Audi Not Selling Off Ducati After All

But still looking to shave nearly $12 billion in costs.

by on Dec.14, 2017

A Ducati sport bike sits alongside an Audi, which contemplated selling the Italian motorcycle maker to offset diesel gate costs.

German automaker Audi has scrubbed plans to sell off Ducati, its Italian motorcycle brand, a move initially triggered by its need to cut costs in the wake of parent company Volkswagen’s diesel emissions crisis.

Audi acquired the widely respected motorcycle brand in 2012 through another Italian subsidiary, Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A., the high-performance supercar manufacturer. Ferdinand Piech, the long-time boss at Audi parent Volkswagen AG, had long coveted Ducati, though analysts have routinely questioned what the brand brings to Audi or VW.

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So, there was little resistance when Audi said it would sell off Ducati as part of a plan to trim its costs by 10 billion euros, or $11.8 billion. But Audi CEO Rupert Stadler this week said that is no longer necessary. “I can assure you that Ducati belongs to the Audi family,” said Stadler. “Ducati is the perfect implementation of our premium philosophy in the world of motorbikes.” Read the rest of this entry »

Holiday Travelers Expected to Set Another New Record, AAA Says

A record 107.3 million people are expected to make some sort of trip.

by on Dec.14, 2017

This guy may have the right idea on how to avoid possible delays drivers may experience due to the record number of travelers during the holidays.

If you’re planning to travel to see loved ones, or at least those you tolerate, this holiday season, it’ll be a bad news/good news scenario.

AAA is predicting that more than 107.3 million others will be joining you on your trek between Dec. 23, and Jan. 1, which is a new record. This will likely contribute to delays and other issues of all sorts during that time.

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This will be the highest year-end travel volume on record, the group says, and a 3.1% increase compared with last year. This will be the ninth consecutive year of rising year-end holiday travel. Read the rest of this entry »

Ford Denies Plan to Move Next-Gen Fusion to China

Wire report claims midsize model will follow Focus as Ford cuts costs.

by on Dec.14, 2017

The Fusion has lost momentum in a U.S. market increasingly focused on SUVs and CUVs.

Ford Motor Co. says it has no plan to consolidate production of its next-generation Fusion and Mondeo models in China for shipment to markets around the world, countering a report by Reuters.

On Wednesday, the news service referenced automotive suppliers and other sources to indicate the midsize sedans would move out of their current plants in Europe and Mexico with a facility in China taking over as Ford’s single production source. Ford earlier this year announced a similar strategy for the smaller Focus model.

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“We have no plans to export the next-generation Fusion/Mondeo from China to North America and Europe,” Ford said in a statement responding to the wire report. “Fusion/Mondeo are an important part of the Ford car lineup. We will have more information to share about the next Fusion/Mondeo at a later date.”

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PepsiCo Joins List of Tesla Semi Truck Buyers

Giant beverage and food producer orders 50 trucks.

by on Dec.14, 2017

PepsiCo is the latest company to plunk down deposit money on Tesla's semi truck. The company ordered 100 trucks.

PepsiCo has become the latest big-time user of commercial trucks to sign an order for Elon Musk’s battery-electric semi trucks.

Pepsi placed the largest order yet by reserving 100 Tesla semi trucks, meaning the company wrote a $2 million check. The soda and snack company plans to use the trucks for shipments of beverages and snacks foods from factories or distribution centers to retailers, and is currently deciding which routes would best suit the electric trucks.

Product News!

Tesla claims the semi, which was unveiled last month, has a range of 500 miles when towing a full 80,000-pound load, and that 400 miles of range can be restored in just 30 minutes at one of its new Megacharger stations. Read the rest of this entry »

First Look: 2018 Mercedes-Benz G-Class

Mercedes reinterprets maker's military-based classic.

by on Dec.14, 2017

The new Mercedes-Benz G-Class gets a makeover for the 2018 model year.

Daimler AG has updated its G-Class sport utility vehicle, which like the Jeep Wrangler, began its life more than 40 years ago as a military vehicle but is now one of the most coveted vehicles in the Mercedes-Benz model line.

The G-Class or Geländewagen or G-Wagen as its now known was developed as cross-country vehicle for use in remote places such as the desert or Arctic region is a midsized, boxy style SUV that is built for Daimler by Magna-Steyr in Graz, Austria.

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The redesign, which is described as the most extensive in the vehicle’s long history and includes a more spacious cabin, maintains the ute’s iconic elements to give the G-Class its unique appearance such as distinctive door handles, exterior protective strip, exposed spare wheel on the rear door and the prominent indicator lights. Read the rest of this entry »

The 15 Hottest New Cars, Trucks and Crossovers for 2018

Great designs, hot performers, breakthrough safety, unexpected features define the best of the 2018 class.

by on Dec.13, 2017

The Stelvio is the first SUV ever from Alfa Romeo - though more are in the works.

The 2018 model-year is bringing with it an array of new cars, trucks and crossover — with an emphasis on SUVs that matches up with the broad shift in the U.S. market away from traditional sedans and coupes.

All told, buyers can choose from close to 100 different completely new and updated 2018 models, a daunting challenge to those who might not know where to start. So, TheDetroitBureau.com is weighing in with 15 of our favorite picks for the new model-year. These are vehicles that offer stand-out styling, impressive performance, unexpected levels of standard features and the latest in high-tech infotainment and safety gear.

The Best of the Best!

The list includes an assortment of domestic, European and Asian models. And after you read through you’ll understand why we think these 15 are the hottest new cars, trucks and crossovers for 2018.

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Ferrari Doubling Production a Year Early

If maker hits mark, profits soar past $2 billion.

by on Dec.13, 2017

The Portofino is Ferrari's latest model. CEO Sergio Marchionne is pushing for production levels to double, perhaps next year.

It would appear that CEO Sergio Marchionne is finally getting his wish to bulk up the production of Ferraris as the Italian sports carmaker plans to produce 9,000 vehicles next year.

Marchionne has long wanted to produce more vehicles to squeeze more profits out of the company. It led to a dispute with the former chief, Luca di Montezemolo, which led to his departure from Ferrari. Montezemolo was concerned that building too many vehicles would cut the exclusivity of the brand and lower its value.

Product News!

Clearly, Marchionne disagreed but the new production numbers are a full year ahead of even his projections, according to Automotive News. Read the rest of this entry »

First Drive: 2018 Jeep Wrangler

New design means better performance on-road and off.

by on Dec.13, 2017

The Wrangler is back — again! The 2018 Wrangler Sahara is part of a portfolio considered the most capable Jeeps ever.

Few vehicles can match the storied history of the Jeep Wrangler, born nearly 80 years during a competition to build a light-weight military vehicle.

The Willys Corp., one of the many, many ancestors of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, won the design competition and the rest, as the saying goes, is history. The forerunner of the Jeep Wrangler has carried scouts, wounded soldiers and weapons during combat around the world and during the years has also evolved into a favorite of outdoorsman, hunters and fisherman who prized its ability to traverse all sorts of terrain.

Reviews You Can Use!

The 2018 Jeep Wrangler continues the long tradition of being able to travel over all sorts of ground. But it adds a measure of civility and safety that is sure to capture the attention of less adventurous buyers with its ride and handling and new technology. Read the rest of this entry »

General Motors Earns Patent for External Airbags

Mercedes-Benz and Volvo also hold patents for similar devices.

by on Dec.13, 2017

GM's drawings for its pedestrian airbags reveal the position of the safety devices.

Automakers have spent the last 30 years perfecting the airbags that protect the passengers inside the vehicle, but now General Motors and others are turning their attention to pedestrians.

General Motors recently filed a patent for an exterior airbag that would protect pedestrians in the event of a collision. The company was granted a patent last week for its “Fender Located Pedestrian Airbag,” according to TheTruthAboutCars.com.

Safety News!

The patent is for an airbag developed by the automaker that pops out of the a-pillar and covers the windshield to being released from a fender flap in order to inflate and cover the windshield wiper arms and other sharp pieces on the front end of the vehicle. Read the rest of this entry »

Toyota Expects Electrified Vehicles Will Make Up Half of Its Global Sales

Automaker planning partnership with Panasonic.

by on Dec.13, 2017

Toyota Pres. Akio Toyoda at the launch of the Lexus LC coupe - which is offered with a hybrid option.

Toyota Motor Co. President Akio Toyoda said Wednesday that he expects half of the company’s sales to come from electrified vehicles – including hybrids and plug-based models – by 2030.

Toyoda spoke during a news conference called to announce a partnership with Panasonic to develop new battery technology that would be used for future Toyota products. The emphasis on electrified vehicles underscores a major shift in strategy by Japan’s largest automaker which, until recently, focused on hybrids but steered clear of more advanced plug-in hybrids and pure battery-electric vehicles, or BEVs.

Global Auto News!

“The auto industry is now facing a major change of the kind that comes once in a hundred years,” said the 61-year-old grandson of Toyota’s founder.

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