Industry

Consumers have been more hesitant to engage with some shared services since health concerns emerged about COVID-19 infections. But while some short-term car rental services such as Maven and Penske Dash have shuttered because of the pandemic, others — such as Zipcar and Free2Move — are exploring options for profitability. General Motors said April 21
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Last month, Mel Hambelton Ford in Wichita, Kan., found itself at the center of a coronavirus cluster. Five confirmed cases of the respiratory illness caused by the virus were connected to the dealership, the health department in Sedgwick County, Kan., news release. It is an event that illustrates the anxiety of many retailers at the
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Historically, electric motors have not been a good fit for the American work horse, the pickup. Electric trucks were available at the dawn of the auto industry and more recently from General Motors and Ford Motor Co. in the late 1990s as the companies worked to comply with California’s zero-emissions regulations. Chevrolet’s S-10 Electric and
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Matthew Johnson-Roberson grew tired of waiting. He had been part of the self-driving industry since its nascent days. Then he watched his hopes of seeing autonomous vehicles in widespread deployment get dashed as a laundry list of projects were delayed or simply went away. When he started his own company, Refraction AI, in 2017, he
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German car giant Volkswagen has withdrawn a series of social media adverts and apologised after a racism row. A controversial advert showed a dark-skinned man being manoeuvred around by a pair of white women’s hands before being flicked away from a yellow VW Golf to a jaunty soundtrack. Volkswagen apologised, saying the advert was “wrong
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Sonic Automotive Inc. is seeing improvements in vehicle sales and parts-and-service gross profit after business fell sharply beginning in March as stay-at-home orders spread. Same-store new-vehicle volumes for the Charlotte, N.C., retailer fell by a third in March, while used-vehicle sales tumbled by a quarter vs. a year ago. In April, new-vehicle sales declined 40
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Asbury Automotive Group Inc. lost out on its largest-ever acquisition because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The company terminated its planned $1 billion deal to buy most of the luxury-brand Park Place Dealerships in Texas just days before the transaction was slated to close. The decision came as the coronavirus crisis prompted Asbury to shift from
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DETROIT — Even as Ford Motor Co.’s factory workers begin going back on the job this week, thousands of salaried employees might remain homebound into July. Among them is a team of a half-dozen color and materials designers who continue to make the paints, leathers, vinyls and carpeting match on everything from the EcoSport to
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General Motors has postponed plans to freshen at least a handful of vehicles — including the Chevrolet Traverse, Buick Enclave and Cadillac XT4 — during the coronavirus pandemic, according to LMC Automotive. “Most face-lifts appear to have some delay associated with them, especially those that hadn’t really been fully completed. Where they were essentially getting
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DALLAS — Toyota Motor North America’s new CEO, Ted Ogawa, spent the past several years under the direct tutelage of the man he succeeded: longtime CEO Jim Lentz, who retired April 1. Ogawa, who cut his teeth in the U.S. as a purchasing coordinator at the joint Toyota-General Motors NUMMI assembly plant in Fremont, Calif.,
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McLaren is considering raising money by mortgaging its historic car collection and factory to see it through the coronavirus crisis. The Formula One team owner and supercar maker has seen sales and F1 advertising revenues hit as countries globally went into lockdown. Cars on show at McLaren’s Surrey HQ include F1 winners from the 1980s
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The 2020 Detroit auto show was supposed to be a seminal event for autonomous vehicles. As part of their plans to transform the show, state and industry leaders intended for visitors to experience self-driving technology in vehicles, most of which still would have had human safety drivers aboard. Two companies had been contracted to provide
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Hyundai has a soft spot for Detroit, with the automaker’s technical center in nearby Superior Township. For the Detroit auto show, the Korean automaker was expected to debut the next-generation Tucson compact crossover. While last year’s Los Angeles Auto Show — held near Hyundai’s Orange County headquarters — only got the Vision T concept on
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Among executives at ZF Friedrichshafen’s global headquarters in Germany, there’s no sugarcoating the magnitude of COVID-19’s economic impact. ZF, the world’s fifth-largest auto supplier last year, says its sales forecast is in line with current economic forecasts that suggest the moment represents the “most significant crisis since 1929.” Most of ZF’s factories in China have
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Nissan dealers in the U.S. have been through a lot. A restructuring plan taking shape at the company looks like something that can give them hope for a better future. As Hans Greimel reported in last week’s issue, the right-sizing of Japan’s second-largest automaker will cut deepest in underperforming regions, allowing Nissan to redouble efforts
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American Honda doesn’t come readily to mind as an automaker with big plans for Detroit. The Honda and Acura brands don’t garner a significant amount of market share in the region, and their U.S. headquarters is in Southern California. However, the Japanese automaker had very big plans for Detroit’s first summertime auto show. Its product
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Mass-transit ridership has plummeted. Scooter companies have shuttered in key cities. Ride-hailing networks have scrambled to pivot from carrying humans to carrying takeout orders. So it’s a curious time to buy a transportation company whose operations are predicated on people moving around. Despite a world wracked by a pandemic, that’s just what Intel Corp. did
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For Canadian auto retailer HGreg.com, setting up a cloud-based computer system was necessary to connect its dealerships across two nations. That initiative started around 2014, and it turned out to be a beneficial strategy during the current coronavirus pandemic. The company uses a cloud-based phone system and Google technology for email and file-sharing across its
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Autonomous, shared and electrified. Three buzzwords that once heralded the future of transportation. But, seemingly overnight, new mobility initiatives have moved into the crosshairs of an industry whose profits and forecasts have been blown up by the coronavirus pandemic. Advanced technologies, such as those companies were promoting at CES less than four months ago, promise
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Some low-income families in San Francisco are getting meals delivered to their homes by autonomous vehicles during the coronavirus pandemic. Cruise, the General Motors subsidiary developing self-driving technology, has used its fleet of test vehicles to help food banks hand out more than 3,700 meals in eight days, The Verge reported last week. The effort
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Hyundai, its luxury brand Genesis and corporate cousin Kia saw their sales momentum fade as the U.S. economy shut down in response to the coronavirus crisis. But all three brands are working with dealers to sell as many vehicles as possible by offering aggressive incentives and maintaining an inventory pipeline from South Korea. Hyundai suspended
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The cancellation of this year’s Geneva auto show was only the beginning of what has become an odd and unpredictable year for the auto industry’s most expensive brands. Since the last-minute implosion of one of the most important consumer shows on the ultraluxury and exotic segment’s yearly calendar, life for the elite brands has been
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