Daimler Tries Deliveries Directly to Parked Cars in Berlin

AutoInformed.com on in-car delivery services

German geek humor? – ‘chark’ stands for change the why you park.

Today, chark (sic), a Daimler pilot project of the delivery service also starts in Berlin. Drivers of Mercedes-Benz passenger cars and the V-Class of model year 2015 and newer – can use the Mercedes me connect service to have parcels or purchases delivered directly to their parked vehicle in the German capital. Chark stands for change the why you park. It makes no difference whether the car is privately owned, leased or a company car. Orders can be placed with any online shop worldwide.

The customers were satisfied with the in-car delivery service during the pilot in Stuttgart. They positively highlighted the personal convenience, the greater ease in daily life as well as the speed of the delivery. All in all, more than 1000 parcels were delivered in the greater Stuttgart area to date. Continue reading

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NHTSA on Tesla Again for Bogus Safety Claims

AutoInformed.com on Tesla Autopilot safety claims

“dangerously misleading and deceptive practices and representations of Tesla Motors, Inc. regarding the safety and capabilities of its Autopilot”

The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration sent Tesla’s Elon Musk a cease-and-desist letter last year regarding Model 3 safety claims and has subpoenaed the carmaker for information on several crashes, according to documents posted by a non-profit advocacy group. The legal transparency and pressure group Plainsite revealed that NHTSA said the claims were inconsistent with its advertising guidelines regarding crash ratings and that it would ask the Federal Trade Commission to investigate whether the statements were unfair or deceptive acts.

The latest stock market manipulation came as the SEC remains silent in the curious case of the watchdog that didn’t bark. Any major automaker executive making such claims would be prosecuted and possibly jailed. Continue reading

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Ten-Month US Budget Deficit Now at $867 billion. $Trillion Deficits Now Certain Under Current Economic Policies

AutoInformed.com on Deficits and criminal investigations keep growing under President Trump.

Deficits and criminal investigations keep growing under President Trump.

The federal budget deficit was $867 billion for the first 10 months of fiscal year 2019, the Congressional Budget Office estimates. This, gulp,is $184 billion more than the deficit recorded during the same period last year. Revenues were $92 billion higher, and outlays were $276 billion higher than in the same period in fiscal year 2018. So much for Republican lip service that claimed deficits were bad. The annual interest payments on the debt are now $479 billion.

However, outlays in the first 10 months of last year were reduced by shifts in the timing of certain payments. If not for those shifts, the deficit for that period would have been $44 billion greater, and the increase in the deficit so far this year would have been $140 billion rather than $184 billion. Continue reading

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30 Senators Asking Automakers to Join California Fuel-Economy Agreement in Defiance of Trump’s EPA


It will interesting to see if Republicans abandon their “States Rights” posture now that it is inconvenient.

Thirty senators yesterday called on 14 automakers to join the agreement reached last month between California and Ford, BMW, Volkswagen and Honda to maintain strict fuel-efficiency rules. The letters were sent to Aston Martin, Fiat Chrysler, GM, Hyundai, Jaguar, Kia, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Porsche, Subaru, Toyota and Volvo.

“In the absence of an agreement between the Federal government and states, the California agreement is a commonsense framework that provides flexibility to the industry to meet tailpipe standards while also taking important steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and save money on fuel for consumers,” the senators wrote. Continue reading

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EVs, Coal Plant Closings Can Cut Carbon Emissions 42%

A new report from Community Energy claims that electric vehicles (EVs), combined with accelerated coal plant retirements, can reduce Colorado’s CO2 emissions by 42% by 2040 relative to today’s levels while lowering electric utility rates.

The study says that combined emissions from the transportation and electricity sector are reduced by 61%. It’s just another fact ignored by global warming deniers  and climate change reform opponents that notes that clean air is vital and global warming deadly. Continue reading

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Porsche SE Posts Strong 2019 Half-Year Results

AutoInformed.com on Porsche 6 Month 2019 Financial Results

Based on its current group structure, the Porsche SE Group continues to expect a group result after tax of between €3.4 billion and €4.4 billion for the fiscal year 2019.

Porsche Automobil Holding SE (“Porsche SE”) made €2.38 billion after taxes in the first six months of the fiscal year 2019 compared to €1.90 billion  in the prior-year period. This result was “significantly influenced” by the profit from the investment accounted for at equity in Volkswagen AG of €2.42 billion (prior-year period: € 1.94 billion).

Porsche sales revenue grew +9% to € 13.4 billion compared with the prior-year period. The operating result before special items increased by +3% to € 2.2 billion. Return on sales before special items was 16.5%. Deliveries increased 2% to 133,484 vehicles by June end. The workforce increased by 5% to 33,839 employees in the first half of 2019. Continue reading

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Center for Automotive Research: “Puzzle-Piece” Approach Endangered by New-Mobility Ecosystem, Says Alix Partners

The traditional, linear automotive order – automakers at the top, Tier-1 suppliers just beneath and sub-suppliers somewhere trailing in the distance – is being replaced by a radically different “puzzle-piece ecosystem” as the era of New Mobility approaches.

The puzzle-pieces that automakers and suppliers are historically best at – vehicle architectures, systems and assembly – will be just a part of the overall mobility mosaic. This could mean that legacy players need to be discerning about the partnerships they choose with “the other pieces of the puzzle,” such as technology and MaaS (mobility-as-a-service) companies, or efficient with the investments they make to compete with them, or both, claims AlixPartners’ Mark Wakefield. Continue reading

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2020 VW Lineup – Simplified, Driver Assist Tools Standard

AutoInformed.com on VW 2020 US Lineup

Like other automakers, VW is struggling with car sales but not SUVs.

Across the Volkswagen of America 2020 lineup most models are equipped with the next-generation Car-Net telematics system and standard in-car Wi-Fi capability when you subscribe to a data plan. The Jetta, Jetta GLI, and Tiguan also bring new technology content with available wireless charging.

Nearly all Volkswagen models will have standard driver-assistance features, including Forward Collision Warning and Autonomous Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Monitoring (Front Assist), Blind Spot Monitor, and Rear Traffic Alert. In addition, several models simplify their trim structures to bring pricing more in line with the market. Year-to-date U.S. sales at 215,796 are up +6.1%. Continue reading

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Nissan and EVgo Charging Adding 200 New Fast Chargers

AutoInformed.com on EVgo and Nissan EV Charging

The joint investment by Nissan and EVgo expands a six-year link between two of the early providers in transportation electrification in the U.S.

Nissan and EVgo are expanding the charging network for EV users with the installation of 200 direct-current fast chargers (DCFC) in the United States. Each of the new fast-chargers is capable of delivering 100kW and have both CHAdeMO and CCS connectors so more EV drivers can benefit.

More than 100 million Americans currently live within a 15-minute drive of an EVgo fast charger, including those built with Nissan along the I-95 corridor on the East Coast, and the DRIVEtheARC corridor in California from Monterey to Lake Tahoe. Continue reading

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California, Automakers Defying Trump Agree on Emissions

AutoInformed.com on US Energy-Related CO2 Emissions 2016

It will be interesting watching “states rights” Republicans try to ignore the record now that states are increasingly asserting the rights of their citizens to breathe clean air.

Ford, Honda, BMW of North America and Volkswagen Group of America have defied the Trump rollback of emission standards of light cars and trucks by cutting a deal with California on a voluntary framework to reduce emissions that is an alternative path forward for clean vehicle standards nationwide. Other troglodyte automakers will be under extreme pressure to follow what is a slight modification to the Obama Administration’s breakthrough CAFE regulations. (President Obama Unveils 54.5 MPG Fuel Economy Regulation for 2017-25. It will Alter Vehicle Choices and Increase Costs)

The deal supports continued annual reductions of vehicle greenhouse gas emissions through the 2026 model year, encourages innovation to accelerate the transition to electric vehicles, and provides industry the certainty needed to make investments and create jobs, claims the California Air Resources Board.  Continue reading

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Mercedes-Benz Joins the Driver Assist Software Recall Parade

AutoInformed.com on Driver Assist Software Recall

Doesn’t sound like we are anywhere near zero failure rates at any automaker. These were Mercedes developed and tested vehicles that went on sale.

Late-model Mercedes-Benz vehicles equipped with the Driver Assistance Package have a “software error” in the radar sensor control unit that “may impair the functionality of the Active Brake Assist.” Continental supplied the dangerous software. An earlier version of the code is now in use.

In the latest giant pothole on the road to autonomous vehicles, the defective Active Brake Assist may not automatically apply partial or full braking as expected. This – you don’t need a computer to calculate it – increases the risk of a crash particularly if the driver is texting, sexting or otherwise not paying attention. Continue reading

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Death of the Diesel: CARB Incentives for Clean Off-Road Freight and Cargo Handling Funded by Cap and Trade

AutoInformed.com on CARB Phasing Out Diesels

Marketplace incentives to clean the air instead of Koch Brothers campaign contributions to keep the air and politicians dirty.

The California Air Resources Board has announced the launch of a new $40 million program designed to accelerate the purchase and use of zero-emission off-road freight technologies.

The “Clean Off-Road Equipment Voucher Incentive Project” (CORE) has a streamlined voucher process for buyers to receive funding that will offset the higher costs of clean, zero-emission equipment including terminal tractors, transport refrigeration units, cargo-handling equipment and so forth.
Continue reading

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Center for Auto Safety, Consumer Watchdog Again Push FTC, State Attorneys General to Probe Tesla After Autopilot Death

AutoInformed.com on the deadly Tesla AutoPilot

A toxic mix of what is advertised, what the software does, what is perceived or projected, and what non-computerized people actually do while driving.

The Center for Auto Safety and Consumer Watchdog have renewed their call to the Federal Trade Commission to investigate “dangerously misleading and deceptive practices and representations of Tesla Motors, Inc. regarding the safety and capabilities of its Autopilot feature.”

Since the consumer groups called on the FTC to investigate one year ago, another American has died (that makes three known fatals), others have been injured, and “many more have acted recklessly as a result of deceptive practices by Tesla making their owners believe that a Tesla with ‘Autopilot’ is an autonomous vehicle capable of self-driving.”

What Tesla Says

“All new Tesla cars have the hardware needed in the future for full self-driving in almost all circumstances. The system is designed to be able to conduct short and long-distance trips with no action required by the person in the driver’s seat.”… Continue reading

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GM Opens $65 Million Parts Processing Center Near Flint

AutoInformed.com on General Motors Customer Care and Aftersales Warehouse near Flint

The CCA division at General Motors employs ~8,000 hourly, salaried and contract employees globally.

Today General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) opened a new ACDelco and GM Genuine Parts processing center in the Flint, Michigan, suburb of Burton. GM – under attack for tacking a U.S. taxpayer funded bailout then moving jobs offshore – says the facility will employ more than 800 hourly and salaried employees.

GM now employs only 9,500 people in Genesee County, including the Grand Blanc headquarters of the company’s Customer Care and Aftersales business and the Flint manufacturing complex. All of the positions in Burton support GM’s CCA* business that is responsible for supporting the service and repair needs of millions of GM vehicle owners. Continue reading

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First Chattanooga MotorCar Festival Debuts in October

AutoInformed.com on       auto industry commentary, autoinformed.com, automotive blog, Ken Zino, inaugural Chattanooga MotorCar Festival, Chattanooga MotorCar Festival

Well, I told Orville and I told Wilbur it will never fly.

No choo-choos at the inaugural Chattanooga MotorCar Festival, just cars, bikes and boats of all ages, all eras, and all disciplines. Cars and motorcycles will compete in three different events at the Festival, which include the Time Trials Between the Bridges, Rendezvous of the Greats Concours d’Elegance, and the High Jinks Rallye.

Those that will challenge the 1.5-mile circuit in the Time Trials Between the Bridges range from a 1956 Wright Special, a 1938 Wolseley Special, a 1918 American LaFrance, a 1929 Ford Model A, to a more “modern” 1970 Boss TA Mustang, 1972 BMW 3.0 CSL and 1972 Ford Capri RS. A 1956 BMW Sidecar Racer R50 will also be there. Continue reading

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