September 17, 2021
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California homeless camp fire damages 2 bridges, disrupts public transportation
Austin finishes half of its bicycle network, expects to complete entire 400-mile system by 2025
The Top 10 Automotive Concepts that automotive enthusiasts will be itching to see on the road!
Oregon Transportation Commission, wary of I-5 Rose Quarter project’s growing price tag, grants conditional approval
Woman dies after being hit by car in North Windham Friday night
Silk-FAW Continues To Poach Italy’s Automotive Talent, As Lamborghini’s Katia Bassi Joins As Managing Director
Transportation Department cracks down on airlines withholding refunds for canceled flights
Bear gets trapped in car, destroys interior
Cycling apparel company adding full-service bike repair to visitor center
German sales plunge in August to lowest level since 1992
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California homeless camp fire damages 2 bridges, disrupts public transportation Austin finishes half of its bicycle network, expects to complete entire 400-mile system by 2025 The Top 10 Automotive Concepts that automotive enthusiasts will be itching to see on the road! Oregon Transportation Commission, wary of I-5 Rose Quarter project’s growing price tag, grants conditional approval Woman dies after being hit by car in North Windham Friday night Silk-FAW Continues To Poach Italy’s Automotive Talent, As Lamborghini’s Katia Bassi Joins As Managing Director Transportation Department cracks down on airlines withholding refunds for canceled flights Bear gets trapped in car, destroys interior Cycling apparel company adding full-service bike repair to visitor center German sales plunge in August to lowest level since 1992
Jul
2021
8

Knight-Swift Transportation Acquires AAA Cooper

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Knight-Swift Transportation Holdings on July 6 announced it had acquired less-than-truckload specialist AAA Cooper Transportation.

The acquisition was valued by the companies at $1.35 billion. AAA Cooper is expected to generate approximately $780 million in revenue and $80 million in operating income for full-year 2021. Knight-Swift sees the deal as a growth opportunity and way to enter into the LTL market. 

PLENTY OF LTL FREIGHT TO MOVE: Sector enters summer with strong tailwinds

“We have long had interest in the LTL space and admired the success of AAA Cooper,” Knight-Swift CEO Dave Jackson said in a statement. “We feel honored to be stewards of the AAA Cooper brand.”
 

Jackson

Knight-Swift said it had three main requirements for acquiring its first LTL operation: The company needed to have significant market share, be profitable and have management depth to operate independently and maintain a good company culture.

 “We were excited to have identified AAA Cooper as a partner that meets all three requirements,” Jackson said. “I couldn’t be happier to finally find the right time for both of us to create a partnership. This transaction firmly positions us as a meaningful player in the LTL space, where we intend to grow both organically and through future acquisitions.” 

AAA Cooper has a network of about 70 facilities throughout the Southeast and Midwest. Its fleet includes nearly 3,000 tractors and 7,000 trailers. The Dothan, Ala.-based carrier will continue to operate independently, with CEO Reid Dove retaining his leadership role. Dove also has been appointed to the Knight-Swift board of directors.
 

“Joining the Knight-Swift team is an exciting combination for the AAA Cooper team members and customers,” Dove said. “It will allow us to pursue new opportunities and accelerate our growth.”

The purchase price consisted of $1.3 billion in cash, $10 million in Knight-Swift shares and about $40 million in assumed debt. Cash for the transaction was funded from a $1.2 billion term loan provided by Bank of America, as well as existing liquidity.

“This is the fusion of two excellent companies in their respective sectors of the transportation industry, which makes this a win for our people, our customers and for the newly expanded Knight-Swift team,” Dove said.

Amit Mehrotra

Mehrotra

Knight-Swift received generally positive reactions from analysts after announcing the acquisition. Deutsche Bank research analyst Amit Mehrotra called the decision to enter into the LTL market big. He had predicted at the beginning of the year that the carrier would make a transformative acquisition.

“From a synergy perspective, we think it’s significant,” Mehrotra said. “For example, LTL companies typically have many more customers than TL companies, potentially allowing KNX’s TL operations to benefit from a broader customer base.

Jul
2021
8

Plug-In Car Sales Surge To Over 17% Market Share In June 2021

New passenger car registrations in the UK amounted to 186,128, although the growth rate of  28% year-over-year is considered “artificially lifted” as the 2020 year was affected by lockdowns.

The plug-in electric market on the other hand continues to expand at a rapid rate. In June, the number of registrations increased 131% year-over-year to almost 32,000. That’s 17.2% of the market!

It’s one of the best months ever and let’s take a note that all-electric cars took more than a tenth of the market.

  • BEVs: 19,842 (up 123% year-over-year) at market share of 10.7%
  • PHEVs: 12,139 (up 146% year-over-year) at market share of 6.5%
  • Total: 31,981 (up 131% year-over-year) at market share of 17.2%

So far this year, more than 132,000 new passenger plug-in cars were registered in the UK at an average market share of 14.5%.

Sales YTD:

  • BEVs: 73,893 (up 139% year-over-year) – market share of 8.1%
  • PHEVs: 52,207 (up 197% year-over-year)- market share of 6.4%
  • Total: 132,100 (up 161% year-over-year) – market share of 14.5%
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More details, including also other types:

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In June, the volume deliveries of the Tesla Model 3 (as usual in the last month of a quarter) resulted in a very strong result of 5,468 registrations, which is the best result overall.

The Model 3 is not yet in the top 10 year-to-date, which means it must be below 15,124. What we know is that with 6,585 units in March, the Model 3 is at no less than 12,053.

Vauxhall (part of Opel) reports that the Vauxhall Corsa-e (in the rest of Europe known as Opel Corsa-e) noted 2,795 sales so far this year and remains the best-selling all-electric supermini (the Corsa is also #1 overall with 24,399 ICEs/BEVs).

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Vauxhall Vivaro-e is the top-selling electric delivery van in the UK, with a record of 613 units in June, and 1,487 YTD. Sales of the Vivaro-e clearly accelerate thanks to a huge order backlog.

“Vauxhall enjoyed a successful first half of 2021 in the LCV sector, with e-LCV sales topping 1,487. Vauxhall is now one of the few manufacturers able to offer fleets and business customers an electric van across its entire LCV line-up, following the announcements of its All-New Movano-e large van and the All-New Combo-e compact van.

Sales success in the first half of the year was underpinned by the multi-award winning all-electric Vivaro-e, which has seen record sales of 613 in June, making it the best-selling model not only this month, but for the year-to-date in the a e-LCV sector.”

Jul
2021
8

This ultra-portable adventure light snaps onto your gear or bicycle to keep you outdoor ready!

For outdoorsy enthusiasts, some accessories are an absolute necessity – portable outdoor light being one of them. A headlamp solves a wide range of purposes when out on an adventure trip but there is still room for improvement, don’t you think? Sure, a small design evolution can bring a totally unseen functionality to something as simple as a compact light that you can carry in a backpack or even the front pocket of the pants. More so in modern times when life is an adventure unknown, whether going on a hiking trip, camping escapades or simply biking on the outskirts of the city for fitness.

Cha Hongkun, a designer from China has pondered over tweaking the design of a portable light to an extent where it addresses an even wider array of activities. Cha calls it the “Ray” – an outdoor accompanying portable light with a never before seen form factor. It’s essentially a wide strap that can be hooked onto your bike, backpack, or anything one can think of. It goes without saying – Ray is an outdoor essential accessory that’ll never let you down. The ease of use and portable credentials make it one accessory I would want in my absolute essentials for a trip anywhere.

The portable LED light can be charged with a USB-C compatible power bank or via a wall outlet. What’s got me hooked on here is the cool choice of colors the designer has penned for Ray. The royal blue, cool blue, and bright orange are all so tempting. Plus that hook-on functionality is truly unique for an ultra-portable personal light. Take my money and tell me it’s going to hit the shelves pretty soon!

Designer: Cha Hongkun












Jul
2021
8

LaFontaine Automotive Group acquires Ralph Thayer Automotive

LaFontaine Automotive Group on Thursday announced it has acquired Livonia-based Ralph Thayer Automotive, just the latest example of an accelerating consolidation trend among auto dealerships navigating a rapidly-changing industry.

LaFontaine itself has been on something of an acquisition spree. The group — which includes 44 retail franchises, six collision centers and 25 Michigan retail locations — bought Shuman Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram of Walled Lake and Delehanty Ford in Flushing in October, according to a news release.

And this latest deal comes on the heels of Lithia Motors Inc. acquiring the Troy-based Suburban Collection dealerships, connecting its 56 franchises to one of the largest auto retail networks in the country.

As The Detroit News previously reported, smaller dealership operations — often aging family businesses — see an opportunity to cash out amid a historic transformation of the automotive industry, even as larger enterprises look to build scale so they can invest in new technologies.

“On behalf of my family and our passionate LaFontaine team, we are excited to welcome the employees and customers of Ralph Thayer Automotive into our LaFontaine family,” Ryan LaFontaine, CEO of the group, said in a statement. “This strategic acquisition further strengthens our ability to serve customers in the greater Metro Detroit area — for sales, service, body shop and parts.”

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. 

Ralph Thayer Automotive —a family-owned and operated dealership that has served customers in southeast Michigan since 1971 — includes Hyundai, Mazda and Volkswagen franchises

LaFontaine was founded in 1980. Today it employs more than 1,800 people, and says it now has locations within a 25-minute drive of any city in Metro Detroit.

According to a news release, the group sold more than 36,200 vehicles in 2020 and is ranked among the top 50 dealer groups in the U.S. It represents the Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Dodge, Ford, Fiat, Genesis, Honda, Hyundai, Jeep, KIA, Mazda, RAM, Subaru, Toyota, Volvo and Volkswagen brands.

The dealerships that are part of the transaction will be renamed LaFontaine Hyundai of Livonia, LaFontaine Mazda of Livonia and LaFontaine Volkswagen of Livonia.

jgrzelewski@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @JGrzelewski