Author Archives: Ken Zino

About Ken 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.

A Decade of Chinese Ownership – Volvo Cars Posts Strongest Second-Half Sales in Its 93-Year History

While sales dropped by 21% during the first half of the year, Volvo Car resumed growth in the second half of 2020, reporting month-on-month growth from June onwards. Sales rose by 7.4% to 391,751 cars in the second half of the year compared with the same period in 2019. However, globally, Volvo Cars sold 661,713 cars in 2020, a decline of 6.2% compared to 2019. Although final numbers for the full year are not confirmed, the company claims it outperformed its competitors and gained market share in all its main sales regions during the first 11 months of the year. Continue reading

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BrightDrop? General Motors New Business Claims It Will Electrify, Improve Goods and Services Delivery

BrightDrop introduces GM’s Ultium platform to the commercial vehicle segment and has Level 2 and DC fast charging capabilities. FedEx Express will be the first customer of BrightDrop. An EP1 pilot program has been completed in partnership with FedEx Express. During the pilot, FedEx Express couriers were able to handle 25% more packages effectively and safely per day with the EP1s. FedEx couriers said that the EP1s were easy to maneuver and reduced physical strain. Continue reading

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We the People Say Again Farewell to Despots and Treason

Now, once again, the courtiers of privilege and wealth are presiding over our fate and using hatred, false patriotism and militias of fascists to enrich themselves, expand their unearned privileges and oppress our Citizen Patriots who voted some of the haters out of office. The rest need to go too, especially all the Republicans who wanted to and continue to try to overthrow our votes and cancel our elections. Our new battles of Lexington and Concord will now take place in voter registration procedures and polling places, and our courts. This is our birthright – we will govern ourselves according to our Constitution. Continue reading

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Boeing to Pay More Than $2.5 Billion for 737 Max Fraud

The Justice Departments reputation and adherence to the law is subject to considerable debate under the pardoner in Chief – soon to be ex-president Trump and the former Attorney General (resume laundering by resigning 23 Dec 2020) and Republican lawyer William P. Barr. He is also known here as no-holds Barr for his relentless interference in Justice Department principles and law enforcement procedures to protect Trump, aka the Man Who would be King. Boeing, debatably, profited from such interference when the Trump Administration refused to ground the 737 Max despite growing incidents and fatalities. Continue reading

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CARB Settles AltAir Paramount Abuses of Low Carbon Fuel

The LCFS requires quarterly and annual reports to be submitted completely and accurately. CARB alleged that AltAir for the 2017 Reporting Period, and sold, supplied, offered for sale, and transported fuel into the State of California, but failed to report and submitted a report containing inaccuracies, misreported, or entered false quarterly and annual report information, which led to a failure to eliminate annual deficits. These are violations of the LCFS regulation. Continue reading

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IndustriALL Global Union – Labor Will Defend US Democracy

“Attempting to overthrow a democratic election through violence is fascism. The labor movement has always been and remains an implacable opponent of fascism and defender of democracy. As one of the world’s largest democratic organizations, representing more than fifty million manufacturing, energy and mine workers worldwide, IndustriALL Global Union, together with its affiliates and allies, will always defend democracy.” Continue reading

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Volkswagen of America Q4 Sales up 11%, 2020 Sales Down 10%

However, VW year-to date sales of 325,784  were down 10% from 2019. The YTD SUV share of sales was 58% or 188,121.  It was the best December since 2012 with sales of 38,432 up 38%. Continue reading

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Toyota Motor North America Reports December 2020 Sales Increase 22.9%. Yearly Sales Drop -11.3%

For the year, Toyota reported sales of 1,837,900 vehicles, down 11.9% on a volume basis and down 12.4% on a DSR basis. Lexus division posted December sales of 38,223 vehicles, up 8.2% on a volume basis and down 3.4% on a DSR basis.  For the year, Lexus reported sales of 275,041 vehicles, down 7.7% on a volume basis and down 8.3% on a DSR basis. Continue reading

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Ford Motor 2020 US Sales Plunge -16%

For the year Ford sales dropped -15.6%. Ford sales were hurt by lower F-150 inventories from the ongoing consequences of the Q2 coronavirus production stoppage, which resulted in an awful F-150 transition to a revised pickup. Super Duty sales maintained pace and were up 14.1% while F-150 sales were off, gulp, -32.7%, which will make for a grim Q4 2020 financial loss. At the moment Ford executives appear to be in the automotive industry equivalent of  an FBI witness protection program – no more sales results press conferences. Continue reading

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GM 2020 US Sales – Infected by Covid –  Are Down -12%

However, on Tuesday it was agreed by most of OPEC that it will keep production stable while Saudi Arabia offered to make a big voluntary cut. The price of oil, as well as when – or if – the US economy recovers are external factors beyond GM’s control that could stop the chortling in Detroit. Continue reading

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GM to Convert More than 650 US Temp Employees to Full-Time

General Motors says that more than 650 hourly employees at its sites in the U.S. will transition from temporary to regular full-time employment during January 2021. These employees work at nine GM manufacturing plants and other sites in Michigan, Indiana, … Continue reading

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One-Millionth Subscriber Joins Subaru Connected Services

Subscription-based services are part of Subaru’s In-Vehicle Technology program that with variations is increasingly offered by other automakers in hopes of generating revenue. The  Subaru system claims to provide multimedia content, smartphone connectivity, navigation, extra safety, and everyday convenience. Looming as these systems increase are privacy and security concerns as well as the re-selling of customer data, which critics argue the customer owns.
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VW Beetle Ensnared in Takata Airbag Recall

VW maintains that the Takata SDI-D driver frontal airbag inflators installed in the recalled vehicles currently do not pose an unreasonable risk to motor vehicle safety to drivers of affected vehicles. “Based on its prior conversations with NHTSA, Volkswagen understands that the Agency is concerned that after additional time, the airbag inflator may not perform properly in the event of a crash,” VW said. Continue reading

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Commerce – S. Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam Tire Dumping

Using Census Bureau trade numbers, AutoInformed figures this involves 85,330,506 tires with a value of more than $3.5 billion. The case will drag on well into this year. Continue reading

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Miss Shilling’s Orifice Fixed Merlin Engines on Spitfires

In one of those odd and startling connections, we are in a war now against Covid that will require the collective sacrifice and patriotism that was on display during the British battle and subsequently – in another parallel – our struggles under the Roosevelt Administration that followed a demonstrably incompetent Republican one. Continue reading

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