GM Committing to Sustainable Natural Rubber

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General Motors said it will commit to buying sustainable natural rubber for the 49 million tires it buys annually, an initiative aimed at helping small rubber farmers while protecting company profits by ensuring the material’s long-term availability. The automaker said it is developing a set of purchasing requirements that call for sustainable, harvested rubber and encouraging other automakers to follow …

Audi and Porsche Diesels Might Make US Comeback

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“Diesel” has become a dirty word at the Volkswagen Group, where the company’s emissions-cheating scandal has caused its TDI engines to be banished from its U.S. lineup—and cost the company billions in penalties and buybacks. But while the Volkswagen brand is sticking with management’s decision to keep diesel out of the U.S. market, as it pursues a new electrification strategy, …

Google will begin testing autonomous cars with consumers

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After almost a decade of research, Google’s autonomous car project is close to becoming a real service as it begins testing its vehicles with consumers in the U.S. Now known as Waymo, the Alphabet self-driving car unit is letting residents in Phoenix sign up to use its vehicles in a self-driving car ride service. It’s a major step toward commercializing …

Mercedes-Benz Owners Can Now Talk to Their Cars Through Google Home

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“Alexa, start my car.” Owners of new Mercedes-Benz vehicles can now remotely turn on the engine by issuing the above command. The luxury vehicle maker just launched a new service that allows customers with 2016 and 2017 models to communicate with their cars using Google Home or Amazon Echo. In addition to remotely starting their vehicles, U.S. customers can activate …

Falling used-car prices could hurt new sales

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Prices for used cars and trucks could fall 15 to 20 percent as dealerships get more and more off-lease vehicles, creating “a big problem for the new-vehicle segment,” auto analyst John Murphy said Tuesday. A big drop in used-vehicle prices will prompt some consumers to buy used instead of new. That’s one reason new-vehicle sales could start declining in 2018. Dealerships …

Tesla Model 3 prototypes seen hitting the streets

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Two weeks after Tesla CEO Elon Musk teased the first 6-second video of a newly minted, almost-final version of the $35,000 car, prototypes have begun to appear in the wild. The following images of two Model 3’s were taken outside the company’s headquarters in Palo Alto, Calif. With about 400,000 reservations at $1,000 a piece, this is arguably the most …

Mercedes-Benz To Increase Electric Models by 2022

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Mercedes-Benz is accelerating its roll-out of battery-powered autos in a race to meet tighter emissions rules as European buyers turn away from fuel-efficient diesel cars. In a $10.8 billion project, the world’s largest luxury-car maker intends to release 10 new electric vehicles by 2022. The expedited time frame reflects the urgency facing manufacturers as they brace for a shift away from …

Buy a New Car From Your Couch? Almost.

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The auto dealer looked like a ripe target for disruption when retailing moved online. Now that startups have tried and failed to beat the car salesman, many are taking a different route: catering to them. After watching predecessors like TrueCar Inc. and Ford Motor Co. stumble in their attempts to bring more Amazon-like e-commerce to car shopping, a new wave …

U.S. 2016 Vehicles First to Fall Short of Fuel Economy Targets

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U.S. light vehicles from the 2016 model year up will be the first to fall short of federal fuel economy targets in more than a decade, according to a new projection from regulators. This could be the beginning of  a push by automakers to ease efficiency standards. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration forecasts that 2016 models will average 32.1 …

U.S. Car Sales See Missed February Car Sale Forecasts

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General Motors, Ford, and Fiat Chrysler all missed U.S. February sales forecasts on Wednesday, led by a plunge in small and midsize models, as incentives rise and concerns endure about auto loans and plateauing auto sales. In January, Ford CEO Mark Fields said the only reason to build new factories is to meet higher demand and noted U.S. demand is …