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Ford Wants a Premium for All-New Ranger Pickup

Base model to start at $4,000 over Chevrolet Colorado.

by on Aug.14, 2018

Ford will offer a wide range of Ranger body styles, beds and powertrain configurations.

After a lengthy absence, the Ford Ranger is about ready to return to the U.S. market and shoppers now can price and build their own version of the midsize pickup at a special micro-site the Detroit automaker has launched.

Set to reach showrooms early next year, Ford will be offering a wide array of body styles, bed and powertrain options, ranging from the base, 4×2 SuperCab XL with a six-foot box, up to the more lavishly equipped 4×4 SuperCrew Lariat with a five-foot cargo box.

Product News!

But the heavily updated version of the global Ranger launched earlier in the decade won’t come cheap. The 2019 pickup will carry a starting price of $24,300 $1,095 in delivery fees. That’s about $4,000 more than its cross-town competition, the base, extended cab version of the 2019 Chevrolet Colorado starting at $20,500. And for truck buyers on a tight budget, the aging Nissan Frontier starts at just $18,900.

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Honda Adds Upgraded Safety Tech on 10th-Gen Civic

New option ups the safety factor for new Civic.

by on Aug.14, 2018

The 10th-generation Honda Civic gets a new "Sport" update as well as the Honda Sensing safety technology.

Honda is making its “Honda Sensing” driver assistance technology standard on the 2019 Honda Civic sedan and coupe.

The suite of safety technology, which includes collision mitigation braking with forward collision warning; road departure mitigation, incorporating lane departure warning, lane keeping assist and adaptive cruise control, is standard or available equipment on all Honda car and light truck nameplates, Honda officials noted.

Product News!

The 10th-generation Civic line-up for the 2019 model year will also include updated styling and new Sport trim for both body styles. (more…)

Light Trucks Dominating Honda’s Familiar Sedan, Coupe Lines This Year

Pilot shows the real momentum in brand’s line-up.

by on Aug.06, 2018

Strong momentum for the Pilot means Honda's trucks will likely outsell passenger cars, including the all-new Accord, this year.

Its traditionally been known for popular sedans and coupes like the Accord and Civic, but unless there’s a sudden shift in demand, Honda will end the year with its light truck line-up dominating its U.S. sales.

The automaker’s luxury arm, Acura, has largely been dependent on crossovers like the RDX and MDX for a number of years, but Honda had continued to buck the light truck trend – at least until this year. Through the end of July, Honda-branded utility vehicles, minivans and pickups rang up sales of 434,169 vehicles in the U.S., while familiar passenger car models managed only 406,357 sales.

Product News!

The shift in demand is leading Japan’s second-largest automaker to not only shift production at its North American assembly lines, but also look at its product mix. During the last several years, Honda has added the entry-level HR-V crossover to its line-up and brought back the Ridgeline pickup. Few observers would be surprised to see it follow the path of crosstown rivals Toyota and Honda and add even more light trucks to its portfolio in the years ahead. (more…)

Could Ford Be Working Up a Sub-Ranger Pickup?

One option would be to go with a car-based package.

by on Aug.01, 2018

The Ford Courier pickup shared platforms with the automaker's Fiesta subcompact.

Several sources are reporting that Ford Motor Co., long reluctant to undercut its full-size F-Series pickup family, could soon have small trucks in its line-up, with a model even smaller than the upcoming Ranger to follow by as early as 2022.

Exactly what it would look like and where it would fit into the spectrum isn’t clear but Automobile magazine’s sources suggested Ford might be looking at a product like the old Courier pickup built in Brazil that was based on the same platform as the prior-generation Fiesta subcompact.

Insight!

Whether there’d be a market for something the size of the old Ford Courier is far from certain, though several automakers appear to be looking at their options, notably including Hyundai which has been slowly moving forward with a production version of the well-received Santa Cruz concept first shown at the Detroit Auto Show in January 2015.

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Genesis Tops JD Power APEAL Survey

Korean up-start topples luxury mainstays, but Detroit mainstream brands also gain ground.

by on Jul.25, 2018

The Genesis brand aced another test, a month ago also topping Power's IQS.

Genesis, the upstart Korean luxury brand, has pulled off another surprise, this time landing the top spot in the 2018 J.D. Power APEAL study, surpassing such traditional highline brands as Porsche, Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Lexus.

It’s the latest in a series of coups by Genesis, which was spun off by Hyundai just two years ago. And it comes barely a month after the Korean marque also landed in the top spot on Power’s widely followed In initial Quality Survey. But there were some other surprises in the APEAL report which measures how well individual brands and models are satisfying their owners. Mainstream brands, notably including some Detroit marques, are rapidly gaining ground on the luxury badges that have traditionally led in customer satisfaction.

Beyond the Headlines!

But the industry, as a whole, achieved record levels in the 2018 APEAL study – the name short for “Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout” – the second year in a row that has happened.

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Detroit Auto Show Moving to June in 2020, Adding Major New Features

Sponsors aim to revive what's been North America’s leading car show.

by on Jul.23, 2018

Toyota Pres. Akio Toyota is shown here revealing the 2019 Camry during this year's NAIAS.

The North American International Auto Show will move from January to June in 2020, a new timeslot that organizers are betting will help revive the flagging momentum of what had long been one of the industry’s most important annual events.

The Detroit Auto Dealers Association had signaled its intention of abandoning its traditional, mid-winter schedule, though a switch to October was also under study. But that would have conflicted with other shows in Europe and Asia, the dealer group’s Executive Director Rod Alberts told TheDetroitBureau.com in an exclusive interview.

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In a background briefing ahead of today’s official announcement, Alberts said one of the advantages of a summer event is the ability to add new functions that expand beyond the confines of Detroit’s sprawling Cobo Hall convention center. “We realized we have to change the show (and) showcase Detroit, too,” said Alberts, who has been running the DADA for the past 28 years.

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Rue Brittania? Brexit Could Chase Jaguar Land Rover from the UK

Brexit poses major financial hit, automaker warns.

by on Jul.05, 2018

Ralf Speth, CEO of Jaguar-Land Rover, celebrates a win for the Velar as World Car Design of the Year. It was a finalist for the overall World Car of the Year.

It once was said that “the sun never sets on the British empire.” What’s left of that realm could grow even smaller, ironically enough, once the United Kingdom exercises its independence and leaves the European Union.

Negotiations have been going on for months, following the Brexit vote, and among those watching closely to see how future trade relations shape up is Jaguar Land Rover, the British automaker warning that without a favorable deal, it could see its annual costs rise by 1.2 billion pounds, or about $1.6 billion, annually. That would force it to think seriously about moving out of the UK, according to a statement issued by JLR CEO Ralf Speth.

Global Auto News!

The automaker, he stressed, needs to have “free and frictionless trade with the EU and unrestricted access to the single market” if it is to successfully compete in the global market, Speth said.

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Every Car Sold in the U.S. is an “Import”

Tariffs would impact even “American-made” vehicles.

by on Jul.03, 2018

The Honda Odyssey is one of the most "American" cars but will still be hit by tariffs.

Every single car, truck or crossover sold in the U.S. would be affected by the 25% import tariff being proposed by Pres. Donald Trump, with prices on some models rising by tens of thousands of dollars.

That’s because even vehicles assembled in the U.S. rely on some level of imported parts and components, whether in their suspension, infotainment systems or powertrains.

Beyond the Headlines!

Complicating matters, American-made auto parts and vehicles could become more expensive, and lose their competitive edge, if trade partners enact their own tariffs in response, something a number of them have now threatened to do.

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Japan Warns Tariffs Put Global Free Trade “At Great Risk”

100s of thousands of U.S. jobs at Japanese carmakers may vanish.

by on Jun.29, 2018

Employees at Nissan's Canton, Mississippi, plant and other Japanese-owned U.S. plants could see their jobs threatened by new tariffs, Japan warned on Friday.

The Japanese government is the latest to weigh in on the potential dangers posed by the Trump Administration’s threatened trade tariffs on not only the global economy but U.S. jobs.

Warning that the White House’s proposed 25% tariff puts global free trade “at great risk,” a report issued by the Japanese government on Friday said such a move could backfire, threatening to “eventually undermine the entire U.S. economy” by, among other things costing the jobs of hundreds of thousands of U.S. jobs.

The Last Word!

The Japanese report echoed the findings of another analysis of the auto tariffs’ impact, the Peterson Institute for International Economics estimating that anywhere from 195,000 to as many as 624,000 U.S. jobs could be lost, the higher figure reflecting what would happen if trade partners retaliate.

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Jeep Tops “Most American” Vehicle List for 2018

Honda takes No. 2 and 3 spots with Odyssey and Ridgeline.

by on Jun.22, 2018

Cars.com tracked where the top 10 most American vehicles are built.

With the importance of where a vehicle is built dominating today’s political climate, some political leaders should be happy with the news that two of the top three “Most American” are produced by Japanese automakers.

The most American car produced, according to a new survey by Cars.com, is the Jeep Cherokee, which is made at the company’s plant in Belivdere, Illinois.

Product News!

The Cherokee, last year’s No. 2 car on the index, has a domestic parts content of 72% for the 2018 model year — and all engines and transmissions from the U.S., the Illinois-built Cherokee topped more than 100 vehicles to top the list. (more…)

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