Category Archives: Manufacturing

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Automakers Try to Compete With Tech Companies

automaker
Why do we need Android Auto or Apple Carplay?  Why are our vehicles’ infotainment systems not just built with Android and/or iOS software?  These questions ran through my mind as I was reading a recent story from Quartz.com pointing out that tech companies have enough cash to buy most of the auto industry.  Think about … Continue reading this entry

Battery Development in the Auto Industry Leads to Electrification of Ships and Planes

battery development
With the release of the new Tesla semi-truck in November, the public’s attention was captured with the idea of emission-free movement of freight.  In the United States, over 70% of freight is carried at some point by truck, and the potential transition from diesel to electric could have a dramatic impact on emissions. However, recent developments have … Continue reading this entry

SUV Sales Again Carrying the Auto Industry

SUV sales
If it seems like déjà vu, it’s not just you: SUVs are again leading the charge on new vehicle sales.  Buoyed by low gas prices and growing millennial families, SUV sales have increased by 6 percent from 2016 to 2017 (through October)—even though the overall car market has declined by 2 percent during the same … Continue reading this entry

Automotive Supplier Industry Experts Convene in Detroit and Share 2018 Outlook

The Original Equipment Suppliers Association (OESA) held its 19th Annual Conference this week in suburban Detroit under the theme:  “The Industry’s New Landscape.”  And while much of the day was devoted to autonomous vehicle developments and the potential negative impacts on the industry’s North American competitiveness that would result from substantial changes to NAFTA, the … Continue reading this entry

Brexit: “The Natives are restless and seem desirous of fighting”

Brexit
This is the sixth in an ongoing series of blog posts by Foley & Lardner LLP on the implications of the June 23, 2016 voter referendum in the United Kingdom (“UK”) to exit the European Union (“EU”) (“Brexit”).[1]  This current article recounts recent developments, the current status of Brexit and the very difficult days, months, … Continue reading this entry

From Vacuums to Electric Cars: How Dyson Should Fit Into the Auto Industry by 2020

electric cars
A few weeks ago, another player threw its hat into the ring of outsiders hoping to bring electric cars to the masses.  Dyson, famous for its vacuums and other consumer products, announced that it has begun work on its own battery-powered electric car, aiming for a 2020 release.  While this move seems out of left … Continue reading this entry

Stout Issues Third Annual Warranty and Recall Report

recall
By Guest Authors:  Neil Steinkamp and Robert Levine of Stout Risius Ross, LLC Massive automotive recalls continue to grab headlines and raise concerns industry-wide. Recalls of light vehicles topped 50 million units in 2016, representing the third consecutive year of elevated – and record setting – automotive recall activity. Stout’s third annual Automotive Warranty & Recall Report provides a … Continue reading this entry

China Joins the Club of Nations Planning Fossil Fuel Car Bans

As this blog has reported over the last few months, several countries have announced their intention to ban the sale of internal combustion-powered cars in the coming years.  But the latest to take this step—China—might be the most impactful of all in many ways.… Continue reading this entry

White House Wants to Renegotiate NAFTA to Help Automotive Companies, Who May Not Want the Help

white house
As anticipated by the Dashboard as far back as December 2016, the current administration is determined to renegotiate (or scrap) the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in a way that helps out the United States’ manufacturing sector. One of the largest portions of that sector is the Automotive Industry. However, the Automotive Industry is … Continue reading this entry

With Electric Cars on the Horizon, the Internal Combustion Engine Fights Back

Turbulence in global fuel economy standards are putting new pressures on the automotive industry to shift its thinking on gasoline and electrification. In late July, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) formally announced its upcoming reevaluation of Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards for 2022-2025. Since the 1970s, NHTSA has been setting fuel economy … Continue reading this entry

Car Manufacturers and Suppliers Are Not the Only Ones Who Should Be Worried About Autonomous Vehicles

While state attorney generals and Federal Regulators scramble to assemble regulations around autonomous vehicles and legacy car manufacturers look to avoid market-share erosion from unknown competitors, another group needs to closely watch the way autonomous vehicles and next-gen transit tech impacts their day to day life. Local governments units and businesses need to keep a keen eye … Continue reading this entry

Expect the Unexpected: Preparing for an OSHA Inspection

Automotive companies are keenly aware of their responsibility for knowing the safety standards applicable to their businesses. But many do not understand their rights and obligations during the inspection process. In recent years, after adding more than 100 compliance officers, OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Act) has been increasing the number of inspections, citations, and … Continue reading this entry

The North American Market: Sales and Production Footprint – “The Sky Is Not Falling”

center for automotive research
The Center for Automotive Research (CAR)’s annual Management Briefing Seminars kicked off on Monday in Traverse City, Michigan. Tuesday’s sessions included a detailed update and outlook on “The North American Market: Sales and Production Footprint,” presented by a panel of leading automotive forecasters, analysts and suppliers. The subtitle to this otherwise sterile title could have … Continue reading this entry

Electrification of the Auto Industry Steps on the Gas

electric cars
On the heels of Volkswagen announcing moves toward electrifying its vehicle fleet, and Tesla beginning its production run of its highly anticipated Model 3, several other recent developments show momentum continuing to build toward the replacement of fossil fuels with electricity to power the cars of the future.… Continue reading this entry

What the Supreme Court’s Latest Patent Decision Means for Automotive Suppliers

patent
Although U.S. patent law has long-established limits on enforcement after a patented product has been sold, the technological innovations may put a bulls-eye on the automotive industry for patent litigation.  However, when suppliers patent components sold to other downstream suppliers or to OEMs, the list of potential patent infringers may have just gotten a lot … Continue reading this entry

V2V Communications: Motor Vehicle Safety Guidelines

NHTSA believes vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communications will serve as a complementary necessity to fully realizing the safety benefits of automated vehicle technologies. As such, establishing safety guidelines around this technology has surfaced as a priority issue.… Continue reading this entry

Automated Vehicles: NHTSA Has Spoken

Not surprisingly, NHTSA’s regulatory stance on automated vehicles is simple: improve vehicle safety by preventing driving errors. As automated vehicles begin to populate the roads, two themes arising from this stance have emerged: 1) The need to introduce automated technologies safely. 2) Public acceptance of these potentially life-saving technologies.… Continue reading this entry

Cybersecurity: Yes, They Will Hack Your Car

cybersecurity
Auto manufacturers are increasingly equipping vehicles with rapidly advancing technologies, raising concerns regarding how the public will be affected by these changes. Manufacturers are beginning to implement automated driving and vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication capabilities into their cars, extending potential cybersecurity threats and associated safety issues to road users.… Continue reading this entry

The Top Six Takeaways from Auto-ISAC's and NHTSA’s Cybersecurity Best Practices

cybersecurity
As cars continue to rely more and more on systems that closely resemble those that run mobile phones and personal computers, it’s no surprise that the original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and suppliers of car parts need to make major adjustments. While meeting these evolving demands on the production end, OEMs and suppliers also need to … Continue reading this entry

Connected Cars: Navigating Top Trends in 2017

Yesterday, the Automotive Industry Team of Foley & Larnder LLP (yes, us), hosted its annual event at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, MI. Eschewing narrow or small topics, we charged into 2017 by trying to predict just what would happen with connected cars in 2017. Our day started with Joseph Kwederis, Automotive Cyber … Continue reading this entry

Car Technologies Capture Attention, Excitement at CES 2017

At this year’s Consumer Electronics Show, automotive technology continued its growing role at the show and shared the spotlight with virtual and augmented reality systems, video recording toothbrushes, and smart home products such as hairbrushes, beds, and chairs.  Automotive technology companies made up about one fifth of the exhibitors, and the exhibitors are creating ripples … Continue reading this entry

Record Sales! But...

As has been reported all over, it looks like the Automotive industry will set some sales records in 2016 (see here, here, and here for example). As summarized by JD Power, “The full-year sales forecast of 17.5 million units would surpass the total from 2015 by about 5,000 units. Light trucks figure into the upsurge, along … Continue reading this entry