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AutoNation Inc. has started offering performance upgrades at its 27 Chevrolet dealerships this month via collaboration with aftermarket tuning firm Hennessey Performance. Ron Frey, AutoNation’s chief strategy officer, told Automotive News in an interview that the company will arrange vehicle shipping to Hennessey’s sites in California or Texas.
The package will be first discussed between the customer and Hennessey Performance before the tuner starts it works on the vehicle. Once the upgrade is completed, the vehicle will be sent back to the customer. Hennessey upgrades can be availed for the Corvette, Camaro, SS, Tahoe, Silverado and Suburban.
Frey remarked that AutoNation is a big fan of Hennessey, since the tuner offer customers with performance upgrades across multiple brands through a single provider. Hennessey chief executive John Hennessey disclosed that the tuner intends to launch another operation near AutoNation’s headquarters in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., within 2015.Read the entire article AutoNation and Hennessey partner to offer performance upgrades
In June this year, rival carmakers Ford and Volkswagen inked a memorandum of agreement for a possible strategic alliance. Months after signing the MoU, automotive industry analysts are now floating the ideas of possible merger or an equity swap between the American and German companies. Nonetheless, Ford is quick enough to quash such ideas even before they get out of hand.
Under the signed MoU, Ford and VW are exploring a number of potential projects in several areas like the development of a range of commercial vehicles together. Likewise, a possible partnership would also work to better serve the evolving needs of customers. The parties have already made it clear back then that the potential alliance wouldn’t involve any equity arrangement.
However, The Detroit Bureau published an analysis that the potential alliance between Ford and VW might go beyond the commercial vehicle market, since doing so could be beneficial for both carmakers. For instance, Ford can benefit from VW’s robust presence not just in Europe, but also in Latin America and China. On the other hand, VW can take advantage of Ford’s strong fortified status in the United States, particular in the pickup and SUV segments.Read the entire article Ford kills rumors over potential merger or equity swap with Volkswagen
It has been two years since Fiat Chrysler Automobiles started courting suitors for a potential buyout. Naturally, two Chinese automakers namely Guangzhou Automobile Group and Great Wall Motor Company have shown interest in this. However, there is another candidate for the potential takeover, and it is none other than Hyundai.
It was The Detroit Bureau who said that Hyundai has shown interest to buyout FCA. This rumour came out last August just after FCA had a meeting with the Chinese automakers. But even after the South Korean automaker expressed their interest, China’s Dongfeng Motor Corp. And Zhejiang Geely are still in the picture.
According to an analyst in charge of automobiles at Eugene Investment & Securities, Lee Jae-il, if a Hyundai-FCA merger actually pushes through in the near future, that will make the South Korean marque the largest automaker in the world, even leaping over Toyota, VW, and Nissan combined for a total of 11.5 million units sold last year. That is not all for Hyundai. This merger will also benefit the South Korean automaker due to an expanded portfolio and high consumer awareness of FCA brands in the United States and Europe. Furthermore, the acquisition will not just increase sales, but it will also help Hyundai fill in its hole in their lineup with SUVs and trucks.Read the entire article Hyundai and FCA may have a future together
A little over two years ago, Toyota and Mazda signed a long-term partnership that they suggested was “mutually beneficial” for both firms. This partnership focuses on shared technology through joint manufacturing. To this day, Toyota and Mazda had agreed that that they would build a new factory in the United States where they can develop and produce electric vehicles, according to Nikkei.
Both companies invested a total of $1.6 billion to build the factory. This will provide 4,000 jobs to US residents, who will be able to produce 300,000 units annually. Each company will be focusing on their own needs - Mazda will be producing crossovers while Toyota will be building Corollas for North America. The plant will not be operational until sometime in 2021.
That is not all that’s planned for the Japanese automakers. They will also begin developing technologies that are needed for the growing EV market, including advanced safety systems and such. Other than that, Toyota and Mazda plan to share more models, and the former will begin supplying a commercial two-box van to the latter in Japan.Read the entire article A new US facility will be built by Toyota and Mazda’s joint venture
BMW has revealed that its i brand has partnered with TED in order to launch a worldwide search of unique ideas under the title “NextVisionaries.” This brand has long been recognized to be one of the pioneering influence when it comes to what the future of mobility is. The i brand is also known to focus on sustainability but not limit it on electric vehicles.
The goal of the competition is to engage the creative community through coming up with different aspects when it comes to future mobility. In order to get the widest range of potential participants, the theme of the competition is “Visionary Mobility.” Every creative individual, strategists, and pioneers, are invited to join and share their own ideas when it comes to mobility. Said ideas can be technological concepts, vehicle concepts, or even software and hardware solutions. It can even focus on services and products provided that it can shape future transport. An important thing to remember is that the proposal should also be based on eco-friendly mobility-related processes.
BMW’s collaboration with TED was officially announced during a TED Conference held in Vancouver. The entire selection process will consist of different phases and take four months. A panel of mentors will then choose which proposal is the most groundbreaking, the most promising, and the most impressive. The winning idea will then get a chance to present it during a TED Conference scheduled on November 2017 in New York.Read the entire article BMW i brand partners with TED to launch search of exceptional ideas on mobility
After years and years of cars being built and developed, Ford and Magna joint forces and developed a carbon fiber subframe that will reduce as much as 34% of a steel subframe’s weight. The developers recently unveiled a prototype of this.
What difference does it make, you ask? With a much lighter car, fuel consumption will dramatically decrease. Who doesn’t want that? Not only will it save us a few dollars, we can also save the planet by reducing our carbon footprint. In fact, the biggest car companies have been leaning towards building lighter vehicles by exploring other options such as aluminum engines, optimized chassis components, and probably the most common nowadays, carbon fiber panels for the car’s structure and exterior.
Another great thing about this development, according to sources, is that a carbon fiber subframe only uses a few parts - with two molded and four metallic components. Compare that with a standard steel equivalent which uses 45 steel part (thus the 34% weight difference). So imagine, from 45 parts down to only 6 parts.Read the entire article Ford and Magna’s carbon fiber subframe project offers amazing green potential
It seems the highly successful Renault-Nissan Alliance has led to more partnerships between carmakers. Volkswagen and TATA Motors have reportedly inked a longtime partnership deal on Wednesday. The two companies have allegedly signed a Mou or Memorandum of Understanding towards the development of new technologies, products and platforms. According to Autocar India, it has been more than a year since the manufacturers have been talking about the agreement.
The German automaker has been eyeing the Indian manufacturer as potential partner in exploring new markets. Being the largest vehicle firm in India, Tata Motors is also looking to increase its sales margin within or outside its market range. Nevertheless, this new partnership will help Tata come out with more vehicle lineups by 2019. It should be noted though that Jaguar, Land Rover and TAMO (TATA’s sub-brands) are not part of the alliance.
TATA’s latest AMP (or Advanced Modular Platform) is probably the most feasible architecture for the new collaboration. After the AMP received the EDAG approval, Volkswagen has found a more affordable alternative to its existing MQB-A platform. The AMP offers flexible architecture as well as definite cost advantage. At the very least, this will allow them to produce more extensive model range.Read the entire article VW AG and TATA Motors formed an alliance to develop new products
Considered as two of the leaders of in fuel cell technology among carmakers, GM and Honda inked in 2013 a long-term agreement to co-develop the next-generation fuel cell system as well as hydrogen storage technologies. The two carmakers also aimed to advance refueling infrastructure to improve the viability of fuel cell vehicles. To achieve this, GM and Honda planned to share expertise and economies of scale as well as pursue common sourcing strategies – thereby making fuel cell systems less costly to produce for the carmaker and more affordable to end consumers.
The agreement resulted in the establishment of the Fuel Cell System Manufacturing LLC (FCSM), a manufacturing joint venture – as its name obviously indicates -- that will focus on the mass production of an advanced hydrogen fuel cell system that will be employed in the upcoming products from GM and Honda. The two carmakers will invest in equal amounts a total of $85 million in the joint venture – the first in the auto industry – with an aim to commence mass production operations by the end of the decade (2020). FCSM will be based within GM’s battery pack production site located in Brownstown, Michigan.Read the entire article GM and Honda create Michigan-based joint venture for mass production of fuel cell systems
Honda (UK) and Ariel Motor Company have renewed their exclusive engine supply deal, which has been around for about 16 years. The renewed partnership entails the Civic Type R engine and the Civic 2.4 engine providing power for Ariel’s Atom and off-road Nomad, respectively.
Ariel has been using, as standard, the Civic Type R engine to power its Atom flagship since 2003. Now, Ariel will be using the Civic 2.4 unit that will serve as the heart of the new off-road Nomad. Entry-level Atom base models employ an entirely untouched engine.
Ariel can tune the ECU and exhaust of this engine to provide 245 bhp with Ariel-tuned ECU and exhaust; or supercharge it to either 310bhp or 350bhp to allow the vehicle to accelerate from zero to 60mph in less than 2.7 seconds and achieve a top speed of over 155 mph.Read the entire article Honda and Ariel Motor renew exclusive engine supply agreement
A joint project that Bugatti, a well-known maker of the fastest production sports cars in the world, entered with yacht builder Palmer Johnson has gotten everyone excited. According to their agreement, Palmer Johnson will be designing new open sport yachts made of carbon-fibre and these will be built using the Bugatti name.
Under the plan, Bugatti will allow the installation of features like advanced materials and design elements that are distinct to the automaker. The yachts will carry the Niniette name. The three models have varying lengths, measuring 42ft to 88ft. The smallest one has a price tag of €2 million.
Since the 1930s, Ettore Bugatti had been developing yachts and racing boats. That Ettore Bugatti had a personal connection to his creations was obvious from the name he gave to them. Niniette for example is his pet name for Lidia, his daughter. Now, the brand is reviving that same tradition with the motto “Art, Forme, Technique.”Read the entire article Bugatti teams up with Palmer Johnson, announces Niniette carbonfiber sport yacht
Volvo Cars and Microsoft are collaborating to jointly develop next-generation automotive technologies. In fact, the two companies just conducted a demonstration of the first fully untethered holographic computer -- Microsoft HoloLens – to show that this technology could be used to redefine how customers first encounter and explore a vehicle, giving them an opportunity to configure their units in three dimensions.
Also, the demonstration -- conducted at Microsoft’s global headquarters in Redmond, USA -- aimed to show that wearable HoloLens could be used to redefine how cars might be sold or purchased in the future. It also showed that holograms can be mixed into the physical world.
Interestingly, the demonstration turned out to be a mixed-reality preview of Volvo’s new S90 premium saloon. This new product from Volvo will have its real world debut at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January.Read the entire article Volvo and Microsoft enter deal to co-develop next-generation automotive technologies
When Toyota originally introduced the Prius, people did not know how to react. Mainly because fifteen years ago, no one knew what a hybrid car was. However just after its release, Toyota entered into a partnership with the Environmental Media Association (EMA) to usher in this car to Hollywood.
This collaboration celebrated its 15th year last October 24, which is also the same day that the Prius will observe its 15th anniversary as well. EMA will commemorate this occasion with Lexus and Toyota during the 25th Annual Environmental Media Awards to be held at Warner bros.
Studios in Burbank, California. At this same event, Toyota will also be showcasing the 2016 Prius at the green carpet. The Environmental Media Awards pays tribute to television programs and film shows that share important environment-related lessons in powerful yet innovative ways.Read the entire article Toyota celebrates 15-year Environmental Media Association (EMA) partnership
Amid rising development costs and more stringent emissions rules, Toyota Motor Corp. and Mazda Motor Corp. have decided to enter into a “long-term partnership” that focuses on projects related to technologies, products, and manufacturing. On May 13, the automakers announced that a joint committee will be formed to assess how the strengths of each company can be best utilized.
There have been reports that Toyota and Mazda have been considering collaborations on many projects. One of these deals is of Toyota supplying Mazda with its hydrogen fuel cell system and plug-in hybrid technology. In return, Mazda will give Toyota access to its fuel-efficient Skyactiv gasoline and diesel engine technology.
At the joint press conference, no mention was given to specific examples of what this cooperation means. While no details were provided by Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda and Mazda CEO Masamichi Kogai, they did cite the possibility of joint manufacturing, hybrid vehicles and fuel cells. The top honchos also didn’t confirm a capital tie-up or provide a timeline on upcoming joint projects.Read the entire article Toyota and Mazda enter long-term deal to share technologies
Ford Motors has inked a two-year research partnership with RWTH Aachen University to identify technologies and services that will meet customers' expectations for personal mobility. The project is also expected to help address increasing traffic congestion and environmental issues. According to Ford chief executive Mark Fields, there is a need for the carmaker to address growing risks from urbanization, air pollution and changing consumer attitudes.
Ford will take a look at firms like Apple and Amazon that have managed to expand from just single product and service companies to providers of full hardware and software platforms and services. The Ford-RTWH collaboration will determine how such approaches could result to enhanced car-ownership experiences as well as new ideas for car-sharing and personalization of mobility solutions.
It will also pave for the creation innovative features and new business opportunities. According to Ford, its thinking is driven by four megatrends: urbanization, rapid growth of global middle class, air quality and changing consumer attitudes.Read the entire article Ford strikes 2-year research partnership with RWTH to study innovative business models
Tesla Motors is holding discussions with BMW over a possible partnership in batteries and lightweight components, reports German weekly Der Spiegel, citing Tesla chief executive Elon Musk. He told the weekly in an interview that BMW's production of carbon fiber reinforced car body parts is "interesting" and "relatively cost efficient."
He said the companies are in talks over a potential collaboration in battery technology or charging stations. BMW uses carbon fibers from its SGL joint venture to produce reinforced passenger cell parts for the BMW i3 electric hatchback and i8 plug-in hybrid sports car.
Musk also remarked to Der Spiegel that he expects Tesla to have a battery production site in Germany in five to six years. Daimler AG remarked in October that it would still collaborate with Tesla even after it sold its remaining holdings in the US carmaker.Read the entire article Tesla and BMW in talks over possible collaboration in batteries, lightweight components
Daimler is not planning to increase its 5-percent stake in Aston Martin or participate in operational matters at the British sports car maker, according to Daimler chief executive Dieter Zetsche. He remarked that the huge difference in size between Aston and Daimler is a reason why the German carmaker has no plans to take part in running the UK company.
He remarked that Daimler could not make a better job “in running a 4,000-units-a-year company” than Aston‘s management,” Zetsche said. Aside from being a stakeholder in Aston, Daimler is also supplier the UK carmaker with electric and electronic parts and V8 engines from Mercedes’ AMG performance unit.
There have been reports that the carmakers are holding discussions on using Mercedes technology to develop an SUV that Aston Martin would roll out by 2017. Zetsche remarked Daimler paid nothing for the 5 percent stake in Aston Martin in exchange for technical cooperation.Read the entire article Daimler not planning to increase Aston Martin stake or become involved in operational matters
AutoNation Inc. has halted sales of used vehicles affected by the Takata Corp. airbag recalls and warnings. According to AutoNation spokesman Marc Cannon, the move affects less than 400 vehicles. The company’s chief executive, Mike Jackson, has called for carmakers to act as one instead of offering different responses.
He quipped that “some entity” should make the move for the auto industry and tell affected carmakers of what they should do. He noted that the United States National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, or NHTSA, has a “Tower of Babel” with regards to the issue.
NHTSA, a part of the US Transportation Department, is the agency in charge of highway safety in the country. In fact, NHTSA issued last week confusing information about the recall. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx has remarked that he has already asked the DOT inspector general's office to review NHTSA's handling of the Takata matter.Read the entire article AutoNation stop sales of vehicles affected by Takata airbag recall
Cadillac and American Airlines joined their forces in a new partnership that will offer several benefits to travelers such as on-site airport transfers and AAdvantage miles earning opportunities. Moreover, frequent fliers will be able to earn miles for test-driving a Cadillac.
The new program was launched last week at the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and according to the official press release it will evolve with new reward opportunities and experiences.
In addition, AAdvantage members can earn 7,500 AAdvantage miles when they call a service desk and register a time to test drive a Cadillac at a nearby dealership.Read the entire article American Airlines, Cadillac announce new partnership offering exclusive benefits to travelers
Daimler AG and the Renault-Nissan alliance have agreed to further expand their partnership to include engines and transmissions. Renault will supply Daimler with a 1.6-liter four-cylinder diesel engine for to be installed in the Mercedes-Benz C class. On the other hand, Mercedes will supply Nissan with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine to be installed at Infiniti models.
Daimler has also provided a license to Nissan to make its nine-speed automatic transmission for use in Infiniti vehicles. Daimler and Renault-Nissan has also agreed to cooperate on transporter vans. As part of the agreement, Nissan will supply Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corp. -- Daimler's Japanese commercial vehicles unit -- with the NV350 transporter van that will be sold as a Fuso Canter van in markets in the Middle East starting this year.
The partners said there were no limits to how their collaboration could evolve. "We maintain the attitude that everything is on the table,” Renault-Nissan chief executive Carlos Ghosn during a news conference with Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche at the Paris Auto Show.Read the entire article Daimler and Renault-Nissan agree to further extend cooperation
Renault and Bollore Group have inked a partnership agreement in which the French carmaker will build Bluecar electric vehicles for the latter’s car-share programs. The partners will also conduct a feasibility study for Renault to develop and build a new three-seater electric vehicle powered by Bollore's batteries.
Renault will produce the Bluecar EVs at its Dieppe site in France for the Bollore Group's car-sharing program. Bollore's Bluecars were produced in Italy by a joint venture with contract manufacturer Pininfarina. Expected production volume of Bollore cars at the Dieppe and Italy sites is pegged at 2,500 units in 2015.
To materialize further the agreement, Bollore and Renault will create a joint venture that will provide car-sharing services in France and other places in Europe. Bollore and Renault will own 70 percent and 30 percent of the joint venture, respectively.Read the entire article Renault inks partnership deal to build EVS for Bollore Group
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