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Ford Spending $740 Million to Revamp Dilapidated Train Station

Automaker hopes to get $250M in assistance for the project.

by on Aug.15, 2018

A rendering of what Ford's new campus, including Michigan Central Station, in Corktown will look like.

Ford recently unveiled its plan to move its electric and autonomous vehicle operations into a campus in southwest Detroit, anchored by a historic train station the company plans to refurbish during the next few years.

The move to reinvent the former Michigan Central Station was hailed by Detroit politicians and neighborhood advocates; however, other than a nebulous figure of $4 billion it planned to invest overall, no real dollar amount for the new campus was released.

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Ford disclosed Tuesday at a meeting with community leaders it plans to spend $740 million to revamp Michigan Central Station, as well as other neighborhood sites. The automaker aims to turn the building into a campus of offices for up to 5,000 employees. Read the rest of this entry »

Spy Shots: Next Edge, Lincoln Nautilus Get Caught With Minimal Camo

Ford continues shifting focus to ute lines.

by on Aug.15, 2018

The new Lincoln Nautilus, formerly the MKX, in minimal camouflage is out for real-world testing.

Ford Motor Co. is planning some drastic changes over the next several years, the automaker all but abandoning its mainstream passenger car line-up in favor of SUVs and CUVs, reflecting one of the most dramatic transformations we’ve seen in decades.

Sometimes, big changes begin with small steps, and that appears to be the case as we look at these spy shots of two familiar models set for updates in the coming months. On the Ford side, that includes the popular Edge crossover, while we’ve also caught the Lincoln Nautilus, the renamed MKX, with minimal camouflage.

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We got our first look at a concept version of the Nautilus at the Los Angeles Auto Show last November, but the image here finally captures the upcoming production model. Lincoln’s stylists have reworked the design to include more luxury touches, five new sets of wheels as well as new colors. The Nautilus also comes with a bold new front grille that is distinctly Lincoln and emphasizes the all-new front end on the vehicle that reaches back to the A pillar and windshield. Read the rest of this entry »

“Drive High, Get a DUI”: Feds Tackle Drugged Driving

Concerns rise as more states legalize marijuana, and as opioid epidemic worsens.

by on Aug.15, 2018

NHTSA's new ad campaign will run through Labor Day, usually one of the most deadly weekends to drive.

“Drive High, Get a DUI.”

That’s the theme of a new ad campaign being launched today by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that reflects growing concern about the potential risks raised by the expanding legalization of marijuana and the rise in opioid addition.

As TheDetroitBureau.com previously reportedly, tests indicate 44% of the drivers killed in U.S. car crashes in 2016 had the residue of drugs in their system – up from 28% a decade ago. Some data point to a rising death toll related to the growing, legal availability of marijuana, though not all research backs that up. Opioid use is also catching some of the blame.

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Whatever drug one uses, “If you feel different, you drive different,” Heidi King the deputy administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, said during an event in Nashville. “That’s the message we have for anyone using alcohol, marijuana or other drugs, whether obtained legally or illegally.”

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White House Knew Key Justification for Cutting Mileage Rules Was False

Reducing fuel economy standards will increase, not cut, highway deaths, according to EPA data.

by on Aug.15, 2018

The Trump Administration claimed that cutting the mileage standards would save lives, but internal EPA e-mails show the opposite to be true.

When the White House announced plans to rollback Obama-era fuel economy standards earlier this month, administration officials claimed the move would lead to a reduction in U.S. roadway fatalities. But senior staffers at the Environmental Protection Agency actually warned that quite the opposite was likely, and that the regulatory changes would increase highway deaths.

Internal e-mails sent by EPA officials to the Office of Management and Budget, or OMB, raise new questions about the plans to freeze the Corporate Average Fuel Economy, or CAFE, standards at 2020 levels, well short of the 54.5 mpg target that was to be phased in through 2025. And the messages appear to give new ammunition to those attempting to block the rollback in court.

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The “proposed standards are detrimental to safety, rather than beneficial,” William Charmley, the director of the EPA’s assessments and standards division wrote to the OMB on June 18, the interagency e-mail indicating highway fatalities could be expected to increase by 17 annually.

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Chevy Goes Big With Engines for New Tahoe, Suburban

Company offering 6.2-liter V8 in more trim levels.

by on Aug.15, 2018

The new Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban Premier Plus Special Editions feature the 420 horsepower 6.2-liter V8 engine.

Facing renewed competition from the new Lincoln Navigator, General Motors is taking steps to beef up the market position of two of its most profitable vehicles, the Chevrolet Tahoe and Chevrolet Suburban.

Chevrolet is expanding the availability of the 6.2-liter V-8 engine within its full-size SUV line-up by introducing the Tahoe and Suburban Premier Plus special editions, GM said.

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The available 6.2-liter V-8 produces 420 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque. The engine comes with three state-of-the-art technologies — direct injection, Active Fuel Management and continuously variable valve timing — to make the most of power, torque and efficiency across a broad range of operating conditions. Read the rest of this entry »

Lincoln Pushing Dealers to Split from Ford Stores

Company offering incentives to build standalone locations.

by on Aug.14, 2018

Lincoln is pushing dealers with twin Ford-Lincoln dealerships to split those locations up, creating standalone stores, like Lincoln of Troy (Michigan).

Lincoln is the latest luxury brand looking to exploit the advantages of this trend: stand-alone dealerships.

After escaping death at the hands of former Ford CEO Alan Mulally nearly five years ago, the company is asking owners of Ford-Lincoln dealerships in 30 major markets to build separate stores for the Lincoln brand.

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The concept isn’t entirely new as plenty of automakers have asked dealers to do the same throughout the years, the most recent being Hyundai and Genesis, although that program is in its infancy. Lincoln has a bit of history with stores separate from Ford-branded outlets from the days when it was Lincoln-Mercury. Read the rest of this entry »

Musk, Tesla Board, Move Forward on Privatization Plan

Carmaker hires Goldman, Silver Lake to advise.

by on Aug.14, 2018

Whether Elon Musk could justify tweeing "funding secured" is a matter of hot debate.

Even as questions mount about CEO Elon Musk’s plan to take the automaker private, the car company’s board is beginning the necessary steps to evaluate a proposal, with investment firms Silver Lake and Goldman Sachs brought in to offer advice on what appears to be a Saudi-funded buy-out.

Those developments come just a week after CEO Musk tweeted his interest in taking Tesla private while also hinting that “funding (is) secured.” Precisely where the funding will come from has become a central question, though Musk on Monday put up a blog post indicating he has been meeting with managers of the Saudi Arabian sovereign investment fund who have expressed interest in backing the plan.

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Tesla, meanwhile, now faces a probe by the SEC, as well as at least two lawsuits filed last week questioning whether the South African-born executive’s proposal was, in reality, a “nuclear attack” on by short-sellers.

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Rising Inflation Challenges Profitability for Automakers

Car companies getting hit on rising material costs due to Trump tariffs.

by on Aug.14, 2018

Trucks are still protected in the U.S. by a 25% tariff, despite a lower tax on all other vehicles.

A rising rate of inflation now poses an additional threat to an auto industry already under pressure from new tariffs and trade restrictions.

From June 2017 to June 2018, the U.S. Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers rose 2.9%, the largest 12-month increase since the period ending February 2012, the U.S. Department of Labor. The Congressional Budget Office, in a report in which it indicated it expects U.S. economic growth to slow next year, also said this week it expects the rate inflation to top 3.1% through the last half of 2018.

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U.S. workers’ paychecks are worth less than they were a year ago, the Labor Department reported Friday, as modest wage gains have not kept pace with inflation. Read the rest of this entry »

Ford Wants a Premium for All-New Ranger Pickup

Base model to start at $4,000 over Chevrolet Colorado.

by on Aug.14, 2018

Ford will offer a wide range of Ranger body styles, beds and powertrain configurations.

After a lengthy absence, the Ford Ranger is about ready to return to the U.S. market and shoppers now can price and build their own version of the midsize pickup at a special micro-site the Detroit automaker has launched.

Set to reach showrooms early next year, Ford will be offering a wide array of body styles, bed and powertrain options, ranging from the base, 4×2 SuperCab XL with a six-foot box, up to the more lavishly equipped 4×4 SuperCrew Lariat with a five-foot cargo box.

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But the heavily updated version of the global Ranger launched earlier in the decade won’t come cheap. The 2019 pickup will carry a starting price of $24,300 plus $1,095 in delivery fees. That’s about $4,000 more than its cross-town competition, the base, extended cab version of the 2019 Chevrolet Colorado starting at $20,500. And for truck buyers on a tight budget, the aging Nissan Frontier starts at just $18,900.

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Honda Adds Upgraded Safety Tech on 10th-Gen Civic

New option ups the safety factor for new Civic.

by on Aug.14, 2018

The 10th-generation Honda Civic gets a new "Sport" update as well as the Honda Sensing safety technology.

Honda is making its “Honda Sensing” driver assistance technology standard on the 2019 Honda Civic sedan and coupe.

The suite of safety technology, which includes collision mitigation braking with forward collision warning; road departure mitigation, incorporating lane departure warning, lane keeping assist and adaptive cruise control, is standard or available equipment on all Honda car and light truck nameplates, Honda officials noted.

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The 10th-generation Civic line-up for the 2019 model year will also include updated styling and new Sport trim for both body styles. Read the rest of this entry »