Blogs from the Traverse City conference

People, knowledge are the 'secret sauce' for sustainable business, Freudenberg exec says

Posted 12:58 pm U.S. ET, Aug. 8
blogs Dustin Walsh covers suppliers for Crain's Detroit Business, an affiliate of Automotive News.
 
TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. -- Sustainability, in terms of the automotive industry, was a move toward more environmentally-friendly manufacturing and products, and a marketing machine.But Ted Duclos, general manager of the global fluid power division at supplier Freudenberg-NOK, says it's more than environmental and economical -- it's social.Duclos, speaking at the 2013 CAR Manag ...
     Continue reading "People, knowledge are the 'secret sauce' for sustainable business, Freudenberg exec says" » Aug 8, 2013 12:58 pm U.S. ET
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Why the road to autonomous vehicles is uphill

Posted 1:16 pm U.S. ET, Aug. 7
TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. -- To hear a panel of industry experts describe it Tuesday afternoon, taking consumers into the world of fully autonomous self-driving cars is going to be a long and challenging trip.For starters, consumers don't particularly want it.A survey conducted in April for the Alliance of Automobile Manufactures found that 42 percent of men think the technolog ...
     Continue reading "Why the road to autonomous vehicles is uphill" » Aug 7, 2013 1:16 pm U.S. ET
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Crash warning devices must earn drivers' trust

Posted 6:01 pm U.S. ET, Aug. 7
It's unclear when -- if ever -- automakers will equip cars with vehicle-to-vehicle communication systems that would prevent fender benders at intersections. But one supplier, Qualcomm Technologies Inc., is developing such a system to help motorists avoid pedestrians and cyclists. Chris Borroni-Bird, Qualcomm's vice president of strategic development, says the company is de ...
     Continue reading "Crash warning devices must earn drivers' trust" » Aug 7, 2013 6:01 pm U.S. ET
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Fuel economy is a distant concern for these shoppers

Posted 5:16 pm U.S. ET, Aug. 7
Sure, consumers may say that fuel economy is important. They rank it as the second thing they look for when considering a vehicle, right behind value for their money. But look behind the overall statistics and a more complicated picture emerges, says Bob Lee, head of Fiat and Chrysler global powertrain. The typical Jeep Wrangler buyer, Lee notes, places fuel economy No. 9 ...
     Continue reading "Fuel economy is a distant concern for these shoppers" » Aug 7, 2013 5:16 pm U.S. ET
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GM exec: Young people still have passion for cars

Posted 5:46 pm U.S. ET, Aug. 6
The auto industry can stop wringing its hands over the notion that young people seem to be losing interest in buying cars. According to General Motors' top economist and others, young people are not drifting away from driving in favor of the Internet and cool gadgets. Instead, it's their ballooning student loan debt. And the rising cost of insuring young drivers. And diffi ...
     Continue reading "GM exec: Young people still have passion for cars" » Aug 6, 2013 5:46 pm U.S. ET
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How will smaller suppliers keep up with demand?

Posted 12:33 pm U.S. ET, Aug. 6
TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. -- While many are asking how automakers will keep pace with new car demand, Kim Hill is asking the other half of that question: How will Tier 2 and Tier 3 suppliers keep up with rising automaker demand?"We're looking at a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," says Hill, director of sustainability and economic development strategies at the Center for Autmoti ...
     Continue reading "How will smaller suppliers keep up with demand? " » Aug 6, 2013 12:33 pm U.S. ET
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VW's futuristic XL1: Sporty looks, high mileage

Posted 11:00 am U.S. ET, Aug. 6
WOLFSBURG, Germany -- The XL1 is Volkswagen's vision of an extreme high-mileage future commuter car. It marries a strong, lightweight carbon fiber body with slick aerodynamics, an efficient diesel-electric plug-in hybrid powertrain and sports car looks. The result is 261 mpg on the European test cycle in a fun-to-drive Mazda Miata-sized car that reaches 60 mph in a respect ...
     Continue reading "VW's futuristic XL1: Sporty looks, high mileage" » Aug 6, 2013 11:00 am U.S. ET
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VW's futuristic XL1: Sporty looks, high fuel economy

Posted 11:00 am U.S. ET, Aug. 6
The XL1 is Volkswagen's vision of an extremely fuel efficient commuter car.It combines a strong, lightweight carbon fiber body with slick aerodynamics, an efficient diesel-electric plug-in hybrid powertrain and sports car looks.The result is a car that uses 0.9 liters of diesel per 100km (314 UK mpg/261 U.S. mpg) on the European test cycle in a fun-to-drive Mazda MX-5-size ...
     Continue reading "VW's futuristic XL1: Sporty looks, high fuel economy" » Aug 6, 2013 11:00 am U.S. ET
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Suppliers latch on to benefits of green thinking

Posted 5:46 pm U.S. ET, Aug. 5
Environmentalism is nice. But environmentalism and a check are even nicer. Suppliers have embraced the dollars-and-cents value of green thinking at their factories, Traverse City audiences are hearing this week. Factories are shaving thousands -- or millions -- of dollars out of their operating overhead by doing what environmentalists would urge them to do as the right thi ...
     Continue reading "Suppliers latch on to benefits of green thinking" » Aug 5, 2013 5:46 pm U.S. ET
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What the 2014 Corvette's carbon fiber parts mean for the body shop

Posted 9:55 am U.S. ET, Aug. 5
TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. -- General Motors engineers cut weight from the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette with aluminum body parts and carbon-fiber reinforced plastic.But body shop technicians at dealerships, take note: the inner and outer halves of the hood and the outer panel of the roof are carbon fiber.If these parts are damaged in a crash, they can’t be repaired, says Mike R ...
     Continue reading "What the 2014 Corvette's carbon fiber parts mean for the body shop" » Aug 5, 2013 9:55 am U.S. ET
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Why automakers are investing in diesel engines in the U.S.

Posted 8:36 am U.S. ET, Aug. 5
TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. -- On the surface, the Volkswagen brand's total July sales of 35,779 units looks like chump change compared with The Big Boys.The top-selling vehicle in the country, the Ford F-150, accounted for 60,449 sales in July, while one Honda model, the Civic, nearly single-handedly outsold all of Volkswagen's models combined.But drill deeper into VW's July sal ...
     Continue reading "Why automakers are investing in diesel engines in the U.S." » Aug 5, 2013 8:36 am U.S. ET
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