Luxury Vehicles | TheDetroitBureau.com - Part 2
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Archive for the ‘Luxury Vehicles’ Category

Daimler AG Pushing Forward on Restructuring Plans

Company's move to split into three units provides more freedom.

by on Jul.26, 2018

Daimler AG is splitting into three separate entities to improve efficiency and profitability.

Daimler AG took another step toward a restructuring aimed at giving its three key operating units – cars, trucks and financial services – greater freedom and flexibility.

The plan approved by the company’s supervisory board this week creates three new operating companies while the parent company, Daimler AG, retains oversight and governance, according to the company’s announcement.

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“The new structure positions Daimler to tackle the rapid pace of change in the mobility sector and the corresponding strategic challenges. Legally independent divisions will sharpen our focus on the future success of the business.” Manfred Bischoff, chairman of the Supervisory Board of Daimler AG. (more…)

Audi Rolls Out All-New, 2019 Q3

Crisper exterior, bigger interior, more tech toys.

by on Jul.26, 2018

Audi has a new entry for the small luxury utility market that is growing by leaps and bounds in the U.S.: the 2019 Q3.

Audi has been moving on two critical trends in the luxury car market, both moving both down-market and expanding its presence in the fast-growing utility vehicle market. It scored with the original Q3 that combined both trends into one package and, for 2019, it’s hoping to hammer another one out of the park with the second-generation of its compact crossover.

The Q3 comes along at a busy time for Audi which, among other things, is also launching a new range-topper, the big Q8 utility vehicle. For the U.S., the Q3 is the smallest crossover it offers, and the all-new version comes just four years after the North American debut of the original.

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The new model grows in every dimension, both outside and in, while also adopting a bolder, more muscular appearance that bears the clear stamp of Marc Lichte, Audi’s design director who came onboard a few years back, promising to shake up the brand’s styling language. But what may particularly appeal to the generally younger buyers is that the 2019 Audi Q3 features a suite of new, high-tech features. (more…)

Mercedes-Benz Aims to “Elevate” Entry Luxury Segment with Launch of New A-Class

A long wait over for American Buyers.

by on Jul.26, 2018

The new Mercedes-Benz A-Class gives U.S. buyers the same experience that European owners have enjoyed for some time.

It may be the era of the SUV, but Mercedes-Benz is betting big on a sedan as it gets ready for the 2019 model year. And with the launch of the new A-Class, American motorists will finally be able to buy the entry-level offering that the German luxury marque has been offering in Europe and many other parts of the world for quite some time.

The launch of the 2019 Mercedes-Benz A-Class helps fill one of the few gaps in the brand’s line-up, and marks a subtle shift in direction, Mercedes deciding to use the diminutive sedan to expand its appeal to young buyers who want to stretch their budget and plant its tri-star logo in their driveway.

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Why wait so long to bring over the fourth-generation version of the A-Class? “We didn’t feel the (earlier) European version was quite right for the European market,”  Mercedes USA President and CEO Dietmar Exler said during the global debut of the fourth-generation A-Class in New York City. “With the sedan, that changes completely.” (more…)

Tesla Demands Refunds from Suppliers to Help it Claw into the Black

“Simply ludicrous,” warns one analyst.

by on Jul.23, 2018

Tesla CEO Elon Musk is pushing supplies to provide refunds on parts, some of them from months ago, as he scrambles to bring the company into the black.

(This story has been updated with new information.)

Tesla has demanded that suppliers give it refunds on parts purchases, some of those dating well into the past, in order to help the carmaker deliver the promise CEO Elon Musk has promised for the second half of 2018.

It is unclear if Tesla would be able to make that target without the givebacks. Investors reacted with skepticism after the news broke over the weekend, the company’s stock tumbling sharply ahead of the bell marking the official opening of Monday morning trading.

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Tesla officials told TheDetroitBureau.com in a email that only certain suppliers were asked for a refund on past products and that this kind of interaction is not out of the ordinary. (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.

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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.

(more…)

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.

Insight!

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.

(more…)

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.

(more…)

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…)