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Automakers, Suppliers Decry Trump Tariff Implementation

Companies warn that cost increases will get passed to consumers.

by on Mar.09, 2018

Analysts believe the new tariffs will increase the costs consumers pay for a new vehicle in the U.S.

Dealers, carmakers and suppliers were quick to criticize President Donald Trump’s order imposing tariffs on imported steel and aluminum with the exception of imports from Canada or Mexico.

“A tariff is a tax that will result in higher prices that consumers will ultimately bear,” John Bozzella, the president and CEO of Global Automakers, an organization that represents more than a dozen European and Asian automakers as well as key suppliers.

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Earlier in the week, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross tried to downplay the impact by going on television with a can of Campbell’s Soup and telling viewers its price would increase by a fraction of a penny. But considering the amount of steel and aluminum in a typical vehicle, prices for cars could go up by hundreds of dollars, analysts warn. (more…)

The 14 Hottest, Most Important Cars to Debut at the ’18 Geneva Motor Show

Show brings outs the best of the auto industry.

by on Mar.08, 2018

Aston wants to deliver 400-mile range by turning to next-generation solid state batteries.

Its become something of gospel that auto shows are losing their luster. And, while a few recent events might have fallen short of expectations, we can’t say that about this year’s Geneva Motor Show.

The annual event, arguably the most important of the European car shows, brought out dozens of distinctive new cars, trucks, crossovers and concepts, a significant number of them set to reach beyond European shores.

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So, here’s a list of the 14 hottest and most significant debuts – ranked alphabetically, rather than by importance – from the 2018 Geneva Motor Show: (more…)

GM Boosting Bolt EV Production as Demand Surges

CEO Barra asking Congress to expand electric-car tax credits.

by on Mar.08, 2018

There's significant room to expand Chevy Bolt EV production at GM's Orion Assembly Plant.

General Motors plans to expand production of its first long-range battery-car, the Chevrolet Bolt EV, CEO Mary Barra said during an energy conference in Houston.

The Bolt has experienced stronger than expected demand in recent months, some analysts suggesting that is the result of the slow ramp-up of production for Tesla’s own mainstream EV, the Model 3.

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Demand has also been buoyed by $7,500 federal tax credits that bring the base price of the Bolt down below $30,000. But under the current rules, GM is expected to soon see the credits phase out, something that could cut into demand, leading Barra to say that, “We feel tax credits should be expanded so our customers continue to receive the benefits going forward.”


Japan Going All In on Fuel Cells

Country plans to have 800,000 fuel cell vehicles on roads by 2030.

by on Mar.08, 2018

Toyota's Yoshikazu Tanaka, the chief engineer of the Mirai fuel-cell vehicle, confirmed Toyota's commitment to fuel cell vehicles.

Japan is gearing up to put 800,000 vehicles powered with fuel cells on the road by 2030.

Japanese experts from business and academia outlined Japan’s fuel-cell push at the “Coping with Change: Global Warming and Decarbonization,” an international symposium organized by Venice International University and Alcantara, the Milan-based maker of luxury fabric used for automotive interiors. Japan’s fuel cell push has the support of the Japanese government.

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Yasuhiro Daisho, senior research professor at Waseda University and an emeritus researcher for Japan’s Next Generation Vehicles Research Council, offered a broad overview of the goals set out by Japanese industry and Japanese government. (more…)

Cadillac Puts Wahl Up as New Marketing Chief

New CMO building on predecessor's efforts.

by on Mar.07, 2018

Cadillac named Deborah Wahl, former marketing chief at McDonalds, to be CMO. She's held several posts within the auto industry.

Cadillac needs all the help it can get from a lot of different places, and it’s getting it.

General Motors’ luxury brand announced it is bringing on Deborah Wahl, an executive with experience inside and outside the automotive industry, to serve as Global Chief Marketing Officer at a critical time in the brand’s transformation.

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Wahl’s appointment is effective March 26 and comes on the heels of Cadillac’s effort to create a splash during the annual Academy Award telecast. The show drew a disappointingly small audience. (more…)

Smart Joining Forces With Mercedes New EQ Line

Move means smart is only brand with EV and gas options for every model.

by on Mar.06, 2018

The Smart line-up will be converted completely to electric-only models in the next few years.

The battery-electric models from smart will serve as the initial vehicles of the Mercedes-Benz Cars EQ family.

As it is smart is currently the only car manufacturer worldwide to offer its model range in both combustion-engine and all-electric variants. In the U.S. market, smart has already converted to an all-electric strategy to support a sustainable, zero emissions future.

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The smart EQ four two coupe and cabrio are making their world premiere this week at the Geneva Motor Show and will be available in the U.S. market later in 2018. (more…)

Bentley Plugs In: Bentayga PHEV Debuts in Geneva

British maker sets sights on “a sustainable electrified future.”

by on Mar.05, 2018

One would expect the Bentayga Hybrid to come with a wall charger designed by Philippe Starck.

Pity the poor luxury car owner. Regulators around the world are cracking down on emissions and fuel efficiency and some cities – even a few countries – are set to ban internal combustion engines entirely. What’s someone who wants a product as lavish as the Bentley Bentayga to do?

They might want to consider the new Bentley Bentayga Hybrid making its debut at this year’s Geneva Motor Show. It joins the original, 600-horsepower Bentayga W12 model, the newer Bentayga diesel, and a gasoline V-8 just getting ready to go on sale. And, as strict new mandates go into effect in markets as diverse as Berlin and Beijing, it could eventually give those other options a serious run for the money.

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“The Bentayga Hybrid is our first step on the road to electrification, combining traditional Bentley values with the very latest technologies,” said the British marque’s new chairman and CEO Adrian Hallmark. “It gives customers the best of both worlds – engaging, effortless performance on the open road and silent, emission-free driving in the city, which will become increasingly important with the ever-changing regulations around the world.” (more…)

Mercedes Shows Off New C43 Coming to Geneva

The new AMG model carries on legacy of speed and grace.

by on Mar.05, 2018

Mercedes-AMG's new 2019 C43 will make its debut at the Geneva Motor Show.

The early reveals for the Geneva Motor Show are coming fast and furious now with Mercedes-AMG getting in on the action with its new C43 sedan.

The C-Class is Mercedes most popular model in its long history, at least in terms of total sales, and the new model with its four body variants, three available in the U.S., appears ready to carry on that legacy.

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The new C43 received a variety of updates designed to make it more appealing inside and out. On the exterior, the new AMG radiator grille in a twin-louver design, powerfully sculpted front bumper and the new rear bumper with round twin tailpipe trim elements visibly enhance the new C43 Sedan and give it an even more distinct positioning. (more…)

Trump Tariff Plan Ripped by Auto Dealers, Key Republicans

President wants a 25% steel tariff and 10% for aluminum.

by on Mar.02, 2018

President Donald Trump is pushing tariffs on imported steel and aluminum. U.S. auto dealers and key Republicans criticized the plan.

Across the United States, auto dealers are usually among President Donald Trump’s most loyal supporters.

But Trump’s comment that he was prepared to impose tariffs on imported steel and aluminum, which are widely used in cars and trucks, which sent the stock market into a skid Thursday, brought a quick condemnation from those same dealers.

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One group representing thousands of dealers, The American International Automobile Dealers Association said it was opposed to Trump’s plan to place a 25% tariff on steel and a 10% tariff on aluminum imports. Both metals are crucial to the production of cars and trucks sold in America today and would raise the sale prices of those vehicles substantially.  (more…)

Expert Calls for More Action to Head Off Climate Change

"I am more worried than I was a decade ago."

by on Mar.02, 2018

Lord Nicholas Stern, who wrote a report on the negative impact climate change has on the economy, says he's more concerned than ever.

The ultimate impact of climate change to the global economy has increased during the last decade, but technological advances in sectors such as the auto industry offer some hope for the future.

Lord Nicolas Stern told a conference on “Coping with Change: Global Warming and Decarbonization” sponsored by Venice International University and Alcantara, a supplier of high-tech fabric used in luxury automobiles that time to address the impact of climate change is growing short.

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“I am more worried than I was a decade ago,” said Stern, a professor of economics and government and chair of the Grantham Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics. (more…)