Automotive

Mercedes GLC crossover sheds GLK box

11:30 am U.S. ET | March 24, 2015

The Mercedes-Benz GLK crossover becomes roomier and sheds its old-fashioned square shape for a more modern design when it becomes the GLC this fall. It will have a longer wheelbase and wider track, giving it more interior room and making it more competitive with the BMW X3 and Audi Q5....
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Mercedes begins output of GLA engines in China

March 24, 2015 12:28 CET

Mercedes has added production of engines for the GLA compact crossover at its powertrain plant in Beijing. The automaker has now localized all engine production for the three models it produces locally with partner Beijing Automotive, that also include the C class and E class....
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Mercedes plant has highest per-hour labor cost in U.S.; VW and BMW pay least

March 24, 2015 10:42 CET

Workers at Daimler's Mercedes-Benz plant in Vance, Alabama, have the highest hourly pay among employees at U.S. car factories while Volkswagen and BMW workers earn the least, a study shows....
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Honda hires U.S. engineering firm Exponent to investigate Takata airbags

6:21 am U.S. ET | March 23, 2015

Honda has hired Exponent, a U.S. engineering consulting company enlisted by Toyota during its recall crisis in 2010, to investigate the cause of ruptures in some airbags made by Takata....
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WHAT A DRAG

Designers use new tricks, and the wind tunnel

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 23, 2015

Automakers facing stiffer global fuel economy and emissions standards are increasing efforts to improve fuel efficiency. After powertrain improvements and weight reductions, slippery aerodynamics is the hottest area of research to boost efficiency....
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Remote updates speed Tesla's Autopilot push

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 23, 2015

Tesla doesn't have the r&d budget of rivals such as Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz. But the Palo Alto, Calif., startup sees its ability to send over-the-air software updates as a crucial edge in the race to self-driving cars because it can quickly roll out technology to vehicles that have already been sold....
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Technology makes vehicles slipperier

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 23, 2015

Drag coefficient measures the resistance of an object as it moves through air or fluid. The lower the number, the slipperier the vehicle, and the less fuel it burns. The drag coefficient for new vehicles has been dropping fast as designers and aerodynamicists use powerful new computer simulation software....
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Scion plans revival with iM hatchback, iA compact sedan

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 23, 2015

Toyota Motor Corp. is set to unveil two new nameplates for its struggling Scion brand next month at the New York auto show -- a five-door iM hatchback and a sporty compact sedan designated the iA....
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Ready for Moab's red rocks

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 23, 2015

The surf-themed Jeep Chief, an homage to the mid-'70s Cherokee Chief, will participate in the Easter Jeep Safari gathering of off-road enthusiasts in Moab, Utah, this month....
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Subaru's 7-seater poses big design question

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 23, 2015

A Grand Outback? Or a larger crossover that is more distinct than Subaru's popular midsize vehicle? That's the decision Subaru is grappling with as it develops an all-new crossover bigger than the strong-selling Outback for sale in about two years....
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Optima's prime

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 23, 2015

Kia Motors flashed these renderings of the fourth-generation Optima midsize sedan that it will unveil next week at the New York auto show....
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Ford poised to surpass Hyundai in China capacity with new plant

3:06 pm U.S. ET | March 23, 2015

Ford will open its fourth passenger-car assembly plant in China today as part of a $4.9 billion expansion drive, putting it on track to overtake Hyundai in the world’s largest auto market....
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Toyota may approve first Mexico car plant in weeks, reports say

7:56 am U.S. ET | March 23, 2015

Toyota is finalizing plans for its first passenger-car assembly plant in Mexico that could be approved by its board as early as next month, according to three people with knowledge of the matter....
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Volkswagen will cut production, jobs at Russian plant

March 23, 2015 11:55 CET

Volkswagen said it will reduce shifts and lay off at least 150 workers at its car plant in Kaluga, Russia, as demand shrinks. The company builds Audi, VW and Skoda cars in Kaluga....
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2015 NEW YORK AUTO SHOW

Mitsubishi to show new design language with 2016 Outlander

11:19 am U.S. ET | March 23, 2015

Mitsubishi Motors North America will unveil the 2016 Outlander at the New York International Auto Show next week as a part of its freshened design lineup....
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Pirelli to be bought by ChemChina in $7.7 billion deal

March 23, 2015 09:37 CET

China National Chemical will buy into Pirelli in a $7.7 billion deal that would place one of the symbols of Italy's manufacturing industry in Chinese hands. But the bid may turn into a protracted takeover battle....
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An Audi obstacle, and a lesson in creating self-driving cars

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 23, 2015

The tale of an Audi prototype and a piece of desert tumbleweed illustrates one of the most daunting challenges in designing self-driving cars: teaching them to deal with the unexpected. It’s all part of the field of “deep learning,” which aims to train computers to process data in a way that mimics the human brain....
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PUT ON A BOLD FACE

VW turns up design so crossovers will hit right note in U.S.

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 23, 2015

The next crop of Volkswagens coming to the United States will convey a more aggressive design message. The strategy stems from a rethinking that is forcing VW to venture beyond the conservative styling that has worked so well in Europe and China....
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N.A. output falls 1.7% in February

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 23, 2015

North American car and truck production in February slipped 1.7 percent from the year-earlier level to an estimated 1,397,838 vehicles. Following January's 1.1 percent drop, February marked the first time since September-October 2009 that output fell for two consecutive months....
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Mini boss 'still pushing' for Superleggera roadster

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 23, 2015

Mini's Superleggera sports car concept would be a "great addition to the Mini range," says BMW's board member in charge of the brand, Peter Schwarzenbauer. But he disputed a report that the roadster has been approved for production....
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BMW brainstorms its next i model

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 23, 2015

BMW is weighing what type of model will join its "i" family of low-emission vehicles, said a top executive who added that the model will arrive after 2020....
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Honda recalls 104,000 vehicles for inflators

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 23, 2015

Honda Motor Co. last week added more than 100,000 vehicles in the U.S. to existing recalls for flawed airbag inflators made by Takata Corp....
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EDITORIAL

Automakers must learn to be better supplier customers

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 23, 2015

It's no secret that automakers are striving to obtain advanced features from suppliers before their rivals get them....
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Cadillac looks to exploit mismatches vs. Germans with CT6

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 23, 2015

Cadillac is taking a decidedly different approach to the full-size luxury sedan category with the upcoming CT6. While that uber-lux segment always has been long on roominess, horsepower and opulence, Cadillac will position the CT6 as an agile, athletic, driver's car and a technological tour de force....
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Cars hear you, but when will they get you?

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 23, 2015

Almost all vehicles sold in America today are programmed to respond to a driver's voice commands. But still on the frontiers of automotive research are vehicles that can determine what a driver really wants -- and respond intelligently. Getting to that point is a profound engineering challenge that is leading researchers beyond voice recognition and into the realm of artificial intelligence....
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