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GM Announces Preliminary Voting Results For 2018 Annual Shareholders Meeting

GM Authority News - Tue, 06/12/2018 - 4:49pm

None of the three shareholder proposals had more than 38 percent of votes.

Tesla Slashes 9 Percent of Workforce

Motortrend Magazine News - Tue, 06/12/2018 - 4:30pm

Tesla has dropped around 9 percent of its workforce as part of a restructuring plan, CEO Elon Musk revealed on Twitter today. Production of the Model 3 will not be affected by the cuts.

Difficult, but necessary Tesla reorg underway. My email to the company has already leaked to media. Here it is unfiltered: pic.twitter.com/4LToWoxScx

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 12, 2018

“Tesla has grown and evolved rapidly over the past several years, which has resulted in some duplication of roles and some job functions that, while they made sense in the past, are difficult to justify today,” Musk said in a company email which he later posted on Twitter. “As part of this effort, and the need to reduce costs and become profitable, we have made the difficult decision to let go of approximately 9% of our colleagues across the company.”

The email says almost all of the workers cut were salaried. No production associates were included, which means we won’t see disruptions to operations surrounding the Model 3. The automaker is working to boost production of the entry-level sedan after missing targets for the first quarter of the year. By the end of the second quarter, Tesla hopes to be making 5,000 copies a week.

Tesla has never turned an annual profit since it was first established almost 15 years ago. Musk acknowledges this fact in an email, adding, “What drives us is our mission to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable, clean energy, but we will never achieve that mission unless we eventually demonstrate that we can be sustainably profitable. That is a valid and fair criticism of Tesla’s history to date.”

Tesla had 37,543 employees in its ranks by the end of last year, more than 12 times its workforce five years earlier, as the Los Angeles Times points out. Tesla also lost nearly $2 billion last year.

Amid the news, Tesla’s stock fell today. Although it had increased 6.9 percent earlier in the day, shares were up just 2.6 percent after the announcement.

Source: Tesla, Los Angeles Times, CNBC

The post Tesla Slashes 9 Percent of Workforce appeared first on Motor Trend.

[SPIED] Mid-Engine C8 Corvette Spotted in Southwest Florida

Corvette Blogger - Tue, 06/12/2018 - 3:58pm

Photo Credits: Frank Schwartz With the photos of the C8 Corvette that was spotted needing a tow after experiencing mechanical issues over the weekend, we have another Florida-related sighting of the mid-engine C8 Corvette rolling down the highway. The pics were shared on Facebook by enthusiasts and we were able to deduce they were taken […]

The post [SPIED] Mid-Engine C8 Corvette Spotted in Southwest Florida appeared first on Corvette: Sales, News & Lifestyle.

First Year Corvette Signed By Zora Duntov For Sale In New Orleans

Corvettes Online News Feed - Tue, 06/12/2018 - 2:33pm
Owning a 1953 Corvette would be a thrill but owning a first-year Corvette signed by the man who single-handedly saved Corvette can now be a dream come true.

[VIDEO] Take a Deep Dive into Buying Salvage Corvettes with a Submerged C6 ZR1

Corvette Blogger - Tue, 06/12/2018 - 2:07pm

Ever thought about buying a salvage Corvette or one with a rebuildable title from one of those insurance websites? Wrecked or otherwise damaged Corvette are sometimes offered at ridiculously low prices, but it’s only after you get it home that you’ll learn how much money it’s going to take to make it street worthy. I […]

The post [VIDEO] Take a Deep Dive into Buying Salvage Corvettes with a Submerged C6 ZR1 appeared first on Corvette: Sales, News & Lifestyle.

Cars Still Key to GM’s Global Business, CEO Barra Says

Motortrend Magazine News - Tue, 06/12/2018 - 1:45pm

There was a bit of drama but no ducking questions at the 2018 General Motors annual meeting in Detroit where Chairman and CEO Mary Barra calmly updated shareholders on the company’s business.

This includes a commitment to building cars. In a briefing ahead of the meeting, Barra told Motor Trend that as a global company, GM is not following crosstown rivals Ford and Fiat Chrysler in systematically pulling out of car segments.

“Although we are seeing a shift in the United States and in other markets, there still is a very big car market globally,” Barra said. “We’re well positioned because we reinvested in the 2015-2016 time frame in both compact and midsize vehicles so we have a very strong platform that we can continue to provide customers with what they want for a very long period of time.” She later referenced investment in the Chevy Cruze and Malibu as key to keeping them relevant.

Globally the automaker’s GEM (Global Emerging Markets) architecture is bringing new vehicles and technology to emerging markets, in many cases for the first time, Barra said.

But the real emphasis is on electric and autonomous vehicles.

GM is increasing production of the Chevrolet Bolt and plans to introduce 20 new all-electric vehicles by 2023 globally. GM continues to advocate for a single national standard for fuel efficiency requirements, wanting to avoid having to meet regulations for California that are more stringent than proposed federal CAFE regulations which the Trump Administration is expected to ease. But either way, GM is committed to an electric-vehicle future and would like to see EV tax credits extended.

The automaker is on pace to launch its self-driving ride-hailing fleet next year. The Cruise AV, which will not have a steering wheel or pedals, will be built at the Orion Assembly plant in Michigan.

Last month, GM announced a partnership with SoftBank which is investing $2.25 billion in GM’s self-driving ride-sharing technology. GM also acquired Strobe last year to bring down the cost of Lidar technology. GM uses Lidar in conjunction with cameras and radar to read the landscape for safe autonomous driving.

Wall Street is recognizing GM’s AV work, Barra said, including the fact the work is all being done under one roof. This work includes the development of the vehicle as well as the technology integration that involves modifying or changing 40 percent of the components to enable autonomous driving. And GM can mass produce the cars at the Orion Assembly Plant.

Ride-sharing was barely a topic of conversation five years ago, but today GM’s Maven ride-sharing service continues to expand and Barra said its vehicles are being driven four times more than an average vehicle.

GM has pulled back from Lyft, the ride-sharing company in which it has a 9 percent stake. Barra said while she has faith in its founders, “right now, though, we have no active projects underway.” After GM invested in Lyft in 2016, Ford announced its own collaboration last year for a fleet of self-driving vehicles by 2021.

On trade and tariffs affecting the auto industry, Barra said there are still a lot of moving pieces and negotiations, which are ongoing. “We need to let negotiations continue and be completed,” she said.

Turning to the business of the annual meeting, a proposal to have an independent chairman was defeated, garnering only 35 percent of votes, meaning Barra will continue to hold the dual titles of chairman and CEO. A similar motion at the recent Tesla annual meeting also failed to remove the chairman title from CEO Elon Musk.

There was a moment of drama as two female protesters starting yelling, “What do we want? Justice. When do we want it? Now.” They were asked to wait for the question period to make their point and when they refused the offer, they were escorted out of the meeting. A number of shareholders did use the question period to decry conditions at GM plants in Colombia, allegations which Barra said have been investigated and found to be untrue.

The post Cars Still Key to GM’s Global Business, CEO Barra Says appeared first on Motor Trend.

GM CEO Mary Barra Says US Trade Uncertainty Will Impact Automaker

GM Authority News - Tue, 06/12/2018 - 1:34pm

Barra said GM is already beginning to see adverse effects of trade spats.

GM To Show Off Improvements Made At Wyoming, MI Plant

GM Authority News - Tue, 06/12/2018 - 1:23pm

General Motors invested $119 million in the plant three years ago.

The Corvette Dream Giveaway Will Show Grand Prize Lingenfelter Corvettes at Bloomington Gold

Corvette Blogger - Tue, 06/12/2018 - 1:15pm

For the last 11 years, the Corvette Dream Giveaway has offered some amazing Corvettes to those lucky winners while raising much-needed funds for charities. If you’re attending Bloomington Gold later this month, you will be able to see first hand the latest grand prize package for 2018: The 1965 Corvette Sting Ray restomod and the […]

The post The Corvette Dream Giveaway Will Show Grand Prize Lingenfelter Corvettes at Bloomington Gold appeared first on Corvette: Sales, News & Lifestyle.

Mazda MX-5 Miata to Deliver 181 HP

Motortrend Magazine News - Tue, 06/12/2018 - 12:00pm

For the last 30 years, the Mazda MX-5 Miata has prided itself on nimble handling, not prodigious power. But it looks like the roadster will receive a boost in horsepower, as well as a telescoping steering wheel, as part of an update.

Car Watch, a Japanese car magazine, has driven the revised Miata and is spilling the details. We can expect an increase from 155 to 181 hp in the car’s 2.0-liter Skyactiv four-cylinder engine, as well as a jump in torque from 148 to 151 lb-ft. Redline has increased from 6,800 to 7,500 rpm. Although the magazine drove a Japanese-spec car, we will likely see these performance changes on our version here in the U.S. as well.

Improving performance, Mazda installed stiffer valve springs and sped up the valve timing. The automaker reduced the weight of the pistons and connecting rods, and installed an enlarged exhaust port and exhaust manifold. Helping to curb noise from the engine, the Miata gets a low-inertia dual-mass flywheel. There is also a new muffler that cuts high frequency noise.

The magazine says Mazda was looking to save every bit of weight it could on the Miata, but it did allow one indulgence. For the first time, the Miata gets a telescoping steering wheel. With a range of almost 1.2 inches, the feature gives drivers a little more versatility in their seating position. To counteract a weight increase, Mazda used aluminum bits instead of steel in the upper steering column.

Current Mazda MX-5 Miata pictured

Source: Car Watch

The post Mazda MX-5 Miata to Deliver 181 HP appeared first on Motor Trend.

Boiling Point: The Advantages Of Evans Waterless Coolant

Corvettes Online News Feed - Tue, 06/12/2018 - 11:59am
Evans Waterless Coolant boils not at 212 degrees, but at 375, creating a number of advantages over water-based cooling solutions The result is reduced system pressure and thus longer engine life and reliability

Corvettes for Sale: Barely Driven 1984 Corvette with Under 6K Miles

Corvette Blogger - Tue, 06/12/2018 - 11:44am

Without the vastly improved 1984 Corvette 34 years ago, you could argue there would be no even more vastly improved 2019 C7 ZR1 today. Still, would you be willing to pay $15,988 for a groundbreaking, first-year C4 that’s covered just 5,967 miles since new? That’s the situation right now as Mangino Chevrolet in New York […]

The post Corvettes for Sale: Barely Driven 1984 Corvette with Under 6K Miles appeared first on Corvette: Sales, News & Lifestyle.

Cars In Corktown To Feature Le Mans-Winning Corvette C6R Racer

GM Authority News - Tue, 06/12/2018 - 10:06am

It's going to be a special event to see some incredible cars.

Chevrolet Will Offer 24/7 Roadside Assistance To Saudi Women Drivers

GM Authority News - Tue, 06/12/2018 - 9:53am

Regardless of vehicle, Chevrolet will support Saudi women as they take to the driver's seat for the first time.

Hundreds Of Workers Take Buyouts, Retire Early At GM Lordstown Plant As Layoffs Loom

GM Authority News - Tue, 06/12/2018 - 9:11am

595 workers have opted to take a buyout or retire early.

Ford Adds Track Tech To Camaro 1LE Rival, the 2019 Shelby GT350

GM Authority News - Tue, 06/12/2018 - 8:52am

New tires, suspension tuning and more are now present for the slightly refreshed track car.

Mid-Engine C8 Corvette Breaks Down At Fuel Station, Gets A Tow

GM Authority News - Tue, 06/12/2018 - 8:27am

It's unclear what went wrong, but engineers popped the front compartment to begin diagnosing things.

Three’s Company: Rod Length, Compression Height, And Crank Stroke

Corvettes Online News Feed - Tue, 06/12/2018 - 7:00am
Understanding the relationship between connecting rod length, piston compression height, and crankshaft stroke is the key to selecting the right internals. Diamond Pistons breaks down the details for us here.

2018 Range Rover Velar R-Dynamic SE I-4 First Test

Motortrend Magazine News - Tue, 06/12/2018 - 4:00am

Despite both my parents having careers in the fashion industry, the fashion gene appears to have skipped me. My approach to fashion mirrors my attitude toward just about everything from cars to cuisine—KISS: Keep It Simple, Stupid.

Yet even I can appreciate the game-elevating styling the 2018 Land Rover Range Rover Velar P250 R-Dynamic SE brings to the table. Despite lacking the Posh Spice seal of approval, the fashion-forward Range Rover Velar brings a lot to the crowded two-row luxury crossover space—and it’d better, considering how pricey and late to the game it is.

Built on a modular architecture shared with the Jaguar F-Pace, the Range Rover Velar is designed to fill the narrow white space between the baby Range Rover Evoque and the Range Rover Sport. This luxury crossover is intended to be the Range Rover line’s most carlike offering while still providing the off-road capability that the Land Rover badge demands. Given this goal, the Range Rover design team fully delivered—especially with a well-equipped sample like our Velar R-Dynamic tester. The extra-sporty Velar R-Dynamic is strikingly handsome and concept car pretty, with a rakish station wagon–esque look outside and a beautifully finished cabin inside.

With the Velar’s neck-snapping looks bound to bring buyers into the Range Rover section of the showroom, Land Rover was content to borrow three (quite good) powertrains from the Jaguar F-Pace—a 180-hp turbodiesel I-4, a 380-hp supercharged V-6, and the base engine found in our Velar P250 tester, a 2.0-liter turbocharged I-4 that produces 247 hp and 269 lb-ft of torque. Like the F-Pace, all Velars get an eight-speed automatic transmission and standard all-wheel drive.

Despite the Velar P250 R-Dynamic SE’s sporty looks, its performance at our test track was far more modest. Our four-cylinder Velar accelerated from 0 to 60 mph in 7.7 seconds and went through the quarter mile in 16.0 seconds at 85.7 mph. That’s substantially slower than our comparably equipped Velar P380 R-Dynamic SE long-termer, which needs 5.7 seconds to hit 60 mph and runs the quarter mile in 14.2 seconds at 97.7 mph.

Comparing our turbo-four Velar P250’s acceleration figures to its V-6-powered stablemate is admittedly unfair. But compared to other four-cylinder-powered luxury crossovers—like our 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLC300 4Matic long-termer or a 2018 Volvo XC60 T5 we tested recently—the Velar P250 is still a bit poky compared to those admittedly shorter and lighter-weight models. The Mercedes hits 60 mph in 6.9 seconds and runs the quarter mile in 15.2 seconds at 89.6 mph; the Volvo is faster still, hitting 60 mph in 6.2 seconds and completing the quarter mile in 14.7 seconds at 91.5 mph. The Velar P250’s unhurried performance continued in our figure-eight test, where it lapped our course in 26.9 seconds at an average 0.65 g, trailing both its German and Swedish rivals. Still, it doesn’t feel so slow out on the road.

The Velar is unquestionably the most carlike vehicle Land Rover makes. From behind the wheel it just feels like a big, tall station wagon. The Velar’s ride and handling team deserve the lion’s share of the credit here. The ride is firm, sporty even, but not in any way punishing. It dispatches even the most brutal impacts fairly quickly and without tossing your head around or sending things in the cabin flying—kind of surprising considering the 20-inch wheels on our tester. Steering is nicely balanced in the default Comfort setting, too. It’s well weighted and reasonably accurate at the same time. Dynamic mode ups feel, making it more direct, sharp, and, yes, sporty. It’s good for cutting up a good back road (and quite fun doing that, too), but Comfort should leave most drivers more than satisfied.

Despite the Velar’s four-cylinder engine holding it back in track tests, it’s actually a pretty nice little motor. It makes its power down low in its rev band, and the Velar’s smart-shifting eight-speed auto helps make the most of it. Although it isn’t fast, the Velar feels quick enough around town and for most freeway driving. Most remarkable is how smooth the four-pot is—even working at wide-open throttle, the engine doesn’t transmit any vibration or harshness into the cabin.

For all its shortcomings at the test track, the place the Velar needs the most work is inside the cabin. Like many high-fashion items, the Velar’s cabin is high on style but low on functionality. First the good: The Velar’s interior is downright gorgeous. From the Union Jack­–cut leather seats to the beautiful dashboard design, this middleweight Range Rover is just as stunning to sit in as it is to look at. Material quality is on point—as it should be considering its $61,095 starting price and $76,435 as-tested price—and the seats both fore and aft are comfortable and spacious.

That’s all well and good, but the Velar’s infotainment suite leaves a lot to be desired. The Velar, like the latest Range Rover Sport and Range Rover, features a high-resolution dual-screen infotainment suite. The setup looks nice, but it’s difficult to use, at best. The top screen handles everything from navigation and off-road info to media and phone duties, and the bottom screen is responsible for climate control, seat massage, drive mode, and phone and media functions. Although there are some effective touchscreen infotainment systems out there—Volvo’s Sensus system and Tesla’s infotainment suite spring to mind—Range Rover’s system is slow to respond, unintuitively laid out, and difficult to use while driving. For example, to change the satellite radio station, you have to take your eyes off the road and tap a small, square button on the top screen to manually cycle through stations. You’d better hope you don’t have to jump more than three or four stations, because by that point the system starts to lag behind your inputs. The system frequently makes what should be a one- or two-keystroke task into a multistep operation. It all goes back to four letters: KISS. It’s possible to work around a lot of poorly engineered infotainment systems by simply plugging in your iPhone or Android device and using either Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, but unfortunately, neither of those alternatives is currently available on the Velar—or any Land Rover vehicle, for that matter.

The Land Rover Range Rover Velar P250 ultimately delivers the fashion-forward experience its presence promises. It’s beautiful to behold inside and out and has exceptional material quality. It, like many fashion-forward items, lacks a bit of functionality—in this case, sacrificing some performance and infotainment user-friendliness—but the Velar’s unmistakable style largely makes it all worth it.

2018 Land Rover Range Rover Velar P250 SE R-Dynamic BASE PRICE $61,095 PRICE AS TESTED $76,435 VEHICLE LAYOUT Front-engine, AWD, 5-pass, 4-door SUV ENGINE 2.0L/247-hp/269-lb-ft turbo DOHC 16-valve I-4 TRANSMISSION 8-speed automatic CURB WEIGHT (F/R DIST) 4,391 lb (50/50%) WHEELBASE 113.1 in LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT 189.1 x 76.0 x 65.6 in 0-60 MPH 7.7 sec QUARTER MILE 16.0 sec @ 85.7 mph BRAKING, 60-0 MPH 117 ft LATERAL ACCELERATION 0.84 g (avg) MT FIGURE EIGHT 26.9 sec @ 0.65 g (avg) REAL MPG, CITY/HWY/COMB 18.0/28.0/21.4 mpg EPA CITY/HWY/COMB FUEL ECON 21/27/23 mpg ENERGY CONS, CITY/HWY 160/125 kW-hrs/100 miles CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB 0.83 lb/mile

The post 2018 Range Rover Velar R-Dynamic SE I-4 First Test appeared first on Motor Trend.

Luftgekühlt: The R Type of Cars and Shows – The Lohdown

Motortrend Magazine News - Tue, 06/12/2018 - 4:00am

As we sat in his office, working through the blurbs for this month’s cover, creative director Alan Muir took stock of my enthusiasm and noted with raised eyebrow and clipped Highland brogue, “I know why you’re so excited about this cover. Takes you back, doesn’t it?”

Indeed it does. Before I joined the Motor Trend team in 2007, I was editor-in-chief of Sport Compact Car. In its heyday, SCC was the magazine of record for the serious business of high-performance compact cars. It is with great pleasure that we can bring some of that back in Christian Seabaugh’s fantastic cover story on “R Type” of freakishly fun four-cylinder compacts. During peak SCC, when the scene was ablaze with Neon SRT-4s, Mitsubishi Evo MRs, and all the aftermarket go-fast bits that went with them, I doubt anyone could have imagined that only about a decade later, 150+ hp/liter and “drift mode” would be available right out of the showroom and with a factory warranty. Times sure have changed.

Or have they? Early in the cycle for the August issue, I did something I haven’t done since those SCC days: I showed a personal car at a car show. And not just any show, but the fifth installment of the celebration of air-cooled Porsches that is Luftgekühlt. Doing so required significant help from my friends, as the quality of vehicles on display at all previous Lufts has been beyond just kühl; stepping out with a subpar 1987 911 Turbo wouldn’t do. So after expert training on a Meguiar’s MT300 Dual Action polisher, a fresh set of Pirelli P Zeros (sized by Magnus Walker and installed at the flagship P Zero World near Beverly Hills), and a period-correct Thule 300 rack (for holding my Walden longboard, naturally), I thought I was ready for Luftgekühlt 5.

I was not. Show organizers Howie Idelson, Patrick Long, and Jeff Zwart take special pride not only in assembling the most astonishing collection of classic Porsches but also in displaying them in the most perfect—and increasingly nontraditional—venues. This year, that location happened to be in our backyard, at the enormous and strikingly appropriate Ganahl Lumber yard in Torrance, California. But don’t take my word for it; here are some from several Motor Trend staffers who spent their Sunday at the sold-out event:

Everything from the placement of the cars to where the light was hitting them—perfect. It was rad to see all the kids at the event with cameras shooting all the cars! Everyone was there solely for one reason: their passion for air-cooled Porsches!—Carol Ngo, social media editor

Still in Luft.. ???? #Luftgekühlt #Luft5 #aircooled #356 #Gmünd #porsche #handhammered

A post shared by Carol Ngo (@carolngo) on Apr 24, 2018 at 2:29pm PDT

The image of the Vic Elford’s 908K, parked on a wood pallet all by its lonesome, just as the sun clipped the top of the lumber gantries, gave new meaning to “golden hour.”—Mark Rechtin, executive editor

They say certain Porsches have a glow to them. #Luftgekuhlt

A post shared by Mark Rechtin (@mark.rechtin) on Apr 22, 2018 at 8:31am PDT

The catwalks in the main building and the ability to see cars through gaps in the lumber was something that really made the show for me visually.—Jade Nelson, photographer

Full Banana #mediumformat #pentax67 #film #filmphotographic #luft5 #luftgekühlt #porsche #porsche911 #carrera #portra160

A post shared by Jade Nelson (@jnphotoworks) on Jun 8, 2018 at 12:00pm PDT

More from Ed Loh:

The post Luftgekühlt: The R Type of Cars and Shows – The Lohdown appeared first on Motor Trend.

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