At last, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has set up new guidelines for drivers keen on self-driving cars. The move is a breakthrough as it is one of the first regulatory laws introduced by the agency with respect to autonomous vehicles.
Not unexpectedly, Tesla Motors Inc. is gathering pace as it has just announced that it will expand its charging stations. The advancement is aimed at giving the owners of electric cars the possibility of having a coast-to-coast ride. But the electric car producer had also a small surprise for its fans. The automaker has also informed that it is developing a new, small crossover car which will be released around 2017.
Ford Motor Co. is to give Australian production the brush-off as it has informed that it would stop manufacturing cars in the world’s twelve largest economy. Everything has its end. And now there is the end of the 85-year-old Ford’s production in Australia which will be stopped by 2016. The decision of Ford Motor Co. is undeniably shocking for Australia which has been recently struggling due to the strength of its currency.
Ford Motor Co. is having its good days and it simply wants to take advantage of growing demand for cars in North America. Thus the US-based automaker informed that it decided to increase production at its car plants located in North America, thereby cutting the summer shutdown. Its overall plans are aimed at boosting manufacturing capacity by ambitious 200,000 vehicles annually in 2013. The increased production is expected to even help the company gain a bigger share in the US market.
Tesla Motors Inc., headed by green entrepreneur Elon Musk, is looking to rewrite the car industry in the US with a new stock offering. Successful with their first generation electric car Model S for commercial use, Tesla Motors Inc. has suddenly grown ambitious and proposes to raise $830 million through shares and convertible-bond stock offering. More important, in the long term this will allow the green carmaker to reimburse the $465 million US government loan it raised through the Department of Energy’s loan program.
If news bytes by people in the know-how at Facebook Inc. are to be believed, a high-net-worth-navigation app called Waze is likely to be acquired for an astounding $1 billion. Waze is a free-to-use navigation tool for mobile devices and popular in more than 193 countries.
Nissan Motor Co. surprised with it net profit growth of staggering 46.1 percent for the fourth quarter. But the fact is that the Japan’s carmaker did not show off its annual profit which was simply plane, compared to its home rivals. Certainly, the weakening yen significantly helped Nissan Motor Co. and other Japan’s companies enjoy stronger performance.
Tesla Motors Inc., the electric car manufacturer, has finally broken even, seeing surprisingly encouraging profits for the first quarter of 2013. This definitely has beaten expectations of poor sales which were widely expected.
It seems that Toyota Motor Corp. is on its track to full recovery as in the fiscal year ended March 2013 it saw its net profit triple on a year-on-year basis. Even though the Japan’s biggest carmaker enjoyed quite satisfying results, the company has decided to stick to its low-risk growth plan. Even optimistic estimates, which show that it will see its profit jump to the highest level in six years in the ongoing year, were not able to change the conservative and rigid plans of the company.
In what most consider as better days for the US auto industry, most major manufacturers, with a few exceptions, posted sale volumes they had not seen in more than 20 years, growing by nearly 27 percent growth over last years’ figures. The upward trend was largely seen in the large pickup trucks and in SUV segments across leading manufacturers.
As demand for pickups is rising, Ford Motor Co. is to announce that it will create 2000 new positions at its Claycomo car plant located in Kansas City. The creation of new jobs is aimed at meeting sharply growing demand for pickup trucks driven by increases in the US housing market. The world-known US carmaker plans to boost production of its best-selling F-150 pickup trucks as it just wants to earn from the upward trend in the industry.
Toyota Motor Corp. does not stop in its attempts to expand. It is widely rumored that the Japan’s automaker is to reveal its plans to start production of Lexus cars in the United States. Interestingly, it seems that Toyota Motor Corp. is striving for the title of the No.1 in the US luxury ranking which the company lost back in 2011
It seems that Toyota Motor Corp. is going through tough times as it will have to recall as many as 1.73 million vehicles globally as it has faced safety issues revolving around airbags. Other Japan’s carmakers, including Honda Motor Co., Nissan Motor Co. and Mazda Motor Corp., have announced the same process as their models have also encountered similar problems. But that is not the last of problems for Toyota Motor Corp. as the carmaker is now at war against Ford Motor Co. over the title of the best-selling car in 2012.
Newest data showed that the Ford Motor Co.’s Focus model had beaten its rivals in 2012 global car sales. The Focus model became the world’s best-selling car due to sharply increasing demand in China. The findings of the survey by R.L. Polk & Co. indicated that three models of Ford Motor Co. were in the world’s top six.
Australia’s General Motors Holden, which is the division of General Motors Co., informed that it would begin job cuts which would touch as many as 500 employees. The carmaker put blame for job cuts on the strong Australian dollar and weak sales as it became less competitive. The adversaries of government subsidies for car manufacturers will have, without a doubt, new arguments that the money was thrown down the drain as the financial help did not prevent from further reductions at General Motors Holden’s operations.
On the 20th of March, Volkswagen AG informed that it would recall nearly 385,000 in China, its biggest market, to fix gearbox problems. Everything indicates that the recall will start in April. Certainly, the recall will be a harsh blow for the company as the whole operation may cost it over $600 million.
While most of carmakers are experiencing difficulties, Volkswagen AG is ready to invest hefty sums to expand and build plants outside its European market. According to its latest statements, Volkswagen AG aims to double (sic!) its output capacity in the world’s second economy in the next five years. The Europe’s biggest carmaker just wants to take advantage of upcoming opportunities and grab a bigger market share in emerging markets to offset weak results recorded in the Old Continent.
Luxury carmaker Jaguar Land Rover informed that it would scale up investments at its UK engine plant by more than 40 percent as demand for the SUVs increased in China and other emerging markets as well. In addition, Jaguar Land Rover plans to double the head count by creating additional 700 jobs and invest £500 million at its i54 business park.
Peugeot Citroen posted a net loss of €5.01 billion for 2012 after sales in the European markets slumped which resulted in a write-down of €3.9 billion worth assets of the carmaker. Also, the increase in the price of steel pushed up the operating costs of the company.