Today, we bring you the latest automotive news from around the globe. The European market continues to show signs of recovery from the financial crisis as its car sales grew for a sixth consecutive month. You can also read about BMW’s ambition to sell 100K electric vehicles a year by 2020 and future Volvo cars that will be able to spot sleepy drivers. Read all about it and more here!
- Ford Fund to Award $1M in Auto Design Scholarships
Ford Motor Company has committed $1 million in automotive design scholarships over the next 20 years, donating $10,000 to five students every year. The scholarship is in commemoration of the late William Clay Ford, and his contributions to the design legacy of Ford Motor Company. “We are honoring William Clay Ford’s legacy by encouraging and supporting the next generation of innovative automotive designers through this scholarship,” said Jim Vella, president of Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services. (The News Wheel)
- Toyota to Pay $1.2 Billion Fine for Concealing Safety Defects
Toyota has reportedly agreed to pay over US$1bn to settle a four-year criminal investigation over accusations that it misled authorities about unintended acceleration in Toyota cars and subsequent recalls. The large fine would be part of a deal with the Department of Justice and would be one of the heaviest penalties ever imposed on a carmaker. Reports also suggest the settlement will include a deferred prosecution agreement that would enable the company to avoid criminal charges. (Just-auto)
- Volvo Cars will be Able to Spot Sleepy Drivers
Volvo is currently testing in-car sensors that can monitor driver alertness—ones that can determine if the driver is becoming tired and inattentive. The sensors that Volvo is testing will monitor aspects such as how open the driver’s eyes are, whether he or she is looking forward while the vehicle is in motion, and the position and angle of the driver’s head. Volvo’s new sensor technology will be able to track all the different conditions that can distract a driver while behind the wheel, either as a result of fatigue or an unforeseen event inside or outside the car. (Autoweek)
- European Car Sales up Again
European car sales grew for a sixth consecutive month in February as the market recovered slowly from the financial crisis. The European carmaker’s association said that sales of new passenger cars in the EU grew 8% last month to 861,058 units. Among major European markets, only France saw sales fall 1.4%. Overall sales through the first two months of 2014 are up 6.6%. (USA Today)
- BMW Plans to Sell 100,000 Electric Vehicles a Year by 2020
BMW has announced that it expects to sell approximately 100,000 i-series plug-in vehicles annually by 2020. Earlier this year, the company suggested it would wait to gauge demand before adding new models to the ‘i’ lineup, however executives now suggest electric-vehicle production will have to ramp as part of a broader strategy to comply with tightening emissions regulations. The mass-market i3 currently sells for $41,350 with an electric-only range of 80 to 100 miles, while an optional gasoline-powered range extended can be added for $3,850. (Leftlane)
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