Latest Industry News

Trouble selling grandma’s cars sowed seed for $1 billion startup.

Three entrepreneurs start up a new company with a annualized revenue run rate of about $850 million.

In summer 2012, Christian Bertermann was a frustrated young man trying to get rid of two old cars that belonged to his grandmother.

Bertermann, 31, an Internet specialist in Berlin, had recently quit his job at Groupon Inc., and along with fellow entrepreneur Hakan Koc wanted to set up his own company. Spurred by Bertermann’s inability to find a dealership to both value and sell the vehicles, the men created an online business to fill the gap.

The venture, now called Auto1 Group, was valued at more than $1 billion in a financing round earlier this year that raised $100 million. Its owners are now seeking $500 million more in debt and equity as they target international growth.

Koc declined to comment on how the new round of funding might value the company, pointing instead to the fact that monthly revenues have tripled to $70 million since the last valuation. The company’s annualized revenue run [...]

Subaru of America Inc. is recalling certain model year 2015 Legacy vehicles manufactured March 10, 2014, to April 16, 2015, Outback vehicles manufactured Feb. 24, 2014, to April 16, 2015, Impreza vehicles manufactured Sept. 9, 2014, to April 14, 2015, XV Crosstrek vehicles manufactured Oct. 16, 2014, to April 15, 2015, and 2016 WRX vehicles manufactured March 23, 2015, and equipped with the
Eyesight Driver Assist System.

If the switch that activates the brake lights fails, the automatic pre-collision braking component of the driver assist system will not function.

If the automatic pre-collision braking system does not function as intended, the vehicle will not react to an obstacle in its path, increasing the risk of a crash.

Subaru will notify owners, and dealers will reprogram the driver assist system, free of charge. The manufacturer has not yet provided a notification schedule.

Subaru’s number for this recall is WQS-54.legacy15

Honda HR-V Name Confirmed for U.S.-Market Fit-Based Crossover.

Honda pushing for "clear and consistent progression for it's SUVS with the new HR-V coming later this year.

2015-honda-hr-v-front-side-view 2015-honda-hr-v-rear-side-viewHonda confirmed at its 2014 New York auto show press conference that the upcoming Fit-based compact crossover will indeed be called HR-V for the U.S. market when it arrives this winter. No other details were shared, but three images of the U.S.-spec model were revealed, and as you’d expect, the CUV looks much like the Japanese-market Vezel. With the name, Honda says it will have a “clear and consistent progression for [its] SUVS,” and believes the HR-V will bring new buyers to the brand along with the Fit. The automaker also confirmed that the crossover will be built in North America, though more details on the crossover will be announced at a later date. However, we can speculate that the crossover will be powered by the Fit’s 130-hp 1.5-liter I-4 mated to a CVT. The HR-V will be [...]

Hyundai Sonata is the first application of Android Auto

Hyundai is grabbing an early technological lead as the first automaker to launch Android Auto!

2015-hyundai-sonata-android-auto-005-1 hyndaiblog


Hyundai is grabbing an early technological lead as the first automaker to launch Android Auto in one of its production models. The Google-made operating system is now available on the 2015 Sonata with navigation, and current owners of the vehicle can get the software through an update available atdealers. The OS arrives on additional Hyundai products soon.

Similar to Apple’s CarPlay, Android Auto syncs with a smartphone to mirror some elements of the operating system directly on the vehicle’s infotainment screen. The software allows for navigation through Google Maps, text messaging, and phone calls. Plus, it supports some third-party apps, as well. A driver can then control all of these functions through [...]

Front-quarter-view_V2-1024x683Drivers of Mountain View, CA, you’re set to be joined by something new and rather adorable this summer, as Google has been given the green light to test its self-driving car on public roads.

While the self-driving functions will be doing all the work, Google is quick to stress that safety drivers will always be at the helm, just in case things go very wrong. As a crashed self-driving car is terrible for public relations, Google’s vehicles will also be limited to just 25 miles per hour as an extra safety precaution. So don’t count on them clogging up the 101.

“We’ve been running the vehicles through rigorous testing at our test facilities, and ensuring our software and sensors work as they’re supposed to on this new vehicle,” the company said in a blog posting. [...]

Four Charged in Middlesex County “Sandy Cars” Sales

Operator of Car Dealership Charged With Using False Vehicle Titles to Sell Cars Damaged in Superstorm Sandy to Unsuspecting Customers

Christina-Farese-sm Jessie-Dinome-sm Jonathan-TRENTON – Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman announced that the operator of a used car dealership in Middlesex County, N.J., was charged today with using fraudulent vehicle titles to sell cars damaged in Superstorm Sandy to unsuspecting customers. A State Motor Vehicle Commission technician and two employees of the car dealership previously were charged in the criminal scheme.
The Division of Criminal Justice charged the following defendants in connection with the issuance of fraudulent titles and the sale of flood vehicles by Pinky N Brain Corp NJ, doing business as D&D Auto Sales on Englishtown Road in Old Bridge:

Jonathan Olin, 41, of [...]

Dodge Charger, F-250 popular with car theives

Auto thefts decline because of technology, but statistics conflict

img-1The most theft-prone vehicle in America might be the Dodge Charger. Or it might be the Ford F-250 pickup truck.

Those are the contradictory conclusions of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the insurance industry-funded Highway Loss Data Institute.

Still, the government agency and private group agree that the theft of late-model vehicles is on a rapid decline in the United States. One reason: automakers’ increasing use of ignition immobilizers, which stop thieves from hot-wiring cars. Nearly 90 percent of 2012 models are equipped with them.

In a report released on Monday, NHTSA said the car stolen most often during the 2011 calendar year was the Charger, with 4.8 thefts for every 1,000 cars produced in 2011. It was followed by the Mitsubishi Galant, Hyundai Accent, Chevrolet Impala and Chevrolet HHR among vehicles with more than [...]

img-2Global sales of BMW Group’s core brand rose faster in June than at Audi and Mercedes-Benz as demand from China and the United States helped the premium carmaker to extend a lead over the two rivals in the first six months of the year.

Sales at the brand were up 9 percent last month to 153,075, the group said today, compared with growth of 5 percent to 140,300 and 8 percent to 131,609 at Audi and Mercedes respectively.

Six-month sales at BMW brand rose 8 percent to 804,000 cars, expanding the lead over runner-up Audi to 24,000 from 11,000 after five months. Half-year sales at Audi and Mercedes rose 6 percent each to 780,500 and 694,000 respectively.

“BMW has stronger momentum than Audi and Mercedes, that won’t change in the second half,” said Hanover-based NordLB analyst Frank [...]

img-3Tesla Motors Inc., the world’s best-performing automotive stock this year, will join the Nasdaq-100 Index next week, filling the spot vacated by Oracle Corp., which is moving to the New York Stock Exchange.

The electric-car maker will be added to the gauge, which tracks the biggest companies on the Nasdaq, before the start of trading on July 15, Nasdaq OMX Group Inc. said in a statement Monday. Oracle, which last month said it will join the NYSE, is the biggest company to jump between the competing exchanges.

Shares of Tesla, the carmaker headed by billionaire Elon Musk, have more than tripled this year as the popularity of its new Model S sedan helped the company turn its first quarterly profit. Gaining entry to benchmarks tracked by investors is attractive to public companies because it provides a guaranteed [...]

img-4The Toyota Camry and the Honda Civic, the top-selling mid-size and compact cars in the U.S., face risks of reduced production as inventories of the models rise, an RBC Capital Markets report said.

Toyota’s Camry exceeded its seasonal historical average inventory by more than 15 days supply in June and Honda carried about 25 days more Civics than usual, Joseph Spak, a New York-based analyst for RBC, said in today’s report. Camry and Civic were the only models identified as at risk for reduced output among 16 of the top-selling vehicles in the U.S. market. General Motors Co., Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler Group LLC all added U.S. market share in the first six months of 2013, the first time that all three gained first-half share in 20 years. Models such as GM’s Chevrolet Cruze compact and [...]

Fiat exercises option to buy additional 3.3% of Chrysler shares

Purchase brings closer a merger of the two automakers

img-5Fiat today exercised an option to raise its stake in Chrysler by 3.3 percent.

The move is part of CEO Sergio Marchionne’s step-by-step purchases intended to lead to full control of Chrysler and the creation of a merged company that would be able to compete better with industry leaders Toyota, General Motors and Volkswagen.

Fiat has been exercising options since mid-2012 to buy holdings of about 3.3 percent from the VEBA, a medical-benefits trust for the U.S. carmaker’s retirees.

Including today’s purchase, Fiat has exercised three of its six-monthly options, increasing its stake to 68.49 percent.

Fiat has said it wants full control of Chrysler, which would give it access to some of Chrysler’s cash flow for investments in new models.

Chrysler has become Fiat’s most reliable profit generator as the Italian company struggles to end losses [...]

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