Fingerprints Key to New Hyundai Technology

First Up 01/10/19

Jan. 10, 2019

Trump Poised for Battle with His Own Party on Trade-War Powers

For much of his presidency, Trump has had free rein on trade and faced little public push back from his own party in Congress. That could change in 2019. Trump is expected to urge Congress in his State of the Union address this month to pass new legislation that would boost his powers to break down tariff and non-tariff barriers to American exports, Bloomberg News reported Tuesday. Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, who now chairs the Finance Committee with jurisdiction over trade, told reporters Wednesday that Trump will not be allowed more power because Congress has already delegated too much authority to the executive branch. “Oh, we aren’t going to give him any greater authority, we’ve already delegated too much,” Grassley said, adding that his view on tariffs “is a little bit different than the president’s.” Sen. Pat Toomey, a Republican from Pennsylvania who also sits on the Finance Committee said on Twitter that “Congress should be reasserting its constitutional responsibility on trade, not yielding even more power to the executive branch.” For more on the president’s plans for trade, click here.

Fingerprints Key to New Hyundai Technology

An advance in keyless entry has Hyundai’s fingerprints all over it. The automaker says smart fingerprint technology will allow Hyundai drivers to unlock their vehicle doors and start the vehicle. According to Wards, Hyundai says it will introduce the technology in the Santa Fe SUV to be released in select markets during the first quarter. Click here for a picture. To unlock the vehicle, a driver places a finger on a sensor located on the door handle. The encrypted fingerprint information is identified and delivered to a fingerprint controller inside the vehicle. The driver can start the vehicle by touching the ignition button, also equipped with a fingerprint scanning sensor. In addition, the technology provides a customized driving environment. Matching driver-preference information with fingerprint data, the vehicle automatically adjusts seating positions, connected-car features and side-view mirror angles. With capacitance recognition, which detects differentials in the electricity level in various parts of the fingertip, the technology efficiently prevents forgeries and use of faked fingerprints. For the full story, click here.

Technology, Frugality Overtakes Glitzy Glam of Detroit Auto Show

Thirty years after the Detroit Auto Dealers Association rebranded its hometown auto show an “international” must-do for the global industry, the era is over. The North American International Auto Show, launched in 1989, next week holds its final media preview before its latest reincarnation. Come June 2020, reports the Detroit News, it’ll aim to be the cornerstone of an automotive extravaganza showcasing a reinvigorated Detroit as much as an auto show reimagined around experience and advanced technology. This month’s show is a diminished husk of its former grandeur, abandoned by European automakers, sparsely attended by executives and increasingly deemed unnecessary to media outlets now accustomed to covering the industry via the web or at focused events organized by a single automaker. Just 30 new models are expected to be unveiled, organizers confirm, down from 69 a year ago. The swift reckoning, felt most acutely in the United States and Europe, is a very public manifestation of the changes transforming the century-old industry with the speed of the internet. For more, click here.

Auto Suppliers Will Get Squeezed to Offset Higher Costs from USMCA, Survey Says

More than a third of automotive executives in a recent survey said they plan to renegotiate contracts with suppliers and aggressively seek production savings to counter higher costs expected under the proposed U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement. According to Automotive News, participants indicated they feel under pressure to source more components from suppliers near North American assembly plants, with 61 percent predicting that suppliers located near production sites will be favored. And 73 percent stated they expect payroll costs to grow unless they cut their workforce. The USMCA trade agreement, which must still be approved by the three nations' legislative bodies, calls for at least 70 percent of a car's steel and 75 percent of its total content to be manufactured in North America to qualify for duty-free treatment when crossing one of the borders. Additionally, at least 40 percent of a vehicle's content must be made by workers earning $16 per hour or more. For more on the potential impact of those changes, click here.

Volkswagen Sells Record 6.24 Million VW Vehicles in 2018

Volkswagen sold a record 6.24 million of its VW-branded vehicles last year despite delivery problems caused by new anti-pollution rules, but warned the company would continue to face considerable challenges in 2019. Still battling to recover from a 2015 emissions test cheating scandal and facing tighter European environmental rules, Reuters reports that the German automaker has been trying to boost sales and cut costs to fund an ambitious shift to electric cars and automated driving. At the same time, trade disputes with China driven by U.S. President Donald Trump’s ‘America First’ policies have caused uncertainty in the global auto industry.  “2019 will once again be a year of enormous challenges for the brand, aside from volume growth we will focus even more on our profitability,” Chief Operating Officer Ralf Brandstaetter said. For more on VW’s sales outlook, click here. And click here to read Car and Drivers review of the 2020 VW Passat.

Federated Insurance’s Claim of the Month — Could it Happen to You?

A sales manager at an auto dealership drank alcohol at a party, and on the same night was involved in a crash while driving a company-provided demonstration vehicle. The dealership was held responsible.

CLAIM AMOUNT: $2.5 million

Do you know who is driving company vehicles, and where they are going? Do you have a demonstration vehicle policy that is clearly explained in your employee handbook? Does your policy directly address the consumption of alcohol and the use of the vehicles? Federated recommends several best practices to help protect your business and manage risks. For example:

·         Limit the number of demonstration vehicles you maintain.

·         Create and document policies for driving company-owned  demonstration vehicles.

·         Ensure the policy clearly states that driving those vehicles under the influence of alcohol will not be tolerated.

·         Remind employees of the policy regularly at trainings and safety meetings.

These are just a few loss-control recommendations you can use to help protect your dealership. To learn more, contact your local Federated Insurance® representative and request a copy of our risk management folder, “Keys to Success.” 

Around the Web

What's the Best New-Car Deal for January 2019? []

The 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA Is Sleeker, Smarter, and Finally Done Right [Car & Driver]

Watch a Bollard Show a Drunk Driver in a Speeding Car Who's Boss [Jalopnik]

Hyundai Mobis Shows How Lighting Can Reduce Accidents in Self-Driving Cars [CNet]