Will President Trump Block German Car Sales?

BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Audi are symbols of success and prestige.

Owning one is a goal more people are realizing, as BMW sold more than 2.3 million cars last year. Mercedes-Benz was just behind at about 2.2 million, while Audi unloaded some 1.8 million vehicles.

BMW builds its SUVs right here in the States, and Mercedes-Benz has a manufacturing plant in Alabama. Needless to say, German automakers contribute a fair share to the American economy, and well-off car buyers are taking home their wares in record numbers.

Yet the U.S. president is not happy and has vowed to block the “very bad” Germans from exporting cars to our country.

Never mind the fact that the president owns at least one Rolls-Royce (a company owned by BMW) and a Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren. Continue reading >>>

Despite Dangers, Speed Limits Keep Rising

Are you willing to risk safety to save 6.5 minutes of travel time?

Speed limits on highways across this great country range between 55 and 85 miles per hour depending on the size, location, and congestion of the highway. Lower limits are typically reserved for winding two-lane country highways while the 80-mph jaunts are reserved for four-lane rural Interstates.

While the nationwide 55-mph limit is long gone, some states still hang onto the lower limits in the name of safety and efficiency. Others, such as Nevada, Idaho, Texas, Montana, and more, are pushing limits up to 85 miles per hour. Continue reading >>>

As Major Brands Scale Back, Jaguar Surges Forward

2017 Jaguar XE 20d Prestige - Cliff Atiyeh

The Jaguar E-Type, dubbed “the most beautiful car ever made” by none other than Enzo Ferrari, has nonetheless enjoyed a rocky legacy. For all the praise its styling receives, the car has continued to be remembered as a reliability nightmare. In the 1976 film, “The Gumball Rally,” the Jaguar E-Type entrant fails to start (and, thus, never crosses the starting line). And in one of the most memorable episodes of AMC’s “Mad Men,” a character attempts suicide via carbon monoxide poisoning. However, in keeping with the show’s often dark humor, the attempt ultimately fails thanks to a Jaguar E-Type that won’t start. Continue reading >>>

Volkswagen’s Punishment Will Electrify America

As part of a settlement with the federal government over its diesel emissions scandal, Volkswagen will help electrify the United States of America by building charging stations and investing $2 billion in electric transportation over the next decade.

And you thought the company would get off with a slap on the wrist.

The federal government saw an opportunity to turn the scandal into something positive and ordered VW to contribute to the next generation of transportation. This could be exactly the kind of jumpstart that electric cars need, because it could conceivably allow EVs to embark on cross-country road trips without fear of running out of electrons somewhere in the middle of Wyoming.

Not that Wyoming will get a lot of attention in the project. California, not surprisingly, will benefit from some pretty major investment. The Golden State currently has more EV drivers than any other, which explains the high concentration of investment there.

In response to the court order, Volkswagen created a subsidiary called Electrify America, which will make four $500 million investments separated by 30-month periods over the next 10 years. Continue reading >>>

Lyft Expands While Uber Reels

Put aside Chance the Rapper’s Grammy win and in-song references to the name-brand ride-hailing app, and the past 30 days haven’t been a great for Uber. This past month, the San Francisco-based tech giant suffered one publicist’s worst nightmare after another, and its competitors are taking notice. While the company nearly synonymous with ride-hailing spends more and more time improving its image, cross-town rival Lyft announced yet another expansion, setting up operations in 94 additional cities since the start of 2017. Continue reading >>>

UAW Wants You To Buy American, But What Exactly Does That Mean?

The United Auto Workers Union desperately wants you to buy vehicles built with union labor in the United States of America.

That should come as no surprise considering the union makes its money off of organized American workers.

Some say the union model is an antiquated and obsolete way of building cars, but its pro-American sentiment is one shared by the new U.S. presidential administration. Both the UAW and the president are working to bring more car manufacturing into the country, while shunning vehicles built in countries with cheaper labor costs.

In an attempt to further its cause, the UAW will begin an ad campaign encouraging U.S. residents to only purchase vehicles built in the U.S. with union labor. That means it may suggest that you take home a U.S.-built Toyota Camry instead of a Mexico-built Ford Fusion.

From where we sit, the UAW faces an uphill battle. Continue reading >>>

Automakers Want a Review of Fuel-Economy Rules

Automakers aren’t interested in building cars with exceptional fuel economy.

That’s despite a 2011 announcement by the Obama administration that requires automakers to raise fuel-efficiency standards to a fleet average of 54.5 miles per gallon. According to the former administration, that would save motorists $1.7 trillion in fuel costs over the life of the vehicles, while costing the auto industry about $200 billion over 13 years.

Automakers claim that the requirements are contrary to the desires of the public and want the fuel-economy regulation changed.

They’re appealing to the current president to make it happen. Continue reading >>>

The Trump Effect: Will More Car Production Stay in America?

For all the controversy President-elect Trump has created, his impending presidency seems to be having at least one immediate effect: Car production is staying in the United States.

In the last few weeks, Ford has cancelled plans for a Mexican production plant, and GM has committed to invest a billion dollars in U.S. manufacturing while adding 7,000 jobs. That news comes after Trump has publicly derided the companies for moving production out of the country.

German automakers, however, have stood firm on their existing plans for production in Mexico, even in the face of Trump’s proposed 35 percent tax on foreign cars being brought into the U.S.

Is this truly a Trump effect, or just coincidence?

Continue reading >>>

Volkswagen Pleads Guilty, FCA Accused of Cheating

A short time ago, Volkswagen executives in Germany were warned about travel to the United States. Doing so could result in arrest for criminal charges stemming from the company’s massive defrauding of the U.S. government.

Perhaps Oliver Schmidt, the former head of VW’s environmental engineering office in charge of communicating with U.S. regulators, didn’t get the memo.

The FBI pounced when Schmidt was in Miami, arresting him to face criminal charges over doctored diesel engines in more than 500,000 cars, which emitted up to 40 times the limit for nitrogen oxide under U.S. pollution standards.

Volkswagen has pleaded guilty to three felony charges and now the EPA has accused another automaker of a similar cheating scheme.

Continue reading >>>