ASEAN Light Vehicle Sales Still Soaring in March

ASEAN LV sales continued to grow in March (+17% YoY +32% MoM), improving Q1 2021 sales by 23% YoY, according to the LMC Automotive consultancy. LMC attributed this to falling COVID-19 cases normalizing economic activity and mobility in the region. “As a result, overall ASEAN LV sales are now increased to 3.10 mn units, or a 13% YoY increase, this year,” said LMC. Toyota Group remains the dominant force in the market. Continue reading

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CARB to Open New SoCal Headquarters to Public

Ken Zino of on CARB to Open New SoCal Headquarters to Public

CARB’s new Mary D. Nichols Campus in Riverside.

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) said today it will host an open house of its new state-of-the-art “green” Southern California Headquarters at its Mary D. Nichols Campus in Riverside*. People are invited to tour the facility from 2- 5 p.m. as well as experience an electric zero-emission car Ride and Drive, interactive booths, a display of zero-emission trucks and buses, and what is likely the largest art collection dedicated to air quality. CARB Board Members, CARB Executive Officers, Riverside City and County Representatives will be in attendance.

“This world-class facility houses the newest advanced vehicle emissions testing laboratory in the world. The new headquarters and laboratory will enable CARB to continue its globally recognized research and achievements in reducing air pollution and fighting climate change over the coming decades. Continue reading

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Honda Title Sponsor of the 2022 F1 Japanese Grand Prix

Ken Zino of on Honda Title Sponsor of the 2022 F1 Japanese Grand PrixHonda Motor Company today announced that it has spent an unspecified sum to become the title sponsor of the Japanese Grand Prix in this season’s 2022 FIA Formula One World Championship. The Japanese Grand Prix will be held at Suzuka Circuit (Suzuka City, Mie Prefecture), 7-9 October. 2022 as the Formula 1 Honda Japanese Grand Prix 2022.

“It is great pleasure for Honda to be named as the title sponsor of the F1 Japanese Grand Prix to be held at the Suzuka Circuit which is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year,” Koji Watanabe, Operating Executive, Head of Corporate Communications Supervisory Unit, Honda Motor Company. Continue reading

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Restricted Sale of Genesis GV60 EV Starts Today at $60,000

Ken Zino of on Restricted Sale of Genesis GV60 EV Starts Today at $60,000

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Today, Genesis Motor America announced the start of sales of its first electric vehicle, the 2023 GV60 SUV. The GV60 will be offered in two packages in the United States. Initially,  Genesis GV60 will only be sold at some Genesis retailers in California, Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York. It is as much a biometric information sales experiment as it is a vehicle. Customer response will be worth watching. No range numbers were in the release? (AutoInformed: Genesis Electrification Follows Hyundai Motor Group Ideas)

The Genesis GV60 is a first step in the brand’s move towards a lineup of fully electrified vehicles. GV60 delivers  apparent world-first automotive technologies including so-called Face Connect, a system enabling drivers to unlock and lock their vehicle securely with facial recognition, and optional Genesis Digital Key 2 with Ultra-Wideband (UWB) applicability. Continue reading

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A Closer Look at Biden’s 49 MPG CAFE Standard

The new Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards proposed by the Biden Administration# last month require an industry-wide fleet average of ~49 mpg for passenger cars and light trucks in model year 2026, the strongest fuel efficiency standards to date. On the face of it it appears to be sound policy. However, the devil is in the details. And lobbyists for special interests are largely hidden from public view.

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration set standards that will increase fuel efficiency 8% annually for model years 2024-2025 and 10% annually for model year 2026. They will also increase the estimated fleet-wide average by nearly 10 miles per gallon for model year 2026, compared to model year 2021 when voters Dumped the Trump anti-environment mis-administration. This badly needed revision is a 43% increase from the previous standard of approximately 28 mpg, thereby undoing the Trump Administration’s rollback of Obama-era standards in 2020.

Ken Zino of on A Closer Look at Biden’s 49 MPG CAFE Standard

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Mercedes-Benz USA – Stop Driving ML, GL, R-Class Vehicles

Mercedes-Benz USA said today that Mercedes-Benz AG has determined that on model-year 2006-2012 ML, GL and R-Class vehicles, the brake booster might be affected by advanced corrosion and fail. 

Mercedes-Benz AG has found that moisture may wick under a rubber sleeve installed around the brake booster housing. Following extended time in the field with significant water exposure, “this safety defect could result in corrosion in the joint area of the brake booster housing, thus contributing to a vacuum leak at the brake booster. The brake force support might be reduced, leading to an increase in the brake pedal forces required to decelerate the vehicle and/or to a potentially increased stopping distance,” Mercedes said. In some cases it could be impossible to stop the vehicle with the brake pedal.
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CBO – Taxpayer Cost is $31B for Troubled Asset Relief Program

Ken Zino of on CBO - Taxpayer Cost is $31B for Troubled Asset Relief Program

This is a pittance when viewed against the ongoing effects of Republican  tax cuts for the rich.

CBO today estimated the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) net cost to taxpayers will be $31 billion. This is roughly what it reported in July 2021, although a tad less than OMB’s latest estimate*. The estimated cost of the TARP stems largely from ongoing grant programs aimed at preventing foreclosures on home mortgages, assistance to American International Group (AIG), and aid to the automotive industry. Taken together, other transactions with financial institutions have yielded a net gain to the federal government from dividends, interest, and capital gains.

TARP, arguably the most contentious of the Federal government’s numerous attempts in 2008 to stop the U.S. and global economies from sliding into another Great Depression or worse, prevented the collapse of the financial system by bailing out profligate and reckless Wall Street firms and insurance companies. Continue reading

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Nissan Posts First Annual Profit in Three Years.

In Japan early this morning, Nissan Motor posted an annual fiscal-year 2021 net profit of 215.5 billion yen (~$1.67 billion) – its first net profit since fiscal year 2018-19. This was better than its forecast of 205 billion yen. However, like Toyota yesterday,  Nissan said operating conditions require caution so it is predicting a net profit for the current fiscal year of 150 billion yen. (AutoInformed – Toyota Annual Results Show Profitability Struggle Goes On)

“It is clear that our industry and therefore our performance was impacted by intensifying headwinds in the last fiscal year,” said chief operating officer Ashwani Gupta, warning that conditions remain uncertain to an unprecedented degree.
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