Florida Car Dealers Say Insurers Halting Policies Ahead of Irma

First Up 09/07/17

Florida Car Dealers Say Insurers Halting Policies Ahead of Irma 
Bloomberg reports that insurers including Progressive Corp. and Allstate Corp. have stopped issuing policies on new cars in certain Florida counties, hindering vehicle sales days before Hurricane Irma is forecast to hit the state. The companies may be overreacting to losses incurred last month related to Hurricane Harvey and refusing to issue coverage, Ted Smith, the president of the Florida Automobile Dealers Association, said by phone. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. is still issuing coverage and waiting until a national hurricane advisory before halting new policies, he said. “If you take us out of business for a week before a storm even hits and maybe a week after, you can imagine the impact, not just on consumers who are inconvenienced but the state’s economic resources,” Smith said. “I’m urging through our public officials that they talk to these insurance companies and make sure they follow the policy of State Farm – wait until there’s imminent danger before you stop writing cars.” For more, click here

VW Will Unveil EV Crossover Concept 
Volkswagen brand said it will show a further developed version of its I.D. Crozz full-electric SUV/crossover at next week's Frankfurt auto show. According to Automotive News, the updated concept better reveals what a future production version will look like. The concept's front and rear end designs, in particular, point more in the direction of a production model, VW said in a statement on Wednesday. VW said that the concept has a "highly contemporary SUV look" with a gloss black roof and a lounge-like interior with four "variable" individual seats. The concept and its production versions will be underpinned by VW's new MEB architecture for electric vehicles, which allows the batteries to be integrated into the floor, freeing up space in the interior. VW showed the first concept of the coupe-styled I.D. Crozz at the Shanghai auto show earlier this year, saying it heralded a production version due to go on sale in 2020. For more on VW’s new EV crossover concept, click here

House OKs Bill to Allow Thousands of Self-Driving Cars
Automakers would each be allowed to operate up to 100,000 self-driving cars per year on U.S. roads, and states would be prevented from passing laws to prevent them from doing so under a bill that was approved Wednesday by the U.S. House of Representatives. According to The Detroit News, the measure, approved on a voice vote, would allow the Secretary of Transportation to grant exemptions to federal motor vehicle rules that require cars to have human operators. Initially, 25,000 cars per automaker could be operated if companies can prove they meet existing safety standards for traditional cars. After a 12-month period, the number of exemptions per manufacturer would increase to 50,000, and it would go up to 100,000 in the third and fourth years. The current limit for such exemptions to federal auto standards is 2,500 cars for two years at a time. For more on a self-driving car bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives yesterday, click here

All-New Jaguar Land Rover Cars to Have Electric Option From 2020 
All new Jaguar Land Rover cars will be available in an electric or hybrid version from 2020, Britain’s biggest carmaker said on Thursday, as it speeds up plans to electrify its model range. According to Reuters, last year, the company, owned by India’s Tata Motors said it would offer greener versions of half of its new line-up by 2020, but it has now ramped up its plans. Jaguar Land Rover, which showcased its first electric model in 2016, said it would release a range of powertrain options over the coming years. The automaker, which built nearly 550,000 of Britain’s 1.7 million cars last year, has said it wants to build electric models in its home market but a number of factors need to be in place first, including support from government and academia. For more on Jaguar Land Rover’s electric plans, click here

Nissan CEO Looking for More Sustainable Targets 
Four months into his job, Nissan Motor Co.’s new chief executive wants the company to slow down, worried its rush to expand sales was pushing it off track. According to The Wall Street Journal, for the past five years Nissan chased an ambitious goal set by then-Chief Executive Carlos Ghosn of achieving both an 8 percent share of global car sales and an 8 percent profit margin. It fell short on both. The plan stretched Nissan too far, Mr. Ghosn’s handpicked replacement, Hiroto Saikawa, said in an interview Thursday, calling for more sustainable targets. “We are going to have steady and solid growth—this is the message,” he said. Since taking over in June, Mr. Saikawa has been working on a new midterm plan. One pillar is cutting back on discounts, which he said were feeding the impression that Nissan vehicles were worth less than the competition. For more on Nissan’s new strategy, click here

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Stolen Peugot Found Intact Under Swamp [MSN]

The New Lotus Evora GT430 Sport [Autoblog]

How to Spot a Hurricane Damaged Used Car [USA Today

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