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Posts Tagged ‘BMW’

Automakers Put Their Cars on a Diet

Bigger can be better -- and lighter, too.

by on Apr.13, 2015

The Cadillac CT6 - as big as a BMW 7-Series, but as light as a 5-Series.

With the launch of its 2016 CT6 sedan, Cadillac says it is setting out to “reinvent” itself, but some of the steps the maker has taken in the development of the new model will likely trigger changes across the industry.The new Cadillac CT6 is the same size as a big BMW 7-Series – but it weighs barely as much as the German maker’s smaller 5-Series sedan. In fact, the new Caddy flagship weighs less than its own midsize luxury sedan, the CTS.

“Lightweighting” has become one of the big buzzwords in today’s global auto industry as maker’s race to get the weight out of their vehicles.

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The primary reason is to meet the tough new Corporate Average Fuel Economy, or CAFE, standards that will jump to 54.5 mpg by 2025. Mass, explains Cadillac Chief Engineer Dave Leone, “is the enemy of efficiency.”

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Trucks, SUVs Dominating $50,000 Price Point

TrueCar says pickups, utes moving into the luxury territory.

by on Dec.11, 2014

Ford's F-150 tops the list of vehicles sold at a price topping $50,000 this year.

The perception of what constitutes a “luxury vehicle” may be changing, especially if price is the top factor, according to TrueCar, Inc.

The car selling service says that when it comes to sales of vehicles with prices exceeding $50,000 most would think German luxury brands like BMW and Mercedes-Benz would hold the top spots, but it’s just not so.

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“Conventional wisdom says German premium brands would dominate the list of top-selling vehicles over $50,000,” said John Krafcik, president of TrueCar. “The reality is that this price segment of the market is dominated by American pickups and SUVs sold through non-premium brand dealers.” (more…)

BMW, Mercedes Slugging It Out for Sales Title

Duel over luxury crown headed for photo finish.

by on Nov.11, 2014

BMW is holding a slim lead over rival Mercedes-Benz in the U.S. luxury market.

BMW and Mercedes-Benz are locked in a battle royal for the sales crown in the prosperous market for luxury cars in the U.S. BMW held the title for the two previous years, but one of the two has been the leader since 2011: the last year Lexus held the crown.

“One of the noteworthy facts in the October U.S. new vehicle sales results is that BMW now leads its archrival Mercedes-Benz by just 5,389 sales through the first ten months of this year,” IHS Automotive Analyst Tom Libby said.

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“With such a small gap in sales through 10 months, the two makes will most likely use marketing tools extensively through the end of the year, including numerous types of incentives, to gain an edge.” (more…)

Takata Slapped with Second Class Action Suit

Latest filing in California also names Honda as defendant.

by on Oct.31, 2014

Takata's been hit with a second class action lawsuit and a fourth overall. The latest suit was filed in California.

Even before the dust has settled on the first class action suit against airbag maker Takata, the Japanese supplier has been slapped with a second class action suit. The suit was filed in California.

Hagens Berman, a national class-action law firm, filed suit against Takata as well as Honda Motor Co. alleging the two companies were more interested in their bottom lines than the safety of consumers.

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The complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, claims that Takata may have cut corners to build cheaper airbags, and that Honda may have bought its airbags from Takata to reduce manufacturing costs. The result, according to the complaint, is that instead of saving lives, defective Takata airbags in Honda automobiles are killing and maiming drivers and passengers involved in otherwise minor and survivable accidents. (more…)

BMW Buckling Down, Looks to Cut $5.5 Billion

German maker wants to keep margins between 8% and 10%.

by on Jun.19, 2014

BMW CEO Norbert Reithofer says he wants to cut as much as $5.4 billion in costs between now and 2020.

Rising costs and the subsequent squeeze on profit margins has BMW CEO Norbert Reithofer declaring war on costs: a nearly $5.5 billion war.

The Bavarian Motors boss wants to cut between $4 billion and $5.4 billion in costs to keep the German maker’s profit margins between 8% and 10% in the coming years. In 2013, BMW reported a margin of 9.4%.

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One area of bloat is the Mini brand as well as the development of the 1-Series, which should see costs come down some as it’s in production now, according to multiple media reports. BMW said in a released statement would seek to lower annual expenses “by several hundred million euros a year.” (more…)

China, Europe Lead BMW to Q1 Profitability

Maker seeks to remain atop the luxury vehicle hill.

by on May.06, 2014

BMW said its X family, including the X3, helped the Bavarian maker to a sales increase in the first quarter of this year.

BMW turned strong sales in China and a nice rebound in Europe into an 8.4% increase in profit before taxes in the first quarter of the year. The news is even better when going straight to the bottom line as the group’s net profit was up 11.4% on a year-over-year basis.

First-quarter sales in Europe rose 3.4% to 214,210 units from last year’s 207,243 units. Asia sales were up 21.8% to 158,582 units with China leading the charge with a 25.4% increase in deliveries to 108,143 units.

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Earnings rose to 1.46 billion euros ($2.03 billion) from 1.31 billion euros in the same quarter a year earlier. The figure was higher than the 1.35 billion euros consensus expectation among analysts surveyed by financial information provider FactSet, according to Reuters. (more…)

Driving the new BMW i8

Reinventing the sports car.

by on May.06, 2014

BMW's i8 plug-in hybrid sports car is expected to roll off the production line this summer with the first deliveries in Europe.

The BMW i8 may look more like a concept than a production car, but it really is street legal. BMW’s first plug-in hybrid sports car has just begun rolling down the maker’s assembly line in Leipzig, Germany, and will soon join the i3 city car as the foundation of an all-new, brand-within-a-brand of battery-based vehicles, collectively known as BMW i.

The appeal of the i8 is not just in it’s distinctive, carbon-fiber skin. Beneath that futuristic body, the i8 boasts game-changing technology that could revolutionize the sports car segment – a good reason for TheDetroitBureau.com to head off for some time behind the wheel before it officially goes on sale next month in Europe.

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One thing is certain, the i8 has to live up to some grand expectations. Sales of the plug-in sports car have already exceeded BMW’s original forecast, so the Bavarians have decided to ramp up production. Exactly how many will it sell? BMW isn’t saying for sure, though it’s expected this year’s production will run between 3,000 and 3,500 units. (more…)

BMW, Mercedes Recall More than 400K Cars

German makers deal with stalling, tail light problems.

by on Apr.29, 2014

The 2012 BMW 3-Series is one of the many models targeted by the latest recall.

The list of recalls continues to lengthen as two German automakers – BMW and Mercedes-Benz – issued recalls for separate problems on more than 400,000 vehicles.

BMW is recalling 156,000 cars due to issues with aluminum bolts that secure the housing for the variable camshaft timing adjustment unit can loosen over time and may break and could cause stalling.

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The action covers the 2010-12 1 Series, 3 Series, 5 Series Gran Turismo and X3, X5, X6 and Z4 along with the 2011-2012 5 Series and 2012 6 Series vehicles. Additionally, BMW is extending the warranties for another 170,000 inline six-cylinder 2010-12 vehicles, which are not covered in the recall, to address similar problems if they arise. The vehicles were built between September 2009 and February 2012. (more…)

Audi A3 Wins World Car of the Year

Germans take clean sweep of five awards.

by on Apr.17, 2014

Scott Keogh, Audi of America’s CEO, clutches the large World Car Trophy in front of the Audi A3.

The Audi A3 was named the World Car of the Year during a ceremony at the New York International Auto Show Thursday, marking the second time the maker has captured the prestigious honor in recent years.

But there was something for everyone during the morning ceremony – at least if you were a German automaker, BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Porsche dividing up the four other trophies handed out for 2014.

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“This really represents what Audi does extremely well,” proclaimed Scott Keogh, Audi of America’s CEO, as he clutched the large World Car Trophy at the podium. “We couldn’t be prouder to win this award.” (more…)

BMW Reveals Array of New Models

Focus is on performance.

by on Apr.17, 2014

BMW board member Ian Robertson behind the wheel of the new M4 Convertible.

With nearly 60 different products making their U.S. or global debut at this year’s New York Auto Show, nearly every major automaker – and quite a few smaller ones – has something to show off this month.

But BMW has a disproportionate presence on the list, with the Bavarian automaker putting a particular emphasis on performance.  But the maker is also giving a hint as to its possible plans to roll out a battery-based version of its big X5 Sport Activity Vehicle.

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“This is a year for BMW to set significant milestones,” said Ian Robertson, the BMW board member overseeing global sales. It’s already pulled off one, delivering a record 487,000 vehicles during the first quarter of the year worldwide, and the company – which includes brands BMW, Mini and Rolls-Royce — is “aiming for a significant increase to a record of over 2 million” vehicles for all of 2014.

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