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Jess Frampton

Car thieves hit the gas. Drivers foot the bill.

Auto thefts, including carjackings, are up in the United States and Canada. Politicians are noticing – and so are insurance companies. Last week, Ottawa went as far as to convene a national summit dedicated to the problem, and the criminal trend has grabbed headlines in both countries, tracking the many locations where vehicles end up, from Malta to Mexico to Ghana.

The jump in stolen vehicles on both sides of the border has some concerned about a return to the bad old days. In 1991, there were 659 car thefts for every 100,000 people in the US. In 2022, there were 283 – much lower than in the 90s but the most since 2008 and an increase of 10% from 2021. More than a million vehicles were pinched, and Kias and Hyundais have been particularly hard hit, with a leap of 1,000% since 2020.

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A United Auto Workers union member holds a sign outside Stellantis Sterling Heights Assembly Plant to mark the beginning of contract negotiations in Sterling Heights, Mich., in July.

REUTERS/Rebecca Cook/File Photo

US autoworkers drive a hard bargain

Unionized workers at America’s Big 3 automakers could be on strike as of Sept. 14. The 146,000 members of the United Auto Workers and their pugnacious president, Shawn Fain, are ready to rumble. For the first time, the UAW has not yet chosen a “target” company against which to strike but has threatened to walk off the jobs at all three at once.

What do they want?

The UAW is demanding a 46% pay raise, a 32-hour week with 40 hours of pay, and a restoration of traditional pensions. In response, Ford offered a 9% wage increase and one-time lump-sum payments, for a total raise of 15% over four years. Stellantis and GM have yet to file counterproposals, leading to the UAW recently filing charges of unfair labor practices against them.

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Japan may ban sale of new petrol-powered cars by mid-2030s

December 04, 2020 5:00 AM

TOKYO • Japan may ban sales of new petrol-engine cars by the mid-2030s in favour of hybrid or electric vehicles, public broadcaster NHK reported yesterday, aligning it with other countries and regions that are imposing curbs on fossil fuel vehicles.

Carlos Ghosn's repeated arrests in Japan were 'extrajudicial abuse', says UN

November 23, 2020 7:23 PM

TOKYO (BLOOMBERG) - Carlos Ghosn's detention for almost 130 days in a Japanese jail was neither necessary nor reasonable and violated the former Nissan chairman's human rights, a UN panel concluded in a harsh critique of Tokyo prosecutors who led the case against him.

Ghosn's wife steps up call for G-20 leaders to help her husband

June 29, 2019 1:13 PM

TOKYO (REUTERS) - The wife of ousted Nissan Chairman Carlos Ghosn has again called on world leaders, who have gathered in Japan for a G-20 summit, to help raise the issue of her husband's treatment in the country where he is facing financial misconduct charges.

Nissan ex-chief Ghosn cancels hastily arranged Tokyo press conference

June 28, 2019 8:24 PM

TOKYO (REUTERS) - Former Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn abruptly cancelled plans on Friday (June 28) for what would have been his first press conference since his arrest in November, after his daughters expressed concern it could invite retaliation by Japanese authorities, his lawyers said.

Carmakers tap virtual reality to keep driver and passengers awake in autonomous cars

June 14, 2019 5:55 PM

SHANGHAI (REUTERS) - Audi, Nissan and other car makers are banking on talking cartoon characters and other virtual reality experiences to keep drivers and other occupants of future autonomous vehicles entertained, car industry executives said.

Divorce? Merger? Renault-Nissan alliance faces a crossroads

June 11, 2019 2:25 PM

TOKYO (BLOOMBERG) - Renault SA and Nissan Motor Co's two-decade partnership is hurtling toward a reckoning, their carmaking alliance shaken by the arrest of former chairman Carlos Ghosn in November and fruitless merger talks with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV.

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