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Uber has come under fire in France from taxi drivers due to the fact that Uber drivers do not have to pay significant licensing fees. (File photo)

After violence, arrests of execs, Uber halts service in France

07/06/2015

French authorities have arrested and indicted two Uber executives in the latest blow against the app-based car service, The Wall Street Journal reports. Uber's general director for France, Thibaud Simphal, and Uber's director for Western Europe, Pierre-Dimitri Gore-Coty were taken into custody on Sunday and charged with enabling taxi-driving by non-professional drivers in addition to other crimes. The Wall Street Journal reports that they face a number of charges which could carry fines in the hundreds of thousands of euros and up to two years in prison, if convicted. Their trial is set for September of this year.

The company issued a statement on Friday, July 3, announcing that it would suspend the operation of UberPOP in the country.

"We have decided to suspend UberPOP in France from 6 p.m. GMT (2 p.m. EDT) this Friday evening, primarily to assure the safety of Uber drivers," Simphal told the French press on Friday of last week, according to Reuters. "The second reason is that we want to create a spirit of reconciliation and dialogue with public authorities to show we are acting responsibly."

Giugiaro, 76, has been responsible for some of the most memorable automotive designs of the 20th century.

Giorgetto Giugiaro sells remaining stake to Audi

07/06/2015

Giorgetto Giugiaro is responsible for some of the most memorably automotive designs of the 20th century, ranging from the Maserati Bora and Merak to the first-generation Volkswagen Golf. But the 76-year-old designer recently sold his remaining 9.9 percent stake in Italdesign Giugiaro SpA to Audi, five years after selling a 90.1 percent stake to the same buyer, Automotive News reports.

Giugiaro and his son, Fabrizio Giugiaro, had retained a small stake in Italdesign Giugiaro SpA until 2010, but parted with their last remaining stake on June 28 of this year even though reports of the sale did not emerge immediately after it took place. Giugiaro and his son also announced in an emailed statement to the media that both were resigning from the Italdesign Giugiaro board on Monday, June 29, with the elder Giugiaro also giving up his position as honorary chairman of the company.

Latest Reviews

The Chrysler 300C Platinum gets a 363-hp Hemi V8.

2015 Chrysler 300C Platinum review notes

The most American?

07/06/2015

DIGITAL EDITOR ANDREW STOY: Do you like "American" cars?

Why the quotes? Because the 300C is built in Canada by an Italian conglomerate based in Belgium. Its Hemi V8 is assembled in Mexico.

But from behind the wheel, the 300C Platinum is one of the most American cars I've driven in a long time. It's a big, beefy RWD sedan with a proper V8 engine and a smooth automatic transmission. It's got the power to effortlessly eat up interstate miles, a trunk that'll hold some focus-group-determined number of golf bags and a driveshaft tunnel that your kids' friends will always get stuck straddling on long drives.

I love it, and that surprised me a bit.

Despite reassurances from Chrysler PR folks, I assumed that the 300, through all its facelifts and redesigns, was fundamentally the same car it's been for a decade now. To the extent there's still an LX platform under the skin, that's true, but the style, NVH and road manners have been massaged to the point where the 300C is a thoroughly contemporary machine. All the requisite driver aids, electronic nannies and infotainment options are present. Heated, cooled seats (and cupholders), along with a heated steering wheel and remote start make for comfortable touring regardless of the weather. And the interior trim is, in a word, gorgeous, with matte wood, supple leather and hints of brushed metal throughout.

Scion's iA and iM models debut Sept. 1.

First drive

2016 Scion iA and iM

06/29/2015

What Are They?

There are two vehicles being presented here, both being debuted, marketed and advertised together by Scion, not to mention parked next to each other on Scion showroom floors starting Sept. 1 ... so we might as well introduce them together.

The compact hatchback Scion iM is a Scion version of the Japan-market Toyota Auris. It shares the same platform as the Toyota Corolla and Scion tC and kind of fills the same utilitarian wagon/hatchback role for Scion that the old Matrix wagon/hatchback did for Toyota, only on a smaller scale. The iM comes in just one trim level –- Mono Spec -- so your only choices are transmission and color.  With a 137-hp 1.8-liter four-cylinder mated to a six-speed manual or CVT, it’s pretty straightforward.