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Another Automaker Abandons the V-8

Genesis will drop Tau V-8 when new G80 debuts this autumn.

by on May.20, 2019

The next version of the Genesis G80 will come to market without its familiar Tau V-8.

Way back in the late 1970s, when twin oil shocks and the then-new Corporate Average Fuel Economy mandate forced automakers to start focusing on energy efficiency, conventional wisdom had it that the V-8 would soon vanish. It didn’t quite work out that way and the engine of choice for many performance and heavy-duty vehicles has remained surprisingly robust.

But as global emissions and mileage regulations continue to tighten, the V-8 appears, once again, to be an endangered species, and the Hyundai Motor Group is the latest getting ready to throw in the towel.

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The Korean carmaker’s luxury brand Genesis plans to abandon its 5.0-liter Tau V-8 when it rolls out new versions of its two biggest sedans, according to the marque’s CEO. That phase-out will begin later this year with the launch of a new version of the G80.

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Kia Offers First Look at New “Global Small SUV”

Could be called Tusker in U.S. market.

by on May.14, 2019

Kia's teaser images aren't entirely production ready, as the mirrors and large wheels suggest.

At the Seoul Motor Show in March Kia unveiled two concept vehicles hinting at how it plans to bookmark its SUV line-up. Now, it’s offering a pair of renderings that appear to show what the smaller of the two Korean concepts will actually look like in production.

The “new global small SUV” was indeed, “inspired by the 2019 Kia SP Signature Concept,” Kia confirmed in a news release this morning. But it left plenty of other questions unanswered, including the name it will give the new offering and the precise timing of its global roll-out.

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“We have created a car which stands out everywhere, from the city to the countryside,” said Byung Chul Juh, head of styling for the Kia brand, adding that it will offer “a wide range of features and technologies that are universally suited to younger buyers in markets around the world.”

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Daimler to Go “Carbon Neutral” Under “Ambition2039″ Sustainability Plan

Company credited with inventing the I.C. engine is helping to put it to rest, says environmental group.

by on May.13, 2019

Mercedes revealed the U.S. version of its first long-range EV, the EQC Edition 1886, in NY last month.

The automaker that effectively brought the internal combustion engine to life appears ready to drive a nail into its coffin.

Daimler AG, the parent of the Mercedes-Benz and Smart brands says it expects plug-in hybrids and pure battery-electric vehicles, or BEVs, accounting for fully 50% of its sales by 2030, with a goal to go completely “carbon neutral” by 2039.

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“One of the defining issues is how we address our CO2 footprint,” Ola Kallenius, Daimler’s next CEO, said during a conference in its headquarters city of Stuttgart on Monday morning.

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Mitsubishi Could Be Next to Reenter U.S. Pickup Market

As sales surge, more manufacturers look for an opening.

by on Apr.29, 2019

Mitsubishi could be back in the U.S. pickup market with an Americanized version of the Triton.

Mitsubishi could be one of the next manufacturers to target the booming U.S. pickup market, according to the company’s North American chief operating officer.

With truck sales, in general, booming, and pickups, in particular, generating a disproportionate share of industry earnings in the region, an assortment of manufacturers have either gotten back into the game or are looking for ways to join established brands like Chevrolet, Ford, Ram and Toyota.

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The Japanese automaker would “have to have one that’s the right fit for Mitsubishi, for our demographic, and something that’s really competitive in the market,” Mitsubishi North America COO Mark Chaffin told trade publication Ward’s.

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Subaru NYIAS Display Shows Commitment to National Parks

Automaker donated $2.1 million to parks in 2018.

by on Apr.22, 2019

Subaru is the National Park Foundation's largest corporate partner and its NYIAS display reflects that commitment.

Subaru of America Inc. has become the National Park Foundation’s single largest corporate partner.

“Through our partnership with the National Park Foundation, we have provided nearly $20 million in support since 2013, funding programs and projects in more than 100 national parks that help protect these treasured places and increase public awareness and engagement across the National Park System,” said Thomas J. Doll, CEO and president, Subaru of America Inc.

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The automaker donated $2.1 million in 2018 through its Share the Love buying program where it donated $250 from the sale of every vehicle to the foundation. Through the 11 years of program it has raised $145.7 million. (more…)

Weakening Sales Worry Automakers Gathered for NY Auto Show

Industry execs fear a Trump “grenade," but automakers are creating some of their own problems.

by on Apr.19, 2019

Toyota's U.S. sales chief Bob Carter expressed concern about the potential impact of actions by the Trump administration could have on sales this year.

U.S. auto sales suffered a severe chill over the winter. Demand was widely expected to slip slightly after posting an unexpected increase in 2019, but the market has been surprisingly weak and many of the industry officials gathered for this week’s media preview at the New York International Auto Show fear the situation could get worse.

In particular, there was a clear sense of concern that President Donald Trump could be “pulling the pin out of the grenade,” as Bob Carter, head of U.S. sales for Toyota put it, escalating the various trade wars to the point that it could send American car sales into a tailspin.

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The harsh weather that swept through much of the country in January and February clearly took some of the blame for the way demand tumbled during the first quarter. But even a climactic reprieve in March did little to improve the situation, and sales for the first three months of the year were off by 4%. Only four brands finished the quarter in the black – and even then, only on the retail side. (more…)

Hyundai Venue Completes Korean Carmaker’s SUV Roll-Out

Targeting buyers who’d love to get out of a used car.

by on Apr.18, 2019

Hyundai keeps growing its sport-utility offerings. The new Venue, its smallest SUV, made its debut at the NYIAS.

Hyundai was one of the few automakers to use the Great Recession to its advantage, actually picking up sales and market share while the rest of the U.S. auto industry plunged to levels unseen in decades. Ironically, the Korean carmaker took an unexpected tumble as the rest of the market turned around, unprepared to adapt to the sudden shift from sedans and coupes to SUVs and CUVs.

Hyundai isn’t about to let that happen again, the automaker using this year’s New York International Auto Show to roll out the seventh, and newest, member of its rapidly expanding utility vehicle line-up, the 2020 Hyundai Venue. In sharp contrast to the recently added Palisade, its biggest and most lavish CUV, the subcompact Venue targets a mostly younger buyer on a tight budget.

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“About one-third of (used car) buyers started out looking for a new vehicle but couldn’t afford it,” said Brian Smith, Hyundai Motor America’s chief operating officer, during the Venue’s NYIAS debut. “That’s a perfect opportunity for a vehicle like this.” (more…)

California Start-Up Plans to Launch $149,000 Chinese-Made EV Sports Car

Qiantu K50 will be modified for American market.

by on Apr.18, 2019

The Qiantu K50 will be produced in China, but sold in the U.S. through Mullen at a cost of $149K.

A California start-up wants to sell a Chinese-made battery-electric sports cars to American drivers, the Qiantu K50 by Mullen scheduled to make its debut in the U.S. market sometime in 2020.

With its classic, supercar silhouette, the K50 is expected to join an array of electric vehicles destined for U.S. shores that will either be produced in China or come from American factories operated by Chinese companies, such as Karma and Byton.

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The new sports car, perhaps more importantly, will be part of a wave of new entries likely to reshape the perception of electric vehicles, from slow and stodgy to sleek, fast and fun-to-drive. (more…)

Kia Ups the Performance Quotient with Stinger GTS

Sports sedan adds AWD and drift mode.

by on Apr.18, 2019

Kia's new Stinger GTS package allows drifters to go all out while still having all-wheel drive.

For a brand traditionally known for affordable, albeit plain-vanilla products, Kia delivered a major shock when it rolled out the Stinger sports sedan two years ago. Stinger quickly nabbed a string of awards and was a finalist for North American Car of the Year.

Now, the Korean carmaker wants to increase Stinger’s appeal with performance-oriented buyers, introducing a new version, the GTS, which adds a new all-wheel-drive system, dubbed D-AWD, that can let a driver drift to their hearts content.

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Set to reach showrooms later this year, the Kia Stinger GTS will remain one of the most affordable vehicles in its segment, with a base price of $44,995 for the rear-wheel-drive version, and $47,495 with D-AWD. (more…)

Audi Tweaks Subscription Service Pricing Plan

German automaker introduces Core Collection in Dallas.

by on Apr.18, 2019

Audi of America CFO Matt Carpenter notes the new pricing tier continues the company's mission of expanding mobility products to consumers.

Audi is experimenting with new wrinkles to its novel subscription plan in its test market in Dallas-Fort Worth.

The German automaker unveiled a new pricing tier for its monthly vehicle subscription service called the Core Collection, which will become available exclusively in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

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Subscribers to Audi select Core Collection will receive access to the Audi A4 and S3 sedans, Audi Q5 SUV, and Audi TT Coupe for $995 per month, plus two rental days per month at no additional cost of the Silvercar by Audi service now in place at 26 major U.S. airport and city locations. (more…)