Toyota unveils new Grand Highlander, expanding hybrid crossover lineup

2024 Toyota Grand Highlander Toyota CHICAGO — Toyota Motor is expanding its segment-leading, three-row crossover lineup with the new 2024 Grand Highlander, including two gas-powered hybrid offerings. The automaker revealed the vehicle as a bigger sibling to the Toyota Highlander midsize SUV/crossover on Wednesday night. It is longer and wider than the Highlander and provides 13.2 cubic feet of additional cargo volume, according to Toyota. The vehicle is the latest example of automakers attempting to go bigger and test their pricing power as consumers spend record amounts on new vehicles.…

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Southwest plans to tell Senate it’s confident in its schedule after holiday meltdown

A Southwest Airlines passenger jet lands at Chicago Midway International Airport in Chicago, Illinois, on December 28, 2022. Kamil Krzaczynski | AFP | Getty Images Southwest Airlines plans to apologize before a Senate panel on Thursday over the carrier’s December meltdown that stranded hundreds of thousands of travelers around Christmas. “In hindsight, we did not have enough winter operational resilience,” Chief Operating Officer Andrew Watterson said in written testimony, which was reviewed by CNBC, ahead of Senate Commerce Committee hearing. Southwest canceled more than 16,700 flights between Dec. 21 and…

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SpaceX prepares for a massive test this week: Firing all 33 Starship engines at once

Starship prototype 24 stacked on top of Super Heavy booster prototype 7 at the company’s facility near Brownsville, Texas on January 9, 2023. SpaceX WASHINGTON – SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell said Wednesday the company plans to attempt a major Starship milestone this week. SpaceX on Thursday will attempt a “static fire,” simultaneously testing all 33 engines that sit at the base of Starship’s rocket booster. The company conducted a test firing of 14 of those engines in November, as it pushes to make an orbital launch attempt with a Starship…

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Delta raises employee pay 5%, second increase in a year

Nurphoto | Nurphoto | Getty Images Delta Air Lines is raising employee pay 5%, the second time its lifted staff pay in less than a year as a sharp rebound in travel boosts the carrier’s profits and the U.S. labor market remains tight. Delta raised employee pay 4% in May, the first increases since before the pandemic. “Considering the depths of losses we suffered during the pandemic, including a $1 billion first quarter loss just last year, this is truly a remarkable achievement,” CEO Ed Bastian wrote in a staff…

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Used vehicle prices swing higher amid unseasonably high demand in January

A man shops for used vehicles at the Toyota of Deerfield dealership in Deerfield Beach, Florida. Getty Images DETROIT – Stronger-than-expected demand for used vehicles last month led to the largest increase in wholesale values since late 2021, according to new data Tuesday from Cox Automotive. The automotive data firm’s Manheim Used Vehicle Value Index was down 12.8% in January from inflated levels a year earlier but was up 2.5% compared with December. It was the largest month-over-month increase since a 3.9% jump from October to November 2021. The larger-than-expected…

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Hertz fourth-quarter profit beats as costs come down and travel rebounds

Rental-car giant Hertz reported fourth-quarter earnings that were better than Wall Street expected, on renewed demand for travel as the Covid-19 pandemic eased in many parts of the world. The company also benefited from improved operating performance, CEO Stephen Scherr told CNBC, helping to boost earnings even as revenue came in roughly in line with Wall Street’s upbeat expectations. Here are the key numbers from Hertz’s fourth-quarter earnings report, compared with Refinitiv consensus estimates: Adjusted earnings per share: 50 cents vs. 46 cents expected Revenue: $2.035 billion vs. $2.033 billion…

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Why traffic can’t be solved with just adding more highway lanes

Traffic and congestion have been worsening in American cities for decades. The average American driver lost 51 hours and  $869 in valued time by sitting in traffic in 2022, a 54% jump from the previous year, according to a report by INRIX, a global traffic tracker. In 2019, before the pandemic, traffic snarls cost the average American nearly 100 hours and nearly $1,400. Highway traffic eased through 2020 and 2021, during the worst of the pandemic, but now it’s back. What’s more, the post-Covid world might be presenting new challenges,…

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FAA proposes more than $1 million fine on United Airlines over preflight safety checks

United Airlines Boeing wide body 777-200 aircraft as seen during take off and flying phase, passing in front of the air traffic control tower while the plane is departing from Amsterdam Schiphol Airport AMS towards Houston IAH in the United States of America as flight UA21.  Nicolas Economou | Nurphoto | Getty Images The Federal Aviation Administration said Monday that it is proposing a more than $1.1 million penalty against United Airlines for allegedly failing to perform required fire-system safety checks on its Boeing 777s. United didn’t immediately comment. The…

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Canoo’s shares sink after EV maker agrees to sell $52 million in discounted stock

The Lifestyle Vehicle electric minivan from Canoo. Source: Canoo Shares of electric vehicle startup Canoo were sharply lower in early trading on Monday after the company said that it has agreed to sell discounted shares to raise $52.5 million. The stock opened Monday at $1 per share, off 20%. It’s lost more than 80% of its value in the last 12 months. Canoo said in a statement that it has entered into agreements with institutional investors to sell 50 million new shares, together with warrants that give the investors an…

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Inside the ‘Wormhole,’ Relativity Space’s monster factory 3D-printing reusable rockets

The exterior of “The Wormhole” factory. Relativity Space LONG BEACH, California – It was a few days into the new year yet Relativity Space’s factory was anything but quiet, a din of activity with massive 3D printers humming and the clanging of construction ringing out. Now about eight years on from its founding, Relativity continues to grow as it pursues a novel way of manufacturing rockets out of mostly 3D-printed structures and parts. Relativity believes that its approach will make building orbital-class rockets much faster than traditional methods, requiring thousands…

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