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Archive for the ‘BMW’ Category

Former Ford Design Chief Mays Joining Whirlpool

Move has him following in footsteps of predecessor.

by on Sep.19, 2018

Ford's former design chief J Mays, shown with the 2015 Mustang, is taking a new job at Whirlpool.

Once Ford Motor Co.’s top designer, J Mays, is heading back to Michigan as vice president and chief design officer of Whirlpool Corp. of Benton Harbor, Michigan.

Mays left Ford in 2013 after a long career in the automobile industry that included stints at BMW, Volkswagen and Audi before he joined Ford in 1997 as the company’s top designer.

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Before his appointment at Whirlpool, which makes a variety of home appliances, Mays has been working as consultant in a variety of areas, including in the movie industry. He also has been a visiting professor at the Royal College of Art in London. (more…)

German Automakers Enduring More Diesel Scrutiny

Government regulators continue investigation of companies.

by on Sep.19, 2018

An Audi A3 TDI Sportback, one of the vehicles that was equipped with a rigged diesel engine.

German automakers are facing more headaches and potentially huge fines as the fallout from the “Dieselgate” scandal continues to seep through the legal and regulatory system in Europe and North America.

Antitrust regulators from the European Union are investigating if major German automakers, BMW, Daimler and Volkswagen AG conspired to limit the rollout of emission technology used on diesel-powered vehicles heavily promoted by the three automakers.

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In the latest twist to the three-year-old “Dieselgate” scandal, the European Commission has opened an in-depth investigation this week. The investigation comes a year after it raided the companies and two years after it slapped a record 2.93 billion euro ($3.4 billion) fine on a group of truck makers, including Daimler, for fixing prices and delaying the adoption of cleaner engine technology, according to Reuters. (more…)

BMW Fills in the Blanks on New Z4

Production will launch with four-cylinder version, but I-6 and M packages will follow.

by on Sep.19, 2018

The 2019 BMW Z4 revs up the excitement for the next-gen roadster with more power and plenty of style.

Nearly a month after giving us a first look at the all-new BMW Z4, the Bavarian automaker is filling in some critical blanks, offering timing on the rollout of the new roadster, as well as specs on the first two versions in the pipeline.

First unveiled during the annual classic car week in Pebble Beach, California, the new Z4 is seen by many as the most significant update since the nameplate was first launched 17 years ago. That is, in part, due to the unusual approach BMW took to develop the all-new Z4, partnering with Toyota which will use the underpinnings for its own new entry, the reborn Supra.

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The good news is that the next-generation Z4 will be offering more power than the outgoing roadster. The bad news, at least for fans of rowing their own transmission, is that there’ll be no manual offered on the new model. (more…)

BMW’s iNext Offers a Glimpse at Automaker’s Autonomous, Electrified Future

Show car offers broad hints about BMW's next all-electric model.

by on Sep.15, 2018

BMW offered a handful of journalists a sneak peek at the iNext concept during an around-the-world tour.

BMW was one of the first of the traditional automakers to enter the plug-in vehicle market, well ahead of luxury rivals like Mercedes-Benz, Audi and Lexus. But it has been slow to follow up on its original i3 and i8 models, especially when it comes to all-electric offerings, even as those competitors have laid out aggressive plans to launch literally dozens of their own new products in the coming years.

BMW has been dropping hints about where it might go next for several years. And the Bavarian automaker is looking to get back in the game with the appropriately named iNext, an all-electric and autonomous crossover set to make its debut in 2021.

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A handful of select media outlets, including TheDetroitBureau.com, got a chance to check out a prototype version of the iNext during an otherwise top-secret, around-the-world series that took the concept vehicles from Germany to New York, then Los Angeles and, finally, Beijing.

(more…)

Infotainment Technology Getting Better, JD Power study says

Systems improve for third consecutive year.

by on Sep.14, 2018

The Ford Mustang earned the highest score in J.D. Power's 2018 Multimedia Quality and Satisfaction Study.

If you own a car built in the last decade, you’ve been there. You attempt to make a call using the hands-free system – regardless of the manufacturer – and you get a list of people the nice lady in the dashboard would like you to choose from and none of the options are the one you want.

It’s this kind of technology that is both enticing and enraging all at the same time and is most often the target of complaints by new vehicle owners. However, the folks at J.D. Power claim the user experience is getting better.

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According to the J.D. Power 2018 Multimedia Quality and Satisfaction Study, the number of reported problems with in-car audio, communication, entertainment and navigation technologies has decreased for a third consecutive year, with several technology standouts emerging among manufacturers. (more…)

BMW Looking to Go Beyond the X5 (and 6 and 7)

The future may include some truly radical approaches.

by on Sep.14, 2018

The latest version of the BMW iNext Concept adopts a more SAV-like body design.

Even as the newest version of the X5 gets ready to roll into showrooms around the world, BMW is looking at ways to expand its presence in the fast-growing market for sport-utility vehicles.

The automaker took what seemed like a big risk when it launched the original X5 “Sports-Activity Vehicle” in 1999, but dmand for high-line utes has grown exponentially, leading it to move down-market, all the way to the base X1, with a new flagship, the X7, set to debut next year.

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“We see even more demand from our customers,” said Carson Gruber, the BMW AG marketing executive overseeing high-line products like the X5 and X7, during an interview with TheDetroitBureau.com. “BMW is a learning company….and we’re capable of identifying new trends.”

(more…)

Vietnam’s First Car Company Intent on Breaking the Rules

Putting the "fast" in VinFast.

by on Sep.11, 2018

VinFast is Vietnam's first automaker and it breaking plenty of rules to get its first vehicle on the road.

Despite the monsoon-level rain, workers scramble through the mud and debris. They don’t have time to waste. Little more than a year ago, nearly half the 827-acre site was still under water, but before the end of the year, the first pilot cars are expected to start rolling off the assembly line rising on the edge of Haiphong Harbor.

Vietnam is about to get its first car company, and it’s called VinFast for a reason. The first retail-ready models are expected to reach showrooms by mid-2019, barely two years after the company was founded.

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“We’re doing in 24 months what most OEMs need up to 60 months to do,” said Jim DeLuca, the former General Motors executive who was lured out of what he describes as “a comfortable retirement” last year to serve as VinFast’s chief executive officer. (more…)

BMW Unleashes the Latest X2: the M35i

Newest ute puts out 302 horsepower, rushing form 0 to 60 in 4.9 seconds.

by on Sep.07, 2018

The 2019 BMW X2 M35i puts out 302 horsepower from a 2.0-liter twin-turbo 4 cylinder.

BMW continues to expand its presence in the fast-growing small luxury utility segment with the introduction a new X2 sport activity vehicle: the X2 M35i.

The automaker’s M-branded vehicles are known for their high level of performance and the 2019 X2 M35i keeps that legacy intact with a 302 horsepower 2.0-liter TwinPower turbocharged 4-cylinder engine.

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The new engine is produced by BMW M GmbH, which is akin to Mercedes-Benz relationship with AMG. It’s the first M Performance 4-cylinder engine and at the same time BMW’s most powerful production 4-cylinder version yet. BMW M left almost no major engine component group untouched. (more…)

Hey! BMW Introducing New AI-Enabled In-Car Assistant

New digital assistant available in March 2019

by on Sep.06, 2018

BMW has developed its own in-car, AI-enabled digital assistant. The system's functions can be accessed by simply saying, "Hey BMW!"

“Hey Google!” appears to have more competition as BMW follows the lead of Mercedes-Benz, Ford and other automakers by making an AI-enabled assistant available in its vehicles with a simple call out: “Hey BMW!”

The BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant is a new proprietary in-car AI assistant that uses an always on-call technology platform. It is an intelligent, digital character that responds to the prompt “Hey BMW” and has the ability to control vehicle settings, navigation and entertainment systems as well as explain vehicle functions and even conducting a conversation.

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The BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant will debut in 2019 and mark the start of a new era in which drivers will increasingly be able to operate their car and access its functions and information through voice control, the automaker noted. (more…)

Lexus, Volvo Tie for Top Spot in New Brand Survey

Overall, consumers slightly happier with ownership experience.

by on Aug.30, 2018

Volvo tied with Lexus for the top brand honors in the latest ACSI survey, receiving its highest score ever.

Vehicle owners in the U.S. are slightly happier with their ownership experience this year than last year, according to the latest American Customer Satisfaction Index.

The index, which is the result of surveys of car owners on their overall service and product experience with specific auto brands, creates a score between 1 to 100. According to the latest edition, the industry-wide score for 2018 is 82, up from 81 in 2017.

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“Car owners are often highly satisfied—they’ve kicked the tires enough times that they’re happy with their decision when they buy,” said David VanAmburg, managing director at ACSI.  (more…)