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BMW to offer ride hailing services in China from December

BEIJING: Germany’s BMW  plans to launch ride-hailing services in China in December, the first global automaker to obtain such a license in the fast-growing market. BMW Mobility Service Ltd, a fully-owned subsidiary of the BMW Group, obtained its ride-hailing license in Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province in China’s southwest, BMW said. BMW Group said in October it would increase its stake in its Chinese joint venture with partner Brilliance China Automotive Holdings Ltd to 75 percent from 50 percent. China’s…

New emissions tests push BMW into profit warning

FRANKFURT AM MAIN: German high-end carmaker BMW said Tuesday that new stricter emissions tests for cars as well as refits to older vehicles and global trade tensions would leave revenues and profits short of its full-year forecast. "The industry-wide shift to the new WLTP test cycle has... led to significant supply distortions in several European markets" and unexpectedly "intense competition", the Munich-based group said in a statement. Tougher new regulations came into force this month, a reaction by authorities to…

South Korea to ban about 20,000 BMW vehicles after engine fires

 South Korea’s transport ministry said on Tuesday it would ban some 20,000 BMW vehicles from the streets amid mounting public fears about engine fires. The driving ban comes after 27 engines went up in flames between January and July, which prompted BMW’s Korea unit to apologize for last week and a recall of 106,000 diesel vehicles including the 520d from Aug. 20. Amid public concerns over safety, the government order will affect about 20,000 BMW cars that are part of the recall but yet to receive safety checks,…

Automakers warn US tariffs will cost hundreds of thousands of jobs, hike prices

WASHINGTON: Two major auto trade groups on Wednesday warned the Trump administration that imposing up to 25 percent tariffs on imported vehicles would cost hundreds of thousands of auto jobs, dramatically hike prices on vehicles and threaten industry spending on self-driving cars. A coalition representing major foreign automakers including Toyota Motor, Volkswagen, BMW, and Hyundai Motor, said the tariffs would harm automakers and U.S. consumers. The administration in May launched an investigation into whether imported…

BMW launches Uber-like car-hailing service in US state

TENNESSEE: Germany-based globally renowned firm BMW has launched an Uber-like car-hailing service named Access by BMW in Tennessee. BMW has started a pilot program today in Tennesse which will provide unlimited access to BMW cars for a flat predetermined monthly fee. This service can only be availed by the pre-registered members. “It’s a very small pilot; just enough to get our feet wet and see what happens,” BMW spokesperson Accessible by a smartphone app, Access by BMW works with both on Android and Apple-powered…

German carmakers under fire for diesel tests on humans, monkeys

BERLIN: German carmakers came under fire Monday following revelations they helped finance experiments that saw humans and monkeys exposed to toxic diesel fumes that have been linked to asthma, lung diseases and heart attacks. The disclosures sparked widespread outrage, led by Chancellor Angela Merkel who strongly condemned the latest controversy to engulf the nation's powerful but scandal-tainted auto industry "These tests on monkeys or even humans are in no way ethically justified," said Merkel's spokesman Steffen…

WATCH: YouTube star converts his BMW into a hot tub

YouTube star and the gadget geek Colin Furze has converted his old BMW 3 Series into a hot spa tub as part of his latest YouTube video. In the video, Furze fills the car with water which is then heated via coils linked to the engine’s water system. He created an entirely waterproof interior to make sure there is no leakage into the car’s electronics. The water itself is heated with coolant lines routed along the floor of the vehicle, and the bubbles are provided by a pair of leaf blowers behind the back seats. How…

BMW says car keys may be replaced by mobile phone apps

FRANKFURT: BMW is reviewing the necessity of car keys, Ian Robertson, the company’s board member responsible for sales told Reuters. The fact that customers now all carry a smartphone and the availability of a BMW App which allows customers to unlock their vehicle, has made old fashioned keys less relevant. “Honestly, how many people really need it,” Robertson said in an interview at the Frankfurt car show, explaining that customers no longer had to put the key in the ignition to make the car start. “They never take…