Detroit Bureau on Twitter

Archive for the ‘Automobiles’ Category

All BMW M Models to be Electric by 2030

"It should still drive like an M."

by on Jul.20, 2018

Don't be surprised to see next-generation BMW M models adopt hybrid or even all-electric drive technology, the brand's chief said.

If anyone still has doubts about the expanding role of battery powertrain technology in the luxury car market, comments from Frank Van Meel, the head of BMW’s vaunted M brand, should put them to rest.

During a media event in Spain, Van Meel told a group of Australian journalists that “all M vehicles wil be electrified by the end of the next decade,” a shift that will include a mix of hybrid and all-electric vehicles.

The Last Word!

If the comments, first published by CarAdvice, are accurate, it puts BMW M in line with what we’re seeing from a number of other high-line automakers and, more notably, with what high-performance brands are planning. All future Maserati and Alfa Romeo models, for example, will be offered with some form of electrified option and Alfa’s reborn 8C supercar will use a plug-in hybrid all-wheel-drive system to punch out over 700 horsepower.

(more…)

Musk Denies a Quarter of Model 3 Orders Were Cancelled – But Reveals New Worry

Order rate, he reveals, has fallen behind increase in production.

by on Jul.20, 2018

Tesla CEO Elon Musk denied claims in a recent analyst report suggesting that nearly a quarter of all Model 3 orders have been cancelled.

Elon Musk has dismissed as “bs” a report that suggested a growing number of advanced reservations for the Model 3 battery-car are being cancelled.

The recent report from investment bank Needham & Co. isn’t the first to raise that prospect, which could make it difficult for Tesla to achieve its promised profit for the second half of 2018. Needham’s Rajvindra Gill joined a growing chorus of analysts this week in downgrading Tesla shares, triggering another dip in the stock, traded as TSLA.

Plug In!

“Dunno where this bs is coming from,” CEO Musk said in a Thursday night tweet – but by trying to support the idea that there’s still strong demand for the Model 3, the South African-born executive actually may have sent a signal that Tesla is facing longer-term problems. Musk indicated Tesla received 5,000 orders for the Model 3 last week, but that’s actually less than the production target for the battery-car in the months to come. (more…)

Hyundai Veloster N Ready to Run with Hot Hatches

Strong sales could expand N-performance line-up in U.S.

by on Jul.20, 2018

The 2019 Hyundai Veloster N puts out 275 horsepower and 260 foot-pounds of torque.

The hot hatch market in the U.S. is garnering a lot of attention and nearly as many sales so Hyundai’s going to find out of there is room for one more entry in the segment with the Veloster N.

Hyundai’s Veloster isn’t unknown to American hatchback fans, it’s just never been high on their list of favorites is sales figures are the barometer. However, the South Korean automaker is looking to change that impression with the new 275-horsepower pocket rocket.

Subscribe Now!

The company’s using the Veloster N as a test bed to see if it can expand its N-performance line-up in the U.S. It already sells N-performance cars in other markets. The Veloster’s success or failure will set the stage for other Hyundai high-performance models. (more…)

Click & Clack Join #1 US Auto Retailer, Canadian Supplier Chief and Toyota Motor Founder in Auto Hall of Fame

“What are we doing here?”

by on Jul.20, 2018

Car Talk hosts and brothers Ray and Tom Magliozzi had a special relationship that won over fans.

A pair of MIT graduates who preferred getting their hands dirty working on cars became perhaps the most unlikely new members of the Automotive Hall of Fame when Tom and Ray Magliozzi — otherwise known as the “Click” and “Clack,” the hosts of the NPR show Car Talk — were honored at a black tie gala on Thursday night.

The event also saw the induction of Kiichiro Toyoda, the founder of the Toyota Motor Corp., Frank Stronach, the Austrian émigré who founded the Canadian-based mega-supplier Magna, and Mike Jackson, the Philadelphia “street kid” who has transformed AutoNation into the country’s largest automotive retailer.

Stay in the Loop!

The induction ceremony, which drew the largest crowd ever for an AHF ceremony, had quite a few odd moments. Ray Magliozzi, the younger of the two Car Talk brothers, wondered, “What are we doing here?” And Stronach, challenged the hall full of automotive executives to share more of their profits with workers as part of what he called the “Fair Enterprise System.” Not to be outdone, Akio Toyoda, Kiichiro’s grandson and current Toyota CEO, starred in a video in which he time-travelled back to talk to his grandfather.

(more…)

Volvo Moves XC60 Production to Europe from China to Avoid Trump Tariffs

Automaker reports record first-half sales, profits.

by on Jul.19, 2018

Volvo chief Hakan Samuelsson said the company is shifting production of XC60 SUVs allocated for the U.S. from China to Sweden to avoid tariffs.

The effects of President Donald Trump’s tariffs on China are beginning to take shape — and it’s unlikely he’d hoped for this result.

Volvo Cars, which just opened a new plant in South Carolina, announced it would be shifting production of its XC60 SUV from China to … Europe. The move is to avoid the tougher tariffs currently in place on Chinese imports.

Subscribe Now!

Trump has been pushing foreign automakers to build more vehicles in the U.S., and Volvo’s new plant in Charleston will build the S60 sedan, later adding a SUV to the list, but that won’t be until 2021. (more…)

Dodge Debuts 10,000+ HP Hellcat

New NHRA Funny Car to make its first race this weekend.

by on Jul.19, 2018

The new Dodge Funny Car aims to pick up design cues from the Charger SRT Hellcat.

While Dodge may have pulled the Demon out of production, it isn’t easing up its assault in the horsepower wars. In fact, it’s got a new Hellcat that it expects will churn out more than 10,000 horsepower when it makes its official debut this coming weekend.

Unlike the Challenger SRT Hellcat Demon, however, there has been no pretense at making the 2019 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat NHRA Funny Car street legal. It’s designed to dominate the quarter-mile adding to the 50 wins and one NHRA Funny Car World Championship the previous Dodge Charger Funny Car racked up.

Track News!

“The Dodge//SRT brand is all about performance, and the introduction of the Mopar Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat NHRA Funny Car body showcases our commitment to performance and excellence at the dragstrip,” said Steve Beahm, who heads up North American passenger car brands, including Dodge, for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.

(more…)

Auto Industry Unites to Challenge Trump Tariffs

UAW lone dissenter, seeks targeted tariffs.

by on Jul.19, 2018

Representatives from six auto groups testified at a U.S. Department of Commerce public hearing against new tariffs proposed by President Donald Trump.

With one exception – the UAW – the automotive industry is prepared to take a united stand against tariffs as the U.S. Department of Commerce holds a one-day public hearing on a Trump administration proposal to levy 25% tariffs on imported automobiles in the name of national security.

Seven associations representing almost 10 million jobs across the auto sector in the U.S. have joined together to urge the White House to not impose higher tariffs on imported autos and auto parts.

News You Can Trust!

“Raising tariffs on autos and auto parts would be a massive tax on consumers who buy or service their vehicles – whether imported or domestically produced. These higher costs will inevitably lead to declining sales and the loss of American jobs, as well as an increase in vehicle service and repair costs that may result in consumers delaying critical vehicle maintenance,” said the groups in an open letter to President Donald Trump. (more…)

Vietnam’s First Real Car Co. Takes Aim at the West

Paris debut planned, U.S. launch could follow.

by on Jul.18, 2018

VinFast turned to Pininfarina to design its new models, the sedan shown in this rendering.

The first “volume” Vietnamese automaker will reveal two new models designed by Pininfarina during the Paris Motor Show this coming October, setting into motion what it hopes will be a global rollout over the next few years.

VinFast, which will be setting up a new “state-of-the-art manufacturing facility” in the northern part of Vietnam plans to launch the two vehicles – an SUV and a sport sedan – in September 2019, though it will initially focus solely on “affluent” buyers in its home country before targeting opportunities elsewhere in Asia and in Western markets.

Insight!

“Our show stand will…prominently feature the best of Vietnam, demonstrating the passion and tenacity that we will bring to the global automotive stage,” said James DeLuca, CEO of VinFast Trading and Production LLC. “We have the resources, scalability and commitment to become a significant new player in the global automotive industry.”

(more…)

Mexico Targeting End of November for NAFTA Deal

Next round of talks expected at the end of the month.

by on Jul.18, 2018

Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo said he is targeting the end of November to complete NAFTA negotiations.

After a series of delays, including one for Mexico’s presidential election July 1, the new goal for completing a renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement is the end of November, according to Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo.

“If there is room before the end of this administration, we will certainly take advantage of the opportunity to conclude [negotiations],” he said. Mexico’s new president, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, takes office Dec. 1.

We Keep You In the Know!

Canada, Mexico and the United States have been haggling over the update of a new NAFTA since last August. The deal was expected to be completed by the end of 2017 has endured a series of delays over demands by the Trump administration as well as the aforementioned election. (more…)

Musk Apology Underscores Increasingly Erratic Behavior

"Do you think I'm insane?"

by on Jul.18, 2018

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has come under increasing fire for comments made in recent months.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has issued an apology for calling one of the divers involved in the rescue of a soccer team caught in a Thai cave a “pedo,” shorthand for pedophile.

The overnight tweet marked one of the rare times the South African-born executive has retreated from what have become increasingly erratic and aggressive comments that, in recent months, have taken aim at journalists, Wall Street analysts, regulators, and even the victim in a fatal crash involving one of Tesla’s battery-electric vehicles.

Beyond the Headlines!

Musk, much like President Donald Trump, has become a regular user of Twitter, developing a broad audience and a loyal fan base for himself and for his company. But as with the president, some of Musk’s tweets have begun raising eyebrows and this week’s attack on diver Vernon Unsworth caused collateral damage to Tesla’s stock which tumbled when Unsworth threatened to sue the eccentric billionaire.

(more…)