Detroit Bureau on Twitter

China Approves VW deal with JAC to Build EVs

Volkswagen plans to sell 400,000 EVs in China annually by 2020.

by on May.24, 2017

Going forward, VW plans to shift away from diesels and focus on battery models like this I.D. Crozz concept.

When Volkswagen AG says its future is electric, it apparently really means it. Chinese regulators approved a deal between the German automaker and Chinese automaker JAC to jointly build EVs in what likely will be the world’s biggest EV market.

The new venture has an approval to produce 100,000 electric vehicles annually, according to a report in Reuters. The deal is worth about $740 million, according to a VW stock filing.

Global Auto News!

Since VW’s diesel emissions cheating scandal, the automaker has paid out more than $30 billion in fines and fees globally and reset its entire product portfolio to focus on electric vehicles and away from diesel-powered engines. Read the rest of this entry »

Clean Vehicle Technology Driving Job Growth in Auto Industry

New report shows new tech often means new jobs.

by on May.24, 2017

A new report shows that clean vehicle technology accounts for nearly 300,000 jobs in the U.S.

A new report circulated by environmental and labor groups indicates that clean vehicle technology, including equipment designed to limit greenhouse gas emissions tied to climate change, now supports 288,000 manufacturing and engineering jobs in the United States.

The workers are employed at more than 1,200 factories and engineering facilities in 48 states, according to the report, entitled “Supply Ingenuity II, U.S. Suppliers of Clean, Fuel-Efficient Vehicle Technologies.

Subscribe Now!

These employees produce technology that improves fuel economy for today’s innovative vehicles — everything from more efficient transmissions and turbo-charged engines to lightweight steel and aluminum to electric power steering and regenerative braking systems. Read the rest of this entry »

China’s Geely Buys Controlling Stake in Lotus, Proton

Parent of Volvo plans to revive both struggling operations.

by on May.24, 2017

Lotus hopes the new Evora 400 will help put it back on the map after a series of disasters.

China’s ambitious Zhejiang Geely, already the owner of Volvo Cars, is expanding its automotive portfolio with the acquisition of a controlling share of Britain’s Lotus and Malaysia’s Proton.

The announcement forestalls the bidding war some had forecast for Lotus, the specialty car manufacturer that has run into a devastating series of setbacks in recent years. Proton has had its own challenges, its once dominant share of the Malaysian market collapsing due to cheap import competition.

Subscribe Now!

Geely is expected to pump significant capital into its two new subsidiaries, much as it has done for Volvo, which it acquired from Ford Motor Co. in 2012. The Swedish brand has gone through a complete makeover since then, winning kudos for new products and experiencing a sharp upturn in sales after a long slump.

Read the rest of this entry »

Border Tax Comes Under Fire on Capitol Hill

Auto industry not alone in opposition to proposed border tax.

by on May.24, 2017

Michigan-based auto dealer George Sharpe Jr. recently told the House Ways and Means Committee the border tax would have a chilling effect on auto sales.

The House Ways and Means Committee got an earful as car dealers, small businesses and retailers mounted attacks on the “border adjustment tax” that has been promoted by President Donald Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan.

Trump sees the border adjustment tax as a way to return jobs to the U.S. while Ryan apparently believes the border tax can be used to help offset revenue by larger tax cuts now under consideration in Washington D.C.

Trade News!

“Our plan will vault the U.S. tax code to among the most competitive in the world, ensure a level playing field for American businesses, and encourage companies to bring jobs back from overseas and manufacture products here at home,” Ryan said recently. Read the rest of this entry »

Tesla Back in Consumer Reports’ Good Graces

Models S, X rewarded for return of auto-braking.

by on May.24, 2017

Tesla temporarily disabled auto-braking when it revised its hardware before finish a software upgrade.

After slamming the automaker for some serious concerns over safety, Consumer Reports has upgraded two of Tesla’s battery-electric vehicles.

The non-profit publication slammed both the Tesla Models S and X last month when it discovered the recently updated EVs did not have working automatic emergency braking, or AEB, systems – something that was offered on the older versions of the electric sedan and SUV. Using over-the-air updates, however, Tesla has activated that technology on the newer models.

Subscribe Now!

“It’s uncommon for a newer vehicle to be less capable than an older vehicle, especially when it comes to safety,” said CR’s director of automotive testing, Jake Fisher.

Read the rest of this entry »

Feds Haul Fiat Chrysler into Court Over Diesel Emission Testing

FCA offered software solution hoping to avoid a trial.

by on May.23, 2017

FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne said earlier this year that the automaker wasn't attempting to cheat on its diesel emissions tests.

Looks like Fiat Chrysler’s best efforts weren’t enough as the U.S. Justice Department filed a lawsuit accusing the automaker of illegally using software to bypass emission controls in 104,000 diesel-equipped Jeep Grand Cherokees and Dodge Ram 1500 trucks sold since 2014.

Filed in U.S. District court in Detroit, the suit is a procedural step designed to turn up the pressure on Fiat Chrysler, according to Reuters. While Volkswagen AG has been dealing with its diesel emissions problem for some time — and at a cost in excess of $25 billion — this suit may be a signal that more makers should be concerned in the U.S. and abroad.

News Now!

The automaker has been working with federal regulators to resolve the issue and just yesterday appeared to believe it was on the path to avoiding a lawsuit from the Justice Dept. and potentially $6 billion in fines. Read the rest of this entry »

Subaru Set to Electrify Core Line-up

Wants EV options for existing models.

by on May.23, 2017

Subaru briefly offered a hybrid version of the Crosstrek. A future version could go all-electric.

Slow off the mark, Subaru is now looking to add electric powertrain options to a wide range of existing models, the automaker’s CEO said during an interview in Japan.

Subaru is ramping up its R&D efforts to record levels this year, with much of that going into new electric powertrain programs. That could prove critical, according to Chief Executive Officer Yasuyuki Yoshinaga, if Subaru hopes to be able to remain a viable competitor in an era of increasingly strict emissions and mileage regulations.

Plug in and Subscribe Now!

In particular, Yoshinaga said in an interview with the Bloomberg new service, that could become critical in China, the world’s largest automotive market. Regulators there are pushing an aggressive electrification agenda that could eventually restrict conventionally powered vehicles.

Read the rest of this entry »

2018 Dodge Demon to Start at $84,995

Several key accessories to cost $1 each.

by on May.23, 2017

The 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon with its $1 optional Demon Crate.

Want to unleash your inner Demon? Dodge says it will cost you $84,995.

As it gets closer to launching the newest version of its muscle coupe, the Detroit automaker is revealing more about the 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon, starting with its price. The $84,995 figure — which is about $20,000 more than a 707-hp Dodge Challenge Hellcat — includes both delivery charges and the $1,700 gas guzzler tax.

Performance News!

But a closer look reveals that it will “only” get you the 808-horsepower base version of the Demon, which made its splashy debut at last month’s New York International Auto Show. If you want to unleash the full 840-horsepower version, you’ll need to spend another $1 for the “Demon Crate,” which adds some key performance accessories.

Read the rest of this entry »

No Change to NAFTA Rule of Origin, Mexico Auto Exec Says

Trump readying for trade deal negotiations.

by on May.23, 2017

The Big Three automakers would like NAFTA to remain status quo; however, the Trump Administration is renegotiating the deal this summer.

Trump Administration officials recently began the official process to open talks about renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement and they’re going to find the auto industries officially agree on at least one point.

The auto industries in the U.S., Mexico and Canada all believe there shouldn’t be any changes to the rules of origin, Eduardo Solis, president of the Mexican automakers industry group AMIA, told Reuters.

Trade News!

“Our position is that the trade agreement has been a success, and we shouldn’t be touching something as important as the rules of origin,” Solis told Reuters. Read the rest of this entry »

Daimler Spends $1.15B Building Two EV Battery Plants

German vehicle maker readying two plants to make batteries.

by on May.23, 2017

German Chancellor Angela Merkel examines some of the technology that will be used at Daimler's new EV battery plant.

With investments in electric vehicles and batteries continuing to climb in the industrial world, Germany’s Daimler AG has broken ground for a new 500-million-euro battery factory near Dresden that is being described as one of the largest and most modern plants of its kind in the world.

“The automotive industry is facing a fundamental transformation and we see ourselves as the driving force behind this change,” said Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche.

Tech News!

“The battery factory in Kamenz is an important component in the implementation of our electric offensive. By 2022, we will have more than ten purely electric passenger cars in series. We also continue to drive forward the hybridization of our fleet. Under the EQ brand, we are creating a holistic ecosystem for e-mobility,” said Zetsche, who was accompanied to the ground-breaking ceremony by German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Read the rest of this entry »