Tesla Motors Model 3, a $35,000 version of the company’s all-electric car, goes into production next year, with delivery plans set for late 2017 or early 2018. The Model 3 gets 215 miles/charge, seats five, and is less than half the price of the company’s Model S. The Model 3 features a panoramic glass roof, touchscreen controls, and the company’s autopilot autonomous driving features.
Nearly 400,000 potential customers have placed $1,000 refundable deposits to reserve the cars, corresponding to about $14 billion in implied future sales. Tesla officials claim a 500,000-unit annual capacity at the company’s California plant, although the automaker has never made more than 50,000 cars in a year. www.teslamotors.com
AGMA names Matthew Croson as new president
The American Gear Manufacturers Association (AGMA) has named Matthew E. Croson as its new president. Croson has more than two decades of leadership and communications experience in manufacturing trade associations and most recently served as president and CEO of the Adhesive and Sealant Council. He will replace Joe T. Franklin, Jr., who is retiring in June after leading AGMA for 25 years.
Founded in 1916, AGMA conducts programs and provides services to the gear industry, its suppliers, and its customers with the goal of helping to improve the emerging gear market by developing technical standardization.
“Matthew Croson’s communications background and his experience bringing individuals, manufacturers, and customers together will help AGMA meet the diverse needs of our members,” says Dean Burrows, chairman of the AGMA board of directors.
Prior to leading the Adhesive and Sealant Council, Croson held communications leadership positions at the Packaging Machinery Manufacturers Institute, and worked at InteliData Technologies Corp. and Burson-Marstellar, where he specialized in relationship management and corporate communications. He is a member of the board of directors at the National Association of Manufacturers’ Council of Manufacturing Associations and is a member of the American Society of Association Executives and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
“I’m honored to help AGMA continue to grow and support its members and the gear industry as a whole,” Croson says. “I will be working closely with Joe Franklin and the team in the coming months to ensure that the transition is as seamless as possible.” www.agma.com
Aston Martin, LeEco partner to co-develop electric vehicle
Aston Martin has partnered with global technology company LeEco to co-develop a production version of the Aston Martin RapidE electric vehicle concept, with potential for adding a range of connected electric vehicles for Aston Martin, LeEco, and Faraday Future. The agreement extends the two companies’ collaboration which already resulted in an Aston Martin Rapide S incorporating the Letv Internet of the Vehicle (IoV) system. The second area of partnership, development of low-emission vehicle technologies, has been accelerated as the companies develop their respective plans for launching a range of electric vehicles.
The first model developed will be the RapidE, which requires advancing the work on product feasibility, including identification of technology solutions for battery systems and powertrain. The RapidE will be brought to market in 2018. www.astonmartin.com; www.leeco.com
2015 motor vehicle deaths post largest increase in 50 years
Preliminary estimates from the National Safety Council (NSC) indicate motor vehicle deaths were 8% higher in 2015 than they were in 2014, the largest year-over-year percent increase in 50 years. NSC officials estimate that 38,300 people were killed on U.S. roads and 4.4 million were seriously injured, making 2015 the deadliest driving year since 2008.
While many factors likely contributed to the fatality increase, a stronger economy and lower unemployment rates are likely at the core of the trend. Average gas prices were 28% lower in 2015 than in 2014, making driving more affordable for many Americans. The U.S. Department of Transportation estimates a 3.5% increase in the number of miles driven in 2015 compared to 2014 (see Infographic pg. 22).
The NSC has issued annual traffic fatality estimates since 1921, and during the last three years, preliminary estimates have fallen within 1% of final counts. www.nsc.org