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Archive for the ‘Advocates’ Category

Infiniti, Ford, Lexus Walk Off with NAIAS Design Awards

Automotive design celebrated at annual event.

by Joseph Szczesny on Jan.18, 2019

Infiniti's QX Inspiration EV concept was the big winner in this year's Eyes on Design competition taking home three awards.

Throughout the course of its 30-year run, the North American International Auto Show in Detroit’s Cobo Center became known as a “designers’ show” because of the large number of concept cars that emerged during the annual press preview.

For 2019, the tradition carried on with the annual “Eyes on Design” Award singling out three vehicles, one from Infiniti, one from Lexus and one from Ford for honors.

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One of the big winners this year was Infiniti, which walked off with honors in three separate categories. (more…)

Union, Activists Plan GM Protests Outside Charity Preview

Rally to call to light unfairness of plant shutdowns.

by Joseph Szczesny on Jan.17, 2019

The UAW plans to hold a candlelight vigil outside of the NAIAS charity preview to protest GM's planned plant closures.

The Union Auto Workers and union activists are planning demonstration ahead of North American International Auto Show charity preview to protest General Motors’ plans to close five plants.

The UAW is organizing a candlelight vigil at the Labor Monument on Jefferson a short distance from Cobo Center, starting at 4:30 p.m. “Recent announcements from GM concerning plants in the U.S. will have a devastating effect on members of the UAW family,” the union said in announcing the vigil.

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The union, along with Unifor, the union representing autoworkers in Canada, has been waging a letter-writing campaign to protest GM’s plans to close five assembly and manufacturing plants in the U.S. (more…)

Marchionne Tops List of Automotive Hall of Fame New Inductees

This year's foursome very impactful on industry.

by Joseph Szczesny on Jan.16, 2019

Sergio Marchionne, former CEO of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, was inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame less than a year after his death.

The Automotive Hall of Fame will induct four new members into its ranks next including Richard E. “Dick” Dauch, co-founder of American Axle Manufacturing; Janet Gutherie, the first woman to qualify for the Indianapolis 500; Sergio Marchionne, former CEO of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Patrick Ryan, creator of the first auto dealership finance and insurance department.

Marchionne, who died last summer, rescued first Fiat and then Chrysler from the automotive scrap heap and then managed to merge the two troubled companies to form one of the largest and most profitable automotive manufacturers in the world, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.

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“Marchionne was also regarded as one of the boldest business leaders of his generation thanks to his business acumen as well as his outspoken and often frank approach to dealing with difficult and complicated problems,” the Hall of Fame citation noted. (more…)

IIHS Unveils Top Safety Pick Plus Models for 2019

More of the top two awards handed out for 2019.

by Michael Strong on Dec.19, 2018

IIHS President David Harkey announced this year's winners of the organization's Top Safety Pick+ awards.

New vehicles continue to get safer and safer – a point many makers advertise – and this year’s Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded its highest rating – one of those advertised – to 30 new vehicles for 2019, falling short of last year’s total of 34.

The biggest reason for the improvement for some brands wasn’t necessarily new crash avoidance technology, but instead improvement of a long-used feature: headlights.

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“The 30 first-tier “plus” award winners earn the highest rating for passenger-side protection in a small overlap front crash and have good-rated available headlights,” the organization noted in a release. (more…)

Toyota Using Carma to Get Takata Airbag Recall Done

A simple phone app and a financial reward help with recall rate.

by Michael Strong on Dec.19, 2018

Toyota is partnering with the Carma Project to accelerate the rate of repair of vehicles with Takata airbags.

The ongoing struggle to get car owners with potentially deadly Takata airbags in their vehicles to bring them in for repair is taking a new turn: social media.

Toyota Motor North America and the Carma Project are working together to get more of the vehicles repaired using the internet and rewards to improve the repair rate for vehicles in the largest automotive recall in history.

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The 70 million airbags, used by nearly 20 automakers, including Toyota, can explode with too much force sending pieces of plastic and metal into the vehicle’s cabin. It’s responsible for 24 deaths and hundreds of injuries. (more…)

Gasoline Prices Fall in US as Holidays Approach

Numbers are at lowest point since 2016.

by Joseph Szczesny on Dec.18, 2018

Gas prices are at their lowest since 2016 for the holiday season.

With the long Christmas season getting under way this week travelers across the U.S. are finding cheaper gasoline for the holiday journeys.

At $2.37, the average price of gasoline has dropped pump prices to the lowest level for the month of December since 2016.

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“AAA expects 102 million Americans to drive to their holiday destination this year, which is a 4% increase year-over-year,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “No doubt cheaper gas prices are fueling their decision to hit the road.” (more…)

Asian Car Brands: Least Expensive to Repair and Most Reliable

Mazda leads in lowest repair costs for a brand.

by Michael Strong on Dec.13, 2018

Mazda is the automotive brand that is likely to cost the least to repair, averaging less than $300.

With automakers everywhere throwing big red ribbons on top of their cars, trucks and utes telling us ‘tis the season to get a new vehicle, perhaps its best to know which of these new vehicles, or at least the brands, will cost you the least to repair.

That would be Mazda and Kia, according to CarMD, which recently released its annual analysis of 2018 Vehicle Health Index Make and Model Reliability Rankings.

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Mazda’s cost an average of $286 to repair while Kia’s jump to $320. Following those are Dodge, Hyundai and Chrysler. (more…)

Americans Driving with Insufficient Headlights, Study Says

AAA says older headlights are a real safety concern.

by Michael Strong on Dec.12, 2018

Millions of American vehicles have headlights that provide dangerously low levels of illumination.

We’ve all said it at one time or another: “Are my lights on?” According to a new AAA study, aging and sun-damaged headlights are a major safety issue in the United States.

Yellow or clouded headlights generate about 20% of the amount of light that new headlights do, according to the AAA study. Obviously, this can create some hazardous conditions when driving at night. With half of all accidents occurring at night, AAA encourages drivers to check the condition of their headlights regularly and change them when necessary.

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“Walk through any parking lot and it is evident that deteriorated headlights are a problem for most vehicle owners,” said Greg Brannon, AAA’s director of Automotive Engineering and Industry Relations. “Headlights on the road in the U.S., even when new, don’t produce a sufficient amount of lighting, so any reduction in performance is a real safety issue.” (more…)

Sales of Electric Vehicles Growing Steadily in California

Year-over-year increase in triple digits.

by Joseph Szczesny on Dec.11, 2018

Electric vehicle sales are up 300% year-to-date in California.

Electric cars accounted for 7.1% of California car sales in the first three quarters of 2019 with fully electric, zero-emission car sales outrunning the plug-in hybrid sales.

EVs accounted for 4.1% of the vehicles sold in California while plug-in hybrids accounted for 3%, according to Veloz, which tracks the development of EV sales in the state.

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“It’s no longer a matter of whether electric vehicles will take off, but how soon,” said Josh Boone, executive director of Veloz, public-private coalition of major electric car industry stakeholders, told TheDetroitBureau.com. California hit the 500,000 electric-car sales milestone in November. (more…)

Trump Administration Still Fighting to Roll Back Fuel Economy Rules

Critics say mistakes made in calculations nullify Trump-propsed gains.

by Joseph Szczesny on Dec.07, 2018

The Trump administration is proposing revoking California's ability to make it's own emissions and fuel economy rules.

While the industry is focused now on issues such as trade, manufacturing capacity and employment, the fight over fuel economy and emissions hasn’t gone away and could roar back to life any time.

The Trump administration proposed rolling back the fuel-economy rules imposed in the waning days of Obama administration. It also has proposed eliminating California’s hold on the auto industry.

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California, powered by an overwhelming political victory by Democrats opposed to Trump in last month’s midterm elections and bolstered by new reports both from the Trump administration’s Environment Protection Agency and the United Nations Independent Panel on Climate Change, have vowed a long and expensive court fight to protect the Obama standards and its authority. (more…)