Archive for November, 2017

Are You the New Infiniti QX50?

Luxury marque teases “most advanced car ever” ahead of LA Auto Show.

by on Nov.21, 2017

Infiniti teases an important new offering it will reveal at the LA Auto Show next week.

Well, we do know we’ll see the Infiniti QX80 at the Los Angeles Motor Show next week, after it made a world debut at the Dubai Auto Show earlier in November. But that doesn’t tell us much about the curious teaser Nissan’s luxury brand sent out today.

We’ve already been told that the vehicle whose grille and headlight we see will be the brand’s “most advanced car ever,” but it almost certainly isn’t a sedan or coupe. The nose is just too tall and upright. So, that would suggest the automaker means a car-based crossover.

Filling in the Blanks!

“As with all Infinitis,” the latest release tells us, in the words of global design boss Alfonso Albaisa, “we have been inspired by our desire to drive, expressed with power and artistry. With this all-new model, inspiration comes from striking the perfect balance between lust and logic. At a glance, seamless and sculptural, getting closer to the car reveals an ingenious blend of proportion and space.”

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Toyota Tells Camry Plant Employees to Cut Costs — Now

Cheaper to build Camry in Japan and ship it to U.S.

by on Nov.21, 2017

Employees at Toyota's Georgetown, Kentucky, plant were told that they needed to find ways to cut costs at the site.

Employees at Toyota’s largest plant in North America were just delivered a message from Japan: cut costs or lose jobs.

The company’s plant in Georgetown, Kentucky, produces the Camry, which is the best-selling sedan in the U.S., was told in a video from the company’s plant manager that currently it is cheaper for Toyota to build the Camry in Japan and ship it to Kentucky than it is to simply build it in Kentucky.

Global Auto News!

“I’m not sharing this to scare you, but to heighten your awareness of the current risk we now have,” Wil James, Georgetown’s plant, said in the video dated this month, according to Bloomberg News.  (more…)

Key Safety Systems Agrees to $1.6B Purchase of Takata

Deal expected to be completed next year.

by on Nov.21, 2017

Key Safety Systems agreed to a $1.6 billion acquisition of Takata, except its airbag replacement business.

The final chapter for Takata is being written as Key Safety Systems will purchase most of the assets of the Japanese suppliers for $1.6 billion.

The Detroit-area supplier gets everything, including the company’s 45,000 employees, but not the operations producing replacement airbag kits for Takata’s faulty airbag recall. Takata will run that until the operations are complete.

Safety News!

Most of the proceeds will go to pay the $1 billion penalty levied against Takata from a U.S. criminal fraud judgement.  (more…)

Volvo’s Polestar Begins Construction on Plant in China

Facility will build performance EVs.

by on Nov.21, 2017

Volvo' first offering from its Polestar high performance division, the Polestar 1, will be built at its new plant, which is under construction, in China.

Polestar, the Volvo Group’s in-house brand for performance and electrified vehicles, has taken another step forward in its development with the announcement it will build its new factory in China.

The construction of its new state-of-the-art Polestar Production Center has already started in Chengdu, China, where the company’s first model, the Polestar 1, will be produced.

A Real Performer!

The announcement comes in the wake of the reorganization of the Polestar brand, which prior to this fall had been geared to ing performance parts to enthusiasts interested in tuning up their personal Volvos.  (more…)

Lincoln Refreshes, Upgrades MKC for 2019

Targeting one of the luxury market’s fastest-growing segments.

by on Nov.21, 2017

The 2019 Lincoln MKC gets a major refresh to ensure it's keeping up with the competition in the quickly growing segment.

Long-struggling Lincoln is betting big on the crossover market, hoping to rebuild its once-lofty image with a wave of new and updated crossovers and more traditional SUVs. Following the rebirth of its biggest ute, the Navigator, Ford Motor Co.’s luxury brand is giving a significant refresh to its smallest model, the MKC.

Product News!

Set to roll into showrooms next summer, the 2019 Lincoln MKC picks up on some of the brand’s latest design cues – starting with a Continental-style grille – while adding a number of more upscale details and an array of the latest in safety and convenience technologies.

“We recognize it takes a lot to attract a buyer from other luxury competitors, but the Lincoln MKC has that kind of appeal,” said Kumar Galhotra, president of the Lincoln Motor Co. “We believe that the new MKC will capture even more luxury clients.” (more…)

India’s Mahindra Opens Off-Road Vehicle Plant Near Detroit

A U.S. auto plant could be next "logical step."

by on Nov.21, 2017

A crowd gathers by the obligatory ceremonies at the new Mahindra plant just outside Detroit.

Mahindra Automotive North America has set up an off-road vehicle assembly line in the Detroit suburb of Auburn Hills – a move that soon could be followed by the Indian manufacturer’s entry into the U.S. automotive market.

The subsidiary of Mumbai-based Mahindra & Mahindra has been promising to set up shop in the States for more than a decade, going as far as lining up a dealer network before pulling back. The 150,000-square-foot facility is located not far from the headquarters of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and scores of automotive suppliers, and it becomes the first new auto plant in the Detroit region in a quarter century.

Global News!

Mahindra didn’t reveal the vehicle it plans to build at a news conference Wednesday, but Group Chairman Anand Mahindra told reporters it “will take us into a whole different orbit.” He also hinted at future plans. “I think a very logical step after that would be to get on-road.”

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Uber Buying Up to 24,000 Autonomous Volvo XC90s

Uber’s technology could allow fully driverless operation.

by on Nov.20, 2017

An autonomous Volvo XC90 used by Uber in San Francisco. The original test was cut short when Uber refused to get a state permit.

Uber will purchase as many as 24,000 XC90 sport-utility vehicles from Volvo as part of its push to become an autonomous and, eventually, a fully driverless ride-sharing service.

The Swedish automaker previously provided a small number of XC90 s for autonomous pilot programs Uber operated in several cities, including San Francisco and Phoenix. The non-exclusive and non-binding deal would take things a giant step forward and allow Uber to launch autonomous operations on a commercial level starting in 2019.

Tech News!

“This new agreement puts us on a path towards mass produced self-driving vehicles at scale,” said Jeff Miller, Uber’s head of auto alliances, adding that he was “thrilled” to expand the ride-sharing service’s alliance with Chinese-owned Volvo.

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Less Than Half of Potentially Deadly Takata Airbags Replaced

Just 43% of the dangerous airbag units changed.

by on Nov.20, 2017

As many as 19 people are known to have died due to faulty Takata airbag inflators.

Despite a variety of efforts to inform owners of vehicles equipped with deadly Takata airbags to replace the defective components, only 43% of cars and trucks have been repaired.

According to a new report on the progress of the repairs, less than half of the more than 42 million vehicles and 69 million airbags subject to recalls have been fixed. The recalls began more than 15 years ago, but the most significant push began three years ago.

News You Can Trust!

On average, 75% of vehicles with recalls are repaired within 18 months of the action being issued.  (more…)

Mercedes Gives a Glimpse of New CLS

A hard act to follow.

by on Nov.20, 2017

A first teaser shot reveals some notable changes to the nose of the next Mercedes-Benz CLS.

Few cars have had a bigger impact on automotive design than the original Mercedes-Benz CLS which introduced the concept of coupe-like sedans that seemingly every automaker has now copied.

First launched for the 2005 model-year, Mercedes took a cautious approach with the gen-2 CLS, opting for evolution over revolution. Now, an all-new remake will be making its debut at the upcoming Los Angeles Auto Show, and we’ve gotten two teaser images offering some hints of what to expect.

Auto Show Previews!

We’ve done a little work with Photoshop to pull some details out of the shadows and reveal a bit more about the face of the Mercedes-Benz CLS. But what you see is what we got in terms of the interior detail shot. And if that’s any indication of what to expect, it’s likely the CLS cabin where we’ll be some of the most dramatic updates to the new CLS.

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Honda Recalling 900K Odysseys Due to Seat Latches

Maker says 46 people injured due to seat issue.

by on Nov.20, 2017

Honda is recalling 900,000 Odyssey minivans due to issues with second-row seat latches.

Honda is recalling 900,000 Odyssey minivans, with about 800,000 of those in the United States, due to problems with the second-row seats.

According to the Japanese automaker the recall covers 2011–17 models. The second row seats can tip forward if they are not latched properly. The company doesn’t have a fix ready for the vehicles so it is advising owners on how to ensure the seats are properly latched.

Safety News!

In fact, it has posted a detailed instruction sheet for how to make certain the seats are latched correctly and plans to add a video to supplement the instruction sheet.  (more…)