Detroit Bureau on Twitter

Author Archive

Toyota Continues to Count on Cars

Last year's Camry gets support from new Avalon, Corolla hatchback.

by on Apr.18, 2018

The 2019 Toyota Avalon is the latest sign that the future is bright for cars at Toyota.

Unlike some of its major rivals, Toyota isn’t ready to give up on the passenger car market. If anything they are getting new models ready that are expected to build on the company strong position in car side of the business, Toyota officials said this week as they showed off two new models during a press preview in Southern California this week.

“We’re still very, very bullish on the passenger cars,” said Ed Laukes, group vice president of marketing for the Toyota Division during the preview, which highlighted the 2019 Toyota Avalon and 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback. The Avalon goes on sales later this spring and the Corolla hatchback will appear later this year.

Product News!

Last week, General Motors announced it was takings its big passenger-car plant in Lordstown, Ohio, down to one shift at the end of June because of the falling demand for compact cars. (more…)

Gas Prices on the Rise as Temps Do the Same

Summer driving season a month away, but prices on the move.

by on Apr.18, 2018

Gas prices continue to rise as the summer driving season creeps ever closer.

Gasoline continues to get more expensive across the U.S. even though the beginning of the summer driving season is still more than a month away, according to the survey of prices at the pump by AAA.

With the price of gasoline averaging $2.71 per gallon, prices are at their highest point in nearly three years. On the week, the national average increased a nickel.

Industry News!

“Expensive crude oil prices, unrest in the Middle East, strong domestic demand, record production rates and global oil supply surplus have created the perfect storm to drive spring gas prices toward new heights,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson.  (more…)

Ford Suffers, GM Coasts in March Sales in China

Volkswagen posts a sales increased in March.

by on Apr.17, 2018

Strong Malibu sales in March helped GM to a small sales gain of 2%.

Ford Motor Co. saw its sales in China, the world’s largest automotive market, drop by 11% during March, while General Motors eked out a 2% gain as its sales continue to grow.

GM, which will now report its China sales quarterly rather than monthly in the future, said its joint ventures in China delivered a March record of 352,346 vehicles. Buick and Cadillac enjoyed record deliveries in March, while Chevrolet grew 35% from a year earlier, GM said.

Industry News!

Sales in the first three months of 2018 increased 8% on an annual basis to 986,052 units. (more…)

Geely’s Li Shufu Says Partnerships Key to Auto Success

Team up or get swallowed up.

by on Apr.17, 2018

Geely Chairman Li Khufu purchased 9.7% of Daimler AG for $9.2 billion.

Geely owner Li Shufu urged Daimler AG, in which he recently became one of the largest shareholders, to consider further strategic partnerships.

Global News!

Li Shufu, who is also the owner of Volvo, recently became a major shareholder of Daimler after acquiring a 9.69 % stake in the Stuttgart-based company. (more…)

EV Investment Booms in Last Two Years, Report Says

Europe leading the way in number of projects on the board.

by on Apr.16, 2018

The Vizzion Concept is set to become the fourth model in the new Volkswagen I.D.EV-based sub-brand.

Automakers have accelerated investment in electric vehicles, according to a new report from BMI, the London-based research arm of the investment rating firm, the Fitch Group.

The public relations crisis around diesel engines, the attractive image of pure EV brands and the growth of the demand for pure EVs in China and Europe have helped push the investment in electric vehicles, the report said.

Industry News!

The figures compiled by BMI also show that electric vehicles account for a significant share of total investment within the auto industry.  (more…)

GM Confirms Layoffs at Lordstown Plant

Company adjusting to market demand with move.

by on Apr.16, 2018

GM says its cutting the second shift at its Lordstown, Ohio plant due to changing customer preferences.

General Motors confirmed it plans to eliminate one shift at its big assembly complex in northeastern Ohio, idling some 1,500 workers.

GM spokeswoman Dayna Hart said in an e-mail that the downsizing of Lordstown’s workforce was in response to the long-term changes in the market place.

News Now!

“Last year GM operated the Lordstown, Ohio assembly plant on two shifts. As the market continued to undergo ‘historic’ changes, it required us to reduce production rates and take numerous down weeks to match production with lower customer demand for compact cars.   (more…)

Trump Reversing Stance on Trans Pacific Partnership

President looks to assuage concerns of farmers, auto industry.

by on Apr.13, 2018

Presiden Trump is reversing course on the Trans Pacific Partnership, investigating the country's re-entry into the pact.

In a surprising about face, President Donald Trump is apparently considering reversing one of his first decisions on trade — scuttling the Trans Pacific Partnership.

Denouncing and walking away from TPP with a sharp dig at former President Barack Obama was one of Trump’s first pronouncements after his inauguration as President in January 2017. While support for TPP was mixed, with some companies supporting and others opposing it, it did include provisions that would have benefited the global auto industry.

Global News!

Trump’s decision on the TPP helped set the stage for the assault on NAFTA. (more…)

First Drive: 2018 Mazda3 Grand Touring

A cut above other small cars on the market.

by on Apr.12, 2018

The new 2018 Mazda3 Grand Touring edition is one of the top performing in the small car segment.

Given the hubbub around sport-utility vehicles these days and the relatively low price of gasoline, it is quite easy for small cars to get lost – or at least overlooked – in conversations about new cars.

However, small cars still command a significant following among motorists who are watching their budgets, drive long distances where fuel economy becomes paramount or live in places where parking is tight and at a premium.

Reviews You Can Use!

This adds up to a lot of people looking at a fleet of cars that’s a bit neglected these days by some car makers but there are companies, like Mazda for instance, that see them as an opportunity. (more…)

Tenneco Buys Federal-Mogul for $5.4 Billion

Company will split into two publicly traded entities next year.

by on Apr.11, 2018

Billionaire Carl Icahn sold Federal-Mogul to Tenneco Inc. for $5.4 billion.

Federal-Mogul, a century old supplier of automotive component with a storied past, is being sold to Tenneco Inc. as part of a deal valued at $5.4 billion.

In recent years, Federal-Mogul – owned by Wall Street financier Carl Icahn – has gone through multiple re-organizations but has maintained its core businesses of powertrain products aftermarket parts even as it struggled to pay its debts.

Subscribe Now!

Icahn Enterprises will get $800 million in cash and 29.5 million shares of Tenneco stock. Tenneco will assume Federal-Mogul’s debt. The Lake Forest, Illinois-based auto parts maker said Tuesday that it will split the company into two parts, both to be traded publicly. (more…)

Gas Prices on the Rise as Summer Driving Season Nears

Current average price nears last year's high mark.

by on Apr.11, 2018

Drivers can expect to start paying more at the pump as summer approaches.

Gasoline is getting more expensive and with the summer driving season just ahead prices are already closing in on last year’s high, according to AAA.

“Gas prices are only a penny away from topping the $2.67 high of 2017,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokeswoman. A year ago, the average price of gasoline across the nation was $2.39 per gallon.

Subscribe for Free!

“The price is likely to increase as spring brings warmer weather and the switchover to summer blend gasoline, but hopefully we will only see mild jumps in coming weeks,” Casselano said. (more…)