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Medium-Duty Sales Tumble 33% in May

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U.S. retail sales of medium-duty trucks fell across the board in May, landing below 15,000, WardsAuto.com reported — coming amid states’ uneven stay-at-home orders and the first nonessential services reopening in limited ways.

Sales of Classes 4-7 trucks in the month dropped 33.2% to 14,809 compared with 22,171 in the 2019 period.

Year-to-date, sales were 81,766, down 18.6% compared with 100,417 a year earlier. Only Classes 4-5 sales were positive in the five-month period, improving 6.3% to 43,370 compared with 40,810.

The diversity of end markets served by medium-duty trucks should continue to help blunt the severity and duration of the downturn, certainly in relation to the much more volatile heavy-duty truck market.

Dan Clark, head of BMO Transportation Finance

Dan Clark, head of BMO Transportation Finance

“The market for medium-duty trucks, which has been hit particularly hard by the shutdown of nonessential services, remains in the midst of a down cycle that we think will be sharper than the relatively modest pauses that we’ve become accustomed to,” Dan Clark, head of BMO Transportation Finance, told Transport Topics.

“That said, the diversity of end markets served by medium-duty trucks should continue to help blunt the severity and duration of the downturn, certainly in relation to the much more volatile heavy-duty truck market,” Clark said.

Class 7 sales dropped 30.2% to 3,442 compared with 4,934 a year earlier, and Class 6 plunged 60.9% to 2,898 from 7,414.

The leasing and rental business — primarily Class 6 — is “almost 50% of the entire medium-duty market, and that is still very constrained,” Navistar Inc. Chief Operating Officer Persio Lisboa said during the company’s latest earnings conference call.

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COVID-19 has placed significant strain on many freight networks. So how are third-party logistics providers adapting to meet these challenges? Host Seth Clevenger chats with two 3PL executives who have had firsthand experience contending with this crisis. Hear a snippet, above, and get the full program by going to RoadSigns.TTNews.com.  

Those companies are drawing from their stock of rental units to fulfill requirements for a lease contract “instead of buying a new truck from a truck maker, like us. We haven’t seen any material recovery on leasing and rental at this point in time,” Lisboa said June 4.

International is Navistar’s truck brand. In Class 6, its sales fell to 455 compared with 2,342 a year earlier.

In Classes 4-5, industry sales fell 13.8% to 8,469 compared with 9,823 in May 2019.

Meanwhile, one analyst saw increasing changes in fuel preferences.

“Last-mile delivery companies have taken the lead in requiring alternative fuel vehicles due to their proximity to consumers, favorable economics and the enhancement of brand image,” said Andrew Wrobel, a commercial vehicle market forecaster with Rhein Associates. “That said, oil prices have plummeted, and fleets welcome the lower diesel costs, but we still see committed compressed natural gas users striving to meet corporate green initiatives with that fuel.”

Clark said accelerating growth in last-mile e-commerce during the shutdown will continue to be a much-needed lifeline for medium-duty truck demand.

Want more news? Listen to today’s daily briefing:

Source: https://www.ttnews.com/articles/medium-duty-sales-tumble-33-may

Automotive

See 2021 Cadillac Escalade Get Driven With Blocked Windshield

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The 2021 Cadillac Escalade test units are out and about, and first drives have already been orchestrated. A handful of journalists and YouTubers have started pouring out content about the full-size luxury SUV. That includes us with our Escalade First Drive Review.

The Fast Lane, however, took a different route and made videos that are out of the ordinary. We’ve seen the channel do some off-roading with the Escalade, something owners won’t probably do when they get their hands on one.

This time, The Fast Lane Truck does a review with the Escalade’s bevy of tech toys. And as crazy as you would expect from the channel, the folks there tried to drive the SUV with a blocked windshield and front windows. How? By using the Escalade’s VR function displayed on the instrument panel. The resulting video was bonkers, which you can watch on top of this page.

Speaking of, the driver was able to go around the course without issues, twice even, and you can see in the video that he even reached speeds of up to 60 miles per hour (97 kilometers per hour) before coming to a halt.

Before you raise your pitchforks, let us all be reminded that TFL Trucks did the test on a close course, so the test looked safe. Although as expected, both the driver and his passenger felt queasy after the virtual drive. But overall, at least now we know that you can still drive the new Escalade even if your windshield got broken – so as long as the front camera’s intact.

See the full crazy test on video and let us know what you think through the comments section below.

Source: https://www.motor1.com/news/450745/2021-cadillac-escalade-camera-test/?utm_source=RSS&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=RSS-category-technology

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Fancy Acer Book RS By Porsche Design Comes With Carbon Fiber Cover

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Porsche RS models are revered for their performance both on and off the race track, as they are admired for their flurry of carbon fiber materials. Porsche Design is back with another collaboration to showcase its styling prowess – this time it’s with Acer and its latest laptop.

Named the Porsche Design Acer Book RS, this fancy laptop signifies a new partnership between the two brands, something that fuses Porsche Design’s functional design philosophy and engineering mindset with Acer’s technological innovations and deep-rooted knowledge in the global computer segment.

The high-end notebook comes with a minimalist design, but a closer inspection reveals a 3k carbon fiber cover, striking a contrast against the diamond-cut CNC-machined chassis. With the use of this lightweight material normally used for race cars, the entire Acer Book RS only weighs 2.76 pounds (1.25 kilograms) while only measuring 0.63 inches (15.99 millimeters) thin.

Underneath the classy body, the Porsche Design Acer Book RS is equipped with the latest 11th Gen Intel Core i7 processors with Intel Iris Xe graphics and optional discrete NVIDIA GeForce®MX350 GPUs and 16 GB of RAM. The 14-inch FHD IPS3 touchscreen is covered with a layer of Antimicrobial4 Corning Gorilla Glass with an immersive 90% screen-to-body ratio.

The Porsche Design Acer Book RS will be available in North America with a starting price of $1,399.99. A premium package, which comes with equally great-looking accessories such as premium package i7 notebook, travel pack, and mouse, will be priced at $1,999.99. This chic Acer laptop will also be available in Europe and in China.

This isn’t the first time that Porsche designed a gadget. Back in 2018, a Porsche Design Huawei Mate RS came into fruition, which had a price tag that started at $1,800.

Source: https://www.motor1.com/news/450660/porsche-design-acer-book-rs/?utm_source=RSS&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=RSS-category-technology

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GMC Hummer EV’s WTF Mode Does A Weird Song And Dance Before Launching

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First thing’s first. What the heck is Watts to Freedom? In short, it’s the GMC Hummer EV version of Tesla’s Ludicrous Plus launch mode, both in function and in its gimmicky nature. What does that mean? Ludicrous refers to Ludicrous speed from the classic 1987 Sci-Fi spoof Spaceballs. Meanwhile, the acronym for GMC’s Watts To Freedom is WTF, and we’re sure you know what else that stands for. But wait, there’s more

Engage WTF mode in the recently revealed GMC Hummer EV, and you won’t just launch to 60 mph in three seconds. For starters, the truck will hunker down a couple of inches before putting its GM-estimated 1,000 horsepower (735 kilowatts) to the ground. That’s a functional component of going fast, but less functional are the sounds that emanate from the Hummer EV’s speakers and animations that pop up on its digital screens.

Watts To Freedom Screenshot

GMC doesn’t offer a specific description of what this means, but the B-roll footage below takes us through the process starting at the 28-second mark. Once activated, a low-pitch humming sound reverberates through the speakers, and a snazzy animation on the main screen morphs to a third-person view of a Hummer EV poised on a space-themed runway. Meanwhile, the dash displays “Watts To Freedom” with stars and bars, along with a message that advises “repeated usage will cause accelerated wear on vehicle.” The driver can choose cancel or let’s go, which isn’t quite as catchy as I want my mommy or bring it on but hey, you get the point.

Selecting let’s go puts the system into motion. The truck lowers (which is also shown on the instrument display) and the driver is eventually prompted to press the brake and accelerator. This is the interactive part, as the driver must brake hard enough to get the all-important green checkmark to then floor it, all while the sound increases in both intensity and annoyance.

With the pedals mashed and the Hummer EV ready, release the brake and it’s off to the races. Presumably, drivers will be concentrating on the road while sprinting to 60 mph, so they won’t see the mini starfield flashing on the digital instrument board next to the speed readout. However, everyone will hear what sounds like the USS Enterprise going to warp speed through the speakers. At least it’s more pleasant than the low-resonance buzzing that starts it all off.

Is the GMC Hummer EV fast? Yes, it certainly is. However, experiencing all the pomp and circumstance that’s not at all similar to Tesla’s various quirky Easter eggs could easily be considered gimmicky in the best of circumstances. We’re at least curious to try it all in person as opposed to seeing a close-up on a video, but we suspect these aspects of WTF Mode might have more than a few people asking WTF GMC was thinking with all this.

Source: https://www.motor1.com/news/450196/hummer-ev-wtf-sound-animation-launch/?utm_source=RSS&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=RSS-category-technology

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