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Posts Tagged ‘2013 north american international auto show’

Truck Wars: Detroit Makers Battle Out in Industry’s Most Profitable Market Segment

Asians largely sitting on the sidelines.

by on Jan.22, 2013

Ford teases its next-generation F-Series pickup with the big Atlas Concept truck.

American motorists will have to wait a couple more years before they can get their hands on the next-generation Ford F-Series pickup.  But that didn’t matter much to Wall Street, investors driving up the maker’s stock following the unexpected unveiling of the maker’s Atlas Concept truck at the North American International Auto Show.

And for good reason.  The F-Series has dominated the huge pickup segment for 36 years running. But it’s got a tough fight ahead if Ford hopes to maintain that lead. General Motors used the Detroit Auto Show to reveal its next-generation Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra full-size trucks. And during the show’s opening ceremonies, the new 2013 Ram 1500 was named North American Truck of the Year by a panel of 50 U.S. and Canadian journalists.

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Meanwhile, though they’ve repeatedly failed to crack the last key market segment dominated by Detroit, Japanese makers haven’t abandoned their own aspirations, Toyota and Nissan expected to make significant updates to their own trucks in the next few years.

“There is nothing more core to our business than trucks and we think we’re timing this very well,” Mark Reuss, GM’s president of North American operations, said during a media sneak peek at the Silverado and Sierra models last month.

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Marchionne: Chrysler Will Get Two “People-Movers,” but Only One Minivan

Maker will respond to shifting market with 2015 roll-out.

by on Jan.17, 2013

The Chrysler Town & Country may end its long run in 2014, when one of the maker's two minivans is expected to get a radical makeover.

The company that invented the modern minivan still sees a place for “people carriers” in its line-up, but only one will be the classic soccer mom-mobile, according to Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne.

The maker currently has two models, the Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Grand Caravan, that will continue in production through at least 2014, but it has been sending mixed signals about whether they will both remain in the line-up going forward as sales continue to tumble, buyers looking for hipper alternatives. Now, it appears, only one will remain, the other brand getting an alternative approach.

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“People grow out of minivans,” Marchionne concluded during a meeting with reporters at the North American International Auto Show. The challenge is to find an alternative that can maintain its appeal – something Chrysler thinks it may have come up with.

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Maserati Betting on Larger, Faster Quattroporte

New line-up could bring Italian maker into luxury mainstream.

by on Jan.16, 2013

Maserati's new Quattroporte is longer, lower and faster than the outgoing model.

It’s one of those brand names seemingly everyone knows but few luxury buyers ever consider, a conundrum that Maserati has barely survived.  But with this week’s launch of a completely redesigned Quattroporte flagship at the North American International Auto Show – and more products to come – the Italian maker hopes to take a giant step closer to the automotive mainstream.

The outgoing Quattroporte – Italian for “four doors” – has always won raves for its svelte and seductive design. But it was something of a “tweener,” a vehicle not quite big enough to effectively compete with the products it was targeting, such as the BMW 7-Series.

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And despite the ambitious expectations of Maserati and its parent, Fiat SpA, the sedan came nowhere close to what was needed from a business case scenario.

“Three years ago, I though the lights were going to be turned out,” said Rob Allan, the maker’s U.S. product planner.

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Atlas Concept Truck a Pick-Up for Ford Stock

Unexpected unveiling offers a hint of replacement for best-selling F-Series.

by on Jan.15, 2013

The surprise debut of the Ford Atlas concept pickup.

Ford Motor Co. stock took a sharp jump following the automaker’s unexpected unveiling of the Atlas Concept truck, a prototype offering a hint of what’s to come when the maker replaces its best-selling F-Series pickup in 2014.

In an appearance to an industry conference coinciding with the North American International Auto Show, Ford CEO Alan Mullaly marveled at the reaction to the preview.  The unveiling of the Atlas had been whispered about but unconfirmed by the maker until the huge silver truck descended from the ceiling of Detroit’s Joe Louis Arena.

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“How about that,” proclaimed Mulally in an off-the-cuff remark following  his speech to the Automotive News World Congress. By the time the NY Stock Exchange closed, Ford common was up 31 cents, or 2.22%, for the day, to $14.30.

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Lexus Punches up Passion Quotient with 2014 IS

by on Jan.15, 2013

Lexus abandons staid for a more passionate design with the 2014 IS remake.

For the new Lexus IS, Chief Engineer Junichi Furuyama, flipped  conventional on its head.

“I adopted an entirely different approach to the development of the all-new IS,” IS Chief Engineer Junichi Furuyama said. “Specifically, it was to make an entertaining driving experience a major premise behind all aspects of performance.”

You hear the word, “passion” in Lexus circles a lot these days.

Lexus introduced its second-generation IS, meant to be a BMW 3-Series fighter, at the Detroit Auto Show today.

A shift in design direction that began with an all-new GS sedan two years ago now transforms the marque’s entry-level offering, the 2014 Lexus IS, which is making its debut at the North American International Auto Show.

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Intended to be sportier and more performance-oriented, the 2014 IS sedan will be available in rear- and all-wheel drive versions while offering a mix of powertrains in the IS 250 and IS 350 variants.  Also in the works will be a further evolution of the IS F-SPORT, with the sport trim available across the entire model range

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First Look: 2014 Kia Cadenza

New sedan reveals Korean maker's upscale aspirations.

by on Jan.15, 2013

The 2014 Kia Cadenza displays the latest take on the Korean maker's Tiger Nose design.

Like Hyundai, its better-known Korean sibling, Kia has some aggressive upscale aspirations – and it’s revealing what’s in store with the new 2014 Cadenza premium sedan making its first appearance at the North American International Auto Show.

As with other recent Kia offerings, such as the stylish Optima, the bigger model adopts a sleeker and more upscale appearance developed under the guidance of former Audi designer Peter Schreyer, who has led the dramatic transformation of the Korean brand since joining Kia five years ago.

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Known as the K7 in the Korean market, the new 2014 Kia Cadenza is slightly longer than the BMW 5-Series, albeit a bit narrower.  It shares the same underlying platform as the Hyundai Azera and will go up against such competitors as the Acura RL and the newly restyled Toyota Avalon – as well as Chevrolet’s 2014 Impala update.

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Ford’s Atlas Concept Signals Plan for Next-Gen F-150

Truck wars keep heating up as Ford concept takes aim at new Chevy, GMC and Chrysler pickups.

by on Jan.15, 2013

The Ford Atlas Concept signals the maker's plans for the next-generation F-Series pickup.

Ford tossed a hand grenade into the already escalating truck wars, literally dropping in on the North American International Auto Show with the Atlas, a concept pickup that provides some clear hints about where the maker is going with the next-generation F-Series, the country’s best-selling truck for more than a third of a century.

The widely-rumored reveal came just a day after Chrysler won the coveted North American Truck of the Year award during the Detroit Auto Show’s opening ceremonies. Meanwhile, Chevrolet had hoped to steal the show with Monday’s official unveiling of the next-generation Silverado pickup.

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Senior Ford officials did little to deny that they were intentionally trying to steal their competitors’ thunder by bringing the Atlas to the 2013 NAIAS and teasing what they promised would be a wide range of new industry-benchmark features and capabilities.

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First Look: 2014 Acura MDX Prototype

What you see is (mostly) what you'll get.

by on Jan.15, 2013

Acura is calling it a prototype but it's largely what you can expect from the 2014 MDX.

One of Acura’s most popular vehicles, the 2014 Acura MDX, made its world debut in prototype form today at the 2013 North American International Auto Show, showing off a new, stylish appearance and a large suite of advanced technology features.

As is typical of Acura and its parent Honda, the thinly disguised show car will be back in production trim – soon enough to be rolling into showrooms for the 2014 model-year.  The basic layout of the third-generation crossover will carry over, the MDX offering room for seven and both all-wheel-drive and front-wheel-drive layouts.

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“Our goal is to advance on MDX’s already great dynamic performance while improving fuel economy and luxury comfort,” said Mike Accavitti, vice president of national marketing operations. “Building on the great momentum we established in 2012 with the launch this year of our flagship RLX, followed later this year by a terrific new luxury SUV in MDX we are very excited about the direction of the Acura brand. And we are truly looking forward to a great 2013,” he said.

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Nissan Resonance Concept Previews Next-Gen Murano CUV

by on Jan.15, 2013

Expect many of the Nissan Resonance design cues to return with the next-gen Murano.

At a time when most manufacturers tried to disguise their early crossovers to look like conventional sport-utility vehicles, Nissan took a decidedly different direction, creating the expressively styled Murano.

So, with more and more makers moving in that direction as the classic SUV fades from the market, how does Nissan stay ahead of the crowd? What it describes as the “envelope-pushing” Resonance Concept gives us a good idea.  The show car’s “boldly futuristic styling” is a tease of what will become the next-generation Nissan Murano which was last restyled in 2009.

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As with the original crossover, the Japanese maker is putting a premium on design, though the Nissan Resonance Concept also features a hybrid powertrain that will be offered as an option on the upcoming Murano replacement. As is often the case with concepts, the Resonance features a number of other innovative technologies, as well.

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Nissan Versa Note Reveals New Direction for Subcompact Hatchback

Maker pitching new design, higher mileage, added features.

by on Jan.15, 2013

Nissan debuts the new hatchback version of the Versa at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show.

The Nissan Versa Note, which goes on sale at Nissan dealers in the United States in summer 2013, will offer a new look and several key innovations for buyers searching for an entry-level hatchback.

The subcompact segment in which the new Versa Note competes has become one of the most competitive in the industry and also one of the most robust as both young buyers looking for their first new vehicle and older buyers start to downsize. In addition, buyers sensitive to the price of fuel are also moving into the segment and Nissan has tried to capitalize on the trends by offering more utility in an affordable package.

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The little hatchback debuting at the North American International Auto Show boasts a new design direction — with a steeply sloped windshield and sculpted body panels — and features new technology for the entry segment, including the “Around View” Monitor, which fulfills Nissan’s broad effort to deliver “innovation” to all product segment.

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