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BMW Showing Off Second-Gen X4 M40i M Performance at NYIAS

Bavarian automaker bringing slew of new models to the Big Apple.

by on Mar.15, 2018

The 2019 BMW X4 M40i M Performance makes its North American debut in New York.

With the threat of a tariff in the air, BMW will introduce the 2019 BMW X4 M40i M Performance to North America at the New York International Auto Show later this month.

The second-gen BMW X4 M40i M Performance brings sportier proportions, wider tracks, and the latest generation suspension settings than its predecessor. It also boasts a lower center of gravity and better aerodynamics.

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The new X4 M40i is outfitted with an inline six-cylinder engine that produces 355 horsepower and 365 pound-feet of torque. It springs from 0-60 mph in just 4.6 seconds. In the U.S., it comes standard with M Sport brakes, allowing drivers to enjoy exceptionally dynamic handling with phenomenal stopping power. (more…)

GM Investing $100M in Tooling for Cruise AV, Autonomous Roof Racks

by on Mar.15, 2018

The Cruise AV will be built at the Orion Township, Michigan plant were GM builds the Chevy Bolt EV.

General Motors continues to put its money where its mouth is when it comes to autonomous vehicles, this time to the tune of $100 million.

The company is investing that cash in two Michigan facilities that will build its Cruise AV driverless car as well as the roof modules that contain all of the equipment needed to make the vehicle drive on its own, such as radar, LiDAR, cameras, etc.

Automotive Insight!

The new Cruise autonomous vehicles will be built at GM’s Orion Township assembly plant, north of Detroit. This makes sense as another self-driving vehicle produced by GM, the Bolt EV, is also built at the plant. (more…)

Waymo Lets Folks Peer Behind the Autonomous Curtain

CEO Krafcik promotes self-driving cars with videos at SXSW.

by on Mar.15, 2018

These girls commemorated their ride in Waymo's autonomous minivan with a selfie.

Surveys are showing that a majority of Americans are uncomfortable with the idea of riding in an autonomous, or self-driving vehicle.

In fact, the most recent AAA study shows that 63% of Americans are reticent to get into an autonomous car. That number is down from 78% from the previous year.

Tech News!

Although the numbers of nays are shrinking, its apparent that it’s going to require some heavy marketing on the part of automakers that are heavily investing in self-driving technology development, and Waymo CEO John Krafcik is helping to lead the charge. (more…)

Tesla Struggling With Major Quality Issues

Current, former employees claim poor quality parts adding to delays.

by on Mar.14, 2018

Tesla's Fremont plant is churning out poor quality parts and vehicles, according current and former employees.

California-based EV maker Tesla’s ongoing struggles with two major problems – executive retention and manufacturing quality – reared their ugly heads again this week.

The company saw two high-level executives, Susan Repo, Tesla’s corporate treasurer and vice president of finance, and Eric Branderiz, chief accounting officer, leave the company within about a week of one another.

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Repo left to become the chief financial officer of another company and Branderiz left for personal reasons, according to reports. (more…)

Ford Recalling More Than 1.3M Vehicles

Automaker takes action on steering wheel problem.

by on Mar.14, 2018

Ford is recalling 1.3 million 2014–18 model year Ford Fusions and Lincoln MKZs for a problem with the steering wheel.

Ford Motor Co. is recalling approximately 1.3 million Ford Fusion and Lincoln MKZ sedans due to a problem with the steering wheel detaching from the steering column.

The automaker says the affected vehicles are from the 2014–18 model years. The cars have a steering wheel bolt that could potentially loosen over time, causing steering wheel to detach from the steering column.

Safety News!

Ford said it is aware of two accidents with one injury that was allegedly related to the steering wheel bolt problem. (more…)

Volkswagen CEO Mueller Gets 40% Compensation Hike

Special breaks let him exceed caps on salary and benefits.

by on Mar.13, 2018

VW CEO Matthias Mueller received a 40% raise in 2017.

Volkswagen’s comeback from the diesel scandal is almost complete. Volkswagen Group reported record earnings for 2017 and this resulted in CEO Matthias Mueller seeing his compensation package jump 40%.

The 64-year-old Mueller’s contract expires in 2020.

Global News!

The jump in pay and other benefits to nearly $12.5 million, according to the company, may seem somewhat startling since it was only two years ago the German automaker was firing executives, eliminating bonuses and implementing a new, more restrictive set of rules for compensation. (more…)

Ford, Honda and Audi Take Multiple Awards for Best Family Vehicles

U.S. News & World Report offers up best of crop.

by on Mar.13, 2018

The 2018 Ford Expedition was one of two Ford models to win awards in this year's US News & World Report's best cars for families.

Families across America are getting their tax refunds and going on vacation, upgrading their flat screen or perhaps, just perhaps, using that return to upgrade their vehicles.

When it comes to what type of vehicle is best for your family, the choices are endless, but there are a few places where you can get some information on the vehicle that may be best for you and your brood, including the new 2018 Best Cars for Families list from U.S. News & World Report.

News You Can Trust!

The magazine annually puts more than 100 vehicles — this year 127 models — through their paces to provide winners in 11 categories along with some feedback about why they were picked. These vehicles generally have a wealth of features that make cars appealing for families. (more…)

Buick Going “Tagless” Starting With 2019 Model Year

Premium brand eliminating "Buick" name badge across vehicle line-up.

by on Mar.12, 2018

A closer look at the rear cargo door of the 2019 Envision reveals that the "Buick" name badge is missing.

Buick is making a small, but significant change to is line-up for 2019: it’s taking its name off the back of its vehicles.

First noticed by website GM Authority on the 2019 Buick Envision, the plan calls for the name disappear from all Buick vehicles, although it’s unclear if that will occur for 2019 or over a period of time.

News You Can Trust!

However, “representatives recently told GM Authority that Buick will stop using the brand badge on the rear of its vehicles, starting with the 2019 model year.” The only brand-centric badges that will remain are the three-color Tri Shield logo and the model nameplate, such as “Envision” or “Regal.” (more…)

Toyota, Honda and Subaru Tops in Brand Loyalty

Loyalty started with cars, but transferred to utility vehicles.

by on Mar.12, 2018

Toyota buyers have transferred their loyalty from passenger cars to the company's SUVs.

Automakers that make attractive, high-quality sport-utility vehicles are more likely to get the repeat buyers that are so important dealer and company bottom lines, according to a new study.

On the surface, that may not sound like news, but the shift away from passenger cars to sport-utes in the wake of the 2008 recession shows that buyer’s are loyal to automakers that provide quality people movers that are consistently improved.

Product News!

The results come from the 2018 Edmunds Trade-In Loyalty Report, which examines information collected from 13.9 million vehicle transactions from 2007 to 2017. Bottom line: when automakers made better SUVs, people move to them repeatedly. (more…)

Tesla Shut Down Model 3 Line – Again – to Make Upgrades

EV maker makes improvements aimed at increasing production speed.

by on Mar.12, 2018

Tesla shut down its plant in California last month to make upgrades to its production line.

Tesla’s ongoing growing pains moving from a low-volume to mass market manufacturer continue as the EV maker had to shut down its production on the Model 3 for a week last month.

The company temporarily suspended production at its Fremont, California plant as well as at its Gigafactory in Nevada, Feb. 20-24, to adjust equipment to improve automation and increase production rates.

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The automaker has been under fire for continually missing deadlines for increasing the production run rates at its plant. The goal is ultimately to produce 500,000 vehicles annually, including 100,000 Model S and X vehicles. The current rate is significantly lower than that. (more…)