Detroit Bureau on Twitter

Posts Tagged ‘paul a. eisenstein’

GM’s Opel Set to Offer a New Battery-Electric Vehicle

Will share platform of near-twin Chevrolet Bolt.

by on Feb.12, 2016

GM CEO Mary Barra with the Chevy Bolt, which is the basis for Opel's new EV offering, the Ampera-e.

General Motors’ European Opel subsidiary is set to get its first long-range battery-electric vehicle in 2017.

Speaking at an industry conference, GM CEO Mary Barra said Opel will launch the new Ampera-e in a bid to target a mainstream audience looking for longer range than current electric vehicles can offer.

News You Can Trust!

“Like its twin, the Chevrolet Bolt EV, the Ampera-e promises to transform the electric vehicle market in Europe as the first EV that combines long range at an affordable price,” Barra said. (more…)

Google on Hiring Spree for Autonomous Vehicle Program

Will it build cars, after all?

by on Feb.12, 2016

Google plans to expand the range of places it is testing its autonomous prototypes.

Google is putting out the “Help Wanted” sign, and it could signal a major shift in plans for its Google X autonomous vehicle program.

For the last several years, the high-tech firm has said it doesn’t want to produce its own vehicles but would rather find partners – a term used by Google X CEO John Krafcik during a visit to Detroit last month. But among the dozens of jobs being advertised, at least some put a focus on manufacturing skills.

Subscribe Now!

That includes one for a manufacturing process engineer who would be responsible for “designing factory assembly stations, optimizing production floor layout, automating critical manufacturing processes and approving fixture designs used in the assembly of electronic modules for the self-driving car.”

(more…)

Trucks Rule at Chicago Auto Show – and Across the U.S.

Automakers race to add new products, more capacity.

by on Feb.12, 2016

The Chevrolet Trax is one of the newest utes from GM, and sales are outstripping supply.

Chevrolet faces the sort of challenge most automakers can only dream of. Its various pickup plants are operating at full, three-shift capacity and can’t build any more trucks. If anything, says marketing executive Sandor Piszar, that means the bowtie brand is losing possible sales.

“The toughest part is keeping up with demand,” said Piszar, during a conversation at the 2016 Chicago Auto Show’s media preview. “We’re running flat out at all our plants.”

Picking up on the Trends!

Actually, Chevy isn’t entirely unique. Hyundai is struggling to keep up with demand for utility vehicles like the Tucson, shifting capacity at its plant in Alabama to build more of the mid-range Santa Fe Sport. Ford, Toyota, Mercedes-Benz and Nissan, with rare exception, every automaker TheDetroitBureau.com spoke with is laying out plans to boost truck capacity and, in many cases, add more truck models.

(more…)

BMW Adds M Performance to its New 7-Series Sedan

New high-powered sedan will hit showrooms next year.

by on Feb.11, 2016

BMW pushes up the performance quotient of its flagship sedan with the new M760i.

BMW has long resisted calls to add the big 7-Series to its line-up of high-performance M models. It made an end-run by turning to partner Alpina which only last week announced the latest version of its souped-up B7 model.

But is BMW finally bowing to pressure and delivering the long-awaited BMW M7? The answer is a definitive, “sort of.” The Bavarian maker is adding the new BMW M760i xDrive for 2017. But the TwinPower 12-cylinder model falls into that halfway line known as M Performance, rather than being dubbed a true BMW M.

http://www.thedetroitbureau.com/about/subscribe

Product News!

Will that matter? It’s hard to say, but as Mercedes-Benz has shown with its rival S-Class AMG offerings, there’s no doubt there’s plenty of demand for more and more performance whatever the size and shape of the sheet metal.

(more…)

Hyundai Blows Into Chicago with Updated Santa Fe, Santa Fe Sport SUVs

Korean carmakers aims to stay relevant in fast-moving SUV market.

by on Feb.11, 2016

Hyundai makes a number of changes to the 2017 Santa Fe line, including a new front fascia with a brushed-look grille and new headlamps.

By the millions, American motorists are migrating from conventional passenger cars to sport-utility vehicles and more car-like crossover models. And manufacturers are responding with a flood of new offerings.

So, it’s a challenge to keep existing models fresh and competitive – something Hyundai hopes to handle with the debut of updated versions of two key entries at the Chicago Auto Show. It boasts that the 2017 Santa Fe and smaller Santa Fe Sport models get not only a mid-cycle facelift but enhanced safety, convenience and connectivity features.

Auto Show News!

Hyundai is so upbeat about the prospects for the 2017 updates it is planning to boost capacity, notably adding production of the Santa Fe Sport at its manufacturing plant in Montgomery, Alabama. But it is also readying a slew of new utility vehicles to take advantage of shifting market trends.

(more…)

Nissan Fills in Blanks About “Standard” Titan Model

Half-ton model will go on sale in summer 2016.

by on Feb.11, 2016

The new Nissan Titan half-ton comes in about a foot shorter than the Titan XD.

In an unusual move, Nissan launched its all-new Titan pickup line with the XD, or medium-duty model, last December. Now it’s ready to go after the heart of the truck market with the half-ton model.

The Japanese maker revealed some of the details of the standard-edition Titan in Chicago, just in time for the Windy City’s annual auto show press preview. Among other things, Nissan plans to lift a page from Detroit’s pickup handbook, offering the new Titan in a wide range of cab, drivetrain and bed configurations.

Truck News!

Together Titan and Titan XD will cover nearly 85 percent of the total full-size truck market,” said Rich Miller, Nissan’s product planning director for trucks, SUVs and commercial vehicles. The half-ton will target the highest-volume segments, the XD providing a bridge for those who want more capabilities than a standard truck but who can’t afford – or who don’t need – a traditional heavy-duty model.

(more…)

Kia Promises Best of Both Worlds with New Niro Hybrid Crossover

Ground-up design; one of three battery models debuting in Chicago.

by on Feb.11, 2016

The 2017 Kia Niro boasts a slick 0.29 coefficient of drag, helping deliver an estimated 50 mpg,

What would Toyota do if it were starting from scratch, designing the Prius today? Would the world’s best-selling hybrid still have a relatively conventional five-door layout? Or might it follow current fashion?

That was the question Kia’s product development team apparently had to answer when they began working up their own dedicated hybrid-electric model. And in their case, they opted for a slick subcompact crossover-utility vehicle dubbed the Kia Niro.

Stay Plugged In!

First shown in concept form more than two years ago, the production Niro loses such fanciful touches as the scissor-style doors. But Kia didn’t take the easy out, simply stuffing a gas-electric driveline in an existing CUV model like the Sportage. Instead, the Korean carmaker opted for a ground-up development program designed, it claims, to strikes a balance between styling, utility, fuel-economy and that elusive fun-to-drive factor.

(more…)

Kia Offers Two New Battery Options for 2017 Optima Sedan

Updated hybrid and Kia’s first plug-in make Chicago debut.

by on Feb.11, 2016

Kia is adding a plug-in hybrid version of the Optima fo4 2016, getting up to 27 miles a charge.

Little Korean carmaker Kia has never been shy about bucking trends. And it’s ready to prove that again at the Chicago Auto Show.

Kia is heading into the Windy City with not just one, not just two, but three new battery-based products set to reach U.S. showrooms for the 2017 model-year. That includes both the updated Kia Optima Hybrid, but also the new Kia Optima PHEV, the Korean carmaker’s first plug-in hybrid.

News Now!

Along with the new Kia Niro, a compact crossover hybrid, the two Optima models are part of the carmaker’s grand plan to triple the number of battery-based models in its fleet by 2020. But whether they’ll gain traction in a market more focused on trucks is far from certain. (more…)

Infiniti Powers Up with Three New Engines for Q50 Line

Luxury maker promises “complete transformation” of line-up.

by on Feb.11, 2016

Infiniti gets serious about performance with a new 400 hp VR V-6 for the Q50 Red Sport 400.

Long stuck in the second tier of luxury brands, Infiniti hopes to come out from the shadows with an assortment of new models and powertrains, and a bigger emphasis on performance.

Nissan’s high-line marque is giving a taste of what it has in mind as it reveals three new powertrains for the new Q50 sedan at a Chicago Auto Show event, including a package it has dubbed the Q50 Red Sport 400.

Power Up!

“We are completely transforming the Infiniti model lineup this year with all-new models like the QX30 and Q60 sports coupe, major makeovers such as the QX60, and cutting-edge powerplants like the Q50’s three all-new turbocharged engines,” said Infiniti Americas Vice President Randy Parker.

(more…)

Ram Powers Up with Chicago Debut of 2017 Power Wagon

A pickup for serious off-roaders.

by on Feb.11, 2016

The 2017 Ram Power Wagon harkens back to the automaker's past off-road brutes.

Ram is rolling its new Power Wagon onto the stage at Chicago’s McCormick Place convention center, but buyers are more likely to head for the hills and dales, and just about anywhere else they can check out the capabilities of the brand’s most serious off-road pickup.

Based on the Ram 2500 4×4 HD Crew Cab, the 2017 Ram Power Wagon aims to deliver the best of both worlds. It’s designed to slog through mud and crawl over rocks, but its also got plenty of creature comforts you wouldn’t traditionally find in a serious off-roader.

Muscle Up!

“The Ram Power Wagon is an off-road, all-access pass, removing the limitations, instilling confidence and allowing owners to reach areas of recreation and lifestyle not attainable with any other pickup,” said Ram boss Mike Manley. (more…)