Author Archives: Kenneth Zino

About Kenneth Zino

Ken Zino is an auto industry veteran with global experience in print, broadcast and electronic media. He has auto testing, marketing, public relations and communications expertise garnered while working in Asia, Europe and the U.S.

Xpeng Motors Gets Production License for Zhaoqing Factory

“The Zhaoqing manufacturing plant is an essential component of our vision to build a smart mobility ecosystem, from in-house R&D to smart manufacturing to customer services. Obtaining the production approval for the plant will hasten our progress in producing and delivering best-in-class products and services for our customers,” said He Xiaopeng, Chairman and CEO of Xpeng Motors, which also built the plant. Continue reading

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Two Spanish Nissan Plants on Strike over Job Security

On 14 May, the Nikkei Shimbun published a speculative story on Nissan’s future production strategy. “Nissan in fiscal 2019 produced about 55,000 vehicles in Spain, accounting for about 10% of its European output. It will shift its Barcelona production to Renault plants in France and elsewhere,” said the Nikkei. “Nissan has not made any official statement on this subject. Nissan’s midterm planning is in progress and has not been concluded yet. As announced earlier, Nissan will announce a revised midterm plan along with fiscal year 2019 financial results on May 28,” said a Nissan statement. Continue reading

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US COVID-19 Crisis = Struggles with Healthcare, Housing, Food

The results might be skewed positive to current Republican Wishful thinking, rather than stark reality since the Trump Administration perverted the Bureau as part of a failed ploy on  Republican Repression of Voters by dictating unprecedented questions on the Census designed to discourage less affluent people from participating. Continue reading

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2020 Nissan Frontier – Hinting at a Next Gen Version

However, the $20,000 pickup is no more. Along with the Chevrolet Colorado and the Ford Ranger, the price of entry is now at least $28,000 ranging up to, gulp, $38,000. Continue reading

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CAR Launches Research Exploring the Auto Industry 4.0

The project will also include an investigation into the financial investment and expectations for associated return on investment for companies implementing Industry 4.0 strategies. Continue reading

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First Virtual Look – 2021 Toyota Venza Two-Row Crossover

All Venza’s will be hybrids – supporting Toyota’s stated goal of selling 25% of its product line as hybrids by 2025 – and all will be AWD. More pertinent to buyers, the 219 horsepower, 5-seat Venza is projected to have an EPA combined mileage of 40 mpg (LE trim and Electronic On-Demand All-Wheel Drive) when it goes on sale this summer. Pricing is not released yet and could be critical to Venza’s success in the salesroom or as is likely online as the U.S. is far, far behind in social distancing and a national response. It does however lead the world in Covid plague deaths. Continue reading

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Failed Pre-Collision – Ford Recalls Expedition, Navigator

Obviously, this is a safety defect because if the driver is unaware that the Pre-Collision Assist system is not enabled, they may rely on a system that is not functional, increasing the risk of a crash or injury. Continue reading

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Limit Vehicle Disease with Bacteria, Virus Resisting Materials

Shashank Modi a Research Engineer at the Center for Automotive Research in Michigan notes that drivers of Uber, Lyft, and other ride-hailing services are concerned about their own health and that of their passengers. Company guidelines recommend ride-hailing drivers to wear masks and disinfect their cars regularly. “But are these safety measures sustainable in the long run? Is there a better way to instill confidence in shared mobility?” asks Modi. Continue reading

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Finally, Census Bureau Survey on Businesses

The survey, conducted by email, is intended to provide weekly data on the impact of the COVID-19 plague on the nation’s businesses. Results are displayed as data visualizations. The Census Bureau defines small businesses as single business locations with one to 499 employees and at least $1,000 in annual revenue. Continue reading

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Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac Expand Customer Care Marketing Initiatives With the ‘CLEAN’ Program

Dealers who enroll in the so-called CLEAN program have agreed to follow CDC guidelines and to use Environmental Protection Agency-approved cleansers in connection with the cleaning of their facilities, including high-traffic areas, and the cleaning of new, used and serviced customer vehicles. Dealers who enroll in the program have committed to following the CDC guidelines and practices upon enrollment. They should not inject or drink bleach of course. Continue reading

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Half of Pandemic Layoffs Will Result in Permanent Job Loss

The authors say that even if the crisis is resolved quickly, many pandemic-induced shifts in consumer demand and business will linger. Therefore, they conclude that the reallocation of labor is likely to persist and estimate that 42% of recent pandemic-induced layoffs will result in permanent job loss. Continue reading

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Einride and Oatly to Electrify Transport in Sweden

“Road freight transport as it currently exists is a system that drastically needs to change. Nearly 7% of global CO2 emissions come from this road freight, a figure that will only increase if we do not switch to more sustainable,” says Robert Falck, CEO and Founder of Einride. Continue reading

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VW: Three-Month Warranty Extension On New, Used Vehicles

Volkswagen and Volkswagen Credit (VCI) also announced an extension  of customer payment relief options put in place because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Continue reading

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COVID Journal – Our Correspondents on Politics, Policy and Insights in these Medieval Times of a 21st Century Plague

Well, we are isolating in place. I have seen all of Fleabag and the Crown, and The Medici, among others. Hoarding here is more contagious than Corona virus. King Trump, as always, is trying to bluff his way out of the crisis he abetted by dismissing the threat and then – even now – refusing to act while self-praising his not quiet, not genius approach and attacking media for using his own words/babble against him. Continue reading

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Penske Automotive Q1 2020 Results -46% at $0.64 per share

In the U.S., through February same-store new and used automotive retail unit sales increased 7.5% and declined 1.1% internationally. In March, the outbreak of COVID-19 began to impact Penske in all markets. Many U.S. and Germany dealerships were impacted by shelter-in-place orders while operations in Italy, Spain and the U.K. were closed. As a result, same-store new and used automotive retail unit sales for the month of March declined -40.2%. Continue reading

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