Updated: May 12, 2020
Carzaam Automotive News Episode 8: Commodore - Holden - Bosch - Mercedes
Holden to axe popular Commodore model in Australia
We start with huge news for the Australian automotive industry as Holden axes its iconic Commodore range to focus on SUVs and utes.
Over the past four decades, the Holden Commodore has established itself as one of Australia's most-loved vehicles — but the car has now reached the end of its road.
Two years since Holden ended its Australian manufacturing operations, the company revealed on Tuesday that the Commodore would be discontinued in 2020, along with the once-popular Astra.
The commodore once boasted annual sales of more than 200,000 units, becoming the nation's best-selling car for 15 consecutive years and selling more than 3 million units since the VB model was launched in 1978.
The announcement was part of a larger policy shift revealing a "modified portfolio dedicated exclusively to SUVs and light commercial vehicles", which currently account for more than three-quarters of Holden's sales.
General Motors to form new Electric Battery processing JV
In other news from General Motors, the company announced they have entered a $2.3B JV with Korea’s LG Chem to mass-produce battery cells and Further the Production Of Electric Vehicles.
The companies will together invest up to $2.3 billion through a new, equally owned joint venture company, which will establish a battery cell assembly plant on a greenfield manufacturing site in Northeast Ohio.
The plant, which will create more than 1,100 new jobs, will use the most advanced manufacturing processes to produce cells efficiently, with little waste. Groundbreaking is expected to take place in mid-2020.
Bosch and Daimler team up in self driving car pilot
Finally today we have news that Bosch and Daimler will launch a self-driving car pilot in San Jose with a fleet of around 30 autonomous Mercedes-Benz S-Class vehicles.
Riders will be able to tap Daimler’s Car2Go car-sharing service, plus MyTaxi (which the automaker acquired in 2014) and Moovel to summon rides from designated pickup locations.
The sedans aren’t completely self-driving yet, with safety drivers monitoring each trip from the driver’s seat, ready to take control in the event of an emergency.
Bosch has made its autonomous driving ambitions abundantly clear.
Last year, it created a new Connected Mobility Services division staffed with more than 600 employees, acquired B2B ride-sharing startup Splitting Fares, and partnered with TomTom on mapping systems that’ll help vehicles see the road ahead.
Daimler, for its part, obtained a permit from the Chinese government in June 2018 allowing it to test self-driving cars powered by Baidu’s Apollo platform on public roads in Beijing. (It already has permits for testing self-driving cars in the U.S. and Germany.)
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