Michigan-based EV start-up Rivian plans to open a second U.S. auto assembly plant. Rivian has not released details of where the plant will be located and several states are apparently in a bidding war to host the new facility. In addition to electric vehicles, Rivian’s new factory will build battery cells, sources told Reuters.  

The automaker has financial backing from Amazon and Ford, with both companies investing heavily in the EV start-up. Rivian has a contract to build Amazon’s EV delivery fleet of 100,000 trucks over the next 10 years. 

As of July 2021, the company is valued at $27.6 billion. Experts are predicting Rivian will announce an IPO in the early to late fall of around $50 billion. 

Company headquarters are in Plymouth, Mich., and Irvine, Calif., with its existing assembly plant in Normal, Ill. At this point, it's anyone's guess where the new plant will pop up, and the company plans on keeping it under wraps for several more months. 

 

The 2020/2021 Automotive Hall of Fame’s Induction and Awards Ceremony will recognize innovators and influencers from across the global mobility industry. This year’s class mirrors the evolution of the automotive industry and is comprised of a diverse group of visionaries.

“This class of inductees is the Automotive Hall of Fame’s most diverse in terms of geographical region, race, gender and industry sector. Also, we have added a new award – Mobility Innovator Award,” said Ramzi Hermiz, chairman of the Automotive Hall of Fame Board of Directors. “It is our goal to recognize all individuals who have made clear and compelling contributions that helped shape the automotive industry.”

Since the postponement of the Induction and Awards Ceremony in 2020, three additional inductees have been added to the Class of 2020/2021: C.R. and Frederick Patterson – C.R. Patterson & Sons (later the Greenfield Bus Body Company) and Charles Wiggins, who was barred from participating in white-only events, including the Indianapolis 500. He was also a leader in the parallel Colored Speedway Association championships, becoming a four-time winner of the Gold and Glory Sweepstakes. Known nationally as the “Negro King of Speed,” Charlie was a notable driver and an exceptional mechanic and engineer.

The previously announced inductees of this year’s class include: Honorary Chairman Mong-Koo Chung, the innovative leader and former chairman, who grew Hyundai/Kia into the world’s fifth largest car manufacturer and established the Hyundai brand synonymous for quality and reliability; Thomas Gallagher, the former chairman and president of Genuine Parts Corporation who successfully championed the independent owner model of NAPA stores, promoting distribution models that kept stores competitive and rooted in their communities, and advocated right-to-repair legislation; Jay Leno, founder of the Emmy Award-winning series, “Jay Leno’s Garage.” Leno is capturing generations of automotive enthusiasts through his passion for all things automotive; Helene Rother, known for her impeccable taste in design, Rother moved the post-war car market from interiors designed for utility to ones designed for luxury and sophistication. She was also the first woman hired in the styling department of General Motors.

The Mobility Innovator Awards recognize the outstanding work an individual has accomplished to introduce new technologies and services that are redefining mobility. This year’s winner is Harold Goddijn, CEO of TomTom and a member of its management board.

The 2021 Distinguished Service Citation, recognizing individuals who have had a significant positive impact on the industry or their respective organizations, go to; Sir Lewis Hamilton, professional driver, Formula One; and Ray Scott, CEO, Lear Corporation.

The  2021 Industry Influencer Awards, which recognize individuals who are influencing and leading through their actions, innovations and visible positions on issues pertinent to the automotive industry and its future, go to; Jim Baumbick, vice president, enterprise product line management, strategy, and planning, Ford Motor Company; Laurent Borne, president & CTO, Stoneridge; Nelda J. Connors, founder & CEO, strategic partner, Pine Grove Holdings, LLC; Chris Ludwig, vice president, EPIC Experience Team, HARMAN International;  Ben Volkow, CEO, Otonomo and Deborah Wahl, chief marketing officer, General Motors.

The July 22 private ceremony will be held at the museum, located in Dearborn, Mich.

North America’s largest e-mobility event is set to launch this fall with three events held in Southern California, Florida and Texas.

The massive outdoor Electrify Expo promises a one-stop shop for people looking to experience electric vehicles and new product debuts from exhibitors including BMW, Mercedes, Volvo, Polestar, Bosch, Super 73, Onyx Motorbikes, Evolve Skateboards and many more.

“Electrify Expo brings together the world’s leading e-mobility brands for consumers to experience interactive displays, test drives and product debuts, in a fun family atmosphere,” said Electrify Expo founder BJ Birtwell.

Lordstown Motors will unveil its new burley pick-up truck.  

An EV ride-and-drive area makes up the heart of the show and attendees are invited to experience the whole range of e-mobility products including EVs, e-motorcycles, e-bikes, e-scooters, and e-skateboards.

Each of the three weekend events promise a festival atmosphere with over more than 500,000 square feet of exhibition space, along with food trucks and music for the whole family to enjoy.

Tickets are on sale now for the three 2021 events, with the tour starting in the EV industry’s Southern California home of Irvine, Sept. 18-19. Electrify Expo hits Miami, Oct. 16-17 and Austin, Nov. 12-14. 

Ford is issuing a safety recall for approximately 774,696 2013-2017 Ford Explorer vehicles that may experience a seized cross-axis ball joint, which may cause a fractured rear suspension toe link. Affected vehicles may experience a clunk noise, unusual handling, or a misaligned rear wheel. Fracture of a rear toe link significantly diminishes steering control, increasing the risk of a crash.

This action affects approximately 676,152 vehicles in North America, 59,935 in China, 25,257 in Ford’s International Markets Group, 13,162 in Europe and 190 in South America. In the U.S., the affected vehicles are located in high-corrosion states as defined by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or in regions with a combination of cold winter weather with relative high humidity and substantial road salt use.

Ford is aware of six allegations of injury related to this condition in North America.

Owner notifications will begin the week of Aug. 23. Dealers will inspect the cross-axis ball joint, replace the cross-axis ball joint/knuckle as necessary, and replace the toe links with a revised design part. The Ford reference number for this recall is 21S32.

Ford is providing a customer satisfaction program for vehicles not sold or registered in corrosion states.

 There is also a safety recall for approximately 40,995 2020-2021 Lincoln Aviator vehicles equipped with 3.0-liter gas engines because the battery cable wire harness may not be properly secured, allowing contact with the A/C compressor pulley. Over time, the A/C pulley may rub through the wire harness insulation and contact the unfused battery positive (B+) circuit, resulting in a short circuit and potential fire.

This action affects approximately 36,258 vehicles in North America, 2,601 in Ford’s International Markets Group, and 2,136 in China. 

Vehicles were built at Chicago Assembly Plant between June 19, 2019 and Jan. 5, 2021.

Ford is not aware of any accidents, injuries or fires related to this concern.

Owner notifications will begin the week of July 30. Dealers will inspect the vehicle, and:

  • If there is no evidence that the battery cable has contacted the A/C compressor pulley, they will add a tie strap near the frame rail between the battery cable harness and the engine compartment harness. 

  • If any of the small gauge circuits are damaged, dealers will add a tie strap near the frame rail between battery cable and engine compartment harnesses and replace the A/C compressor belt.

  • If any of the four large gauge circuits are damaged, dealers will inspect the wire harness and replace the battery cable harness and will also add a tie strap near frame rail between battery cable harness and engine compartment harnesses and replace the A/C compressor belt.

The Ford reference number for this recall is 21S34.

Rapid Recon and iPacket, providers of digital reconditioning and digital selling solutions, announced the Rapid Recon Digital Vehicle Portfolio powered by iPacket.

“The addition of the Digital Vehicle Portfolio to Rapid Recon is the most important selling tool since the inception of Rapid Recon 11 years ago,” said Dennis McGinn, Rapid Recon chief executive officer.

The Digital Vehicle Portfolio helps dealers convert more shoppers to engaged and active sales leads. The tool gives online shoppers detailed, accurate and clickable VIN-specific insight into a dealer’s used car inventory, including:

  • Recon Summary Reports that educate shoppers on the quality and integrity of the dealer’s vehicles and dealership
  • The original OEM MSRP Window Sticker
  • New Car Brochure
  • Certified Pre-Owned or In-House Warranty Docs
  • Other value-building documentation

“Integrating Rapid Recon’s solution and data into iPacket for our mutual dealer partners delivers an unmatched digital transparency solution,” said Seve Astorg, iPacket founder and CEO.

Other content provided by the Digital Vehicle Portfolio includes the vehicle history report, warranty options, and the dealership’s “Why Shop Here” marketing messaging.

Over 1,400 dealerships use iPacket: more than 2,400 use Rapid Recon.

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