Detroit Bureau on Twitter

Posts Tagged ‘paul eisenstein’

Ford Planning Temp Shutdowns at Five N.American Plants

Move reflects worsening U.S. new car market.

by on Sep.20, 2017

Lincoln dealers have 162 days worth of Continentals on lots, over twice the industry norm.

Ford Motor Co. plans to temporarily idle five North American assembly lines to cope with slowing sales and mounting inventories.

The closures are the latest in an expanding series of production adjustments the auto industry – primarily Detroit’s Big Three – has made since the beginning of 2017, the first year since the end of the Great Recession to suffer an auto sales downturn.

We Keep You in the Know!

Tens of thousands of U.S. workers have so far been impacted, some facing long-term layoffs, others idled for just a week or two at a time. Ford said the factories covered by its latest move employ over 15,000 hourly workers, though it did not offer a breakout indicating how many actually will be idled.

(more…)

Toyota Set to Reveal Electrification Strategy at 2018 Detroit Auto Show

Hybrids expected to remain key, even with new EVs in the works.

by on Sep.19, 2017

Akio Toyoda at the launch of the Toyota Prius V.

Toyota, the automaker credited with creating the world’s first mainstream gas-electric hybrid, plans to reveal its corporate electrification strategy at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit next January, TheDetroitBureau.com has learned.

Though it set in motion the push to battery power with the 1997 debut of the original Prius hybrid, Toyota has been slow to embrace more advanced forms of electrification, with only one plug-in model, the Prius Prime, currently in its line-up. But with governments around the world tightening emissions and mileage mandates – and even considering outright bans on the internal combustion engine, Toyota is expected to outline plans to add dozens of new hybrids, plug-ins and pure battery-electric, or BEV, models to its line-up over the next decade.

Electrifying News!

But don’t expect to see the Japanese giant abandon the time-tested internal combustion engine, Toyota Motor Corp. President Akio Toyoda cautioned during a news conference in Tokyo on Tuesday. “EVs are in focus at the moment,” he said, “but customers and the market will ultimately decide which powertrains will be successful.”

(more…)

Toyota Turns Up the Heat With New GR Line of Performance Models

Gazoo Racing takes on seven models, including Prius Prime plug-in.

by on Sep.19, 2017

Toyota unveils the new GR performance line-up.

Hoping to pump a little more “passion” into the brand, Toyota is pushing for more extreme designs and, now, adding a series of new performance models.

The Japanese automaker’s Gazoo Racing unit is starting out with seven models in its new GR series, with even the Prius Prime plug-in getting a performance boost. But one model was notably absent during a Tokyo debut: the reborn Toyota Supra that is expected to make its return debut during next month’s Tokyo Motor Show.

Subscribe Now!

The debut of the new line-up comes as President Akio Toyoda continues his push to improve the “passion” quotient for both the Toyota and Lexus brands, the luxury division recently adding the new LC500 sports coupe to its line-up while also adopting a much more aggressive design for the flagship LS sedan. The Toyota brand recently adopted a much more sporty look for its top-selling Camry model.

(more…)

What Comes between i3 and i8? Apparently This New BMW Battery-Electric Concept

BMW I Vision Dynamics Concept will reach showrooms in the near future, officials confirm.

by on Sep.12, 2017

The BMW i Vision Dynamics Concept is expected to reappear as either the new i5 or i6.

There’s a big gap between 3 and 8. Make that i3 and i8, the two models that currently populate the BMW i battery-based sub-brand. But we’ll soon be seeing something help fill that open space, company officials confirmed during the opening news conference at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show.

The Bavarian automaker has joined what has become a stampede among automakers in recent weeks to announce grand electrification plans. BMW, in particular, now says it will have a hybrid, plug-in or full battery-electric version of essentially all of its models by the end of the next decades. At least 12 of those will be all electric.

We'll Plug You In!

BMW’s news conference was filled with different electrified models, including the updated i3 and a sportier version called the i3s, as well as concept version of the upcoming Mini Electric. Also making its debut was the BMW I Vision Dynamics Concept, an edgy prototype strongly influenced by the Vision 100 Concept created last year to mark the automakers centennial. But the newest show car, apparently, has a real future as the next BMW I model.

(more…)

Lyft Launches Autonomous Vehicle Pilot in San Francisco

Move a snub to rival Uber.

by on Sep.08, 2017

Lyft will still have a driver behind the wheel, ready to take control in an emergency.

The nation’s second-largest ride-sharing service is getting ready to launch an autonomous vehicle pilot program on the hilly streets of San Francisco.

The project is a partnership between Lyft and Silicon Valley self-driving technology firm Drive.ai, and it marks a growing push by the ride-sharing industry to take human drivers out of the picture. Before being ousted in a management shake-up earlier this year, rival Uber CEO Travis Kalanick predicted that fully driverless vehicles would drop costs to the point it would be cheaper to use a ride-sharing service than actually owning a vehicle.

Uber actually was the first service to launch an autonomous pilot in San Francisco late last year. But it ran into a series of issues and initially refused to apply for the requisite state permit. Uber pulled its autonomous Volvo prototypes out of San Francisco, shifting them to Phoenix. Some have since returned but are not being used in a public pilot program there yet.

(more…)

BMW Concept X7 Offers a Big Counterpoint to the Classic 7-Series Sedan

Production version expected for 2019 model-year.

by on Sep.08, 2017

The BMW Concept X7 shares the same CLAR architecture as the current 7-Series.

Full-size luxury cars like the 7-Series may still provide the halo that helps define brands like BMW, but sales have been steadily dwindling in recent years, in large part due to the broader shift from passenger cars to light trucks.

That’s one reason why we saw Audi unveil the Q8 concept at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit last January. And as we prepare for the big Frankfurt Motor Show next week, BMW is ready to follow suit with its Concept X7 iPerformance model.

Auto Show News!

While officially being referred to as a “show car,” few observers doubt that what the Bavarian automaker has already begun teasing will soon join the BMW line-up as a counterpoint to both the 7-Series sedan, and the new 8-Series coupe.

(more…)

Lincoln Considering Option of Electrifying Entire Line-up

Detroit luxury brand’s battery plans “evolving.”

by on Sep.08, 2017

The new Navigator is expected to get a hybrid drive system it will share with the Ford F-150.

Lincoln is looking at the possibility of joining an expanding list of automotive brands that will offer some form of electrification on all of their vehicles.

With tough new emissions and mileages standards going into effect in all of the world’s major markets, automakers are struggling to find ways to improve the efficiency of their vehicles, and that’s expected to lead to more and more hybrids, plug-ins and pure battery-electric vehicles over the coming decade. Volvo and Jaguar Land Rover, two high-line brands once owned by Ford have said they are preparing to offer some form of battery-based drive on all models, whether as standard as optional fair, and others are moving in that direction.

Electrifying News!

Among them: Ford’s only remaining luxury brand, Lincoln. A report by the Reuters news service Thursday indicated the once-powerful marque will also offer some form of battery power on 100% of its models by 2022, though two sources have told TheDetroitBureau.com that this strategy has not yet been locked in place.

(more…)

Honda Reveals CR-V Hybrid; Won’t Discuss U.S. Plans

Euro-spec model debuts ahead of Frankfurt Motor Show.

by on Sep.06, 2017

Honda will officially reveal the Euro-spec version of the CR-V Hybrid in Frankfurt next week.

Days before its official debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show, Honda has given us a first look at the new CR-V Hybrid. Make that the Euro-spec version of the gas-electric CR-V, as the automaker has yet to confirm any plans to bring the hybrid to the United States.

But it’s clear Honda wants to get into a market segment that appears to be on the rise, following the recent launch of the hybrid Toyota RAV-4 model.

Auto Show News!

The debut of the Honda CR-V Hybrid will be accompanied in Frankfurt next week by the debut of the Urban EV Concept. Both models will be personally unveiled by CEO Takahiro Hachigo, whose oft-stated goal is to generate fully two-thirds of Honda’s sales from battery and hydrogen-powered models by 2030.

(more…)

Aston Martin Going 100% Hybrid

All-electric models also in plan; but emphasis will be on performance.

by on Sep.05, 2017

The new Aston Martin DB11.

Best known for sleek sports cars like the new DB11, Aston Martin is plugging into alternative power, the British brand’s CEO telling TheDetroitBureau.com that all of its products will be offered with hybrid powertrains in the near future, while as much as a quarter of its line-up will go fully electric.

That shift reflects, in part, growing pressure from regulators around the world, even Britain now laying out what could be a forced shift away from internal combustion. But Chief Executive Andy Palmer stressed that Aston says that won’t necessarily be a bad thing for its buyers as it will use hybrid technology as much to boost performance as improve fuel economy.

Electrifying News!

An example of that will come with the arrival of the Valkyrie, the exotic hyper-car Aston unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show this year. Described by Palmer in an interview this week as “a symbol of our company, a symbol of what we can do,” the Valkyrie will use a Formula One-style KERS hybrid system to deliver over 1,000 horsepower, making it one of the most powerful vehicles offered on the retail market.

(more…)

Mercedes Reveals S-Class Coupe, Cabriolet Ahead of Frankfurt

Two-door models take technology to new levels.

by on Sep.04, 2017

The 2018 Mercedes-Benz S-Class gets modest exterior changes but lots of new technology.

We’ve already gotten a good look at the mid-cycle update of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class sedan and so, just in time for the Frankfurt Motor Show, the German automaker is lifting the veils off two refreshed S-Class variants.

As with the 2018 sedan, the S-Class Coupe and Cabriolet undergo relatively modest exterior updates – with the exception of cutting-edge OLED taillights unique to the two-door models. But they now add a range of new infotainment, driver assistance and safety gear that will be shared with the refreshed S-Class sedan.

Auto Show News!

The outgoing S-Class was a technical tour de force when it debuted just three years ago, introducing a range of features, including the ability to drive hands-free, albeit for short stretches of time on limited access highways. The new S-Class takes things a step further with a long list of new features that include: