White House, Affordable EVs, Tesla, and GM

AEB, Hyundai and Kia, GM, CDK, VW, and Audi.
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White House, Affordable EVs, Tesla, and GM

Obviously, the news never tells us, “An automatic breaking system worked fine and everybody arrived safely.” Each time, it is true, so we try not to let the rarer mishaps make up our minds for us.

What do you think about mandating automatic braking?


Automakers Urge Biden to Reconsider Automatic Braking Rule

The auto industry's leading lobbying group is requesting the Biden administration to reconsider its new rule requiring all vehicles sold in the U.S. to have robust automatic emergency braking (AEB) by 2029. The Alliance for Automotive Innovation argues that the current technology is insufficient to meet the high standards outlined by the government, calling the requirements "practically impossible with available technology."

The new rule mandates vehicles to stop and avoid contact with cars ahead of up to 62 mph and apply brakes up to 90 mph when a collision is imminent. The Alliance claims this could lead to unpredictable braking behavior and higher vehicle costs, urging a reevaluation to ensure practical implementation.

Hyundai and Kia Lead Affordable EV Charge

Not everybody is worried about all these Chinese tariffs. Hyundai and Kia's market position is increasing, especially in the affordable EV sector.

  • Record Profits:
    • $9 billion in profits last year.
  • EV Sales Growth:
    • Substantial increase in sales of models like the IONIQ 5.
  • Upcoming Affordable Models:
    • Launching EV3 starting at around $30,000.
    • Targeting budget-conscious consumers.
  • New Manufacturing Plant:
    • $7.6 billion Hyundai Motor Group Metaplant America in Georgia.
    • Expected to boost U.S. production.
    • Qualifies vehicles for a $7,500 tax credit.
  • Strategic Focus:
    • Prioritizing affordable, efficient EVs.
    • Strong positioning against competitors scaling back EV plans.

Tesla Slashes Workforce by 14% Amidst Market Challenges

Tesla has significantly downsized its workforce, reducing its global headcount by over 14% this year. The current employee count stands just above 121,000, down from 140,473 at the end of 2023. This reduction follows CEO Elon Musk's announcement in April of a big ol' restructuring to correct inefficiencies after years of rapid expansion.

The layoffs coincide with a drop in Tesla's sales and revenue, reflecting increased competition and market challenges.

Musk has promised a new "Master Plan" and a dedicated robotaxi design to be revealed in August, hoping to revitalize the company's momentum.

Of course, that’s after he deals with the latest Cybertruck setback: a wiper recall.

GM: Rage and Torque

Anti-Road Rage Patent
GM's new patent uses sensors and biometric data to assess driver stress, activating alerts or driver-assist systems to ensure safety and prevent road rage incidents.

Axial Flux Motor
GM is developing an axial flux motor with a hydraulic system to dynamically adjust torque and speed, promising smaller, cheaper EVs with improved performance and efficiency.

BlackSuit Ransomware Update

The BlackSuit ransomware gang caused significant outages at CDK Global, impacting around 15,000 car dealerships in North America, including AutoNation and Lithia Motors.

BlackSuit? Is that some sort of supervillain?
I mean... Kinda? BlackSuit is a notorious ransomware group known for targeting critical infrastructure, encrypting data, and demanding ransoms, often threatening to leak sensitive information.

Avengers Assemble! (With CDK?)
CDK Global is working to restore systems and assess the attack's impact. They are focusing on isolating infected systems, using updated backups, and investigating the extent of the data breach.

Okay, so…run some anti-virus software and call it a day?
Not quite. This incident underscores the automotive sector's vulnerability to cyberattacks and highlights the urgent need for robust cybersecurity measures.

Okay, so...anti-virus and a Firewall?
There are many steps to getting things restored. Isolating infected systems, regularly updating backups, training employees on security practices, and enhancing security protocols are all procedures our always-connected work will make as routine as washing your hands.

Giphy/Columbia Pictures

What's new, VW?

Volkswagen is integrating ChatGPT into most of its 2025 model-year vehicles in the U.S. This enhancement to the existing AI-powered voice assistant, IDA, aims to improve user experience by providing more intuitive, natural language interactions for vehicle functions and navigation. ChatGPT will be a backup when IDA cannot answer a query, ensuring drivers keep their eyes on the road.

Save the Stick
Volkswagen announced that the 2025 Jetta GLI will retain its six-speed manual transmission, even as the GTI loses this option. Powered by a 2.0-liter EA888 engine with 228 horsepower, the GLI will also offer a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission. This decision appeals to driving enthusiasts who value the control and engagement of a manual gearbox.

Audi's Most Powerful Gas Car

Gas-powered engines are far from becoming history, and in many instances, still improving in power, performance, and efficiency.

Audi's 2025 RS Q8 Performance is its most bangin' gas-powered SUV, featuring a 631-horsepower twin-turbo 4.0-liter V-8 engine with 627 lb-ft of torque. It accelerates from 0 to 62 mph in 3.6 seconds and sets a Nürburgring record of 7 minutes and 36.69 seconds, surpassing the Porsche Cayenne Turbo GT. European pricing starts at €155,700, with U.S. prices yet to be announced.


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