Archive for January, 2018

New Vehicle Sales Expected to Drop in January

Forecasts support what automakers predicted earlier: lower sales in 2018.

by on Jan.30, 2018

New vehicle sales are expected to drop in January, according to industry forecasts.

For the second consecutive year, the new vehicle retail sales pace in January is expected to drop from year-ago levels, according to forecasts from J.D. Power, LMC Automotive and Edmunds.

The total seasonally adjusted annualized rate for January is expected to be 17.1 million units, with retail sales falling by 150,000 vehicles from a year ago, according to J.D. Power.

Sales News!

“Coming off a strong sales period to close out 2017, a slower start to the year was anticipated,” said Thomas King, senior vice president of the Data and Analytics Division at J.D. Power. “After the industry’s emphasis on the sell-down of old model-year vehicles in December, January is a transition month as manufacturers shift focus towards 2018 model-year vehicles.” (more…)

Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Take Global Sales Lead

VW slips to second, Toyota to third.

by on Jan.30, 2018

Carlos Ghosn, shown at the debut of the latest Maxima, has turned the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance into a global juggernaut.

The global auto industry has a new king-of-the-hill, the Renault-Nissan Alliance, which got a helping hand with the inclusion of the long-troubled Japanese automaker Mitsubishi.

Combined together, the three members of the Franco-Japanese alliance sold 10.61 million vehicles during 2017, narrowly topping Germany’s Volkswagen AG. Toyota, which had led the sales charts for much of the past decade before itself being toppled by VW last year, slipped into third.

Global Auto News!

“This evolution reflects the breadth and depth of our model range, our global market presence and the customer appeal of our vehicle technologies,” said Carlos Ghosn, the chairman and CEO of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance and CEO of both Renault and Mitsubishi.

(more…)

UAW Disputes Iacobelli’s Chrysler Stock Sale Claim

Former FCA VP claims to have scripted UAW leader's response to stock sale.

by on Jan.30, 2018

General Holiefield, left, UAW vice president, and Alphons Iacobelli, right, former FCA union negotiator.

The United Auto Workers has flatly rejected the claims by a former Fiat Chrysler Automobile executive, who has plead guilty federal felony charges, that he influenced a critical decision about FCA’s restructuring.

As part of the plea agreement, Alphons Iacobelli, former FCA vice president of labor relations had to admit to his crimes, including the making illicit payments to officials of the United Auto Workers to influence union negotiations.

News You Can Trust!

UAW President Dennis Williams flatly denied the illicit payments to the late General Holiefield, the former head of the union’s Chrysler Department, and union’s top negotiator with FCA, had any influence on the 2011 contract negotiations, which were restrained by a “no-strike” clause that was imposed as part of the government bailout of the automaker. (more…)

Uber Working to Fight Human Trafficking

Drivers being informed about how to spot victims and what to do to help.

by on Jan.29, 2018

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi continues to rehabilitate the company's image.

Ride-hailing service Uber’s been in the headlines for the last 18 months for a variety reasons, none of them good. However, new CEO Dara Khosrowshahi is looking to change that, especially when it comes to the company’s drivers.

He’s made a massive effort to make the company’s 750,000 drivers in the U.S. feel more appreciated, including matching Lyft in allowing for tips and providing a hotline for drivers to call when they have questions.

News You Can Trust!

Now, the recently appointed CEO is giving them a new responsibility … an altruistic purpose. He’s working with them to make an impact on human trafficking. The company’s always encouraged drivers to play a role in the end of the scourge, but the new initiative is a formalized program. (more…)

Genesis Setting Up Standalone Dealer Network

Luxury brand anticipates five-fold growth by end of 2020.

by on Jan.29, 2018

The Genesis G90 has gotten strong reviews - but the new luxury brand needs its own dealerships to continue its growth.

Genesis plans to stop selling its high-line products through Hyundai dealerships and will now set up 100 of its own luxury showrooms.

The announcement comes as the latest step by parent Hyundai Motor Co. to take on better-established rivals like Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Lexus. And it acknowledges one of the few major complaints buyers and shoppers have had about Genesis since its official launch in 2016.

Product News!

The Hyundai spinoff has scored well in quality and feature surveys by the likes of J.D. Power and Strategic Vision, but “The one thing we continued to get (negative) back on was the buying experience,” Genesis General Manager Erwin Raphael told TheDetroitBureau.com. (more…)

German Automakers Funded Emissions Tests on Monkeys and Humans

“No ethical way justifiable,” said spokesman for German Chancellor Merkel.

by on Jan.29, 2018

VW Chair Hans Dieter Poetsch criticized researchers who exposed humans and monkeys to diesel exhaust for extended periods.

As part of a research program on the impact of exhaust emissions, three German automakers sponsored experiments that exposed humans and monkeys to diesel fumes, a project that the chairman of Volkswagen AG today called “totally incomprehensible.”

The revelation of the program conducted by the University of Aachen further tarnishes the reputation of VW, as well as rivals Daimler and BMW, at a time when they all have been accused of rigging diesel emissions tests. At least one vehicle used in the project was a VW Beetle that had been among those equipped with one of the company’s rigged diesel engines.

Safety News!

VW’s Hans Dieter Poetsch described the project as “totally incomprehensible” and called for it to be “investigated completely and without reservation.” (more…)

California Wants 5 Mil Zero-Emissions Vehicles on Road by 2030

Governor outlines $2.5 bil ZEV plan.

by on Jan.29, 2018

California Gov. Jerry Brown wants to see 5 million zero-emission vehicles on California roads by 2030.

California wants to see at least 5 million zero-emissions vehicles on state roads by 2030 and Governor Jerry Brown has outlined a $2.5 billion plan to hit that target.

The program would echo steps being put in place by several other countries that either already have or are, at least, considering moves to entirely ban use of the internal combustion engine. And it would run counter to steps being considered by the Trump Administration that may roll back the current Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards.

News Now!

On Friday, Brown signed an executive order “to curb carbon pollution from cars and trucks and boost the number of zero-emission vehicles driven in California.” (more…)

First Drive: 2019 Jeep Cherokee

New look supported by legendary capability.

by on Jan.29, 2018

The redesigned Jeep Cherokee retains its off-road capability while getting a fresh new look for 2019.

Even though they are made Toledo, Ohio, Jeep is one of Detroit’s great stories of resilience and change at a time when the car business worldwide is going through a huge transformation.

As one of the most famous vehicles born during World War II, Jeep gradually has grown over the years into a one of the industry’s best-known nameplates. Today it has an intensely loyal fan base both in North America and now in other corners of world even as it also spawned all kinds of imitators.

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Having finally emerged as a true global powerhouse, Jeep has been extending its model lines with the addition of vehicles such as Jeep Cherokee, which was given a thorough mid-cycle overhaul for 2019 model year. (more…)

Mazda’s SkyActiv-X Aims to Give Diesels, Hybrids a Fuel-Efficient Run for the Money

More torque and from 20-30% better mileage could make SkyActiv-X a real breakthrough.

by on Jan.26, 2018

Driving the Mazda3 with a prototype of the SkyActiv-X engine revealed the vehicle's proposed improvements to be true.

It looks like the familiar Mazda3. Well, almost, if you ignore the matte black paint, the jury-rigged gas cap cover and a few other odd retrofits. Inside, there are a couple of plastic tubes sticking out of the air vents that look, oddly enough, like the arms on the robot from the old TV show, “Lost in Space.”

There’s also a tablet computer bolted to the instrument panel that tells you this is more than just a junker someone picked up and patched up so they might have a cheap set of wheels. As we fire up the hatchback the screen displays a big green circle with the number “1” in the middle. But as we pull out of the parking lot another circle lights up, “2” it tells us before a third circle briefly flashes on and off a couple times with the number “3.”

The Last Word!

No, it’s not some sort of upshift warning light. The display is intended to show which mode the hatchback’s engine is operating in. That’s because it’s a prototype version of the new Mazda SkyActiv-X and the more you can keep those twos and threes flashing the more fuel you are saving, explains the Mazda engineer who has come along for an hour-long test drive starting at the Japanese automaker’s U.S. R&D facility in Orange County, California. (more…)

Slow Pace of NAFTA Talks May Force Additional Sessions

U.S. demands creating friction with Canada, Mexico.

by on Jan.26, 2018

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, left, talks with Canada's Chrystia Freelander and Mexico's Ildefonso Guajardo, both right.

The already tense negotiations among the U.S., Canada and Mexico to revise NAFTA may need to be extended past the March deadline because of the slow pace due to the depth of disagreements between the U.S. and its pact partners.

According to Reuters, a senior Mexican official said talks could be extended and that an extra round of talks between the sixth round, which is ongoing in Montreal, and the seventh round in Washington D.C. in March, could take place.

News You Can Trust!

The talks were supposed to end in March to avoid any conflicts with Mexico’s presidential election, but that doesn’t occur until July. Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo said the deadline could be extended. (more…)

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