SEC Charges Engine Manufacturing Company Execs with Fraud

The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged the former chief executive officer of a Chicago-area engine manufacturing company – Power Solutions – and two former senior sales executives for their roles in an accounting fraud that allegedly overstated the publicly-traded company’s revenues by almost $25 million.

According to the complaint, filed in federal court in Chicago, Gary Winemaster, Power Solutions International Inc.’s former CEO, and two former senior sales executives, Craig Davis and James Needham, caused Power Solutions to fraudulently record revenue for purported sales of products that were not complete, that the customer had not agreed to accept, for which the price was falsely inflated, and from improper “bill and hold” arrangements.
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Don Garlits, 87, in Swamp Rat 38 Electric Rail Tries for 200 MPH Quarter Tomorrow at Palm Beach International Raceway

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His two daughters made him “Daddy.” His numerous NHRA and IHRA record rail runs and victories made him the legendary “Big Daddy.”

A legendary drag racing name , “Big Daddy” Don Garlits, will attempt to set a world speed record in his Swamp Rat 38 electric dragster this Saturday, July 20 at Palm Beach International Raceway, Jupiter, FL.  Garlits last raced in public in 2003. He took Swamp Rat 34 out of his drag-racing museum and set a personal best 318.54 mph at the NHRA Nationals.

AutoInformed.com on Don Garlits at Work Garlits, the first man to break the 200-mph barrier in a Top Fuel dragster, is now trying to reach the 200-mph milestone in a battery-powered dragster on PBIR’s famous quarter-mile drag strip. Continue reading

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2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Revealed

AutoInformed.comThe 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray is redesigned to bring customers “new levels of performance, technology, craftsmanship and luxury.” It continues the  sculptural shape of the current C7 Corvette, “conveying a sense of motion and power from every angle” in Chevrolet design babble, but it’s a mid-engine car – Corvette’s first

The Stingray’s gasoline engine is Chevy’s next-generation 6.2L Small Block V8 LT2 engine, producing up to 495 horsepower (369 kW) and 470 lb-ft (637 Nm) of torque — the most horsepower and torque for any entry Corvette. There will be more powertrain offerings going forward as global standards to fight CO2 tighten. Full debut footage – click here. Continue reading

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Chinese BYD, Toyota Agree to Develop Battery Electric Vehicles

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BYD has been the world’s largest electric vehicle manufacturer for the past three years running, in both consumer and commercial/industrial electric vehicles.

The Chinese continue to move ahead in their attempt to dominate the world economy. In the latest move from BYD, which is headquartered in the world’s largest auto market, BYD has entered an agreement with Toyota to jointly develop battery electric vehicles (BEVs).

Discussions include joint development of sedans and low-floor SUV BEVs. The goal is to launch Toyota branded BEVs in China in the first half of the 2020s. BYD and Toyota will also develop onboard batteries for the jointly developed BEVs and other vehicles.

Last year BYD sold more than 113,000 plug-in electric vehicles worldwide and currently has nearly 40,000 electric buses in service around the world. BYD employs over 20,000 engineers globally, constantly innovating in order to make the world a better place. Continue reading

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KARPUT! Volkswagen Golf Alltrack, Sportwagen Die in 2019

AutoInformed.com on 2019 Volkswagen Gulf AlltrackVolkswagen of America has  announced that the VW Golf Alltrack and Golf SportWagen will end production with the 2019 model year. Volkswagen will continue building the Alltrack at the Puebla, Mexico plant through December 2019 – the last chance to own a European-designed wagon.

Over the past several years, demand has shifted from wagons to SUVs. Through the first half of 2019, SUVs account for 47% of the industry sales, and more than 50% of Volkswagen sales. Thanks to sales of the Atlas and Tiguan, Volkswagen has had the highest year-over-year percentage growth among mainstream automotive brands in the first six months of 2019. Continue reading

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Penske Automotive Increases Dividend to $0.40 Per Share

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With global auto markets starting a slow decline, Penske is increasing returns.

Penske Automotive Group, Inc. (NYSE: PAG), a transportation services company that supports Roger Penske’s successful racing addiction, today announced that its Board of Directors has approved an increase in the cash dividend to $0.40 per share for the second quarter of 2019. Continue reading

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JAXA, Toyota Start Research for Manned Pressurized Rover

AutoInformed on Toyota Concept Manned Lunar Rover

A further expansion of the mobility company concept from Toyota.

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and Toyota Motor Corporation said today that they have signed a three-year joint research agreement running from fiscal year 2019 to fiscal year 2021. The tentative plan aims to launch the lunar rover in 2029.

In what was largely a rerun of a release from 12 March 2019, when the two parties announced their agreement to consider collaboration, the organizations formally agreed to carry on. The prototype rover will be a modified version of a standard production vehicle. (JAXA and Toyota Agree on Future Mobility – A Lunar Rover) Continue reading

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Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport take a 1-2 at Silverstone

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Bottas started on the pole and came home in P2 to complete the 1-2 for the team.

Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas driving Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 cars finished 1-2 at the  British Grand Prix on Sunday. Hamilton claimed his 80th victory in Formula One in front of his home crowd, his seventh of the 2019 season and sixth at the British Grand Prix, making him the most successful driver at this event. The team was coming off the worst outing of the season in Austria.

“I remember my first win here in 2008 and the feeling that I had coming out of Brooklands and going down the straight and seeing the crowd, it felt so reminiscent of that today – the excitement and happiness and joy that I felt were exactly the same as back then,” said Hamilton. “I’ve done so many races now, and you would think that after so many races you’d get used to it and the feeling would numb down, but it felt like it was the first win I ever had.” Continue reading

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Connected Car Shakeout – Bosch Sells Packaging Business

AutoInformed.com on Connected Cars and Bosch Packaging Technology

Connected cars and autonomous vehicles are an expensive bet with considerable shareholder risk. Auto companies and suppliers continue to seek capital and share risk.

Bosch plans to sell its packaging machinery business, based in Waiblingen, to a newly incorporated entity managed by CVC Capital Partners (CVC). The company and its Pharma and Food units will supposedly remain intact. All 6,100 workers in 15 countries will remain with the business.

This is the latest development in the restructuring of traditional automotive suppliers to concentrate on connected and autonomous vehicles. Bosch announced a year ago that it was looking for a buyer for its packaging technology business. Continue reading

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Mid-Engine Chevrolet Corvette Debut to be Livestreamed

AutoInformed.com on Mid-Engine CorvetteThe next generation Chevrolet Corvette, a mid-engine departure from all previous roadster and coupe designs debuts the evening of 18 July 2019, in Orange County, California. Interested people can watch the reveal via livestream here. The 2020 Chevrolet Corvette will debut as a Stingray. The Corvette debuted as a Sting Ray in 1963. This nameplate ran until 1976, and was then revived in 2014 to introduce the seventh generation Corvette. (Concours d’Elegance of America adds GM Design on the new C8 Corvette as It Celebrates AutoMobility)

The livestream opens at 7:30 p.m. PDT/10:30 p.m. EDT on 18 July and it will also be sent out on Chevrolet’s social media channels. The stream will include Corvette video footage, a hosted pre-show and the presentation. It will be available for viewing across the globe, in all seven continents. (Final Gen 7 Corvette Auction to Benefit Foundation, Three Peat! Corvette Takes Makers’ and Drivers’ Titles in IMSA GT Le Mans at Road Atlanta Season Final, Corvette ZR1 Sets Lap Record at VIR) Continue reading

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Volkswagen Joins Ford by Investing in Argo AI

Ford President and CEO Jim Hackett, Argo AI CEO Bryan Salesky and Volkswagen CEO Dr. Herbert Diess (L-R) announce Volkswagen is joining Ford in investing in Argo AI, the autonomous vehicle technology platform company.

The latest bet in the high stakes autonomous vehicle game came this morning when Ford Motor Company and Volkswagen said they are expanding their global alliance to include electric vehicles – and will collaborate with Argo AI to introduce autonomous vehicle technology in the U.S. and Europe. (AutoInformed – Ford Places $1B Bet in Argo AI on Autonomous Vehicles)

Citing improved competitiveness, cost and capital efficiencies, as well as quicker time to a yet unknown, nebulous market, Volkswagen CEO Dr. Herbert Diess and Ford President and CEO Jim Hackett shared a stage for a discussion about a move that could make or break one or both companies. The alliance, which covers collaborations outside of Volkswagen and Ford’s joint investments in Argo AI, does not entail cross-ownership between the two companies and is independent from the investment into Argo AI. Continue reading

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F1 2019 Silverstone – British Grand Prix Preview

AutoInformed.com on 2019 Austrian Grand Prix - German Sebastion Vettel in a FerrariRound 10 of the 2019 FIA Formula One World Championship will see teams and drivers travel to the English midlands and Silverstone Circuit, home of the British Grand Prix. More than 60% of a lap of Silverstone is taken at full throttle – popular with drivers and fans.

Approaching the mid-point of the season, Lewis Hamilton comes to his home Grand Prix carrying a 31-point lead in the Drivers’ standings over team-mate Valtteri Bottas. Victory in Austria last time out moves Max Verstappen up to third place. The young Red Bull Racing star now has 126 points, three ahead of Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel. Continue reading

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Aston Martin Red Bull at the 2019 British Grand Prix

AutoInformed.com on Aston Martin Red Bull Racing - 2019 British Grand Prix Livery

A Honda-powered Aston Martin Red Bull Formula One Car?

One of the most lasting movie partnerships will be in the spotlight this weekend when Aston Martin Lagonda* and EON Productions**, the company that produces the James Bond films, celebrate the 1,007th Formula 1 Grand Prix, at Silverstone.

The British Grand Prix is the home race for the Aston Martin Red Bull Racing team, so it is fitting that the race falls on the 007 number associated with James Bond. The F1 series is currently dominated by Mercedes-Benz. (see F1 2019 Silverstone – British Grand Prix Preview) Continue reading

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Concours d’Elegance of America adds GM Design on the new C8 Corvette as It Celebrates AutoMobility

AutoInformed.com on Mid-Engine CorvettePeople behind some of Chevrolet’s recent design highlights will share their insights and answer audience questions at the 2019 Concours d’Elegance of America on July 27. That’s only one fun event at what will be a great weekend celebration from July 26-28th of one of our finest mechanical arts. Continue reading

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Polaris Slingshot Celebrates “National Stick Shift Day”

AutoInformed.com on Polaris SlingshotIn celebration of National Stick Shift Day on July 16, consumers can visit their local Slingshot dealership during the month of July for a free stick shift driving lesson. Actually we thought it was Corn Fritters Day another would-be marketing con, but we don’t ride many fritters.

Only 18% of Americans know how to drive a manual trans, but Polaris – not without self-interest – wants to replace what it claims is an experience in an old, mundane vehicle with – guess what – a ~$21,000 to +$30,000 Slingshot. Each has a GM Ecotec 2.4L DOHC four-cylinder engine rated at 173 horsepower with a five-speed manual transmission. Continue reading

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