With the annual NADA Show on our minds, we’re keeping you up to date with the most interesting developments in the automobile industry with this round-up. Find out what’s happening in our automotive industry news roundup to make sure you’re in the loop once you arrive at the NADA show in San Francisco! PS – stop by our booth – 7948W in West Hall Level 2 – to say hello to our automotive marketing experts!     

The new Nissan Leaf ups its range by 40%

Since the introduction of the Tesla Roadster in 2008, electric cars have continued to grow as an important story for the future of the automobile industry. Close to 20 new electric vehicles are scheduled to be released by car manufacturers in 2019, including E-tron Sportback and the Volvo XC40 Electric. The Nissan Leaf – the first fully electric family hatchback – is introducing a new powertrain option on the Leaf EV that is set to improve its range by some 40%. This means the new range for the Leaf will be approximately 226 miles. The range will be sold in the US and Canada under the Leaf Plus series, and is expected to reach dealerships in the Spring.  

More on CNET 

Aurora looks for new funding in boost to self-driving automobile market

Self-driving automobile startup Aurora, started by Chris Urmson, the former CTO of Alphabet’s Waymo is set to raise an additional $500 million in funding on a valuation of $2 billion for the company. Aurora was founded in 2016, and is noted for its collaborative approach to car manufacturing. The company has partnered with several established automobile firms including Volkswagen and Hyundai in order to integrate Aurora’s technology into existing car brands. In the past two years self-driving vehicle companies have attracted close to $7 billion dollars in funding, and the segment is set to grow again in 2019. 

More on Financial Times 

Hyundai unveils a “walking” car

This week Hyundai unveiled a small model car that it says can “walk” over difficult terrain. The Transformer-like vehicle was unveiled at the CES Technology Fair in Las Vegas. Hyundai described the car as the “Ultimate Mobility Vehicle (UMV)” and said that its uses could include helping communities in the wake of a natural disaster. The concept has been in development for 3 years, and it will likely be several more years before a full-sized prototype is produced, if ever.  

Watch the UMV in action here

BMW looks to its ad archive to promote BMW Certified

In clever marketing ploy, BMW has re-launched a series of old ads for its vehicles to promote its BMW Certified range of pre-owned automobiles. With new witty voiceovers by Chris Pine, the ads date from 2013 onwards (as Certified vehicles can only be 5 years old or less) and let viewers know that the ads are being recycled for extra mileage, just like their Certified pre-owned vehicles.  

Watch one of the ads here.  

Honda shows off new in-car infotainment and commerce system

Another innovation on display at CES in Las Vegas was Honda’s new Dream Drive which it describes as the “first integrated driver and passenger infotainment, commerce, services and rewards dashboards within the vehicle environment”. With different options for both driver and passengers, the Dream Drive (produced in collaboration with Connected Travel) allows for purchases to be made via Visa, movies to be watched and games to be played. The passenger system works via an app downloadable to an individual’s mobile device, while the driver can pay for fuel or share their location with friends and family direct from the in-car console. The system also provides POI information for stops along a route, like restaurants and gas stations, and plans are in the works to allow payment via Mastercard and Paypal too. The Dream Drive was first shown as a concept at CES back in 2017.  

More on Top Speed 

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