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Archive for the ‘Funding’ Category

Ford, VW Announce 1st in Promised Series of Joint Ventures

Carmakers will focus first on midsize pickups, light commercial vehicles.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Jan.15, 2019

Ford CEO Jim Hackett, left, and VW AG CEO Herbert Diess downplayed the immediate impact their new deal.

Confirming months of rumors, Ford Motor Co. and Volkswagen announced Tuesday that they will launch the first of what they suggested will be a series of joint ventures, focusing initially on midsize pickups and light commercial vehicles.

Moving forward, they anticipate adding projects that will pair their costly efforts on electrified and autonomous vehicles, while Herbert Diess, the CEO of VW, said during a joint teleconference that the new partners could work together on “other” products in the future.

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Alliances are becoming more commonplace in an industry where changing consumer tastes and emerging technologies are stretching thin the budgets of even the most well-funded manufacturers, said Diess, who added that, “In such an environment, it just makes sense to share investments, pool innovation capabilities and create scale effects that are clearly defined.” (more…)

GM Expects Bigger Profits, More Transformation in 2019

Company wants to make workforce changes during strong labor market.

by Joseph Szczesny on Jan.11, 2019

GM CEO Mary Barra is leading the transformation of the company's manufacturing footprint.

General Motors Co. expects earnings to grow in 2019 as it restructures, picks up the pace of moving towards what Chairman Mary Barra described as an “all-electric” future, and maintains its market share in China.

“We will continue to strengthen our core business and invest in the technologies that will transform the future of mobility. Managing both well is critical to position General Motors for success for generations to come,” Barra said, adding that it was better to tackle this restructuring during a strong labor market.

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“We are committed to driving significant shareholder value over the long term as we drive the transformation,” she added. (more…)

Ford and VW Ready to Announce New Partnership, Sources Say

Auto giants to form alliances in multiple areas, Reuters reports.

by Michael Strong on Jan.09, 2019

Ford CEO Jim Hackett, left, and Chairman Bill Ford earlier confirmed the talks with Volkswagen. Might they announce a deal next week?

The lengthy talks between Ford Motor Co. and Volkswagen AG to forge some sort of money-saving, product-expediting partnership appear to be coming to a conclusion with an announcement coming sometime next week during the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

“A global alliance is expected to be announced,” one person familiar with the talks told Reuters, adding that the pact will be unveiled next Tuesday during the Detroit auto show. Another official echoed similar sentiments to TheDetroitBureau.com earlier today.

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It’s possible that an announcement could come as early as this evening as Ford is hosting an event tonight in Detroit. (more…)

Daimler Spending $500M on Automated Truck Development

Company looking to push to Level 4 with big rigs.

by Joseph Szczesny on Jan.08, 2019

Daimler AG is investing more than $500 million into the development of automated big rigs.

Daimler AG plans to invest $570 million and create 200 jobs at its truck-oriented technical center in Portland, Oregon, to expedite the development automated driving for heavy-duty commercial trucks.

“As a leader of our industry, we’ve been pioneering automated trucking,” said Martin Daum, member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG with responsibility for Daimler Trucks & Buses

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“In 2015, our Freightliner Inspiration Truck got the first road license ever for an automated commercial vehicle. Now we take automated trucking to the next level: we’re ready to launch the first partially automated new Freightliner Cascadia in 2019 – and next, we tackle highly automated trucks,” Daum said. (more…)

Faraday Future May Have a Future, After All

Start-up settles dispute with primary investor.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Jan.07, 2019

Faraday Future has been at death's door for several months now, but a new deal with an investor may clear the way for its return to life.

Only a week ago, it seemed, EV start-up Faraday Future was down for the count. Now, however, it may have a new lease on life, after appearing to resolve a dispute with its primary investor.

That said, the California-based carmaker isn’t out of the woods. That investor, China’s Evergrande Health, has simply agreed to step back on its stake in the company. Faraday must now find a new primary investor that will help it resume operations, starting with bringing back a major portion of its workforce laid off in recent weeks.

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Under the agreement, the two parties will “terminate the previous investment contract, withdraw and waive all litigation and arbitration proceedings, and release all security including the asset preservation pledge and equity financing rights,” Faraday said in a statement. (more…)

Tesla Pushing Midnight Sales to Clear Backlog of 3K Model 3s

Musk offers big incentives to Tesla employees to buy a new car.

by Michael Strong on Dec.31, 2018

Tesla's Elon Musk is looking to sell Model 3s all the way til midnight to make sure buyers get the full $7,500 tax credit.

Two nights ago, Tesla boss Elon Musk sent out a tweet telling his millions of followers that there was 48 hours left to buy a new EV and still qualify for the full $7,500 tax credit from the U.S. government.

Nothing wrong for being a shill for your company and its products on social media, but it’s becoming more clear as to why he was so motivated to try to drum of up sales for a company that supposedly has a lengthy waiting list for new Model 3 sedans.

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Tesla has more than 3,000 Model 3s left in inventory in the United States as of Sunday, according to website Electrek, which cited people familiar with the matter. (more…)

Senate Ignores Important Automotive Legislation

EV tax credit, autonomous vehicle testing bills on hold until 2019.

by Michael Strong on Dec.20, 2018

Michigan Senator Gary Peters is concerned by the delay of legislation that would set guidelines for testing autonomous vehicles.

The news out of Washington just got worse for automakers as two pieces of legislation they’d hoped would be passed by the end of the year won’t even be considered, putting off them off until 2019.

The two measures – one to accelerate the adoption of self-driving car technology and a second to extend the $7,500 tax credit for electric vehicles – were not attached to last funding bill for 2018, thus will not get approved in 2018.

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Sens. John Thune (R-South Dakota) and Gary Peters (D-Michigan) were pushing legislation that would allow exemptions to automakers for testing autonomous vehicles on public roads. The goal was to homogenize the rules for all states, making it easier to get the testing complete in more states. (more…)

Tesla’s Musk Expresses Interest in Closing GM Plants

Exec expresses disdain for SEC, twitter approvals.

by Michael Strong on Dec.10, 2018

Elon Musk expressed interest in buying one of the plants General Motors plans to close in the near future.

Tesla co-founder Elon Musk is ready to play “Let’s Make a Deal” with General Motors — again.

Not, Musk doesn’t want to challenge GM CEO Mary Barra to appear on the television game show, but he did tell reporter Lesley Stahl on the CBS news show 60 Minutes he would be willing to buy one of the plants GM plans to shut down in the near future.

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“It’s possible that we would be interested. If they were going to sell a plant or not use it that we would take it over,” he said during the interview. (more…)

Chinese EV Maker Byton Unwraps 2nd Model at L.A. Auto Show

“We need a lot of funding,” CEO admits, outlining challenges ahead.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Dec.03, 2018

Byton CEO Carson Breitfield talks about the new K-Byte EV at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

The global automotive market is in the midst of a revolution, something obvious to anyone attending this year’s Los Angeles Auto Show. Not only are we seeing a push into new technologies like electrification and autonomy, but the established carmakers are being taken on by a variety of automotive upstarts.

To a list that already includes the likes of Tesla, Faraday Future and Rivian, add China-based Byton. The company helped anchor the first day of previews at the L.A. Auto Show by unveiling a prototype of what it says will be its second new model, the K-Byte. But Byton officials also acknowledged that they still face challenges in their road to production.

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The debut of the K-Byte follows Byton’s original prototype, the M-Byte, and targets a relatively mainstream buyer, at least by the standards of the electric vehicle market. According to Breitfeld, the sleek battery-sedan will come in at a starting price of around $45,000 when it comes to market. The target, at least, is to have it reach showrooms in China next year, followed by a late 2019 launch in the U.S., and a European roll-out in 2020. (more…)

GM Moves Ammann into CEO Role at GM Cruise

Move marks the second in six months for Ammann.

by Joseph Szczesny on Nov.29, 2018

General Motors President Dan Ammann is now GM Cruise Chief Executive Officer Dan Ammann.

General Motors President Dan Ammann is changing jobs again, now serving as the full time as the Chief Executive Officer of GM Cruise, GM’s autonomous vehicle subsidiary.

Ammann had worked closely with Cruise since GM acquired the self-driving vehicle start up back in 2016.

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The move marks the second time in six months that Ammann’s role within the company has been changed. In July, he shifted some of his responsibilities to Executive Vice President Mark Reuss to focus on the company’s development of autonomous vehicles.  (more…)