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TDB Brings You the New York International Auto Show

Speed, power and beauty all converge in NYC.

by on Apr.16, 2014

The city “so nice they named it twice” is hosting the latest set of automotive debuts, ground-breaking technologies and industry executives for the next two days.

The 114th New York International Auto Show features plenty of the latest and greatest in the auto world, and abundance of breaking news.

And TheDetroitBureau.com continues to bring you more news and behind-the-scenes reports from the show at the Jacob Javits Center. Read the rest of this entry »

Senate Investigates Delphi’s Role in Ignition Switch Recall

CEO Rodney O’Neal gets a list of questions to answer.

by on Apr.16, 2014

Delphi CEO Rodney O'Neal has been given a list of questions from four U.S. Senators asking about the supplier's role in producing the faulty ignition switches for GM.

Like it or not, General Motors’ bitter fight with its principal supplier, Delphi Corp., will be examined by a panel of U.S. Senators concerned about what role the supplier might have played in the faulty switches tied to a recall of more than 2.6 million GM vehicles and 13 deaths.

In a letter made public this week, four different senators have asked Delphi Chief Executive Rodney O’Neal on Tuesday a series of questions about the auto supplier’s production of ignition switches.

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The switches were made in a Delphi plant in Matamoros, Mexico, at a time when GM and Delphi were at loggerheads over the cost of components. GM spun off Delphi in 1999 and immediately demanded price downs from Delphi executives, who resented and resisted GM’s push for concessions. Read the rest of this entry »

Hyundai Takes Aim at Toyota with 2015 Sonata

New Korean sedan tones down styling, adds more features.

by on Apr.16, 2014

Hyundai's Dave Zuchowski introduces the new Sonata at the New York International Auto Show.

Not all that long ago, Hyundai was an afterthought in the competitive midsize sedan market, largely focusing on bargain hunting buyers. But all that changed, a few years back, when it introduced a stylish new remake of the Sonata sedan, the first model to showcase its distinctive “Fluidic Sculpture” design language.

For 2015, the Korean carmaker is rolling out an all-new version of the Sonata, and while it is toning down the previous model’s sometimes over-the-top angles and curves, Hyundai is growing more confident it can take on even some of the midsize segment’s most formidable players, notably including the Toyota Camry.

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“The Sonata has been playing a key role in Hyundai Motor’s rapid growth in the global market, as well as leading the development of the Korean auto industry. We are confident that the all-new Sonata will change the landscape of the global midsize sedan market,” said Choong Ho Kim, the maker’s president and CEO, said when the all-new version was unveiled in South Korea last month. Now, U.S. buyers will have a chance to decide as the all-new Sonata makes its American debut at the New York Auto Show. Read the rest of this entry »

Toyota Delivers Major Mid-Cycle Update for Camry

Japanese giant aims to keep its king-of-the-hill status.

by on Apr.16, 2014

Bill Fay is group vice president and general manager of the Toyota division at Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc., introduced the new Toyota Camry at the New York International Auto Show today.

This story has been updated to include new information.

Few vehicles have consistently dominated the competition as the Toyota Camry has, so one might traditionally expect it to deliver only the most modest of mid-cycle updates. But the 2015 Camry “refresh” is anything if conservative. The Japanese giant has rolled out an unexpectedly significant update that seems bound and determined to help Camry maintain its position as America’s best-selling passenger car.

Until recently, that dominance would seem hard to question, but Camry has been facing threats from a variety of fronts, including the Ford Fusion, the Nissan Altima – which actually claimed brief sales leadership in January and February – and from the Hyundai Sonata which is undergoing a major redesign that’s also debuting at this year’s New York Auto Show.

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Toyota got a sign that the market was shifting when it launched the current version of the Camry in late 2011. It received an unexpectedly cold response from dealers who saw an early prototype barely 18 months before launch, a big chill severe enough to force the maker to rush through a number of exterior changes late in the game.

So, this time, the maker isn’t taking any chances, and claims to have “re-imagined nearly every exterior surface of the car,” to the point where the only carryover piece of sheet metal is the roof.

“This is the biggest segment in the industry and everybody is upping their game,” said Toyota division general manager Bill Fay, noting that almost 2,000 different parts have been changed for 2015.

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Audi Adds TDI Sportback to A3 Line-Up

Diesel will join plug-in hybrid version of new wagon.

by on Apr.16, 2014

Audi is adding two new vehicles to its A3 lineup: a Sportback diesel and a Sportback e-tron, which is a plug-in hybrid.

The latest-generation Audi A3 has only just gone on sale but the German maker is already expanding the range of offerings for the small car line.

That will now include two high-mileage versions of the A3 Sportback – or wagon, if you prefer. A diesel version will roll into showrooms next year, joining the Audi A3 Sportback e-tron, the maker’s new plug-in hybrid.

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The fact that Audi will soon have two versions of the Sportback in the entry-level A3 line-up is significant considering it seemed bound and determined to abandon the wagon for the U.S. market not all that long ago.  But it got a different message from prior owners. Read the rest of this entry »

Chevrolet Makes Trax for NY

After long delay, compact crossover finally is coming to US.

by on Apr.16, 2014

GM CEO Mary Barra introduces the new Chevy Trax: the company's first small crossover-utility vehicle at the New York Auto Show.

Chevrolet is making tracks for New York. More precisely, it’s showing off the new Chevy Trax crossover-utility vehicle at the 2014 NY Auto Show.

Small SUVs make up one of the world’s fastest-growing product segments, but until recently, General Motors planners didn’t think there was enough market in the U.S. for the Trax which has been on sale in much of the rest of the world for the last several years.

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But with a growing number of competitors targeting this niche, the corporate bean-counters finally decided to give the little Chevy crossover a green light, and Trax will land in U.S. showrooms by early next year – if not sooner. Read the rest of this entry »

Ford Reveals Special 50th Anniversary Mustang

Maker celebrates pony car’s Golden Anniversary at NY Auto Show.

by on Apr.16, 2014

Ford Chairman Bill Ford stands beside the 50th anniversary Ford Mustang. Only 1,964 copies of the limited edition Mustang will be made.

It’s a big week for Ford as it celebrates the Golden Anniversary of that original pony car, the Mustang, which made its debut on April 17,1964 at the New York World’s Fair.

Ford is lighting the candles a day early with a birthday bash at the NY Auto Show but it’s also offering up something special for Mustang aficionados in the form of a 50 Year Limited Edition Mustang of which an appropriate 1,964 will be made.

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The special model is based on the all-new 2015 Ford Mustang GT with the added Performance Pack, and comes with pretty much anything you can tick on the option list.  Despite soft sales in recent months, the new model – and the Limited Edition, in particular – could generate some serious enthusiasm.

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Mercedes Offers First Hint of New GT Sports Car

“Going into Porsche 911 space.”

by on Apr.16, 2014

A look at the interior of the upcoming Mercedes-Benz GT AMG sports car due to debut later this year.

Watch your back, Porsche, you’re about to get a challenge from your cross-town rival, Mercedes-Benz.

Hours before the official opening of the 2014 New York Auto Show, Mercedes offered small group of reporters and dealers a brief tease of the all-new sports car it plans to launch later this year. And a top executive confirmed that the new Mercedes-Benz GT will take direct aim at the segment’s benchmark, the Porsche 911.

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For the moment, there aren’t many details to go on.  Mercedes offered up only a basic sketch of the exterior shape, along with some close-ups of the new GT’s interior, all done up in a seductive red leather.

But Steve Cannon, the CEO of Mercedes-Benz USA, later told TheDetroitBureau.com, “We’re going into space the Porsche 911 has had all to itself for all these years.”

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First Look: 2015 Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG 4Matic Coupe

“Our ultimate halo car.”

by on Apr.16, 2014

The new 2015 Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG 4Matic Coupe is the first model to get the new Curve Tilting Function.

Barely two months after introducing the newest 2-door version of its flagship S-Class line, Mercedes is taking the coupe to an all-new level of performance.

At an evening soiree previewing this week’s New York Auto Show, the German maker pulled the wraps off the Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG 4Matic Coupe, which Tobias Moers, the CEO of the high-performance unit dubbed “our ultimate halo car.”

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Previously known as the CL line, the renamed 2-doors feature more aggressive styling than their sedan siblings. But they carry over all of the various high-tech features found in the 4-door S-Class – and then some.  The S63 AMG Coupe, for example, is the first model to feature the maker’s new “Curve Tilting Function which “leans into curves like a motorcycle rider or skier,” explained Mercedes AMG boss Moers.

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Barra Defends GM’s Efforts to Fix Recalled Cars

CEO fires two top executives while pushing for change.

by on Apr.15, 2014

Embattled GM CEO Mary Barra defended the automaker's handling of the ignition switch recall in a speech today in New York.

General Motors’ Chief Executive Mary Barra today defended the automaker’s response in the wake of the recall of more than 2.6 million vehicles and her own handling of a safety-related problem that had festered inside GM for more than a decade.

Barra told a gathering an industry conference in New York City that GM has already taken several steps to replace ignition lock cylinders in the 2.6 million vehicles recalled to repair ignition switches. Parts are arriving at dealers, who have been enormously helpful in addressing the problem, she noted.

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“Our actions in recent weeks show we at GM are committed to living our values. I am committed to seeing it through,” Barra said. “All of us understand what is at stake here.” Read the rest of this entry »