Archive for March, 2018

Kia Offers Up New, Upgraded Cars, CUV in NYC

New York debuts hitting showrooms later this year.

by on Mar.30, 2018

Kia gave its best-selling midsize sedan, the Optima, a refresh for the 2019 model year.

Automakers are really focused on the more than half of new vehicle buyers looking for something other than cars and minivans; however, Kia took the occasion of the New York Auto Show to remind the world that they still make those vehicles too.

The South Korean automaker unveiled three new vehicles – Optima, Sedona and K900 – in the Big Apple.

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The Optima is Kia’s best-selling midsize sedan and gets a refresh for the 2019 model year. Midsize vehicles are still big sellers in the U.S., right behind trucks and utility vehicles, so getting an updated Optima into the market is important. (more…)

Analysts Slowly Raising Yellow Flags

Possibility of trade wars plants seed of doubt about auto sales.

by on Mar.30, 2018

The auto industry is expecting a strong sales year in 2018, but analysts warn a trade war could derail that.

The atmosphere around the New York International Auto Show was fizzy and upbeat with the industry firmly believing it’s heading for another strong year in 2018, but there are some caution flags flying as well.

Nariman Behravesh, chief economist for IHS Markit, told the annual Auto Forum co-sponsored by National Automotive Dealers Association and J.D. Power that the outlook for growth remains strong and stable and the industry should expect to benefit the improvements in consumer sentiment that the economy has spawned.

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However, anxiety about a trade war is perhaps the biggest worry on the horizon, added Behravesh, who said he hopes battles about trade could be avoided. “Tariffs hurt us more than they do the Chinese,” he said. (more…)

UAW Enjoys Membership Increase in 2017

Union keeps adding new members to rolls.

by on Mar.30, 2018

UAW President Dennis Williams noted that despite some problems with its membership drive, the union saw an increase last year.

Despite a devastating scandal, adverse political environment and big defeats in key organizing drives in the auto industry, the United Auto Workers succeeded in adding nearly 15,000 new members in 2017.

The UAW reported the figure in its Labor Organization Annual Report, Form LM-2, which was filed with the U.S. Department of Labor. The report shows UAW membership at 430,871 in 2017, compared to 415,963 in 2016. This marks the ninth straight year of membership growth, the union said.

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UAW membership climbed as a result of organizing drives in gaming, higher education, heavy truck and automotive suppliers as well as some more modest growth in auto assembly. (more…)

Tesla Recalling Half of All Cars It Has Ever Built

Latest setback affects half of all vehicles company has ever built.

by on Mar.30, 2018

Tesla's Model S has now faced three recalls.

Tesla has announced that it is recalling 123,000 Model S sedans, almost half of all the vehicles it has produced since going into business.

The move, signaled by a letter sent to customers Thursday, was triggered by problems with steering bolts that could cause the failure of the power steering system on vehicles built prior to April 2016.

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This is at least the third instance in which Tesla had to recall a sizable share of its products due to a safety-related problem. Service actions have become more commonplace in recent years as manufacturers have come under pressure to quickly address safety problems. But the new Tesla move is significant both for its size and due to the fact that the automaker has been experiencing a series of setbacks, including the loss of roughly a third of its value in the stock market in recent weeks.

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Tesla Faces a Stock Market Freefall Over Growing Model 3, Crash and Cash Flow Concerns

“Reality is setting in,” as shares fall by a third from 52-week high.

by on Mar.29, 2018

Tesla CEO Musk has repeatedly been caught missing production targets on vehicles like the Model 3.

Tesla stock is getting pummeled by investors over growing concerns about the company’s cash coffers, a crash that is raising serious concerns about its vaunted Autopilot technology, and the ongoing “manufacturing hell” at the automaker’s assembly plant in Fremont, California.

TSLA shares briefly crashed through their 52-week low Thursday morning before staging a modest rebound. But the once high-flying stock has clearly been wounded and is now running about a third below its 52-week high.

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“Reality is setting in,” said Joe Phillippi, head of AutoTrends Consulting, and a long-time Wall Street automotive analyst. Investors, he said, “were banking on increased earnings…once they got their manufacturing system fixed. It was going to be a no-brainer.”

(more…)

Genesis Evolving as a Luxury Brand With First-Ever Concept: Essentia

First effort turns heads in NYC.

by on Mar.29, 2018

Genesis continued its evolution as a luxury brand with its first-ever concept vehicle, the Essentia.

The evolution of Hyundai’s nascent luxury brand, Genesis, took another step forward in New York City with the introduction of its first-ever concept, the Genesis Essentia.

The battery-electric vehicle features a lightweight carbon-fiber monocoque, a robust, multi-motor electric powertrain and a custom-tailored interior. Essentia is “a true GT car and challenges the status quo as the ultimate manifestation of Genesis design and engineering,” according to Genesis.

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The new concept, including its tough to miss clear hood, hit the stage at the New York International Auto Show and is intended to cement the brand’s perception as a long-term player in the growing luxury segment. (more…)

Hyundai Continues Expansion of SUV Line-Up with New Santa Fe

Maker offering up two new versions of the ute.

by on Mar.29, 2018

Hyundai unveiled its new Santa Fe sport-utility at the New York International Auto Show.

Hyundai is moving to shore up model line with a brand-new version of the Santa Fe.

The 2019 Santa Fe made its official U.S. debut during the press days at the New York International Auto Show and will go on sale this coming summer.

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The all-new Santa Fe and Santa Fe Diesel – a first for Hyundai in the U.S. – are the third and fourth of eight new or re-engineered utility vehicles Hyundai plans to debut by 2020 as shifts its model line to keep up with consumer preferences. (more…)

Volvo’s Subscription Service Off to Fast Start

Program's already surpassing expected results.

by on Mar.29, 2018

Volvo CEO Anders Gustafson and Heith Rogers talk as Rogers signed up for Care by Volvo.

Volvo Cars new subscription service that kicked off by offering the XC40 is already succeeding.

Anders Gustafsson, president and CEO of Volvo Cars USA, said during the company’s press conference at the New York International Auto Show that the company’s new subscription service launched with the introduction of the new XC40 is already off to a promising start.

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Volvo expected subscriptions, where customers pay one flat price, to account for about 10% of XC40’s total sales. “We’ve already hit that,” he said. In addition, Volvo customers can now sign up for a subscription through Apple Pay. (more…)

Roomier, Faster and Tech-ier: the new Subaru Forester

Newest version may be the best ever.

by on Mar.29, 2018

The new Subaru Forester is bigger on the inside, more powerful under the hood and features a slew of new tech.

Subaru rolled out at the 2019 Subaru Forester in New York and with the three “mores” drivers want: more room, more power and more features.

The fifth generation of the popular sport utility vehicle is the roomiest, most capable and most versatile Forester ever made and also features groundbreaking new safety technology, according to Subaru of America CEO Tom Doll, who was promoted in time for the rollout.

Pushing the Envelope!

The new Forester also is expected to help maintain Subaru’s sales momentum, which has led to 10 consecutive years of growth. The new model is built on the Subaru Global Platform to deliver significantly higher levels of driving pleasure, agility, crash protection, ride comfort and quietness, he added. (more…)

Audi’s Bringing Sport-y Back With New RS 5 Sportback

German premium brand looking to compete with M-class and AMG models.

by on Mar.29, 2018

Audi is looking to compete with BMW's M-class and Mercedes' AMG brands with the new Audi Sport lineup, including the RS 5 Sportback.

Audi Sport, Audi’s high-performance line, launched its latest RS model – the Audi RS 5 Sportback – during the press days for the 2018 New York International Auto Show.

The RS 5 Sportback offers a balance of high design and driving dynamics and is scheduled to go on sale in the second half of 2018.

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It’s latest model in the Audi Sport family, which was re-organized and re-branded last year to compete more directly and effectively with other German performance marquees, such as the BMW M-class series and Mercedes-Benz’s AMG Division. (more…)

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