28i, MINI Hardtop 4 Door Cooper, Mini Hardtop 4 Door Cooper S, MINI Cooper Clubman, and Cooper S Clubman, 2017 Rolls-Royce Ghost, and 2016 528i vehicles. Dealers have been told to stop sales and leasing of the recalled models, new or used.

The vehicle-sensitive locking mechanism of the seat belt Emergency Locking Retractor (ELR) for the driver’s seat may not lock as designed.  As such, these vehicles fail to comply with the requirements of the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) number 209, “Seat Belt Assemblies.” Continue reading

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Speedway Motorsports Ownership Scuffle Underway

AutoInformed.com on Speedway Motorsports Takeover by the Smith Family

Talking up a undervalued stock or just a smart buy?

Speedway Motorsports, Inc. (“SMI” or NYSE: TRK) today announced that the Special Committee of its Board of Directors has retained Morgan Stanley & Co. as financial advisor to assist the Special Committee in the review of the previously disclosed in April non-binding proposal from Sonic Financial Corporation.

Sonic is a company owned and controlled by O. Bruton Smith and his family. They want to acquire all the outstanding shares of common stock of the Company, other than the shares held by Sonic Financial, O. Bruton Smith, his family and entities controlled by Mr. Smith and his family, for cash consideration of $18.00 per share. The stock is currently trading in the $18.40 range.

Whether this is simply a legal ploy that allows the Smith family to take over Speedway at a bargain price by demonstrating due diligence, or just exhaust noise designed to talk the stock up remains to be seen. Continue reading

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Chichester Cathedral Roof Restoration Appeal

AutoInformed.com on Rachel Portman, right, one of Britain’s most celebrated composers of film music.

Julian Biggs and Rachel Portman, one of Britain’s most celebrated composers of film music. We surmise the Germans are done bombing England.

The Home of Rolls-Royce recently played host to an evening of music and conversation, in support of the Chichester Cathedral Roof Restoration Appeal. Attended by 150 patrons and supporters, the ticket-only event began with Champagne and canapés, followed by an interview with Rachel Portman OBE, one of Britain’s most celebrated and prolific composers of film music.

Portman’s numerous credits include Emma, starring Gwyneth Paltrow, for which she won an Oscar in 1996, and her Academy Award nominated scores for Chocolat and The Cider House Rules. In 2015, she received an Emmy for her work on HBO’s record-breaking TV movie Bessie, a biography of blues singer Bessie Smith. Continue reading

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GM Digital Vehicle Platform Debuts

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The new architecture also provides more rapid communications within the vehicle itself and to outside sources thanks to Ethernet connections of 100Mbs, 1Gpbs and 10Gbps.

General Motors President Mark Reuss today debuted the its all-new electronic platform for its next generation of vehicles, EVs, active safety, infotainment and connectivity features, as well as the evolution of the Super Cruise driver assistance hardware*.

The technology powers an electronic system, capable of managing up to 4.5 terabytes of data processing power per hour, a five-fold increase in capability over GM’s current electrical architecture. The electronic platform was developed at GM facilities across the globe by a team of electrical, hardware and software engineers. Continue reading

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Mercedes-Benz – New Safety Ideas for New Mobility

AutoInformed.com on Experimental Safety Vehicle ESF 2019 from Mercedes

Click to Enlarge.

Electric drive systems and automated driving are key technologies for the mobility of the future claims Mercedes-Benz and every other automaker. In preparation, the German luxury car and truck maker is showing much more flexible seating positions in the interior of such vehicles, but they need a different types of occupant protection.

Even farther out this untested road by real customers in this brave new world is trust. The acceptance of self-driving vehicles will require initially holding an untested belief that they will be safer than conventional vehicles. Moreover, other road users must be able to recognize what an automated vehicle intends to do, because there will be no driver to communicate this. Continue reading

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Nissan opens The Box, a Latin America Design Studio

AutoInformed.com on Nissan Opens New Latin America Design Studio in Sao Paulo – May 2019

To encourage sharing at work, the studio uses an open format.

Nissan has opened its all-new Latin America design studio, known as The Box, in Sao Paulo. The new studio is meant to be a creative lab for designing – what else _ “future mobility solutions.”

With the motto “Disruption through Fusion,” its mission is to merge and translate Latin American and Japanese cultures as it develops new Nissan projects targeting both Latin American and global markets. Continue reading

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Penske’s Pagenaud on Indy 500 Pole. McLaren Shut Out

AutoInformed.com on Pagenaud Takes Indy 500 Pole for Penske. McLaren DNQ

Simon Pagenaud, driver of the #22 Team Penske IndyCar Chevrolet V6, qualifies fastest on Sunday 19, taking the pole position. The 103rd running of the Indianapolis 500 take place on Sunday 26 May.

Simon Pagenaud driving for Penske –  who has 17 Indy 500 wins – took the pole for the 2019 Indianapolis 500 a 2:36.5271 seconds for a 229.992 mph average speed. With positions 10-33 already set for the 103rd running of the Indianapolis 500, the drivers comprising the Firestone Fast Nine took to the track on Sunday afternoon to see who would win the pole position.

Team Penske placed Josef Newgarden, Will Power and Simon Pagenaud in the grouping, with Pagenaud besting them all to win his first career Indianapolis 500 pole position and the 18th for team owner Roger Penske. Continue reading

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ASEAN Light Vehicle Sales Up Slightly

AutoInformed.com on ASEAN Light Vehicle Sales Q1 2019

An optimistic scenario would see Thai LV sales hit a high of 1.10 mn units this year, overtaking the Indonesian market in the process. Click to Enlarge.

During Q1 2019, ASEAN Light Vehicle (LV) sales increased by 3% year-on-year (YoY), with every market except Indonesia posting some growth in the period, according to consultancy LMC. Strong sales allowed Thailand to overtake Indonesia to become the largest LV market in the ASEAN region in Q1 2019. Number One was held by Indonesia between 2014 and 2018.

The Indonesian LV market closed the quarter with 233,000 units sold, marking a sharp 13% drop from Q1 2018, with almost every automaker declining. The best performance was recorded by Isuzu (+776 units), led by the new TRAGA Truck, which launched in Q2 last year. Continue reading

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People – Changes at Mercedes-Benz Cars

Mercedes-Benz Cars appoints new sales management in China, USA and Russia.

  • Nicholas Speeks will become new CEO of Mercedes-Benz USA and Head of Sales NAFTA Mercedes-Benz Cars.
  • Jan Madeja will be Head of the Chinese sales company for passenger cars, Beijing Mercedes-Benz Sales Service.
  • Holger Suffel will become CEO of Mercedes-Benz Russia and Head of Sales Mercedes-Benz Cars Russia.

Continue reading

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CARB – Cleaner Fuels Replace 3 Billion Gallons of Dirty Diesel

AutoInformed.com on Southern California Air Pollution

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New 2018 data from the California Air Resources Board (CARB) indicates that the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) continues to encourage production of a growing volume of cleaner transportation fuels for California consumers. To date almost 3.3 billion gallons of dirty petroleum diesel have been displaced by clean, low-carbon alternatives. The 2018 data also show fuel producers are in 100% compliance with the LCFS.

“Renewable and bio-diesel, renewable natural gas, ethanol, and electricity are all seeing growth under the LCFS,” said CARB Executive officer Richard W. Corey. “These are key reasons why other states and nations are establishing similar programs.” Continue reading

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Korean Metalworkers Fight Hyundai and Daiwoo Merger

AutoInformed.com on the merger of Hyundai Heavy Industries with Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering

Unions and other stakeholders were excluded from negotiations and think that the merger will spark a crisis in the shipbuilding industry, jeopardizing workers’ livelihoods and local communities.

IndustriALL Global Union affiliate the Korean Metal Workers’ Union (KMWU) and civil society groups are opposing the merger of Hyundai Heavy Industries with Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering. Potentially at stake are global shipping and fossil fuel prices.

The deal needs to be approved at an extraordinary shareholders meeting which will be held on 31 May, merging the world’s largest shipbuilder with the second largest shipbuilder by sales, creating a dominant player with strong monopoly power. Continue reading

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Ford Recalls Ranger, Fusion for Shifter Cable Safety Defects

Ford is issuing a safety recall for 2019 Ranger pickups and 2013-16 Fusion sedans with four-cylinder engines. In both cases, the shift indicator will read falsely, and the driver may be able to remove the key when the unsafe vehicle is not in “Park.” Ford claims that it is aware of three reports alleging property damage and one report alleging an injury potentially related to this safety defect. Continue reading

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