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Chrysler to Add High-Mileage Diesel for Ram 1500

Ford softening its opposition to diesels, as well.

by on Feb.14, 2013

The Ram 1500 will begin offering a 3.0-liter turbodiesel.

Chrysler will add a diesel option for the Ram 1500 pickup, making it the only automaker to offer the high-mileage technology on a half-ton truck. It could be a significant additional inducement the announcement coming barely a month after the Ram 1500 was named North American Truck of the Year.

But Chrysler may not be the only maker to market a diesel standard-duty pickup for long. General Motors is reportedly considering such an option for its newly redesigned Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra models, while Toyota and Nissan may add diesels when their redesigned Tundra and Titan models reach market.


Meanwhile, diesels are rapidly gaining ground in other market segments. Chevrolet last week unveiled its new Cruze Diesel, the first passenger car model from General Motors’ largest brand to offer the powertrain technology since 1996. Mazda will add a diesel for its new Mazda6 later this year. And even Ford’s long-standing resistance to diesel power in U.S. passenger cars finally may be crumbling.


As Truck Wars Heat Up Ram Ramps Up Production

Automaker’s Warren Truck plant expects to increase production by more than 70,000 vehicles in 2013.

by on Feb.13, 2013

With a reviving economy expected to increase demand for full-size pickups, Chrysler is sharply boosting production of its big Ram 1500.

Truck sales took a spectacular tumble when the economy crashed but with the housing market showing signs of revival pickups could be one of the year’s hot products — and Chrysler is ready to take advantage of the fact that it was recently named North American Truck of the Year.

The maker’s Ram brand will rapidly ramp up production of the Ram 1500 pickup truck at its Warren, Mich., from 227,000 in 2012 to more than 300,000 vehicles this year.

Keep on Truckin'!

After winning North American Truck of the Year at the Detroit Auto Show last month, Chrysler is hoping to make some inroads in a segment long-dominated by Ford’s F-150 and, to a lesser degree, the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra full-size pickups.

(Ram 1500 wins coveted North American Truck of the Year accolade. Click Here for the story.)

But the Detroit automakers aren’t the only ones looking to regain ground in what is traditionally their most profitable segment. Toyota unveiled an updated version of its big Tundra at the Chicago Auto Show last week while Nissan dropped hints about its next-generation Titan.


GM Names New Labor Relations Vice President

He replaces former VP who is moving to global engineering VP role.

by on Feb.05, 2013

Jim Glynn

General Motors named Jim Glynn as vice president of North American labor relations on Monday.

Glynn replaces Cathy Clegg, who was named global manufacturing engineering vice president, replacing the retiring Eric Stevens.

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Glynn will be responsible for the automaker’s union-management partnerships and will lead joint programs and negotiations and other key matters involving union-represented workers.


Honda Offers Siri Integration

Automaker is first of several expected to pair Apple's voice assistant with cars.

by on Feb.01, 2013

Honda will offer integration of Apple's Siri as a dealer-installed option in three vehicles starting later this year.

Honda will integrate Apple’s Siri intelligent assistant into its vehicles as an option for customers who own iPhones.

Siri’s is a potentially significant development for an auto industry where carmakers are scrambling to equip vehicles with the next big thing in infotainment systems that can both limit driver distractions while allowing motorists to have access to their media and friends.

Integrated Infotainment!

Ford has said that its Sync voice-activated system has driven sales of its cars. It has also triggered a wave of copycat systems, such as Toyota’s EnForm and Cadillac’s Cue. Analysts are now watching to see if Siri integration in cars will become a prime purchasing factor for buyers.


Toyota, BMW Expected to Sign Fuel Cell Agreement

German automaker would plan to build production version by 2020.

by on Jan.23, 2013

Toyota showed the FCV-R fuel cell vehicle in 2011.

Nearly seven months after announcing an expansion to their alliance, Toyota and BMW appear ready to announce the first fruits of their partnership.

According to published reports, Toyota is close to inking an agreement to license its fuel cell vehicle technology to BMW. Official word on the agreement could come as early as Thursday.

Power! Power! Power!

BMW plans to build a prototype vehicle using the technology by 2015 with production possible by about 2020.

The fuel cell project is just the first fruits of what the automakers plan as a multi-project partnership.


VW R-Line adds More Performance to Model Mix

Performance model could add to record Passat sales.

by on Jan.17, 2013

The Volkswagen Tiguan is one of the newest models to get the R-Line treatment.

In recent years, the Detroit Auto Show has threatened to turn into the battery-car show.  But while there are plenty of hybrids, plug-ins and the like waiting on the Cobo Center floor this year, there’s a clear revival of performance.

And while the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette is clearly one of the show’s stars, Detroit makers aren’t the only ones emphasizing muscle. Volkswagen is expanding its R-Line and showed the Passat Performance Concept at the North American International Auto Show.

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With the Passat setting a record with more than 117,000 sales in 2013, a performance-oriented model could help add to that total. But VW isn’t waiting to give some of its existing models a boost.


Jaguar Land Rover Investing Big in Products, Technologies

Eight new products or significant technologies planned for this year.

by on Jan.16, 2013

Jaguar Land Rover is excited about the upcoming release of its F-Type sports car.

There’s plenty of good news for Jaguar Land Rover these days. Like most of the industry, sales are up. A raft of products and technologies are expected in the next few years, which should lead to even bigger sales increases. And its Indian owners are allowing the brands to spend the money to develop its new products.

It’s been almost five years since Tata Motors purchased JLR from Ford, effectively putting an end to Ford’s much publicized Premier Automotive Group.


Adrian Hallmark, global brand director and a member of the JLR executive committee, told in an exclusive interview that the automaker is in good shape to fulfill its aggressive goals.

Market Share, Margins Expected to Rise, GM Takes Another Step Towards Fully Restoring Dividend

Company declares dividend while CFO says new vehicles will drive up profits.

by on Jan.15, 2013

GM Chief Financial Officer Dan Ammann said the company expects profits to increase because of its new products.

This story has been revised to reflect an earlier GM preferred stock dividend payment.

General Motors will pay a dividend on its preferred stock, it announced Tuesday afternoon. The decision appears to have been backed up by GM’s anticipation of its 12th quarterly profit in a row – as well as the expectation that the maker will be able to drive up sales, margins and profits in the coming year.

The news comes less than a week after Ford Motor Co. revealed plans to double its own dividend on common stock.

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“Our portfolio of new, world-class vehicles puts us on a strong footing to grow profitably,” said Dan Ammann, GM senior vice president and chief financial officer, who addressed an industry conference in Detroit as the announcement of the new dividend payment was released.


Guangzhou Shows Three Vehicles in Detroit

The Chinese automaker has no plans to sell its vehicles in the U.S., but hopes to raise its profile in the automotive industry.

by on Jan.15, 2013

While Guangzhou Automotive Group has no plans to sell its vehicles in the U.S. it came to the Detroit Auto Show to raise its profile in the industry.

Chinese automaker Guangzhou Automobile Group showed off three vehicles, including a hybrid and an electric vehicle, at a press conference at the Detroit Auto Show.

While the company has no plans to sell its vehicles in the U.S. market, it came to the North American International Auto Show to raise the profile of the company and its Trumphchi brand.

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Xiu Jihan, a senior engineering engineering executive, said the hybrid vehicle is ready for sale in China but the battery electric vehicle, prepared with the help of  AC Propulsion of California. But the company has no plans to bring cars to the U.S . any time soon, company GAC representative said after the press conference.


Shelby Focus ST and GT500 Wide Body Unveiled

Performance tuner thinks the late founder would have approved.

by on Jan.15, 2013

Shelby American introduced two cars at the Detroit Auto Show: The Shelby GT500 Wide Body and the Shelby Ford Focus ST.During his exile from Ford, Carroll Shelby worked with Dodge on hopped up hatchbacks, like the Dodge Omni GLH-S and the Dodge Shelby Charger.

Now just months after founder Carroll Shelby’s death, the company is carrying on the pocket rocket tradition with a new Shelby Focus ST, unveiled today at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

Power! Power! Power!

Also at the Detroit Auto Show, Shelby showed its new Wide Body version of the 2013 Shelby GT500 Super Snake.

“I think what you’ll see today are two cars that represent the spirit of Shelby,” Shelby President John Luft said.

Click below for a look at the new creations from the longtime Ford tuner.