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Ford Hit by $151.8 Million Verdict by Alabama Jury

Verdict awarded in injury trial of Alabama man riding 1998 Explorer.

by on Feb.18, 2019

An Alabama man was award $151.8 million in damages after the 1998 Ford Explorer he was riding in rolled over twice, leaving him paralyzed.

A Selma, Alabama, man left paralyzed as a result of a 2015 rollover accident in a 1998 Ford Explorer was awarded $151.8 million in damages by an Alabama jury.

The jury awarded Travaris Smith $100 million in punitive damages and $51.8 million in compensatory damages after finding on Friday that the 1998 Ford Explorer did not meet Ford’s own safety guidelines and that Ford “acted wantonly” in designing the vehicle, according to a court document seen by Reuters and Smith’s lawyers.

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Smith was riding in the SUV when its driver swerved to avoid an animal and the vehicle rolled over twice, attorneys at law firms Beasley Allen and Gamble, Gamble, Calame and Jones said in a statement. He snapped his spine and is now paralyzed. Read the rest of this entry »

Hyundai Set to Reveal Pint-Sized Styx SUV at NY Auto Show

Boxy outside will mean bigger inside.

by on Feb.18, 2019

Hyundai is ready to unveil the sixth sport-ute in its portfolio in New York in April. Until last summer, the brand had just three utes.

Hyundai is making up for lost time – and hoping to regain lost market share – with an assortment of new utility vehicles, the next one set to make its debut at the New York International Auto Show in April.

Expected to be called the Styx in most global markets, the crossover is going to serve as the counterpoint to the new, three-row Hyundai Palisade, targeting the modest but growing subcompact CUV market targeted by the likes of the Ford EcoSport.

Product News!

Hyundai sales have taken a hit during the last few years as the market has rapidly migrated from sedans and coupes to SUVs and CUVs, and it has rushed to respond with updates of existing models like the Santa Fe, as well as all-new utes such as the Kona and Palisade. Hyundai officials have openly promised to launch yet another model this year and global design chief SangYup Lee confirmed the Big Apple unveiling in a new interview with Motor Trend. Read the rest of this entry »

Commerce Dept. Report Could Trigger Tariffs on Auto Imports

Auto industry worries, waits – and raises strong opposition.

by on Feb.18, 2019

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross submitted the department's report determining if automotive imports could be declared a threat to national security.

Just hours before the deadline, the U.S. Commerce Dept. delivered a long-awaited report to the White House that could lead President Donald Trump to enact stiff new tariffs on imported autos and auto parts.

The administration has not revealed what the report recommends, but Commerce was widely expected to support the president’s position that auto imports posed a threat to national security, a view that Trump has suggested could lead to the imposition of tariffs of as much as 25%.

Business News!

Criticism was swift and broad, the Motor and Equipment Manufacturers Association noting, ““Not a single company in the domestic auto industry requested this investigation.” Like other critics, the group has warned that new tariffs could backfire and not only result in the imposition of tariffs on U.S. auto exports but also slam consumers with substantially higher prices, even on vehicles assembled in the U.S. Read the rest of this entry »

Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance Partnering With Google

Move marks beginning of post-Ghosn era.

by on Feb.18, 2019

The Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance is making plans with Waymo to find ways to exploit the ever-changing mobility world.

The Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance, which is preparing to hang together in the post-Ghosn era, plans to join Google’s camp for developing autonomous taxis and other services using self-driving vehicles.

The automakers intend to work with Waymo, a Google spinoff that is among the leaders in technology for self-driving cars. The companies are in the final phase of talks, and plan to announce the arrangement as early as spring, according to a Japanese news service.

Global News!

The partnership would unite a car alliance whose global sales totaled 10.8 million automobiles in 2018 with a developer whose self-driving vehicles have traveled more than 10 million miles on U.S. public roads as of October. Waymo has forged similar deals with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Jaguar Land Rover, but the Nissan-Renault-Mitsubishi alliance boasts greater scale. Read the rest of this entry »

GMC Unveils 2020 Acadia

Mid-cycle refresh sharpens styling, updates tech, adds new engine – and new AT4 model.

by on Feb.18, 2019

The new 2020 GMC Acadia AT4 edition puts the emphasis on off-roadability.

GMC has lifted the covers on an update of its popular Acadia SUV, and it offers more changes than you’d typically expect from a mid-cycle refresh.

The 2020 GMC Acadia opts for a more classic, ute-like face, with a more boxy, upright grille framed by now-standard LED headlamps and C-shaped LED running lights. The front and rear fascia also get new treatments.

Product News!

The 2020 refresh sees some all new features added to the midsize ute, including a new turbo engine. But one of the more significant moves comes with the addition of the new Acadia AT4. Something of a counterpoint to the upscale Acadia Denali, the AT4 model puts the emphasis on serious off-road capabilities.

Read the rest of this entry »

Ford CFO Shanks May Retire at End of This Year

He spent 34 years at the automaker.

by on Feb.15, 2019

Ford CFO Bob Shanks may be retiring at the end of the year, according to media reports. He's been with Ford 34 years.

Ford Motor Co. is working on thinning its employment numbers this year, apparently it will be able to add one C-Suite executive to those numbers: Chief Financial Officer Bob Shanks.

According to a report on CNBC, Shanks, the automaker’s CFO since 2012, is planning to retire at the end of 2019. He was vice president and controller before taking over his current role. The company declined to comment on Shanks plans specifically.

The Last Word!

“As all boards of responsible companies do, our board of directors regularly reviews executive succession plans to ensure we have access to the best talent available and are prepared for orderly transitions to take place should the need arise,” a Ford spokesman said in a statement. Read the rest of this entry »

Commerce’s Report on Auto Imports Affecting National Security Comes Sunday

Trump expected to do little with report right away.

by on Feb.15, 2019

President Donald Trump will soon have to decide if using punitive tariffs makes sense in negotiations.

Just days after proclaiming a national emergency that would take $8 billion from the U.S. budget to construct additional border wall between the U.S. and Mexico, President Donald Trump will be faced with another massive decision involving foreign countries.

The U.S. Commerce Department is expected to tell Trump on Sunday whether or not foreign vehicle imports constitute a national safety risk and offer suggestions on how to deal with the situation.

Global News!

He’ll have 90 days to act on the Commerce Department’s recommendation. However, President Trump already has a plan in place for the issue: a 25% tariff on vehicles imported into the country. Read the rest of this entry »

Amazon Becoming Lead Investor in Rivian

Rumored GM investment could yet follow.

by on Feb.15, 2019

The Rivian R1T pickup will boast 400 miles range, according to the company.

Just a week after announcing a major investment in an autonomous vehicle development company, online retailer Amazon said Friday it will become the lead investor in a new, $700 million round of financing for Rivian, the Detroit-based battery-electric company.

Rivian is in the final stages of developing two all-electric models, the full-size R1T pickup and R1S sport-utility vehicle. It is aiming to challenge not only electric vehicle rival Tesla but the established Detroit automakers that have long dominated the full-size pickup market.

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Rumors of a deal between Amazon and Rivian began to circulate earlier this week, though some reports had suggested that General Motors would also come up with some financing. Sources tell TheDetroitBureau.com that this remains a possibility and suggest that Rivian could have more announcements coming. The automaker has scheduled a news conference for the New York International Auto Show in mid-April. Read the rest of this entry »

FCA Changes Windsor Plant Shut Down Due to Mexico Strikes

Supplier strikes along Mexico-U.S. border causing parts shortage.

by on Feb.15, 2019

Fiat Chrysler's Windsor, Ontario, plant that builds the company's minivans will be shut down a week earlier than expected due to a parts shortage.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. is shutdown the company’s minivan plant in Windsor, Ontario, the week of Feb. 18, due to a parts shortage created by a problem with what was described as an “external” supplier.

“FCA is re-timing the down week at the Windsor Assembly Plant from the week of Feb. 25 to the week of Feb. 18. Normal production schedules are expected to resume the week of Feb. 25,” FCA Canada spokeswoman Lou Ann Gosselin told the trade publication Automotive News.

News You Can Trust!

The upcoming shutdown will be the third temporary closure of 2019. The plant did not operate the first two weeks of January to adjust inventories, the company said at the time. Read the rest of this entry »

General Motors’ New eBikes Have ARĪVed

The bikes can travel nearly 40 miles on a charge.

by on Feb.15, 2019

The new ARĪV Merge, in red, and Meld are new eBikes created by General Motors' Mobility division.

General Motors is taking the first step in launching its bike business by launching ARĪV, its new eBike brand in Western Europe.

GM sold off its European passenger car business to PSA in 2017 said the ARĪV line will includes two innovative, integrated and connected eBikes: the Meld, a compact eBike, and the Merge, a folding eBike. The name ARĪV was selected as part of a global crowdsourcing campaign announced in November 2018.

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“The crowdsourcing campaign allowed us to bring consumers into the development of our brand,” said Hannah Parish, ARĪV director. “Combine that with our products and our blend of bike and automotive talent, and the result is a unique brand DNA.”   Read the rest of this entry »