FCA Recalls Ram Pickups for Unsafe Airbags, Seat belts

AutoInformed,com on 2019 RAM Pickup

More computer errors – flash memory that in a flash is gone.

Chrysler (FCA US) is recalling 295,981 2019-2020 Ram 1500 vehicles. The flash memory of the Occupant Restraint Controller (ORC) may become corrupted, disabling the vehicle’s air bags and seat belt pretensioners.

Some of the Ram pickups may have been built with an Occupant Restraint Controller (ORC) containing software that has a potential vulnerability during power-down memory clean-up events which can corrupt flash memory. Corrupted ORC flash memory may result in internal fault codes, illuminated Airbag Warning Lamp, and disabled deployment of airbags and pretensioners. Continue reading

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Trump Backs Down on Mexican Import Taxes. Declares Victory by Solving His Self-Created Crisis for American Workers

AutoInformed.com on Commerce Dept. Hearings July 2018 with Autoworkers Protesting Job Destroying Trump Tariffs

Commerce Dept. Hearings July 2018 with Autoworkers Protesting Job Destroying Trump Tariffs.

By now the Trump Administration playbook is all too familiar. Faced with a report last Friday by his own Labor Department that that just 75,000 jobs were created*, and wages increased by 0.2% in May, he declared victory in his Mexican tariff war by cancelling them before they went into effect this week. (Trump Tariffs on Mexico – Job Destroying Taxes on Workers, David Schwietert on Trump Tariffs on Mexico – Job Destroying Taxes on Workers)

Automakers, farmers, the equity markets and his normally sycophantic Republican party were all protesting the reckless move. Thus adding  to the need to reverse the very course that Trump had set. Continue reading

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Renault Returns the Nissan Abstinence Vote Favor

AutoInformed.com on Renault FCA Merger

This is starting to sound like a variation on a Judy Garland lyric from the Company that Got Away (FCA). “The night is bitter… The road gets rougher…

Paybacks are hell. Nissan has received a letter from Renault indicating its intention to abstain from voting on measures to strengthen Nissan’s weak corporate governance practices. In a statement Nissan acknowledged the slight saying the reason given, according to media reports, is that Renault’s views concerning selection of committee members have not been adequately reflected.

This after the French government asked for more time to study the FCA Renault merger when it learned that Nissan intended to abstain from a vote that would allow it to go forward. (AutoInformed on Renault’s Board of Directors Continue FCA Merger Study, Renault’s Board of Directors Continue FCA Merger Study) Continue reading

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Josef Newgarden in Penske Chevrolet Wins Texas 600

AutoInformed.com on Newgarden Wins IndyCar Texas 600

Good for the promoters and gushing TV commentators, bad for racing.

Josef Newgarden won the NTT IndyCar Series race at Texas Motor Speedway Saturday night after a bonehead move by Scott Dixon illuminated a late yellow light. The race was caution-free for more than the first half, until Zach Veach brushed the wall exiting Turn 2 on Lap 135. His Honda did an entertaining 360-degree spin but Veach kept it off the wall and came to a stop in Turn 3 with slight suspension damage and a flat tire.

The second caution occurred when James Hinchcliffe slid wide into the Turn 2 wall on Lap 219. The final exasperating yellow came when the cars of Scott Dixon and rookie Colton Herta touched while battling for third place in Turn 3 on Lap 229, sending both into the wall. It was clearly Dixon’s fault. Race Control did nothing.
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Trump Mexican Tariffs – Negative on Prices, Economy and Jobs

AutoInformed.com on Trump's Job Destroying Mexican TariffsIf the United States imposes 5% to 25% tariffs on all imports from Mexico starting Monday, U.S. consumers can expect to see sharp price increases on new cars and trucks as well as higher costs to maintain and repair their existing vehicles. The tariff move also endangers ratification of President Donald Trump’s signature trade agreement — the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement — and sows uncertainty that puts a chill on investments in America.

The Center for Automotive Research, where I am a vice president, estimates that a 5% tariff rate would increase the price of an average new vehicle built in the United States by at least $250. At a 25% tariff rate, U.S.-built vehicle prices would rise at least $1,100. Vehicles imported from Mexico would see sharper price increases — at least $1,100 at 5% tariff rate and at least $5,400 if the tariffs were ratcheted up to 25% by this fall. Overall, the tariffs would reduce U.S. gross domestic product by at least $7 billion to $34 billion annually and cause the loss of 82,000 to 390,000 U.S. jobs.   Continue reading

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Ford Starts Bridgend Engine Plant Closing Process

AutoInforemd.com on Ford Bridgend engine plant in South Wales.

Ford wants the production of the new generation Ford 1.5-liter to end at Bridgend in February 2020, with manufacture of the engines supplied to Jaguar Land Rover ceasing in September 2020, when it is proposed that Bridgend will close.

Ford has finally confirmed the start of a consultation with its unions concerning the closing of the Bridgend Engine Plant in South Wales. The proposed action is a necessary step, claims Ford, to support its global business redesign and is part of the company’s strategy to “create a more efficient and focused business in Europe.”

There is by Ford management choice significant underutilization of the plant, caused by the impending end of engine production for Jaguar Land Rover, the cessation of the previous generation Ford GTDi 1.5-liter engine, and reduced global demand for the new generation Ford GTDi and Pfi 1.5-liter engine. At expected volumes, the plant also faces a cost disadvantage compared with other Ford facilities building the same engine. Continue reading

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Luxury Vehicles No Longer Have Panache?

AutoInformed.com on Audi e-tron and luxury vehicle sales in EUThe Premium Car market share in Europe has, generally, been on a steady increase during the last couple of decades,” observes Sammy Chan, Analyst at consultancy LMC. During 2000-2010, Premium market share of European Passenger Cars grew from 15% to 18%. By the end of 2018, it was 22%.

“A closer look, however, reveals that Premium share actually suffered two consecutive years of decline recently,” Chan notes. The £1 Billion questions are: will this drop continue, and should Premium segment players be worried? Continue reading

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Cadillac to Increase Super Cruise Compatible Highway Network

AutoInformed.com on Cadillac CT6 with Super Cruise Engaged

Driver’s are testing an untold but enormous number of lines of computer code. A traffic-free road?

Cadillac is expanding the availability of Super Cruise to an additional 70,000 miles of compatible, divided highways in the United States and Canada. This expansion will make a true hands-free driver assistance system available on more than 200,000 total miles of compatible highways by the Q4 of 2019.* (Autonomous Vehicle Nod – Super Cruise on All Cadillacs)

To date, Super Cruise has been available on more than 130,000 miles of limited-access freeways. The expansion builds on Super Cruise’s combination of precision LiDAR map data, high-precision GPS, a state-of-the-art Driver Attention System and a network of camera and radar sensors. Continue reading

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IndustriALL Makes Rights Abuses Complaint about Mitsubishi Electric with Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games Organizing Committee

AutoInformed.com on 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games

Mitsubishi forced union leaders and 400 locked-out union members to attend a four-day camp at a military base to “learn discipline and order.”

Mitsubishi Electric, an official partner of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, is contravening the Fundamental Principles of the Games’ Sustainable Sourcing Code, through violations of core ILO Labor Standards at its subsidiary, Mitsubishi Electric Consumer Products Thailand, according to IndustriALL.

“Mitsubishi Electric’s Thai subsidiary has subjected workers to degrading and humiliating treatment, locked-out union members, forced workers to sign a document denouncing their union, and disobeyed a ruling by Thailand’s Labor Relation Committee (LRC) to reinstate union members, the international union said today.
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BMW Group Opens Plant in San Luis Potosi, Mexico

AutoInformed.com on BMW Group Opens Plant in San Luis Potosi, Mexico 6 June 2019

San Luis Potosi will build the BMW brand’s most successful model –  the 3-Series Sedan.

We guess that BMW management aren’t staunch Republicans bent on raising taxes on American workers. Nonetheless, high-level representatives of the Mexican government and the BMW Group officially opened the company’s new automotive plant in San Luis Potosi in Mexico today.

Well starting four days from now prices will likely include a 5% tariff decreed by President Trump that increases by 5% each month until it stops – so far – at 25%. Every BMW Group vehicle today already contains at least one part from one of its 220 Mexican suppliers. (AutoInformed NAFTA Lite – US-Mexico-Canada Agreement Hurts US WorkersTrump Tariffs on Mexico – Job Destroying Taxes on Workers) Continue reading

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FCA Balks at French Government In-Laws. Renault Marriage Off

AutoInformed.com on Renault FCA Merger

The poison pill is sushi or rather fugu?

The Board of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. (NYSE: FCAU / MTA: FCA), meeting last night under  Chairman John Elkann, resolved to immediately withdraw its merger proposal made to Groupe Renault. “It has become clear that the political conditions in France do not currently exist for such a combination to proceed successfully,” FCA said in a terse statement.

Renault S.A.’s Board of Directors yesterday under the chairmanship of Jean-Dominique Senard had voted to continue reviewing the proposal from FCA for a potential 50/50 merger between Renault S.A. and FCA.

However, Renault’s Board of Directors was unable to take a decision due to the request by the representatives of the French State to postpone the vote to a later meeting. Continue reading

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Trump Tariffs on Mexico – Job Destroying Taxes on Workers

AutoInformed.com on Trump Mexican Tariffs - Companies at RiskThe United States plans through a controversial presidential decree claiming a national emergency to impose a 5% tariff on all imports from Mexico, starting on 10 June. The duty will then increase by 5% every month, until reaching a cap of 25% in October.

Ultimately, prices on auto models imported from Mexico could increase by $8500. Factoring in parts for assembly in the US, the average price of all vehicles sold in the US could rise by as much as $2,500-3,000. The substantial increase could lower sales by 500,000-1.5 million units annually. Continue reading

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Renault Board Confirms Expenses Improperly Used by Ghosn

AutoInformed.com on Video by former Nissan Motor chairman Carlos Ghosn is shown on a screen during a news conference by his lawyers at Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan in Tokyo

Video by former Nissan Motor chairman Carlos Ghosn shown on a screen during a news conference in April by his lawyers at Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan in Tokyo.

Renault’s Board of Directors today reviewed the final findings of the Joint Audit Mission that was commissioned with Nissan regarding their mutually owned subsidiary RNBV ane took a further swipe at former CEO Carlos Ghosn.

Several expenses incurred by RNBV for a total of ~€11 million include questionable air travel expenses for Mr. Ghosn; other expenses incurred for Mr. Ghosn; and gifts to non-profit organizations. (see AutoInformed.com onRenault Board Backtracking on Carlos Ghosn Innocence, Was 2008 the Year When Carlos Ghosn Went Rogue? Ghosn’s Former Speechwriter on What He Did for Nissan – And What That Did to Him,See Nissan Shareholders Dismissing Ghosn from Board) Continue reading

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Renault’s Board of Directors Continue FCA Merger Study


The Renault AK is the world’s first Grand Prix-winning car, but it wasn’t racing as we now know it. Staged at Le Mans in 1906, the 64-mile route consisted of asphalt roads. The race saw 32 competitors starting at 90-second intervals. They drove six times a day for two days. Total race distance was 769 miles.

Renault’s Board of Directors met today to review in detail the elements of the proposal received from FCA (Fiat Chrysler Automobiles) on 27 May for a potential 50/50 merger between Renault S.A. and FCA. (Renault’s Board of Directors to Study with FCA the Merger, Groupe Renault Board Meeting Now on FCA Merger Bid)

The proposed combination would create a global automaker, pre-eminent in terms of revenue, volumes, profitability and technology, benefiting the companies’ respective shareholders and stakeholders, according to FCA. Continue reading

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Daimler Trucks – New Group for Highly Automated Driving

AutoInformed.com on Daimler Autonomous Trucks

In 2015, Daimler’s Freightliner Inspiration Truck obtained the first-ever road license for a partially automated commercial vehicle.

Daimler Trucks has established an Autonomous Technology Group as a global organization for automated driving, bringing together its worldwide expertise and activities.

The main tasks of the new unit comprise overall strategy and implementation of the automated driving roadmap, including research and development as well as setting up the required operations infrastructure and network, heading towards the series production of highly automated trucks (SAE level 4. See SAE Autonomous Driving Levels). Continue reading

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