Octopus makes triple appointment & issues £10.7m loan

Property Week News Feed - Wed, 06/13/2018 - 08:33
Octopus Property has announced three senior appointments and agreed a £10.7m loan to FRT Developments for delivery of 51 homes in west London.
Categories: Property

Volvo’s New S60 to Get the Polestar Engineered Treatment

Motortrend News Feed - Wed, 06/13/2018 - 05:00

After the Polestar 1 to be produced next year, the new marque goes all-electric, all-the-time, though Volvo will use that sub-brand to tune its own PHEV models beginning with the next S60 sport sedan.

Polestar Engineered is the new confluence of Volvo and Polestar. All Volvo models will be available with electrified powertrains by 2019, and the new S60 will be available with the T8 supercharged, turbocharged, plug-in electric 2.0-liter I-4. Polestar will tune that powertrain with a new engine control unit that boosts it to 415 horsepower and 494 pound-feet, up 15 horses and 22 pound-feet, the Swedish automaker announced in a release one week before it unveils the new S60 at the opening of its Charleston, South Carolina assembly plant, sole manufacturer of the new sedan.

From Polestar 2 on, the Volvo subbrand will build and market pure battery-electric vehicles only. But Polestar Engineered will lend its imprimatur to various PHEV models, including the new V60 wagon and XC60 sport/utility models.

Volvo says the Polestar Engineered ECU increases fuel efficiency while adding torque and power, and is emissions-neutral. The ECU also recalibrates the eight-speed automatic transmission.

Chassis mods include Polestar Engineered multi-link front- and rear-suspensions, featuring Ohlins shocks with dual-flow valves that allow stiffened springs and shocks with no affect on ride quality. The S60’s strut bar and adjustable shock absorber design are shared with the Polestar 1 performance PHEV.

The Polestar Engineered S60 gets Brembo mono-block brakes with six-piston calipers, cast in one piece and optimized for rigidity. A slotted design in the brake discs and the brake pads improve heat tolerance.

Gold is Volvo Polestar Engineered’s signature color. The Brembo calipers are painted gold, peaking out from new lightweight wheels for the Volvo S60 Polestar Engineered. Seatbelt straps are gold, too, and the car comes with Polestar emblems and black chrome exhaust pipes.

Polestar Engineered Volvo S60s, V60s, and XC60s will top each model’s range, above R Design cars. They will be available in 2019, with limited availability in Volvo dealerships and through the Care by Volvo subscription service.

The post Volvo’s New S60 to Get the Polestar Engineered Treatment appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property

T Sportline Rolls Out T Largo Package for Tesla Model X

Motortrend News Feed - Tue, 06/12/2018 - 22:34

T Sportline can take a plain Tesla Model X and turn it into a “Yesla” Model X if you have a small pile of cash to burn.

The West Hollywood, California-based Tesla tuner transforms everything from old Roadsters to brand new Model S cars. Its latest offering is a limited edition T Largo package for the Model X P100D.

Naturally it starts with a carbon-fiber wide-body kit that adds two inches to each side, a new front apron, front bumper duct, wide-body over fenders, wide side skirts, rear diffuser, and a rear wing cover “crafted from pre-impregnated carbon fiber” we are told.

It rolls on stealthy 22-inch forged wheels and Pirelli Scorpion Zero tires. T Sportline states, “The T Largo was built for our most ambitious clients who like to stand out of the herd.” No doubt about that.

The company welcomes current Tesla Model X P100D owners for its new package treatment or it can help clients when ordering a new model from Fremont.

Depending how much you are willing to spend on your Model X, T Sportline offers many options for custom paint, interior upgrades, vehicle wrapping, enhanced audio systems, chrome delete, ceramic window tinting, and lots more.

As a bonus, each T Largo vehicle sports a custom laminated dash with vehicle number to let folks know how rare your new bird is.

The post T Sportline Rolls Out T Largo Package for Tesla Model X appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property

Tesla Slashes 9 Percent of Workforce

Motortrend News Feed - Tue, 06/12/2018 - 21:30

Tesla has dropped around 9 percent of its workforce as part of a restructuring plan, CEO Elon Musk revealed on Twitter today. Production of the Model 3 will not be affected by the cuts.

Difficult, but necessary Tesla reorg underway. My email to the company has already leaked to media. Here it is unfiltered:

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 12, 2018

“Tesla has grown and evolved rapidly over the past several years, which has resulted in some duplication of roles and some job functions that, while they made sense in the past, are difficult to justify today,” Musk said in a company email which he later posted on Twitter. “As part of this effort, and the need to reduce costs and become profitable, we have made the difficult decision to let go of approximately 9% of our colleagues across the company.”

The email says almost all of the workers cut were salaried. No production associates were included, which means we won’t see disruptions to operations surrounding the Model 3. The automaker is working to boost production of the entry-level sedan after missing targets for the first quarter of the year. By the end of the second quarter, Tesla hopes to be making 5,000 copies a week.

Tesla has never turned an annual profit since it was first established almost 15 years ago. Musk acknowledges this fact in an email, adding, “What drives us is our mission to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable, clean energy, but we will never achieve that mission unless we eventually demonstrate that we can be sustainably profitable. That is a valid and fair criticism of Tesla’s history to date.”

Tesla had 37,543 employees in its ranks by the end of last year, more than 12 times its workforce five years earlier, as the Los Angeles Times points out. Tesla also lost nearly $2 billion last year.

Amid the news, Tesla’s stock fell today. Although it had increased 6.9 percent earlier in the day, shares were up just 2.6 percent after the announcement.

Source: Tesla, Los Angeles Times, CNBC

The post Tesla Slashes 9 Percent of Workforce appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property

Cars Still Key to GM’s Global Business, CEO Barra Says

Motortrend News Feed - Tue, 06/12/2018 - 18:45

There was a bit of drama but no ducking questions at the 2018 General Motors annual meeting in Detroit where Chairman and CEO Mary Barra calmly updated shareholders on the company’s business.

This includes a commitment to building cars. In a briefing ahead of the meeting, Barra told Motor Trend that as a global company, GM is not following crosstown rivals Ford and Fiat Chrysler in systematically pulling out of car segments.

“Although we are seeing a shift in the United States and in other markets, there still is a very big car market globally,” Barra said. “We’re well positioned because we reinvested in the 2015-2016 time frame in both compact and midsize vehicles so we have a very strong platform that we can continue to provide customers with what they want for a very long period of time.” She later referenced investment in the Chevy Cruze and Malibu as key to keeping them relevant.

Globally the automaker’s GEM (Global Emerging Markets) architecture is bringing new vehicles and technology to emerging markets, in many cases for the first time, Barra said.

But the real emphasis is on electric and autonomous vehicles.

GM is increasing production of the Chevrolet Bolt and plans to introduce 20 new all-electric vehicles by 2023 globally. GM continues to advocate for a single national standard for fuel efficiency requirements, wanting to avoid having to meet regulations for California that are more stringent than proposed federal CAFE regulations which the Trump Administration is expected to ease. But either way, GM is committed to an electric-vehicle future and would like to see EV tax credits extended.

The automaker is on pace to launch its self-driving ride-hailing fleet next year. The Cruise AV, which will not have a steering wheel or pedals, will be built at the Orion Assembly plant in Michigan.

Last month, GM announced a partnership with SoftBank which is investing $2.25 billion in GM’s self-driving ride-sharing technology. GM also acquired Strobe last year to bring down the cost of Lidar technology. GM uses Lidar in conjunction with cameras and radar to read the landscape for safe autonomous driving.

Wall Street is recognizing GM’s AV work, Barra said, including the fact the work is all being done under one roof. This work includes the development of the vehicle as well as the technology integration that involves modifying or changing 40 percent of the components to enable autonomous driving. And GM can mass produce the cars at the Orion Assembly Plant.

Ride-sharing was barely a topic of conversation five years ago, but today GM’s Maven ride-sharing service continues to expand and Barra said its vehicles are being driven four times more than an average vehicle.

GM has pulled back from Lyft, the ride-sharing company in which it has a 9 percent stake. Barra said while she has faith in its founders, “right now, though, we have no active projects underway.” After GM invested in Lyft in 2016, Ford announced its own collaboration last year for a fleet of self-driving vehicles by 2021.

On trade and tariffs affecting the auto industry, Barra said there are still a lot of moving pieces and negotiations, which are ongoing. “We need to let negotiations continue and be completed,” she said.

Turning to the business of the annual meeting, a proposal to have an independent chairman was defeated, garnering only 35 percent of votes, meaning Barra will continue to hold the dual titles of chairman and CEO. A similar motion at the recent Tesla annual meeting also failed to remove the chairman title from CEO Elon Musk.

There was a moment of drama as two female protesters starting yelling, “What do we want? Justice. When do we want it? Now.” They were asked to wait for the question period to make their point and when they refused the offer, they were escorted out of the meeting. A number of shareholders did use the question period to decry conditions at GM plants in Colombia, allegations which Barra said have been investigated and found to be untrue.

The post Cars Still Key to GM’s Global Business, CEO Barra Says appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property

Updated 2018 Infiniti QX30 adds safety tech, reshuffles trim levels

The Car Connection News Feed - Tue, 06/12/2018 - 18:36
With just a few months left in the model year, the 2018.5 Infiniti QX30 has been treated to a number of tweaks highlighted by additional standard active-safety gear. CarsDirect reported Monday that the QX30 subcompact luxury crossover SUV now comes standard with automatic emergency braking. Previously, automatic emergency braking was a pricey...
Categories: Property

Hobson joins board at Lee Baron

Property Week News Feed - Tue, 06/12/2018 - 18:34
Rob Hobson has joined the executive board of Lee Baron Group building on his role as director of asset management and real estate solutions.
Categories: Property

Howard joins board at Lee Baron

Property Week News Feed - Tue, 06/12/2018 - 18:34
Rob Hobson has joined the executive board of Lee Baron Group building on his role as director of asset management and real estate solutions.
Categories: Property

E-cig co sparks up expansion plans

Property Week News Feed - Tue, 06/12/2018 - 18:24
Leading e-cigarette store Ecigwizard has announced vast expansion plans with agents appointed to target 50 new locations in the south of England.
Categories: Property

Mazda MX-5 Miata to Deliver 181 HP

Motortrend News Feed - Tue, 06/12/2018 - 17:00

For the last 30 years, the Mazda MX-5 Miata has prided itself on nimble handling, not prodigious power. But it looks like the roadster will receive a boost in horsepower, as well as a telescoping steering wheel, as part of an update.

Car Watch, a Japanese car magazine, has driven the revised Miata and is spilling the details. We can expect an increase from 155 to 181 hp in the car’s 2.0-liter Skyactiv four-cylinder engine, as well as a jump in torque from 148 to 151 lb-ft. Redline has increased from 6,800 to 7,500 rpm. Although the magazine drove a Japanese-spec car, we will likely see these performance changes on our version here in the U.S. as well.

Improving performance, Mazda installed stiffer valve springs and sped up the valve timing. The automaker reduced the weight of the pistons and connecting rods, and installed an enlarged exhaust port and exhaust manifold. Helping to curb noise from the engine, the Miata gets a low-inertia dual-mass flywheel. There is also a new muffler that cuts high frequency noise.

The magazine says Mazda was looking to save every bit of weight it could on the Miata, but it did allow one indulgence. For the first time, the Miata gets a telescoping steering wheel. With a range of almost 1.2 inches, the feature gives drivers a little more versatility in their seating position. To counteract a weight increase, Mazda used aluminum bits instead of steel in the upper steering column.

Current Mazda MX-5 Miata pictured

Source: Car Watch

The post Mazda MX-5 Miata to Deliver 181 HP appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property

Crossover SUV crash-test discrepancies, Byton concept sedan, VW quantum computing: What's New @ The Car Connection

The Car Connection News Feed - Tue, 06/12/2018 - 15:30
Jeep Grand Cherokee, Ford Explorer flunk passenger-side crash test Two of the most popular crossover SUVs for families don't provide nearly the same protection for front-seat passengers as they do for drivers, the IIHS said Tuesday. Improved headlights net 2019 Mini Cooper IIHS Top Safety Pick award All it took was a revised headlight design to...
Categories: Property

Improved headlights net 2019 Mini Cooper IIHS Top Safety Pick award

The Car Connection News Feed - Tue, 06/12/2018 - 14:12
All it took was a revised headlight design to earn the 2019 Mini Cooper two-door Top Safety Pick accolades from the IIHS after the 2018 model missed out on the award, the insurance industry-funded safety group said Monday. Not every 2019 Cooper earns the award. Buyers will need to pay extra for optional equipment to upgrade the car with automatic...
Categories: Property

Malaysian coalition leader promises probe into Battersea Power Station deal

Property Week News Feed - Tue, 06/12/2018 - 13:38
Two Malaysian state-backed funds could see their deal to acquire phase two of Battersea Power Station “renegotiated” after the leader of the country’s newly elected coalition pledged to investigate a series of deals by sovereign funds, including the Battersea acquisition.
Categories: Property

Montagu Evans appoints new partners for retail and industrial

Property Week News Feed - Tue, 06/12/2018 - 13:10
Development consultancy Montagu Evans has added two new partners with Andrew Haughey joining from Capital & Regional to head up retail asset management for the firm and Paul Londra joining its industrial team from Doherty Baines.
Categories: Property

Green light for WeWork City site

Property Week News Feed - Tue, 06/12/2018 - 13:01
City of London councillors have granted planning permission for the latest London outpost of co-working provider WeWork at 120 Moorgate.
Categories: Property

New hotels chief for Aprirose

Property Week News Feed - Tue, 06/12/2018 - 12:53
Investor Aprirose has continued its expansion in the hotels sector with the appointment of former London & Regional chief operating officer Tim Shearman as chief executive officer for hotels.
Categories: Property

Chancerygate wins approval for Bristol industrial scheme

Property Week News Feed - Tue, 06/12/2018 - 12:48
Chancerygate, has secured planning permission from South Gloucestershire Council for a 121,000 sq ft industrial development at Warmley Business Park outside Bristol.
Categories: Property

New York State invests $500m in Blackstone and Prologis funds

Property Week News Feed - Tue, 06/12/2018 - 12:36
New York State Common Retirement Fund (NYSCRF) has committed a further $500m (€373m) in two real estate funds managed by Blackstone and Prologis
Categories: Property

Twin UK lettings for Schroder REIT

Property Week News Feed - Tue, 06/12/2018 - 12:18
UK-focussed Schroder Real Estate Investment Trust has secured two office lettings totalling close to 55,000 sq ft.
Categories: Property

Property legend Martin Birrane dies aged 82

Property Week News Feed - Tue, 06/12/2018 - 11:25
Martin Birrane, the Irish businessman and owner of Peer Group and the Mondello Park racetrack, has died at the age of 82.
Categories: Property