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Business News - part 5

Volvo Releases Four-Seat SUV for Chinese Market

Volvo Releases Four-Seat SUV for Chinese Market

BUSINESS

  • Vehicle aimed at owners with chauffeurs
  • Other features added to cater to this specific market
  • Volvo replaces CEO

Swedish automaker Volvo AB debuted a new version of its XC90 SUV Excellence, called the Lounge Console, at the Shanghai Auto Show in an attempt to rebrand itself and lure customers away from the German luxury brands.

The Excellence will only be available in China, where having a chauffeur is common and the luxury-car market is growing. It is aimed at what Volvo calls “high-profile lifestyle” customers.

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Drivers Trading in Electric Cars for SUVs

Drivers Trading in Electric Cars for SUVs

BUSINESS

In the first three months of 2015, 22% of electric- and hybrid-car owners traded in their vehicles for gas-powered SUVs, according to auto research group Edmunds.com.

Three years ago, only 12% of drivers did the same while 18.8% did in 2014.

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Mazda Announces Pricing for MX-5 Models

Mazda Announces Pricing for MX-5 Models

BUSINESS

  • Base price starting at $25,000
  • Preorders begin May 5
  • Other vehicle options available

Mazda North American Operations has announced the pricing for its upcoming 2016 Miata.

There are three versions available: the MX-5, the Launch Edition and the Grand Touring. The versions are the fourth generation of the two-seat roadsters.

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Elon Musk Nearly Sold Tesla in 2013

Elon Musk Nearly Sold Tesla in 2013

BUSINESS

Elon Musk allegedly was prepared to sell electric car manufacturer Tesla to tech giant Google Inc. in 2013 to save the company from bankruptcy, according to a report by Bloomberg.

Bloomberg’s source is the upcoming book Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future by Ashlee Vance.

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Hydrogen Fuel-Cell Car Technology Back in Forefront

Hydrogen Fuel-Cell Car Technology Back in Forefront

BUSINESS

There may soon be two environmentally friendly alternatives to gasoline-powered vehicles on the market.

California is leading the way in the U.S. to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and fossil fuel use. The California Air Resources Board has said the top six auto manufacturers must build more zero- emission cars. The goal is to have 80% of new vehicles be zero-emission models by 2050.

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Toyota Investing $1 Billion on Mexican Plant

Toyota Investing $1 Billion on Mexican Plant

BUSINESS

  • Corolla to be manufactured at the new plant
  • Automakers picking Mexico over U.S., Canadian locations
  • New plant part of company plan

Toyota Motor Corp., Japan’s top auto manufacturer, announced plans to invest $1 billion in a Guanajuato, Mexico factory.

The investment, Toyota’s largest in Mexico, is its 15th North American factory and its first since 2011. In 2013, the company stopped making investments and focused on production. It is now back to 90% its pre-recession capacity.

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Cost of Electric-Car Batteries Declining Faster Than Expected

Cost of Electric-Car Batteries Declining Faster Than Expected

BUSINESS

  • Battery power measured in cost per kilowatt hour
  • Market wasn’t expected to reach parity with gas models until 2020
  • New production to make batteries cost effective

The cost of electric-car batteries is declining faster than analysts had predicted, a study published in Nature Climate Change reveals.

Battery power is measured in kilowatts per hour. The higher the kWh the farther the battery can go on one charge. The higher the range of a battery, the less expensive it is to build electric vehicles.

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10 Vehicles that Take the Longest to Sell in the U.S.

10 Vehicles that Take the Longest to Sell in the U.S.

BUSINESS

Demand for new vehicles in the U.S. has risen sharply since the end of the recession, but not all models sell well. The average vehicles was on the dealer’s lot for 71 days in 2014, according to Kelley Blue Book data, with some models selling as quickly as 15 days and some taking as long as four months.

24/7 Wall St. took this data and used it to determine the longest turnover time. Other factors such as manufacturers' suggested retail prices, car reviews and turnover times from previous years also were taken into consideration.

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Uber Launches Auto-Rickshaw Service in India

Uber Launches Auto-Rickshaw Service in India

BUSINESS

  • Service first of its kind for Uber
  • Uber to compete against local services
  • Indian government, public have concerns over safety

Online cab-hailing company Uber Technologies Ltd. has launched its first auto-rickshaw service to compete against rivals in its second largest market after the U.S.

The service, launched in New Delhi, called uberAUTO, allows users to hail an auto rickshaw using Uber’s smartphone app.

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Mercedes Posts Best March in Company History

Mercedes Posts Best March in Company History

BUSINESS

German luxury car manufacturer Mercedes, owned by Daimler AG, posted its best March as global sales increased.

Last month, Mercedes sold 183,467 vehicles, a 15.7% increase from 2014.

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