Elena Ford Named Chief Customer Experience Officer. John Savona to Head Ford North America Manufacturing

AutoInformed.com on Elena Ford Named Chief Customer Experience Officer

Our goal is to be the most trusted company and we must deliver the most trusted experience for our customers.”

Ford Motor Company announced that Elena Ford has been named Chief Customer Experience Officer. In this role, she will lead the organization responsible for creating a world-class customer experience throughout the entire ownership cycle. The company also announced that John Savona is named vice president, North American Manufacturing.

In this role, Elena Ford, 52, will report to Joe Hinrichs, Ford president, Global Operations. The realignment of customer experience under Global Operations will allow Elena Ford, 52, to work with Ford Customer Service Division and the Quality organization “to connect the design and implementation of a world-class customer experience system that connects the interactions between Ford and its customers around the world. In her role, she will continue to be closely integrated with the Sales and Marketing organization and global dealer network.” Continue reading

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All Female Driver Teams to Enter IMSA GT3 and GTD Championship 2019

AutoInformed.com on Female Drivers in 2019 IMSA

Click to enlarge.

Heinricher Racing has entered into a partnership with Caterpillar Inc. (CAT) to compete in the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona and the 2019 International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) WeatherTech SportsCar Championship on board the No. 57 MSR Acura NSX GT3 entry.

Heinricher is a U.S. Air Force Veteran and founder of successful biotech company BooShoot. In addition to Heinricher, from the U.S., the team will include Katherine Legge of England, Simona De Silvestro of Switzerland and Bia Figueiredo (Ana Beatriz) of Brazil. Continue reading

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Optional GM Extended Bumper-to-Bumper Limited Warranty

AutoInformed.com on GM Extended Warranty

The warranty is in force no matter who owns the vehicle, so there’s no need to transfer coverage, potentially adding to the resale value of the vehicle.

Effective immediately, buying a new General Motors vehicle offers an option to purchase a “true, extended bumper-to-bumper limited warranty resulting in five years or 60,000 miles of coverage (whichever comes first) for Chevrolet and GMC customers, and six years or 70,000 miles for Buick and Cadillac customers. No other brand offers customers a true extended warranty.”

The standard factory bumper-to-bumper limited warranty on Chevrolet and GMC products is three years or 36,000 miles, whichever comes first. On Buicks and Cadillacs, it is four years or 50,000 miles, whichever comes first. Continue reading

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Four Banger for 2019 Chevrolet Silverado?

AutoInformed.com on 2019 Chevrolet Silverado LT Trail Boss

The 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 has eight trims with six engine/transmission combinations. Higher performance versions won’t have the four-cylinder.

Call it the triumph of the CAFÉ nerds. One where government regulation not only works but provides clear benefits for car owners and the population at large. The all-new 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 comes with a 2.7-liter four-cylinder turbocharged engine that has an EPA-estimated fuel economy of 20 mpg city/23 mpg highway in rear-wheel-drive models. Perhaps more significant is the Silverado diet, which the entire industry should be on. The base curb weight of the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado with the 2.7L Turbo is 380 pounds less than the current Silverado with the 4.3-liter V6, despite having more interior room and cargo space.

Standard on LT and RST trims, the 2.7L engine has 14% more torque and 13% better city fuel economy and it is  a claimed more than a full second quicker 0-60 mph than the 4.3L V-6 it replaces. The Silverado city fuel economy also exceeds the standard 3.3L V6 engine in the Ford F-150 XLT (EPA-estimated 19 mpg city) but only matches that of the Ram 1500 3.6L V6 mild hybrid (EPA-estimated 20 mpg city). Continue reading

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Alliance Ventures Invests in Coord, a US Mobility Data Platform

AutoInformed.com on Alliance Ventures invests in data ecosystem for shared transport services

In 2010 The Alliance entered into a strategic cooperation agreement with Daimler (Carlos Ghosn Alliance Chairman R, Dieter Zetsche of Daimler L) on the next-generation small cars – the Renault Twingo and Smart Fortwo, including electric versions as well as expanding both model ranges.

Alliance Ventures, the corporate venture capital fund of Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi, the world’s largest automotive group by unit sales**, announced that it led a $5 million Series A investment in investment in Coord, the US mobility data platform. The latest investment by Alliance Ventures is also supported by additional funding from Trucks, Urban.Us, DB Ventures and Joshua Schachter. They join Alphabet’s Sidewalk Labs, a previous investor in Coord.

Initially focused on reaching developers with a  suite of APIs*, Coord intends to use this new financing to scale geographic coverage and build a comprehensive solution to enable enterprise customers to optimize their use of transportation infrastructure such as roads, curbs and parking lots.  Continue reading

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PRNewswire BETA Under Construction

BETA PRNEWSWIRE

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Ford Motor Company Q4 Dividend Remains $0.15

AutoInformed.com on Rouge Ford Model A Assembly 1930s

Bring back the Model A?

The Board of Directors of Ford Motor Company declared a fourth quarter regular dividend of $0.15 per share on the company’s outstanding Class B and common stock. The fourth quarter dividend is the same amount of regular dividend paid in the first, second and third quarters of 2018. (See AutoInformed.com on Ford Motor US Sales Reverse in September. Job Cuts Coming)

The fourth quarter dividend is payable on December 3, 2018 to shareholders of record at the close of business on October 23, 2018. The latest Ford news comes as the company struggles in a good economy. Ford Motor Company’s September U.S. sales declined -11.2% on total sales of 197,404 vehicles (-2% year-to-date). Continue reading

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Three Peat! Corvette Takes Makers’ and Drivers’ Titles in IMSA GT Le Mans at Road Atlanta Season Finale’

AutoInformed.com on IMSA GT Le Mans - GTLM

Antonio Garcia and Jan Magnussen, drivers of the #3 Chevrolet Corvette C7.R win their second straight IMSA GTLM Driver’s title during the Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta. Garcia and Magnussen shared the ride for during the 10-hour endurance race with hired fast-gun Marcel Fässler.

In a tough outing, Corvette Racing won its third consecutive IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship  in the GT Le Mans (GTLM) class Saturday at the Motul Petit Le Mans run on Road Atlanta. By finishing eighth in the #3 Corvette, co-drivers Antonio Garcia and Jan Magnussen, joined at Road Atlanta by hired gun Marcel Fassler, defended their Drivers’ title from one year ago with an eighth-place finish. In racing’s version of tortoise and hare, it was Corvettes’ consistency over the season by constantly finishing in the points that proved a winning strategy.

It was the 13th team championship and 12th driver title for Corvette Racing in its 20-year history. The championship-winning#3 team managed to win the championship without scoring a win, riding a remarkable consistency that included eight podium finishes in 11 starts.  Continue reading

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Arizona Picks Intel to Lead Automated Vehicle Safety Institute

The state of Arizona today announced the formation of the Institute for Automated Mobility to advance the safe deployment of automated vehicles. Intel Corporation is a founding partner of the new institute. The public-private consortium will focus on the liability, regulatory and safety implications of automated vehicles and will work to develop standards and best practices for the industry to follow. The group is already working on liability and regulatory research as well as plans for an enclosed 2.1-mile safety test track.

“The Institute for Automated Mobility will bring together global industry leaders, a public sector team and the brightest minds in academia, focused on advancing all aspects of automated vehicle science, safety and policy. Arizona is committed to providing the leadership and knowledge necessary to integrate these technologies into the world’s transportation systems,” claimed Doug Ducey, Arizona governor. Continue reading

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Beware of Self Interest in Mobility Promotion says NADA

AutoInformed.com on Mobility Companies and Wes Lutz NADA Chair

“If Uber and Lyft are dramatically more expensive than personal vehicle ownership, then people aren’t going to stop buying cars, and the auto industry isn’t doomed.”

NADA Chairman Wes Lutz at APA in Detroit this week posed the question if there is enough skepticism in reporting about the auto industry’s headlong rush into the future of mobility, the internet of things and autonomous vehicles. He was particularly irked – and as an auto dealer with as much abundant self-interest as the new mobility soothsayers/stock promoters – by media narratives suggesting that ride-hailing will replace personal vehicle ownership.

Lutz said one of the biggest false narratives is that ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft are less expensive that personal vehicle ownership. Yet in August, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety released a study finding that the cost of relying on ride-hailing services as a primary mode of transportation* in 20 of the biggest metro areas in the U.S. was, at minimum, more than twice as much as the cost of owning a personal vehicle. Continue reading

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Freshened Mazda CX-5 Launched in Japan

AutoInformed.com on freshened Mazda CX-5

The last one I drove – a couple of years back – had crisp handling, the badly named “SKYACTIV” technologies, decent all-around performance and build quality. Above all, a good presence in a world over-populated with cookie cutter crossovers.

Mazda Motor Corporation has begun accepting pre-orders for the updated Mazda CX-5 at dealerships throughout Japan. The freshened crossover SUV (their words here and following) has what’s called a distinctive design coupled with the pleasure of Jinba-ittai driving – responsive control over driving, turning and braking – in everyday driving situations.

Pre-orders have also begun for the CX-5 Exclusive Mode special edition. This range-topping special edition money maker (Mazda is financially challenged since the Ford Motor divorce that demonstrably hurt both parties) has selected materials that create a look of “warmth and modernity.” Sales of the updated CX-5 and CX-5 Exclusive Mode special edition start on November 22. and the crossover will, maybe, eventually find its way to the U.S. Continue reading

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Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum to Begin Seven-Year $650m Renovation

AutoInformed.com on The National Air and Space Museum proposed design updaates

The Air and Space Museum renovation will refresh some exhibitions but retain their current themes; others will be completely replaced.

The National Air and Space Museum will begin its major renovation of the building on the National Mall before the end of the year. The revitalization of the building’s exterior and infrastructure, and the transformation of all 23 exhibitions and presentation spaces, will take approximately seven years. Though the museum will remain open, phased gallery closures will begin Dec. 3 with the closure of the “Apollo to the Moon” and “Looking at Earth” exhibitions. Several additional galleries will close in January 2019.

For the first few years, some of the most popular artifacts will remain on display, including the “Spirit of St. Louis,” the 1903 Wright Flyer, Bell X-1, the Apollo Lunar Module and Skylab. The first set of galleries are scheduled to reopen in 2022. Continue reading

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Jami Miscik Appointed to GM Board of Directors

AutoInformed.com on Jami Miscik GM Board of DirectorsGeneral Motors Co. today announced the election of Jami Miscik to its Board of Directors. An expert in global security and intelligence, Miscik currently serves as the chief executive officer and vice chair of Kissinger Associates.

With the addition of eBay President and CEO Devin Wenig, last April as the 11th GM director, The GM Board looks to be well stocked with seasoned business and government insiders.

AutoInformed.com on eBay President and CEO Devin Wenig on GM BoardThus far there is no evidence that Wenig will co-mingle business between GM and eBay Motors, but the possibilities are intriguing in these days of old “blacksmithing” auto companies in upheaval over the ill-defined mobility firms that  these are now morphing into – knowingly or obliviously. (Treasury Makes $245 Million in Added Profits from TARP) Continue reading

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McLaren 570S Spider to £725,000 bid at Elton John Argento Ball

AutoInformed.com on McLaren

McLaren 570S Spider presented to winning bidder at Elton John Argento Ball.

A McLaren 570S Spider auctioned earlier this year at the Elton John Argento Ball has been presented to the successful bidder by Amanda McLaren, daughter of the company’s founder Bruce McLaren, at a Pure McLaren driving event in North America. Special ‘Blade Silver’ 570S Spider raised £725,000 – four times retail – at an auction to benefit the Elton John AIDS Foundation.

The convertible was hand-finished in metallic ‘Blade Silver’ to honor the 25th anniversary of the charity foundation. Funds raised at the Argento Ball, which took place at Elton John’s Berkshire home in the UK in June 2018, are helping to provide many young people with information about HIV, the means to test themselves and access to medical care, if required. Continue reading

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Hyundai Indonesian Plant: Koreans Versus Dominant Japanese and Versus Looming Chinese Invasion Threat

AutoInformed.com on Hyundai H-1 (Grand Starex) MPV assembled in Indonesia

No word on vehicles to be built at the plant, but LMC’s informed view is that SUVs are most likely with a mix of smaller B- and C-segment models – Kona and Tucson.

Our friends at the LMC consultancy write that Hyundai Motor is finally doing something about its business in Indonesia, one of the world’s most populous markets. Last month, the Korean OEM signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Indonesian government to invest in a new plant, with a reported annual production capacity of 200,000 vehicles from 2020.

“Despite having a presence in the Indonesian market for more than a decade, Hyundai’s local business has been relatively small, with sales of just 936 units in the first eight months of this year. The only vehicle currently assembled locally is the H-1 (Grand Starex) MPV. Hyundai’s other models sold in Indonesia – the Santa Fe, Tucson, i20 and i10 – are imported and therefore subject to import duties,” says LMC. Continue reading

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