The New York Times
Waymo has agreed to purchase as many as 62,000 minivans from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles for use in a ride-hailing service to start later this year in Phoenix, then expand to the San Francisco area and to other cities across the country.
Both the Chrysler Pacifica minivans and the Jaguar cars will be equipped with the radars, cameras and sensors that Waymo has developed to enable the vehicles to drive themselves on public roads.
“F.C.A. is committed to bringing self-driving technology to our customers in a manner that is safe, efficient and realistic,” Sergio Marchionne, Fiat Chrysler’s chief executive, said in a statement. “Strategic partnerships, such as the one we have with Waymo, will help to drive innovative technology to the forefront.”
Read the article at The New York Times.
Sergio Marchionne has rolled out his third five-year plan for FCA, naming the planned vehicles for the market by 2022.
With the threat of trade wars and the complicated supply lines of the world’s most globalized industry, FCA, like other automakers, is facing one of the most challenging business environments in decades.
Marchionne made it clear FCA’s product push over the next five years will center around four key brands: Jeep, Ram, Maserati and Alpha Romeo. “These four are our global brands,” he said bluntly. “They account for about 80 percent of earning.”
Read the article at MSN.
On Thursday, SoftBank invested $2 billion into Cruise, GM’s self-driving subsidiary, bringing about many questions involving the Silicon Valley self-driving vehicle technology race.
The deal, on its face, is simple: SoftBank’s Vision Fund will eventually acquire about a 20 percent equity position in Cruise, which GM bought in 2016, for $2.25 billion over two payments. GM is also putting about another $1 billion into the division.
“This whole space, as you well know, is a complex set of relationships,” GM president Dan Ammann told Recode. ”As we navigate through that, we have taken a lot of precautions.”
Read the article at Recode.
The Washington Post
The Trump administration’s rollback of the Obama administration’s fuel efficiency standards for automobiles took another step when the Transportation Department’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration sent a proposal to the Office of Management and Budget.
The draft of the overhauled standard would eliminate automakers’ obligation to boost fuel efficiency after 2021 and would set up a clash with California by challenging its ability to set its own stricter standards, a power granted to the state by the Clean Air Act.
Dan Becker, director of the Safe Climate Campaign, said that once the OMB begins the comment period and makes the proposal public, “then let the lawsuits begin.”
Read the article at The Washington Post.
Governor Matt Blunt, president of the American Automotive Policy Council is warning that the Trump administration’s decision of levy the tariffs on steel and aluminum made in Mexico, Canada and the European Union will damage the U.S. auto industry.
Trump’s theory that the danger of a trade war is “easy to win,” will be put to the test as key trading partners are now moving to inflict maximum pain on parts of the American economy.
“Mexico deeply regrets and condemns the decision of the United States to impose these tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum from Mexico from June 1, at the discretion of national security,” the government said in a statement. “Mexico has indicated repeatedly that such measures under the criteria of national security are not adequate nor justified.”
Read the article at The Detroit Bureau.
New Brand Identity Creating First-to-Market Vehicle Lifecycle Solutions Company
MetroGistics, through acquisitions of McNutt, AmeriFleet and Metro Title Services, has rebranded as a new entity called ACERTUS. The new name reflects the companies’ coming together to form a one-stop shop offering world-class vehicle lifecycle solutions to all its combined customers including OEMs, dealers and fleet management companies.
“The complementary nature of our service capabilities creates the platform for delivering a market-leading suite of services for the commercial fleet, OEM, dealer and rental-car markets, as well as local DMVs,” stated John Norris, executive vice president, client services.
Los Angeles Times
A year after President Trump pulled out of the landmark Paris accord on climate change, Governor Jerry Brown said the world is only just beginning to feel the environmental harm inflicted by the Trump administration.
Some activists are optimistic that they can wait this administration out and are preparing reports to unveil at the global climate summit Brown is hosting in California in September, when new benchmarks will be proposed for getting the nation back on track for meeting its Paris commitments.
“He has set in motion initiatives that will cause damage,” Governor Jerry Brown said, comparing the planet under Trump’s climate policies to a person who has just fallen from the top of the Empire State Building. “You are falling down four stories, but have 80 to go,” he said. “Maybe you are not damaged yet, but it is certain you will die.”
Read the article at Los Angeles Times.