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Archive for the ‘Sales’ Category

Nexteer Opening New Plant in Morocco

New facility to be open in 2019

by on Feb.23, 2018

Nexteer Automotive is opening a new plant in Morocco in 2019.

Nexteer, the Chinese-owned automotive supplier organized around the steering-gear business that once belonged to General Motors, plans to open a plant in Kenitra, Morocco.

The new 18,000-square-meter factory will be the company’s first in Africa and is scheduled for a ground-breaking ceremony in late March 2018. Once the facility begins production in 2019, it will be counted as Nexteer’s 25th plant in its global manufacturing footprint.

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Analysts consider North Africa, with young growing population and low vehicle density, a potentially lucrative market for global automakers. (more…)

New Vehicle Sales Expected to Drop in February

Only Toyota, VW and Audi expected to see small increases.

by on Feb.23, 2018

Sluggish sales in the U.S. are expected to continue into February.

Carmakers are quick to point out that one month of sales figures don’t represent a trend, but analysts are now predicting that new vehicle sales are poised to slide again in February, following the drop in January.

Edmunds, a leading car shopping and information platform, is predicting 1.27 million new cars and trucks will be sold in the U.S. this month for an estimated seasonally adjusted annual rate or SAAR of 16.8 million.

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The figures reflects a 10.8% increase in sales compared with last month, but a 4.1% decrease from February 2017, Edmunds said. (more…)

Lexus Downsizing With New UX Crossover

Are those fins we see?

by on Feb.21, 2018

Lexus is filling a hole in its line-up with the UX compact crossover.

The eagerly awaited Lexus UX is finally set to make the transition from concept to production, Toyota’s luxury brand set to pull the wraps off the compact crossover at the upcoming Geneva Motor Show.

With utility vehicles gaining ground on conventional sedans and coupes in virtually every major market, the Lexus UX will fill another critical niche, the fast-growing compact crossover segment, just below the brand’s current NX model.

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While the teaser image Lexus has released has been designed to keep most details hidden, it does reveal a few interesting things. The production UX, for one thing, apparently carries over the subtle fins shown on the earlier NX concept. Meanwhile, a bit of Photoshop magic uncovers what appeared to be a UX 250h badge, indicating a hybrid version of the new ute is in the plans. (more…)

Kia’s K900 Getting New Look

Reports of its demise are clearly exaggerated.

by on Feb.21, 2018

Rumored to be going away, the K900 is instead coming back with the promise of being better than ever.

With last year’s launch of the well-reviewed Kia Stinger many folks expected the Korean carmaker would abandon its first foray into the luxury market, the much more staid K900.

But as Mark Twain might have said, reports of the big sedan’s demise have been greatly exaggerated – as this newly released image of the next-generation K900 aims to demonstrate. Set to go on sale later this year, it will keep the Stinger company in Kia showrooms around the world.

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“The new model combines sophisticated exterior design, effortless performance and a spacious cabin distinguished by luxurious materials and elegant styling,” Kia said in a statement accompanying this teaser image. “New technologies protect occupants, enhance interior comfort and give the driver greater confidence at the wheel.” (more…)

BMW Rolling into Geneva with Multiple Debuts

The new X4 to be unveiled, plus X2, M3 CS and i8 also bow.

by on Feb.21, 2018

The 2019 BMW X4 grows in all dimensions but one, with its roofline lowered a mere 0.1 inches.

BMW plans to show a number of vehicles at the Geneva Auto Show next month, including additions to its line-up of electrified vehicles.

The rollouts will include the new edition of the first Sports Activity Coupe, the X4, which is at the premium end of the midsize class, of which BMW has sold more than 200,000 units.

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The new X4 is described as having expressive exterior design; premium interior ambience, state-of-the-art driver assistance systems and latest BMW Connected Drive functions as well as significantly enhanced driving dynamics thanks to equipment including M Sport suspension. (more…)

Porsche Makes It Official: Diesels are Done

Maker's been slowly cutting diesels from line-up.

by on Feb.20, 2018

Porsche's new Mission E performance electric vehicle is set provide some stiff competition for the Tesla Model S P100D.

Not that it didn’t seem official before, but Porsche is getting out of the diesel engine business in favor of battery-electric powertrains. This will make Porsche the first German automaker to dump diesels entirely.

The company, which is owned by Volkswagen AG, has been slowly divesting its line-up of diesel powerplants for the last couple of years. This was highlighted by the lack of a diesel for the next-gen Cayenne when it debuted last fall.

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Now the Macan and Panamera models equipped with diesels are no longer available with a “no new diesel will be engineered” edict for the Macan S. The move is part of a “cultural shift” a Porsche spokesperson told AutoCar magazine. (more…)

Impact of Looming Interest Rate Hikes on Auto Sales Unclear

Cost of credit going up, but consumers still rolling with changes.

by on Feb.20, 2018

The Federal Reserve is expected to raise interest rates at least twice this year, but the impact on auto sales is unclear.

With automakers searching for a way to re-invigorate new vehicle sales, news that interest rates may be on the rise is the last thing that they want to hear, but another increase by the Federal Reserve appears to be on its way.

The Federal Reserve raised the interest rate three times last year. The last hike move the rate from 1.25 to 1.5%. Early indications are that the Fed will raise that rate at least two times this year, and possibly four as it looks to head off inflation concerns.

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While that doesn’t seem like much, those increases could trickle down to car buyers. The hikes may force automakers to stop subsidizing ultra-low loan terms to entice buyers with good credit to continue buying new vehicles. (more…)

Global Auto Sales Set to Hit Record in 2018

Industry coming tantalizing close to 100 million mark.

by on Feb.16, 2018

Despite sluggish sales in the U.S. and China, global auto sales are expected to set a new record in 2018.

Global auto sales are expected to hit an all-time record in 2018 of 97.3 million vehicles, according to a new forecast by LMC Automotive.

That 2.1% jump over 2017 would come despite a weak market in North America, as well as softening growth in what is now the world’s largest automotive market, China, LMC researchers said during a media conference call.

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The U.S., in particular, posted its first annual decline in vehicle sales since the market hit bottom in 2010, and it remains unclear what will happen in 2018, LMC Managing Director Pete Kelly cautioning that it “could go either way.” (more…)

Mercedes-AMG GT Four-Door Caught Blowing in the Wind (Tunnel)

Debut coming at Geneva Motor Show.

by on Feb.15, 2018

The new Mercedes-AMG GT four-door is among the slipperiest sedans money can buy.

Think of them as tattoos, rather than camouflage, for there’s little left to the imagination in these shots of the new Mercedes-AMG GT four-door as it goes through wind tunnel testing ahead of its formal debut at the Geneva Motor Show next month.

The current GT is one of the more wind-slick models on the market, but stretching its length and wheelbase and then adding two more doors threatened to change aero equation massively, so it’s no surprise the German automaker designers have been spending so much time in the tunnel.

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“Final tests will be carried out in the wind tunnel before the new member of the AMG GT family has its world premiere at the Geneva Motor Show,” the automaker said in a statement accompanying these images, adding that, “It is already clear that the new family member is also a fine aerodynamic performer.” (more…)

Toyota Set to Reveal Supra at Geneva Motor Show

New model likely to come with Gazoo Racing badges.

by on Feb.15, 2018

Japanese auto magazine, Best Car, revealed several pictures of the yet-to-be-unveiled sports car, including this racing version.

This story has been updated with new information.

Toyota Motor Co. dropped a broad hint that it is preparing to unveil a concept car at the upcoming 2018 Geneva Motor Show that will signal the impending return of one of its most famous nameplates, the Supra.

However, a Japanese auto magazine, Best Car, released early pictures of the alleged sports car along with a smattering of technical information. The pictures show a vehicle closely related to its MKIV concept car from a few years ago.

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The automaker offered only a partial look at the new Supra, a car that helped embellish the Japanese automaker’s reputation for building some of the world’s best cars. The Supra has been gone – but hardly forgotten – from the Toyota model line for the better part of two decades. (more…)