Diesel Truck Brokers Busted in California


Diesel exhaust contains 40 known cancer-causing compounds.

The California Air Resources Board has fined two out-of-state transportation brokers for violations of Truck and Bus Regulations. The $152,000 penalty will fund air pollution research, improve children’s health and install air monitors. Marten Logistics and Roadrunner Transportation Systems did not authenticate that trucks hired or dispatched for service were compliant with the state’s tough Truck and Bus regulation, and for not keeping adequate records as the law requires.

Two automotive trends are evident.

Death of the Diesel: California Air Resources Board – Ways to Lower Pollution Exposure for People Living, Working near Urban Highways; BMW 320D Meets German Emissions Regulations; US v Fiat Chrysler on Diesel Emissions Defeat Devices

States Defying the Trump Administration’s attack on the EPA and clean air: Draft Technical Assessment Report of Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Fuel Economy Regulations Released; Non-Independence Day as EPA Prepares to Scuttle CAFE; 50 Mayors, 11 States to Defend +50 MPG CAFE Standard Continue reading

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Chinese Currents – Buick Enspire All-Electric Concept

AutoInformed.com on Chinese trade wars

Trade wars and car wars are always dirty. This Enspire concept is clean if misspelled.

Buick will show its Enspire all-electric concept SUV at Auto China 2018 in Beijing from April 25 to May. The car is remarkable because it debuts during a trade war invoked by the Trump Administration and China, the world’s largest car market. The Chinese have expressed the desire to replace the fleet with electrified vehicles, but no standards or rules have thus far been published.

The Enspire itself is a strong design coming from what usually has been a lackluster studio at General Motors if the sleek look survives by the time production begins. Exterior lines are – in keeping with current trends –  pronounced and prominent. Continue reading

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Genesis Launches G70 Sedan in Russia

AutoInformed.com on Russian Genesis Launch

Looks good as car, but as possible trade-war chess piece G70 looks like a pawn.

Hyundai’s nascent luxury automotive luxury brand Genesis has introduced the 2019 G70 sedan in the Russian market. This is the third model in the line debuting with the guns of an expanding, possibly global, trade war, booming in the distance. The ceremony held in The Museum of Moscow saw 500 guests join Genesis for a music festival. (Hyundai to Try to Make Genesis a Global Luxury Brand)

The trade wars – ongoing negotiations, threats and reversals of Trump Administration hard-line positions – sometimes within a day – may or may not affect the Russian car market. Russian sanctions yes, er no, er… Going after companies doing business with Syria. Yes, our UN Ambassador said so Sunday AM. Monday AM saw the 180 on that.  Taking the troops out of Syria? Yes, no maybe so? Add the North Korean nuclear weapons standoff with the U.S.  –  major and profitable markets for Hyundai and Kia – along with The Trump Administration’s withdrawal from the trans-Pacific trade pact, and a stalemate or checkmate against Hyundai in multiple markets is possible. Continue reading

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50 Mayors, 11 States to Defend +50 MPG CAFE Standard

AutoInformed.comFifty Mayors, 11 States and Washington D.C. vow to defend federal regulation of 50 mpg automobile efficiency standards against a rollback proposed by Scott Pruitt, the anti-clean-air  head of the Environmental Protection Agency. **

In a statement like the American Revolution’s Declaration of Independence, local leaders are rejecting a corrupt central government out of touch with the people – one that instead  is beholden to special interests, big oil, and big money for campaigns to keep the corruption and tyranny ongoing. Pruitt has the stench of sulfur about him over his connections to special oil interests, wasteful spending of taxpayer money to travel like a king, and cronyism in EPA hiring practices. Continue reading

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Shift Indicators Bad on Ford F-Series, Lincolns, Mustangs

Ford is issuing a safety recalls in North America for approximately 350,000 2018 Ford F-150 and 2018 Ford Expedition vehicles with 10-speed automatic transmissions as well as 2018 Ford F-650 and F-750 vehicles with 6-speed automatic transmissions for a potentially unseated transmission gear shift cable clip that can cause the shift indicator to read wrong.

Also recalled are 2017-18 Ford F-150 and 2018 Ford Expedition, 2018 Lincoln Navigator and 2018 Ford Mustang vehicles with 10R80 transmissions for approximately 161 2017-18 Ford F-150 and 2018 Ford Expedition, 2018 Lincoln Navigator and 2018 Ford Mustang vehicles with 10R80 transmissions for the same problem resulting from a different defect.

On the affected vehicles, the transmission can be in a gear different from the gear shift position selected by the driver. Ford said it is aware of one reported accident and injury related to this safety defect. Continue reading

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Non-Independence Day as EPA Prepares to Scuttle CAFE

AutoInformed.com on Global Warming and CAFE Regulations

There are big stakes here – political, environmental, global competitiveness, the price of new vehicles, profits and / or losses at automakers and suppliers.

All the signs are there that President Trump is prepared to sabotage the existing CAFE – corporate average fleet economy – rules. These have directly lessened emissions and increased fuel economy – benefiting consumers but to the detriment of automakers, especially the Detroit Three and luxury vehicle purveyors that are reliant predominately on the sale of trucks, SUVs or larger vehicles. The EPA is now starting the rulemaking process to adopt new standards for model years 2022-2025.

Last week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a Notice on the Mid-Term Evaluation of Greenhouse Gas Emissions Standards and said it would place it in the Federal Register – a requisite step toward modifying the emission rules. This potential shift or softening of CAFE extensive and serious implications for all automotive industry participants. (CARB Defies Trump on Vehicle Emission Standards) Continue reading

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U.S. March Sales – Light Trucks Up, Cars Down Again

AutoInformed.com on U.S. Light Vehicles Sales March 2018During an unexpectedly strong March, U.S. auto dealers sold 1.65 million vehicles, a 6.3% increase year-over-year. Detroit Three brands per AutoData held just 45.7% of the U.S. market in March, selling 755,152 vehicles – with 612,052 or a whopping 81% of these in the light truck category. The numbers represented a 10.8% increase from March 2017 when domestic brands held 43.8% of the U.S. auto market and sold 681,729 vehicles, as well as February when they occupied 44.6% of the market and sold 581,146 vehicles. Continue reading

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Monthly Sales Reports Die as GM Shifts to Quarterly Updates

AutoInformed.com on pure EVs

The future GM products are invisible here (like Chevy Bolt sales) but they are mostly trucks and crossovers in the U.S.

General Motors will begin reporting its U.S. vehicle sales on a quarterly basis starting with second quarter sales, which will be released on 3 July 2018. Q3 sales are due 2 October and Q4 sales on 3 January 2019. The question is will other major auto companies follow by killing the long-standing, perhaps outdated, ritual hated by  executives and media alike? Continue reading

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Nero Edizione Package for Giulia and Stelvio SUV

Without the cliche’ black trim, it’s still sleek and fast.

Has it come to this already for the nascent FCA brand in its U.S. comeback? On display in New York are the Nero Edizione trims that, yawn, brings a “unique look to the Alfa Romeo showroom” on 2-liter turbocharged, 280-horsepower Giulia sedan and Stelvio SUV models.

Is it not enough that all Giulia and Stelvio models have not only a broad racing and performance heritage, but take the Germans on – once again – with best-in-class horsepower, 0 to 60 mph acceleration times, top speed, power-to-weight ratio, and close to 50/50 weight distribution in addition to their instantly recognizable Italian styling. During March, Alfa Romeo sales of 2,576 vehicles were up significantly compared with the same month a year ago. Giulia led the brand with 1,284 followed by Stelvio at 1,270 vehicles.  Continue reading

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Republicans Starting to Like Putin. Treason over Patriotism?

AutoInformed.com on Putin

After the Russian-hacked presidential election, Democrats were far more likely than Republicans to view Russia as a threat to the U.S.

Many Americans (68%) have an unfavorable opinion of Russian President Vladimir Putin. However, Republican defense of President Trump has made what was once an anti-Russian hawkish party the promoters, supporters and apparent defenders of the Russian system of government.

Consider: Just 16% of Americans now see Putin favorably, but there are clearly many  more Republicans  siding with President Trump, than Democrats. Continue reading

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US Tariffs At or Near Lowest Levels Ever

AutoInformed.com on U.S. Tariffs

Click to enlarge.

Trade is a dirty and ridiculous business. While U.S. tariffs in total continue to be at or near their lowest levels ever,  the duties imposed on specific imported goods vary widely – depending on what they are, where they’re coming from and who owns them.

The stiffest tariffs are levied on apparel and clothing, according to a study just published from respected Pew Research. The so called HTS, Harmonized Tariff Schedule (think –  it hits your wallet) is specific: It says how the duty on “artificial flowers, foliage and fruit” differs depending on whether the objects in question are made from plastic (8.4%), feathers (4.7%) or man-made fibers (9%).

Absurd money interests have obviously made a mockery of equal treatment, not all goods are equal like the men in our declaration of Independence and ultimately constitution,\. Continue reading

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Ford Proxy – Shareholders Want Political Spending Info

Auto Informed.com on 2018 Ford Motor Proxy

Not an easy but an abundantly paid job.

Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) today published its 2018 Proxy Statement that outlines four company proposals, including the election of 14 directors. In addition, there are four shareholder proposals. Compensation details for the company’s Named Executive Officers are also included.***

One shareholder proposal is familiar and longstanding – one share, one vote, which would end the Ford family’s control – 116 years of involvement – of the company under the current structure and full control that dates to the 1950s. Ford Family shares have 36 votes (16 votes by some tallies) per share compared to the one-vote per share for regular shareholders.

Of more significance in these highly politicized times are calls for information about political groups and causes supported that are working to subvert greenhouse gas and emission control regulations. Not surprisingly the family and management are against such transparency saying they are against the interest of all shareholders. Continue reading

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Bedfellow Alert! Toyota and Suzuki in India

AutoInformed.com on India Auto Market and Suzuki and Toyota

Another hybrid crossover or hatchback – what else?

Toyota Motor Corporation (Toyota) and Suzuki Motor Corporation now have an agreement share hybrid and other vehicles between the two companies for the Indian market, which is forecast to surpass the U.S. market in size in ~17 years.

It’s already bigger than Germany, France and UK in automotive sales – and is the 4th largest automotive market by volume in the world, according to consultancy Booz and company. (Mahindra, Ford to Study Links in India, Emerging Markets) Continue reading

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Laws Mandating DUI Interlocks Save Lives

Laws requiring all impaired-driving offenders to install alcohol interlocks reduce the number of impaired drivers in fatal crashes by 16%, a new study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety shows. Forty-five states require interlocks for at least certain impaired-driving offenders.

Twenty-eight states, the District of Columbia and four California counties have some type of interlock requirement that applies to first-time offenders. If all states without such laws adopted them, more than 500 additional lives could be saved each year. Continue reading

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Mahindra, Ford to Co-Develop SUVs, EV, Connected Car Blends

AutoInformed.com on Mahindra and Ford

Mahindra and Ford will co-develop a midsize SUV.

Mahindra Group and Ford Motor Company will jointly develop new SUVs, and a small electric vehicle as part of several initiatives announced between the two companies. The two companies signed five new memoranda of understanding (MoU) that increase their alliance and accelerates the development of new products for consumers in India and emerging markets that Ford can’t finance alone. Continue reading

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