Top Headlines - part 3

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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Warren Buffet Invests in Automotive Paint Company

Warren Buffet Invests in Automotive Paint Company

BUSINESS

  • Shares purchased from controlling shareholder
  • Company had formerly been part of DuPont
  • Buffet has expressed interest in other automotive investments

Billionaire investor Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway is buying 20 million shares in automotive liquid-and-powder-coatings manufacturer Axalta Coating Systems Ltd. for $560 million from controlling shareholder Carlyle Group.

Berkshire’s investment is 10% of outstanding stock and gives Berkshire a 8.7% share of Axalta.

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Cadillac Aims to Recapture Luxury Market with CT6, SUVs

Cadillac Aims to Recapture Luxury Market with CT6, SUVs

BUSINESS

  • Cadillac's New CT6 on same level as Audi, Mercedes and other rivals
  • New models expected in coming months, years
  • Cadillac needs more SUVs to compete in growing market

General Motors’ Cadillac, the largest luxury brand in the U.S., hopes to recapture a larger share of the luxury market with a long-term plan.

The 2016 CT6 will be available later this year. It is considered to be Cadillac’s most advanced vehicle, mostly because of its aluminum construction and two engine choices.

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Honda Civic Type-R Debuts in North America at Auto Show

Honda Civic Type-R Debuts in North America at Auto Show

BUSINESS

Japanese auto manufacturer Honda Motor Co. debuted the 10th generation Honda Civic, concept car Type-R, in North America at the New York International Auto Show.

Honda hopes to increase company sales with the new Civic, especially among younger car buyers.

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March Auto Sales for U.S. Manufacturers Stagnate

March Auto Sales for U.S. Manufacturers Stagnate

BUSINESS

  • FCA saw slight increase while Ford, GM saw declines
  • Japanese automakers also had mixed month
  • Light-truck market still going strong

American automakers saw stagnant sales compared to March 2014.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV saw sales increase 1.7% to 197,261 vehicles, the company’s best month since 2007. The Jeep brand saw a 23% increase.

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