Archive for the ‘Detroit’ Category

Is Dodge Viper Set for Another Revival?

All-new version could make an appearance as early as 2019.

by on May.29, 2018

Early versions of the Dodge Viper GTS Coupe and the Viper Roadster.

The original Dodge Viper was an icon of the 1990s, even though it never came close to matching the sales of America’s other domestic sports car, the Chevrolet Corvette. Shortly after it emerged from bankruptcy in 2010, Chrysler finally pulled the plug on the snake, but after merging with Fiat, brought it back to life four years later, albeit to a largely indifferent market.

Fiat Chrysler has not only pulled the plug on the Viper but is in the process of converting its Detroit assembly plant into a conference center and museum. But could the Dodge Viper rise from the grave, Lazarus-like, for a second time? That appears to be a distinct possibility, at least according to several new reports.

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“A new Viper is happening,” at least according to one of those sources, Car and Driver, though, if true, we could see some distinct changes made to the once-popular snake that could take some loyalists by surprise, starting with the replacement of the distinctive V-10 engine that has been a hallmark of the nameplate since the first Viper Roadster debuted more than a quarter century ago. (more…)

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.

Breaking News!

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…)

Car of the Year? Even Honda Accord Falls into a Black Hole as Sedan Sales Continue to Wither

Slumping sedan sales putting a chill on spring sales.

by on May.02, 2018

It may be new for 2018, but U.S. buyers have had only a tepid response to the latest Honda Accord.

Few recent product launches generated more buzz than the debut of the 2018 Honda Accord. Long one of the U.S. market’s best-selling nameplates, the 10th-generation sedan quickly racked up a slew of awards, including North American Car of the Year.

But despite all the rave reviews, Honda is struggling to retain momentum for the Accord. American motorists purchased just 21,751 of the sedans in April, a 19.3% year-over-year decline. And even when adjusting for the fact that April 2018 had two fewer sales days than the year before, the dip was 12.5 percent. And Honda isn’t alone. The completely redesigned 2018 Toyota  Camry, a Car of the Year runner-up, suffered a 5.0% drop in volume in April.

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“They’re both brand new vehicles and award winners, but I’m not sure that has any impact now,” said Joe Phillippi, head of AutoTrends Consulting. “Consumer tastes are changing. Everybody wants SUVs and CUVs.”

(more…)

Elio Motors Secures $2.5M in New Funding from Overstock

Once in production, plans call for Elio to be sold through Overstock.

by on Apr.24, 2018

Elio Motors just took in $2.5 million in new cash from a new investor.

Rarely has a three-wheeled anything, much less a car, engendered as much goodwill — and second (and third, fourth …) chances financially – as the Elio.

The quirky three-wheeled car initially introduced nearly five years ago has secured $2.5 million in new funds through a private stock placement with Overstock.com. The shares are worth $2.75 each, but as a private stock, it cannot be traded or sold.

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Elio Motors officials say the company intends to use the proceeds of the new investment to fund capital expenditures and repay certain outstanding debt and accounts payable. Since it’s a private placement, Elio will enter into a registration rights agreement with Overstock. (more…)

BMW Slashing Presence at Euro Car Shows, Could Pull Out of Some

Bavarian automaker shifting resources to alternate events, like CES.

by on Apr.24, 2018

The BMW i Vision Dynamics made its debut at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show.

Already planning to skip the North American International Auto Show in Detroit next January, BMW is reportedly planning to sharply scale back its presence at European events like the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show, according to a German news report, and it could abandon some of those entirely, as well.

The news comes as automakers large and small start to rethink their commitment to traditional auto shows which, the latest thinking goes, don’t generate the bang-for-the-buck they once did. At the same time, manufacturers are being offered a range of new alternatives, whether tech-focused events like CES or even one-brand shows that avoid the need for a carmaker to share the stage with competitors.

Beyond the Headlines!

BMW is planning to slash as much as 75% of its 2019 auto show budget, reports the German business publication Handelsblatt. At the Frankfurt Motor Show, where BMW had previously gone so far as constructing an indoor driving track, it will have just a 10,000 square foot display at the next event down from 36,000 in 2017.

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All-New Lexus ES Bound for Beijing Motor Show

New model meant to "radically transform the concept of comfort for luxury consumers."

by on Apr.11, 2018

Lexus is pushing even further with the "spindle grille" design on the next ES sedan.

We’ve barely gotten past the New York Auto Show but halfway around the world, automakers are getting ready for the season’s next big event. That includes Lexus, which has dropped a partial teaser of what appears to be the next generation ES model.

While many folks think of the ES as a fairly base-level vehicle, Lexus clearly has more upscale ambitions for a model whose name, after all, is short for “Executive Sedan.” And while Toyota’s luxury brand isn’t saying much about what it will be showing in China, it appears buyers have something to look forward to.

Product News!

The new ES, Lexus hints, “aims to radically transform the concept of comfort for luxury consumers all over the world.” That may explain why the brand saved the new model for Beijing where luxury buyers have, indeed, become some of the world’s most demanding.

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Honda Debuts 2019 Insight Hybrid Remake

Will 3rd-generation hybrid be the charm?

by on Mar.26, 2018

The 2019 Insight is Honda's third attempt to market a mainstream, entry-level hybrid.

Try and try again, Honda is coming back with a third-generation Insight hybrid and hoping it finally has found the formula after widely missing the mark with two earlier versions.

The Japanese automakers offered a first look at a thinly disguised “concept” version of the ’19 Insight during the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Now, the production model is rolling into the Big Apple. And the model making its debut at the New York International Auto Show adopts a much more conventional appearance – as well as the latest in Honda hybrid technology.

Product News!

“The Honda Insight shows consumers that the efficiency of a hybrid car doesn’t mean sacrificing style, refinement or performance,” said Henio Arcangeli, Jr., senior vice president of American Honda Motor Co., Inc. “The Insight is another symbol of a new era in the evolution of Honda electrified vehicles, where customers can have everything they want with no compromises.”

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BMW Pulling Out of Detroit Auto Show

Joins Mercedes in ending ties with 2019 NAIAS.

by on Mar.26, 2018

Bernard Kuhnt, president and CEO of BMW North America, won't be making an appearance at the next NAIAS.

BMW has become the latest automaker to announce it won’t have a presence during the next North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

The announcement comes barely a month after German rival Mercedes-Benz announced it was pulling out of what had long been considered the industry’s most important U.S. auto show, at least from a media preview perspective. A number of other brands had already been no-shows during the January 2018 NAIAS, including Jaguar/Land Rover, Volvo and Mazda, leading organizers of the annual event to start looking at their options.

Auto Show News!

“This decision (to pull out) was made as BMW Group is constantly examining our presence at trade-shows and other engagements, while, at the same time, also exploring alternative platforms and formats,” the automaker said in a statement. “The overall goal is to communicate our ideas and plans regarding future mobility in the best way and achieve the greatest possible visibility for our products, technologies and innovations.” (more…)

Production Acura RDX Set to Break Cover at NY Show

RDX concept debuted at Detroit show, production version now ready for view.

by on Mar.13, 2018

Acura is offering up a first tease of the 2019 RDX. But it should stay close to the look of the earlier concept.

We got a first look at Acura’s new RDX Prototype at the North American International Auto Show in January. Now, the Japanese luxury brand is getting ready to show off the real thing.

The production version of the Acura RDX will break cover at the New York Auto Show two weeks from now and it’s expected – no surprise – to hew closely to the design theme we first saw in Detroit, with a more athletic and sporty look than the outgoing crossover-utility vehicle.

Auto Show News!

“The third-generation RDX, launching mid-2018, is the first in a new generation of Acura products featuring the brand’s new design language,” the automaker noted in a release accompanying this teaser image.

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Ford Goes California Dreaming with Special Edition Mustang

Mustang California Special returns for 2019.

by on Mar.12, 2018

Ford has built a series of California Special editions since the first was launched in 1968.

After a brief absence, Ford is bringing back the Mustang California Special, and the latest special-edition pony car amps up both the performance and comfort quotient.

The GT/CS will join the reborn Mustang Bullitt that was unveiled at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit just two months ago, Ford hoping to regain some momentum in its tough battle with the Chevrolet Camaro.

Muscle Car News!

This marks the fifth-generation California Special, the original making its debut way back in 1968. And it’s the most powerful version of the GT/CS ever, the 2019 model punching 460 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque out of the familiar 5.0-liter Mustang V-8.

(more…)

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