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Posts Tagged ‘car news’

Auto Sales Soar – But So Does Auto Loan Debt

Sub-prime lending and delinquencies raise concerns.

by on Aug.20, 2014

Sub-prime lending has sharply increased - though it remains lower than before the recession.

Car sales may be soaring to their highest levels since the depths of the recession but, in the process, U.S. motorists are running up record auto loan debts.

The combination of rising car prices and a negligible growth in wages has only compounded the problem, buyers going deeper into debt to drive off showroom lots. Outstanding auto loans hit an all-time record of $839.1 billion during the second quarter, a whopping 11.7% year-over-year increase, according to debt tracking service Experian Automotive.

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It marks the 13th consecutive quarter auto loan has increased, according to a separate report by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Overall, outstanding household debt was essentially flat, the Fed noted.

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GM’s Reuss Confims Cadillac’s Plans for Flagship Sedan

A book-end for a rapidly expanding product line-up.

by on Aug.20, 2014

The Cadillac Elmiraj concept is expected to have a strong influence on the new flagship, though it will go with a sedan body style.

Cadillac will finally bring to market a full-size luxury flagship sedan late next year, Mark Reuss, the global product development chief for General Motors confirmed.

The new model, as TheDetroitBureau.com previously reported, is expected to go up against some of the toughest competitors in the luxury automotive market, including the likes of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, the best-selling premium sedan. Industry analysts expect the new model to showcase Caddy’s distinctive Art & Science design language while also offering an array of new comfort, performance and safety features.

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“What we do there has got to be a symbol of excellence,” Reuss said during a media scrum following a GM event for student interns. “This is a car that Cadillac needs that will define this brand in terms of innovation and excellence.”

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Millennials Move from Cars to SUVs – Just Like Their Parents

Compact cars lose their luster as Gen Y ages.

by on Aug.19, 2014

The Ford Explorer Sport is the perfect vehicle for conquering the concrete jungle.

Ford's Explorer is one of its more popular models with Gen Y as Millennials turn away from compact cars.

Conventional wisdom would suggest that Millennials would rather sit at home playing videogames and texting, and if they do buy a car, they’re likely to opt for something small, preferably with a battery.

As is so often the case, however, the prevailing sentiment is wrong, as several new studies reveal. Not only are Millennials buying cars in ever-larger numbers, but they’re opting for roomy crossovers and sport-utility vehicles, much like their parents.

Crossing Generations!

One likely explanation, according to Chris Travell, a vice president at Maritz Research, is that they want vehicles that can carry more of their stuff.

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Russia Ready to Retaliate – and Automakers Could Take a Big Hit

One unexpected winner could emerge.

by on Aug.19, 2014

A worker on the AvtoVAZ assembly line in Togliatti, Russia, a plant now run by Renault-Nissan.

Slammed by sanction for its role in the Ukranian revolt, Russia is warning it may tighten retaliatory sanctions against the West by banning automotive imports.

The crisis in the Ukraine has made stock traders around the world nervous, leading to some major swings in key indexes and raising fears about the overall strength of the European economy, which is just beginning to recover from a steep recession.

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But retaliating against Western automakers could have unforeseen consequences for Russia itself as it struggles to build momentum for its own economy. Car sales in the heart of the former Soviet Union also slumped badly along with the rest of Europe.

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Infiniti Prepping Flagship Concept for Paris Motor Show

A long-awaited Q45 replacement?

by on Aug.19, 2014

Infiniti offers a tease of a concept coming to Paris.

The cryptic statement reveals little beyond suggesting that Infiniti has something big coming. But TheDetroitBureau.com has learned that the maker is readying a new concept vehicle for the upcoming Paris Motor Show that could fill the yawning gap left open since the brand’s old flagship sedan, the Q45, went away.

The concept vehicle is expected to flag the grand changes coming at Infiniti, Nissan’s luxury brand, while also underscoring that the brand hasn’t lost direction or momentum despite the recent departure of its global chief, Johan de Nysschen who is just reporting for duty this week as the new head of Cadillac.

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“This will show people the vision lives on and we have a bright future,” said one of several sources who spoke to TheDetroitBureau.com on background only.

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Another Saab Story: New Owners Narrowly Sidestep New Bankruptcy.

National Electric Vehicle Sweden now seeking partners.

by on Aug.19, 2014

NEVS was able to restart the Saab plant for only a matter of months, producing about 6 cars daily.

It might seem like a comedy routine if it weren’t so deadly serious; the company that bought filed Swedish automaker Saab out of bankruptcy itself averted its own financial collapse this past week and is now frantically seeking a new partner to keep the operation going.

A Chinese-controlled coalition, National Electric Vehicle Sweden hasn’t produced a car at Saab’s Trollhattan plant since May and was being threatened by an unpaid supplier ready to force it into bankruptcy  – echoing what happened to the Dutch firm that previously tried to rescue Saab.

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“The company does not have enough liquid cash today to pay all outstanding debt, but NEVS’ assets are larger than its debt,” the new Saab owner confirmed in a statement. “NEVS cannot say exactly when, but NEVS’ suppliers will get paid.”

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Renovo Reveals 500-hp Electric SuperCar

Silicon Valley start-up aims to redefine the battery car.

by on Aug.18, 2014

The Renovo Coupe can launch from 0 to 60 in just 3.4 seconds thanks to its 500-hp drivetrain.

It may, at first glance, look like a Shelby American, and your eyes wouldn’t be deceiving you. It’s what’s under the skin that transforms that already serious piece of performance machinery into an even more notable entry into the automotive pantheon.

Making its debut over the weekend at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, what start-up Renovo Motors bills as “America’s First All-Electric Supercar” is likely to shock folks who associate battery-electric vehicles with the likes of the Nissan Leaf or Mitsubishi i-MiEV.

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The modified coupe has been outfitted with a 500-horsepower battery-powered driveline that transforms it into the Renovo Coupe, a rear-wheel-drive electric supercar capable of launching from 0 to 60 in a mere 3.4 seconds. The price tag, is equally likely to take your breath away, however, at a hefty $529,000

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Cruising Down Memory Lane

Detroit’s Woodward Dream Cruise turns 20.

by on Aug.16, 2014

A "flamed" hot rod, one of from 40,000 to 60,000 classic muscle cars, hot rods, sports cars and other collectibles expected at the Woodward Dream Cruise.

For Bob Wissman, standing on the corner of Woodward Avenue in Royal Oak, Michigan is a trip down Memory Lane. As a teenager in the 1960s, even before he was old enough to drive, he’d hitchhike along Metro Detroit’s main drag, hoping to catch a ride in a Ford Mustang, a Pontiac GTO or, if he was lucky, a Chevrolet Corvette.

Woodward Ave. was Ground Zero for muscle car fans and, back then, you’d even catch some executives, like General Motors’ legendary maverick John DeLorean, showing up late at night to street test a new performance car against their competitors.

The Last Word!

The days of cruising are long past – well, not entirely. As summer enters its dog days, the echoes of screeching tires and the resonant roar of big V-8s can be heard up and down Woodward Avenue, a crescendo building by the day as the Motor City gets set to celebrate its heritage with the annual Woodward Dream Cruise.

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Used Car Buyers Get Welcome Relief as Prices Tumble

Prices finally drop, and could keep sliding into 2016.

by on Aug.15, 2014

Used car prices peaked during the Great Recession, largely due to a shortage of "nearly new" vehicles.

After watching prices surge to record levels in the wake of the Great Recession, U.S. used car buyers are finally catching a break, with costs tumbling sharply on most models and likely to continue to slide through 2016, according to those who track pricing trends.

There are a few exceptions, such as pickup trucks, which have been in increasingly high demand as contractors and fleets rebound along with the economy. But there are great deals to be had on “nearly new” luxury cars and a number of other models, according to such experts as Tom Webb, the chief economist for Manheim, which runs some of the nation’s largest used vehicle wholesale auctions.

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“Prices will continue to decline because of increased supply,” Webb told TheDetroitBureau.com, “mostly from off-lease vehicles.” The downward trend, he added, should continue for at least the next 18 months.

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Ferrari Berlinetta Sets All-Time Auction Record

Classic car collector open wallets wide at Pebble Beach Concours.

by on Aug.15, 2014

The record-setting Ferrari 250 GTO Berlinetta was involved in a wreck that killed its driver, a former French Olympic ski champion, in 1962.

It was one of only 39 ever made, and it was involved in a crash that took the life of one of its drivers, but that apparently only added to the mystique of a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO Berlinetta that commanded a record $38,115,000 during an auction last night marking the start of the festivities surrounding the annual Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.

When the gavel went down, it smashed through the previous record – also set at a Bonhams auction – the $29.65 million paid last year for a Mercedes-Benz W196R Formula One race car.

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But the figure failed to top the $52 million paid in 2013 during a private sale of another Ferrari GTO, the highest figure ever for any automobile. And the Thursday night auction bid – which included a 10% commission – actually fell short of what some had expected.

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