Archive for the ‘Shanghai’ Category

China Car Sales Tumble for 10th Consecutive Month

Downturn comes as US trade war escalates, domestic economy slips.

by on May.13, 2019

Klaus Bischoff, VW design chief, shows off the SMV Concept at Auto Shanghai last month.

For much of the past two decades, China’s new vehicle market was the envy of the world, with routine double-digit annual growth approaching triple-digit gains on several occasions – but the numbers were down 14.6% in April, marking the 10th consecutive monthly decline.

At 1.98 million vehicles, China remains solidly in the lead as the world’s largest automotive market, but the downturn raises troubling issues for both foreign and domestically owned brands, such as General Motors, Volkswagen, Toyota, Geely and Great Wall, impacting industry earnings around the globe.

Global News!

With China locked in an escalating trade war with the United States and the country’s overall economy showing signs of weakness, industry analysts question how soon the car market will show a recovery. The downturn could force automakers to look for ways to export products from increasingly underutilized Chinese plants, according to observers.

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Pics, Details Leak as VW Readies its New, All-Electric Hatchback, the ID

Battery-electric model clearly influenced by design of VW’s familiar Golf.

by on May.07, 2019

An image inadvertently leaked by VW's Dutch arm shows the ID.3 on the road.

Volkswagen is getting ready to roll out its first long-range electric vehicle and it appears someone working on the German automaker’s Dutch YouTube channel got a little too eager, letting both images and details about the battery-electric vehicle leak out early.

The hatchback will become not only the first all-electric Volkswagen to deliver more than 200 miles per charge but also the first to be based on the automaker’s all-new MEB platform, a modular architecture expected eventually to be shared by dozens of different models that will be sold across VW’s various brands.

Breaking News!

Expected to start at around 30,000 euros, or $33,530 at current exchange rates, VW will begin taking order on May 8, though deliveries aren’t expected to begin until early autumn 2019.

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You Probably Won’t Be Able to Pronounce Its Name, But Zotye is Betting You’ll Want to Buy One of its SUVs

Stealing a page from the Koreans – and undercutting them, in the process.

by on May.03, 2019

The Zotye T600 shown making its debut at Auto Shanghai last month.

At 69, Duke Hale has been selling cars, either at a dealership or working for an automaker, for 50 years, but he’s betting he can become a sort of automotive Pied Piper to Millennials and Gen-Z.

He and a team of aging Baby Boom industry veterans are getting ready to start selling what may become the first cars imported from a local Chinese carmaker. It’s no easy task, his California-based start-up, known as HAAH, is still pitching its idea to the dealers who will have to bet on a brand that’s not only unknown to American car buyers but which is saddled with the ungainly name, Zotye.

Beyond the Headlines!

Of course, it wouldn’t be the first time U.S. motorists were won over by a brand whose name they’ve had to struggle with. Think Hyundai, which Americanized its name to “Hun-day.” The Chinese brand, pronounced “Zoh-tee,” hopes it can lift some other pages from the Korean carmaker’s playbook, starting with a price low enough to make it an appealing alternative to a used vehicle.

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Lotus Goes Electric – But Can That Spark Brand’s Revival?

British sports car maker soon to build cars in China.

by on Apr.25, 2019

Lotus says the Type 130 will be the first all-electric British hypercar, and one of a number of new models the British sport car company is developing.

Even a cat might have run through its nine lives by now, but British sports carmaker Lotus somehow continues to hang on – and with a fresh infusion of capital from its new Chinese owners, Lotus is bound and determined to make a comeback.

It offered a hint of what’s coming at Auto Shanghai this month, announcing plans to get back into motorsports with its Evora line and teasing a new battery-electric hypercar called the Type 130.

News You Can Trust!

But Lotus is also set to break with tradition in a way that could shock some of its loyal fans, parent Zhejiang Geely Holding Group set to begin producing at least some future Lotus products at a new, $1.3 billion plant in Wuhan City, about as far as you can get from the brand’s traditional base in Britain. (more…)

VW’s New Concept Could be a U.S. Reality — But Not a Truck

SMV Concept shown at Auto Shanghai hits China in two years.

by on Apr.18, 2019

Klaus Bischoff, VW design chief, shows off the SMV Concept at Auto Shanghai. It comes to China in two years.

Though much of the news surrounding Volkswagen and new products in the U.S. focuses on the possibility of a pickup, a new concept shown thousands of miles away at Auto Shanghai may reveal what’s coming next instead: a large SUV.

VW showed off the SMV Concept, which it plans to build and sell in China within the next two years. It appears to be larger than the Atlas, which VW sells in China under the moniker Teramont. However, the SMV is based on the same flexible MQB modular architecture used by Atlas.

Auto Show News!

The automaker didn’t release any specifics about the concept. However, aside from the MQB architecture it shares with the Atlas, it will also share the Atlas powertrain. In China, it comes with a 2.0-liter TSI engine or a more powerful 2.5-liter VR6 putting out 295 horsepower and 368 pound-feet of torque. (more…)

Aston Martin’s Long-Awaited EV, the Rapide E Rolls Into Shanghai

Low-volume sport sedan will be followed by two electric crossovers.

by on Apr.16, 2019

Two years late, Aston Martin debuted its battery-electric speedster, the Rapide E, at Auto Shanghai.

Few countries are plugging into battery-power more rapidly than China, so it would seem appropriate that Aston Martin would bring its first all-electric model, the Rapide E, to Auto Shanghai for its formal debut.

Originally intended to be developed as part of a joint venture with China’s LeEco, the project is nearly two years behind schedule and, with the Chinese start-up pulling out of the project, Aston now plans to build just 155 of the battery-electric vehicles. But it says it will use what it has learned for future BEVs, including both a plug-based version of its upcoming DBX crossover, as well as the Lagonda crossover due out in 2021.

Business News!

Calling the unveiling of the Rapide E “a huge moment for Aston Martin,” CEO Andy Palmer said that it “signals Aston Martin is prepared for the huge challenge of an environmentally responsible and sustainable future. As a car company we cannot afford to passively allow that future to come to us; we have to actively chase it. (more…)

Infiniti Qs Inspiration EV Concept Charges into Auto Shanghai

First new Infiniti battery-car “to be built in China, for China."

by on Apr.16, 2019

Infiniti brand design chief Karim Habib helps debut the new Qs Inspiration battery-car concept.

Infiniti has formally unveiled its new Qs Inspiration battery-car concept at 2019 Auto Shanghai and confirmed it will strongly influence the maker’s design direction as it begins rolling out its first all-electric models.

With its tall, blunt nose, and low, fastback roofline, the Qs is meant to “reinterpret” the traditional look of three-box sedan designs. Meanwhile, the flexible architecture underlying the Qs will wind up being used for an array of upcoming battery-electric vehicles, or BEVs.

Electrifying News!

Eventually, Infiniti officials have said, the goal is to offer battery-based powertrains for all of the Infiniti line-up, whether plug-in hybrid or pure electric. But the automaker noted that its first BEV will be “built in China, for China.” That comes as no surprise to many industry observers considering the New Energy Vehicle mandate enacted in late 2017 which has already transformed China into the world’s largest market for plug-based vehicles.

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VW Expanding All-Electric ID Line-up With New Full-Size Roomzz

New ute produced for China only to start in 2021.

by on Apr.15, 2019

VW's latest concept, the I.D. Roomzz, will ultimately become a China-only product to start in 2021.

Volkswagen AG is pushing to make good on its pledge to have 50 all-electric vehicles on the road by 2023 with the introduction of a new all-electric ID concept vehicle to its portfolio, the ID Roomzz, at AutoShanghai.

The full-size all-electric SUV follows in the footsteps of the ID Crozz, and has an estimated production launch in 2021 for the Chinese market.

Electrifying News!

The new model is part of the German automaker’s effort to get those EVs ready for rollouts starting next year based on its new MEB platform that will launch their new all-electric vehicle effort by the end of the year. (more…)

Mercedes-Benz Goes Small With GLB Concept in Shanghai

German automaker expands small ute line-up with concept.

by on Apr.15, 2019

Mercedes-Benz filled the gap between the GLA and GLC with the GLB Concept.

Mercedes-Benz designers and engineers asked the question few others had uttered and made it into a concept car: Is there room for a vehicle between the GLA and GLC? Of course there is! A whole letter’s worth thus the GLB Concept was born!

The German automaker took its coupe-like SUV or SUV-like coupe to Auto Shanghai to show off the result: a further evolution of Mercedes’ trend of utility vehicles with lower roofs aimed at giving the vehicle a more car-like feel.

Auto Show News!

“We asked ourselves whether there is still space between the GLA and GLC in our successful SUV range. The Concept GLB is the answer to this question. With it we are demonstrating the creative ideas we have for this segment, too,” says Britta Seeger, member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, responsible for Mercedes-Benz Cars Sales.  (more…)

Infiniti Q50 Signature Edition Bound for NYIAS

Q Inspiration Concept will share stage.

by on Apr.11, 2019

The 2019 Infiniti Q50 Signature Edition adds more luxurious touches to the mainstream sedan.

The sedan is dead. Long live the sedan.

While SUVs and CUVs may be taking over the U.S. market at a rapid pace, there’s still a sizable market for classic, three-box models like the Infiniti Q50. Nissan’s luxury brand is betting it can increase the sedan’s appeal by upping its luxury quotient.

Auto Show News!

An upgraded version, dubbed the 2019 Infiniti Q50 Signature Edition will make its debut at the New York International Auto Show next week – sharing the stage with the Infiniti Q Inspiration concept that offers a glimpse into the future of the brand.

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