Japan and France’s feud over Renault-Nissan power balance grows

November 30, 2018 10:47 CET

TOKYO — Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and French President Emmanuel Macron were arranging to meet on the sidelines of the G20 summit meeting, media said, amid signs of a growing diplomatic feud over the power balance at the troubled Renault-Nissan alliance.

The 19-year partnership between Renault and Nissan is facing its biggest test to date after the arrest this month of its larger-than-life leader, Carlos Ghosn, for suspected financial misconduct. Ghosn, Continue reading “Japan and France’s feud over Renault-Nissan power balance grows”

Toyota shakes up executive ranks for flexibility, faster decisions Cancel Save

November 30, 2018 09:55 CET

TOKYO — Toyota is reorganizing its executive lineup to inject flexibility and faster decision making into its attempted transition from traditional automaker to new mobility provider.

The changes will create a flatter, more diverse workforce as Toyota confronts the challenges of a rapidly changing automotive industry, CEO Akio Toyoda said in a news release Friday.

The overhaul also aims to develop younger talent by giving junior managers a faster path to Continue reading “Toyota shakes up executive ranks for flexibility, faster decisions
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Lamborghini preps Urus for racing series

November 30, 2018 06:01 CET

A Lamborghini Urus race vehicle will soon be a reality.

The Urus ST-X concept is the exotic automaker’s attempt at making its extreme SUV even more so.

Prepped by Lamborghini Squadra Corse, the automaker’s motorsports division, the ST-X has a matte green exterior, a carbon fiber hood and a lateral racing exhaust with a new hexagonal design.

The Volkswagen-owned brand says the concept has been outfitted with a steel roll cage, fire suppression system, Continue reading “Lamborghini preps Urus for racing series”

Aston Martin sees recent non-automotive concepts as brand extensions

November 30, 2018 06:01 CET

LOS ANGELES — In the past year, Aston Martin has unveiled two unique concepts that go beyond hand-built, ultraluxury cars: a small personal aircraft and a small personal submersible.

But that doesn’t mean the British luxury automaker is abandoning the automotive industry. Rather, the aircraft and submersible are extensions of Aston Martin’s traditional automotive brand, said Laura Schwab, president of Aston Martin the Americas, during a presentation here ahead Continue reading “Aston Martin sees recent non-automotive concepts as brand extensions”

Trump plans meeting with German car CEOs next week

November 29, 2018 22:25 CET

BERLIN — Top executives from Volkswagen, BMW and Daimler are finalizing plans for a White House meeting on trade policy next week, German and U.S. officials said on Thursday.

Executives from the German automakers said the meeting was tentatively set for Tuesday, and would include VW CEO Herbert Diess, Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche and BMW production chief Oliver Zipse.

President Donald Trump has been harshly critical of German automakers and what he sees as an Continue reading “Trump plans meeting with German car CEOs next week”

Here’s why Kia Soul EV and Kia Niro EV both get big 64-kwh battery packs

2020 Kia Soul EV

One key specification in the 2020 Kia Soul EV that was revealed at the LA Auto Show this week was a bit unexpected: its inclusion of a large, 64-kwh battery pack.

That leaves two vehicles—the Soul EV and the 2019 Kia Niro EV—with the same big battery. And both will be arriving at U.S. dealerships in the first quarter of 2019.

Based on earlier hints, we expected Kia to fit the more city-focused, lease-oriented Soul EV with the company’s 39-kwh pack. So we asked Continue reading “Here’s why Kia Soul EV and Kia Niro EV both get big 64-kwh battery packs”

EV Drive coalition begins lobbying effort to save tax credit

First 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV electric car [photo: Patrick Reid]

Members of the lame-duck Congress all got letters on their desks Tuesday stating why the electric-car tax credit should be revised and extended. 

Along with a five-point fact sheet made public Tuesday, the effort is the first salvo in a battle by the newly-formed EV Drive Coalition to extend the plug-in vehicle tax credit, which is expiring for two automakers next year.

Predictably, those two automakers, GM and Tesla, are Continue reading “EV Drive coalition begins lobbying effort to save tax credit”

Tesla drivers log 1 billion miles on Autopilot

2017 Tesla Model S testing at Consumer Reports

Self-driving systems are like teenage drivers: They get better with practice.

Tesla announced in a Tweet on Thursday that its cars logged 1 billion miles driving on Autopilot.

That’s a key milestone, since Teslas driving on Autopilot (and driven by humans) send data about what they see on the road back to Tesla, so the company can address problems and make Autopilot a better driver.

CHECK OUT: Teslas to get new self-driving, Autopilot Continue reading “Tesla drivers log 1 billion miles on Autopilot”

Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series could come with 700 hp to challenge 720S, 911 GT2 RS

Tobias Moers with the 2020 Mercedes-AMG GT R Pro at the 2018 LA Auto Show

Mercedes-AMG has only just unveiled the GT R Pro as the new flagship of the GT sports car range, but the boss of the Affalterbach-based tuner is already hinting at the performance potential of a planned GT Black Series to sit even higher up the food chain.

AMG boss Tobias Moers sat down for a chat with Motor Trend prior to the debut of the GT R Pro at this week’s 2018 LA Auto Show. During that conversation, Moers Continue reading “Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series could come with 700 hp to challenge 720S, 911 GT2 RS”