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Cadillac to Debut CT6 Plug-in Hybrid in Shanghai

Pllug-ins planned “across spectrum of Cadillac cars.”

by on Apr.01, 2015

The new Cadillac CT6 will follow its NY debut with a rollout in China of a plug-in version.

Cadillac will follow this week’s debut of the CT6, with news that its new flagship sedan will also get a plug-in hybrid drivetrain.

But the PHEV system set to officially debut at the Shanghai Motor Show later this month won’t be the anemic system found in Caddy’s compact current plug-in model, the compact ELR. It will deliver similar performance to the new twin-turbo V-6 being offered in the CT6. And that system will eventually be used in a variety of other Cadillac models, the brand’s global boss told

Plug In!

“We’re going to roll out plug-in hybrid technology across the spectrum of Cadillac cars,” promised Cadillac President Johan de Nysschen. As a result, “we won’t need a car like the ELR.”

Though Cadillac officials were reluctant to go into extensive detail about the CT6 plug-in hybrid, hoping to maintain some secrets to reveal at the Shanghai show, was able to pry loose some of the more critical information.


BMW Adds 1st SUV Plug-in with Launch of X5 xDrive40e

"Ideally suited to short commutes."

by on Mar.18, 2015

The new 2016 BMW xDrive40e uses a 9 kWh lithium battery to deliver up to 13 miles in electric mode.

BMW is clearly getting charged up about battery power. It’s already launched its new i3 and i8 models, along with some hybridized versions of its conventional product lines. Now, it’s ready to switch on its first plug-in Sport Activity Vehicle, the new X5 xDrive40e.

First shown in concept form as the X5 eDrive at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show, the new BMW plug-in comes at a significant time for European luxury makers in general. This month’s Geneva Motor Show was flooded with high-end hybrids and battery-electric models. And Mercedes-Benz this week announced it will add a whopping 10 new plug-ins to its line-up by 2017.


Delivering an estimated 55 MPGe, and up to 13 miles on electric power alone, BMW expects to have the 2016 X5 xDrive40e rolling into U.S. showrooms by autumn.


BMW Group Rides Record Sales to Profit Highs

Maker enjoys fifth consecutive year of best-ever results.

by on Mar.12, 2015

BMW Chairman Norbert Reithofer, shown during the launch of the BMW i3 battery-car, said the i Series cars are doing well.

The BMW Group continued to chalk up record numbers in 2014 as the company achieved new highs for sales and profits for the fifth year in succession and anticipates more of the same in 2015.

Norbert Reithofer, chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG, said the new records, included new highs for sales volume, revenues and group earnings. Group revenues increased 5.7% to 80.4 billion euros, or $85.4 billion, while profit before tax reached 8.7 billion euros, or $9.2 billion, and automotive segment margin on earnings before interest and taxes rose to 9.6%.

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The figures served to underscored BMW’s position as the world’s leading premium car company, he added.

In view of its attractive model range and the market launch of 15 new models or model revisions during the course of 2015, the BMW Group expects an increase in sales volume worldwide again in 2015, he said.

“We are targeting further sales volume growth worldwide in the current year and hence a new record level for deliveries,” Reithofer said. “We continued to perform well during the past year, achieving new highs for sales volume, revenues and group earnings.”

“Tailwinds caused by high customer demand for our vehicles worldwide are driving up sales volumes. Our Strategy Number ONE, which we regularly refine as we go forward, continues to contribute to our business performance.”

In line with its strategy of achieving a balanced distribution of worldwide sales, the BMW Group recorded sales volume growth in all major sales regions. The four largest sales markets for the BMW Group last year were China, US, Germany and Great Britain.

The BMW brand retained its leading position in the premium segment in 2014 by posting a new record sales volume figure. Sales climbed by 9.5% to 1,811,719 units, driven in particular by the excellent performances of the BMW 3, 4 and 5 Series and the BMW X5, each of which led the world market in its own segment.

Rolls Royce also had a record year, posting sales of more than 4,000 units for the first time, but Mini sales dropped 1% in 2014 as it prepared more model changes.

(BMW introduces new 2-Series…minivan. For more, Click Here.)

Reithofer also said BMW i electric vehicles are on the road to success, recording a total sales volume of 17,793 units in the year under report. Worldwide sales of the BMW i3 totaled 16,052 units, a large proportion of which arose during the second half of the year, following the model’s launch in various major markets, including the US. The BMW i8 achieved sales of 1,741 units since its market launch in summer 2014.

(Click Here for details about Mini’s new upscale model: the Countryman Park Lane.)

Overall, the revenues of the BMW group grew by 5.7% in 2014 and EBIT rose by 14.3% to 9.2 million euros thanks primarily to sales volume growth and a high-value model mix. Group profit before tax (increased by 10.3% and net income improved, also a new record high for the BMW Group.

(To see more about VW’s annual results and expectations for 2015, Click Here.)

Sales surpassed the 2-million mark for the first time in the BMW Group’s history, climbing by 7.9% to a total of 2,117,965 units.

BMW Introduces All-New 2-Series…Minivan

Maker’s new 2-Series Grand Tourer hauls seven people.

by on Mar.04, 2015

BMW introduced its new 2-Series Grand Tourer at the Geneva Motor Show, including the 220d xDrive version.

Those predicting the eventual death of the minivan segment apparently forgot to tell the folks over at BMW as the Bavarian automaker unveiled its 2-Series Grand Tourer at the Geneva Motor Show.

“The BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer unites the segment’s traditional attributes of roominess and flexibility with the hallmark BMW values of dynamics, elegance, premium quality and safety,” said Ian Robertson, head of the BMW brand, during the Geneva Motor Show.

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The seven-seater, which will go on sale in Europe next month, isn’t entirely comparable to American minivans. While it will seat seven passengers, it won’t do much else while doing so. It’s a really minivan, if you will. (more…)

Millions of Cars Vulnerable to Hackers, Warns Report

“Automakers haven’t done their part to protect us,” warns Sen. Markey.

by on Feb.09, 2015

"Automakers haven't done their part to protect us from cyberattacks or privacy invasions ," warns Sen. Edward Markey, D-Mass.

As owners of more than 2 million BMW vehicles recently learned, hackers are now targeting automobiles, and the problem is likely to get worse, warns a new report.

The study, overseen by Sen. Edward Markey, a Massachusetts Democrat, comes at a significant time, with automakers loading their vehicles with an assortment of new electronic features – from digital safety systems to wireless infotainment technologies. And over the coming decade, a number of manufacturers are looking to launch new autonomous systems that could allow hands-free driving – and even bigger opportunities for hackers.

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“Drivers have come to rely on these new technologies, but unfortunately the automakers haven’t done their part to protect us from cyberattacks or privacy invasions,” Sen. Markey said in a statement.


BMW Moves To Block Hackers

Security flaw offered access to doors on 2.2 million BMW, Mini, Rolls-Royce cars.

by on Feb.02, 2015

BMW's ConnectedDrive system offerred access to hackers looking to break into a vehicle.

BMW says it has fixed a security flaw that could have given hackers the ability to remotely unlock the doors of 2.2 million vehicles sold by the BMW, Mini and Rolls-Royce brands.

The announcement underscores growing concern that thieves and hackers could gain access to vehicles through the fast-growing array of onboard infotainment and safety systems that have become common on today’s vehicles.

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In the case of the German luxury maker, the problem was linked to BMW’s ConnectedDrive system which relies on onboard SIM cards to identify authorized users. The technology can be used, among other things, to allow a vehicle’s doors to be unlocked remotely. But it also is used to transmit real-time traffic information and other data.


BMW Will Add AWD to M

Needed to handle increasing power, says M brand chief.

by on Jan.22, 2015

The BMW M5 is going to get all-wheel drive and a form of torque vectoring to handle all that power.

BMW will be taking the lead from its two German rivals, adding all-wheel-drive to some of its high-performance M models.

Audi has long relied on all-wheel-drive to put power to the pavement with its S and RS lines, and Mercedes-Benz recently announced that it will go AWD on all but a handful of its AMG performance products. BMW was the holdout – with the exception of its performance Sports-Activity Vehicles.

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Going forward, however, that will change – slightly – said Frank van Meel, the head of BMW M. Speaking to Britain’s AutoCar, he said the “philosophy will remain rear-wheel drive, (but) as we increase the power and torque, then the M5 and M6 will have large outputs, so we’ll look at those (AWD) solutions.” (more…)

Ford Won’t be Rolling Out Aluminum Passenger Cars, Says Top Exec

Benefits don’t justify the cost, complexity says Pres. Hinrichs.

by on Jan.15, 2015

Ford President Joe Hinrichs helps unveil the new Ford F-150 Raptor during the 2015 Detroit Auto Show.

Though Ford Motor Co. has ballyhooed the benefits of the aluminum used to build its 2015 F-150 pickup, don’t expect to see the automaker start building passenger cars out of the lightweight metal, cautioned a top executive.

The benefits just aren’t as competitive when used on lighter vehicles, stressed Joe Hinrichs, Ford’s President of the Americas, during an appearance at an annual industry confab in Detroit.

No Lightweight!

“You don’t get those same benefits to a consumer on a car side,” he explained, adding that, “truck buyers will pay for more capability. Car buyers will pay for better fuel economy, but there’s other ways to get fuel economy in a car.”

Facing stiff new emissions and fuel economy mandates, automakers like Ford are struggling to find ways to improve the efficiency of their vehicles. They’re adopting advanced powertrains and alternate fuels, adopting more aerodynamic designs, and putting a premium on “lightweighting.”


Cars Driving the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show

From Auto Park systems to brain wave monitors, auto-mobile is the next big thing at the 2015 CES Show.

by on Jan.05, 2015

Mercedes offers a tease of the concept car it will introduce at this year's Consumer Electronics Show.

When Mercedes-Benz unveils its new autonomous vehicle concept car this month it will skip the big Detroit Auto Show, turning instead to Las Vegas for the debut.

Like a number of its rivals, the German maker is planning a big presence at the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show. The largest annual event in Sin City, CES is typically a venue populated by TV, smartphone, computer and electronic gadget makers. But it has also become a major staging ground for the auto industry.

Going Mobile!

“The last three years have really accelerated the role” of the automobile at the electronics show, notes Egil Juliussen, the director of research for the automotive technology group at think tank IHS. It’s because technology is becoming more and important in the car, he adds, noting “people want to use all of their mobile electronics in their cars.”


BMW’s Move Takes Takata Airbag Recall National

Maker expands recall to include 140,000 vehicles across US.

by on Dec.23, 2014

BMW recalled an additional 140,000 3-Series vehicles due to a potential airbag problem.

Despite Takata’s protests, the recall of vehicles with its potentially deadly airbags is now a national action as BMW expanded its recall from regional to national status. The German maker was the last of five automakers receiving pressure from federal regulators.

BMW agreed on Monday to expand its recall of vehicles with possible defective driver-side air bags by 140,000 3 Series cars from model years 2004-06. The automaker already had recalled about 11,700 cars with driver-side Takata air bags in high-humidity states.

Safety First!

Officials at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have been pressuring Takata and five automakers – Mazda, Honda, Ford, Chrysler and BMW – to expand the scope of the recall for several weeks. Toyota and Honda acted quickly, but Ford, Chrysler and BMW were resistant suggesting they were unsure the move was prudent. (more…)