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Archive for the ‘Events’ Category

Volkswagen’s New Ad Campaign Brings Automaker into the Light

New commercial jump starts automaker's EV sales campaign.

by on Jun.06, 2019

Volkswagen kicked off its new Drive Bigger campaign with a new commercial, "Hello Light," during the NBA Finals.

Volkswagen has paid billions of dollars as part of the company’s punishment for cheating on diesel emissions testing on vehicles in the U.S. and around the world in 2015. Since then, the company has been working to move away from diesels and develop a new family of EVs to replace them.

During the past two years, the German automaker has unveiled a slew of new battery-electrics that will show up in dealerships starting this fall. Now, the automaker is looking to convince American buyers that it has learned from its mistakes and to trust them again.

Business News!

The new ad campaign, Drive Bigger, began with a commercial titled “Hello Light” during Game Three of the NBA Finals. The ad shows a designer listening to a mashup of the reports about the scandal as he sketches out a new vehicle. The rest of the commercial follows the evolution of that vehicle from idea to finished product.  (more…)

Trump Trade Wars Could “Backfire,” Hitting American Jobs

GM supplier czar urges “calm” as deadline on Mexican tariffs approaches.

by on Jun.05, 2019

The looming tariffs on products from Mexico ordered by President Trump has auto executives concerned.

With less than a week left before President Donald Trump’s proposed new tariffs on Mexican imports go into effect, auto industry officials are worrying about the potential impact on prices, sales, production and jobs, with at least one industry veteran warning such a move could “backfire” and worsen the current market downturn.

The proposed 5% tariffs, which would cover everything from agricultural products consumer electronics – as well as around $100 billion in cars and car parts – will go into effect on June 10, and then steadily escalate before reaching 25% by October. But there is growing opposition coming from Republican leaders in Congress, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell this week said, “There is not much support in my conference for tariffs, that’s for sure.”

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About 2.6 million Mexican-made vehicles worth around $93 billion were shipped to the U.S. last year, with nearly $10 billion in car parts also crossing the border. Since some of those parts show up in almost all vehicles assembled in the States, the tariffs would have an impact on virtually every American car buyer. But the potential is there for U.S. auto workers to also feel the brunt. (more…)

Memorial Day Weekend Means More Traffic — And Good Deals

Zero percent financing deals coming back for holiday weekend.

by on May.23, 2019

Ford is looking to punch up sales of its F-150 full-size pickup by offering zero percent financing for 72 months.

With Memorial Day weekend coming, it’s no surprise to find out that experts are predicting that the roads will be packed with drivers trying to get from one family function to another. However, if some of those drivers are smart, they’re out taking advantage of new car deals.

If you’re in the market for a new vehicle, this holiday weekend often sees dealers looking to move excess inventory and since new vehicle sales have been sluggish compared with last year, dealer lots may be swollen with vehicles, according to Edmunds.com.

Product News!

New vehicle inventory hit 4.06 million units in April 2019, marking the third month in a row this year that the industry saw inventory levels above 4 million. Additionally, the average days to turn (DTT) for new vehicles increased to 75 days for the industry in April 2019, a 6% jump compared to last year, the website noted. (more…)

VW Unleashes Seven Sport Concepts at Southern Worthersee

SOWO show cars highlight options for both performance and off-road fans.

by on May.17, 2019

VW shows off its SOWO "enthusiast fleet."

Volkswagen has long had a history of rolling out some of its most creative niche products and concept cars at the annual Worthersee gathering in Austria. It has expanded that tradition by adding what it calls the SOWO event on Hutchinson Island in Savannah, Georgia.

Short for “Southern Worthersee,” the big gathering aims to entice VW fans this time around with seven concept vehicles featuring what it calls “sport performance add-ons and visual enhancements.”

News You Can Trust!

Considering the shift in global markets, and especially the U.S., from sedans, coupes and hatchbacks to SUVs, CUVs and other light trucks, it should surprise no one that this year’s crop of concepts includes versions of the latest Tiguan and Atlas crossover-utility vehicles. But Volkswagen traditionalists shouldn’t be disappointed, either, the automaker rolling out customized versions of the Golf, Jetta and new Arteon, as well. (more…)

Volvo Cars Q1 Profits Fall Due to Rising Tariffs, Price Pressure

Automaker sells more cars, but makes less money.

by on Apr.29, 2019

Hakan Samuelsson, Volvo Cars president and CEO, said the company's profits fell in Q1 due to higher tariffs and pricing pressure.

Volvo Cars’ operating profit and net income dropped during the first quarter despite increases in revenue and unit sales, the company reported.

“The continued growth in Volvo Car sales which we have seen in the first quarter clearly shows the quality of our product portfolio. We grew in all regions gaining market share while revenue rose faster than sales due to our product mix,” said Volvo CEO Hakan Samuelsson.

Business News!

However, compared with last year, Volvo’s profitability was undercut by higher tariffs and increased price pressure in many markets, he said. (more…)

Weakening Sales Worry Automakers Gathered for NY Auto Show

Industry execs fear a Trump “grenade," but automakers are creating some of their own problems.

by on Apr.19, 2019

Toyota's U.S. sales chief Bob Carter expressed concern about the potential impact of actions by the Trump administration could have on sales this year.

U.S. auto sales suffered a severe chill over the winter. Demand was widely expected to slip slightly after posting an unexpected increase in 2019, but the market has been surprisingly weak and many of the industry officials gathered for this week’s media preview at the New York International Auto Show fear the situation could get worse.

In particular, there was a clear sense of concern that President Donald Trump could be “pulling the pin out of the grenade,” as Bob Carter, head of U.S. sales for Toyota put it, escalating the various trade wars to the point that it could send American car sales into a tailspin.

Sales News!

The harsh weather that swept through much of the country in January and February clearly took some of the blame for the way demand tumbled during the first quarter. But even a climactic reprieve in March did little to improve the situation, and sales for the first three months of the year were off by 4%. Only four brands finished the quarter in the black – and even then, only on the retail side. (more…)

Hyundai Venue Completes Korean Carmaker’s SUV Roll-Out

Targeting buyers who’d love to get out of a used car.

by on Apr.18, 2019

Hyundai keeps growing its sport-utility offerings. The new Venue, its smallest SUV, made its debut at the NYIAS.

Hyundai was one of the few automakers to use the Great Recession to its advantage, actually picking up sales and market share while the rest of the U.S. auto industry plunged to levels unseen in decades. Ironically, the Korean carmaker took an unexpected tumble as the rest of the market turned around, unprepared to adapt to the sudden shift from sedans and coupes to SUVs and CUVs.

Hyundai isn’t about to let that happen again, the automaker using this year’s New York International Auto Show to roll out the seventh, and newest, member of its rapidly expanding utility vehicle line-up, the 2020 Hyundai Venue. In sharp contrast to the recently added Palisade, its biggest and most lavish CUV, the subcompact Venue targets a mostly younger buyer on a tight budget.

Product News!

“About one-third of (used car) buyers started out looking for a new vehicle but couldn’t afford it,” said Brian Smith, Hyundai Motor America’s chief operating officer, during the Venue’s NYIAS debut. “That’s a perfect opportunity for a vehicle like this.” (more…)

VW’s New Concept Could be a U.S. Reality — But Not a Truck

SMV Concept shown at Auto Shanghai hits China in two years.

by on Apr.18, 2019

Klaus Bischoff, VW design chief, shows off the SMV Concept at Auto Shanghai. It comes to China in two years.

Though much of the news surrounding Volkswagen and new products in the U.S. focuses on the possibility of a pickup, a new concept shown thousands of miles away at Auto Shanghai may reveal what’s coming next instead: a large SUV.

VW showed off the SMV Concept, which it plans to build and sell in China within the next two years. It appears to be larger than the Atlas, which VW sells in China under the moniker Teramont. However, the SMV is based on the same flexible MQB modular architecture used by Atlas.

Auto Show News!

The automaker didn’t release any specifics about the concept. However, aside from the MQB architecture it shares with the Atlas, it will also share the Atlas powertrain. In China, it comes with a 2.0-liter TSI engine or a more powerful 2.5-liter VR6 putting out 295 horsepower and 368 pound-feet of torque. (more…)

California Start-Up Plans to Launch $149,000 Chinese-Made EV Sports Car

Qiantu K50 will be modified for American market.

by on Apr.18, 2019

The Qiantu K50 will be produced in China, but sold in the U.S. through Mullen at a cost of $149K.

A California start-up wants to sell a Chinese-made battery-electric sports cars to American drivers, the Qiantu K50 by Mullen scheduled to make its debut in the U.S. market sometime in 2020.

With its classic, supercar silhouette, the K50 is expected to join an array of electric vehicles destined for U.S. shores that will either be produced in China or come from American factories operated by Chinese companies, such as Karma and Byton.

Product News!

The new sports car, perhaps more importantly, will be part of a wave of new entries likely to reshape the perception of electric vehicles, from slow and stodgy to sleek, fast and fun-to-drive. (more…)

Kia Ups the Performance Quotient with Stinger GTS

Sports sedan adds AWD and drift mode.

by on Apr.18, 2019

Kia's new Stinger GTS package allows drifters to go all out while still having all-wheel drive.

For a brand traditionally known for affordable, albeit plain-vanilla products, Kia delivered a major shock when it rolled out the Stinger sports sedan two years ago. Stinger quickly nabbed a string of awards and was a finalist for North American Car of the Year.

Now, the Korean carmaker wants to increase Stinger’s appeal with performance-oriented buyers, introducing a new version, the GTS, which adds a new all-wheel-drive system, dubbed D-AWD, that can let a driver drift to their hearts content.

Performance News!

Set to reach showrooms later this year, the Kia Stinger GTS will remain one of the most affordable vehicles in its segment, with a base price of $44,995 for the rear-wheel-drive version, and $47,495 with D-AWD. (more…)