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First Look: All-New 2017 BMW 5-Series

Bigger yet lighter. Faster yet more efficient.

by on Oct.12, 2016

The larger 2017 BMW 5-Series boasts enough room for five adults and 4 golf bags.

From a visual standpoint, BMW has gone the evolutionary route with the new 2017 5-Series, according to both leaked and official images. That’s likely no surprise considering the strong success of the outgoing model.

That said, design chief Adrian van Hooydonk and his team have given the new 5-er some distinctive details so it doesn’t continue to look like just the middle child sandwiched between the ever-popular 3-Series and brand-defining 7-Series.

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From the spec sheet and background information the Bavarian marque has provided, it looks there’s going to be a lot to like. The 2017 BMW 5-Series promises to be slightly larger yet notably lighter, with improved performance and handling. And for technology fans, there’ll be an array of new features, including iDrive 6.0 and more driver assistance systems.


Hyundai Aims to Push More Up-Market with Genesis 2.0

New premium sedan set to reach U.S. showrooms in early 2014.

by on Oct.24, 2013

Hyundai aims to more directly take on its European rivals with the newly redesigned 2015 Genesis sedan.

Few cars have done more to transform an automaker’s image than the original Hyundai Genesis sedan which landed a slew of awards – including the coveted North American Car of the Year trophy – when it first came to market in 2008.

Now, the Korean carmaker is set to roll out Genesis 2.0, if you will, the second-generation sedan aiming to take Hyundai even more up-market with a more distinctive design, more refined features and – perhaps most critically – the promised of improved ride and handling which, the company says, was aimed to take on the benchmark BMW 5-Series.

“The evolved all-new Genesis is the product of Hyundai’s best resources and capabilities and we strongly believe it will be a game-changer in the market,” said Moon Sik Kwon, head of Hyundai Motor Group’s R&D Center, located just outside the Korean capital of Seoul.

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The second-generation Hyundai Genesis, which is being shown to a small group of Korean and foreign journalists for the first time this week, is the product of a 500 billion won, or roughly $500 million, program that Kwon stressed during a dinner interview us “critical” for the Korean maker.  Hyundai has significant aspirations of moving its image more upscale, a process that it began with the 2008 launch of the original Genesis and continued with the more recent introduction of the bigger Equus model.


2014 Cadillac CTS Will Be Bigger; So Will Price Tag

New sedan takes more direct aim at Euro imports.

by on Jun.14, 2013

The 2014 Cadillac CTS makes its debut at the recent New York International Auto Show.

In its first two incarnations, the Cadillac CTS was a so-called “tweener car,” sized somewhere between the BMW 3-Series and the bigger 5-Series.  And that was reflected in a price tag smaller than comparable European models.

Not anymore.  When the 2014 Cadillac CTS rolls into showrooms later this year it will be more directly targeted against its bigger German rival – and it will carry a larger MSRP, as well, the maker has announced, more in line with the BMW 5-Series.

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That means a starting price of $46,025 for the third-generation CTS, up from around $40,000 today – and much closer to the $48,725 base BMW 528i. The totally redesigned Caddy won’t quite reach as high as its German rival, however.  The new, high-performance CTS Vsport will go for $59,995 compared to $65,925 for the BMW 550i xDrive – the BMW term for all-wheel-drive. And the German maker’s own super-performance model, the M5 will set you back $92,425.


Cadillac Changing Game with Third-Generation CTS

No more “tweener” car.

by on Mar.26, 2013

The Vsport version of the 2014 Cadillac CTS -- shown during its NY debut -- will feature the new 420-horsepower Twin Turbo V6.

It’s been a good year, so far, for Cadillac.  The new ATS compact took honors as the North American Car of the Year and, along with the equally new XTS, Caddy sales have shown the sort of momentum General Motors’ flagship brand it hasn’t seen in years.

Yet, the real story begins this week at the Big Apple’s Jacob Javits Center, where New York Auto Show Show-goers are getting their first look at the all-new 2014 Cadillac CTS.  After years of trying to position the sedan in its own distinct niche, the new model is about to go head-to-head with some of the toughest competitors in the luxury market.

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“Cadillac has been on a journey the last 10 years,” since the original CTS debuted, introducing the marque’s distinctive Art & Science design language, says Cadillac Design Director Mark Adams, “And there’s no question the CTS has been the backbone of that journey.”


Next-Gen Cadillac CTS Debut Planned for NY Show

New sedan will be bigger, more lavish, more expensive.

by on Feb.11, 2013

The next-generation Cadillac CTS will be moved more up-market from the 2013 model shown here.

The next new entry into the expanding Cadillac line-up will make its debut at next month’s New York Auto Show, officials with the General Motors division have confirmed.

The unveiling of the next-generation Caddy CTS will follow the January introduction of the ELR plug-in at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit and last year’s addition of the compact Cadillac ATS and high-line XTS models.

While the car coming to New York will replace one of Caddy’s current models, the 2014 Cadillac CTS could certainly be described as an expansion of the line-up as it is expected to be bigger, more lavish and more expensive that the outgoing sedan, taking more direct aim at the likes of the BMW 5-Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class.

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“We are positioning that car as a step up, so there will be a marketing challenge to reposition that car,” Bob Ferguson, the new head of Cadillac, said during an interview with the Detroit Free Press. He was one of several executives with General Motors’ flagship brand to attend the annual National Automobile Dealers Association conference in Orlando, Florida over the weekend.


Cadillac ATS to Start at $33,990

Maker will have slight advantage over BMW 3-Series.

by on May.07, 2012

Cadillac's new ATS will plug a gaping hole at the bottom of the maker's line-up.

Cadillac is betting it can win entry into the hotly competitive luxury market with a mix of styling, performance and pricing, the base model of its new 2013 ATS sedan to carry a sticker of $33,990.

That’s about $2,000 less than the MSRP for the king of the compact luxury segment, the BMW 3-Series, which starts at $35,795 for the base 328i.

But as with BMW and other competitors, the Detroit maker plans to offer a wide array of options, including all-wheel-drive and a more sporty V-6, which will let buyers nudge the price tag for the 2013 Cadillac ATS all the way up into the mid-$40,000 range.

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“The ATS enters a vehicle segment this year that’s one of the most competitive in the market, from both a price and performance standpoint,” said Cadillac’s director of marketing Don Butler. “ATS will bring a distinctive presence and compelling value while offering quick, nimble, fun-to-drive dynamics that will appeal to the lifestyles of modern luxury buyers and challenge the segment’s status quo.”

Of course, Cadillac has tried that before.


Marty’s Marketing Minutia: Taking Gas

Memorial Day special edition.

by on May.27, 2011

Nissan's new ad campaign examines a world where everything is powered by gas.

Nissan Leaf ad asks what would happen if everything used gas

Have you filled the tank of your new Nissan Leaf?  Excuse me? Nissan’s new Leaf campaign takes a tongue-in-cheek look at what would happen if everything in our daily lives used gasoline and the problems that would cause. This somewhat different approach comes from the brand’s creative manifesto which, in part asks, “What if everything ran on gas? No electricity. No renewables. Just gas.” Like your alarm clock and your dentist’s drill’

But everything doesn’t run on gas,” the series points out. “Most things run on electricity, which is clan, and quiet and uses fewer parts, and needs less maintenance. Most things can be plugged in and charged up and don’t need a tank or a pump.”

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And the payoff is of course the all-electric Leaf.  When questioned about this approach, Jon Brancheau, Nissan’s vice president of marketing commented, “By using humor and asking the simple question, ‘what if everything ran on gas’ we’re able to rationally make the case that electric cars’ time has arrived.”

The campaign is a full multimedia push using television, online, print and direct marketing to convey the message. And the campaign, which breaks Monday, Memorial Day, takes every day products and situations and injects gas-powered-humor to sell the Leaf with these four :15-second teaser commercials: (more…)

Three World Car of the Year Finalists Announced

Nissan Leaf, Audi A8 and BMW 5 Series are finalists for award.

by on Mar.18, 2011

The Audi A8, BMW 5 Series and Nissan Leaf are finalists for World Car of the Year.

Two German luxury sedans will face off against the world’s first mass-produced electric vehicle for World Car of the Year honors. The winner will be announced April 21, prior to the opening of the New York International Auto Show.

The Germans are the Audi A8 and BMW 5 Series and the EV is, of course, the Nissan Leaf.

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The already well-decorated Chevrolet Volt was not eligible for the award because it is not for sale on two continents, as the award requires. Currently available in select U.S. markets, the Volt hits European showrooms in November.


BMW Cuts Price for 2011 528 sedan

All 5-ers to be offered with manual gearboxes, all-wheel-drive.

by on Apr.16, 2010

BMWNA Marketing Chief Jack Pitney with the 2011 BMW 5-Series.

Bavarian sedan fans may rejoice at the news that the price is being cut a full $1,400 when the 2011 BMW 528i rolls into U.S. showrooms about two months from now.

Credit “competitive realities,” acknowledged a senior BMW executive in a conversation with, with the most realistic factor being the sharp cuts that arch-rival Mercedes-Benz has enacted since launching an all-new E-Class last year.

The base price of the 2011 BMW 528i will come in at $44,500, with the midrange 535i to command $49,600, and the top-line 550i $59,700.  Those figures cover reasonably well-equipped packages – and include a customer’s choice of either the Bavarian maker’s new 8-speed automatic or a 6-speed manual transmission.

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The stick will be available on all three versions of the new and completely re-designed 2011 5-Series – though company officials acknowledged, at a Detroit luncheon, that they only expect a “take rate” of about 5% for the manual gearbox.  All-wheel-drive will also be available, as an option, on all the new versions of the 5-Series.