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New Ferrari CEO Camilleri Lays Out New Five-Year Plan

Iconic automaker building new ute and supercar in next five years.

by on Sep.18, 2018

Ferrari's new five-year plan appears to follow the road map that recently deceased CEO Sergio Marchionne laid out.

Ferrari’s new CEO Louis Camilleri unveiled the iconic brand’s latest five-year plan that could be described as doing what it does best while ensuring it keeps an eye on the future.

Camilleri was only recently installed in the top spot after the unexpected passing of Sergio Marchionne laid out a near-term future that revives some of the company’s past, but also keeps the promises Marchionne made.

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“Our objectives are ambitious, but they are based on a meticulously constructed model pipeline, our enviable pricing power and appropriate investment levels,” Camilleri told investors. Read the rest of this entry »

First Drive: 2019 Kia Forte

Ready to compete with small-car standbys: Civic, Corolla, Cruze

by on Sep.18, 2018

Despite the segment shrinking, Kia is plowing ahead with small cars with an all-new 2019 Forte sedan.

Given, the popularity of sport-utility vehicles, crossovers and pickup trucks, selling the traditional small car in the U.S. has become a very tough gig as evidenced by Ford giving up on cars and the Volkswagen Beetle is going away.

Meanwhile, cars such as the Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla and Chevrolet Cruze have gotten better and offer an increasing number of features that shoppers in this segment could only dream about as recently as five years ago

Reviews You Can Use!

But that hasn’t discouraged Kia, which is launching an updated version of the compact third-generation Kia Forte this fall. Kia has built its reputation by building smart, stylish small vehicles and now has great ratings from J.D. Power’s critical initial quality survey to assure first-time buyers. Read the rest of this entry »

Jaguar Land Rover Cutting Production to a Three-Day Week

Brexit issues, drop in diesel vehicle sales hurt Jaguar.

by on Sep.18, 2018

Ralf Speth, CEO of Jaguar-Land Rover, celebrates a win for the Velar as World Car Design of the Year.

Jaguar Land Rover plans to reduce the work schedules of some 2,000 production workers to three-day weeks at its Castle Bromwich plant in the West Midlands of England where the company builds several Jaguar vehicles.

The cutback comes as JLR faces pressure from uncertainty around Brexit. Additionally, a downturn in the sales of diesel-powered vehicles and the increasing popularity of sport-utility and crossover vehicles have hurt Jaguar’s sales.

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Tata Motors-owned Jaguar Land Rover confirmed it had scheduled the cut in its production schedule at the Castle Bromwich plant in England where JLR builds Jaguar XF, XJ and XE sedans and the F-Type sports car due to the “continuing headwinds” impacting the British car industry.  Read the rest of this entry »

Careful What You Ask For: Musk Sued by Diver He Disparaged

Tesla CEO wondered why he hadn't been sued yet.

by on Sep.18, 2018

After pushing for lawsuit from diver Vern Unsworth, Tesla CEO Elon Musk got what he wanted – in London and Los Angeles.

Adding to the many headaches facing Elon Musk, the Tesla CEO has now been sued by a British diver that he has accused of being a pedophile.

In July, the 47-year-old executive got into a Twitter war with Vernon Unsworth earlier this year when Musk offered to send a mini-sub to help rescue members of a youth soccer team trapped in a flooded Thai cave. Unsworth derided it as a publicity stunt and suggested Musk shove the sub where the sun doesn’t shine.

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Musk responded by declaring Unsworth “pedo guy,” slang for a pedophile. “Sorry pedo guy, you really did ask for it,” Musk tweeted to his 22.5 million followers. He followd it up adding, “Bet ya a signed dollar it’s true.” Musk also declared that, “I fucking hope he sues me.” Read the rest of this entry »

Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance Teaming Up With Google

Tech giant will develop next-gen infotainment system.

by on Sep.18, 2018

The Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance inked a deal with Google to put its intelligent infotainment system in its vehicles.

The Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance has a new partner, tech giant Google signing on the develop the automotive group’s next-generation infotainment system.

It’s a significant move by Google, though not its first time developing technology for automobiles. Like rival Apple’s CarPlay, its Android Auto system is now being offered by an array of automakers and allows a motorist to access a wide range of smartphone apps on a car’s touchscreen system.

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“Under the technology partnership, vehicles sold by the Alliance members in many markets will utilize Android, the world’s most popular operating system, and will provide turn-by-turn navigation with Google Maps,” the Alliance said in a statement. Read the rest of this entry »

Audi Goes Electric, Tackles Tesla With New e-tron Electric SUV

German automaker will initially target Tesla Model X.

by on Sep.18, 2018

Audi is ready to take on the industry leader, Tesla, with the all-new e-tron.

With the launch of the new e-tron SUV, Audi becomes the latest in a growing list of automakers to introduce a long-range battery-electric vehicle aimed directly at industry pioneer Tesla.

The luxury arm of Volkswagen AG traveled to San Francisco, Tesla’s backyard, to unveil the new model during a splashy ceremony that drew hundreds of journalists and dealers. Audi already offers a number of hybrid and plug-in models but it is planning to now introduce an array of all-electric offerings, joining such high-line competitors as Jaguar, BMW and Mercedes-Benz.

Electrifying!

The push into electrification could be particularly important for Audi in its bid to recover from the diesel emissions scandal that tarred several Volkswagen brands, resulting in penalties and settlements totaling around $30 billion. Though the company will continue to produce some diesel models, it now sees electric vehicles as key to its future. Read the rest of this entry »

First Drive: 2019 Cadillac XT4

This "tweener" has a lot going for it.

by on Sep.17, 2018

The 2019 Cadillac XT4 gets is own platform as well as unique 2.0-liter turbo engine and 9-speed auto.

Its been more than a decade since Cadillac introduced its CTS sedan and Art & Science design language, setting into motion what was supposed to be the revival of a brand long known as “the standard of the world.” Things haven’t gone quite as expected, however.

On the plus side, Caddy is expecting to rack up record sales this year, largely the result of the booming Chinese market. But, back home, the turnaround has been dragging, in large part because the brand has been significantly out of sync with the market. Even as it rolled out a procession of new sedans and coupes, American buyers by the millions have migrated to SUVs and CUVs. That’s been all the more apparent in the luxury segment where BMW, for one, has filled in practically every gap with crossovers ranging from the X1 to X7, and even more to follow.

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Caddy has been struggling to shift directions. It’s largely gotten out of the coupe market and will soon drop the compact ATS, consolidating its sedan family. More importantly, it is finally beginning to flesh out its crossover line-up with the launch of the new 2019 Cadillac XT4. The compact CUV joins the bigger XT5 model introduced in 2016, as well as the Caddy’s utility vehicle flagship, the full-size Escalade. Read the rest of this entry »

Volkswagen Reveals $6B “Electric for All” Plans

German automaker will debut five-door hatchback in 2019.

by on Sep.17, 2018

Thomas Ulbrich, left, and Christian Senger outline Volkswagen's plans for its MEB-based electric vehicles.

Volkswagen AG is readying to kick off its long-expected onslaught of electric vehicles from its MEB platform, revealing an investment of more than $6 billion for plant upgrades to produce more than 10 million EVs by the end of 2025.

The moves are part of what VW dubs its “Electric for All” plan, based off the flexibility of its modular electric drive, or MEB, platform. It’s expected to the base for as many as 27 model between now and 2025.

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“We will make electric vehicles popular and get as many people as possible excited about electric cars,” said Brand Board Member for E-Mobility Thomas Ulbrich. “The MEB is one of the most important projects in the history of Volkswagen – a technological milestone, similar to the transition from the Beetle to the Golf.” Read the rest of this entry »

Lucid Secures $1 Billion Investment from Saudis

PIF looking for a hedge as it expands the value of the fund.

by on Sep.17, 2018

Lucid executives were on the hunt for additional investors, and struck a $1 billion with the Saudis.

After being seen as the key to Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s now-dead plans to take the EV maker private, Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund is now investing $1 billion into EV start up Lucid Motors.

The new pact gives Lucid the cash it needs to kick off production of its first-ever model, the Air, in 2020, at its plant in Arizona. Lucid officials have said the new model will cost about $60,000.

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It’s widely believed the Saudis have been searching for ways to hedge against its oil exports for some time now, explaining the earlier dalliance with Tesla and Musk. The two sides had talks about the fund backing Musk’s plan, which could have required more than $40 billion from the Saudis. Read the rest of this entry »

New “Hell” for Tesla, as Model 3 Deliveries Run Into Serious Delays

“We’ve gone from production hell to delivery logistics hell.”

by on Sep.17, 2018

Dozens of Tesla Model 3 sedans are reportedly being held in this Union Pacific freight depot in Salt Lake City.

After more than a year of struggles, Tesla appears to finally be getting the production bugs worked out at its battery and assembly plants, but that may not mean much to frustrated buyers waiting to take delivery of a new Model 3.

In recent days, new issues have cropped up, in one case a small fleet of the battery-sedans have been held up at a Union Pacific freight depot leaving Tesla and its customers unsure when they will be released for delivery.

Beyond the Headlines!

Responding to a customer who complained by tweet that she now faces an “indefinite” delay in getting her Model 3, Tesla CEO Elon Musk responded, “Sorry, we’ve gone from production hell to delivery logistics hell, but this problem is far more tractable. We’re making rapid progress. Should be solved shortly.”

Read the rest of this entry »