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Tesla racing to get its $5 billion battery plant up and running

Automotive / Automotive News /

SPARKS, Nev. -- On a lonely mountain plain half an hour east of Reno, off a street named Electric Avenue, Tesla Motors Co. is building a massive battery plant called Gigafactory 1.

It's a huge bet for a company known for taking risks: When it's fully up and running, the $5 billion plant will almost double the world's production of lithium-ion ...Read more

Fiat Chrysler's astounding sales streak actually ended in 2013, company says after revision

Automotive / Automotive News /

DETROIT -- Fiat Chrysler Automobiles on Tuesday said it has revised the way it counts monthly sales figures of new cars and trucks and dropped its claim that it had seen 75 consecutive months of sales gains, saying the streak actually ended in September 2013.

The automaker issued a lengthy explanation of its sales reporting practices and ...Read more

Tesla car mangled in fatal crash was on Autopilot and speeding, NTSB says

Automotive / Automotive News /

The Tesla car involved in a fatal crash in Florida this spring was in Autopilot mode and going about 10 miles faster than the speed limit, according to safety regulators, who also released a picture of the mangled vehicle.

Earlier reports had stated the Tesla Model S struck a big rig while traveling on a divided highway in central Florida, and ...Read more

State of Michigan approves $17M loan for autonomous vehicle research center

Automotive / Automotive News /

DETROIT -- The state of Michigan will provide a $17 million loan for the design and construction of research facilities at a proposed autonomous- and connected-vehicle center outside Detroit.

The Michigan Strategic Fund approved the investment Tuesday, one week after greenlighting $1.2 million for the purchase of 311 acres at the former Willow ...Read more

In Monterey, Calif., a battle for historic Laguna Seca raceway

Automotive / Automotive News /

A bitter fight to take control of one of the world's most iconic racetracks will come to a head next week when three competing teams of auto sports enthusiasts make their cases to a ruling panel.

At stake is the management of the Laguna Seca racing venue, host for almost 60 years to some of the power sports industry's most important automobile ...Read more

Tesla's stock falls after Elon Musk reveals his 'master plan'

Automotive / Automotive News /

After more than a week of teasing about its existence, Elon Musk revealed the second part of his "master product plan" for Tesla on Wednesday evening. Or, as he calls it, "part deux."

In a blog post published on the automaker's website, Musk introduced a multiyear, four-pronged strategy that includes new kinds of Tesla vehicles, expanded solar ...Read more

Motoring Q&A: Save some money and fix scratch yourself

Automotive / Automotive News /

Q: I recently put an 18-inch scratch on the rear passenger side door of my 2015 Subaru Outback. It is a fairly narrow scratch, but down to the metal in a few spots. Estimates from body shops ranged from $1,300 to $1,600 and would include removing both doors and the side quarter panel and repainting the whole passenger side of the car. They said ...Read more

Auto review: New Acura NSX every bit as impressive as the first

Automotive / Automotive News /

What separates Acura's NSX sports car from its rivals is heritage.

Acura built the first NSX to challenge the best speedsters of Europe even though the Honda luxury brand lacked a racing pedigree.

For 2017, the all-new NSX possesses the stoic classicism and remarkable performance of its forbearer but just happens to be an all-wheel drive, gas-...Read more

Elon Musk reveals Tesla's 'Master Plan': Trucks, buses and ride sharing

Automotive / Automotive News /

Elon Musk revealed Part 2 of his "master product plan" for Tesla on Wednesday evening.

In a blog post published on Tesla's website, Musk introduced a multi-year, four-pronged strategy that includes new kinds of Tesla vehicles, expanded solar initiatives, updates on Tesla's Autopilot technology and a ride-sharing program.

Some surmised that the...Read more

Autonomous cars will get new federal guidelines

Automotive / Automotive News /

Companies working on self-driving cars need to focus on safety -- "we want people who start a trip to finish it," Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx announced Tuesday, saying his department will issue new guidelines on the vehicles this summer.

"Autonomous doesn't mean perfect," he told attendees at an industry conference in San Francisco. "...Read more

Best used car deals are plug-in vehicles

Automotive / Automotive News /

There is one place where sales of plug-in vehicles are heating up: on the newly used car market.

Electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids classified as 1 to 3 years old are some of the hottest sellers and best deals, according to a new study by used car aggregator,

"The market may have hit a sweet spot where the pricing has dropped ...Read more

Dog owners, engineers work on technology to make pets safe in cars

Automotive / Automotive News /

DETROIT -- A global auto supplier and a small nonprofit organization have joined forces to make cars safer for man's -- and in this case, a woman's -- best friend.

A dozen engineers and workers at Johnson Controls in Plymouth, Mich., studied dogs of various breeds and sizes and how they travel in cars -- and brainstormed ideas about how they ...Read more

Under the Hood: What's the deal with electric steering?

Automotive / Automotive News /

Q: I'm getting ready to buy a new car and am trying to sort out a few things that are new to me. One of them is electric steering. Can you explain what it is and if it's something I'd want?

--Keith H.

A: For a number of reasons, electric power assisted steering, or EPS, has really caught on. Its main advantage over tried-and-true hydraulic ...Read more

Auto review: 2017 Honda Ridgeline is a midsize pickup in a crossover body

Automotive / Automotive News /

When Honda pulled the Ridgeline midsize pickup from the market in 2014, it appeared the segment would go with it. Gone were the Ford Ranger, Dodge Dakota, Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon. Only the low-selling Nissan Frontier and Toyota Tacoma remained.

The Ridgeline is back for 2017 at a time when the midsize pickup segment is resurgent. ...Read more

Auto review: 2017 Chrysler Pacifica minivan is king of the family vehicle hill

Automotive / Automotive News /

Moving from the city to the suburbs resulted in losing a bet dating to my college days. Not for swapping town for country, so to speak, but for something far more offensive to the know-it-all collegian: buying a minivan.

The details of the wager are vague, like most things from college, but it was supposed to include shame, ridicule and money. ...Read more

Federal investigators probing Fiat Chrysler sales reports

Automotive / Automotive News /

DETROIT -- Fiat Chrysler Automobiles said Monday it is under investigation by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the way it reports sales figures to the public in quarterly reports.

The Detroit-area automaker, which also said it had been contacted by the U.S. Justice Department, said it was cooperating with the probe. The ...Read more

Feds applaud automakers on fuel economy standards

Automotive / Automotive News /

In a move that caught some analysts by surprise, the federal government has given the auto industry a pat on the head for its advances in meeting fuel efficiency standards.

The U.S. Department of Transportation, the Environmental Protection Agency and the California Air Resources Board made the joint announcement early Monday, saying "...Read more

EU new-car sales up 6.9% in June

Automotive / Automotive News /

BRUSSELS -- New-car sales in the European Union were up 6.9 percent in June from June 2015, an industry group said Friday, meaning sales had almost reached the levels of June 2007, just before the financial crisis.

Nearly 1.46 million new vehicles were sold last month, the 34th straight month of growth for the market, the European Automobile ...Read more

Mark Phelan: 300 classic cars cap weekend of auto events

Automotive / Automotive News /

More than 300 vehicles ranging from one-of-a-kind classics to four of the Ford GTs that competed at the 24 Hours of Le Mans race a month ago will fill the grounds at the Inn at St. John's in Plymouth, Mich., July 31 for the 38th annual Concours d'Elegance of America car show.

The concours caps a weekend of events ranging from a free panel ...Read more

Consumer Reports to Tesla: Disable automatic steering and quit calling it Autopilot

Automotive / Automotive News /

LOS ANGELES -- Consumer Reports called on Tesla Motors Inc. on Thursday to disable automatic steering capabilities in its electric cars and stop using the name Autopilot for its semi-autonomous driving technology.

Tesla declined.

The technology is under intense scrutiny following the May 7 death of a driver who was using the Autopilot feature ...Read more