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Business News - part 8

More Auto Crashes Cause Trouble for Allstate

More Auto Crashes Cause Trouble for Allstate

BUSINESS

  • The better the economy, the more people drive
  • Company to increase premiums
  • Crashes can affect drivers’ premiums for several years

The largest publicly traded auto insurer in the United States, Allstate Corp., reported a disappointing second quarter, as net income fell to $355 million.

Shares fell 12%, the largest one day drop since May 2009. For the year, stock values have fallen 13%.

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July Auto Sales Rose 5% in the U.S.

July Auto Sales Rose 5% in the U.S.

BUSINESS

  • Sales for most automakers boosted by trucks, SUVs
  • Larger vehicles call into question fuel economy
  • Luxury-car sales increase

Automakers reported strong July sales in the U.S. boosted by sales of trucks and sport utility vehicles.

Sales were the strongest since before the recession, rising 5% to 1.5 million, according to AutoData Corp., and putting the industry on track to surpass 17 million vehicles in 2015.

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German Luxury Automakers Buy Nokia Mapping Business for $3 Billion

German Luxury Automakers Buy Nokia Mapping Business for $3 Billion

BUSINESS

  • Service first step in connected cars technology
  • Partnership keeps technology away from competitors
  • Rival TomTom may also sell at some point

Finnish technology company Nokia Oyj has agreed to sell its HERE mapping service to German luxury automakers BMW Group, Daimler AG and Audi AG for $3.07 billion.

Mapping services are needed for autonomous cars, allowing them to calculate routes. The service also is used by transportation companies and smartphone navigation.

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Google, Start-Up Equipping Cars to Measure Air Pollution

Google, Start-Up Equipping Cars to Measure Air Pollution

BUSINESS

Tech giant Google Inc. and environmental sensor network startup Aclima has partnered to equip Google Street View cars with sensors to measure air pollution.

Google’s cars use GPS, lasers and cameras to collect data for Google Maps. Three have been equipped with Aclima’s sensors.

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Goodyear See Better Than Expected Second Quarter

Goodyear See Better Than Expected Second Quarter

BUSINESS

  • Tire shipments grew 3.3% in North America from 2014
  • Strong dollar reduce profits
  • Sales outside North America were weak

Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co, the largest U.S. tire manufacturer by sales, beat analysts’ expectations in the second quarter despite an unfavorable currency exchange rate.

Globally, Goodyear sold 40.8 million tires, a 1% increase, but global revenue decreased 10% to $4.17 billion. Analysts had forecasted $4.13 billion

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Volkswagen Overtakes Toyota to Become World’s Largest Automaker

Volkswagen Overtakes Toyota to Become World’s Largest Automaker

BUSINESS

  • Milestone fulfills VW’s goal early
  • Toyota in a very close second place
  • U.S. sales remain sluggish

Volkswagen AG was the largest automaker by sales during the first half of the year, surpassing Toyota Motor Corp. and fulfilling a company goal ahead of schedule.

During the first half, Volkswagen sold 5.04 million vehicles and Toyota sold 5.02 million, 1.5% less than the first half of 2014.

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Chrysler Fined $105 Million by U.S. Agency For Unsafe Vehicles

Chrysler Fined $105 Million by U.S. Agency For Unsafe Vehicles

BUSINESS

  • Problems were identified with recalls
  • Some vehicles will need to be bought back
  • Ram, Jeep among reasons for fine

The U.S. Department of Transportation has fined Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV a record $105 million for violating the Motor Vehicle Safety Act.

The act requires auto manufacturers repair vehicles with safety defects. The agency says Fiat incorrectly handled 23 recalls, some four years old, involving 11 million vehicles.

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General Motors Posts $3 Billion in Second-Quarter Earnings

General Motors Posts $3 Billion in Second-Quarter Earnings

BUSINESS

  • Quarter the best since before recession
  • Rivals showed mixed results
  • Chinese market still crucial to GM’s growth

General Motors Co., the top American automaker, posted a strong second quarter thanks to the strength of the North American and Chinese markets.

Eliminating one time charges, GM earned $2.9 billion, $1.29 a share, compared to $1.4 billion a year ago. This was ahead of analysts’ forecast of $1.08 a share.

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AutoNation's Profit Rises 15% in Second Quarter

AutoNation's Profit Rises 15% in Second Quarter

BUSINESS

  • Increase lower than analysts’ expectations
  • CEO believes 17 million vehicles will be sold in 2015
  • Customers driven to larger vehicles

The United States’ largest auto retailer, AutoNation Inc., saw profit rise 15% compared to the second quarter of 2014, buoyed by lower gas prices and an improving economy.

Revenue reached $5.22 billion, a 9% increase and a company record, while stock prices were $1 a share.

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Jeep Hacked Remotely by Computer Security Experts

Jeep Hacked Remotely by Computer Security Experts

BUSINESS

  • Vehicles use Sprint cellular network
  • Patch available which resolves vulnerability
  • Researchers were able to disable key vehicle systems

Security experts have found a serious vulnerability in Fiat Chrysler’s connect car software and are telling customers they need to have their vehicle’s onboard software updated.

The software, called Uconnect, works using Sprint’s cellular network to connect to the Internet. It allows owners to use a smartphone app to activate anti-theft features, remote start the engine and find the vehicle on GPS. It has no firewall.

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