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Found 10 results

  1. As expected, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) have unveiled a proposal that will suspend increases in fuel economy put forth by the Obama administration, and take away California's ability regulate vehicle emissions. The new proposal is called the "Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient (SAFE) Vehicles Rule." Under the new proposal, the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) would be capped at the 2020 level of 37 mpg through 2025. Under the rules that were created during the Obama administration, automakers would need to have a fleet average of 54 mpg in 2026. The proposal would also remove Calfornia's ability to set their own emissions state based on a 1975 federal law that prohibits states from setting their own greenhouse gas limits. It needs to be noted that two federal judges have rejected this argument when it was brought to court. "EPA is proposing to withdraw the waiver granted to California in 2013 for the GHG [Greenhouse Gas] and ZEV [Zero Emissions Vehicles] requirements of its Advanced Clean Cars program," the proposal states. "In short, the agencies propose to maintain one national standard -- a standard that is set exclusively by the Federal government." What are the benefits to this new proposal? The one that has been getting the most headlines is reduced fatalities and crashes. If you're scratching your head as to how this makes sense, here is what the proposal argues. People who buy fuel-efficient vehicle will drive more, increasing the odds that they will get into a crash. Fuel-efficient vehicles will be more expensive, thus slowing down the rate people buy new cars with advanced safety features. Fuel-efficient vehicles tend to be lighter, thus are less capable of withstanding a crash. The proposal claims that this will prevent 12,700 fatalities and many more injuries on American roads. There has been a lot of disagreement on this part, especially on the weight part. While it is true that a heavier vehicle won't sustain as much damage as lighter vehicle, experts have realized that the size of vehicle is more important to overall safety. Plus, the New York Times points out this point only accounts for one percent of the estimated fatalities in the proposal. Other benefits include reduced costs for new vehicles - the proposal says the stricter emission rules add about an average of $2,430 to the price of new vehicles. “We think we can have a win-win, if we lock in at 2020 levels. We’re not imposing undue costs on manufacturers. We’re not imposing undue costs on consumers who want affordable vehicles. And therefore we think as a result of these standards we will be able to have our cake and eat it too,” said Bill Wehrum, the assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation on a call today. Reactions to this are very mixed. “I applaud the Trump administration for proposing new standards for cars and trucks. Unless the Obama administration’s punishing standards are changed, consumer choice will be limited and the cost of vehicles will skyrocket,” said Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. "Automakers support continued improvements in fuel economy and flexibilities that incentivize advanced technologies while balancing priorities like affordability, safety, jobs, and the environment," said the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers and and the Association of Global Automakers in a statement. "The administration's effort to roll back these standards is a denial of basic science and a denial of American automakers' engineering capabilities and ingenuity," said John M. DeCicco, research professor at the University of Michigan Energy Institute. "This was a predictable move, as the current administration has been working hard to dismantle Obama-era regulations across the board. And while there's little demand today for smaller, more-efficient or electrified vehicles in the U.S., as gas prices remain low, these lower fuel economy targets proposed by the administration will likely spark an unwanted war between Washington and the California Air Resources Board. While few stakeholders were happy with the tough targets in the current regulations, unraveling those standards will likely be even more painful," said Michelle Krebs, executive analyst at Autotrader. Unsurprisingly, California is not pleased by this new proposal. The state along with 18 others and the District of Columbia have announced they would challenge the proposal in court. “The Trump Administration has launched a brazen attack, no matter how it is cloaked, on our nation’s Clean Car Standards,” said Xavier Becerra, California’s attorney general. California “will use every legal tool at its disposal to defend today’s national standards and reaffirm the facts and science behind them.” California Governor Jerry Brown was more blunt in his reaction to this, "California will fight this stupidity in every conceivable way possible.” A legal fight could mean a lot of headaches for automakers as it might result in two different emission standards they would have to meet. "With today's release of the Administration's proposals, it's time for substantive negotiations to begin. We urge California and the federal government to find a common sense solution that sets continued increases in vehicle efficiency standards while also meeting the needs of America's drivers," said the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers and and the Association of Global Automakers. The next step is giving the public 60 days to comment on this proposal. Source: Bloomberg, New York Times, (2), Reuters, EPA U.S. EPA and DOT Propose Fuel Economy Standards for MY 2021-2026 Vehicles WASHINGTON — Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released a notice of proposed rulemaking, the Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient (SAFE) Vehicles Rule for Model Years 2021-2026 Passenger Cars and Light Trucks (SAFE Vehicles Rule), to correct the national automobile fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions standards to give the American people greater access to safer, more affordable vehicles that are cleaner for the environment. The SAFE Vehicles Rule is the next generation of the Congressionally mandated Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) and Light-Duty Vehicle Greenhouse Gas Emissions Standards. This Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) is the first formal step in setting the 2021-2026 Model Year (MY) standards that must be achieved by each automaker for its car and light-duty truck fleet. In today’s proposal, EPA and NHTSA are seeking public comment on a wide range of regulatory options, including a preferred alternative that locks in MY 2020 standards through 2026, providing a much-needed time-out from further, costly increases. The agencies’ preferred alternative reflects a balance of safety, economics, technology, fuel conservation, and pollution reduction. It is anticipated to prevent thousands of on-road fatalities and injuries as compared to the standards set forth in the 2012 final rule. The joint proposal initiates a process to establish a new 50-state fuel economy and tailpipe carbon dioxide emissions standard for passenger cars and light trucks covering MY 2021 through 2026. “We are delivering on President Trump’s promise to the American public that his administration would address and fix the current fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions standards,” said EPA Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “Our proposal aims to strike the right regulatory balance based on the most recent information and create a 50-state solution that will enable more Americans to afford newer, safer vehicles that pollute less. More realistic standards can save lives while continuing to improve the environment. We value the public’s input as we engage in this process in an open, transparent manner.” “There are compelling reasons for a new rulemaking on fuel economy standards for 2021-2026,” said Secretary Elaine L. Chao. “More realistic standards will promote a healthy economy by bringing newer, safer, cleaner and more fuel-efficient vehicles to U.S. roads and we look forward to receiving input from the public.” The current standards have been a factor in the rising cost of new automobiles to an average of $35,000 or more—out of reach for many American families. Indeed, compared to the preferred alternative in the proposal, keeping in place the standards finalized in 2012 would add $2,340 to the cost of owning a new car, and impose more than $500 billion in societal costs on the U.S. economy over the next 50 years. Additionally, a 2018 government study by NHTSA shows new model year vehicles are safer, resulting in fewer deaths and injuries when involved in accidents, as compared to older models. Therefore, the Administration is focused on correcting the current standards that restrict the American people from being able to afford newer vehicles with more advanced safety features, better fuel economy, and associated environmental benefits. On April 2, 2018, EPA issued the Mid-Term Evaluation Final Determination which found that the MY 2022-2025 GHG standards are not appropriate and should be revised. For more than a year, the agencies worked together to extensively analyze current automotive and fuel technologies, reviewed economic conditions and projections, and consulted with other federal agency partners to ensure the most reliable and accurate analysis possible. EPA and NHTSA are seeking public feedback to ensure that all potential impacts concerning today’s proposal are fully considered and hope to issue a final rule this winter. The public will have 60 days to provide feedback once published at the Federal Register
  2. As expected, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) have unveiled a proposal that will suspend increases in fuel economy put forth by the Obama administration, and take away California's ability regulate vehicle emissions. The new proposal is called the "Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient (SAFE) Vehicles Rule." Under the new proposal, the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) would be capped at the 2020 level of 37 mpg through 2025. Under the rules that were created during the Obama administration, automakers would need to have a fleet average of 54 mpg in 2026. The proposal would also remove Calfornia's ability to set their own emissions state based on a 1975 federal law that prohibits states from setting their own greenhouse gas limits. It needs to be noted that two federal judges have rejected this argument when it was brought to court. "EPA is proposing to withdraw the waiver granted to California in 2013 for the GHG [Greenhouse Gas] and ZEV [Zero Emissions Vehicles] requirements of its Advanced Clean Cars program," the proposal states. "In short, the agencies propose to maintain one national standard -- a standard that is set exclusively by the Federal government." What are the benefits to this new proposal? The one that has been getting the most headlines is reduced fatalities and crashes. If you're scratching your head as to how this makes sense, here is what the proposal argues. People who buy fuel-efficient vehicle will drive more, increasing the odds that they will get into a crash. Fuel-efficient vehicles will be more expensive, thus slowing down the rate people buy new cars with advanced safety features. Fuel-efficient vehicles tend to be lighter, thus are less capable of withstanding a crash. The proposal claims that this will prevent 12,700 fatalities and many more injuries on American roads. There has been a lot of disagreement on this part, especially on the weight part. While it is true that a heavier vehicle won't sustain as much damage as lighter vehicle, experts have realized that the size of vehicle is more important to overall safety. Plus, the New York Times points out this point only accounts for one percent of the estimated fatalities in the proposal. Other benefits include reduced costs for new vehicles - the proposal says the stricter emission rules add about an average of $2,430 to the price of new vehicles. “We think we can have a win-win, if we lock in at 2020 levels. We’re not imposing undue costs on manufacturers. We’re not imposing undue costs on consumers who want affordable vehicles. And therefore we think as a result of these standards we will be able to have our cake and eat it too,” said Bill Wehrum, the assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation on a call today. Reactions to this are very mixed. “I applaud the Trump administration for proposing new standards for cars and trucks. Unless the Obama administration’s punishing standards are changed, consumer choice will be limited and the cost of vehicles will skyrocket,” said Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. "Automakers support continued improvements in fuel economy and flexibilities that incentivize advanced technologies while balancing priorities like affordability, safety, jobs, and the environment," said the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers and and the Association of Global Automakers in a statement. "The administration's effort to roll back these standards is a denial of basic science and a denial of American automakers' engineering capabilities and ingenuity," said John M. DeCicco, research professor at the University of Michigan Energy Institute. "This was a predictable move, as the current administration has been working hard to dismantle Obama-era regulations across the board. And while there's little demand today for smaller, more-efficient or electrified vehicles in the U.S., as gas prices remain low, these lower fuel economy targets proposed by the administration will likely spark an unwanted war between Washington and the California Air Resources Board. While few stakeholders were happy with the tough targets in the current regulations, unraveling those standards will likely be even more painful," said Michelle Krebs, executive analyst at Autotrader. Unsurprisingly, California is not pleased by this new proposal. The state along with 18 others and the District of Columbia have announced they would challenge the proposal in court. “The Trump Administration has launched a brazen attack, no matter how it is cloaked, on our nation’s Clean Car Standards,” said Xavier Becerra, California’s attorney general. California “will use every legal tool at its disposal to defend today’s national standards and reaffirm the facts and science behind them.” California Governor Jerry Brown was more blunt in his reaction to this, "California will fight this stupidity in every conceivable way possible.” A legal fight could mean a lot of headaches for automakers as it might result in two different emission standards they would have to meet. "With today's release of the Administration's proposals, it's time for substantive negotiations to begin. We urge California and the federal government to find a common sense solution that sets continued increases in vehicle efficiency standards while also meeting the needs of America's drivers," said the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers and and the Association of Global Automakers. The next step is giving the public 60 days to comment on this proposal. Source: Bloomberg, New York Times, (2), Reuters, EPA U.S. EPA and DOT Propose Fuel Economy Standards for MY 2021-2026 Vehicles WASHINGTON — Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released a notice of proposed rulemaking, the Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient (SAFE) Vehicles Rule for Model Years 2021-2026 Passenger Cars and Light Trucks (SAFE Vehicles Rule), to correct the national automobile fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions standards to give the American people greater access to safer, more affordable vehicles that are cleaner for the environment. The SAFE Vehicles Rule is the next generation of the Congressionally mandated Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) and Light-Duty Vehicle Greenhouse Gas Emissions Standards. This Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) is the first formal step in setting the 2021-2026 Model Year (MY) standards that must be achieved by each automaker for its car and light-duty truck fleet. In today’s proposal, EPA and NHTSA are seeking public comment on a wide range of regulatory options, including a preferred alternative that locks in MY 2020 standards through 2026, providing a much-needed time-out from further, costly increases. The agencies’ preferred alternative reflects a balance of safety, economics, technology, fuel conservation, and pollution reduction. It is anticipated to prevent thousands of on-road fatalities and injuries as compared to the standards set forth in the 2012 final rule. The joint proposal initiates a process to establish a new 50-state fuel economy and tailpipe carbon dioxide emissions standard for passenger cars and light trucks covering MY 2021 through 2026. “We are delivering on President Trump’s promise to the American public that his administration would address and fix the current fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions standards,” said EPA Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “Our proposal aims to strike the right regulatory balance based on the most recent information and create a 50-state solution that will enable more Americans to afford newer, safer vehicles that pollute less. More realistic standards can save lives while continuing to improve the environment. We value the public’s input as we engage in this process in an open, transparent manner.” “There are compelling reasons for a new rulemaking on fuel economy standards for 2021-2026,” said Secretary Elaine L. Chao. “More realistic standards will promote a healthy economy by bringing newer, safer, cleaner and more fuel-efficient vehicles to U.S. roads and we look forward to receiving input from the public.” The current standards have been a factor in the rising cost of new automobiles to an average of $35,000 or more—out of reach for many American families. Indeed, compared to the preferred alternative in the proposal, keeping in place the standards finalized in 2012 would add $2,340 to the cost of owning a new car, and impose more than $500 billion in societal costs on the U.S. economy over the next 50 years. Additionally, a 2018 government study by NHTSA shows new model year vehicles are safer, resulting in fewer deaths and injuries when involved in accidents, as compared to older models. Therefore, the Administration is focused on correcting the current standards that restrict the American people from being able to afford newer vehicles with more advanced safety features, better fuel economy, and associated environmental benefits. On April 2, 2018, EPA issued the Mid-Term Evaluation Final Determination which found that the MY 2022-2025 GHG standards are not appropriate and should be revised. For more than a year, the agencies worked together to extensively analyze current automotive and fuel technologies, reviewed economic conditions and projections, and consulted with other federal agency partners to ensure the most reliable and accurate analysis possible. EPA and NHTSA are seeking public feedback to ensure that all potential impacts concerning today’s proposal are fully considered and hope to issue a final rule this winter. The public will have 60 days to provide feedback once published at the Federal Register View full article
  3. Everyone seemed to lose their mind when Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted out Tuesday that he was considering taking the company private. For a time, the NASDAQ had to halt trading of Tesla stock because of massive fluctuations in the share price. The reasoning behind this move made sense as it would allow the company to focus on the long-term. But this tweet has also brought some unattended problems. Reuters has learned from sources at Tesla that the board of directors is seeking more information from him as to how the buyout will be financed. As we reported yesterday, the board has talked about this idea for some time. But a source reveals that it hasn't gotten either a detailed plan from Musk, nor any information as to who will provide the funding. Both Reuters and CNBC are reporting that the board will make a decision on whether or not to do a formal review of Musk's proposal in the coming days. It also plans to speak with financial advisers about explore this proposal. Sources tell CNBC that the board will ask Musk to recuse himself from the review process of his proposal. He'll need to hire his own advisers for a review. There is another twist in this story. Musk has talked to Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund about a take-private deal, according to a source. This is likely due to the Saudi's Public Investment Fund buying between a 3 to 5 percent stake in the automaker, worth about $2 billion that was brought to light this week. Tesla's board isn't the only group interested in Musk's plan. Last night, the Wall Street Journal reported that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is inquiring whether or not Musk was telling the truth when said that he had secured funding for the buyout. Under U.S. law, companies and officials cannot give misleading information about events to shareholders. It is unclear whether or not this will cause an investigation be opened or not. A SEC spokesman declined to comment. Musk could also be in trouble if the SEC find evidence that his tweet was aimed at increasing the company's share price. We'll keep you posted if anything new breaks. Source: Wall Street Journal (Subscription Required), Reuters, CNBC
  4. Everyone seemed to lose their mind when Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted out Tuesday that he was considering taking the company private. For a time, the NASDAQ had to halt trading of Tesla stock because of massive fluctuations in the share price. The reasoning behind this move made sense as it would allow the company to focus on the long-term. But this tweet has also brought some unattended problems. Reuters has learned from sources at Tesla that the board of directors is seeking more information from him as to how the buyout will be financed. As we reported yesterday, the board has talked about this idea for some time. But a source reveals that it hasn't gotten either a detailed plan from Musk, nor any information as to who will provide the funding. Both Reuters and CNBC are reporting that the board will make a decision on whether or not to do a formal review of Musk's proposal in the coming days. It also plans to speak with financial advisers about explore this proposal. Sources tell CNBC that the board will ask Musk to recuse himself from the review process of his proposal. He'll need to hire his own advisers for a review. There is another twist in this story. Musk has talked to Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund about a take-private deal, according to a source. This is likely due to the Saudi's Public Investment Fund buying between a 3 to 5 percent stake in the automaker, worth about $2 billion that was brought to light this week. Tesla's board isn't the only group interested in Musk's plan. Last night, the Wall Street Journal reported that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is inquiring whether or not Musk was telling the truth when said that he had secured funding for the buyout. Under U.S. law, companies and officials cannot give misleading information about events to shareholders. It is unclear whether or not this will cause an investigation be opened or not. A SEC spokesman declined to comment. Musk could also be in trouble if the SEC find evidence that his tweet was aimed at increasing the company's share price. We'll keep you posted if anything new breaks. Source: Wall Street Journal (Subscription Required), Reuters, CNBC View full article
  5. Under the current standards for vehicle emissions, automakers have a variety of ways to achieve compliance. These are known as "compliance flexibilities" which allows an automaker to sell electric vehicles to off-set gad-guzzlers like SUVs as an example. But the recent proposal by the Trump administration to ease emission standards, will remove these flexibilities. The proposal unveiled last week would freeze fuel-economy and emissions standards at their 2020 levels for several years beyond that. This would seem like a positive for automakers as trucks and SUVs/crossovers are selling like hotcakes. But the removal of this provision has automakers crying fowl, saying these help with global vehicle development. The heads of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers and the Association of Global Automakers wrote a letter to Trump stating that the “flexible compliance pathways that pave the way for research and deployment in advanced fuel-saving technologies”. “We are global manufacturers; to compete around the world, we must continue to invest in both more efficient internal combustion engine technologies, electric-drive technologies and fuel cells,” said Mitch Bainwol of the Alliance, and John Bozzella of the Global Automakers. But there is a reason the government is removing those compliance flexibilities as it "existing fuel-economy program easier to administer and more transparent". This makes it easier for regulators and consumers to verify an automaker's claim. The current system is somewhat confusing, as thirstier automakers can buy into compliance by trading emission credits from more efficient ones. The trades and prices can be shielded from public viewing. Source: Bloomberg
  6. Under the current standards for vehicle emissions, automakers have a variety of ways to achieve compliance. These are known as "compliance flexibilities" which allows an automaker to sell electric vehicles to off-set gad-guzzlers like SUVs as an example. But the recent proposal by the Trump administration to ease emission standards, will remove these flexibilities. The proposal unveiled last week would freeze fuel-economy and emissions standards at their 2020 levels for several years beyond that. This would seem like a positive for automakers as trucks and SUVs/crossovers are selling like hotcakes. But the removal of this provision has automakers crying fowl, saying these help with global vehicle development. The heads of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers and the Association of Global Automakers wrote a letter to Trump stating that the “flexible compliance pathways that pave the way for research and deployment in advanced fuel-saving technologies”. “We are global manufacturers; to compete around the world, we must continue to invest in both more efficient internal combustion engine technologies, electric-drive technologies and fuel cells,” said Mitch Bainwol of the Alliance, and John Bozzella of the Global Automakers. But there is a reason the government is removing those compliance flexibilities as it "existing fuel-economy program easier to administer and more transparent". This makes it easier for regulators and consumers to verify an automaker's claim. The current system is somewhat confusing, as thirstier automakers can buy into compliance by trading emission credits from more efficient ones. The trades and prices can be shielded from public viewing. Source: Bloomberg View full article
  7. The threat of a 20 percent tariff on vehicles exported from the European Union has a number of automakers panicking. But that tariff could be taken off the table if the EU removes their tariff on vehicles exported from the U.S. German paper Handelsblatt learned from sources that a meeting was held between the US ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell and number of CEOs from German automakers. Grenell presented an offer directly from President Donald Trump - "elimination of all tariffs on automobile imports on both sides and removal of non-tariff barriers, such as regulations on the size of rear mirrors." Currently, the U.S. levies a 2.5 percent tariff on vehicles imported from EU. A 10 percent tariff is slapped on by EU members on vehicles imported from the U.S. The hope is that German automakers can put some pressure on the government to possibly bring this up with other EU members. Diamler, Volkswagen, the German Economy Ministry, and the European Commission declined to comment when asked by Reuters. Source: Handelsblatt, Reuters
  8. The threat of a 20 percent tariff on vehicles exported from the European Union has a number of automakers panicking. But that tariff could be taken off the table if the EU removes their tariff on vehicles exported from the U.S. German paper Handelsblatt learned from sources that a meeting was held between the US ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell and number of CEOs from German automakers. Grenell presented an offer directly from President Donald Trump - "elimination of all tariffs on automobile imports on both sides and removal of non-tariff barriers, such as regulations on the size of rear mirrors." Currently, the U.S. levies a 2.5 percent tariff on vehicles imported from EU. A 10 percent tariff is slapped on by EU members on vehicles imported from the U.S. The hope is that German automakers can put some pressure on the government to possibly bring this up with other EU members. Diamler, Volkswagen, the German Economy Ministry, and the European Commission declined to comment when asked by Reuters. Source: Handelsblatt, Reuters View full article
  9. With more and more companies test autonomous technologies on public roads, there comes a question of safety of other motorists. A new proposal by the California Department of Motor Vehicles would put an outright ban “driverless” cars that travel with no humans onboard. Automotive News reports the proposal would require all autonomous vehicles to have a steering wheel and pedals when driving on California's public roads. Furthermore, a licensed driver with an “autonomous vehicle operator certificate” will need to be in front of the controls in case something goes wrong. California DMV Director Jean Shiomoto said in a statement the main concern for the department is “the safety of autonomous vehicles and the safety of the public who will share the road with these vehicles.” If this proposal goes into effect, it could cause automakers and technology companies to look elsewhere for their first deployment of self-driving vehicles. Google, one the companies who is hard at work on autonomous technologies decried the proposal, saying it would hold back technology that could prevent crashes and improve mobility for those who can't drive. “Safety is our highest priority and primary motivator as we do this. We’re gravely disappointed that California is already writing a ceiling on the potential for fully self-driving cars to help all of us who live here,” Google spokesman Johnny Luu wrote in an e-mail. The proposal also would require autonomous vehicles to meet new performance and safety requirements, with testing and certification done by a third-party auditor. To get a three-year operating permit, manufacturers will need to submit reports on the safety and usage of their autonomous vehicles. “Given the potential risks associated with deployment of such a new technology, [the] DMV believes that manufacturers need to obtain more experience in testing driverless vehicles on public roads prior to making this technology available to the general public,” the DMV said in a statement. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
  10. With more and more companies test autonomous technologies on public roads, there comes a question of safety of other motorists. A new proposal by the California Department of Motor Vehicles would put an outright ban “driverless” cars that travel with no humans onboard. Automotive News reports the proposal would require all autonomous vehicles to have a steering wheel and pedals when driving on California's public roads. Furthermore, a licensed driver with an “autonomous vehicle operator certificate” will need to be in front of the controls in case something goes wrong. California DMV Director Jean Shiomoto said in a statement the main concern for the department is “the safety of autonomous vehicles and the safety of the public who will share the road with these vehicles.” If this proposal goes into effect, it could cause automakers and technology companies to look elsewhere for their first deployment of self-driving vehicles. Google, one the companies who is hard at work on autonomous technologies decried the proposal, saying it would hold back technology that could prevent crashes and improve mobility for those who can't drive. “Safety is our highest priority and primary motivator as we do this. We’re gravely disappointed that California is already writing a ceiling on the potential for fully self-driving cars to help all of us who live here,” Google spokesman Johnny Luu wrote in an e-mail. The proposal also would require autonomous vehicles to meet new performance and safety requirements, with testing and certification done by a third-party auditor. To get a three-year operating permit, manufacturers will need to submit reports on the safety and usage of their autonomous vehicles. “Given the potential risks associated with deployment of such a new technology, [the] DMV believes that manufacturers need to obtain more experience in testing driverless vehicles on public roads prior to making this technology available to the general public,” the DMV said in a statement. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) View full article

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