US auto sales slow in May; GM hit hard

NEW YORK, United States  (AFP)  6/1/2016 —US auto sales slipped into lower gear in May, with the country’s leading automaker General Motors taking a hard hit as consumers curbed spending ahead of the summer driving season. Analysts had expected softer May sales following a blockbuster April as a seven-year boom in the auto industry shows signs of moderating. Though job growth has been solid and wages are inching up, consumers have recently turned a bit less […]

Volkswagen ‘satisfied’ with Q1 despite profit slump

FRANKFURT, Germany (AFP)  5/31/2016 – Embattled German auto giant Volkswagen said Tuesday that it was satisfied with business in the first quarter, despite falling sales and profits, and it would stick to its targets for the whole year. “The VW group put in a solid performance in the first three months,” the statement said. “In view of the many challenges we’re currently facing, we’re satisfied overall with the start we made into what will undoubtedly be a […]

Auto Racing: US rookie Rossi hangs on to win 100th Indy 500

INDIANAPOLIS, United States (AFP) —Alexander Rossi, a former Formula One test driver in only his sixth IndyCar race, captured the 100th Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, conserving fuel over the last 36 laps to win his Indy debut. The 24-year-old Californian spent three years as an F1 test driver and raced five times last year, then switched to IndyCar and used a fuel-saving run to take a shocking 200-lap triumph on the 2.5-mile (4km) Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval. […]

Jeep Wrangler now comes in five variants

The Jeep Wrangler moves into 2016 with updates designed to further enhance the Wrangler ownership experience. The combination of open-air freedom, off-road capability and on-road refinement has brought Jeep Wrangler’s popularity at an all-time high. For 2016, the Jeep Wrangler comes in five variants:Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon, Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara, All-new Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sport S (3.6L V6 or 2.8L Diesel), and the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sport. Features for the 2016 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited line-up […]

GM venture to recall over two million cars in China

SHANGHAI, China (AFP)  5/27/2016 —US auto giant General Motors (GM) will recall more than two million vehicles produced through a joint venture in China because of an engine component flaw, the firm and officials said. The venture between GM and Shanghai-based SAIC will recall 2.16 million Buick and Chevrolet branded vehicles because their engine valves could corrode after extended use, the company said on Thursday. Business media outlet Caixin reported that the recall was the largest in […]

Auto Racing: Hinchcliffe seeks Indy 500 win after near-fatal crash

INDIANAPOLIS, United States (AFP) 5/27/2016 -Canadian driver James Hinchcliffe, who watched last year’s Indianapolis 500 from a hospital bed after a near-fatal practice crash, starts on the pole for Sunday’s 100th running of the American oval classic. Hinchcliffe’s third-turn crash into the outer wall last May shoved a steel rod from the car’s suspension through his right thigh and into his left leg, causing massive bleeding that required safety workers to pump 14 pints of […]

Formula One: Mercedes drivers surprised by Red Bull pace

MONACO,Principality of Monaco (AFP) 5/27/2016 –Mercedes drivers Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton said they were stunned by the unexpected speed of Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo in Thursday’s practice for this weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix. The Australian clocked the quickest lap by six-tenths of a second ahead of defending three-time champion Briton Hamilton, with Rosberg third ahead of Dutch teenager Max Verstappen in the second Red Bull. “It is definitely surprising how quick they were,” said […]

Takata shares soar on report US firm KKR to take control

TOKYO, Japan (AFP) 5/26/2016 -Takata shares skyrocketed in afternoon trade Thursday, following a report that US private equity firm KKR wants to take control of the embattled airbag supplier. Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR) is looking to take over up to 60 percent of the company from the founding family, Japan’s leading business paper the Nikkei reported, prompting Takata’s shares to surge 21.16 percent to 458 yen at the Tokyo Stock Exchange. The rise is a […]

Formula One: Rosberg ignores possibility of history

MONACO, Principality of Monaco (AFP) 5/25/2016 -Nico Rosberg stuck to the professional sportsman’s most stubbornly-used credo on Wednesday, when he denied he was even thinking about equalling any records ahead of this weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix. The championship-leading German, who holds a 34-point advantage in the drivers’ title race, has won the last three Monaco races and has a chance to do something on Sunday only previously achieved by Ayrton Senna. The great Brazilian won […]

Google to open Detroit-area autonomous car center

SAN FRANCISCO, United States (AFP) 5/25/2016 – Google announced plans Wednesday to open a Detroit-area technology center for its self-driving car program. The new center in Novi, Michigan, will house engineers and others testing vehicles provided by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, a statement by Google parent Alphabet said. “For the past few years, members of our team have been working from the Greater Detroit area,” the statement posted on Google+ said. “Now it’s time to lay […]

Formula One: McLaren men play down optimism

MONACO, Principality of Monaco (AFP) 5/25/2016 -McLaren’s duo of champion drivers on Wednesday cautioned against unrealistic optimism ahead of this weekend’s classic blue riband Monaco Grand Prix. Both two-time champion Spaniard Fernando Alonso and 2009 champion Briton Jenson Button made clear that the Honda powered team’s recent improvement should not inspire unrealistic expectations. Briton Lewis Hamilton’s triumph in 2008 was McLaren’s  15th win at Monaco but was also their last. “We have to be realistic,” […]

Formula One: Hamilton needs balance to restore Mercedes order

by Tim Collings MONACO, Principality of Monaco (AFP) 5/26/2016 -Lewis Hamilton heads into this weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix knowing he has to perform a perfect balancing act and avoid, at all costs, another spectacular crash with his Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg. While many in the paddock and a new generation of fans will focus on Dutch teenager Max Verstappen, Formula One’s youngest winner, as he starts his second race for Red Bull, the key contests […]