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EV Start Up Rivian Debuting Pickup, Large SUV at LA Auto Show

Company planning a three-row sport-ute too.

by on Aug.31, 2018

R.J. Scaringe, right, is ready to roll out a new pickup truck and three-row sport-utility vehicles.

Rivian, a California-based start-up company looking moving into a space coveted by Tesla, is planning to show off a battery-electric pickup truck and a three-row sport utility vehicle at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November.

R.J. Scaringe, Rivian’s founder and chief executive officer, said during a recent appearance in Detroit that the introduction will change the perceptions of EVs. The auto industry is on the verge of sweeping change. “Think about the tech industry in 1991,” he added.

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By the time, Rivian, which has raised $500 million in capital, launches in 2020, with a target of building 50,000 vehicles annually at the plant in Normal, Illinois, that it acquired from Mitsubishi. (more…)

Detroit Auto Show Moving to June in 2020, Adding Major New Features

Sponsors aim to revive what's been North America’s leading car show.

by on Jul.23, 2018

Toyota Pres. Akio Toyota is shown here revealing the 2019 Camry during this year's NAIAS.

The North American International Auto Show will move from January to June in 2020, a new timeslot that organizers are betting will help revive the flagging momentum of what had long been one of the industry’s most important annual events.

The Detroit Auto Dealers Association had signaled its intention of abandoning its traditional, mid-winter schedule, though a switch to October was also under study. But that would have conflicted with other shows in Europe and Asia, the dealer group’s Executive Director Rod Alberts told TheDetroitBureau.com in an exclusive interview.

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In a background briefing ahead of today’s official announcement, Alberts said one of the advantages of a summer event is the ability to add new functions that expand beyond the confines of Detroit’s sprawling Cobo Hall convention center. “We realized we have to change the show (and) showcase Detroit, too,” said Alberts, who has been running the DADA for the past 28 years.

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Audi Out: Follows Growing Group of Automakers Abandoning Detroit Auto Show

NAIAS still studying possible date change to revive flagging fortunes.

by on May.11, 2018

Audi has traditionally used the NAIAS for major intros, like the Q8 Concept it debuted in 2017.

Already hit by key defections, the organizers of the North American International Auto Show in Detroit learned Thursday that Audi will also be a no-show in January 2019 – though the luxury arm of Volkswagen Group said it will “continue to evaluate” a return at a later date.

A once-regional event, the NAIAS became the most significant auto show in the U.S., and one of the world’s most widely watched, when it added the “International” designation in 1989. At its peak around the start of the new millennium, Detroit could count on virtually every manufacturer to participate, with some years seeing more than 70 new cars, trucks, concepts and crossovers debut.

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As the industry plunged into recession, things began to change. Some manufacturers, such as Nissan, pulled out temporarily, but others decided to abandon the Motor City event entirely. That included some of the most exclusive marques, like Ferrari, as well as mainstream and luxury brands like Mazda, which was a hold out this past January. Volvo had no corporate presence, though its local dealers did roll a few vehicles into Detroit’s Cobo Hall convention center. Now, it seems, the exodus is turning into a rout. Audi follows Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Porsche in planning to stay home next January. (more…)

Lexus Betting Big on All-New ES

Gen-7 sedan expected to remain key model in luxury line-up.

by on Apr.25, 2018

The seventh-generation 2019 Lexus ES.

For those who haven’t been watching, the 2019 Lexus line-up won’t have much in common with the model mix of just five years ago. Where sedans once dominated the brand’s product portfolio, crossovers like the new UX and NX, as well as the long-popular RX, have overwhelmed traditional Lexus sedans such as the LS and GS.

So, it might come as a surprise to see the big deal Lexus is making over the launch of the all-new 2019 ES sedan, going so far as to stage simultaneous previews in both Los Angeles and the Beijing Motor Show.

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“We’re acutely aware there’s a robust SUV market in the U.S., and Lexus is playing a part in that,” said Cooper Ericksen, the brand’s U.S. marketing chief, said during the L.A. ES unveiling. “We understand the importance of SUVs, but we also understand the importance of great sedans.”

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2019 Lexus ES Sedan Breaks Cover in Beijing

Point-counterpoint, as Lexus adds F Sport, as well as hybrid versions.

by on Apr.24, 2018

Lexus aimed to put more "passion" into the design and performance of the 2019 ES.

After a series of fan dance teases, Lexus has finally pulled the wraps off its seventh-generation in a dual presentation at the Beijing Motor Show and near its old U.S. corporate headquarters in Los Angeles.

One of the first models ever introduced by the Japanese automaker, the ES has long been known for its comfort, reliability and value, though it has also helped Lexus earn a reputation for plain vanilla design and performance. The luxury arm of Toyota Motor Corp. is determined not to let that happen again.

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“The ES has always been an elegant luxury sedan,” said Yasuo Kojino, the 2019 model’s chief designer. “For this generation, we have added daring design elements that challenge the traditional expectations of buyers.”

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Detroit Auto Show Confirms it May Move to October

Bad weather, increasing competition work against show’s current January date.

by on Mar.05, 2018

The NAIAS has seen a sharp drop in the number of new product previews, though there were still some big ones in 2018, including the introduction by CEO Akio Toyoda of the new Toyota Camry.

Thirty years ago, a once-backwater car show suddenly became the most important event of its kind, at least in North America, but the North American International Auto Show has begun to see its shiny star tarnish, at least from the perspective of new car previews.

And that’s got the Detroit Auto Dealers Association, the sponsors of the annual event, thinking about whether it makes sense to continue staging the show in January. It won’t happen next year, the NAIAS media preview scheduled for January 14-15, 2019, with the public days running through the 27th. But 2020 might be an entirely different story.

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“A critical part of being a sought-after global stage for companies is that we continuously evaluate future opportunities to make sure our show meets participating brands’ needs,” DADA spokesman Max Muncey told TheDetroitBureau.com. “We are exploring many opportunities for the show, with October being one of those opportunities. Ongoing discussions are underway with key stakeholders around the world.”

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Mercedes Dropping Out of Detroit Auto Show in 2019

Auto shows face increasing challenges as automakers look at alternatives.

by on Feb.12, 2018

Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche and Arnold Schwarzenegger celebrated the debut of the 2019 G-Wagen at this year's Detroit Auto Show..

(This story has been updated.)

Officials with the North American International Auto Show have confirmed that Mercedes-Benz won’t be on hand when the even returns in January 2019, the latest on a growing list of manufacturers who have decided to pull out of the Detroit show.

The news comes as more and more automakers rethink their commitment to both media previews and public says at events like the NAIAS. As TheDetroitBureau.com recently reported, industry planners are looking at alternatives that can more directly target potential buyers while also holding down costs. At shows like the NAIAS it can cost as much as $5 million to stage a 20-minute media preview – even more if the event involves the creation of a one-of-a-kind concept vehicle.

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“At this time Mercedes-Benz AG will not be exhibiting at the upcoming 2019 North American International Auto Show,” said the German marque in a statement. “Our time in Detroit over the years has been very beneficial for our brand, especially coming off of the world debut of the iconic G-Class. Discussions are underway for future show participation.”

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