May 24th, 2017 Car News of the Day: Geely to buy Lotus, VW-JAC approved for making EVs in China

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【Summary】Car News of the Day for May 24th, 2017.

Original Claire    May 24, 2017 3:56 PM PT
May 24th, 2017 Car News of the Day: Geely to buy Lotus, VW-JAC approved for making EVs in China

Volvo Parent Geely is buying Lotus

Chinese automaker and Volvo's parent company Geely is expanding its business blueprint to buy Lotus under its arm. Under a new deal announced today, Geely will acquire nearly 50% of DRB-HICOM's stake in Malaysian automaker Proton, and a majority of its ownership in British sports car manufacturer Lotus.

The additional details and final terms of the deal are expected to be released July. Lotus was founded by Colin Chapman and became a part of General Motors in 1986. The company has changed ownership five times in the past 30 years. Lotus was acquired by Romano Artioli of Bugatti fame in 1993, then sold to Proton in 1996, which was in turn acquired by DRB-HICOM in 2012.

VW-JAC joint venture approved for EV production in China


According to Reuters, Chinese regulators have approved a joint venture between German carmaker Volkswagen and China's Anhui Jianghuai Automotive Group (JAC Motor), giving them the ok to produce 100,000 all electric vehicles a year.

VW and JAC sealed a deal last year to build EVs together, shortly after VW announced its plan to put to market 30 new EVs in the next 10 years. According to recent stock filings, the project with its Chinese partner is valued at $740 million. The German automobile company is now China's largest foreign automaker, and has been working with other local companies including SAIC and FAW in other joint ventures. It previously set the goal of selling 400,000 plug-in vehicles in China by 2020.

Honda reopens its proving center in California


After extensive renovations, the Honda Proving Center has been reopened in California. The new facility includes a 7.5-mile banked oval track and a 4.5-mile road course for testing. Additionally, there is a 1.3 million square-foot vehicle dynamics testing location, as well as a powersports complex designed for the testing of motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles.

Senior VP of Honda America's automobile division Jeff Conrad said "The enhancements we have made at the Honda Proving Center will play an important role in advancing the performance capabilities of our products for our customers."

Uber said it underpaid NYC drivers for years


Uber said on Tuesday this week that it underpaid its New York City drivers for the past 2.5 years. The company takes a commission from its drivers after deducting taxes and other service fees. However for New York City drivers, it took a higher percentage of the full fare before calculating sales taxes and fees, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The company could pay back drivers at least $45 million, averaging $900 per driver. Uber's regional general manager Rachel Holt said Uber is committed to paying back its driver partners every penny they are owed, plus interest as quickly as possible.

Ford issues two recalls of 3000 vehicles


Ford is issuing two recalls on Wednesday for about 3,000 vehicles in North America, the largest involving the recall of 2,500 2017 Explorers, F-150's, and Super Duty pickups, which are all trucks and sport-utility vehicles.

The company said the affected vehicles may have driver seat back frames that were improperly welded, so the seats may not adequately protect occupants in a crash. So far, Ford has not received any reports of accidents or injuries related to this defect.

Google, IBM and Lyft launch open-source platform called Istio


Tech giants Google, IBM and Lyft today announced Istio, a new open platform that allows people to create a network of deployed services, which includes tools for load balancing, service-to-service authentication, and monitoring. The platform is designed to help developers and DevOps professionals manage and secure their microservice-based applications.

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