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Toyota Earnings Soar on Global Sales Surge

Automaker lifts full-year forecast.

by on Nov.06, 2018

Strong demand for Lexus, especially in the Chinese market, helped Toyota deliver strong earnings.

Toyota Motor Corp. reported a 28% increase in its net profit for the July-September quarter, earnings buoyed by strong demand in key global markets, including the Americas, Asia and Europe.

The Japanese giant also advised that it expects to see earnings push past earlier forecasts for the full year, in part driven by unexpectedly strong demand in China. Sales of the Lexus brand, have been booming there, despite a slowdown in the overall Chinese market.

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Sales gains were only one of the factors that propped up Toyota’s bottom line, said Senior Managing Masayoshi Shirayanagi. Referring to aggressive cost-cutting efforts, he said, “We are steadily making progress toward achieving our challenge-level target.”

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Tesla’s Musk Says Pickup Truck Design is “Futuristic-like Cyberpunk”

He added if it doesn't sell, a more conventional-looking truck may come.

by on Nov.05, 2018

Tesla's Elon Musk said the product he's most excited about is the company's pickup truck.

Now that the Model 3 is launched, Tesla fans want to know what’s on the horizon and a truck has been an oft-mentioned possibility after the Model Y. With those thoughts come possibilities: full-sizes, midsize … compact? Nope.

Cyberpunk.

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“It’s gonna be like a really futuristic-like cyberpunk, ‘Blade Runner’ pickup truck,” Musk said during the Recode Decode podcast. “It’s gonna be awesome, it’s gonna be amazing. This will be heart-stopping. It stops my heart.” (more…)

Ford, VW Discussions Now Far More Wide-Ranging Than Originally Planned

by on Nov.02, 2018

Ford and VW initially wanted to discuss cooperation on light commercial vehicles.

Talks between Ford and Volkswagen are covering far more territory than originally planned, when the two signed a memorandum of understanding in June that initially focused on joint development of commercial vehicles.

While Ford officials have told TheDetroitBureau.com there is no thought to an exchange of equity, virtually everything else seems at least open for discussion, with a number of key ventures being considered. According to various U.S. and European sources, these include joint development of a small pickup, cooperation on electrified and autonomous vehicles and possibly even collaboration on sales and marketing in trouble-spot markets, such as Europe and Latin America.

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Several reports have suggested that a major announcement could be in the offing, and a source close to the talks told TheDetroitBureau that “There could be an update by the end of the year.” But that person stressed that not all the discussions underway are likely to be resolved immediately, and could be spread out over months, even years – even “if everything (being negotiated) comes true.”

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First Drive: 2019 Honda Accord Hybrid

Plenty of power, polish make it a keeper.

by on Nov.02, 2018

The 2018 Honda Accord Hybrid won the North American Car of the Year for this year.

Honda has taken its share of quality lumps lately, but its also shown it makes terrific cars such as the Civic and Accord, which was named North American Car of the Year back in January.

Now Honda has rolled out the hybrid version of the Accord and it is also just as impressive in its own ways the Accord that runs only on gasoline.

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But the 2019 Accord Hybrid’s blend of gasoline and electric motors make the car even more versatile particularly in urban driving where the EV mode and extra low-end torque from the combined powertrain give the Accord an added dimension that is both practical and pleasing to drive in heavy traffic.  (more…)

First Official Look: 2019 BMW 8-Series Convertible

New Bavarian flagship rolls back its top.

by on Nov.01, 2018

BMW's got a replacement for the 6-Series convertible with the new 850i for 2019.

We’ve been seeing some leaked images in recent days, but now we can offer you an official first look at BMW’s new flagship convertible.

There were more than a few folks disappointed to learn that the 6-Series Cabriolet was going away. But if you have the budget, it’s going to be difficult to complain about the new 850i ragtop. Oh, and yes, it skips the hardtop approach taken by some premium convertibles in favor of a more traditional cloth top.

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Set to make its official debut later this month at the Los Angeles Auto Show, the sleek new cabrio has a lot in common, as you’d likely expect, with the coupe version of the 8-Series that made its formal debut early in October at the Paris Motor Show. (more…)

Siemens Jumps into Autonomous Vehicle Race

Supplier converts Munich campus to real-world AV test facility.

by on Oct.31, 2018

Siemens has jumped into the autonomous vehicle business, converting its Munich campus into a testing facility.

Siemens Mobility, along with five partners, is launching a test of connected and autonomous driving at the company’s Munich research campus to test and refine intelligent infrastructure, cloud-based software service and automated electric vehicles.

“Our research project is another milestone to serving the so-called first and last mile in a multimodal mobility mix that includes autonomous vehicles,” said Michael Peter, CEO of Siemens Mobility.

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“Our infrastructure is a critically important component for providing secure and efficient on-demand transportation in urban and rural areas,” he said. (more…)

GM Handily Beats Earnings Forecast, Buoyed by Truck Sales

Shares soar in pre-bell trading.

by on Oct.31, 2018

GM's Renaissance Center headquarters in Detroit.

General Motors delivered a positive surprise to analysts and investors on Wednesday morning, delivering significantly stronger earnings than had been forecast, buoyed by surging demand for its light truck line-up, including the completely redesigned Chevrolet Silverado pickup.

The announcement stands in sharp contrast to rival Ford Motor Co. which, last week, reported a significant decline in third-quarter income, despite strong demand for models like its F-150.

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GM said it earned a net of $2.53 billion during the July-to-September quarter, or $1.75 a share. A year ago, it lost $2.98 billion, or $2.03 a share, though that figure largely reflected the cost of completing the sale of its European-based Opel subsidiary to France’s PSA Group.

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Fiat Chrysler’s Q3 Profits Dinged Due to Diesel Emission Charges

Record earnings before diesel issue may mean dividend payment.

by on Oct.30, 2018

Fiat Chrysler's third quarter earnings were hurt by charges tied to possible diesel emissions violations.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles net income dropped 38% during the third quarter despite record adjusted earnings before interest and taxes of 2 billion euros, or $2.27 billion, opening the door for the company to pay its first dividend since it was re-organized in 2014.

However, net profit decline 38% to 600 million euros, or $681.16 million, including a 700 million charge related to U.S. diesel emissions matters. FCA is now under investigation by U.S. Department of Justice for the company’s failure to disclose software on about 104,000 diesel-powered pickups and SUVs that regulators said could be similar to the “defeat devices” Volkswagen AG used to cheat emissions-testing on millions of its diesel-powered vehicles.

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FCA’s worldwide shipments increased by 3% and net revenue grew by 9% to 28.8 billion euros during the quarter. Despite cost of the diesel penalties, FCA’s adjusted EBIT in the North America region grew by 51% with margin at 10.2%, according to the financial information released by the company. (more…)

Green Car of the Year Finalists Revealed

“Green” comes in many forms.

by on Oct.30, 2018

The 2019 Insight is Honda's third attempt to market a mainstream, entry-level hybrid: an a possible winner of Green Car of the Year.

Not all that long ago, motorists looking for an environmentally friendly vehicle were likely in for a long search, with only a handful of models on the market. These days, it’s becoming a lot easier, as more and more new alternatives come to market, seemingly almost every week.

And that’s convinced the organizers of the annual Green Car of the Year Awards to expand their program this year. “Green comes in many forms,” they explain, noting that this year will bring new awards for the Luxury Green Car of the Year and the Green SUV of the Year.

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The three awards will be handed out at the Los Angeles International Auto Show just a month from now, and could see the jury highlight the wide range of “green” technologies now available to American motorists. (more…)

Jaguar Land Rover Dedicates New European Plant

New site offers flexibility and workforce diversity.

by on Oct.26, 2018

Jaguar Land Rover put the finishing touches on tis new $1.59 billion assembly plant in Nitra, Slovakia.

Jaguar Land Rover has opened its state-of-the-art $1.59 billion manufacturing facility in Nitra, Slovakia.

While the core of its business is in the United Kingdom, Jaguar Land Rover’s investment in Nitra marks the latest step in the company’s global expansion strategy following the opening of its Chinese joint venture in 2014 and Brazilian plant in 2016, JLR officials said.

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The creation of new international factories allows Jaguar Land Rover to offer its customers even more exciting new models, protect against currency fluctuations and support a globally competitive business. (more…)