Archive for the ‘Chicago’ Category

Range Rover Redux – 2nd Gen Evoque Breaks Cover

New platform, more technology for smallest Range Rover.

by on Nov.23, 2018

The 2019 Range Rover Evoque made a splashy debut in Britain on Thursday night.

At first glance, you might not recognize the compact ute has gotten a nearly complete makeover, but there have been plenty of significant changes made to the 2019 Range Rover Evoque, more than 90% of what you’d find under the skin of the compact SUV being all new.

First launched in 2010 as a 2011 model, the Evoque quickly became the most popular model in Land Rover history and, even as the first-generation ute approached the end of its run it has remained quite popular. But, in an increasingly crowded market, the British sibling of Jaguar is taking no chances.

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“When Range Rover Evoque made its debut back in 2010, it transformed the world of compact SUVs and the new model is set to continue that remarkable journey,” declared design director Gerry McGovern, at a splashy British unveiling on Thursday evening. “This characterful vehicle combines refinement and fun to create that all important emotional reaction that will turn heads and make people smile.”

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Audi Out: Follows Growing Group of Automakers Abandoning Detroit Auto Show

NAIAS still studying possible date change to revive flagging fortunes.

by on May.11, 2018

Audi has traditionally used the NAIAS for major intros, like the Q8 Concept it debuted in 2017.

Already hit by key defections, the organizers of the North American International Auto Show in Detroit learned Thursday that Audi will also be a no-show in January 2019 – though the luxury arm of Volkswagen Group said it will “continue to evaluate” a return at a later date.

A once-regional event, the NAIAS became the most significant auto show in the U.S., and one of the world’s most widely watched, when it added the “International” designation in 1989. At its peak around the start of the new millennium, Detroit could count on virtually every manufacturer to participate, with some years seeing more than 70 new cars, trucks, concepts and crossovers debut.

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As the industry plunged into recession, things began to change. Some manufacturers, such as Nissan, pulled out temporarily, but others decided to abandon the Motor City event entirely. That included some of the most exclusive marques, like Ferrari, as well as mainstream and luxury brands like Mazda, which was a hold out this past January. Volvo had no corporate presence, though its local dealers did roll a few vehicles into Detroit’s Cobo Hall convention center. Now, it seems, the exodus is turning into a rout. Audi follows Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Porsche in planning to stay home next January. (more…)

Detroit Auto Show Confirms it May Move to October

Bad weather, increasing competition work against show’s current January date.

by on Mar.05, 2018

The NAIAS has seen a sharp drop in the number of new product previews, though there were still some big ones in 2018, including the introduction by CEO Akio Toyoda of the new Toyota Camry.

Thirty years ago, a once-backwater car show suddenly became the most important event of its kind, at least in North America, but the North American International Auto Show has begun to see its shiny star tarnish, at least from the perspective of new car previews.

And that’s got the Detroit Auto Dealers Association, the sponsors of the annual event, thinking about whether it makes sense to continue staging the show in January. It won’t happen next year, the NAIAS media preview scheduled for January 14-15, 2019, with the public days running through the 27th. But 2020 might be an entirely different story.

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“A critical part of being a sought-after global stage for companies is that we continuously evaluate future opportunities to make sure our show meets participating brands’ needs,” DADA spokesman Max Muncey told TheDetroitBureau.com. “We are exploring many opportunities for the show, with October being one of those opportunities. Ongoing discussions are underway with key stakeholders around the world.”

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Mercedes Dropping Out of Detroit Auto Show in 2019

Auto shows face increasing challenges as automakers look at alternatives.

by on Feb.12, 2018

Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche and Arnold Schwarzenegger celebrated the debut of the 2019 G-Wagen at this year's Detroit Auto Show..

(This story has been updated.)

Officials with the North American International Auto Show have confirmed that Mercedes-Benz won’t be on hand when the even returns in January 2019, the latest on a growing list of manufacturers who have decided to pull out of the Detroit show.

The news comes as more and more automakers rethink their commitment to both media previews and public says at events like the NAIAS. As TheDetroitBureau.com recently reported, industry planners are looking at alternatives that can more directly target potential buyers while also holding down costs. At shows like the NAIAS it can cost as much as $5 million to stage a 20-minute media preview – even more if the event involves the creation of a one-of-a-kind concept vehicle.

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“At this time Mercedes-Benz AG will not be exhibiting at the upcoming 2019 North American International Auto Show,” said the German marque in a statement. “Our time in Detroit over the years has been very beneficial for our brand, especially coming off of the world debut of the iconic G-Class. Discussions are underway for future show participation.”

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Automakers Exploring Alternatives to Conventional Car-Buying Process

Ford paints one option with Canvas subscription service.

by on Feb.09, 2018

Ford's Canvas subscription service delivers a Mustang to a customer in California.

More than 17 million Americans drove off dealer lots with new vehicles last year, and the vast majority of them purchased their new cars, trucks and crossovers the same way motorists have for the past century.

There are alternatives, like leasing, but automakers are exploring even more radical options, some borrowed from the emerging world of online retailing. Ford, for one, said this week it is looking for ways to grow the subscription service, Canvas, that it launched a year ago. That subscription-based service might best be described as a hybrid blend of car buying and car rental, letting a motorist get a vehicle for as long as they want but then return it with just seven days’ notice.

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“As car ownership evolves, we see Canvas as part of our suite of products that address changing customer needs in mobility,” said Ford Credit Executive Vice President of Marketing David McClelland. “Canvas is building subscription products that are relevant to consumers today, and it’s building technology for the future, including billing and fleet management, with a nimble approach to product development.”

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Diesel Crisis May Have Been Just What VW Needed, Suggests US CEO

"The race is on," says Woebcken.

by on Feb.09, 2018

VW's U.S. chief Hinrich Woebcken told the Economic Club of Chicago that the company needed to "Americanize" to be successful.

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, or so goes the old saw. And it just might apply to Volkswagen’s diesel emissions scandal, suggested the automaker’s North American chief executive, despite costing the automaker about $30 billion in penalties.

During a series of appearances at the Chicago Auto Show, Hinrich Woebcken noted that after taking an initial, sharp hit to its sales after admitting it rigged more than 500,000 diesel vehicles sold in the U.S., VW’s sales rebounded in 2017, climbing 5% even as the overall American car market fell nearly 2%.

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“Maybe the diesel crisis helped convince (our) company to Americanize,” said Woebcken, during a speech to the Chicago Economic Club. Long known to American car buyers as “a sports car brand … a niche company,” VW recognized that, if it was going to recover, it had to “move into the heart of the American market.” (more…)

Mopar Gets Mitts on Ram 1500 in Chicago

FCA's aftermarket arm brings style, functionality to Ram trucks.

by on Feb.09, 2018

The outdoor-sport-themed 2019 Ram 1500 highlights the 200- Mopar parts and accessories available for the all-new truck.

Fiat Chrysler Automobile N.V.’s Ram and Mopar brands combined at the Chicago Auto Show to display an outdoor-sport-themed 2019 Ram 1500 that was modified with a selection of the more than 200 Mopar parts and accessories.

The show truck highlighted the menu of Mopar products available for the new Ram 1500. The fit, finish and function of all Mopar parts and accessories were developed in concert with Ram engineers and designers to harmonize with the all-new Ram.

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“At the Chicago Auto Show, Mopar is showcasing the art of the possible when it comes to accessorizing the all-new Ram 1500,” said Pietro Gorlier, Head of Parts and Service (Mopar), FCA. “With more than 200 parts and accessories, available at launch, Mopar delivers the largest array of factory-backed, authentic products to personalize the new Ram 1500 and make it truly one of a kind.” (more…)

Subaru Wants Sales to Do More Than Set Records

Brand donating $250 for every car sold.

by on Feb.09, 2018

Subaru's Tom Doll outlines the company's new charitable efforts at the MAMA annual breakfast during the Chicago Auto Show.

Subaru has ambitious plans to sell more vehicles and the effort is based on a deft marketing campaign built around the word love and an emphasis on charitable giving.

During the past decade, as Subaru has become the seventh best-selling brand in the U.S., the Japanese automaker has given away more than $115 million dollars to community-oriented, not-for-profit CoSubaru’s generosity.

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Tom Doll, Subaru president and chief operating officer, told the annual MAMA or Midwest Automotive Media Association’s annual breakfast at the Chicago Auto Show, that Subaru, which now celebrating 50 years of selling vehicles in the U.S. plans to continue its charitable giving. The formula includes donating $250 for every vehicle sold in the U.S.  (more…)

Fiat Hopes to Turbocharge Sales with Updated 500 Line

Italian brand promises to offer America’s “most affordable” turbo model.

by on Feb.09, 2018

Starting with 2019 models, all Fiat 500s will get turbocharged engines as standard equipment, as FCA hopes to boost sales.

Fiat is turbocharging its little 500 coupe and convertible models for 2019 and, in the process, hoping to give the entire brand a big boost.

For the coming model year, all Fiat 500s will be powered by turbocharged engines, starting with the base car that will now feature a 1.4-liter Multi-Air inline-four making 135 horsepower and 150 pound-feet of torque.

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Set to roll into U.S. showrooms early in the second-quarter, Fiat has yet to announce pricing, but “We believe the new Fiat 500 will be the most affordable turbocharged model in America,” said brand boss Matt McAlear, during a preview of the updated minicar at the Chicago Auto Show. (more…)

Toyota Offers Toughened Up TRD Pro Series Trucks for 2019

Tundra, Tacoma and 4Runner get new TRD packages.

by on Feb.08, 2018

Toyota's 4Runner TRD shows off its new logoed skid plate at the Chicago Auto Show.

With many truck makers arguing about which one has the toughest this or most rugged that, Toyota’s offers up its new TRD Pro Series line-up to remind folks that there are more than just two or three tough options.

For 2019, the company’s Tundra and Tacoma pickups as well as its 4Runner sport-ute get the updated TRD treatment, which mean a nice surprise for many buyers. According to Jack Hollis, group vice president and general manager of the Toyota Division at Toyota Motor North America, plenty of folks have decided that Toyota’s vehicles are plenty tough.

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He noted that more than 40% of Tundra and 4Runner buyers upgrade to the TRD Pro Series package and that number soars to 56% for Tacoma. (more…)

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