Detroit Bureau on Twitter

Archive for the ‘Personalities’ Category

Aston Martin Sketches Out its Future With Supercar Design Tease, IPO Plans

British marque hopes to repeat Ferrari’s success.

by on Sep.21, 2018

Aston has released a preliminary sketch of its third hypercar, the 003, which it hopes to have in production in 2021.

Aston Martin, the carmaker best known for its relationship with cinema spy 007, has laid out key details of its upcoming IPO while also releasing a preliminary sketch of the hypercar it’s calling 003 that it hopes will drive some of its future success.

Spun off by Ford Motor Co. in 2007, Aston struggled to avoid an eighth bankruptcy during the depths of the Great Recession, but its fortunes have skyrocketed over the last few years, a period coinciding with the arrival of CEO Andy Palmer and the subsequent commitment of hundreds of millions of dollars in new capital from its key investors.

The Last Word!

The IPO will go off next month on the London Stock Exchange, Palmer announced, declaring that it “will provide investors with a fitting opportunity to participate in our future success.”

(more…)

Tesla Losing Top Executives as Uncertainty Sets In

Four top leaders have departed in last month.

by on Sep.21, 2018

Four of Tesla's top executives have departed the company during the last four to six weeks.

Tesla’s been hit by wave after wave of difficult news, situations and investigations, apparently causing some executives to rethink the viability of the company.

Liam O’Connor, Tesla’s vice president of global supply management, is the latest of a group of executives to depart the company. He joined Tesla in 2015 after a four-year run with Apple, Bloomberg reports an unnamed insider said O’Connor is leaving the company within the next several weeks.

Subscribe Now!

His departure marks at least the fourth executive to leave California-based EV maker within the last month. Justin McAnear, vice president of worldwide finance and operation; Gabrielle Toledano, human resources chief; and Dave Morton, chief accounting officer, have also put in their notices. In all, more than 40 executives have reportedly left Tesla in 2018 alone, the news service reports. (more…)

Nissan Betting on Sedan Comeback

Young buyers “don’t want daddy’s” SUV, automaker bets.

by on Sep.21, 2018

Nissan has made a heavy investment - and numerous changes -- aiming to increase the appeal of its sixth-gen 2019 Altima sedan.

While some automakers are paring back, and even dropping out, of the sedan market, Nissan is betting big with the launch of the sixth-generation Altima that will roll into U.S. showrooms in the coming month.

While the automaker isn’t revealing precisely what it spent, Bruce Pillard, the marketing manager for the 2019 Altima, said the new version of the midsize sedan marks “one of the highest investments in the history of Nissan.” That includes an entirely new platform, the first-ever all-wheel-drive system for the Altima, and the Nissan brand’s first use of the breakthrough VC-Turbo engine. That’s in sharp contract with rival Ford Motor Co., which is set to phase out its own midsize sedan, the Fusion, along with the rest of its U.S. four-door line-up.

Insight!

“The future is bright” for sedans, Pillard declared, ahead of a media drive of the 2019 Nissan Altima in Santa Barbara this week, countering what has become conventional wisdom that sedans are all but doomed as motorists by the millions migrate to SUVs and CUVs.

(more…)

Nissan Recalls 240K Vehicles for Potential Fire Problem

Action covers cars and utility vehicles.

by on Sep.21, 2018

Nissan's 2017 and 2018 Pathfinders are part of a recall of 240,000 vehicles due to possible fire hazard.

Nissan announced it is recalling nearly 240,000 cars and SUVs worldwide – 215K in the U.S. – because of a fire risk. The Japanese automaker is also recommending vehicle owners park the vehicles outdoors in some cases.

According to the automaker, due to faulty seals on the anti-lock brake pump, brake fluid can leak onto a circuit board, causing an electrical short and increasing the fire risk. Should an owner see the anti-lock brake warning light for more than 10 seconds after starting the engine, Nissan recommends not driving the vehicle and to park it outdoors away from homes and other structures or vehicles.

Safety News!

The recall covers certain 2015 to 2017 Nissan Murano, 2016 and 2017 Nissan Maxima, 2017 through 2018 Nissan Pathfinder and 2017 Infiniti QX60 vehicles. (more…)

Jackson Stepping Down as AutoNation CEO

Former Mercedes-Benz USA president remains executive chair until 2021.

by on Sep.20, 2018

AutoNation CEO Mike Jackson is stepping down from the post next spring.

The auto industry is going to be a little less colorful in the near future as AutoNation’s Mike Jackson is stepping down as Chief Executive Officer next year; however, he will remain executive chairman until 2021.

“AutoNation is the retail automotive industry leader,” Jackson said in a statement. “The company is ready for its next chapter with a strong foundation, a coast to coast brand, a comprehensive Brand Extension strategy, and a transformational digital consumer car buying experience.”

News Now!

Jackson is one of the industry’s most outspoken figures, often a go-to executive for reporters looking for an expert perspective on almost any industry topic. He took over as AutoNation CEO in 1999, hired by founder H. Wayne Huizenga from Mercedes-Benz USA where was president. (more…)

Cadillac Expanding V-Series – Even as it Drops ATS-V, CTS-V Models

Performance models have “sparked new life.”

by on Sep.20, 2018

Even as it cuts its performance sedans, Cadillac is likely adding replacements, like a CT6-V.

High-performance models have become an essential part of a luxury brand’s line-up, as the BMW M, Mercedes-AMG and Audi S and RS models clearly demonstrate. So, it should be no surprise to see that Cadillac wants to play in the performance segment, as well.

General Motors’ luxury brand plans to expand the availability of its V-Series, Caddy now says, and that will be marked with the arrival of the new CT6-V version of its flagship sedan next spring. That said, two current V-Series models will soon be going away, Cadillac pulling the plug on both the ATS-V and CTS-V in the near future.

Product News!

“Beginning with the debut of the CTS-V Sedan in 2004, the V-Series sub-brand sparked new life into Cadillac,” GM’s product development chief Mark Reuss said in a statement. “As a result of the overwhelming response the CT6 V-Sport received when revealed in early 2018, we’ve decided to formally make it a V-Series, signaling the expansion of V-Series.” (more…)

Trump’s Latest Round of Tariffs Impacts Car Prices

Prices will really jump after Jan. 1 when 25% tariffs hit.

by on Sep.19, 2018

Prices on new cars may jump 25% after the first of the year due to the new tariffs on China by the Trump administration.

President Donald Trump must be out of eyes by now. His ongoing, eye-for-an-eye style trade tariff war continues, and will raise prices on Chinese goods another 10% starting next week, fanning fears about the prices of new vehicles and parts.

The Trump administration levied the new 10% tariff on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods on Monday night. They take effect on Sept. 24, and are set to jump to 25% on Jan. 1. To keep pace, of of course, China retaliated with $60 billion worth of new tariffs of its own.

Stay in Sync!

As usual automakers have decried the new tariffs, complaining the new levies impinge their ability to import or export vehicles as well as the parts for repairs. Thus far, Trump has turned a deaf ear to the complaints. (more…)

Former Ford Design Chief Mays Joining Whirlpool

Move has him following in footsteps of predecessor.

by on Sep.19, 2018

Ford's former design chief J Mays, shown with the 2015 Mustang, is taking a new job at Whirlpool.

Once Ford Motor Co.’s top designer, J Mays, is heading back to Michigan as vice president and chief design officer of Whirlpool Corp. of Benton Harbor, Michigan.

Mays left Ford in 2013 after a long career in the automobile industry that included stints at BMW, Volkswagen and Audi before he joined Ford in 1997 as the company’s top designer.

Subscribe Now!

Before his appointment at Whirlpool, which makes a variety of home appliances, Mays has been working as consultant in a variety of areas, including in the movie industry. He also has been a visiting professor at the Royal College of Art in London. (more…)

German Automakers Enduring More Diesel Scrutiny

Government regulators continue investigation of companies.

by on Sep.19, 2018

An Audi A3 TDI Sportback, one of the vehicles that was equipped with a rigged diesel engine.

German automakers are facing more headaches and potentially huge fines as the fallout from the “Dieselgate” scandal continues to seep through the legal and regulatory system in Europe and North America.

Antitrust regulators from the European Union are investigating if major German automakers, BMW, Daimler and Volkswagen AG conspired to limit the rollout of emission technology used on diesel-powered vehicles heavily promoted by the three automakers.

Global News!

In the latest twist to the three-year-old “Dieselgate” scandal, the European Commission has opened an in-depth investigation this week. The investigation comes a year after it raided the companies and two years after it slapped a record 2.93 billion euro ($3.4 billion) fine on a group of truck makers, including Daimler, for fixing prices and delaying the adoption of cleaner engine technology, according to Reuters. (more…)

Musk Facing Justice Department Probe

Feds looking into possible “fraud” in aborted privatization effort.

by on Sep.19, 2018

Tesla CEO Elon Musk is the focal point of investigations by the Department of Justice as well as the SEC.

Elon Musk now says he may try to hitch a ride along with the Japanese billionaire who plans to buy a ride on a SpaceX rocket trip around the moon.

Considering the mounting legal problems facing the 47-year-old executive, the CEO of both SpaceX and Tesla, Musk may need to find a way out of town in the near future.

News Now!

Musk and Tesla are now facing a criminal investigation by the U.S. Justice Department looking into his brief flirtation with taking the California carmaker private, even as the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating that aborted move. Separately, Musk is facing lawsuits in both Los Angeles and London filed by a British diver who the South African-born executive has accused of being a “pedo,” or pedophile, as well as a “child rapist.” (more…)