Automotive

Concept to signal new era for Audi design

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 20, 2014
Audi will introduce a new design direction with a concept car debuting next month at the Los Angeles Auto Show. The concept will be the first Audi vehicle styled under Marc Lichte, who took over as Audi's design chief in February after leading exterior design at Volkswagen....
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Rolls-Royce renews the Ghost

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 20, 2014
Rolls-Royce has made extensive styling and technical changes to the Ghost Series II for its midcycle freshening. The 2015 model shown at a press event here has newly styled adaptive headlights, pushed farther outboard and ringed with white LED daytime running lights; a new hood with a stylized center section Rolls calls a "wake channel"; and redesigned front fenders, bumper and grille that give the car a wider appearance....
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JCI-Yanfeng could be first domino

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 20, 2014
The major joint venture between Johnson Controls Inc. and China's Yanfeng Automotive Trim Systems Co. has created momentum for further consolidation of the auto interiors business, says Beda Bolzenius, president of Johnson Controls' seating and interiors business....
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Pulling the plug: EV battery module exchange put to test

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 20, 2014
A team of engineers at the University of California, San Diego, plans to make a cross-country trip in an electric vehicle -- without plugging the car in once. Instead of going by the traditional plug-and-wait protocol for EVs, the engineers will swap out rechargeable, briefcase-size battery modules on the fly as they travel from San Diego to the coast of South Carolina in less than 60 hours....
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Startups see opportunities flowing from data port

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 20, 2014
Some startups, impatient with automakers' progress and promising to bring older vehicles into the data-driven age, are racing to market with hardware and apps that tap into the OBD-II diagnostic port built into all new U.S. light vehicles' dashboards beginning in 1996....
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NEW PROVING GROUNDS

Where will autonomous cars prepare for urban challenges?

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 19, 2014
The advent of autonomous cars is forcing automakers to rethink the traditional proving ground and strike a balance between existing test tracks and the realities of today's bustling cities. The big hurdle for self-driving cars remains urban America, where the environment is more complex and the range of risks -- cyclists, stray dogs, children running into the street -- is greater....
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For 15 years, Nakamura has redrawn Nissan

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 18, 2014
Fifteen years after taking over Nissan's global design leadership, Shiro Nakamura has come full circle. Nissan will launch its third-generation Murano crossover late this year. In 2002, the Murano was the first Nissan nameplate that fully showcased Nakamura's creative touch. It also tops off a long list of edgy designs for Nakamura, who has begun to slip the word "retirement" into his conversations, as though testing the water. He turned 64 on Oct. 17....
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UAW, politicians will fight to keep Wrangler output in Toledo

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 18, 2014
UAW and political leaders plan to gather Monday in a community-wide effort to keep Jeep Wrangler production in its original home of Toledo, Ohio. Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne this month said the next Wrangler may have be built off a unibody platform, changes that could mean the SUV would have to find a production site outside Toledo....
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Renault's China vehicle sales could reach 800,000 a year, Ghosn says

Oct. 18, 2014 06:01 CET
Renault, a latecomer to China, could sell up to 800,000 vehicles annually in the country, CEO Carlos Ghosn said. Renault has a 4 percent market share globally and it is a "reasonable" objective to reproduce this in China, Ghosn said....
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Takata engineers struggled to maintain airbag quality, documents reveal

9:27 am U.S. ET | Oct. 18, 2014
Manufacturing problems with Takata airbags go beyond what the supplier has disclosed to federal safety regulators about why the devices are at risk of exploding with dangerous force, according to internal company documents reviewed by Reuters....
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LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE

Why Wrangler’s Toledo decision may depend on keeping the money spigot flowing

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 18, 2014
It’s been just over two weeks since Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne casually revealed that he might have to move Jeep Wrangler production out of its historic home in Toledo, Ohio. Why? Because it might cost too much to shut down the plant long enough to convert it for the use of aluminum parts....
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IAC opens 2 plants in China

1:16 pm U.S. ET | Oct. 17, 2014
International Automotive Components, the interior auto parts supplier formed from other companies including Lear's interiors business and the assets of the bankrupt Collins & Aikman, opened two plants in Changshu, China, this week....
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Fourth U.S. traffic death linked to Takata airbags

12:05 pm U.S. ET | Oct. 17, 2014
A fourth traffic death in a Honda car has been linked to a defective airbag made by Japanese supplier Takata, according to a county medical examiner in Florida....
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Third traffic death in U.S. linked to Takata airbags

4:11 pm U.S. ET | Oct. 16, 2014
A fatal accident near Los Angeles last year of a 2002 Acura sedan involved a Takata airbag -- the third death in the United States linked to a defective safety component made by the Japanese supplier, according to local officials and the automaker....
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Russia may allow Serbia export quota for Fiat cars

Oct. 16, 2014 18:01 CET
Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic said an export quota may be agreed with Russia for Fiat 500L cars built in Serbia. Exports to Russia from Serbia have high customs duties....
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China to punish carmakers that fail to meet fuel economy targets

10:24 am U.S. ET | Oct. 16, 2014
China, taking another step to clean the nation's polluted skies, plans to punish automakers by restricting vehicle output and publicly naming violators if they fail to meet fuel economy rules on light vehicles set for 2015....
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Volvo will add jobs, boost production in Sweden

Oct. 16, 2014 11:45 CET
Volvo will add 1,300 jobs and a third shift at its plant in Sweden next year to meet rising demand for its cars, including the new flagship XC90....
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Audi tests driverless car technology at 190 mph

11:44 am U.S. ET | Oct. 15, 2014
In its effort to bring autonomous-driving technology to the streets, Audi is testing unmanned vehicles at speeds as fast as 305 kilometers (190 miles) per hour. In these experiments, the car decides for itself the best way to take the corners in its race against human drivers....
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Honda starts audit of injury, death reports to U.S. regulator

4:15 pm U.S. ET | Oct. 15, 2014
Honda asked a third party to determine whether the automaker underreported fatality and injury claims to federal regulators in the United States who are investigating airbag failures with potentially deadly defects....
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2014 L.A. AUTO SHOW

Audi concept to usher in new styling era

2:08 pm U.S. ET | Oct. 15, 2014
Audi will introduce a new design direction with a concept car debuting next month at the Los Angeles Auto Show. The concept will be the first Audi vehicle styled under Marc Lichte, who took over as head of Audi design in February after leading exterior design at Volkswagen....
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Hitachi Automotive readies new autonomous driving technology

10:57 am U.S. ET | Oct. 15, 2014
Hitachi Automotive Systems is readying a suite of new autonomous driving technologies, including a no-hands self-parking function it plans to market in 2016. The systems, unveiled last week at the supplier’s proving ground in northern Japan, entail precrash braking, advanced adaptive cruise control and vehicle stability control for electric vehicles....
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AUTOMOTIVE NEWS EUROPE E-MAGAZINE

Webasto sees consolidation looming for roof makers

Oct. 15, 2014 06:01 CET
Holger Engelmann, the CEO of German roof specialist Webasto, believes a drop in demand for convertible cars will lead to consolidation in the sector, but he sees potential growth opportunities in China....
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Nissan repolishes Murano for grown-ups

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 14, 2014
Nissan designers in southern California have reshaped the Murano for 2015 with curvier and more sensual body lines to stand out from the crowd as it did when originally introduced 12 years ago. The interior is more elegant, with fewer control buttons, roomier seating, heated ergonomic rear seats and a panoramic moonroof....
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Chrysler's Busse has a surprise for you

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 14, 2014
Klaus Busse, Chrysler Group's head of interior design, and his team enjoy hiding what they call "Easter eggs" throughout Chrysler Group vehicles for owners to discover. Easter eggs are fun, unobtrusive art elements that feature landmarks or historical images related to the vehicle....
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Q&A

BMW chief designer Karim Habib on creating a boxier 2-series convertible

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 14, 2014
Karim Habib, BMW Group's head of design, is the one responsible for creating the 2-series convertible the automaker introduced recently at the Paris auto show. The 44-year-old Lebanese-Canadian held various posts in interior and exterior design at BMW before getting his current title....
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