Erik Derr


Based in Los Angeles, Erik writes about the California market, its dealers and politics.


App Aims to Make Fair Used-Car Leasing 2
Customers shopping through Fair may drive their vehicles for as long or short a time as they want, as long as they give at least five days’ notice. In other words, no fixed terms.
Expert Not Electrified by Tesla As Police Cruiser
The LAPD last year began road-testing two Tesla Model S P85D cars as well as BMW i3 extended-range EVs, mainly for handling and performance. Earlier this year, the department ordered 100 of the i3 subcompacts.
Sustainability, Innovation Driving Tesla CEO Musk 1
CEO Elon Musk has long sought to evolve Tesla into more than a manufacturer and seller of automobiles and position it as part of a greater campaign to promote clean energy. That could explain his recent bid to purchase, and fold into the Tesla brand, the largest installer of residential solar-power systems in the U.S., SolarCity.
Dealers Keep Wary Eye on Tesla’s Nordstrom Showcase
Tesla representatives at Nordstrom are able to offer test drives in the shopping center’s parking lot but can’t actually sell anything – yet.
Tesla’s Model 3 Bids to Grow Electric-Vehicle Market
The long-anticipated EV will have a $35,000 starting price point before tax breaks and a single-charge range of at least 215 miles (346 km). Deliveries are to begin in late 2017.
Mitsubishi Looks to Connect With Younger Buyers 2
The inclusion of Android Auto and Apple CarPlay infotainment systems in the 1.2L, 3-cyl. Mirage offers functionality “today’s young buyers are absolutely going to love,” Mitsubishi Motors North America executive Don Swearingen says.
Impreza Concept No Sedate Sedan for Surging Subaru
Spokesman Michael McHale calls the Impreza Sedan Concept the first example of a new generation of vehicles developed on a modular, less angular platform and employing the automaker’s Dynamic x Solid design language.
Mercedes-Benz Highlights G-Forces at LA Auto Show
Mercedes-Benz USA is in the middle of its largest product offensive in its history, with nine new models coming to market over the next 12 months, President and CEO Steve Cannon says.
Honda Taps Into Culture of Silicon Valley Innovation
Nick Sugimoto, the Honda lab’s senior program director, compares high-tech innovators’ entrepreneurial spirit with that of Honda founder Soichiro Honda, whose vision saw his fledgling auto-parts supply company grow into the global automaker it is today.
Can Fisker Create Better Karma Second Time Around?
Perhaps the main difference “between Fisker then and now is that we’re not under this enormous pressure for money that they were in the fundraising,” marketing chief Jim Taylor says. ‟So, we can take the time to do it properly.”
Tech Guru Doubts Women Will Shun Driverless Cars
Tim Bajarin, a leading high-tech industry strategist, takes exception to results of a national online survey suggesting most female consumers would not be interested in driverless cars and, as a result, could prove an obstacle to market adoption.
California Incentives to Put EVs, PHEVs in Hands of Low-Income Buyers
Should a potential car buyer qualify for the maximum amount of state funding available, he or she conceivably could end up driving off with a free EV.
Will CARB’s Eased ZEV Rules Grow Cleaner-Car Demand?
Regulators are granting Volvo, Mitsubishi, Mazda, JLR and Subaru an added hybrid option and a later compliance date of Jan. 1, 2018, by which time each company will be expected to have an approved pure ZEV or hybrid transitional ZEV on the market.
California Auto Recall Bill Pulled Despite Strong Lawmaker Support
Automakers are happy for the holdup, believing consumers should be protected from defective used cars by way of a federal law, not by 50 different regulations enacted by individual states.
California Car Retailers Outrunning Recall Storm
Even as California dealers face an enormous volume of recalls through actions by Takata, General Motors and other companies, their sales numbers continue to rise. A spokesman suggests some of the credit goes to consumers who appear not to be panicked over the recalls.