Managing Automotive

News, knowledge, and insights for the automotive industry.

Managing Automotive

Industry Interests

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California ready to pursue clean car standards as Trump brakes

Automakers hailed President Donald Trump’s call for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to review and possibly dial back car fuel efficiency standards. But California sees things differently. California plans to move ahead with tougher car pollution rules for 2022-2025, which the administration of former Democratic President Barack Obama hastily approved before Trump took office. 

[Reuters]

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VW's Schmidt to remain in U.S. custody until trial next year

Oliver Schmidt, the Volkswagen executive incarcerated since January when he tried to return to his native Germany after a Florida vacation, will remain in custody until his trial early next year for 11 felonies tied to the company’s emissions violations, a federal judge said. Schmidt, 48, appeared before Judge Sean Cox in U.S. District Court in Detroit for a hearing on his motion to be released on bond pending his trial. He has been behind bars since he was arrested Jan. 7 at Miami International Airport and charged for his alleged role in Volkswagen’s ongoing diesel emissions scandal.

[Automotive News]

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BREAKING: EPA, DOT Take Aim At Auto Emissions Standards

he leaders of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Department of Transportation said Wednesday they will revisit Obama-era standards on greenhouse gas emissions for 2022 to 2025 model cars and light trucks, a win for automakers that said the standards were too tough to meet.

The announcement is a rebuke to the Obama administration’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas pollution from the transportation sector and deal with climate change, and again shows the Trump administration’s commitment to easing regulatory obligations on industry.

[Law360]

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Intel, betting big on driverless cars, is buying Mobileye for $15 billion

As self-driving cars edge closer to street-legal status, technology companies don’t want to be left out.

Computer chipmaker Intel Corp. reached for its share Monday with the $15.3-billion purchase of Mobileye, a small Israeli company that creates vision systems for cars and trucks. The two will combine their expertise to develop self-driving systems for automakers, technologies that combine computer chips with sensors and software to make driverless cars possible.

[Los Angeles Times]

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Volkswagen pleads guilty in U.S. diesel emissions scandal

Volkswagen pleaded guilty Friday to conspiracy and obstruction of justice in a brazen scheme to get around U.S. pollution rules on nearly 600,000 diesel vehicles by using software to suppress emissions of nitrogen oxide during tests.

The German automaker has agreed to pay $4.3 billion in civil and criminal penalties — the largest ever levied by the U.S. government against an automaker — although VW's total cost of the scandal has been pegged at about $21 billion, including a pledge to repair or buy back vehicles.

[Los Angeles Times]

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Trump to Undo Vehicle Rules That Curb Global Warming

The Trump administration is expected to begin rolling back stringent federal regulations on vehicle pollution that contributes to global warming. The announcement, expected Tuesday, is a U-turn from Obama-era regulations on tailpipe emissions of carbon dioxide.

[New York Times]

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VW exec Schmidt pleads not guilty, but must stay behind bars, judge says

Volkswagen executive Oliver Schmidt will remain behind bars as an extreme flight risk even after not-guilty pleas were entered on his behalf during his arraignment Thursday in U.S. District Court in Detroit. Schmidt, 48, faces 11 felony counts in connection with VW’s nearly decade-long effort to subvert U.S. environmental regulations when it came to the company’s diesel-powered vehicles. If convicted, he could face up to 169 years in federal prison, prosecutors said in January.

[Automotive News]

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Tesla's cash burn raises concerns on Wall Street

Elon Musk is burning through cash and may need to raise more soon to produce the mass-market electric sedan Tesla Inc. is banking on to reach the mainstream consumer. A capital raise would provide more cushion to the smallest and youngest publicly held U.S. automaker, which has huge expenditures planned ahead of introducing the Model 3 sedan in July. Tesla burned through cash in the fourth quarter and expects to spend as much as $2.5 billion in the first half of the year before fielding its first mass-market car.

[Automotive News]

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PSA takes first steps to U.S. market entry with ride-sharing service

PSA Group will be a partner in a ride-sharing service set to begin in April at airports in San Francisco and Los Angeles, taking the first steps toward re-entering the North American market. TravelCar, a French company that offers peer-to-peer ride-sharing at airports and train stations in Europe, is launching the service after securing an investment of 15 million euros ($15.8 million) from PSA and MAIF, a French insurance company. Under TravelCar's business model, car owners can receive free parking in return for allowing their vehicle to be rented by travelers, at rates the company says are 50 percent lower than traditional car rentals.

[Automotive News]

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Toyota's giant hydrogen leap gets an assist from Shell

Royal Dutch Shell Plc will build seven fueling stations for hydrogen cars in California through a partnership with Toyota Motor Corp., laying down their latest bet on the demise of the internal-combustion engine. The stations will nudge the state closer to its goal of having 100 retail sites by 2024 where hydrogen fuel cell vehicles can fill up. The California Energy Commission is considering $16.4 million in grants toward the stations, with Shell and Toyota contributing $11.4 million.

[Automotive News]

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