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Ford, GM Report Divergent November Sales in China

Overall results were flat for the month.

by on Dec.12, 2017

Ford China Chief Jason Luo noted that Lincoln sales hit record numbers in November.

China may be the world’s largest automotive market, but it appears to be mimicking U.S. auto sales now as November sales came in flat and are up just 1.9% for the year-to-date.

Much like the U.S. market, the Chinese market is coming off a record sales year in 2016. Also like the U.S. market, sales of sedans are falling while sport-utes and crossovers are enjoying a strong year.

Global Auto News!

Through November, sedan sales have fallen 4.8% while utility vehicles have enjoyed an 8.9% jump, according to China Association of Automobile Manufacturers. After a spring slump, sales have increased monthly for seven consecutive months. (more…)

First Drive: 2018 Nissan Leaf

Nissan balances range and price while upping the fun factor.

by on Dec.12, 2017

Nissan's second-generation Leaf features a significant upgrade in range and technology.

Eight years after Nissan lifted the covers on what would become the world’s first mass-market battery-electric vehicle, the Japanese automaker has just launched production of the all-new, second-generation Nissan Leaf.

Plenty has changed since the original model came to market. Batteries are growing more powerful, even as their price has fallen more than six-fold since the beginning of the decade, translating into longer range at lower costs. And while “BEVs” still make up little more than a rounding error when it comes to overall U.S. sales, demand is clearly growing. But so is the list of competitors Leaf has to stare down, including both the Chevrolet Bolt EV and the Tesla Model 3.

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With the Gen-2 Leaf, Nissan chose to walk a tightrope. It doesn’t offer quite as much range as the Chevy and Tesla battery-cars, but it’s thousands of dollars cheaper. The 2018 Leaf is also less wonky in appearance and a lot more fun to drive than the model it replaced, TheDetroitBureau.com discovered, during a long day of driving through fire-scarred Napa Valley earlier this month. (more…)

Regular Good Enough When Filling Up Gas Tank, AAA Says

Save your money and use what recommended for your vehicle.

by on Dec.12, 2017

The only difference between regular octane and premium octane gasoline for most vehicles is the price.

With automakers doing all they can these days to deliver more power from smaller and more fuel-efficient engines, it seems the easiest thing to do to help that along is to give your car, truck or SUV “the good stuff,” when you fill up, right?

Wrong. Using higher octane fuel for your vehicle, if it doesn’t require it, does not net any substantive increase in horsepower or improvement in mileage or emissions, according to a new AAA study.

Fueling Up on News!

In essence, all you’re doing is throwing away perfectly good money you could spend elsewhere as the average price per gallon for premium gasoline is as much as 25% more than regular. It may not sound like much, but with the U.S. average hovering around $2.46 for regular and $3.01 for premium, you’re talking about between $7 and $10 on an average fill up. (more…)

Volvo XC60 Drives Off with Japan’s Car of the Year Award

Winner pulls away at the end in close vote.

by on Dec.12, 2017

The Volvo XC60 capture the Japan Car of the Year award.

The Volvo XC60 was named Japan Car of the Year, beating out some formidable competition.

In a close vote count that saw the lead change three times between the XC60, beat out the BMW 5-Series and the closest Japanese competitor, the Toyota Camry, the XC60 pulled away at the end polling 294 votes.

Product News!

The XC60 finished some 52 votes in front of the 5-Series and 62 votes ahead of the Camry. (more…)

GM “Absolutely” Could Re-Enter or Europe, Says CEO Barra – or Quit Even More Markets

Addressing workplace harassment a high priority for industry's first female CEO.

by on Dec.11, 2017

GM CEO Mary Barra covered a variety of topics with reporters during a Q&A with the Automotive Press Association in Detroit.

Just months after closing the sale of its long-troubled Opel/Vauxhall subsidiary, General Motors CEO Mary Barra said she would “absolutely” consider the option of returning to the European market if the right opportunity came along – especially with new, “transformative” technologies, such as autonomous and electrified vehicles.

Barra, who was named the first female CEO of a major automaker four years ago this week, took on a wide range of topics, including autonomous and electrified vehicles, tax reform, NAFTA and sexual harassment, during a Q&A session with reporters at a meeting of the Detroit Automotive Press Association on Monday.

News Now!

The 56-year-old Barra has been credited with ushering in widespread change at the largest of the Detroit automakers, a company that emerged from Chapter 11 protection in 2010 only with the help of a massive federal bailout. That has required her to balance the traditional, metal-bending side of the business with next-generation technologies, including electrified powertrains and autonomous driving. She has shown a willingness to break with a tradition that had, for 100 years, translated into bigger is better. (more…)

China’s Newest EV Looks to be World Champion

WM Motor's Weltmeister is the first of many.

by on Dec.11, 2017

WM Motor's founder Freeman Shen introduced the company's first sport-utility EV in Shanghai.

The electric vehicle market in China is quickly becoming highly competitive and this is before Tesla has been given the all clear from the government to build vehicles there without a local partner.

The competition got a little stiffer today as new player in the market to borrow a phrase, announced its presence with authority: WM Motor’s Weltmeister.

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Borrowing the German phrase, “world’s best” or “world champion” the new company showed off its new electric sport-utility vehicle at an event in Shanghai that also unveiled the logo for the company. (more…)

From Track to Street, New Senna is McLaren’s Most Extreme Machine Ever

$1 mil apiece – but they’re already all spoken for.

by on Dec.11, 2017

McLaren's new Senna is a $1 million hypercar with a 500-unit production run that is already sold out.

At first glance, it seems more than appropriate that the “ultimate” McLaren would be named the Senna; after all, Ayrton Senna is readily ranked among the best drivers to ever dominate the Formula One circuit.

The new entry into the British marque’s Ultimate Series, and the successor to the older P1, the new McLaren Senna is meant to dominate both track and street, thanks to a twin-turbo 4.0-liter V-8 that punches 789 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque to the rear wheels.

Product News!

“The McLaren Senna is a car like no other: the personification of McLaren’s motorsport DNA, legalized for road use but designed and developed from the outset to excel on a circuit,” declares Mike Flewitt, chief executive officer, McLaren Automotive. (more…)

Greensboro, NC and Honolulu Top Best/Worst Places to Drive

GPS app Waze releases annual driver satisfaction survey.

by on Dec.11, 2017

Greensboro, North Carolina, was topped the Waze Driver Satisfaction Index for 2017.

Drivers in every city in the country can find something that makes commuting around their town or metropolis the worst or best, but GPS app Waze has compiled a list of the best and worst cities to drive in the U.S. for 2017.

Called Waze’s annual Driver Satisfaction Index, the company uses driving data from its millions of users across America to rank the 61 best and worst metropolitan areas. The best? Greensboro, North Carolina while the worst is Honolulu, Hawaii.

Industry News!

Greensboro topped the list of best places to drive, which is determined using six different metrics, with a score of 8.7. At the other end was Honolulu with a 4.69 score. The U.S. average is 7.55, according to Waze. (more…)

Next-Gen Toyota Avalon Debuting at Detroit Auto Show

Automaker readies for second product reveal at NAIAS.

by on Dec.11, 2017

Toyota plans to take the wraps of its next-generation Avalon at the Detroit Auto Show next month.

Toyota Motor Corp. is going to have a full schedule at next month’s North American International Auto Show as the automaker revealed it will have a second major product debut in Detroit.

The Japanese automaker will premiere its all-new 2019 Avalon Monday, Jan. 15, during the 2018 NAIAS. The fifth generation Avalon shares the new platform utilized by the Toyota Camry and will be built at the automaker’s big assembly complex in Georgetown, Kentucky.

Product News!

Last week, it was revealed that Lexus plans to unveil a new concept vehicle in Detroit as well. (more…)

Tesla Readies to Deliver Model 3 as Truck Reservations Roll In

Sysco, Anheuser-Busch order 90 trucks combined.

by on Dec.08, 2017

Reddit user ry8 posted the email he received from Tesla informing him his vehicle will be delivered next week.

Is Tesla ready to cross a major threshold? Reports suggest that the Palo Alto, Calfornia-based EV maker is going to deliver the first Model 3 sedans to non-employees.

The initial allotment of vehicles went to employees, family members and Tesla “insiders.” However, according to Autoblog, a Reddit user, ry8, revealed on the Tesla subreddit that his Model 3 was being delivered on Monday.

Tech News!

To further prove his claim, he posted a copy of his confirmation email from the company, complete with a photo of a white Model 3, the vehicle’s VIN and a request for final payment. Apparently, ry8 is a San Francisco-area resident and was one of the day one reservation holders. (more…)