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Archive for the ‘Mercedes’ Category

Mercedes Puts a Bit More Panache on Big Ute

German maker adds Grand Edition trim to GLS line-up.

by on Jan.14, 2018

Mercedes-Benz new GLS450 4MATIC Grand Edition offers buyers a more luxurious sport-utility vehicle for 2018.

Mercedes-Benz continues to expand its footprint in the luxury utility market with the new GLS Grand Edition for 2018, making its debut at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

Featuring a new, more luxurious interior and “edition-exclusive” components, the new iteration will be available for both the GLS450 4MATIC and GLS550 4MATIC SUVs.

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The Grand Edition features exclusive interior and exterior elements, including a Porcelain/Espresso Brown interior and designo Nappa leather seats with exclusive diamond quilting and special Budapest-design piping. (more…)

China Posts Meager Auto Sales Gain in 2017

Sport-ute led the way to small 1.4% increase last year.

by on Jan.12, 2018

Auto sales in China increased marginally for 2017, but they were led by sport-utilites.

China’s auto sales stalled in December and ended 2017 up a meager 1.4% compared with a year ago results as the popularity of SUVs helped to offset falling demand for sedans, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers said.

With global car makers such as General Motors, BMW, Volkswagen AG, Mercedes-Benz, Toyota and Nissan all reporting solid, but not spectacular, gains during 2017, smaller local brands common to almost every province and international brands such Ford and Hyundai, appeared to suffer the most for the slowdown, which was due in part to the end of special tax credits.

Global Auto News!

The growth rate was barely one-tenth the previous year’s 15% rate, which was boosted by a temporary tax cut. (more…)

GM Asks Feds to OK 2019 Launch of Driverless Robo-Cabs

Automaker aims to put as many as 2,500 on the road annually during test program.

by on Jan.12, 2018

GM will use an updated version of this Chevrolet Bolt EV - sans steering wheel and pedals - for the robo-cab test program.

General Motors wants permission from federal regulators to begin testing driverless robo-cabs on public roads, starting in 2019, a move that could position the Detroit automaker as one of the leaders in the development of autonomous vehicle technology.

Company officials said they would roll out as many as 25 vehicles annually under the pilot project, if given approval from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. GM ultimately hopes to provide the vehicles to ride-sharing services such as Lyft – in which it is a major investor – as well as its own service, Maven.

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Unlike the autonomous prototypes GM and many competitors are currently testing, the vehicles would be completely driverless and not even be equipped with pedals or a steering wheel. That is something the automaker’s President Dan Ammann called “a major milestone, adding that, “this technology will have a huge impact on the world.”

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“Hey, Mercedes!” German Maker Lets You to Have a Conversation With Your Car

New user experience will use natural speech, 3D graphics.

by on Jan.10, 2018

Global Design Director Gorden Wagener talks about the advantages of the company's new MBUX infotainment system.

Most of today’s cars are now equipped with voice recognition systems that can be used to pair a phone, change the radio station or enter a destination. But the systems are often balky and require motorists to learn arcane commands.

Mercedes-Benz says it will make the process easier, more intuitive and more accurate with the debut of its new MBUX infotainment platform, a technology senior officials not-so-modestly dubbed a “revolution” during its debut at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Set to debut on the next-generation A-Class model next month, the Mercedes-Benz User Experience will let you have “the best conversation you’ve ever had with a car,” said Ola Kallenius, a board member with Mercedes’ parent, Daimler AG.

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The new system is more in line with new voice assistants, such as Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home. MBUX can recognize more conventional speech and even figure out that when you ask if you can wear flip-flops to the beach tomorrow that you actually want to know what the weather will be like. (more…)

Mercedes-Benz Tops in Global Luxury Vehicle Sales for 2017

BMW, Audi finish second and third, respectively.

by on Jan.09, 2018

Mercedes-Benz once again captured the top spot in global sales among luxury brands.

Mercedes-Benz is once again laying claim to the title of the best-selling premium automotive brand in the world.

In 2017, the German luxury car manufacturer posted its most successful year of sales in its long history, increasing its unit sales by 9.9% to 2,289,344 vehicles.

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“Last year, Mercedes-Benz Cars delivered more than 2.4 million Mercedes-Benz and smart to customers all over the world,” said Dieter Zetsche, chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and head of Mercedes-Benz Cars. (more…)

CES Focus Shifts From Smartphones, Smart TVs to Smart Cars

“The potential applications of...technology are incredible."

by on Jan.08, 2018

A Nissan engineer monitors a volunteer's brain activity while testing new brain-to-vehicle software.

Anyone who has driven a relatively recent-vintage vehicle has probably experienced the benefits – and occasional snags – of using voice control to plug in a destination, dial a call or change the radio station. But Nissan’s IMx concept vehicle aims to take things a step further. It uses brain-to-vehicle technology to respond to what the driver is thinking.

“The potential applications of the technology are incredible,” helping motorists relax more while driving, while also improving vehicle safety, said Dr. Lucian Gheorghe, senior innovation researcher at the Nissan Research Center in Japan.

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While you’re not likely to see Nissan’s B2V technology wind up in showrooms for at least five to 10 more years, the automaker plans to demonstrate its potential during the CES show in Las Vegas next week. And Nissan won’t be alone. Formerly known as the Consumer Electronic Show, the annual gathering traditionally focused on gizmos and gadgets, smartphones, TVs, computers and drones. But over the last few years, it has become a showcase for the auto industry, as well.

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US Tax Cuts Provides 1B Euro Boost to Daimler Shareholders

Company increasing dividend to global shareholders.

by on Dec.26, 2017

Daimler AG will benefit from the new tax cuts in the U.S. to the tune of $1 billion.

Daimler AG expects the reduction in U.S. federal taxes to boost the company’s net income by roughly 1 billion euros, which will lead to higher dividends next year for automaker’s shareholders around the world, the company said in a statement released during the Christmas holidays.

The new tax law pushed by President Donald Trump includes the permanent reduction of the U.S. corporate income tax rate from 35% to 21%, starting Jan. 1, 2018.

Global Auto News!

“Due to the broadly based U.S. industrial and financial services business, combined with a material value added, Daimler — similar to many other local U.S. companies — benefits from the decided tax reform,” according to a statement by Daimler, which builds, cars, heavy-duty trucks and large diesel engines at operations spread across the United States with major employment clusters in Portland, Oregon, Detroit and Tuscaloosa, Alabama. (more…)

Ford Hopes Alibaba’s Online Sales Plan is Purrfect

Vending machine approach expected to increase online sales.

by on Dec.19, 2017

Ford is looking to expand its online sales in China through its partnership with Alibaba and its cat-shaped vending machines for cars.

Ford Motor Co.’s new three-year deal with Alibaba, considered China’s version of Amazon, offers the automaker a new outlet for selling its vehicles in the country.

The idea of buying a new car on the internet isn’t exactly novel, but Alibaba offers Dearborn, Michigan-based Ford more options than simply “click to proceed to checkout” on its Tmall online store.

Global Auto News!

Ford, which has seen its sales in China stagnate this year, and when signed it deal last month with Alibaba, the automaker was looking to expand its capability of selling vehicles online. The company’s year-to-date sales in China total more than 1,056,000 units, a 6% decrease year over year. (more…)

First Look: 2018 Mercedes-Benz G-Class

Mercedes reinterprets maker's military-based classic.

by on Dec.14, 2017

The new Mercedes-Benz G-Class gets a makeover for the 2018 model year.

Daimler AG has updated its G-Class sport utility vehicle, which like the Jeep Wrangler, began its life more than 40 years ago as a military vehicle but is now one of the most coveted vehicles in the Mercedes-Benz model line.

The G-Class or Geländewagen or G-Wagen as its now known was developed as cross-country vehicle for use in remote places such as the desert or Arctic region is a midsized, boxy style SUV that is built for Daimler by Magna-Steyr in Graz, Austria.

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The redesign, which is described as the most extensive in the vehicle’s long history and includes a more spacious cabin, maintains the ute’s iconic elements to give the G-Class its unique appearance such as distinctive door handles, exterior protective strip, exposed spare wheel on the rear door and the prominent indicator lights. (more…)

Mercedes Taking New “User Experience” to CES

Automakers struggle to add more high-tech content – and make it easier to use.

by on Dec.12, 2017

The interior of the next Mercedes-Benz A-Class shows off its expansive display technology.

The annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas has become a showcase for the auto industry, as much as it traditional was for computer, TV and smartphone manufacturers. A number of intriguing products, such as the Volkswagen BUDD-e van and Chevrolet Bolt EV have debuted there in recent years, but Mercedes-Benz is taking a different tack next month, using CES to reveal a completely new infotainment system.

Dubbed the Mercedes-Benz User Experience, or MBUX, it is designed to replace the German marque’s now-familiar COMAND system. Using artificial intelligence and what Mercedes calls “an intuitive operating system,” the goal appears to be finding a way to add even more technology into tomorrow’s luxury products without confounding owners.

Tech News!

That’s a major challenge. Today’s cars are loaded with as many as 100 different microprocessors operating such things as a vehicle’s engine and safety gear. But manufacturers are also loading up with lots of new infotainment technologies and in many cases, they can turn out to be “nightmares” to operate, Renee Stephens, vice president at J.D. Power and Associates noted when unveiling the research firm’s latest APEAL study earlier this year.

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