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Posts Tagged ‘luxury cuv’

Aston Electrified; British Maker Charges up Product Plans

Seven products planned, including battery version of DBX SUV.

by on Aug.19, 2015

Aston will add a second pair of doors to the production version of the DBX crossover.

Little Aston Martin has some big plans. With a flood of new cash from key investors, new CEO Andy Palmer says the British maker will soon have its largest line-up of products ever, a mix that will include traditional Aston sports cars, big sedans, even a battery-electric version of the DBX sport-utility vehicle concept unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show last March.

The product blitz is part of a broader effort to fix a business model that “is broken,” said Palmer, who joined Aston last autumn after a long career at Nissan capped as the Japanese maker’s global product chief.

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“We’ve been beating this dead horse for a long time,” Palmer told TheDetroitBureau.com during an interview in California, where he had come for the annual Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. As a result, it has suffered seven bankruptcies over the last 102 years, along with several “near misses.”

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Aston Martin Gets Funding to Build DBX Crossover

Battery car also in the works.

by on May.01, 2015

Aston Martin surprised everyone with the introduction of its DBX crossover at the Geneva Motor Show.

Aston Martin has lined up a £200 million, or roughly $300 million, cash infusion from its key shareholders, money that it will use to build several new models including a production version of the DBX crossover revealed at the Geneva Motor Show several months ago.

The goal is to create “the strongest and most portfolio in our history,” proclaimed Andy Palmer, the former Nissan senior executive who joined Aston Martin Lagonda as its new CEO last year.

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“This additional long-term funding, will enable us to add extra model lines and broaden our presence in the luxury market segment by the end of the decade,” said Palmer in a statement. He made it clear that the primary focus is on the DBX.

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Mercedes Hopes GLA Will Tap into Booming Compact Crossover Market

German maker with find plenty of competition in segment.

by on Sep.29, 2014

Mercedes expects the new GLA to duplicate the success of its CLA sedan, which is a hot seller.

Barely a year after launching its new CLA coupe-like sedan, Mercedes-Benz has sold more than 30,000 to U.S. buyers and, the maker claims, probably would be doing twice that volume if it could get more from its new factory in Hungary.

No wonder the maker’s senior executives are positively jumping for joy as the even newer Mercedes-Benz GLA heads for U.S. showrooms. “The segment is potentially three times as large,” suggested communications chief Rob Moran, during a media drive of the new crossover-utility vehicle in Vermont.

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Crossovers are already beginning to outsell conventional sedans in the U.S. market, and most analysts anticipate the same thing is about to happen in the compact luxury segment. That’s spurring a flood of new offerings, the GLA just one of the latest to join such alternatives as the BMW X1. (more…)

First Drive: 2015 Mercedes-Benz GLA

Compact crossover among best in crowded segment.

by on Sep.29, 2014

The new GLA is the fifth - and smallest - crossover/ute in the Mercedes family.

What a difference one little letter can make. In many ways, the new Mercedes-Benz CLA and GLA models are a lot alike, starting out with the German maker’s basic small car platform. But there are also a surprising number of ways the two models diverge.

The CLA is the compact, coupe-like sedan that Mercedes launched last year, quickly becoming one of the maker’s most successful products ever, demand so far well exceeding supply. The new Mercedes-Benz GLA adopts a more hatchback-style crossover body style that targets an even larger segment of the luxury market.

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But the differences are even more substantial, as we learned during several days of driving the new GLA through northern Vermont just as the leaves began to turn their autumn colors. The year-long delay in bringing the crossover to market appears to have given Mercedes engineers the time they needed to address earlier complaints about the coupe-like CLA’s ride and handling. (more…)

Mercedes Launches GLA Production

Fourth of five new entry-lux models starts rolling down the line.

by on Dec.06, 2013

Production of the Mercedes GLA in Rastatt.

The first of the new Mercedes-Benz GLA crossovers started rolling down the maker’s assembly line in Rastatt, Germany this week, the fourth in a new array of entry-lux models that the maker hopes will give it a push past aggressive competitors like BMW and Audi.

When the GLA reaches showrooms next year, Mercedes officials hope it will follow the lead of the new CLA model that recently made its American debut. That coupe-like sedan has become the hottest offering in the maker’s U.S. portfolio, not only delivering a sizable size boost but drawing in a significant number of buyers new to the Mercedes brand.

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“The GLA is the next milestone in our Mercedes-Benz 2020 growth strategy,” said Dieter Zetsche, the Mercedes brand boss and head of the maker’s parent Daimler AG.

The crossover is designed to complement the more conventional CLA and give Mercedes traction in the rapidly growing compact luxury crossover niche, which is expected to become one of the world’s fastest-growing market segments through at least the rest of the decade.

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Lincoln Unveiling MKC Crossover in NYC

Maker gets a jump on auto show season.

by on Nov.13, 2013

Lincoln enters one of the market's fastest-growing segments with the 2015 MKC compact crossover.

Two of the year’s most important auto shows are coming up next week in Los Angeles and Tokyo – but Lincoln is getting a jump on them both with a special preview of its own in New York City later today.

There’s good reason for it to be anxious.  Ford Motor Co. is struggling to rebuild its luxury division and doesn’t want to get lost in the auto show shuffle – especially when it comes to debuting the new 2015 Lincoln MKC which will be entering one of the high-line market’s fastest-growing product segments.

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Annual sales of compact luxury crossovers have grown by 200% since 2009, according to industry figures – demand rising 25% so far this year.

The production version of the MKC may strike a note of déjà vu for showgoers who got a first look at a concept version that debuted at the Detroit Auto Show last January. The production model will be toned down a bit, particularly when it comes to the over-the-top interior of the earlier show car, but it is nonetheless an aggressive design meant to press forward with the new Lincoln look first brought to market for 2013 in the form of the redesigned MKZ sedan.

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Spy Shots: 2015 Lincoln MKC

Luxury version of Ford Escape moves closer to production.

by on Sep.30, 2013

A prototype Lincoln MKC caught while testing. All photos courtesy Jim Dunne /CAR SPY.

In its bid to once again be taken seriously in the luxury market, Ford Motor Co. has outlined a plan to launch four critical new models by mid-decade – with a number of other offerings to follow.

The first of those, the MKZ sedan, got off to a rocky start but is finally gaining traction – just as the spotlight shifts to the next key product in the Lincoln strategy.  We got a first look at the marque’s planned compact crossover during the 2013 Detroit Auto Show. Now, TheDetroitBureau.com’s veteran spy, Jim Dunne, has captured images of the small CUV undergoing testing around Detroit.

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Due to reach market for the 2015 model-year – which means an introduction in mid-2014 – the Lincoln MKC will be based upon the same basic platform as the latest-generation Ford Escape.  And, as you might recall, Escape migrated from a traditional body-on-frame to a crossover platform when it was relaunched for the 2013 model-year.

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Acura to Reveal 2014 MDX at NY Auto Show

Longer wheelbase, richer content.

by on Mar.20, 2013

The Acura MDX Prototype made its debut in January at the Detroit Auto Show.

Few models have been more important to Acura than its original crossover, the MDX, so expect the maker to pull out all the stops when it unveils the production version of the three-row CUV at the New York Auto Show next week.

The 2014 Acura MDX will be the latest in a series of critical rollouts designed to revitalize the long-lagging Japanese luxury brand. It will reach showrooms in the wake of the Honda luxury brand’s launch of both the entry ILX model and its all-new flagship, the Acura RLX.

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And like the RLX, you can expect to see the maker add a wide array of new safety and infotainment features – while also downsizing the oft-criticized chrome shield grille that detractors have dubbed the “beak.”

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