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Found 21 results

  1. Drew Dowdell

    SMART to Live On

    We recently reported that Daimler could possibly kill off the SMART brand after years of losing money. One of our own suggestions was that SMART expand into a regular car brand instead of staying in just the micro-car segment. Well, things change quickly in this industry. Yesterday, Daimler paired with Chinese manufacturer Geely in a 50-50 joint venture to bring the next generation of SMART vehicles to China. Part of that expansion will be a move up into the sub-compact market, a fast-growing market in China. SMART will remain an electric car brand and will be a joint development between the two companies. Though not disclosed at this time, it is possible that SMART will use the platform being jointly developed with BMW for its forthcoming i2 car. The current SMART cars are on a joint-venture platform shared with the Renault Twingo. Renault has not expressed an interest in renewing that partnership with Daimler for the next generation of cars. Currently, the ForTwo is built in Hambach Germany. After 2022, that factory is slated to build Mercedes EQ cars.
  2. We recently reported that Daimler could possibly kill off the SMART brand after years of losing money. One of our own suggestions was that SMART expand into a regular car brand instead of staying in just the micro-car segment. Well, things change quickly in this industry. Yesterday, Daimler paired with Chinese manufacturer Geely in a 50-50 joint venture to bring the next generation of SMART vehicles to China. Part of that expansion will be a move up into the sub-compact market, a fast-growing market in China. SMART will remain an electric car brand and will be a joint development between the two companies. Though not disclosed at this time, it is possible that SMART will use the platform being jointly developed with BMW for its forthcoming i2 car. The current SMART cars are on a joint-venture platform shared with the Renault Twingo. Renault has not expressed an interest in renewing that partnership with Daimler for the next generation of cars. Currently, the ForTwo is built in Hambach Germany. After 2022, that factory is slated to build Mercedes EQ cars. View full article
  3. BMW is planning on a new EV on a platform shared with Daimler according to reports. The new car, called the i2, would be about the same size as the current BMW i3, but without the expensive carbon fiber body. The i2, aimed for a 2024 launch, would have a starting price less than 30,000€ ($34,000). BMW wants to have a 300km (186 mile) range. BMW recently revised the i3 to have a larger battery. The revised battery is 42.2 kWh and gives the i3 a range of 153 miles. Sales of the combined models from both BMW and Daimler would be targeted around 500,000 annually. View full article
  4. BMW is planning on a new EV on a platform shared with Daimler according to reports. The new car, called the i2, would be about the same size as the current BMW i3, but without the expensive carbon fiber body. The i2, aimed for a 2024 launch, would have a starting price less than 30,000€ ($34,000). BMW wants to have a 300km (186 mile) range. BMW recently revised the i3 to have a larger battery. The revised battery is 42.2 kWh and gives the i3 a range of 153 miles. Sales of the combined models from both BMW and Daimler would be targeted around 500,000 annually.
  5. The number of automakers teaming up to share and develop new vehicles and technologies is growing in an effort to help reduce costs. A new report from German paper Handelsblatt says that BMW and Daimler are considering such a move. Speaking to sources at both companies, BMW and Daimler are looking into possibly jointly developing their next-generation compact cars (BMW 1-Series and Mercedes-Benz A-Class) - as part of a wider cooperation that includes sharing autonomous car tech. Working together on a new compact car platform would save the two companies billions in investments. If the two decide to move forward with this, the first cars aren't expected to arrive until 2025. But trying to sell this idea to BMW and Mercedes-Benz engineers may be the difficult part according to the report. Daimler and BMW have teamed up before, In 2015, the two along with Audi purchased Nokia's mapping software, Here. Last year, BMW and Daimler merged their short-term rental services to create a better presence in the mobility market. Source: Handelsblatt, Automotive News (Subscription Required)
  6. The number of automakers teaming up to share and develop new vehicles and technologies is growing in an effort to help reduce costs. A new report from German paper Handelsblatt says that BMW and Daimler are considering such a move. Speaking to sources at both companies, BMW and Daimler are looking into possibly jointly developing their next-generation compact cars (BMW 1-Series and Mercedes-Benz A-Class) - as part of a wider cooperation that includes sharing autonomous car tech. Working together on a new compact car platform would save the two companies billions in investments. If the two decide to move forward with this, the first cars aren't expected to arrive until 2025. But trying to sell this idea to BMW and Mercedes-Benz engineers may be the difficult part according to the report. Daimler and BMW have teamed up before, In 2015, the two along with Audi purchased Nokia's mapping software, Here. Last year, BMW and Daimler merged their short-term rental services to create a better presence in the mobility market. Source: Handelsblatt, Automotive News (Subscription Required) View full article
  7. Daimler has made this year many announcements about their electric auto program. China was a natural place to have a battery plant and of course due to the aggressive acts by the government to have an electric auto program. Daimler on Friday October 5th made what was an expected investment announcement of their Alabama factory to be upgraded to start production of their newest GLE model. What also was announced was that Daimler is going to build as part of a $1 billion dollar retrofit and expansion a massive new electric auto Battery production line. This comes as Mercedes-Benz launches their EQ product line. On Friday Board member Markus Schaefer stated “We aim to play a pioneering role in the development of e-mobility and are well-prepared to accomplish this mission,” Daimler with Board support is currently updating 6 factories to produce EQ autos for the global market and besides the Battery plant in China and now the US is adding six more for a total of 8 Auto battery manufacturing sites to support Daimlers plans to convert their whole product line to Hybrid and pure electric only auto's for the global market. The home Plant in Sindelfingen Germany which is the home to the building of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class will become their Center of Competence for building all Autonomous and electric auto's. Daimler has stated they will spend $1.75 Billion to build a battery production plant in Sindelfingen and one in Untertuerkheim which is also being converted to a high tech electric car component production facility. This expansion joins Daimlers original electric auto battery production in Kamenz Germany. Reuters Daimler story 1 Reuters Daimler Story 2
  8. It is no secret that automakers will go to extreme lengths to analyze a competitor's vehicle. For example, Daimler was accused by a couple last year of renting their privately owned Tesla Model X to dismantle and preform various tests. The automaker put the vehicle back together before returning it, but there was significant damage that caused the couple to bill Diamler for that and other items such as lost income. The company has once again found itself making headlines for pulling another stunt. German paper Der Spiegel reports last year that Deutsche Post DHL held a demonstration event for their new StreetScooter electric vans for possible customers to get feedback. One of the 'customers' was a nursing-care service from near Frankfurt that wanted to see if the van would work for patient transport. But suspicions arose when Deutsche Post DHL checked the address given by the service and found out it was a fake. The supposed nursing care service only existed on paper as a 'mailbox' company. Good thing that Deutsche Post DHL made sure the vans used at the event had GPS trackers. Engineers were able to track the vehicle to a Daimler factory in Stuttgart - a long distance from Aachen where the event was held. They would also discover the van was being driven on Daimler's test track. After getting some lawyers, Deutsche Post went over to the site and demanded their vehicle. Daimler would comply and returned it a half-hour after the visit. Daimler told Der Spiegel that it was fair game for them to take and examine the vehicle since Deutsche Post DHL would be offering it to third parties. But it should be noted that Daimler didn't have an explanation to the nursing-care service cover story. Maybe it is just us, but we would assume that some sort of GPS tracker is in a vehicle for a driving event. It would make us think twice about taking a vehicle. One thing is for certain, we're not asking any Daimler employee to help us out in a heist. Source: Der Spiegel View full article
  9. It is no secret that automakers will go to extreme lengths to analyze a competitor's vehicle. For example, Daimler was accused by a couple last year of renting their privately owned Tesla Model X to dismantle and preform various tests. The automaker put the vehicle back together before returning it, but there was significant damage that caused the couple to bill Diamler for that and other items such as lost income. The company has once again found itself making headlines for pulling another stunt. German paper Der Spiegel reports last year that Deutsche Post DHL held a demonstration event for their new StreetScooter electric vans for possible customers to get feedback. One of the 'customers' was a nursing-care service from near Frankfurt that wanted to see if the van would work for patient transport. But suspicions arose when Deutsche Post DHL checked the address given by the service and found out it was a fake. The supposed nursing care service only existed on paper as a 'mailbox' company. Good thing that Deutsche Post DHL made sure the vans used at the event had GPS trackers. Engineers were able to track the vehicle to a Daimler factory in Stuttgart - a long distance from Aachen where the event was held. They would also discover the van was being driven on Daimler's test track. After getting some lawyers, Deutsche Post went over to the site and demanded their vehicle. Daimler would comply and returned it a half-hour after the visit. Daimler told Der Spiegel that it was fair game for them to take and examine the vehicle since Deutsche Post DHL would be offering it to third parties. But it should be noted that Daimler didn't have an explanation to the nursing-care service cover story. Maybe it is just us, but we would assume that some sort of GPS tracker is in a vehicle for a driving event. It would make us think twice about taking a vehicle. One thing is for certain, we're not asking any Daimler employee to help us out in a heist. Source: Der Spiegel
  10. Back in 2010, Renault-Nissan and Daimler announced a new partnership that would see the two share powertrains and work on various projects. Some of those have come to fruition such as the Infiniti QX30, which is a Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class in different clothing and the platform that underpins the Infiniti QX50. But other projects between the two have been halted. Late last week, the Nikkan Kogyo business daily reported that joint development of luxury compact car project has been suspended. The paper cites the change in consumer preference to crossovers and the uncertainties over tariffs. The second reason is important as the new compact sedan was expected to built at a plant in Aguascalientes, Mexico. The plant is 50/50 joint venture between Daimler and the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance. Nissan spokesman Shiro Nagai declined to comment when asked by Automotive News. He did say that Nissan remains committed to the partnership. Source: Nikkan Kogyo via Automotive News (Subscription Required)
  11. Back in 2010, Renault-Nissan and Daimler announced a new partnership that would see the two share powertrains and work on various projects. Some of those have come to fruition such as the Infiniti QX30, which is a Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class in different clothing and the platform that underpins the Infiniti QX50. But other projects between the two have been halted. Late last week, the Nikkan Kogyo business daily reported that joint development of luxury compact car project has been suspended. The paper cites the change in consumer preference to crossovers and the uncertainties over tariffs. The second reason is important as the new compact sedan was expected to built at a plant in Aguascalientes, Mexico. The plant is 50/50 joint venture between Daimler and the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance. Nissan spokesman Shiro Nagai declined to comment when asked by Automotive News. He did say that Nissan remains committed to the partnership. Source: Nikkan Kogyo via Automotive News (Subscription Required) View full article
  12. Class 8 Semi e-Mobility by Daimler's Freightliner beats Tesla Freightliner website Daimler website Daimler has been big on talking about their electric class 8 semi's and how they will have them out in truck as well as bus form. Yet with all the interesting concepts they have built, it seems they have chosen to take Tesla head on in it's own backyard and with that even beat them to the market. Freightliner has two trucks they have completed the engineering on, their full size Class 8 semi called the eCascadia is a heavy duty highway tractor designed for local and regional distribution runs. This new electric semi will have 730 peak HP, 250 mile range, 550 kWh battery pack with 80% recharged in 90 min. Their medium duty truck designed for local distribution, pickup and delivery for inner city use is a 480 peak HP, 230 mile range, 325 kWh battery pack with an 80% recharge in 60 min truck called the eM2 106. Yesterday in Portland Oregon, home to Daimler Freightliner division, they rolled out these two trucks with a promise to have them in full production and on sale by the start of 2021. Yet the bigger news as reported by Reuters who was at Freightliner for the news event and rides in these new EV trucks was that Freightliner will deliver 30 of each truck to various existing Freightliner customers this fall for field-testing around the US. This will allow them to tweak their powertrain and driver interface in the truck before going full production. Daimler as the world's largest truck maker has much to lose if they let Tesla or pretty much anyone else grab the leed for electric trucks. According to the story from Reuters, Navistar International Corp has partnered with Volkswagen to delivery Class 8 and medium duty EV Trucks by 2022 to the market. Freightliner is planning as mentioned above to have their trucks on sale in 2021 while Tesla has stated they will have their trucks on sale in 2020. Yet Tesla is known to run 1-3 years behind their goals. Freightliner has 40% of the North American heavy-duty truck market which is a $39 billion dollar a year market. Martin Baum, head of Daimler Trucks which overseas Freightliner says that they see a fast big conversion to EV trucks for local delivery and inner city use where reduced exhaust pollution and noise is key as Cities put up regulations that ban diesel trucks from the roads. Yet diesel will have a long life still especially in long-haul trucking where range anxiety and refueling time is critical. Daimler's R&D investment in Freightliner of Portland Oregon is a $2.9 Billion US dollars investment for these trucks and an additional $500 million for recharging, connectivity and self-driving development of these trucks. Reuters Story
  13. Daimler EQ EV Onslaught of Trademarks Daimler filed this week multiple trademarks on top of a large amount at the end of last week in regards to their EQ electric auto line up. This also covers the EQC which is for the electric crossover versions. Seems according to Wolfgang Wurth, we will see an EQA, EQB, EQE and EQS in the car lineup. Then we have the EQC lineup of Crossovers. Then you have the latest filing for a new AMG Performance Unit which is clearly defined as an Electric vehicle. Daimler also has like BMW stated they will have wireless charging pads that can charge 100 kilometers every 5 minutes which is 62 miles for those understanding standard only. This means a 20 min to recharge the 400 kilometer or 248 miles battery pack. Yet with this news of Daimlers world wide push on the EV front with their EQ product line you have the opposite news from Fortune that Chery auto manufacturing of China has filed a complaint with the Chinese trademark office about Mercedes-benz use of the EQ as it is too similar to their eQ that they have used for the last couple of years. If Chinese trademark bars Daimler from using the EQ name in China, this could throw wrinkles in Daimlers plan to have a world wide EQ EV auto brand that is global and not end up having to deal with multiple names. The future is a disruptive one that will be interesting to watch as we truly hit a global platform of selling products. Justia Trademarks site The Drive Story Daimler EQ site Fortune Story
  14. Daimler finds itself under investigation by both German and American authorities into whether or not they cheated emission tests with their diesel vehicles. As we reported last week, German prosecutors raided various Daimler buildings to find evidence. Now, the company is beginning to search out search criminal defense lawyers in the U.S. for various executives in the investigation being conducted by the Justice Department. Bloomberg has learned from two sources about the lawyer search as the Justice Department plans on interviewing various executives from the company. It is unclear whether the executives are based in Germany, U.S., or both. Spokespeople for both Daimler and the Justice Department declined to comment. Last year, Daimler disclosed in a filing that various authorities in the Europe and the U.S. were investigating the emission control systems and test results on various Mercedes-Benz diesel models. “It is possible that further civil and criminal investigative and enforcement actions and measures relating to Daimler and/or its employees will be taken,” the company wrote in a filing last month. Mercedes-Benz announced earlier this month that it would be stopping efforts on trying to certify 2017 model year diesel vehicles. Source: Bloomberg View full article
  15. Daimler finds itself under investigation by both German and American authorities into whether or not they cheated emission tests with their diesel vehicles. As we reported last week, German prosecutors raided various Daimler buildings to find evidence. Now, the company is beginning to search out search criminal defense lawyers in the U.S. for various executives in the investigation being conducted by the Justice Department. Bloomberg has learned from two sources about the lawyer search as the Justice Department plans on interviewing various executives from the company. It is unclear whether the executives are based in Germany, U.S., or both. Spokespeople for both Daimler and the Justice Department declined to comment. Last year, Daimler disclosed in a filing that various authorities in the Europe and the U.S. were investigating the emission control systems and test results on various Mercedes-Benz diesel models. “It is possible that further civil and criminal investigative and enforcement actions and measures relating to Daimler and/or its employees will be taken,” the company wrote in a filing last month. Mercedes-Benz announced earlier this month that it would be stopping efforts on trying to certify 2017 model year diesel vehicles. Source: Bloomberg
  16. Volkswagen isn't the only automaker that has the attention of German prosecutors. Yesterday, prosecutors carried out raids at various Daimler (parent company of Mercedes-Benz) buildings. This is part of an investigation into fraud related to false advertising and the possible manipulation of emissions with diesel powered vehicles. The Stuttgart public prosecutor's office told Reuters the raids were carried out "against known and unknown employees at Daimler, who are suspected of fraud and misleading advertising connected to manipulated emissions treatment of diesel passenger cars." 23 prosecutors and around 230 staff, including police and state criminal authorities, searched 11 sites to look for evidence to help build a case. Diamler confirmed the raids to Reuters and said it was "cooperating with authorities." The company is also under investigation by the U.S. Justice Department for emission discrepancies with diesel vehicles. Source: Reuters
  17. Volkswagen isn't the only automaker that has the attention of German prosecutors. Yesterday, prosecutors carried out raids at various Daimler (parent company of Mercedes-Benz) buildings. This is part of an investigation into fraud related to false advertising and the possible manipulation of emissions with diesel powered vehicles. The Stuttgart public prosecutor's office told Reuters the raids were carried out "against known and unknown employees at Daimler, who are suspected of fraud and misleading advertising connected to manipulated emissions treatment of diesel passenger cars." 23 prosecutors and around 230 staff, including police and state criminal authorities, searched 11 sites to look for evidence to help build a case. Diamler confirmed the raids to Reuters and said it was "cooperating with authorities." The company is also under investigation by the U.S. Justice Department for emission discrepancies with diesel vehicles. Source: Reuters View full article
  18. G. David Felt - Staff Writer Alternative Energy - www.cheersandgears.com Daimler Scales back Hydrogen, Focuses on EV! According to the story from Autoblog, Daimler has chosen to scale back R&D into Hydrogen auto's and focus on EV auto's. This will not stop them from rolling out a Hydrogen GLC in select markets around the world where Hydrogen fueling facilities are available according to Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche. According to Daimler, pushing out 10 EV models by 2022 will help with reducing the emission pressure on their ICE product line allowing them to minimize the pressure and costs of transitioning from an ICE product producer to one of alternative energy, be it EV or Hydrogen, only the future will tell. Yet, this is telling in more ways than one might expect. Yes GM and Honda have teamed up to bring in their next generation of Hydrogen auto to a global market, but you have Daimler, Toyota, VW, Ford and even Hyundai which sells their Tucson Fuel Cell move R&D dollars to the EV world as seen by the Ioniq Trio. Does this indicate vindication for Nissan Leaf and Tesla S / X? Daimler has decided to change the Smart label to a pure EV label. So just how far will the MB product road map change after 2022? Could by 2025-2030 ICE truly reduce to 50% or less of worldwide sales versus EV?
  19. G. David Felt Staff Writer Alternative Energy - www.CheersandGears.com MB Urban eTruck - First or what? July 27th Mercedes-Benz presented their first electric heavy duty truck, the Urban eTruck. This truck has a range of 200 km or about 126 miles, so long haul this is not, but inner city deliveries, this is the green solution many west coast cities have been asking for even as Paccar, the builder of Kenworth and Peterbuilt has gone full production on LNG and CNG trucks for the city to reduce the diesel emission that cities have complained about. Mercedes-Benz stated yesterday that they were the first electric heavy duty truck to be shown off. This is a debatable point considering startups like Nikola Motor Company that I posted about back in May of this year had already shown off their prototype and was lining up additional funding for production. That story is found here The Tesla of Hybrid Trucks and UTV's, Nikola? I will leave that debate up to which company truly produced the first electric truck. Especially since Fuso has had their Fuso Canter E-Cell truck actually in production since 2014. Funny thing is MB also talks about their investment in Fuso with plenty of praise here on their web site. MB Next The point of this story is that Mercedes-Benz is focused on building and delivering an inner city eTruck for use in deliveries that will remove noise and pollution from the streets. Wolfgang Bernhard, CEO Daimler Trucks and Buses, says this eTruck should go into production at the beginning of the next decade, so 2020 is the estimated launch of production purchasable trucks. MB eTruck web announcement So is MB first, second or is it just cool to know that silent delivery trucks will be coming to a city near you in the next few years and we will not have to breath the diesel exhaust or hear the rumble of the truck bounce off the walls of the buildings or the idling as they wait to deliver their freight. Clearly the next 5 years will be exciting as the city changes into a much cleaner area, quieter and more livable.
  20. Despite the hoopla and endless praise for Tesla and their vehicles, there are a number of owners who aren't happy with the company. Go on to any Tesla forum and you're bound to fin endless posts from owners of the Model X listing issues from poor paint quality to doors not closing. The Model S is no stranger to problems with batteries failing and the infotainment system freezing. This is a big issue for Tesla as they have been burning cash for the past two years, with a good amount of this cash coming going to repairs and warranty costs. CEO Elon Musk has promised investors to slow down the burn and curtail costs retaining to repairs. With Tesla announcing their results later today, we'll see if that promise was kept. But how much is Tesla spending when it comes to repairs? Reuters did some analysis on Tesla's recent annual report by looking at the total vehicles sold and total spending from warranty repairs and accruals - money set aside for future warranty work. Their analysis showed Tesla spent $1,043 per vehicle on repairs and set aside $2,036 per vehicle for future warranty work. The good news is these numbers are 17 and 34 percent lower than 2014. But compared to the likes of General Motors, Ford, and Daimler, Tesla's numbers are quite high. General Motors: $400 per vehicle on repairs, $332 for future work Ford: $429 per vehicle on repairs, $308 for future work Daimler: $970 per vehicle on repairs, $1,294 for future work It should be noted that Tesla only sold 50,000 vehicles last year, while GM, Ford, and Diamler sold millions. Nevertheless, spending just over $150 million of the total $700 million burnt for repair work isn't a good sign. Telsa in a statement to Reuters said it has reduced the cost of repair claims in the first year along with the amount it reserves for future repairs. Source: Reuters View full article
  21. Despite the hoopla and endless praise for Tesla and their vehicles, there are a number of owners who aren't happy with the company. Go on to any Tesla forum and you're bound to fin endless posts from owners of the Model X listing issues from poor paint quality to doors not closing. The Model S is no stranger to problems with batteries failing and the infotainment system freezing. This is a big issue for Tesla as they have been burning cash for the past two years, with a good amount of this cash coming going to repairs and warranty costs. CEO Elon Musk has promised investors to slow down the burn and curtail costs retaining to repairs. With Tesla announcing their results later today, we'll see if that promise was kept. But how much is Tesla spending when it comes to repairs? Reuters did some analysis on Tesla's recent annual report by looking at the total vehicles sold and total spending from warranty repairs and accruals - money set aside for future warranty work. Their analysis showed Tesla spent $1,043 per vehicle on repairs and set aside $2,036 per vehicle for future warranty work. The good news is these numbers are 17 and 34 percent lower than 2014. But compared to the likes of General Motors, Ford, and Daimler, Tesla's numbers are quite high. General Motors: $400 per vehicle on repairs, $332 for future work Ford: $429 per vehicle on repairs, $308 for future work Daimler: $970 per vehicle on repairs, $1,294 for future work It should be noted that Tesla only sold 50,000 vehicles last year, while GM, Ford, and Diamler sold millions. Nevertheless, spending just over $150 million of the total $700 million burnt for repair work isn't a good sign. Telsa in a statement to Reuters said it has reduced the cost of repair claims in the first year along with the amount it reserves for future repairs. Source: Reuters

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