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Business - Foreign automakers double down on China bets despite slowing growth

Foreign automakers continue to plough money into factories in China, the world`s largest car market, even as the biggest economic slowdown in a quarter of a century crimps sales growth. Market leaders Volkswagen AG and General Motors show no sign of letting up on their planned investments, while Toyota Motor and Ford Motor are also pursuing new China expansion plans. Foreign automakers, many of which are expected to unveil new products for China at this week`s Shanghai autoshow, including Ford`s redesigned Taurus sedan , aren`t fretting over the first quarter slowdown.

Sunday, April 19, 2015  08:13


Business - Electric cars won`t spread even with rapid chargers: Toyota engineer

By Chang-Ran Kim YOKOHAMA, Japan (Reuters) - Battery-powered electric vehicles don`t have a practical future as a long-range alternative to conventional cars even if technological breakthroughs allow them to be charged quickly, a top engineer at Toyota Motor Corp said on Thursday. Electric vehicle (EV) supporters have touted developing high-speed charging technology as the way forward for cars like Nissan Motor Co`s Leaf. `If you were to charge a car in 12 minutes for a range of 500 km (310 miles), for example, you`re probably using up electricity required to power 1,000 houses,` Tanaka told a small group of reporters at the first test-drive event for the production version of the Mirai, the world`s only mass-market fuel-cell car. `That totally goes against the need to stabilize electricity use on the grid.` Even as rivals such as Nissan and Volkswagen AG promote battery EVs, cars like the Leaf require lengthy charging, reducing their attractiveness for customers planning to drive longer distances frequently.

Thursday, April 16, 2015  09:26


Business - No factory for old men: Hyundai Motor seeks to end seniority-based pay

In a bid to curb rising domestic labor costs, Hyundai Motor Co is seeking to base wages on merit not seniority in an overhaul of a decades-old salary system that puts the South Korean firm on a collision course with its activist union. South Korea is the world`s fastest ageing major economy, and high labor costs are eroding its manufacturers` competitive edge as economic growth slows. If Hyundai Motor, one of South Korea`s biggest employers, succeeds in revamping its pay structure, other companies are likely to follow suit. `Our wages have reached a critical limit as a manufacturing company,` Hyundai Chief Executive Yoon Gap-han said in a letter to workers proposing the change, which was seen by Reuters.

Thursday, April 16, 2015  22:17


Technology - Tesla dispute over wage won`t hurt tax breaks

Tesla Motors remains on track to qualify for $1.3 billion in incentives for its Gigafactory project in northern Nevada, even as the company pushed back on the initial average wage estimate it gave to the state.

Saturday, April 18, 2015  00:17


Business - Alibaba inks deal with Shanghai GM to finance car purchases

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd deepened its push into the automotive business on Friday, saying it had struck a partnership with Shanghai General Motors (GM) to offer online sales and financing for GM cars. Currently, Shanghai GM`s Buick, Cadillac and Chevrolet brands are available for sale on Alibaba`s website, and the two companies said they would collaborate by using Alibaba`s big data analysis to serve ads to prospective car buyers, offer loans and provide after-market services. Alibaba, the world`s biggest e-commerce company, unveiled this week the creation of a new `smart living` division that would link Internet-related services to various kinds of everyday products, from televisions and home appliances to cars. Almost 50 car brands and 10,000 dealerships have partnered with Alibaba in China, the company said.

Friday, April 17, 2015  13:21


Technology - Tesla dispute over $25/hr wage vow won`t hurt tax breaks

Tesla Motors remains on track to qualify for $1.3 billion in incentives for its Gigafactory project in northern Nevada, even as the company pushed back on the initial average wage estimate it gave to the state.

Friday, April 17, 2015  08:44


Business - Fiat Chrysler wants to play major role in industry consolidation: CEO

By Stefano Rebaudo AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne wants Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) to play a key role in a consolidation of the global auto industry which he sees as inevitable to manage prohibitive capital costs. Speaking on Thursday to shareholders in Amsterdam, away from Fiat`s historic roots in Turin and Chrysler`s in Detroit, Marchionne said: `We don`t want to stay behind in a process that is changing the industry, that is not a possibility.` Marchionne declined to comment about the chances of a tie-up between the world`s seventh-largest carmaker and U.S. rival General Motors , but said the company was talking to many parties, without giving details. Fiat completed its buyout of U.S. arm Chrysler last year and moved the primary listing of the merged group to New York.

Thursday, April 16, 2015  17:49


Business - The world`s first 3D-printed, battery powered rocket engine destined for space

New Zealand-based Rocket Lab has built a rocket engine that`s not only 3D-printed -- it`s uses electric motors to drive the turbopumps.

Thursday, April 16, 2015  07:11


America - GM protected from switch lawsuits

A judge rules that General Motors is protected from dozens of lawsuits over faulty ignitions switches as a result of its 2009 bankruptcy filing.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015  23:07


Business - GM is shielded from some ignition-switch suits, ruling finds

By Jessica Dye and Nick Brown NEW YORK (Reuters) - General Motors Co will not have to face dozens of lawsuits accusing it of concealing an ignition-switch defect that has been blamed for more than 200 deaths and serious injuries, a U.S. bankruptcy judge ruled on Wednesday.     Plaintiffs in the lawsuits said the company violated their constitutional rights by failing to disclose the defect, while GM had argued it was protected from claims on vehicles pre-dating its 2009 exit from Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The decision by U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Robert Gerber means GM may avoid potentially billions of dollars in liability, as well as the cost of defending those lawsuits, although claims arising after its bankruptcy will not be affected. The plaintiffs will have to file their claims instead against the financially limited “Old GM,” the shell company comprised of bad assets GM shed in bankruptcy.     The claims center on a faulty ignition switch in some older vehicle models that could slip out of position, cutting power to brakes, steering and airbags.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015  22:14

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