Inside the Industry

How the VW Atlas Cross Sport delivers concert-quality sound

(March 30, 2020) You may be among the millions of vehicle owners who have never taken note of how many speakers your car has. But for many, car audio systems matter greatly — after all, if you’re going to commute in your vehicle a couple hours a day, you should enjoy the environment it creates.

In the digital era, car audio has become less about total volume of sound and more about tuning the sound for the environment. And since 2011, Volkswagen has teamed with Fender and Panasonic to bring a new quality to the sound inside your car.

Volvo Cars looks toward second decade with Geely

(March 30, 2020) Volvo Cars has its eyes firmly set on the future as it celebrates the 10-year anniversary of its acquisition by Chinese company Zhejiang Geely Holding (Geely) on March 28. The company has seen a complete transformation of its business under Geely ownership, changing from a purely European firm to a truly global and strong player in the premium car market, racking up record sales, revenues and profits along the way.

First limited-run Morgan Plus 4 70th Anniversary Edition rolls off line

(March 28, 2020) MALVERN, England — The Morgan Motor Company has built the first of its limited-run Plus 4 70th Anniversary Edition models. The four cars, the first of just 20 examples to be built, were completed at Morgan’s factory in Malvern Link, UK, last week. Built to celebrate 70 years of Plus 4 production, each of the anniversary models will be individually numbered and built in a unique specification with several notable details.

How would jet-powered Bloodhound stack up in a drag race?

(March 27, 2020) The Bloodhound Land Speed Record team released a video today, showing how the jet-powered car would stack up against a Formula 1 car, a Bugatti Chiron, and a regular road car. Some poetic license has inevitably been applied, as it was impossible to factor for traction on the dusty desert surface, which is estimated to be about one-third that of regular tarmac.

Mini USA announces U.S. launch of Mini Sidewalk Edition

(March 27, 2020) WOODCLIFF LAKE, N.J. — Mini USA has announced the availability and U.S. pricing for the new 2021 Mini Sidewalk Edition. The latest Mini convertible offering, which is expected to reach dealerships in the U.S. next month, comes to the U.S. as a Cooper S variant, and has a starting price of $39,250 including destination charge. A 7-Speed Sport Dual-Clutch Transmission is also available and will add $1,500.

BMW introduces plug-in hybrid versions of 3 Series

(March 27, 2020) WOODCLIFF LAKE, N.J. — BMW has introduced the newest additions to the 3 Series model line, the performance plug-in-hybrid 330e and 330e xDrive Sedans. BMW’s latest eDrive technology, advanced driver assist, safety and infotainment systems allow the new 2021 BMW 330e and 330e xDrive sedans to deliver exhilarating driving experiences while lowering emissions and allowing for purely electric driving.

Toyota institute launches research into human decision making

(March 26, 2020) LOS ALTOS, Calif. — The Toyota Research Institute (TRI) is expanding its exploratory research with the launch of Machine Assisted Cognition (MAC), a new initiative to develop and demonstrate artificial intelligence tools that can understand and predict human behavior in the context of decision making.

“A key pillar of TRI’s charter is to explore ‘what’s next’ for Toyota, and MAC is another way TRI can apply its AI expertise to help humans perform better,” said Eric Krotkov, TRI’s chief science officer.

Ford works with 3M and GE to speed production of COVID-19 equipment

(March 25, 2020) DEARBORN, Mich. — Ford Motor Company, joining forces with firms including 3M and GE Healthcare, is lending its manufacturing and engineering expertise to quickly expand production of urgently needed medical equipment and supplies for healthcare workers, first responders and patients fighting coronavirus.

In addition, Ford plans to assemble more than 100,000 face shields per week and leverage its in-house 3D printing capability to produce components for use in personal protective equipment.

General Motors to drawdown about $16 billion as 'proactive measure'

(March 25, 2020) DETROIT — General Motors has announced that it intends to drawdown approximately $16 billion from its revolving credit facilities. This is a proactive measure to increase GM’s cash position and preserve financial flexibility in light of current uncertainty in global markets resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. The funds will supplement the company’s strong cash position of approximately $15 billion to $16 billion expected at the end of March.

Polestar 2 production begins in Luqiao, China

(March 24, 2020) Production of Polestar 2 has officially begun in Luqiao, China. For initial delivery into Europe, followed by China and North America, the new electric performance fastback is the first electric vehicle to be produced by the facility.

“The world is facing enormous upheaval in the face of the coronavirus pandemic,” comments Polestar CEO, Thomas Ingenlath. “We start production now under these challenging circumstances, with a strong focus on the health and safety of our people.