Volvo Cars today announced a partnership with Swedish-American vehicle safety systems supplier Autoliv Inc. to form a new jointly-owned company to develop autonomous driving software. The planned company, which has yet to be named, will have its headquarters in Gothenburg, Sweden and an initial workforce of about 200 taken from both firms. The new company is expected to start operations in early 2017, and then grow to more than 600 employees. Autoliv develops and sells automotive safety systems for all major automotive manufacturers around the globe; it has 80 facilities with 60,000 employees in 29 countries. The new Volvo/Autoliv company will develop advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and autonomous drive (AD) systems for use in Volvo cars and for sale exclusively by Autoliv to other car makers globally.
FILE - This March 7, 2016 file photo shows the logo of German car manufacturer BMW in Munich, Germany. BMW is recalling more than 230,000 cars and SUVs in the U.S. to replace potentially dangerous Takata air bag inflators announced Friday, Feb. 3, 2017. The recall covers certain 3 series cars from 2000 to 2002, some 5 series cars from 2001 to 2002, and some X5 SUVs from 2001 to 2003.
The European Union isn't happy some of its member countries still haven't punished Volkswagen for cheating on emission tests. According to several sources, it has began taking legal action against seven nations, starting with the UK, Germany, Luxembourg and Spain for approving the carmaker's vehicles to be sold in their countries but failing to haul it to court like the US did. Further, UK and Germany refused to share what they discovered from their own investigations. The EU is also suing the Czech Republic, Greece and Lithuania for not even having laws that can penalize the company. To recap: researchers found something amiss with Volkswagen cars in 2014 and tipped off the US Environmental Protection Agency.
NEW YORK – Japanese automaker Nissan Motor Co. has drafted a contingency plan to focus on its Sunderland plant in the U.K. and cut European production if a hard Brexit leads to tariffs on car imports from the continent, the Financial Times reported, citing two people involved in the discussions. The plan, which was drawn up before Makoto Uchida was named as the new chief executive officer in December, also foresees the closing of Nissan's plants in Barcelona, Spain, and in France. The automaker denied the existence of the contingency plans, according to a spokesman for Nissan Europe quoted by the Financial Times. "We've modeled every possible ramification of Brexit and the fact remains that our entire business both in the U.K. and in Europe is not sustainable in the event of WTO tariffs," he said. In a speech on Monday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson plans to say he is prepared to quit talks over the U.K.'s future trade relationship with the European Union if he doesn't get what he wants, according to a U.K. official.
The Mercedes-Benz luxury car business, the mainstay of the company's profitability, saw a 12 percent increase in earnings before interest and taxes, to 23.3 billion euros. Favorable exchange rate developments boosted earnings there, in addition to stronger sales. Mercedes sold 20 percent more cars in China and had double-digit increases in the U.K., France, Italy, Spain and Belgium.