Time Names GM, VW, Tesla Among Top 100 Most Influential Companies

First Up 04/27/21

Time Names GM, VW, Tesla Among Top 100 Most Influential Companies

General Motors, Volkswagen, and Tesla were named among Time's 100 most influential companies Tuesday, reports Automotive News. Time featured GM CEO Mary Barra on one of five covers. The new, unranked list recognizes 100 businesses making an impact around the world. The list highlights companies "that are shaping our collective future, as well as the leaders who steer them," Time Editor-in-Chief Edward Felsenthal said in a statement. The TIME100 Most Influential Companies issue spotlighted each CEO on the five covers with longer profiles. In addition to Barra, Time featured Reese Witherspoon of Hello Sunshine, Adam Silver of the National Basketball Association, Francis deSouza of Illumina and Sara Menker of Gro Intelligence on the covers. Time accepted nominations across multiple business sectors, such as health care, entertainment, transportation, technology and more. Each company was evaluated on relevance, impact, innovation, leadership, ambition and success. Read more here (Source: Automotive News). 

Hyundai Planning All-Electric Performance Models as N Line Grows

Once known for “cheap and cheerful” products like the original Hyundai Pony, the South Korean carmaker is now a serious contender in the affordable performance market — and the new Kona N SUV is just the latest in what will be a string of new, high-power products rolling out over the next few years, reports The Detroit Bureau. Hyundai officials offered some insights into their future plans for the N sub-brand Monday night and while that could include additional SUV models, they were unambiguous about plans to add new “green” models, including both those using pure battery-electric drivetrains and even hybrids pairing a battery pack with a hydrogen fuel-cell system. Electrification is one of parent Hyundai Motor Group’s “top priorities,” said Thomas Schemera, executive vice president of Hyundai’s customer experience group. “The time has come to make that vision a reality.” Read more here (Source: The Detroit Bureau). 

Automakers to Call for More U.S. Help on Microchips in Senate Hearing

Major automakers and suppliers will press Congress again on Tuesday to address the global shortage of semiconductor chips that has curtailed auto production around the world, reports Automotive News. A U.S. Senate subcommittee will hear testimony from auto industry groups urging action to address production of "mature node" chips. The industry backs proposals to spend tens of billions of dollars to boost U.S. semiconductor production and new tax incentives to help chip companies offset costs of creating new lines within existing facilities. "There is an undeniable need to expand semiconductor capacity in the U.S. to meet the growing demand within the auto industry, as well as other sectors across the economy," John Bozzella, the head of the Alliance for Automotive Innovation, will tell the panel in testimony seen by Reuters. Read more here (Source: Automotive News). 

Toyota's Acquisition of Lyft's Self-Driving Unit Bolsters Its Automation Ambitions

Toyota Motor Corp will acquire Lyft Inc's self-driving technology unit for $550 million, the companies said, as the Japanese firm steps up its automation ambitions with the newly created Woven Planet division. Reuters reports that the acquisition of Level 5 automation will also provide Toyota access to the U.S. ride-hailing firm's more than 300 employees of the essentially complete autonomy technology. "This is the first step of establishing and bringing together the people. Obviously building technology and product requires people, and that's much what this acquisition is about," Woven Planet chief executive James Kuffner told reporters on Tuesday. It will also give Toyota a direct presence in Silicon Valley and London and expand smart-city project "Woven City" at the base of Japan's Mt. Fuji, effectively helping it ride through dramatic changes expected in the mobility industry and major centres, he said. For Lyft, the deal will allow it to become profitable sooner and takes away the burden and risk of developing a costly technology that has yet to enter the mainstream. Read more here (Source: Reuters). 

Toyota Truck Subsidiary and EV Start-Up Ink Deal for Electric Trucks

Hino Motors, a subsidiary of Toyota Motor, is teaming up with an Israeli electric vehicle start-up to develop electric trucks, buses and commercial vehicles. REE Automotive, which is based in Tel Aviv, has a different approach to developing electric vehicles which centers around technology packs built into the wheels of the vehicle, that allow customers to come up with unique layouts for the vehicle cabins. According to CNBC, for Hino, the option to develop commercial vehicles with special layouts and capabilities could be critical to winning over customers in a commercial vehicle market that has become highly competitive for electric vehicles. Hino and REE expect to develop their first prototypes by next year. It is unclear when commercial vehicles from the partnership may actually be on public streets in the future. Read more here (Source: CNBC). 

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