Managing Automotive

News, knowledge, and insights for the automotive industry.

Managing Automotive
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U.S. House panel approves legislation to speed deployment of self-driving cars

An influential U.S. House committee approved a revised bipartisan bill on a 54-0 vote that would speed the deployment of self-driving cars without human controls and bar states from blocking autonomous vehicles.  The bill would allow automakers to obtain exemptions to deploy up to 25,000 vehicles without meeting existing auto safety standards in the first year, a cap that would rise to 100,000 vehicles annually over three years.  Automakers and technology companies believe chances are good Congress will approve legislation before year end.

[Reuters]

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U.S. regulators approve fix for 326,000 VW diesels

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and California Air Resources Board approved a fix for 326,000 Volkswagen AG diesel cars, the agencies and the automaker said.  The fix will include hardware and software upgrades, including replacing an emissions catalyst but will reduce vehicle fuel economy ratings by as much as 2 miles per gallon.  The world's largest automaker will still need to obtain approval for a resale plan for the 2009-2014 model diesel vehicles after making repairs - something that is expected in the coming weeks - but the fix is a significant milestone for the company that aims to move beyond its diesel emissions crisis.

[Reuters]

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Penske Automotive says Q2 net income rises 14 percent - Retailer calls results the best in company history

Penske Automotive Group Inc. reported a 14 percent gain in second-quarter net income, crediting increased business in used-vehicle sales, service and parts and finance and insurance.  But, like Asbury Automotive Group Inc., Penske also saw its gross profit margins per vehicle squeezed in both new and used vehicle sales.  The nation's second-largest dealership group said net income rose to $106.2 million in the quarter as revenue jumped 2.5 percent to $5.38 billion. 

[Automotive News]

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Big U.S. Auto Discounts Are Hurting Asian Carmakers' Profits

Asian carmakers are taking hits to their profits from having to spend more to move metal in America.  Nissan Motor Co. and Hyundai Motor Co. both cited higher incentive spending in the U.S. as reasons behind a slump in quarterly profit, with a political backlash in China adding to a cloudy outlook for Hyundai, South Korea’s largest automaker. More evidence of the industry’s pain is likely to come next week, with Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co. scheduled to report earnings.

[Bloomberg]

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FCA earns $1.4B on 2Q global profits

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV said its net profit nearly tripled from a year ago to a record 1.2 million euros ($1.4 billion) on strong results in its international regions as well as from Maserati and its components business.  The gains came on flat revenue.  “It was a strong quarter,” Chief Financial Officer Richard Palmer said in a call with analysts and investors. “With the progress we’ve made in the first half of the year, we are confirming our full-year guidance.”

[Detroit News]

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Ford, MDEQ settle over tainted groundwater in Livonia

Ford Motor Co. will continue cleaning up harmful chemicals discovered in the groundwater and soil around the Livonia Transmission Plant and will submit plans to prevent future contamination, according to a settlement filed with the state. Ford has been investigating and abating the contamination since it was discovered in 2014, according to the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court. Ford said in early 2016 that samples with potentially cancer-causing chemicals were found seven feet or more underground, but those chemicals pose no health risk to residents.

[Detroit News]

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German carmakers face potential new scandal over antitrust issues

Germany’s high-end carmakers face a potentially destructive new scandal after European antitrust authorities said that they were looking into allegations that Volkswagen, Daimler and BMW colluded illegally to hold down the prices of crucial technology, including emissions equipment. If proven, the allegations threaten to further damage the country’s reputation for engineering excellence. That reputation has already been badly tarnished by Volkswagen’s admission that it illegally installed software in its diesel-powered cars to evade standards for reducing smog. 

[New York Times]

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California bill would boost electric car rebates by $3 billion, but where will the money come from?

Over seven years, California has spent $430 million on low-emission vehicle subsidies to help lower the cost for car buyers. Now the state Legislature is looking to extend that by another seven years, but with a price tag of $3 billion. Assembly Bill 1184 is being slammed for leaving basic questions unanswered, including the biggest one: Where would the money come from?

[Los Angeles Times]

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Ford says it will fight latest Takata airbag recall

Ford is fighting the latest expansion of the Takata air bag inflator recall. Earlier this month, Takata filed documents with the U.S. government adding 2.7 million vehicles to the recall from Ford, Nissan and Mazda. All have inflators with a drying agent that previously were thought to be safe.

[Detroit Free Press]

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GM may discontinue six sedans from Cadillac, Buick, Chevy

General Motors has put six of its cars under review and is evaluating whether to cancel them in the coming years. The news comes as sales of cars continue to plummet in the U.S. and as consumers increasingly turn to SUVs and pickups. The company is considering plans to eliminate the Chevrolet Volt hybrid, the Buick LaCrosse, Cadillac CT6, Cadillac XTS, Chevrolet Impala and Chevrolet Sonic.

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