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Archive for the ‘NAFTA’ Category

Porsche Plugging In: Half its Line-up Will Be Electrified

German carmaker looking to expand battery-electric use.

by on Jan.18, 2018

Porsche is moving forward with its newest electric vehicle, the Mission E, as it expands its electrification efforts to half of its line-up.

It will be another year before Porsche’s first pure battery-electric vehicle, the Mission E, finally reaches market, but the German sports car brand already is laying out big plans to electrify.

Fully half of all Porsches will use some form of battery power by 2023, according to a presentation by Porsche Cars North American CEO Klaus Zellmer. That is expected to include not only the hybrids and plug-in hybrids currently in the line-up, but also additional BEVs like the Mission E. Porsche officials have also suggested they will eventually electrify even such classic core models as the iconic 911.

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While such a move might be a stretch for traditional Porsche buyers, the brand has begun bringing in younger buyers who are more open to experimentation, said Zellmer, speaking at the annual Automotive News World Congress. Nearly 80% of the customers who are signing up for the new Porsche Passport subscription service “have not owned a Porsche before,” he noted. (more…)

Ending NAFTA Cripples US Trade, Clinton Aide Says

McLarty encourages auto industry to be "vocal" about its concerns, needs.

by on Jan.18, 2018

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, left, talks with Canada's Chrystia Freelander and Mexico's Ildefonso Guajardo, both right.

Without the North American Free Trade Agreement, the auto industry in the United States, Mexico and Canada would find it difficult to meet the future challenges from manufacturers from Asia and Europe in building the next generation of motor vehicles.

Certainly the current agreement needs to be modernized panelists said during a discussion on NAFTA during the Automotive News World Congress. “It was written even before there was an internet,” said, Thomas “Mack” McLarty, the former aide to President Bill Clinton, who helped guide NAFTA through Congress in 1993.

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McLarty noted that the NAFTA negotiated under President George H.W. Bush and was approved under President Clinton with help of major blocs of votes from both Democrats and Republicans. “This is a tough decision politically. But it is very straight forward in terms economic security,” he said. (more…)

Caddy Chief “Highly Optimistic,” Despite Struggles in U.S.

De Nysschen counting on new crossovers to help reshape the brand.

by on Jan.17, 2018

Cadillac President Johan de Nysschen has had to reshape his product plans to favor SUVs.

Cadillac chief Johan de Nysschen is proving himself to be a “glass full” kind of guy. Despite ongoing struggles in the U.S., he is optimistic General Motors’ luxury brand’s revival is “proceeding according to plan.”

Of course, it helps to know that Caddy is rapidly gaining ground in China, the world’s largest market – which also happens to be generating more sales than the U.S. these days. There’s also the fact that the new XT4, a critically needed new SUV will be in dealer showrooms late this year, with another new product set to roll out every six months through at least the end of 2020.

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“At the conclusion of this first phase of the plan, Cadillac will be armed for the first time with a family of premium crossover vehicles, positioning us well to exploit market preferences,” de Nysschen said during a presentation to the Automotive News World Congress.

(more…)

Debugging Volkswagen: SUVs Supplant Sedans, Hatches

But no more tongue-twisting model names.

by on Jan.17, 2018

One of the first jobs for VW Group of America CEO Hinrich Woebcken was revealing the new Atlas.

Things didn’t look very good when Hinrich Woebcken landed in the U.S. two years ago as the new CEO and President of the Volkswagen Group of America. The automaker had just acknowledged cheating on diesel emissions tests and was not only facing the prospect of paying billions of dollars in fines and settlements but a collapse in its U.S. sales as it was forced to pull off the market all of its popular diesel models.

“The only reason dealers didn’t kill me was that I was the new guy,” the German-born executive said, only half joking, during a presentation at the Automotive News World Congress on Tuesday afternoon.

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These days, dealers are a lot more sanguine about Woebcken, and VW in general, though the VWoA chief cautioned that the automaker has a long way to go before he can claim success rebuilding its U.S. operations. (more…)

Lamborghini Says New Urus Will Soon Have Companion Model

World’s fastest SUV makes North American debut.

by on Jan.16, 2018

Lamborghini's first-ever sport-utility vehicle, the Urus, made its North American debut in Detroit.

What’s being billed as the “world’s fastest” sport-utility vehicle has made its North American debut at the Detroit Auto Show.

But the 189 mph super-ute won’t live alone in the Lambo line-up, at least not for long, officials with the Italian automaker telling TheDetroitBureau.com that they are already working on a second model that will join the Lamborghini Urus in showrooms about two years from now.

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During a presentation in downtown Detroit, the Italian automaker’s Chief Technology Officer Maurizio Reggiani stressed that the Urus deserves to be viewed as a true Lamborghini, and not some sort of quirky compromise, because it “shares the strong DNA that comes from our sports cars.” (more…)

No Sale: FCA Not Negotiating with Chinese Nor Willing to Sell Off Jeep, Says Marchionne

Exec plans to release his final 5-year plan this quarter and then name his successor.

by on Jan.15, 2018

Marchionne plans to reveal his successor a few months from now but confides no women are in the running.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles isn’t open to selling off its Jeep brand nor has it fielded any offers for a complete takeover by a Chinese company, FCA Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne said during a media roundtable at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit on Monday.

Marchionne said he wanted to clear up reports that have, in recent months, suggested Fiat Chrysler was up for sale – or that it was willing to let go of some key assets, such as the Jeep or Ram brands. But the executive did not rule out a closer relations with GAC, the Guangzhou-based automaker that serves as its partner in the Chinese market.

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“Without them we could not have gone as far as we have in China,” said Marchionne, who stressed “We are not going to break up (the company and) we are having no discussions with anyone in China interested in acquiring us.”

(more…)

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Are Sedans a Dying Breed?

by on Jan.15, 2018

The 2018 North American International Auto Show is making big news this week and revealing some of the significant trends reshaping the auto industry.

Of course, TheDetroitBureau.com is still combing the show floor to bring stories and analysis so keeping checking the site often for additional must-know news and the latest updates. (more…)

Fiat Chrysler Goes All-In on New Ram 1500 Pickup

The new Ram gets a new-look grille for 2019.

by on Jan.15, 2018

Fiat Chrysler redesigned the grille on its signature pickup truck.

There is an overwhelming change on the 2019 Ram 1500: Fiat Chrysler altered one of the most recognizable grilles in the industry for its signature pickup truck in the search for a more aerodynamic shape.

The move shows that FCA engineers are committed building the best truck possible, officials claim.

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“The all-new 2019 Ram 1500 delivers a no-compromise approach to the full-size truck segment with strength, durability, technology and efficiency,” said Mike Manley, head of Ram Brand. (more…)

Ranger Reborn: Ford Back in the Midsize Pickup Game

Ford aims to share in the segment’s unexpected revival.

by on Jan.14, 2018

After a six-year hiatus, Ford brought back the Ranger, this time as a midsize pickup.

Its been six years since Ford shuttered its ancient Twin Cities plant in Minnesota, walking away from what seemed to be, back then, a dying market segment.

But the Detroit automaker failed to reckon on what might happen when new product would be injected into the midsize category, General Motors scoring a hit with the likes of its Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon, and Honda hitting the ball out of the park by bringing back its own Ridgeline model.

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Ironically, Ford actually launched a new Ranger – but it was intended for just about every market except for North America, the company’s planners convinced they could get potential midsize buyers to make the walk up-market to the bigger F-150. But as it watched its competition rapidly rebuild the old midsize pickup segment – sales growing a hefty 83% since 2014 – Ford realized it needed to get back in the game. (more…)

Ford Orders 2,900 Rangers With Takata Airbags Parked

Automaker will fix trucks in owners' driveways, tow them to dealerships.

by on Jan.12, 2018

Owners of certain 2006 Ford Rangers are being told to park their trucks immediately as part of a recall to repair faulty Takata airbags.

The 21st victim of exploding Takata airbags is causing Ford to warn owners of about 2,900 Ranger pickup trucks to park them immediately.

The victim, Steve Mollohan of Hedgesville, West Virginia, was killed July 1, when the airbag exploded in his 2006 Ford Ranger. Ford received notification of the fatality in mid-December and conducted an inspection of the truck on Dec. 27.

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After looking into the incident, it was determined the inflator for the airbag was made on the same day as one that caused the death of a South Carolina man in 2015. This prompted the automaker to issue an urgent new recall in the U.S. and Canada for Rangers made on that day. (more…)