Auto Sales Decline 4.4% in October

Earlier this month Ford temporarily shut down multiple manufacturing facilities, temporarily laying off thousands of workers. Most notably the stopped production of America’s best-selling pickup truck, the F-150. Well, the numbers are now in, and Ford wasn’t the only one who got hit with a decline in sales.

Despite the dip in auto sales, no alarms have been raised. Many companies  had already expected a dip in sales and planned accordingly. But, this may be the beginning of a slow decline going into 2017. This is because 2015 was a record year for auto sales, and the demand has become exhausted, resulting in a slow decline.

Ford felt a 12% dip in US auto sales in October. Meanwhile, Honda experienced declines as large as 23% in New Delhi. Nobody is really talking about it, but I think this may be the start of a major decline in auto sales. With companies like Uber and Lyft pushing their self-driving programs harder than ever before, the need for a personal vehicle is declining. Plus more EV startups, and Tesla’s rideshare program, I think we will see a continuing slow decline is auto sales over the next few years.

Source: The Detroit News

Faraday Future to Unveil Production Car at CES

A little over a year ago, a mysterious company named Faraday Future popped up. A lot of mystery is still surrounding them, however, they are getting close to becoming a real Tesla competitor. Faraday Future has just announced that they will be unveiling their production-ready electric vehicle.

This unveiling will mark one year since Faraday launched its first concept, the FFZero1. Faraday Future’s partner company, LeEco said that a big unveiling would indeed take place during CES 2017. Spy photos have somewhat confirmed that Faraday’s production vehicle will be a large sedan or a crossover type of vehicle.

The big question is “will it be a Tesla competitor”? Unfortunately, there is no real way to tell right now, however, Faraday’s involvement with Formula E might help them develop a better road car. We also do not know if this will be a Model S competitor or a Model 3 competitor, so pricing is completely unknown.

Ford Temporarily Cuts Production of F-150

Ford was recently forced to cut back on the production of its Mustang, due to slowing demand. Unfortunately, it appears as though the Mustang isn’t the only model getting cut back. Ford is set to temporarily shut down production of its F-150 pickup. They produce this truck at multiple facilities, and reports show that their Kansas City plant will be the one to get the temporary shut down.

Ford also will be shutting down their Louisville plant temporarily. This facility is where the Escape and Lincoln MKC are produced. The cut of the Escape is due to a 12% dip in sales last month (August 2016). This dip is caused by the refreshed model of Honda’s CRV, as well as the refreshed model of the Nissan Rogue.

On top of these two US production facilities being temporarily shut down, Ford also plans to temporarily shut down two of their Mexico facilities. These Mexico facilities produce the Ford Fusion, Ford Fiesta, and Lincoln MKZ.

This is all caused by a dip is US auto sales in the late second half of 2016. Sales of the F-150 are down 2.6% compared to September 2015, however, year-over-year sales are up 5.5%. Sales of the Escape are down a massive 12% compared to last month, which is due to the refreshed CRV and Rogue.

These massive temporary shut down will cause 13,000 workers to be laid off until further notice. About 9,000 of those workers are here in the US, with the other 4,000 in Mexico. Don’t be to surprised if Donald Trump mentions something about it in the coming days.

Germany to Ban All Combustion Engines by 2030

Germany has long been a leader in the automotive industry. From the epic success of the Volkswagen Beetle, to the luxury giants BMW, and Mercedes. They now plan to further their important to the automotive world. But, this time around combustion engines won’t be in sight. That’s right, Germany has taken a pretty aggressive stance on fighting the combustion engine powered automobile. They have just voted to ban all gasoline and diesel powered cars by 2030, just 14 short years from now.

With companies like Tesla massively disrupting the automotive world, other manufacturers have been forced to develop cheap and usable electric cars. Chevrolet is leading the race amongst large manufacturers with their $30,000 Chevy Bolt. With how fast electric car technology has progressed, on top of huge companies joining in, 2030 is a realistic goal for Germany. This ban will not effect current combustion engine vehicles that are currently on the road. The ban is going to be for new vehicles only, so you won’t be forced to get rid of your combustion car.

But, if we really want to change the world of transport, how do we get older combustion cars off of the road without majorly disrupting the lower class transportation system? That is a question that will hopefully be answered by world leading governments in the coming years.

More Footage of the C7 ZR1 Corvette With a Huge Rear Wing

We’ve all seen the spy photos of some sort of GM mid-engined car being tested. Everyone presumed it was the Corvette ZR1, however new footage has proved that the ZR1 will stay front engine. This new footage shows what could be a ZR1 Corvette with a massive rear wing. It’s in a pack of other Corvettes, as well as what appears to be a Hellcat.

Not much is known about this possible ZR1. My guess is it’ll make 700-750 horsepower, and have lots of aero. This new Corvette model probably has the Viper ACR in its sights. Except an improved version of the LT4 that’s currently in the Z06 model. Chevrolet will definitely need to work on cooling, as the current Z06 can’t even stay cool with only 650 horsepower.

This new Corvette should be revealed in 2017. After seeing this footage the question is now up in the air, what is the mid engine car that GM has been testing?

With Drive px 2, Nvidia just made the futures brains of self driving cars

This week at the consumer electronic show (CES), Nvidia released details on a supper computer that finally gives auto manufactures the processing power to truly understand the the road. The Nvidia PX 2 is a game changing graphics card that has been designed specifically deal with the massive amounts of data and computing power for self driving vehicles. Capable of processing over 2 trillion float point operations per second, Nvidia says, the Drive PX has the equivalent processing power of 150 Mac Book Pro computers. The Nvidia Drive PX produces enough heat wear liquid cooling has been implemented to keep the processor running at a useable temperature.

nvidia drive px cooling liquid ventilation self driving cars

Here is the Drive Px 2 with a stand alone radiator connected into the cooling lines

Driving is dangerous and claims countless lives every year. The biggest danger when driving in the modern day is human error. Human beings are unpredictable by nature and we don’t have infinite attention spans. Drive PX two takes away the human error from driving. With highly intelligible supercomputers guiding vehicles through streets, we can make transit faster, more efficient, and even safer for everyone. The push for self driving cars has never been as high as it is today with companies like Volvo and Tesla already producing vehicles with assisted driving features, and big data companies such as google putting millions into research and development of artificial intelligence for autonomous vehicles.

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Partner Automotive companies working with Nvidia

One of the biggest walls to conquer in the self driving car industry is, developing a system that is not only able to guide the car through everyday street conditions, but also develop a system that can understand not so common conditions such as debris in the road, emergency vehicles, city or school busses,  or other hazards to drivers. Because there are almost an infinite amount of hazards that could be on the road for driver, Nvidia and partners are developing a system that learns on his own. The learning process as of right now still takes a couple months of big data input into the system, but engineers are working out how to expedite the process.

While the thought of a self driving car is cool and all Im actually more interested in all of the other advancements that will come with systems like these. With intelligent cars that understand the world around them, the response rate for emergency vehicles becomes almost instantaneous. Because we have vehicles on the ground mapping out every Square inch of public roadways we also have detailed maps for aerial drones and other Aircraft to fly with pin point accuracy. Drone could possibly be used even more interesting tasks such as patrolling the streets for criminal activity.  We could live in an entirely connected system that builds maintains and looks after itself all the while bringing transportation into the 21st century. While there is still much work that needs to be done in the coming years I am confident that we will be seeing a lot more machines driving their squishy master around in the near future.

Mysterious Company “Faraday Future” is Going to Take on Tesla

A new, mysterious electric car company is going to be building a billion dollar factory to produce their cars. They’re also wrangling the best of the best in the automotive world to join their team. But, no one knows who they are. The company is called “Faraday Future”, and its been operating out of an old Nissan facility in California.

Faraday Future currently has about 400 employees under their belt, and is hiring 10 new members every week. Their employees fields of skill vary, but they all have one thing in common. Almost all of their employees are the top of their respective field. Many of them have experience with companies like; Ford, GM, Volvo, Facebook, Google, and Tesla. Their list of employees includes; former vehicle/chassis engineer for Tesla, head designer of the BMW i8, Ferrari interior designer, and a battery specialist from Space X.

Faraday Future’s website

The former vehicle/chassis engineer for Tesla that I just mentioned has been deemed the “Senior Vice President” of Faraday Future. He told reporters that Faraday would launch an all electric car in 2017 that would rival the Model S. We expect them to release quite an epic vehicle since Tesla is in a market almost entirely by themselves right now.

Faraday Future is currently looking for a suitable location to build their billion dollar manufacturing plant. California, Nevada, Georgia, and Louisiana are some of their current ideal locations, but nothing is set in stone just yet.

The only piece of information that they have released about this new car, is that it will have a battery that has about 15% more capacity than the current Tesla batteries. Doing some math will tell you that they’re aiming for 310+ miles of range. They’ve also recently said that they have plans to explore other industries, and autonomous driving.

Heres a rough rendering of their new vehicle.

Faraday Future concept vehicle

This is pretty ambitious of them considering they have no product, no publicly announced CEO, and an extremely small team of 400-500 employee’s. But they claim to have begun purchasing components and connecting with suppliers for these parts.

Faraday Future has yet to announce who its CEO is, and this is seriously intriguing part about this company. Especially now that they’ve secured the funds for a billion dollar factory. When Wall Street Journal asked them how’d they get billions of dollars in such a short amount of time, they replied: “We are keeping all of our partners confidential for now”

One of the biggest rumors floating around about Faraday Future, is that it’s actually Apple. Apple has said that they want to build a car, and in typical Apple fashion they hide everything until the last second. This theory also explains how they got billions of dollars of funding in a short amount of time, and without anyone knows where the money actually came from. This also explains the lack of a known CEO, if it was an Apple executive than everyone would know right away.

Elon Musk recently complained that Apple was stealing a lot of his employees, which also aligns the fact that a lot of Faraday Future’s employees came from Tesla. Regardless of how they received they’re funding, and who their CEO is, Tesla will finally have a worthy electric car competitor.

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2016 Focus RS starts at $36k, 0-60 in 4.7 seconds

Ford has finally given us some information on the all new Focus RS! We already know its a turbo-4 with all-wheel-drive and torque vectoring. But, until today (Sep. 16) we didn’t know the most important part, the price. The new Focus RS is going to start at $36,605 in the US, which is slightly more than Subaru’s 2016 WRX STI ($34k), and Volkswagen’s Golf R ($36.5k).

ford-rs-6

What do I get if I choose the Focus RS over the STI? You get an extra 45 horsepower (350), which gives you a 0-60 time of 4.7 seconds compared to the STI’s 5.1 seconds. Thats a lot of performance for $36k, the RS will outrun the Golf R too. The new RS is said to have 350 lb-ft of torque as well.

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Not only will the RS be faster than its rivals at a drag strip, thanks to its torque vectoring, and performance tuned suspension, it’ll be way faster in the twisties. On top of all of that, it’ll have an industry first “drift mode”, which presumably will send almost all its power to the rear wheels.2016-ford-focus-rs-official-photos-and-info-news-car-and-driver-photo-654997-s-original

North American models are set to land in spring of 2016. We have a feeling that Ford dealerships will be littered with STi’s, Evo’s, and Golf R’s that are trading in for the all new RS.