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Archive for the ‘SUVs’ Category

Volkswagen CEO Mueller Likely to Be Replaced by VW Brand Boss Diess

Mueller helped company weather diesel scandal, but Diess seen as change agent.

by on Apr.11, 2018

Prior to being tapped to head VW after its diesel scandal broke, Matthias Mueller ran Porsche.

Volkswagen Group CEO Matthias Mueller is expected to be forced out at a management meeting Friday, with VW brand boss Herbert Diess expected to replace him, according to reports out of Germany.

The shake-up, which has apparently been in the works for months, has the blessing of some of VW’s top shareholders, as well as its chairman and powerful labor chief. It will mark the most extensive management moves since shortly after the automaker’s diesel emissions scandal broke in September 2015.

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VW issued a short statement noting it is considering “a further development of the management structure of the group which would also be associated with personnel changes in the board of management.” The statement hinted that changes under study “could include” the naming of a new CEO, adding that Mueller himself “showed his willingness to contribute,” suggesting the 64-year-old executive might voluntarily step aside rather than fight to retain his post. He is currently under a contract set to continue through 2020.

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BMW Going Big at Auto China in Beijing

Automaker debuting mix of next-gen utes and concepts.

by on Apr.10, 2018

BMW plans to unveil its third-gen X3 sport-activity vehicle at Auto China in Beijing later this month.

BMW is preparing use the Auto China 2018 show in Beijing later this month to show off an array of new models, including the debut of the third generation X3, concept vehicles and developments in automotive technology.

The selection of new products on display in Beijing underscores the company’s commitment to the next steps in its electrification strategy and heralds its upcoming model offensive in the luxury segment, BMW officials said this week.

Global News!

BMW also said the displays also underscores the huge significance of China as both the world’s largest car market and the production location for a growing number of BMW models. (more…)

GM Set to Unveil EV Concept in China Despite US Trade Issues

Company straddling tough line due to tariff-based volatility.

by on Apr.09, 2018

GM is ready to unveil its first-ever fully electric SUV, the Enspire, in China later this month.

The United States and China might appear headed for a full-blown trade war that could rattle the global economy, but General Motors, one of the American companies that could get hurt in the crossfire is moving ahead with its aggressive plans for the Chinese market.

Last week, Buick, GM’s leading brand in China, announced that the Enspire, its new all-electric concept SUV, will make its global debut at Buick Brand Night April 17, in Wuzhen, Zhejiang.

Global News!

It will also be on display to the public at Auto China 2018 in Beijing, which begins later this month. (more…)

Cadillac Exposed!

Here's how brand boss de Nysschen plans to use a new fleet of cars, crossovers and EVs to double U.S. and Chinese sales and even – finally – crash Europe. Exclusively on TheDetroitBureau.com.

by on Apr.06, 2018

Cadillac President John de Nysschen had two big intros in NY, including the CT6 V-Sport.

Cadillac is covering both ends of the spectrum at this month’s New York International Auto Show, offering up both the new entry-luxury XT4 sport-utility vehicle, as well as a high-performance version of its flagship sedan, the new CT6 V-Sport.

The two mark the start of an unprecedented product roll-out that, Cadillac President Johan de Nysschen announced during a NYIAS news briefing, will add 11 models to the brand’s line-up by 2021. But that’s only a glimpse at what’s actually coming, the South African-born executive revealed in an exclusive interview with TheDetroitBureau.com.

The Last Word!

Long positioned as “the standard of the world,” Cadillac fell off its perch in the 1990s, dethroned by high-line European and Asian imports like Lexus, BMW and Mercedes-Benz. It’s had a few false starts in its bid to regain its former glory. But de Nysschen has put in place a do-or-die strategy that is aimed at more than doubling Caddy’s global volume with a mix of new products, advanced powertrains and a new approach to sales and service. Much will depend on the booming Chinese luxury market, but the Caddy chief is also determined to take on key rivals in their home, European market.

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Ford Recalls 350,000 Trucks, SUVs and Mustangs

Automaker issues two recalls for transmission problems.

by on Apr.06, 2018

The 2018 Ford F-150 is subject to a recall due to a problem that results in the truck being in a different gear than the driver selected.

Ford announced it is recalling more than 350,000 F-Series trucks and Expeditions in the U.S., Canada and Mexico due to a potentially unseated transmission gear shift cable clip, which cause the vehicle to be in a different gear than is shown.

The action covers the 2018 F-150 pickup and Expedition large SUV with 10-speed automatic transmissions as well as 2018 F-650 and F-750 trucks with six-speed transmissions.

Safety News!

The problem stems from a clip that locks the gear shift cable to the transmission that may not be fully seated. The partially seated clip or a clip that becomes dislodged may allow the transmission to be in a gear that is different from the gear shift position selected by the driver, the automaker says. (more…)

3 Familiar Models May Vanish as Sales Shift to SUVs

Ford Taurus exiting for a second time, along with Fiesta and Chevy Sonic.

by on Apr.05, 2018

The Taurus is one of two Ford models that are expected to be dropped over the next few years.

March saw an even bigger surge in demand for SUVs, CUVs and other light trucks but, according to industry data, sales of sedans, coupes and hatchbacks continued to decline – an ongoing trend that is expected to lead to the demise of a number of once-popular passenger car models, including Ford’s big Taurus and subcompact Fiesta, as well as the little Chevrolet Sonic.

And even more passenger car models could be on the way out, according to industry sources, even as manufacturers move to expand their light truck portfolios to take advantage of one of the biggest market shifts in decades.

Product News!

“I think we’re going to see some contraction in passenger car nameplates,” said Stephanie Brinley, principle automotive analyst at IHS Automotive. “That’s not to say they’ll go away. Some people still like them….but there’ll be some rationalization over time.”

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Popular Ford Escape Flunks IIHS Crash Test

Five of Seven small SUVs earn good ratings.

by on Apr.04, 2018

The Ford Escape received the worst score yet among small SUVs in the IIHS small overlap test.

Ford Motor Co. is setting sales records with its broad SUV fleet, but a new report from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety could lead potential buyers to question the benefits of one of the maker’s most popular ute offerings.

The compact Ford Escape was the only of seven small SUVs to receive a “Poor” rating in the latest IIHS test for occupant protection, though the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport managed an only slightly better “Marginal” rating in the small overlap front crash test – which is designed to simulate what happens when a vehicle clips a pole, a tree or the corner of an oncoming vehicle.

Safety News!

Ford’s shortfall reflects a curious decision made with the update of the 2017 model-year, according to officials with the insurance trade group. The automaker upgraded the driver’s side of the Escape, which passed the small overlap test. But not the passenger side which was badly compromised and likely would have resulted in serious injuries if a human, rather than a crash dummy, was in the seat.

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Luxury Plug-Ins Shift Emphasis on Performance

Emphasis shifts from mileage.

by on Apr.02, 2018

The production Aviator's fastest powertrain package will pair a turbo-six with electric drive.

When the first hybrids came to market nearly two decades ago, the emphasis was on mileage, the original Honda Insight delivering as much as 70 miles per gallon, albeit at the expense of what might be described as the fun-to-drive factor.

That approach carried over as more advanced, battery-based models came to market – and as luxury brands started to plug in with vehicles like the Cadillac ELR. Based on the Mainstream Chevrolet Volt, Caddy’s first plug-in hybrid was lavishly equipped but took almost 10 seconds to get from 0 to 60.

Performance News!

A visit to this year’s New York Auto Show will reveal a wide array of PHEVs, and among mass market brands, like Chevy, Honda, Hyundai and Toyota, fuel economy is still the primary target. But it’s another matter entirely among luxury brands, such as BMW, Lincoln, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo. There’s no question they’re also using battery power to boost mileage, but they’re also putting a premium on performance.

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Hyundai Continues Expansion of SUV Line-Up with New Santa Fe

Maker offering up two new versions of the ute.

by on Mar.29, 2018

Hyundai unveiled its new Santa Fe sport-utility at the New York International Auto Show.

Hyundai is moving to shore up model line with a brand-new version of the Santa Fe.

The 2019 Santa Fe made its official U.S. debut during the press days at the New York International Auto Show and will go on sale this coming summer.

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The all-new Santa Fe and Santa Fe Diesel – a first for Hyundai in the U.S. – are the third and fourth of eight new or re-engineered utility vehicles Hyundai plans to debut by 2020 as shifts its model line to keep up with consumer preferences. (more…)

Volvo’s Subscription Service Off to Fast Start

Program's already surpassing expected results.

by on Mar.29, 2018

Volvo CEO Anders Gustafson and Heith Rogers talk as Rogers signed up for Care by Volvo.

Volvo Cars new subscription service that kicked off by offering the XC40 is already succeeding.

Anders Gustafsson, president and CEO of Volvo Cars USA, said during the company’s press conference at the New York International Auto Show that the company’s new subscription service launched with the introduction of the new XC40 is already off to a promising start.

Stay Plugged In!

Volvo expected subscriptions, where customers pay one flat price, to account for about 10% of XC40’s total sales. “We’ve already hit that,” he said. In addition, Volvo customers can now sign up for a subscription through Apple Pay. (more…)