Automotive Industry

Technology • Smartphones, Hardware & Gadgets
Japan's 'flying car' gets off ground, with a person aboard
Japan's 'flying car' gets off ground, with a person aboard
Credit: SkyDrive

Japan's SkyDrive Inc., among the myriads of "flying car" projects around the world, has carried out a successful though modest test flight with one person aboard.

Business • Jobs & Careers
German labor union IG Metall calls for 4-day work week
German labor union IG Metall calls for 4-day work week
Credit: / carlos aranda

The largest labor union in Germany, the IG Metall who represents workers from industrial jobs such as car manufacturing and is the largest industrial union in Europe, has called for a four day work week.

The transformation to electric mobility, further automation, and digitization could lead to future cuts in the workforce of the German automotive companies, fueled by the Covid-19 recession. According to the union chairman Jörg Hoffmann, a four day work week could be the answer to structural changes in the automotive industry in order to prevent future job cuts.

Major German companies such as Daimer and Bosch have already made agreements to reduce working hours in order to retain specialists but cut costs at the same time.

Transportation • Cars & Automobiles
Ford CEO Jim Hackett to retire, COO Jim Farley to lead the company
Jim Hackett
Jim Hackett Credit: Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company announced its current CEO, Jim Hackett, will retire on October 1, ending a three-year run in which the automaker has tried to streamline its operations. Hackett will be succeeded by Jim Farley, currently COO of the company.

Ford’s executive chairman William Clay Ford Jr., said: "I am very grateful to Jim Hackett for all he has done to modernize Ford and prepare us to compete and win in the future,".

Japan requests the U.S. extradition of men accused of helping Carlos Ghosn escape
Carlos Ghosn
Carlos Ghosn Credit: Ecole polytechnique (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

The Government of Japan has formally requested the U.S. State Department to extradite Michael Taylor and his son, Peter Taylor, accused of helping Carlos Ghosn flee the country. Ghosn, the former CEO of Nissan Motor, fled Japan in December after claims of financial misconduct.

Michael Taylor, a former Green Beret, and Peter Taylor were arrested in Harvard, Massachusetts, on May 20 at the Japanese Governments request.

Transportation • Cars & Automobiles
Volkswagen in talks to acquire French car rental firm Europcar
Europcar in the Hamburg Airport
Europcar in the Hamburg Airport Credit: Hamburg Airport

Reuters reports that German carmaker Volkswagen approached French car rental firm Europcar, that struggles to cope with the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. The deal, if completed, would signal a reversal of strategy for Volkswagen, that sold Europcar in 2006 for €3.32 billion.

In May, Europcar's competitor Hertz filed for bankruptcy protection.

Transportation • Cars & Automobiles
Volkswagen names Ralf Brandstätter as the new CEO of its VW car brand
Ralf Brandstätter
Ralf Brandstätter Credit: Volkswagen

Volkswagen announced Ralf Brandstätter as the new CEO of the VW brand, to lead cost-cutting efforts at the company’s largest plants in Germany.

Brandstaetter, current COO of VW, replaces Herbert Diess who will retain his title of CEO of Volkswagen Group.

Transportation • Cars & Automobiles
Bentley to cut up to 1,000 jobs in the UK
Bentley Continental GTC
Bentley Continental GTC Credit: Alexander Migl (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

BBC reports that luxury carmaker Bentley is to cut 1,000 jobs in the UK. The company, owned by German car-maker Volkswagen, declined to comment but is expected to make a formal announcement on Friday.

Former U.S. Green Beret and his son arrested over Carlos Ghosn escape from Japan
Carlos Ghosn
Carlos Ghosn Credit: Bertel Schmitt (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0)

On a Japanese extradition warrant, federal marshals arrested Michael and Peter Taylor in Harvard, Massachusetts this Wednesday.

Authorities claim Michael, a 59-year-old former U.S. Army Green Beret, and his son Peter were charged by Japanese authorities with planning and aiding in Carlos Ghosn's escape from Japan in December.

Turkey charges seven people over escape Carlos Ghosn from Japan
Former Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn charges a Nissan Leaf
Former Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn charges a Nissan Leaf Credit: Nissan Motor Co. Ltd (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

Turkish prosecutors have charged seven people, four pilots, an MNG Jet company official and two flight attendants for their alleged roles in former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn’s escape from Japan to Turkey and from there to Beirut, Lebanon.

Carlos Ghosn fled Japan in December after claims of financial misconduct, which he denies.