Managing Automotive

News, knowledge, and insights for the automotive industry.

Managing Automotive
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The Biggest Auto Market You’ve Never Heard of

The competition is packed in the electric personal vehicle market, but one company, Chanje is heading into the “medium-duty electric truck” market. Not too heavy, not too light, just right. Anyway, medium-duty trucks are a rare breed, but Chanje’s trucks are not a concept- they’re ready for sale and leasing is expected to begin in the next weeks. Chanje has already struck a deal with Ryder, one of the largest medium-duty truck fleet management companies in the US.
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The Most Eligible Electric Car Market? China

If the auto market were a dating reality show, China would definitely get a rose and a one-on-one date. With China surpassing the US as the biggest market for electric vehicles last year, the global auto industry has zeroed in on the opportunities in the country’s 40% share of the global market. Ford’s new joint venture with Chinese Anhui Zotye Automobile  Co. follows market entries by Volvo, General Motors, Volkswagen, Nissan, and other companies.
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N.Y. holdback ruling favors Maserati store

An administrative law judge in New York has sided with a Maserati dealership in a lawsuit over whether changes to incentive programs constitute modifications to a franchise agreement.

Wide World Maserati in Spring Valley, N.Y., argued in a New York court last month that when Maserati North America reduced holdback payments to the dealership on sold vehicles, the change qualified as a franchise modification, regulated by New York's dealership law, as revised in 2009.

[Automotive News]

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Law & Tesla: Lobbyist Intent

In the automotive market system, the people are represented by two separate yet equally important groups: the manufacturers who make cars and the dealerships who sell their creations. These are their stories. The federal judge in Tesla’s suit against Michigan over the 2014 law that bans manufacturers from selling directly to customers recently said two state lawmakers must turn over records of their communications with lobbyists related to the law. The win is part of several records that Tesla has subpoenaed as part of the case. Tesla is currently prohibited from directly selling their electric cars in the home state of the traditional automotive industry.
To read the full story, click here.

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The Boogie Bus is Back, and It’s Not a Lemon

This piece of news just made an electric slide into auto headlines. VW’s famous microbus will be back in their lineup in 2022 and can be fueled up for a nostalgic trip to Woodstock via an electric charging station. The I.D. Buzz, as the concept vehicle is named, will be available in the North American, European, and Chinese markets.
Read the full article here.

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TRUCKING TO TAXIS: HOW WE'LL BECOME DRIVERLESS

Interstate trucking by 2020 will be first, followed by autonomous taxi service. About half the fleet of U.S. cars become essentially autonomous by 2030. This driverless pathway recently was described for WalletHub by Henry Lucas, Robert H. Smith Professor of Information Systems at the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business.

Lucas, who wrote the 2012 book The Search for Survival: Lessons From Disruptive Technologies, set the table with a checklist of the various levels of self-driving cars, as published by the Society of Automotive Engineers and the National Highway Safety Administration:

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Ford patents removable pedals, steering wheel in self-driving cars

The system is pretty straightforward -- instead of some convoluted folding, the pedals and steering wheel are simply removable. According to the patent, Ford envisions the system as something that could permit a steering wheel for development purposes or customer desire, but could otherwise be taken out. The wheel and pedals would connect to specific notches in the dashboard, with locking points to keep everything in place -- especially during a collision, should one occur.

[CNET]

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Fiat Chrysler joins BMW in race to make self-driving cars

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles will cooperate with BMW to develop self-driving cars, the companies said, as traditional automakers look to defend their turf against cash-rich Silicon Valley giants eager to upend the industry. Autonomous vehicles are expected to transform the auto industry within the next decade. The new technology pits established carmakers, with their decades of experience and global supply chains, against the likes of Google and Apple, which have much greater financial resources as well as greater expertise in the software that will be crucial to the development of driverless vehicles.

[Los Angeles Times]

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Uber settles with FTC over 'God View' and some other privacy issues

Uber has agreed to settle accusations by America’s top consumer protection agency that the ride-hailing company failed to protect consumers’ sensitive data, a misstep that allowed employees to access rider and driver information and led to a data breach in 2014 that exposed thousands of drivers’ names and license numbers. The settlement with the Federal Trade Commission does not require Uber to pay to settle the allegations, the agency said. The San Francisco company is required to hire an outside firm to audit its privacy practices every two years for the next two decades, and violations of the settlement could lead to financial penalties.

[Los Angeles Times]

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Tesla boosts bond sale to $1.8 billion for Model 3

Debt investors proved no more immune to Elon Musk’s charms than their swooning counterparts in the stock market. Musk’s electric-car maker Tesla Inc. raised $1.8 billion in its debut bond sale, boosting the amount by $300 million to meet demand. The eight-year bonds were priced at a record-low yield of 5.3 percent -- a touch higher than initial talk of 5.25 percent. They’ll help fund the ambitious rollout of the Model 3, the linchpin of Musk’s plans to turn Tesla into a mass-market vehicle maker.  

[Bloomberg]

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