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Archive for the ‘Luxury Vehicles’ Category

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.

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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…)

Electric Polestar 2 “Five-Door Coupe” Will Deliver 350 miles Range, 400+ HP

All-electric Polestar 3 SUV already in the works.

by on Jul.17, 2018

The Volvo 40.2 Concept hints at what's coming with Polestar's first all-electric vehicle.

Volvo’s performance electric brand is getting ready to charge into the market with two additional models over the next two years, starting with the all-electric Polestar 2 which, a senior official claims, will deliver range of up to 350 miles per charge.

And, in keeping with the mandate of the brand – which traces its roots back to the track – the Polestar 2 “five-door coupe” will deliver around 405 horsepower, according to the brand’s Chief Operating Officer Jonathan Goodman. That figure might actually underplay the potential performance of the all-electric offering, as battery-electric vehicles can deliver incredible off-the-line performance because they punch out maximum torque the moment their motors start spinning.

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The Polestar 2 is expected to share the same underlying Compact Modular Architecture, or CMA, as the new Volvo 40-Series line-up. That was an obvious choice considering Volvo itself is planning to offer electrified versions of all future models and the CMA, its newest platform, was designed specifically to allow mounting a large battery pack under the load floor.

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Despite Sales Slump, Genesis on Target, Says U.S. Chief

Upturn linked to new products, standalone dealers, says Raphael.

by on Jul.11, 2018

Genesis steps things up by taking a shot at the vaunted BMW 3-Series with the new G70.

It’s not often that a senior brand executive is pleased to see his sales slide by more than 50 percent, but Erwin Raphael says the sharp year-over-year decline Genesis reported last month is pretty much right on target.

Two years after it was spun off by Hyundai as a standalone luxury brand, Genesis is in the midst of some major changes that will determine its long-term success. That starts with the upcoming launch of the 2019 G70, which targets the likes of the vaunted BMW 3-Series, as well as the first Genesis SUV expected to join the line-up next year.

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The Korean marque is also getting ready to launch its own standalone dealer network in the coming months, one that will see the number of Genesis outlets in the U.S. drop by more than 85 percent. But, as with sales, bigger numbers aren’t always better when you’re launching one of the first new luxury brands in decade, insists Raphael, the executive director of Genesis Motor America.

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BMW Inks Three New Deals in China

Automaker shifting some ute production from South Carolina to China.

by on Jul.11, 2018

Baidu Vice President Zhenyu Li, left, and Klaus Fröhlich, member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, Development, celebrate a new deal.

BMW has signed three new agreements with key partners in China that it says will bolster the company’s presence in the world’s largest automotive market.

The BMW Group and the Chinese manufacturer Great Wall Motor inked an agreement to produce Mini electric vehicles through a new 50:50 joint venture, Spotlight Automotive Limited, dedicated to the development and production of electric vehicles in China.

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In addition, the BMW Group also expanded its successful BMW Brilliance Automotive partnership. In recent years, BBA has become a cornerstone of the BMW brand’s success in its largest market. As part of the expanded venture, BMW is now expected to move some production from its massive assembly plant in South Carolina to China.  (more…)

Tesla Set to Move on New Plant in Shanghai, Announcing Deal Even as it Raises Chinese Prices

Battery-carmaker is 1st from U.S. to raise prices as trade war escalates.

by on Jul.10, 2018

Tesla's new Shanghai plant is expected to be at least as large as its factory in Fremont, California - and include battery production, as well.

(This story has been updated with new information.)

Pres. Donald Trump’s trade war has claimed its first automotive victim, Tesla announcing it will raise prices on some models on sale in China by $20,000 or more to reflect the impact of new tariffs on American-made vehicles.

At the same time, CEO Elon Musk is on his way to China, numerous reports indicating Tesla is set to lock down a deal with authorities in Shanghai to set up the company’s first foreign assembly plant. Musk confirmed construction will begin in about three months and the facility will produce 500,000 vehicles annually once it is ramped up to full production.

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Despite the news about tariffs – which could depress sales in the world’s largest battery-car market in the near-term – investors appear to be buoyed by reports that Tesla will move forward on a Chinese assembly plant. Musk has also indicated that the automaker is working on plans to set up a second foreign plant somewhere in Europe.

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Volvo Launches New Mobility Brand

Named M, the new brand offers a updated take on car-sharing.

by on Jul.06, 2018

Volvo Cars' mobility unit launched its own brand today: M. Featuring much of what you'd expect, like car-sharing services, as well as new options.

Volvo Cars has taken the lead on variety of changes within the automotive industry in the past decade or so, including autonomous driving, electric vehicle development and other mobility-oriented technologies and services.

The company is adding to that legacy with M, a new brand that will expand the company’s global mobility operations by providing dependable, on-demand access to cars and services through an intuitive app.

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“Volvo Cars is becoming more than just a car company. We recognize that urban consumers are rethinking traditional car ownership. M is part of our answer. We are evolving to become a direct-to-consumer services provider under our new mission ‘Freedom to Move’,” said Håkan Samuelsson, Volvo Cars president and chief executive. (more…)

New Vehicles Jumping in June

Big Six automakers all enjoy sales increases last month.

by on Jul.03, 2018

Ram trucks and Jeep led Fiat Chrysler to an 8% sales jump in June.

Even as the price of gasoline rises, the six big car makers that dominate the U.S. market, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. N.V. Ford Motor Co., General Motors, Toyota Motor Co., American Honda and Nissan, all reported sales increases for June with the help of strong sales of trucks and utility vehicles.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. reported June 2018 sales of 202,264 vehicles, an 8% increase compared with sales in June 2017.

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Overall sales were bolstered by both the Jeep and Ram brands, which reported significant increases for the month. FCA had the best retail sales in June sales since 2004. Fleet accounted for 23% of total sales, a 1% decline from the previous year. (more…)

Tesla Batteries Reigniting After Being Put Out by Fire Departments

NTSB reports find lithium-ion power packs catching on fire again.

by on Jun.27, 2018

The National Transportation Safety Board launched a second investigation into a Tesla crash. This time a Model S burst into flames after spinning into a wall.

Tesla’s lithium ion batteries have reignited on two separate occasions after the initial fires were extinguished, according to NTSB reports.

The National Traffic Safety Board sent teams to investigate Tesla crashes in Florida and California and in both cases found that after the fire departments put out battery fires, the powerplants each reignited and had to be extinguished again.

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In May, a Tesla Model S that crashed into a wall at high speed in Fort Lauderdale burst into flames, killing two teens and injuring a third.The Fort Lauderdale Fire and Rescue Department found the Tesla “fully engulfed in flames” at the crash scene and extinguished it with 200 to 300 gallons of water and foam, the report stated. (more…)

Daimler AG Lowers Earnings Guidance Due to Trade Tensions

Retaliatory measures in China and Europe has Daimler concerned.

by on Jun.26, 2018

Mercedes-Benz builds SUVs at its plant in Vance, Alabama, that are shipped to China. The tariffs on those are expected to rise, cutting sales.

The rising risk of a global trade war has prompted Daimler AG, the parent of Mercedes-Benz Cars, to reduce its earnings guidance for 2018.

Daimler said has “made a new assessment of the earnings” potential for the year 2018 and reduced its earnings guidance for the full year because of the uncertainty surrounding trade.

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“From today’s perspective, the decisive factor is that, at Mercedes-Benz Cars, fewer than expected SUV sales and higher than expected costs – not completely passed on to the customers – must be assumed because of increased import tariffs for U.S. vehicles into the Chinese market,” Daimler said in its new guidance.  (more…)

“Nearly Every Segment of the Auto Industry” Threatened by Trump Trade War

But administration may be ready to double down.

by on Jun.26, 2018

President Donald Trump is threatening to escalate tension between the U.S. and the EU by enacting a 25% tariff on Euro-built vehicles.

Automakers and suppliers are scrambling to respond to a series of moves by the Trump Administration that could negatively impact “nearly every segment of the auto industry,” according to a new analysis by financial rating firm Moody’s Investors Service.

On Monday, Wisconsin-based motorcycle manufacturer Harley-Davidson responded to growing threats of a trade war by announcing plans to move some production from the U.S. to Europe, a shift the company said was forced by the EU’s decision to enact new tariffs countering increases levied by the White House.

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That could be just the first step, however. Other manufacturers are studying options, but are waiting to see precisely what President Donald Trump might do next. He has already increased tariffs on imported steel and aluminum, but is considering a 25% tariff on imported cars and car parts. (more…)