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Tesla Warns of Slow Model 3 Deliveries.

Bad news for Tesla could be good news for Chevrolet’s new Bolt.

by on Oct.19, 2016

Tesla still hopes to have the first Model 3 sedans in production during the 2nd half of 2017.

Looking to buy one of Tesla’s new Model 3 battery-cars? You can look for a long wait.

Those who put in an early reservation for the carmaker’s first mainstream model might yet get a Model 3 delivered before the end of next year, Tesla now says more recent orders won’t be fulfilled until 2018. And some analysts questions whether the company will even meet that goal, considering its history of missing targets with new products.

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That could be good news for Chevrolet, however. The Detroit maker expects to start delivering the first of its own affordable, long-range electric vehicles before year-end, and battery supplier LG Chem said this week that it believes there will be demand for as many as 30,000 Chevy Bolt EVs in 2017.


Long Just a Rumor, Mid-Engine Corvette May Soon Become Reality

And is a Cadillac supercar also in the works?

by on Aug.04, 2016

A rendering of a possible mid-engine Corvette from Car & Driver, which has long chased the story.

In the classic Humphrey Bogart film, The Maltese Falcon, detective Sam Spade gets caught up in the chase for a jewel-encrusted bird, it’s “the stuff that dreams are made of,” he says. For sports car fans, especially those who’ve long waited to see General Motors finally deliver a true world-beater, the stuff of dreams is the long-rumored, mid-engine Corvette.

The search has long consumed veteran Detroit journalists like Don Sherman who remains convinced the project is real. And there are growing signs he is right – at least if a flurry of recent whispers and rumors, as well as articles and reports in outlets as diverse as the Detroit News and Car & Driver prove accurate.

There is an unusual twist to this long-running tail being bandied about. Might the mid-engine prototype spotted a number of times in recent months not actually be earmarked for Chevrolet, however? Might this supposedly ultimate Corvette actually be destined to serve as the halo car for the Cadillac brand, a challenge to the likes of the newly updated Audi R8 and reborn Acura NSX?

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For their part, General Motors officials remain mum. The stock answer is that the automaker doesn’t discuss future projects. And, the reality is, even some of the company’s more senior officials don’t really know. As several current and former Corvette project members stress, that is a highly compartmentalized team operating in its own little world.


Toyota Delays Launch of Plug-in Prius Prime

U.S. sales not planned to start until winter.

by on Aug.03, 2016

The plug-in Toyota Prius Prime made its global debut at the NY Auto Show last March.

(Ed. Note: Toyota has now clarified details of the U.S. launch. See details, below.)

Toyota Motor Co. is delaying the start of production for its new plug-in model, the Prius Prime.

The move is expected to push back the availability of the new model in the Japanese market. The U.S. launch, has been advised, will begin in November, but will be slower than originally planned.

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The exact reason for the delay hasn’t been stated, though spokesperson Kayo Doi was quoted telling reporters in Japan that, “We decided we want to take our time and more care before starting mass manufacturing.” The launch of production will be slower than original planned, a U.S. official added.


Chevy Cruze Joins New Wave of Hatchbacks

Hatches gain traction – but can be hard to distinguish from CUVs.

by on Jun.17, 2016

Chevrolet will bring the new Cruze Hatchback to dealers this autumn at a base $22,190.

Chevrolet is getting ready to roll out a new, five-door version of its compact Cruze model, a move that might have had industry analysts scratching their heads just a few years ago.

Back in the 1970s and ‘80s, hatchbacks were hot. But due to some poor designs and quality problems – notably leaky hatches – they earned a bad reputation as “penalty-box” cars and all but vanished from the market. Suddenly, however, the market appears to be heating up again, with manufacturers introducing new models and consumers responding enthusiastically.

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“Automakers are responding to consumer demand for additional choice,” said David Sullivan, a senior automotive analyst with AutoPacific, Inc.

Adding new body styles, said Sullivan, can also help prop up passenger car nameplates that have been losing momentum as more and more U.S. buyers shift to sport- and crossover-utility vehicles, as well as other light truck lines.


Detroit Muscle Cars Fall Short in New Crash Tests

Ford Mustang outperforms Chevrolet Camaro and Dodge Challenger.

by on May.24, 2016

They perform well on the street, but the IIHS wanted to see how the Ford Mustang, Dodge Challenger and Chevy Camaro perform in a crash.

The Ford Mustang outperformed its domestic muscle car rivals in the latest series of crash tests by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, but none of the three managed to earn top ratings in the closely watched tests.

This marks the first time the insurance industry-funded safety group tested and compared all three of the domestic “pony cars,” a move that reflects the fact that muscle cars collectively suffer some of the highest loss rates of any vehicle category, according to government statistics.

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“Given that sports cars have high crash rates, it’s especially important that they offer the best occupant protection possible in a crash,” said IIHS President Adrian Lund.


Chevrolet Re-Ups for Three Years with Major League Baseball

Deal means Chevy remains MLB’s official car.

by on May.13, 2016

Chevrolet has renewed its Major League Baseball sponsorship, a partnership that dates back to 2005.

Looks like it’s going to be Baseball, Hot Dogs, Apple Pie and Chevrolet for at least another three years as General Motors all-American brand renewed its sponsorship agreement with Major League Baseball.

While the slogan dates back to an immensely popular advertising campaign from 1974, the current deal with MLB goes back to 2005. An interesting note: the new deal is for just three years, which is down from the previous five-year agreement.

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Under the deal, Chevrolet will continue to be the Official Vehicle of Major League Baseball and becomes the Official Automotive Sponsor of USA Baseball’s Play Ball initiative — a collaborative effort to encourage youth participation in baseball and softball. (more…)

Has Tesla Been Bending the Numbers for Model 3?

Carmaker claims it has purged speculators from the order banks.

by on May.03, 2016

Only two per household. Tesla insists it has purged multiple reservations for the Model 3.

Tesla’s Model 3 is still about 18 months from production, but the Silicon Valley automaker has already lined up an enviable order book, the ever-ebullient CEO Elon Musk declaring it, “the biggest one-week launch of any product ever.”

But there have been some questions raised about Tesla’s claims. For one thing, potential buyers have been plunking down $1,000 refundable reservations, not orders. They’ve still got plenty of time to decide if they actually will purchase one of the compact battery-electric vehicles once they finally begin rolling off Tesla’s Fremont, California assembly line.

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And are consumers really the ones making these reservations? Or are speculators and others who really have no intention of ever taking delivery of a Model 3 inflating the list?


GM Phasing Out Vehicles Without Airbags

All models worldwide will offer airbags, other safety features by 2019.

by on Apr.15, 2016

The Chinese-made export version of the Chevrolet Sail got zero stars in Latin American crash test.

After flunking a widely reported crash test in Latin America, General Motors will reverse course and add not only airbags but a variety of other safety features in all vehicles it sells worldwide.

The move could prompt other mainstream manufacturers to follow suit, despite the added cost, as government regulators and safety advocates around the world press to lower a global highway death total estimated at 1.25 million last year.

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GM says it now plans to spend about $5 billion to bring its worldwide fleet up to higher safety standards, a move that will target emerging markets such as Africa, Latin America and smaller Asian countries like Vietnam and Indonesia. Chinese regulators have already been ramping up safety requirements in recent years.


Tesla Costs Likely to Rise as Incentives End

Few, if any Model 3 buyers will qualify for $7,500 tax credit.

by on Apr.06, 2016

Tesla buyers may no longer qualify for federal tax credits by the time the Model 3 reaches showrooms.

When the Tesla Model 3 finally goes into production, in late 2017 or early 2018, buyers might be in for an unpleasantly costly surprise – one that fall particularly hard on customers who were hoping to get that new battery sedan at a relatively affordable price.

American motorists buying the carmaker’s two current products, the Models S and X, stand to receive federal tax credits of $7,500. Industry analysts say that incentive has helped draw many buyers into the battery-car market. But under federal guidelines, those givebacks might be gone before the first Tesla Model 3 hits the road.

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When Congress passed the measure aimed at spurring demand for battery-based vehicles – including both plug-in hybrids and pure battery-electric vehicles, or PHEVs and BEVs – lawmakers set a cap on those incentives, limiting them to just the first 200,000 vehicles sold by a particular automaker.


Tesla Set for Biggest Risk Yet as it Reveals New Model 3

Will early interest translate into profitable sales?

by on Mar.31, 2016

A shortage of showrooms could prove a problem taking the new Tesla Model 3 mainstream.

Battery-carmaker Tesla Motors is set to make the biggest bet in its short life Thursday night with the official unveiling of the all-new Model 3.

At an estimated price of $35,000, the new sedan will cost less than half as much as the base version of the current Tesla Model S and, if all goes according to plan, transform the California carmaker into a serious mainstream, rather than niche, manufacturer.

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According to some observers, Tesla could very quickly log more than 100,000 early reservations. But not everyone is convinced, one analyst warning that “fundamental headwinds” could prove more substantial than Tesla’s ever-upbeat founder and CEO Elon Musk has anticipated.