Category: Ford

June 4, 2019 Off

Mercedes-Benz is expanding its luxury subscription service

By Jill T Frey

Mercedes-Benz is expanding a pilot subscription service that lets users switch between different luxury models to a third U.S. city a year after launching in Nashville and Philadelphia.

The pilot is another example of how automakers are experimenting — with mixed levels of success — with different ways to make money beyond producing and selling cars, trucks and SUVs. Cadillac, Volvo, Porsche and Audi have also launched subscription plans. Cadillac shuttered its service after a year; it’s recently announced plans to re-launch the service, but this time involving dealers more.

The luxury automaker, which is owned by Daimler, plans to bring its so-called “Mercedes-Benz Collection” to Atlanta, the same city where its U.S. headquarters are located. Clutch Technologies will continue to operate the subscription platform. That’s the same city where Porsche initially launched its subscription service.

Mercedes also plans to test a new subscription tier in Atlanta that … Read the rest

May 28, 2019 Off

Aptiv’s Karl Iagnemma at TC Sessions: Mobility July 10 in San Jose

By Jill T Frey

Before automakers and giant tech companies kicked off their own autonomous vehicle pilots, a startup called nuTonomy launched a self-driving taxi service in Singapore for the public, not just its test engineers.

The AV industry took notice, and by October 2017 it was snapped up for $450 million by Aptiv, a U.S. auto supplier and self-driving software company formerly known as Delphi.

We’re excited to announce that Karl Iagnemma, co-founder of nuTonomy and now president of Aptiv Autonomous Mobility, will participate in TechCrunch’s inaugural TC Sessions: Mobility, a one-day event on July 10, 2019 in San Jose, Calif. centered around the future of mobility and transportation.

Iagnemma, who earned his MS and PhD degrees from MIT, co-founded nuTonomy in 2013. The former director of the Robotic Mobility Group at MIT has filed for, or been issued, 50 patents and published more than 150 technical publications and edited volumes … Read the rest

May 27, 2019 Off

Fiat Chrysler proposes 50-50 merger with Renault

By Jill T Frey

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has proposed merging its business with Renault that, if accepted, would create the third largest global automaker with 8.7 million in annual vehicle sales.

FCA delivered Monday a non-binding letter to Renault’s board that proposes combining the business as a 50-50 merger. FCA’s proposal illustrates the growing desire among automakers to consolidate, or form partnerships, in an environment of increasing regulatory pressure, declining sales and rising costs associated with next-generation technologies such as autonomous vehicle technology.

Under the proposal, the combined businesses would be split equally between FCA and Renault shareholders. The board would be a combined entity of 11 members, FCA said. The majority would be independent. FCA and Renault would get equal represent with four members each as well as one nominee from Nissan. The parent company would be listed on the Borsa Italiana in Milan, Euronext in Paris and the New York Stock Exchange.… Read the rest

May 26, 2019 Off

Fiat Chrysler-Renault tie up: What the maker of Jeep could gain

By Jill T Frey

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Renault are reportedly in talks that could result in merging vast swaths of their businesses, a move that illustrates the growing desire among automakers to consolidate in an environment of increased regulatory pressure, sales declines and rising costs aimed at bringing next-generation technologies like self-driving cars to market.

Bloomberg, Financial Times, and the Wall Street Journal have reported on talks of a tie up that could result in Fiat Chrysler eventually becoming part of the Renault-Nissan Motor alliance. For now, the deal doesn’t include Nissan, according to Bloomberg.

FCA declined to comment.

Fiat Chrysler is best known in U.S. for the company behind the Jeep and Ram trucks. Its business is far larger. Fiat, which has a market value of $20 billion, is also one of Italy’s oldest companies and owns brands like Alfa Romeo, Fiat, Lancia, and Maserati .

Fiat acquired a stake in Chrysler … Read the rest

May 23, 2019 Off

Automakers have a choice: Become data companies or become irrelevant

By Jill T Frey

While Bezos amassed billions, Apple took over our culture, Google became ubiquitous and software ate the world, the automotive industry needed a bailout. Since then, they have more or less recovered, but they are no longer the undisputed titans of American industry. That title now belongs to companies that traffic in data, and the FAANGs of the world have their digital fingers on the pulse of what moves us.

However, not all hope is lost for the old auto titans. Cars are here to stay, whether they have drivers or not. Automakers can ensure their seat at the table … Read the rest

May 20, 2019 Off

Ford CTO Ken Washington at TC Sessions: Mobility on July 10

By Jill T Frey

A conference dedicated to transportation and mobility wouldn’t be complete without hearing from Ford, the U.S. automaker with a storied 116-year history.

We’re excited to announce that Ford CTO Ken Washington will participate in TechCrunch’s inaugural TC Sessions: Mobility, a one-day event on July 10, 2019 in San Jose, Calif., that’s bringing the best and brightest minds — founders, investors and technologists — who are determined to invent a future Henry Ford might never have imagined. Or maybe he did.

If there’s a person at Ford who can provide insight into where the company is headed, it’s Washington.

As CTO and vice president of Research and Advanced Engineering, Washington leads Ford’s worldwide research organization, oversees the development and implementation of the company’s technology strategy and plans and plays a key role in its expansion into emerging mobility opportunities.

Prior to joining Ford, he was vice president of the Advanced … Read the rest