Articles

Tesla's Advisers Not Ready to Ride

Elon Musk again caught the financial world by surprise with an announcement on Twitter about his desire to take Tesla Inc. private, this time revealing a list of advisers before arrangements with all of them were completed. The electric-vehicle maker's chief executive said in a tweet late Monday that he was “excited to work with” as advisers investment bank Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and investment firm Silver Lake, bluechip names in the deals world.
 But on Tuesday, Mr. Musk and Goldman executives were still haggling about the terms of any engagement, according to people

Ford Chief's First Task: Explaining His Vision

Senior executives at Ford Motor Co. have come to expect emails from their new boss, Chief Executive Jim Hackett, that include links to TED Talks and articles from Science Daily. They often come around 11 p.m., when he catches up on his reading.
 The former chief of an office- furniture maker, Mr. Hackett frequently references the work of theoretical physicist Geoffrey West and uses terms such as “think phase” (a concept from his design background) and “clock speed” (a phrase from computing).

Tech Costs Force Honda To Let Go of Engineering Legacy

TOKYO — A semiautonomous Honda SUV was traveling down a test track at 20 miles an hour in March last year when a child-size test dummy moved into the middle of the road. Oblivious, the Honda mowed it down.
 It was part of a brutal day of Japanese government testing for Honda Motor Co., whose vehicle was equipped with a camera and sensors that were supposed to detect obstacles and apply brakes to avoid a collision.

No Detail Was Too Small For Legendary Auto CEO

One day near the end of 2010, Sergio Marchionne received a message on one of his six smartphones: A colleague updated him on efforts to fix a door-latch defect on a new version of the Dodge Charger.
 “I am getting updates every couple of hours on the bloody door handle,” he told a Wall Street Journal reporter.
 Was this a wise use of time for a sleep-deprived CEO responsible for running struggling auto makers

Audi CEO Is Arrested In Emissions Scandal

BERLIN — The chief executive of Volkswagen AG's luxury unit Audi was jailed Monday without bail after prosecutors said they were worried he might try to interfere in a probe into whether he was involved in the German car maker's diesel-emissions cheating scandal.
 The arrest of the executive, Rupert Stadler, came a week after Munich prosecutors searched his home and said they had added him to a list of about 20 suspects in a broad fraud investigation stemming from the scandal.

Car Makers Bring Fuel Efficiency To Trucks

Big U.S. auto makers are racing to equip pickup trucks with fuel-efficient engines, a surprising pivot away from their longstanding practice of putting gas-guzzling engines into large vehicles.
 Ford Motor Co., General Motors Co. and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV all now are betting truck buyers want better gas mileage in addition to raw horsepower. That insight has touched off a surge in innovation.

Car chiefs ill-prepared for robotic age

Carmakers are failing to prepare their workers for the digital transformation expected to shake up the labour force in the coming years, a variety of experts say.
 A survey by Accenture found only 2 per cent of car executives “plan to significantly increase investment” in reskilling programmes, even though most acknowledge that workers require new skills to work with robotics, cloud computing and artificial intelligence.

American Vehicles Got Enormous, Parking Spots Remain the Same

Shawn Massoudi is loyal to his brawny white Cadillac Escalade, which offers a roomy interior and three rows of seating for his family of five.
 There is one gripe. It is no joy ride finding parking for the behemoth sport-utility vehicles in the puny spaces available in many Los Angeles parking lots and garages.
 “Everything is marked compact car,” said Mr. Massoudi, 41. “This vehicle is a tank compared to a compact car.”

Rolls-Royce tries yet again to make restructuring work

George is a Rolls-Royce engineer in his mid-40s who has worked at the aero engine company since graduation.
 When chief executive Warren East this week unveiled the most drastic job cut programme of the past 18 years in a bid to force through a radical transformation of the UK's premier engineer, George did not even bother to read the announcement. It was the seventh restructuring in recent years, so he knew the script: a lot of activity but not always a lot of actual change.

Colliding with reality

Elon Musk — tech visionary, showman, fixture of the gossip columns — knows how to mount a charm offensive. As the Tesla boss opened his company's annual shareholder meeting last week he appeared to choke back tears, declaring: “This is going to sound a little cheesy, but at Tesla we build our cars with love.”