Detroit Bureau on Twitter

Posts Tagged ‘auto news’

Today’s Cars Staying on the Road Longer Than Ever

Quality up, but older cars may face unique problems.

by on Jul.29, 2015

The average age of vehicles on the road in the U.S. is 11.5 years, or more simply, this 2003 Honda Odyssey.

While new car sales may be stronger than they have been in nearly a decade, most American motorists are riding around in vehicles that are older than ever.

The typical vehicle on U.S. roads is now 11.5 years old, according to a study by IHS Automotive, an all-time high. And that means that millions of those vehicles have now been in operation for more than two decades.

By the Numbers!

“As long as we have tracked average age, it has gradually risen over time due to the increasing quality of automobiles,” said Mark Seng, global aftermarket practice leader at IHS Automotive. (more…)

Volkswagen Sees Income Fall in Second Quarter

German maker hit by restructuring costs, slow China sales.

by on Jul.29, 2015

VW's Martin Winterkorn confirmed that being the biggest seller doesn't make you most profitable as the maker's Q2 earnings fell 15.9%.

Being the biggest seller doesn’t bring a guarantee of big profits evidently as Volkswagen AG reported its earnings fell 15.9% during the second quarter of the year.

The fall to 2.73 billion euros from 3.25 billion euros from the same period is the result of 180 million euros in restructuring costs related to its MAN heavy truck unit and a drop in automotive sales in China, where the company is largest automaker.

Subscribe for Free!

“Our results for the first half of the year show that Volkswagen remains very well positioned in an increasingly difficult market environment and has a compelling product range”, said Martin Winterkorn, chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen AG, in Wolfsburg. “We are keeping a very close watch on global macroeconomic trends, especially where there are uncertainties such as in the Chinese, Brazilian and Russian markets.” (more…)

Nissan Quarterly Income Rises by 36.3 Percent

Improved North American, European sales drives result.

by on Jul.29, 2015

Joji Tagawa, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. corporate vice president, said the Japanese automaker saw sales rise in North America and Europe during the last quarter.

Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. rode sales gains in North American and Europe to a 17.6% increase in revenue and a 36.3% increase in net income during the first three months of its new fiscal year, which ended June 30.

The Japanese automaker reported net revenue of $23.9 billion (2.90 trillion yen) versus 2.47 trillion yen a year ago. Operating profit was $1.6 billion (193.7 billion yen), up from 122.6 billion yen, a 58% increase. Net income was $1.3 billion (152.8 billion yen) versus 112.1 billion yen in the prior year.

The Leader in Global Automotive News!

“Nissan delivered solid financial results in the first three months of the fiscal year due primarily to strong demand for our core products in North America and Europe,” said Carlos Ghosn, president and chief executive officer. “Given our on-going product offensive, the benefits of our Alliance strategy and continued cost-discipline, Nissan is on track to deliver its full-year financial guidance.” (more…)

Autonomous Vehicles May Upend Insurance Companies

Changes in how cars are bought, used may cause problems.

by on Jul.29, 2015

Google and its self-driving car could turn the insurance industry upside down.

It is something of a cliche nowadays to talk about technology as a disruptive force. But as automakers wrestle with the prospect of driverless cars and motorists who don’t own their vehicles, insurance companies could be facing something akin to a catastrophe, according to a new study by Driverless Transportation.

Autonomous vehicles are bound to disrupt the insurance industry, according to the latest warnings from consultants who have studied the insurance business recently.

Driving News!

Several of the consultants released reports recently suggesting auto insurers face will face daunting challenges in the future. (more…)

Hammered By Biggest Fine Ever, Fiat Chrysler Aims to Fix Broken Safety Program

Company examining changes made by General Motors.

by on Jul.29, 2015

One of the changes made to improve safety is that FCA's safety chief Scott Kunselman, right, now reports directly to CEO Sergio Marchionne.

Hit with the largest package of fines and penalties ever levied by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is under the microscope as federal regulators press it to change what has been described as a malfunctioning safety program.

Among other things, the maker will have to buy back perhaps several hundred thousand vehicles, and its safety program will be monitored by an independent outsider. But “that’s not something we fear,” insists the executive who has been appointed within FCA to get its safety efforts back on track.

Your Source for Auto Safety News!

“We’re focused now on getting fixes into the customer’s hands as quickly as possible,” and making sure that there are no delays when future safety problems are uncovered, said Scott Kunselman, the senior vice president of vehicle safety and regulatory compliance at the trans-Atlantic automaker. (more…)

Scion Seeking to Reconnect With Young Buyers With New iA, iM Models

Paring down aspirations.

by on Jul.29, 2015

Scion is looking to reinvigorate its brand with two new models, the iA sedan and iM hatch.

Once one of the hottest, hippest brands on the U.S. automotive market, Scion is hoping to reinvent itself with the launch of two new models this coming year, the iM and iA. And, in an unusual turnabout, it has sought help from little Mazda.

First launched 12 years ago, Scion was designed to reach the sort of youthful trendsetters who were largely steering clear of parent Toyota’s showrooms. And, with quirky models like the xB backed by creative – if sometimes dark – marketing campaigns, the brand became an almost instant success, hitting a 2006 peak with sales of 173,000 vehicles.

Product News!

But Like a parent who tries to pick up on the latest teenage slang, Scion soon seemed to disconnect with hip audience it sought. The second-generation xB, specifically designed for the U.S. market, was a spectacular flop and, by 2014, sales plunged to a mere 58,000. The slide has continued this year. Despite the ongoing revival of the U.S. new car market, Scion sales dipped another 18.6% during the first half. (more…)

Daimler, Renault-Nissan Point COMPAS Toward Mexico

Makers continue expanding partnership.

by on Jul.28, 2015

Daimler and Renault-Nissan are building a new plant in Mexico to produce small cars. The entity, COMPAS, is run by a board of executives from both companies.

Daimler AG and the Renault-Nissan Alliance are pointing their compass south of the U.S., or more precisely their putting COMPAS in Mexico to build compact cars for them.

The companies announced that they’ve formed COMPAS (Cooperation Manufacturing Plant Aguascalientes), a 50-50 partnership that will “oversee the construction and operation of a manufacturing plant for the production of next-generation premium compact vehicles for the brands Mercedes-Benz and Infiniti.”

News You Can Trust!

The two automakers announced last fall they would team up to find a way to build small cars in Mexico, but did not provide any substantive details at the time. The new entity will build a $1 billion plant – each kicking in half of the funds – on the grounds of Nissan’s plant in Aguascalientes. The new plant will be built alongside Nissan’s existing plant in the central Mexican city of Aguascalientes. (more…)

Honda Moves West with Innovation Xcelerator

Japanese maker joins competitors in Silicon Valley.

by on Jul.28, 2015

Honda's new Silicon Valley R&D facility is focusing on harnessing game-changing technologies through open innovation initiatives.

Honda, following the lead of rival automakers such as Ford, Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen and Nissan-Renault, is expanding it presence in Silicon Valley.

The Japanese automaker marked the opening of its new research and development center in Mountain View, California, near the heart of the tech corridor that stretches south from San Francisco and is the home of tech giants such Apple, Google, Facebook, Oracle, Intel and HP.

Your Technology News Source!

“As an industry, we are on the verge of some major transformational changes brought on by the convergence of what have been, to this point, largely disparate technology disciplines,” said Honda R&D Americas President Frank Paluch. (more…)

VW Shoots to Global Number One Sales Spot

But Toyota still could regain momentum during the second half of 2015.

by on Jul.28, 2015

VW CEO Martin Winterkorn wants Volkswagen to be the biggest automaker in the world and he's getting his wish through the first six months of 2015.

The auto industry may have a new sales leader, Volkswagen outselling Toyota during the first half of the year for the first time.

But how things will shake out the rest of the year is far from certain, especially as the world’s largest automotive market, China, shows signs of faltering after more than a decade of double-digit growth. VW is the largest player in the Chinese market and has been struggling to head off a slump there.

Global Sales News!

Toyota has its own problems. While it is gaining ground in China it has lost momentum in its home Japanese market. Overall, the maker saw sales dip 1.5% during the first six months of 2015 to 5.02 million vehicles. (more…)

GM Plowing $5 Bil into International Vehicle Sales

Cash outlay includes development of new vehicle family.

by on Jul.28, 2015

GM President Dan Ammann announced today that the automaker plans to spend $5 billion to bulk up its international operations.

General Motors is spending $5 billion to bolster its growth internationally, including the development of a new vehicle “family” that can produce variants to be sold globally.

The announcement comes as the automaker is winding down a $5.4 billion investment program in its facilities across the U.S. that began in early May. The company has revealed about $4.5 billion in projects at plants in Texas, Michigan, Kansas, Indiana and Kentucky.

Stay Informed!

“With a significant majority of anticipated automotive industry growth in 2015 to 2030 outside of mature markets, Chevrolet is taking steps to capitalize on that growth,” said General Motors President Dan Ammann. “Strengthening Chevrolet’s position through this major investment is consistent with our global strategy to ensure long-term profitable growth in the markets where we operate.” (more…)