Friday, January 21News That Matters

Tag: Automobiles

Can Anyone Satisfy Amazon’s Craving for Electric Vans?

Business
That number is growing quickly. Amazon is several years — and tens of billions of dollars — into a huge push to deliver packages, shifting away from relying on large carriers like UPS. To begin the expansion, Amazon ordered 20,000 diesel Sprinter vans from Mercedes-Benz.Through its network of contractors, Amazon now delivers more than half of its orders globally, and far more in the United States. Amazon has six times as many delivery depots now as it did in 2017, with at least 50 percent more new facilities set to open this year, according to data from MWPVL, a logistics consultancy.That logistics boom, accelerated by the pandemic’s shift to online shopping, multiplies the challenges the company faces in meeting its pledge to reduce its climate impact. Its vow to make half of its deliveri...

CPI December 2021: Inflation Jumped at Fastest Pace Since 1982

Business
Inflation climbed to its highest level in 40 years at the end of 2021, a troubling development for President Biden and economic policymakers as rapid price gains erode consumer confidence and cast a shadow of uncertainty over the economy’s future.The Consumer Price Index climbed 7 percent in the year through December, and 5.5 percent after stripping out volatile prices such as food and fuel. The last time the main inflation index eclipsed 7 percent was 1982.Policymakers have spent months waiting for inflation to fade, hoping supply chain problems might ease and allow companies to catch up with booming consumer demand. Instead, continued waves of the coronavirus have locked down factories, and shipping companies have struggled to work through extended backlogs as consumers continue to buy f...

Why Tesla Soared as Other Automakers Struggled to Make Cars

Technology
For much of last year, established automakers like General Motors and Ford Motor operated in a different reality from Tesla, the electric car company.G.M. and Ford closed one factory after another — sometimes for months on end — because of a shortage of computer chips, leaving dealer lots bare and sending car prices zooming. Yet Tesla racked up record sales quarter after quarter and ended the year having sold nearly twice as many vehicles as it did in 2020 unhindered by an industrywide crisis.Tesla’s ability to conjure up critical components has a greater significance than one year’s car sales. It suggests that the company, and possibly other young electric car businesses, could threaten the dominance of giants like Volkswagen and G.M. sooner and more forcefully than most industry executiv...
The Tech That Will Invade Our Lives in 2022

The Tech That Will Invade Our Lives in 2022

Technology
The lack of compatibility has created long-term issues. An Apple-compatible lock isn’t useful for the family member or future tenant who prefers Android. It would also be more convenient one day if our home devices could actually talk to each other, like a washing machine telling a dryer that a large load was ready to be dried.This year, the tech industry’s biggest rivals — Apple, Samsung, Google and Amazon — are playing nice to make the smart home more practical. They plan to release and update home technology to work with Matter, a new standard that enables smart home devices to talk to each other, regardless of the virtual assistant or phone brand. More than 100 smart home products are expected to adhere to the standard.“We’re all speaking a common language built on already proven techn...
Toyota Topped G.M. in U.S. Car Sales in 2021

Toyota Topped G.M. in U.S. Car Sales in 2021

Business
Toyota Motor unseated General Motors as the top-selling automaker in the United States last year, becoming the first manufacturer based outside the country to achieve that feat in the industry’s nearly 120-year history.That milestone underlines the changes shaking automakers, which face strong competition and external forces as they move into electric vehicles. And it came in a tumultuous and strange year in which automakers contended with an accelerating shift to electric vehicles and struggled with profound manufacturing challenges. New car sales have been damped by a severe shortage of computer chips that forced automakers to idle plants even though demand for cars has been incredibly robust.G.M., Ford Motor and Stellantis, the automaker created by the merger of Fiat Chrysler and Peuge...

Tesla Draws Criticism After Opening Dealership in Xinjiang

Technology
Tesla came under fire from political leaders and human rights groups Tuesday after announcing it would open a dealership in the Xinjiang region, where China is accused of detaining hundreds of thousands of Muslims in indoctrination camps.“Together let’s start the journey of pure electricity in Xinjiang,” Tesla said in a post on Weibo, the Chinese social media site. The post included photos of a ribbon cutting at the dealership in Urumqi, the regional capital, and a Tesla sedan decorated with red and white balloons.“Nationless corporations are helping the Chinese Communist Party cover up genocide and slave labor in the region,” Senator Marco Rubio, Republican of Florida, said on Twitter.Mr. Rubio noted that the announcement came soon after President Biden signed legislation that would ban t...

Tesla Reports 87% Increase in 2021 Deliveries

Technology
Tesla reported Sunday that it delivered 936,000 cars in 2021, an 87 percent increase from the year before, despite the computer chip shortage that has disrupted auto production around the world.In the fourth quarter alone, the company delivered more than 308,000 vehicles, a 71 percent increase from the quarter a year earlier. The overwhelming share of the deliveries were of the Model 3 sedan and the Model Y hatchback.Tesla does not break out its deliveries by country. Much of its recent growth has been propelled by sales in Europe and China.The jump in deliveries capped a momentous year in which Tesla saw its stock and profits soar. It has also worked to open factories near Austin, Tex., and Berlin, in Germany, in hopes of sustaining its rapid growth.In October, Tesla’s market value for th...

Snow Closed the Highways. GPS Mapped a Harrowing Detour in the Sierra Nevada.

Technology
The road once carried stagecoaches during the Gold Rush, twisting its way through what is now a national forest and an area of the Sierra Nevada known for snowmobiling.In the winter, the rugged passage, known as the Quincy-La Porte Road or County Road 511 in Plumas County, Calif., is closed.But Wendy Becktold, an editor from the Bay Area who was on her way to visit an ailing relative in Reno, Nev., on Monday, said that she had been unaware of that when she navigated her rented Toyota Corolla onto the backcountry road during a record-setting snowstorm.Google Maps had guided her that way because two major highways near Lake Tahoe were shut down, she recounted in an interview on Wednesday, echoing concerns of other drivers and public safety officials about the potential hazards of relying too...

Selling Cars, Plus Coffee, Tea or a Fancy Dinner

Business
Still, the Genesis space joins a handful of branded automotive experience centers in Lower Manhattan. From October until early December, Mercedes sponsored an 8,000-square-foot pop-up space one block north of Genesis House. Just east on 14th Street, Lexus underwrites its three-story, 16,500-square-foot Intersect by Lexus, which contains a cafe, a lounge and a bar, as well as a restaurant that features a rotating chef-in-residence, drawn from kitchens around the world. Downtown, at the Seaport at Pier 17, Lincoln sponsors lifestyle and cultural events that often feature the brand’s array of luxury S.U.V.s. And a bit north on West 26th Street, Lamborghini opened its Lamborghini Lounge, a 5,400-square-foot loft, in May.These are car companies, so all of these spaces are, ultimately, focused o...
Supply Chain Problems Mean Buying a Car Sometimes Takes a Plane Ride

Supply Chain Problems Mean Buying a Car Sometimes Takes a Plane Ride

Business
When Rachael Kasper started shopping for a new car in August, she had her heart set on a Ford Escape plug-in hybrid. The problem was that Ford hasn’t made many of them this year because of a computer chip shortage that has slowed auto production around the world.Ms. Kasper first came up empty in her home state of Michigan and, later, in neighboring states. When she expanded to the East Coast, she found one — at a dealership 537 miles away, in Hanover, Pa.“I flew to Baltimore, took a Lyft to the dealer, and then drove all the way home,” said Ms. Kasper, who owns a water-sports equipment retailer. “It was quite an adventure.”The shortage of computer chips, in large part caused by decisions made in the early days of the pandemic, has rippled through the auto industry this year. Manufacturers ...