Detroit Bureau on Twitter

Archive for September, 2017

Domestic Automakers Falling Behind Foreign Competition

Foreign automakers, plus Tesla, will produce more vehicle in U.S. this year.

by on Sep.27, 2017

FCA is moving production of the Jeep Cherokee from Ohio to Illinois as part of its production overhaul.

For the first time ever, Big Three auto production will be surpassed by foreign makers and Tesla in the U.S. this year.

According to IHS Markit, the domestic automakers will produce 8.6 million vehicles in 2017 while the other companies will combine to edge out the U.S. makers with 8.7 million new vehicles made.

Product News!

With the moves by several automakers, such as Volvo, Toyota, Mercedes-Benz and BMW, to add production in the U.S., expect that ratio to remain in favor of the non-U.S. makers. (more…)

Jaguar Land Rover Shopping for Another Brand?

Tata supportive move, believes JLR needs to grow.

by on Sep.27, 2017

Jaguar Land Rover is rumored to be considering acquiring another brand to expand its product portfolio.

Jaguar Land Rover officials are reportedly considering acquiring another luxury brand to diversify the Tata-owned company’s portfolio.

Bloomberg News reported that officials have as much as $6.1 billion in cash and equivalents, as well as the support of Tata management, to add another line to the JLR group. The money could also be used on acquisitions to further the development of the company’s electrification and autonomous technology efforts.

Subscribe Now!

TheDetroitBureau.com spoke to a senior JLR executive who said they were unaware of any such plan, but knowledge of any acquisition could be limited to a very small group of executives. (more…)

Lyft Set to Start Using Large Numbers of Ford’s Driverless Vehicles

Move could change automotive equation, threatening retail auto market.

by on Sep.27, 2017

Ford is partnering with Lyft, which is partially owned by General Motors, to advance its self-driving vehicle technologies.

Ford Motor Co. will partner with Lyft, the country’s second-largest ride-sharing service, to begin fielding a substantial number of the driverless vehicles the automaker is developing by early in the coming decade.

Moving the driver out of the vehicle is a key goal for Lyft and rivals like Uber, the industry giant, because they compromise the single largest part of the cost of providing rides. Both companies are betting that if they can go driverless they can reduce prices to the point where it will be cheaper to hail a ride than to own a personal vehicle. But that strategy does raise concerns about the long-term impact on retail vehicle sales in the U.S. and other parts of the world.

Breaking News!

“We know the technology has the potential to have a profound impact, but it’s time to look beyond the potential and talk about how it can be applied in helpful ways to create a viable business,” said Sherif Marakby, Ford’s vice president for autonomous vehicles and electrification. (more…)

Delphi Spins Off Powertrain Operations, Adopts New Name

As Aptiv, mega-Supplier to focus on autonomous driving, other high-tech businesses.

by on Sep.27, 2017

Delphi is spinning off its powertrain operations so it can focus on its new main business, autonomous-vehicle tech and other electronics.

What began as a collection of largely unprofitable General Motors component operations has grown into a profitable, nearly $17 billion mega-supplier, but faced with the major changes sweeping through the auto industry, Delphi Automotive PLC is cleaving its business in two.

The supplier is spinning off its powertrain operations, which will adopt the name Delphi Technologies. The main portion of the company will now focus on electrical and electronic technologies, such as autonomous driving, and adopt the name Aptiv PLC.

News Now!

“Being a one-stop shop is a thing of the past,” explained Glen de Vos, the chief technology officer at Delphi Automotive, who will remain with Aptiv. “We need to be narrower and deeper.” (more…)

U.S. New Vehicle Sales Expected to Rise in September

Replacement of hurricane-damaged vehicles driving sales.

by on Sep.27, 2017

While many of the replacements for hurricane-damaged vehicles may be used cars, new vehicle sales are expected to rise this month.

With Texas and Florida recovering from the impact of hurricanes Harvey and Irma, new vehicle sales are expected to increase by 1% year-over-year in September 2017, resulting in an estimated 17.5 million seasonally adjusted annual rate seasonally adjusted annual rate or SAAR, according to a new estimate by Kelly Blue Book.

“September will be another opportunity for the first sales increase of the year, as we project slight growth for the industry,” said Tim Fleming, analyst for Kelley Blue Book.

News You Can Trust!

“While major hurricanes devastated parts of Texas and Florida in the past month, this is driving replacement demand for those drivers with vehicles destroyed. This demand has already started in some areas, but will continue into October and potentially November, as vehicle insurance payouts are received,” he said. (more…)

Dyson Blowing into EV Car Segment Like a Cyclone

Best known for vacuums, company says EV will be ready in 2020.

by on Sep.26, 2017

James Dyson, whose company is best known for making vacuum cleaners and hair dryers, is planning to produce an electric vehicle by 2020.

The man who changed the way vacuum cleaners work plans to spend $2.7 billion to do the same in the automotive industry. James Dyson, the creator of the Dyson vacuum, said he’ll bring an electric vehicle to market by 2020.

Dyson said he’s got a team of more than 400 employees working on the project, and has for the last 2.5 years. His vehicle already starts with a major difference from current EVs — Dyson’s car will utilize a solid-state battery instead of lithium ions.

Subscribe Now!

He notes that his company’s expertise in solid-state battery technology and electric motors prevalent in his vacuum cleaners, bladeless fans and air purifiers is excellent preparation for producing an EV with an as-yet-viable battery. (more…)

Toyota Set to Build First Hybrid Model in U.S.

New $374 mil investment will support broader electrification strategy.

by on Sep.26, 2017

Toyota is ready to build its first hybrid, the Highlander hybrid, in the U.S. at its plant in Indiana.

Toyota, the world’s largest producer of gas-electric vehicles, plans to launch U.S. production of the hybrid version of its Highlander SUV at its Indiana assembly plant by 2020.

It will mark the first time a Toyota hybrid will be assembled in the U.S., though the Japanese manufacturer had previously considered building an American version of the Prius, the world’s most popular gas-electric model.

We'll Plug You In!

The announcement comes as Toyota gets ready to announce a broad electrification strategy that, among other things, will see it set up a new assembly plant in the U.S. to produce an all-new battery-electric vehicle. That project is part of a joint venture with Mazda, the smaller Japanese maker expected to sell its own versions of the new BEV. (more…)

Volvo Will Build XC90 at Expanded Charleston Plant

“Underscores our commitment to the United States.”

by on Sep.26, 2017

Volvo is enjoying strong sales in the U.S. with products like the XC90, which will now be built in Charleston, South Carolina, starting in 2021.

Volvo now plans to produce its most popular vehicle in the United States with the XC90 set to start rolling off the Swedish maker’s new Charleston, South Carolina assembly plant in 2021.

The announcement also confirms that Volvo will double the size of the facility, which was originally intended to produce the mid-range S60 sedan when it goes into operation next year. The expansion will bring the total cost of the Charleston complex to $1.1 billion, about $520 million more than was originally announced. And it will now employ nearly 4,000 hourly and salaried workers.

Product News!

The expansion, which was first reported earlier this month by TheDetroitBureau.com, “underscores our commitment to the United States,” said Lex Kerssemakers, who served as CEO of Volvo Cars North America until Sept. 15. He is now heading European operations. (more…)

First Drive: 2018 Lexus LS 500h

Bold new exterior matches top performing powertrain.

by on Sep.26, 2017

The 2018 Lexus LS 500 features bold new exterior styling, which has been the focus of the company's higher ups.

Throughout the years, Lexus has built a reputation for reliability that has always inspired confidence if not loyalty among the increasingly fickle, affluent buyers, who use their car both for transportation and to make a statement about their status and accomplishments.

With the new latest versions of the LS, the LS 500 and LS 500h, Lexus is also serving notice that it prepared not only to move away from the boring styling that has characterized the brand’s vehicles in the recent years but also plans to give customers a genuine choice of powertrain technology by offering a hybrid right alongside gasoline version.

Stay Plugged In!

Moreover, the 2018 LS 500h and heir to LS 600, which was one of the more compelling Lexus vehicles to debut in recent years, isn’t some afterthought but a well-planned and -equipped vehicle featuring a refined powertrain with a range of 600 miles, which is more than enough for most any weekend trip. (more…)

GM Laying Off More Employees Due to Ingersoll Strike

Company holding firm against union demands.

by on Sep.26, 2017

GM is going to be laying off employees at its plant in Flint, Michigan, as a result of the Ingersoll strike.

As the strike at a key assembly plant in Ingersoll, Ontario, heads into its second week, General Motors expects to lay off workers at other plants within the company’s North American manufacturing system.

“We are making production adjustments at three of our propulsion operations due to a labor dispute in Canada,” a GM spokeswoman said.

News You Can Trust!

In addition to the engine plant in Spring Hill, Tennessee, a plant in Flint, Michigan, and a transmission plant in St. Catharines, Ontario, are planning some short-term layoffs, she said.  (more…)