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Rue Brittania? Brexit Could Chase Jaguar Land Rover from the UK

Brexit poses major financial hit, automaker warns.

by on Jul.05, 2018

Ralf Speth, CEO of Jaguar-Land Rover, celebrates a win for the Velar as World Car Design of the Year. It was a finalist for the overall World Car of the Year.

It once was said that “the sun never sets on the British empire.” What’s left of that realm could grow even smaller, ironically enough, once the United Kingdom exercises its independence and leaves the European Union.

Negotiations have been going on for months, following the Brexit vote, and among those watching closely to see how future trade relations shape up is Jaguar Land Rover, the British automaker warning that without a favorable deal, it could see its annual costs rise by 1.2 billion pounds, or about $1.6 billion, annually. That would force it to think seriously about moving out of the UK, according to a statement issued by JLR CEO Ralf Speth.

Global Auto News!

The automaker, he stressed, needs to have “free and frictionless trade with the EU and unrestricted access to the single market” if it is to successfully compete in the global market, Speth said.

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Every Car Sold in the U.S. is an “Import”

Tariffs would impact even “American-made” vehicles.

by on Jul.03, 2018

The Honda Odyssey is one of the most "American" cars but will still be hit by tariffs.

Every single car, truck or crossover sold in the U.S. would be affected by the 25% import tariff being proposed by Pres. Donald Trump, with prices on some models rising by tens of thousands of dollars.

That’s because even vehicles assembled in the U.S. rely on some level of imported parts and components, whether in their suspension, infotainment systems or powertrains.

Beyond the Headlines!

Complicating matters, American-made auto parts and vehicles could become more expensive, and lose their competitive edge, if trade partners enact their own tariffs in response, something a number of them have now threatened to do.

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Japan Warns Tariffs Put Global Free Trade “At Great Risk”

100s of thousands of U.S. jobs at Japanese carmakers may vanish.

by on Jun.29, 2018

Employees at Nissan's Canton, Mississippi, plant and other Japanese-owned U.S. plants could see their jobs threatened by new tariffs, Japan warned on Friday.

The Japanese government is the latest to weigh in on the potential dangers posed by the Trump Administration’s threatened trade tariffs on not only the global economy but U.S. jobs.

Warning that the White House’s proposed 25% tariff puts global free trade “at great risk,” a report issued by the Japanese government on Friday said such a move could backfire, threatening to “eventually undermine the entire U.S. economy” by, among other things costing the jobs of hundreds of thousands of U.S. jobs.

The Last Word!

The Japanese report echoed the findings of another analysis of the auto tariffs’ impact, the Peterson Institute for International Economics estimating that anywhere from 195,000 to as many as 624,000 U.S. jobs could be lost, the higher figure reflecting what would happen if trade partners retaliate.

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Jeep Tops “Most American” Vehicle List for 2018

Honda takes No. 2 and 3 spots with Odyssey and Ridgeline.

by on Jun.22, 2018

Cars.com tracked where the top 10 most American vehicles are built.

With the importance of where a vehicle is built dominating today’s political climate, some political leaders should be happy with the news that two of the top three “Most American” are produced by Japanese automakers.

The most American car produced, according to a new survey by Cars.com, is the Jeep Cherokee, which is made at the company’s plant in Belivdere, Illinois.

Product News!

The Cherokee, last year’s No. 2 car on the index, has a domestic parts content of 72% for the 2018 model year — and all engines and transmissions from the U.S., the Illinois-built Cherokee topped more than 100 vehicles to top the list. (more…)

Hyundai, Audi Latest Automakers to Partner Up

The pairing is just the latest in a growing line of partnerships.

by on Jun.20, 2018

Hyundai and Audi are partnering up to develop fuel cell technologies.

The automotive industry is increasingly becoming reliant on partnerships, the latest being the tie-up between Hyundai Motor Group and Audi AG.

Like so many other companies before them, the South Korean and German automakers are looking to find a way to get to the promised land of alternative fuel vehicles. In this case, the makers are partnering on the development of fuel cell electric vehicles.

Beyond the Numbers!

Unsurprisingly, whatever patents, technologies and revolutionary breakthroughs resulting from this new coalescence will trickle down, well, more like over to Kia Motors Co. and Volkswagen AG. Kia is Hyundai’s sibling and VW is Audi’s parent companies. These advances can also be shared among other affiliates within either group. (more…)

Try and Try Again: Honda Finally Nails it With 2019 Insight

Third-generation hybrid is more than just another bland eco-cruiser.

by on Jun.20, 2018

The 2019 Insight is Honda's third attempt to market a mainstream, entry-level hybrid.

It was quite literally another century when the first Honda Insight came to the U.S. market. Beating the now familiar Toyota Prius by several months, Honda’s originally hybrid was a quirky little two-seater that, in one configuration, delivered more than 70 miles per gallon.

But its trade-offs were many and, unlike its HEV rival, sales of the original Insight tanked, Honda soon pulling it from the market. But the Japanese automaker brought the nameplate back in 2008, this time as a five-door hatchback promoted as the lowest-priced hybrid available in the U.S. It didn’t fare any better and was culled from the line-up in 2014.

Product News!

Now, Honda is back with a third-generation Insight and, if our initial drive is any indication, three’s a real charmer. While the 2019 Honda Insight delivers some of the best mileage numbers on the market, reaching as much as 55 miles per gallon on the highway, it is far more appealing in other ways, including its design and its fun-to-drive factor. (more…)

Honda, Chevrolet Take Top Spots on Best Family Car List

The VW Atlas also surprised by taking an award.

by on Jun.08, 2018

The new Chevrolet Traverse with its new design nabbed a Top 10 Family Car honor.

Families looking for a new vehicle to haul the clan from soccer game to recital to birthday party should probably start their search as their local Honda and Chevrolet dealers.

The two automakers each had two vehicles fall in the top 10 of top family cars for 2018 as ranked by Parents magazine and Edmunds. The 2018 Honda Odyssey and Accord and Chevrolet Traverse and Malibu are four of the top 10 on the list.

The Last Word!

“We’re not playing favorites in terms of why there are two Hondas and two Chevrolets. The vehicle had to have a top safety score from NHTSA and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety to be considered,” said Brent Romans, senior analyst at Edmunds. “That narrowed down the list.” (more…)

GM, Honda Team Up to Develop Next-Gen Battery

Two automakers already plan joint fuel-cell production.

by on Jun.07, 2018

GM EVP Mark Reuss and Honda North America CEO Toshiaki Mikoshiba can celebrate again as GM and Honda are partnering on battery technology.

General Motors and Honda will team up – again – this time to work on what they hope will become the batteries powering the next generation of electric vehicles.

The agreement comes barely a year after the Detroit and Tokyo automakers announced plans to both develop and produce hydrogen fuel-cells that could be used in both vehicles and stationary power sources. The two deals reflect a significant shift in the automotive world, manufacturers increasing turning to alliances and joint ventures to help speed up the development of new technologies while also helping hold down costs.

EV News!

Both GM and Honda have already announced plans to significantly expand their production and sales of electrified vehicles, including hybrids, plug-ins and pure battery-electric vehicles. The challenge is to enhance both their functionality and consumer appeal by increasing range, driving costs and reducing charging times. (more…)

Acura Launches NextGen 2019 RDX at $37,300

Add $6,200 for reborn A-Spec.

by on May.29, 2018

With the launch of the 2019 RDX, Acura brings back the A-Spec performance design package.

Acura was the first of the Japanese luxury brands but, in recent years, it has lagged behind rivals Lexus and Infiniti. Could the stars finally be coming together for Honda’s high-line marque, however?

While Acura’s passenger car models continue to struggle, the automaker has done far better with its SUV line-up, and it expects to gain even more ground with a complete makeover of the compact RDX. The timing likely couldn’t be better considering the U.S. luxury market’s accelerating shift from sedans and coupes to SUVs and CUVs. Add the fact that Acura is bringing back the A-Spec version of the RDX for 2019.

Product News!

The first new model to really deliver on the promises of Acura new Precision Concept design language, the 2019 model offers an array of new and updated features, from its new turbocharged 2.0-liter powerplant to a completely redesigned infotainment system dubbed AcuraLink with True Touch. But what may garner even more interest is the fact that the 2019 Acura RDX starts at the same price as the outgoing, 2018 model: $38,295, which includes $995 in delivery charges. (more…)

Honda Kicks Off Production of Two New Models

Honda Insight, Acura RDX heading to dealers shortly.

by on May.16, 2018

Acura RDX production is underway at Honda's plant in Ohio.

Honda is celebrating the start of production of two new vehicle this the all-new 2019 Honda Insight in Greensburg, Indiana, and the 2019 Acura RDX at its plant in East Liberty, Ohio.

The 2019 Acura RDX is described as the first in a new generation of Acura products built around Acura’s “Precision Crafted Performance” brand direction. The new RDX was a clean-sheet, top-to-bottom redesign of Acura’s perennial top-selling five-passenger luxury SUV, brought to life through new capital investment of $54 million in new technologies and processes at the East Liberty Auto Plant.

Product News!

“This new RDX defines the future of Acura, and our Ohio team did an incredible job preparing this first in a new generation of Acura vehicles for our customers,” said Jim Hefner, plant manager at the East Liberty Auto Plant. (more…)