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Are Sedans a Dying Breed?

by on Jan.15, 2018

The 2018 North American International Auto Show is making big news this week and revealing some of the significant trends reshaping the auto industry.

Of course, TheDetroitBureau.com is still combing the show floor to bring stories and analysis so keeping checking the site often for additional must-know news and the latest updates. Read the rest of this entry »

PSA Lays Out 3-Stage, 10-Year Roadmap for U.S. Return

CEO calls for “100% electrified” line-up by 2025.

by on Jan.19, 2018

PSA CEO Carlos Tavares has been credited with turning around the near-bankrupt French company.

After a 26-year absence from the North American market, French automaker PSA Group is formalizing plans to reenter the market, though in a series of interviews and appearances in Detroit this week, CEO Carlos Tavares made it clear he’s not in a rush.

With the once nearly bankrupt automaker now flying high in most of its other markets, Tavares outlined a three-stage process that will take as much as a decade to complete. In the meantime, he is focusing on several other critical endeavors, including the revival of the Opel/Vauxhall operations PSA purchased from General Motors last year, as well as a plan that call for the company to have 100% of its products electrified by 2025.

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“When we go into a country we try to be really cautious,” Tavares said during a Thursday roundtable with a small group of journalists, one of several meetings he held in connection with the annual North American International Auto Show. The plan for North America is “more frugal, more humble” and will require only “a small investment,” he explained.

Read the rest of this entry »

NHTSA Calls Up Next Round Vehicles with Takata Airbags

New set includes 3.3 million airbags.

by on Jan.18, 2018

Now 21 people are known to have died due to faulty Takata airbag inflators.

The next round of vehicles needing to have faulty Takata airbags repaired have been released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which is now overseeing the repair process.

The current set includes models from 14 different automakers that are being recalled. The automakers in this round include: Ford, Nissan, Mercedes-Benz, Ferrari, Daimler Vans, Toyota, Tesla, BMW, Fiat Chrysler, Mazda, Subaru, Jaguar-Land Rover, McLaren and Volkswagen.

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Toyota, Ford and Honda released some of their models last week. Read the rest of this entry »

UAW Protesting Against Fiat Chrysler at NAIAS 2018

Union plans to picket on Sunday over lost Toledo jobs.

by on Jan.18, 2018

The UAW is planning to protest against Fiat Chrysler in front of Cobo Center in Detroit.

Members of the United Auto Workers from the Jeep Local, UAW Local 12, are planning a demonstration at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit on Sunday.

The protest targets Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. for its plans to eliminate jobs at a transportation unit in the Jeep manufacturing complex where FCA is preparing to launch a new version of one of Jeep’s signature products — the new Wrangler.

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“They never talked to us,” said Bruce Baumhower, president of UAW Local 12, which kicked off the campaign to halt the FCA’s plans to eliminate the jobs earlier this week with a demonstration at the Toledo complex. Read the rest of this entry »

Porsche Plugging In: Half its Line-up Will Be Electrified

German carmaker looking to expand battery-electric use.

by on Jan.18, 2018

Porsche is moving forward with its newest electric vehicle, the Mission E, as it expands its electrification efforts to half of its line-up.

It will be another year before Porsche’s first pure battery-electric vehicle, the Mission E, finally reaches market, but the German sports car brand already is laying out big plans to electrify.

Fully half of all Porsches will use some form of battery power by 2023, according to a presentation by Porsche Cars North American CEO Klaus Zellmer. That is expected to include not only the hybrids and plug-in hybrids currently in the line-up, but also additional BEVs like the Mission E. Porsche officials have also suggested they will eventually electrify even such classic core models as the iconic 911.

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While such a move might be a stretch for traditional Porsche buyers, the brand has begun bringing in younger buyers who are more open to experimentation, said Zellmer, speaking at the annual Automotive News World Congress. Nearly 80% of the customers who are signing up for the new Porsche Passport subscription service “have not owned a Porsche before,” he noted. Read the rest of this entry »

Mercedes-Benz Doesn’t Believe US is Good Market for Diesel

VW's dieselgate killed any thirst for oil burners.

by on Jan.18, 2018

The G-Wagen will not be coming to the U.S. with a diesel-based powerplant, even though it would likely meet all U.S. standards.

Even though it has a redesigned diesel that meets tight new European carbon dioxide standards that will take effect in 2020, Mercedes-Benz has no plans to offer a diesel-powered passenger car in the U.S, according to one of the German automakers top executives.

Ola Kallenius, the head of research and development for the Mercedes-Benz Car Group, said the new diesel engine the automaker has designed is one of the most advanced internal combustion engines ever developed by the automaker.

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However, Mercedes has concluded that there simply isn’t enough consumer interest in diesel to warrant bringing it to the U.S. market. Read the rest of this entry »

Ending NAFTA Cripples US Trade, Clinton Aide Says

McLarty encourages auto industry to be "vocal" about its concerns, needs.

by on Jan.18, 2018

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, left, talks with Canada's Chrystia Freelander and Mexico's Ildefonso Guajardo, both right.

Without the North American Free Trade Agreement, the auto industry in the United States, Mexico and Canada would find it difficult to meet the future challenges from manufacturers from Asia and Europe in building the next generation of motor vehicles.

Certainly the current agreement needs to be modernized panelists said during a discussion on NAFTA during the Automotive News World Congress. “It was written even before there was an internet,” said, Thomas “Mack” McLarty, the former aide to President Bill Clinton, who helped guide NAFTA through Congress in 1993.

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McLarty noted that the NAFTA negotiated under President George H.W. Bush and was approved under President Clinton with help of major blocs of votes from both Democrats and Republicans. “This is a tough decision politically. But it is very straight forward in terms economic security,” he said. Read the rest of this entry »

Hyundai Brings Back Veloster and Its Hot Hatch Friend, the N

N performance brand comes to the U.S. for the first time.

by on Jan.17, 2018

The 2019 Hyundai Veloster N gives the South Korean automaker a viable entry in the hot hatch segment.

Hyundai’s enjoyed a run of well-received sedans and now it’s hoping it can sprinkle some of that magic on the second edition of a “passion project” that wasn’t so well received the first time around: the 2019 Veloster.

The South Korean automaker’s quirky asymmetrical three-door hatchback hasn’t sold well in recent years. However, with the revival of the hatchback, the company is giving the Veloster another chance at success.

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The updated model comes with a choice of two engines: a 2.0-liter engine delivers a peak output of 147 horsepower and 132 foot-pounds of torque and a more powerful 1.6-liter turbocharged engine with 201 horsepower and 195 lb.-ft. of torque. Read the rest of this entry »

Caddy Chief “Highly Optimistic,” Despite Struggles in U.S.

De Nysschen counting on new crossovers to help reshape the brand.

by on Jan.17, 2018

Cadillac President Johan de Nysschen has had to reshape his product plans to favor SUVs.

Cadillac chief Johan de Nysschen is proving himself to be a “glass full” kind of guy. Despite ongoing struggles in the U.S., he is optimistic General Motors’ luxury brand’s revival is “proceeding according to plan.”

Of course, it helps to know that Caddy is rapidly gaining ground in China, the world’s largest market – which also happens to be generating more sales than the U.S. these days. There’s also the fact that the new XT4, a critically needed new SUV will be in dealer showrooms late this year, with another new product set to roll out every six months through at least the end of 2020.

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“At the conclusion of this first phase of the plan, Cadillac will be armed for the first time with a family of premium crossover vehicles, positioning us well to exploit market preferences,” de Nysschen said during a presentation to the Automotive News World Congress.

Read the rest of this entry »

Flint Engine Plant Named New Home for GM Diesel Engine

Michigan-based plant to produce 3.0-liter turbo-diesel.

by on Jan.17, 2018

GM announced that its Flint Engine plant will produce the 3.0-liter turbo-diesel for the new Chevy Silverado.

On the heels of unveiling the new Chevrolet Silverado, GM announced plans to build a new diesel engine in a factory in Flint, Michigan, that currently is used to build 1.4-liter gasoline engines used in passenger cars.

GM said Flint Engine Operations will serve as the manufacturing site for the all-new Duramax 3.0-liter turbo-diesel for the 2019 Silverado. The same engine is likely to be used in the GMC Sierra pickup truck that GM plans to introduce later this year.

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In 2015, the company announced a $263 million investment in Flint Engine Operations for a new engine line. Flint Engine currently produces 1.4-liter engines used in the Chevrolet Cruze, Equinox and Volt. Read the rest of this entry »

Safety Titan Claybrook Wants to Rein in Autonomous Vehicles

Former NHTSA leader says self-driving cars have too many shortcomings.

by on Jan.17, 2018

Joan Claybrook (left) during a panel discussion in Detroit said she doesn't trust autonomous vehicles and they should be tightly regulated.

Self-driving cars are not yet roadworthy and could pose a lethal threat to motorists unless they are carefully regulated said Joan Claybrook, the former chief of the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration and longtime critic of the auto industry’s safety record.

“The excitement around autonomous cars is very interesting, we have had massive problems with failures in the auto industry with airbags and with the GM ignition switch and they have killed people,” Claybrook said during a panel discussion on Autonomous Vehicles and regulation held as part of Automobili-D sponsored by Politico and held in conjunction with the North American International Auto Show.

Auto Show News!

In addition, for a long time to come what NHTSA has deemed as Level 3 autonomous vehicles that can cruise on auto pilot under certain circumstances but require driver intervention in an emergency situation, will mix with conventional vehicles on streets and highways. Read the rest of this entry »