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Top Headlines - part 7

Flying Car Prototype Crashes

Flying Car Prototype Crashes

BUSINESS

The AeroMobil 3.0 prototype flying car crashed in Slovakia, illustrating the issues facing flying-car companies.

Stefan Klein, the flying car’s inventor and its pilot, parachuted from the vehicle and was not seriously injured.

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GM Investing $1 Billion to Update Michigan Facility

GM Investing $1 Billion to Update Michigan Facility

BUSINESS

General Motors Co. plans to invest $1 billion to update its aging technology center in Warren, Michigan, outside Detroit, as part of the company’s plan to invest in product programs and facility upgrades.

The 59-year-old center, called the GM Tech Center, is the location of many GM design and engineering jobs. It is located on 710 acres and includes 38 buildings.

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6.5 Million More Cars Recalled Because of Airbags

6.5 Million More Cars Recalled Because of Airbags

BUSINESS

  • Toyota and Nissan recall dozens of models
  • Honda likely to also issue a recall
  • Test being conducted on Takata airbags

Japanese automakers Toyota Motor Corp. and Nissan Motor Co. are recalling 6.5 million more vehicles, manufactured between March 2003 and November 2007, equipped with airbags manufactured by Japan’s Takata Corp.

The airbags have inflators that might not work in a crash. The inflators are affected by moisture because they were not properly sealed. There have been no injuries and the recall is a precaution.

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Nissan Murano Scores Highest in Crash Tests on Crossovers

Nissan Murano Scores Highest in Crash Tests on Crossovers

BUSINESS

Many drivers have the perception that SUVs are safer than passenger cars. However, a test of seven crossovers by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, a nonprofit funded by the auto insurance industry, proves that larger may not be better.

The test simulates what happens when more than a quarter of a vehicle’s front corner hits a 5- foot-tall object at 40 miles per hour. This type of crash has the highest rate of fatalities or serious injury at 25%.

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Volvo to Invest $500 Million in South Carolina Plant

Volvo to Invest $500 Million in South Carolina Plant

BUSINESS

Swedish automaker Volvo is investing $500 million to build a plant in South Carolina, its first U.S. factory.

The plant will be built this fall and will eventually reach a 100,000-vehicle capacity. Vehicles will be produced for export and U.S. sales. The first vehicles to roll off the line are expected in 2018.

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Daimler Testing Autonomous Semi Truck

Daimler Testing Autonomous Semi Truck

BUSINESS

Daimler Trucks North America is testing an autonomous big rig truck in Los Vegas called the Freight-liner Inspiration.

Nevada issued the truck a license plate, and it was debuted at a Las Vegas Motor Speedway event.

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Federal Trade Commission Approves $12 Billion Auto-Part Company Merger

Federal Trade Commission Approves $12 Billion Auto-Part Company Merger

BUSINESS

  • Companies produce tie rods for six-ton vehicles
  • Approval means only two companies will compete in tie-rod market
  • Companies must agree to certain terms

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has approved the $12.4 billion merger between auto-parts companies, ZF Friedrichshafen AG and TRW Automotive Holdings Corp.

Once the merger is complete, the combined company will become the world's second-largest auto-parts manufacturer behind Robert Bosch GmbH. It also will be one of two remaining companies in North America that manufacture tie rods for vehicles weighing more than six tons.

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FCA to Offer Employees Free College Education

FCA to Offer Employees Free College Education

BUSINESS

Fiat Chrysler Automotive USA is offering a free college education to dealership employees in an effort for employee retention, with a program called Degrees@Work.

John Fox, FCA’s director of dealer training, told reporters, “The turnover rate is just dramatic in this industry, and it impacts a dealer’s bottom line. We think this will attract the best talent in the marketplace.”

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Chinese Antitrust Regulators Fine Mercedes-Benz $57 Million

Chinese Antitrust Regulators Fine Mercedes-Benz $57 Million

BUSINESS

Chinese antitrust regulator, the National Development and Reform Commission, have fined German luxury automaker Mercedes-Benz $57 million for violation of antitrust laws.

The automaker is accused of price fixing between January 2013 to July 2014. The company allegedly issued instructions to dealerships in Jiangsu Province to cap the minimum prices for its E- and S-Class sedans as well as some auto parts. Dealerships were told if they didn’t comply they would risk reduced-policy support.

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Honda, Cadillac and Ford Set to Debut New Vehicles

Honda, Cadillac and Ford Set to Debut New Vehicles

BUSINESS

  • Honda debuting HR-V, a subcompact SUV
  • Cadillac sets CTS-V at $84,990
  • Ford has yet to determine number of limited run GT350

Automakers are set to debut new vehicles in the new few months.

Honda Motor Corp. will debut its smallest SUV, the subcompact HR-V in May.

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