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DETROIT — Building on success can be tough. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ Uconnect infotainment platform has garnered a sterling reputation for its ease of use. There was no need for designers to reinvent the wheel for the fifth-generation system, which is slated to debut later this year. The team took an evolutionary, not revolutionary, approach. FCA took consumer feedback to heart on how to improve the system and focused on making often-used functions such as seat heaters easier to find, said Vince Galante, the automaker’s chief designer of user experience. At a media preview of the new Uconnect system, Galante spoke…

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First it was the California upstart Tesla, refusing to go along with the industry establishment, providing only global quarterly results. In 2018, industry leader General Motors balked, saying it was done with the practice. And last year, GM’s two Detroit competitors, Ford Motor Co. and Fiat Chrysler, followed suit. Many observers lay the disruption at the feet of Tesla. The closely watched, publicly traded startup chose not to advertise its month-in, month-out achievements as it launched, and Wall Street didn’t seem to mind its lack of transparency. Tesla’s stock rose to unprecedented heights, making the company worth more on paper…

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Hummer was never known for doing anything in a small way.And General Motors’ announcement last week that it’s bringing back the infamous gas guzzler — but as a zero-emission electron-eater instead — was a reminder of that.GM nonchalantly noted that the GMC Hummer EV pickup, set to begin production next year, would have a 0 to 60 mph time of 3 seconds, 1,000 hp and 11,500 pound-feet of torque.No automaker has ever made a consumer vehicle with anything close to a five-figure torque rating. Few even hit four digits. It would best the strongest pickup engine available today by more…

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Hummer was never known for doing anything in a small way.And General Motors’ announcement last week that it’s bringing back the infamous gas guzzler — but as a zero-emission electron-eater instead — was a reminder of that.GM nonchalantly noted that the GMC Hummer EV pickup, set to begin production next year, would have a 0 to 60 mph time of 3 seconds, 1,000 hp and 11,500 pound-feet of torque.No automaker has ever made a consumer vehicle with anything close to a five-figure torque rating. Few even hit four digits. It would best the strongest pickup engine available today by more…

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The New Jersey Coalition of Automotive Retailers is suing Ford Motor Co. and its Lincoln luxury brand over what it says are unfair discounts for certain retailers who comply with a commitment program requiring standalone showrooms. The lawsuit, filed Friday in New Jersey State Superior Court, alleges that the program — which Lincoln reworked last year in an attempt to appease unhappy dealers — would create an illegal two-tier pricing program. Dealers who uncouple their Ford store and build standalone Lincoln showrooms are eligible for up to 5.75 percent in potential discounts per vehicle, the suit says, while those who…

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Toyota Motor Corp. is making last-minute edits to its Super Bowl ad to remove a scene that could be perceived as insensitive in the wake of Kobe Bryant’s death in a helicopter crash last Sunday. “Out of sensitivity to recent news events we made the decision to adjust our creative,” the automaker said in a statement to Ad Age, an affiliate of Automotive News. The final ad has not been made public yet, and Toyota had not previously released any teasers or previews. The 60-second commercial by Saatchi & Saatchi will kick-off a new campaign for the Highlander large crossover…

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Automakers and suppliers suspended production and limited employee travel in China as the country grappled with a rapidly spreading SARS-like coronavirus that has killed 213 people and is threatening a key market for sales and profits. Fears over the flu-like virus are growing as the number of cases rises and countries warn citizens over travel to China. Several international air carriers have also temporarily suspended flights to the country, disrupting business travel. The World Health Organization on Thursday declared the outbreak a “public health emergency,” which legally requires states to ramp up response to the crisis, and the U.S. State…

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Tesla Inc. reported its second-consecutive quarterly profit and said plans for the Model Y crossover launch are ahead of schedule. The electric-vehicle maker said it earned a net profit of $105 million in the final three months of 2019, which followed a surprise third-quarter profit that kick-started a meteoric rise in the company’s shares. Tesla shares surged 10 percent to $637.52 in morning trading. Net income during the latest period fell 25 percent from the fourth quarter of 2018, when Tesla reported a $139.5 million net profit. The latest profit was aided by $133 million in sales from regulatory credits, up…

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Fiat Chrysler Automobiles will pause production at a Jeep sport utility vehicle factory for the third time in six months, adding to signs automakers are expecting sales to slow this year. The Jeep Cherokee assembly plant in Belvidere, Ill., will shut down the week of Feb. 17, according to Jodi Tinson, a Fiat Chrysler spokeswoman. The company idled the facility for two weeks this month and one week in August after cutting a production shift at the plant in May. Five of the six largest North American automakers are expected to dial back production in the first quarter, researcher LMC automotive said…

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