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Archive for the ‘Automobiles’ Category

Lexus Offers Full Look at New ES Before Beijing Debut

Shares the same architecture at new Avalon.

by on Apr.20, 2018

Lexus provided an early look at the new ES ahead of its Beijing debut.

As its debut creeps closer, Lexus elected to reveal an early look at the new ES in advance of its premier next week in Beijing.

Expected to borrow heavily from the Avalon, the first photo reveals a similar design aestetic when it comes to the grille. The front grille on the Avalon is massive and on the ES it sticks to the traditional spindle grille, but it’s much larger than on past editions.

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The brand offered a new pic and short film of the vehicle and said even less. (more…)

Japanese Surge Reveals Broader Jump in Auto Imports

Rising numbers from Japan, Mexico, Korea, China challenge Trump 

by on Apr.20, 2018

Demand for the latest version of Nissan's Rogue has contributed to an increase in imports from Japan.

When Toyota and Mazda open a new assembly plant in Alabama in 2021, it will become the latest in a growing array of automotive plants Japanese manufacturers have set up in the U.S. since the mid-1980s – yet despite investing billions in their American operations, Japanese manufacturers have also been increasing exports to the U.S. from their home market factories.

The number of Japanese-made vehicles imported into the U.S. rose almost 10% during the first quarter of 2018. And Japan wasn’t alone.  Auto imports, as a whole have actually been on the rise, whether from Korea, Europe or Mexico, the latter country shipping about 7.5% more vehicles to the U.S. in March than the year before – despite Pres. Donald Trump’s high-profile push to bring more auto production back to the States.

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“Japan sends us million and millions of cars, and we tax them virtually not at all. And we don’t send so much product because we have trade barriers and lots of other things,” the president complained during a news conference this week while standing alongside Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

(more…)

First Drive: 2018 Chevrolet Colorado Redline

Flexibility, looks, power all in one midsize truck package.

by on Apr.20, 2018

The Chevrolet Colorado Redline is one of several variants to the brand's highly successful midsize truck.

While pickup trucks share some of generic similarities, the stylistic differences are always critical and one of the trend setters since it first appeared has been the Chevrolet Colorado.

The Colorado seems to be a perfect size for working in urban spaces since it’s relatively easy to maneuver into urban or suburban parking spaces. It also has a spacious interior and looks handsome either sitting at the curb or out in traffic.

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Chevrolet has also smoothed out the ride by beefing up the suspension and improved the steering and brakes on the truck so it’s easier and more enjoyable to drive even if you are traveling a good distance. (more…)

Mercedes-Benz Kicks Off Production of A-Class

New compact car to built in Hungary as well as Germany.

by on Apr.20, 2018

Dieter Zetsche introduces the new Mercedes-Benz A-Class wagon and sedan in Amsterdam.

During the last few years, Mercedes-Benz has followed a dual strategy, promoting its high-end luxury cars while expanding into the compact segments as it overtakes key rivals such as BMW and Audi.

Mercedes is now building the new A-Class at the Mercedes-Benz plant in Rastatt, some 60 miles from the headquarters of its parent company, Daimler AG, in Stuttgart, Germany. The A-Class is also scheduled to roll off the assembly line at the Mercedes-Benz plant Kecskemét, Hungary, in just a few weeks.

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“Mercedes-Benz Cars starts an unprecedented ramp-up cascade with the A-Class. In our global production network, we can ramp-up the production of our vehicles in proven top quality and supply the global market even faster. Using modern industry 4.0 technologies our plants are becoming even more flexible and efficient,” said Markus Schäfer, member of the Divisional Board of Mercedes-Benz Cars, Production & Supply Chain. (more…)

Tesla Going Round the Clock on Model 3 Production

EV maker looks to up Model 3 build rate to 6K weekly.

by on Apr.19, 2018

Tesla CEO Elon Musk is looking to make the Fremont, California plant a 24/7 operation to meet a new Model 3 production goal of 6,000 units weekly.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk is borrowing from a famous ‘50s rock ‘n’ roll ditty in order to get Model 3 production levels back on track: they’re going to work around the clock.

Musk ordered a weeklong shut down of the company’s plant in Fremont, California, to resolve once and for all the production bottlenecks the facility was experiencing related to Tesla’s first mass-market vehicle, the Model 3.

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The company’s founder, who has taken to sleeping on the plant floor regularly, said one of the big problems was the plant was too automated. “Humans are underrated,” he said. (more…)

Walmart Set to Add Super Fast-Chargers in 34 States

Chargers will deliver up to 200 miles in 10 minutes.

by on Apr.19, 2018

The new Walmart chargers will be capable of boosting range by as much as 20 miles a minute.

Walmart, the world’s largest retailer could soon operate one of the nation’s larger vehicle charging networks.

The Arkansas-based company is partnering up with Electrify America to set up 100 fast-charger stations at stores in 34 states by mid-2019. That’s part of 2,000 chargers Electrify America aims to have in place by then at 500 stations across the U.S.

Electrifying!

“Along with providing our customers with an enhanced shopping experience through added convenience, this initiative also allows us to contribute to the expansion of our nation’s EV charging station infrastructure,” said Mark Vanderhelm, Vice President of Energy for Walmart, Inc.

(more…)

Daimler AG May Supply Engines for Volvo Cars

Move comes days after Volvo chairman talks about partnerships.

by on Apr.19, 2018

Volvo may source engines for some of its vehicles from Daimler AG in the future.

Volvo may source engines from Daimler AG, raising the spectre of Mercedes-Benz and the Swedish-Chinese automaker forming some sort of official partnership in the near future.

The revelation comes mere weeks after Geely founder Li Shufu spent more than $9 billion to acquire a 9.69% stake in Daimler AG, and days after he said that partnerships between companies were critical to future growth. He also noted that companies that don’t team up are likely to be gobbled up.

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Further than supplying engines, Manager Magazin in Germany reported the partnership could extend beyond that into a potential ownership stake in Volvo Cars of “a couple percent.” (more…)

Cargo Expanding Opportunities for Ridesharing Drivers

Company offering new services to users.

by on Apr.19, 2018

Cargo is offering Uber and other ridesharing drivers a way to expand the services they offer and get more cash.

Carsharing is expected to re-shape the automotive business, but it is also creating business opportunities that go beyond the rides offered by companies such as Uber and Lyft.

Cargo, self-described as an “in-car commerce” platform for the rideshare economy, has partnered with The Coca-Cola Company to offer beverages to thousands of rideshare cars across the U.S. that are equipped with Cargo apps and systems.

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“We’re very excited to enter this new distribution channel in rideshare with Cargo,” said John Carroll, vice president and general manager eCommerce for Coca-Cola.  (more…)

Brand boss de Nysschen out in Shake-Up at Cadillac

Move comes at launch of critical new products.

by on Apr.18, 2018

Johan de Nysschen, now former Caddy chief, said in New York last month Caddy's upcoming product lines could double current sales.

Just weeks after presiding over the debut of two critical new products, the CT6 V-Sport sedan and XT4 sport-utility vehicle, Johan de Nysschen is out as the head of the Cadillac brand, replaced by Steve Carlisle, a fast-track executive credited with major turnarounds for parent General Motors in Canada and Thailand.

With extensive experience in the global luxury car market, including stints with BMW, Audi and Infiniti, de Nysschen laid out broad plans for Cadillac’s revival after joining the brand in 2014. That ranged from additions to its product portfolio to the decision to move Caddy from Detroit to New York City to give it more distance from the parent company and put it at the center of one of the country’s biggest luxury car markets. But several sources suggested senior GM management was growingly increasingly concerned about Caddy’s weak performance in its home market.

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“We appreciate Johan’s efforts over the last four years in setting a stronger foundation for Cadillac,” said General Motors President Dan Ammann, who helped lure de Nysschen from Infiniti to Cadillac. “Looking forward, the world is changing rapidly, and, beginning with the launch of the new XT4, it is paramount that we capitalize immediately on the opportunities that arise from this rate of change. This move will further accelerate our efforts in that regard.” (more…)

Walking a Tightrope: Ford Trying to Please All with New Mustang Variants

The original pony car continues to draw new fans.

by on Apr.18, 2018

The Ford Mustang is celebrating 54 years, and the current best-selling sports car in the world intends to remain so.

(This story has been updated with new information.)

You can’t stand still in the muscle car market. What’s hot today could be all but forgotten tomorrow. That’s something Ford Motor Co. learned when rival General Motors brought back the Chevrolet Camaro in 2010, delivering a sucker punch to the long-dominant Ford Mustang.

Since launching an all-new version of the Mustang to mark the nameplate’s 50th anniversary four years ago, Ford has retaken its crown as king of the pony car hill. It has now been the world’s best-selling sports car for three years in a row.

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And Ford is determined to maintain that lead with a series of Mustang variants set to come to market during the next 18 months. That includes not only the latest version of the GT500 but a first-ever Mustang hybrid. (more…)