23 Jun, 2024

Flying cars edge towards takeoff after Chinese production deal

A flying car that’s certified for aviation just took another big step towards commercialisation.

The Aircar’s creator, KleinVisiontoday announced the sale of a “groundbreaking” license to manufacture the vehicle.

The deal gives China’s Hebei Jianxin Flying Car Technology Co. exclusive rights to the system within a specific, undisclosed region. Also undisclosed is the cost of the license.

KleinVision says the agreement brings flying cars closer to reality.

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The Slovakian startup already has a certificate of airworthiness for its tech, which transforms from a car into a plane in under three minutes.

Aircar must conduct 70 hours of flight testing and over 200 take-offs and landings to get the certificate.

The vehicle has also successfully flown between cities. In 2021, the dual-mode vehicle completed a 35-minute trip between the Slovakian airports in Nitra and Bratislava.

Powered by a BMW 1.6l engine, the flying car has a top speed of 300km/h and a range of 1,000km.

Its eye-catching performance and looks recently caught the attention of YouTuber Mr Beast.

Flying cars prepare for takeoff

KleinVision now aims to obtain

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Car Deals Are Easier to Find but Lenders Are Tightening Their Terms

New cars are more available this spring, and manufacturers have even begun offering deals to interested buyers.

But at the same time, lenders have been tightening the terms of car loans as they deal with a rising number of delinquencies. That has made it harder for some people to get affordable loans.

Access to auto loans for both new and used cars was generally worse in January than in December and down year over year, according to Dealertrack, a Cox Automotive service that tracks credit availability based on factors like loan approvals, terms and down payments. The impact was seen at banks, credit unions and dealerships.

“We are seeing credit access tighten in all channels,” said Sean Tucker, a senior editor at Kelley Blue Book, Cox’s car research and sales website.

Subprime borrowers in particular — consumers with the lowest credit scores — may face challenges finding financing, Mr. Tucker said. The share of subprime new-car loans has fallen to about 6 percent, roughly half what it was before the pandemic.

Borrowers with strong credit are especially attractive to lenders. The average credit score for new-car shoppers taking out a loan or lease rose to 743 at the end of

1 min read

GM scales back electric vehicle and self-driving car plans as new labor deals will cost it $10B

General Motors says it is pumping the brakes a little on its plans for electric vehicles and self-driving cars as new labor deals signed with unions in the US and Canada will cost it almost $9.3 billion US.

Despite those costs, the automaker says it plans to buy back up to $10 billion US of its own shares, while also increasing its dividend by 33 per cent.

The buyback was the equivalent at Tuesday’s closing price to nearly a quarter of GM’s common stock. Its shares were down about 14 per cent this year before rising 10 per cent to $31.92 on Wednesday.

The Detroit automaker also lowered 2023 profit expectations after the US strike by the United Auto Workers (UAW).

GM has struggled to increase its stock price as it dealt this year with the UAW strike, and with problems at its Cruise self-driving vehicle unit and rollout of its new electric vehicles.

The $9.3 billion US in additional costs through 2028 is for agreements with the UAW as well as Canadian union Unifor, and translates to about $575 per vehicle over the life of the deals.

“Finally, some good news for GM, and this was a strong outlook

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