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Archive for the ‘Trends’ 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.

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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“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.

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Subaru Ascending Toward Another Annual Sales Record

New three-row ute pushing company toward another benchmark.

by on Sep.21, 2018

Subaru is set to set a seventh consecutive annual sales record due to the new Ascent.

Subaru is confident it can lock in its seventh consecutive year of sales gains thanks to promising launch of the Ascent, a three-row sport-utility vehicle that has emerged as the Japanese automaker’s flagship since its debut earlier this summer.

Dominic Infante, Subaru’s director of communication, noted during a presentation in North Carolina for the first drive of the 2019 Subaru Forester, which is due in showrooms that through August, Subaru has posted 81 consecutive months of sales gains.

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The Ascent has been a great success out of the gate, Infante noted. Subaru hasn’t been able to build them fast enough to satisfy demand. The Ascent is built at the Subaru assembly plant in Indiana and Infante said that Subaru has only 12 days of Ascent inventory in the hands of dealers. (more…)

New Vehicle Costs On the Rise as Insurance Premiums Skyrocket

Know what it'll cost to insure your vehicle before you buy.

by on Sep.20, 2018

The Tesla Model S is the most expensive mainstream vehicle to insure, according to a new report.

Car insurance premiums are rising quickly, and when interest rates are also climbing, new vehicle buyers have a lot to consider when determining what kind of car they can afford.

The average monthly car payment is more than $500 now and insurance rates have jumped by more than a third between 2010 and 2016, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Finding ways to cut those burdensome premiums should be a top priority for shoppers.

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How much you pay for car insurance depends on a variety of factors, including age, driving record and location as well as the type of vehicle you want to buy. (more…)

Nvidia Unveils Plans for Higher Powered Processor

New model aimed at working seamlessly with AI-based technologies.

by on Sep.20, 2018

Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang revealed the company's latest processor that will enable more AI-oriented tech.

High-flying Nvidia has emerged during the past decades as one of the auto industry’s key suppliers of advanced technology and is now working on developing the technology needed for the development of self-driving vehicles.

Jensen Huang, chief executive officer of Nvidia, one of the Silicon Valley firms eager to promote self-driving vehicles, said his company has developed a new processor that uses artificial intelligence to carry out its assigned tasks.

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Huang said Nvidia AGX, a series of embedded AI high-performance computers built around Nvidia Xavier, is now the world’s first processor designed for autonomous machines. (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.

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“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.

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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…)

First Drive: 2019 Kia Forte

Ready to compete with small-car standbys: Civic, Corolla, Cruze

by on Sep.18, 2018

Despite the segment shrinking, Kia is plowing ahead with small cars with an all-new 2019 Forte sedan.

Given, the popularity of sport-utility vehicles, crossovers and pickup trucks, selling the traditional small car in the U.S. has become a very tough gig as evidenced by Ford giving up on cars and the Volkswagen Beetle is going away.

Meanwhile, cars such as the Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla and Chevrolet Cruze have gotten better and offer an increasing number of features that shoppers in this segment could only dream about as recently as five years ago

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But that hasn’t discouraged Kia, which is launching an updated version of the compact third-generation Kia Forte this fall. Kia has built its reputation by building smart, stylish small vehicles and now has great ratings from J.D. Power’s critical initial quality survey to assure first-time buyers. (more…)

Jaguar Land Rover Cutting Production to a Three-Day Week

Brexit issues, drop in diesel vehicle sales hurt Jaguar.

by on Sep.18, 2018

Ralf Speth, CEO of Jaguar-Land Rover, celebrates a win for the Velar as World Car Design of the Year.

Jaguar Land Rover plans to reduce the work schedules of some 2,000 production workers to three-day weeks at its Castle Bromwich plant in the West Midlands of England where the company builds several Jaguar vehicles.

The cutback comes as JLR faces pressure from uncertainty around Brexit. Additionally, a downturn in the sales of diesel-powered vehicles and the increasing popularity of sport-utility and crossover vehicles have hurt Jaguar’s sales.

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Tata Motors-owned Jaguar Land Rover confirmed it had scheduled the cut in its production schedule at the Castle Bromwich plant in England where JLR builds Jaguar XF, XJ and XE sedans and the F-Type sports car due to the “continuing headwinds” impacting the British car industry.  (more…)