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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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Infiniti Set to Reveal “Electrified” Concept at Pebble Beach

Show car will “underline the electrified performance theme."

by on Aug.09, 2018

Infiniti is offering a tease of its Pebble Beach Concept.

It’s going to be a busy week when everyone starts rolling into California for the week-long celebration leading up to the annual Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. Automakers from around the world are promising to use the Concours and related events as backdrop to unveil an array of production cars and concepts later this month.

That includes Infiniti which today dropped some hints about the electric luxury model it will launch on the Pebble Beach show. While the Nissan luxury brand is being coy about details, it hints that the show car will “underline the electrified performance theme” that it has announced for future products, virtually all models set to be offered with some form of battery-based drivetrain – with an emphasis on plug-in hybrids and pure battery-electric vehicles.

What a Concept!

“Our new concept provides clues to where the Infiniti brand is heading,” said the brand’s design director Karim Habib, in a statement accompanying this teaser image. “For us, electrification means performance – our electrified cars will be powerful, efficient, and a joy to drive, and the new concept is a physical representation of our electrified performance future.”

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Nissan Selling Electric Vehicle Battery Business

Automaker offloading group to China's Envision.

by on Aug.08, 2018

Nissan is selling its EV battery operations, including the plant in Tennessee, to Envision, a Chinese company.

Nissan is preparing to sell its battery business, including a piece in the United States, to a company, based in China, specializing in production of sustainable energy, the automaker announced.

The deal covers Nissan assets in Japan, United Kingdom and U.S., including a battery factory in Smyrna, Tennessee that now employs 400.

News You Can Trust!

Nissan Motor Co. said it has entered into a definitive agreement with Envision Group, a sustainable energy operator, for the sale of Nissan’s electric battery operations and production facilities to Envision. Nissan will retain a 25% stake in a new company set up when the deal with Envision Group closes. (more…)

Automakers Offer Possible Solutions as Child Heatstroke Deaths Rise

Issue shows rare Washington bipartisanship, but Hot Cars Act yet to pass.

by on Jul.31, 2018

Nissan's Rear Door Alert system uses the horn to sound an alert to remind the driver to check the back seat.

The record heat scorching the country has been blamed for a series of devastating wildfires and other natural disasters, while contributing to what is on pace to become a record year for heatstroke deaths among children left in hot cars.

As July draws to a close, authorities have so far counted 29 child heatstroke deaths, a figure expected to soon surge pass the annual average of 37. Heatstrokes are not only the number one cause of non-crash vehicular deaths among children 15 years of age and younger, but also one of the most preventable. That’s led to a bipartisan push for new legislation on Capitol Hill, while several automakers have begun taking steps that could lower the deadly toll.

News Now!

“No one thinks a hot car tragedy can happen to them or their family and that is why these tragedies continue to happen,” said Janette Fennell, founder and president of the nonprofit child safety organization KidsAndCars.org. (more…)

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.

We Keep You In the Know!

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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Tesla Tops 200,000 US Sales; Set to Lose Fed Tax Credits

Being 1st could put EV maker at a disadvantage going forward.

by on Jul.13, 2018

Even when it wins, it loses. Tesla just passed the 200,000 vehicle mark, the most ever by an EV maker, but that brings to an end the tax credit.

Tesla is not just the country’s best-selling EV maker, but the first to sell more than 200,000 electric vehicles in the U.S. market. But that might not necessarily give the carmaker reason to celebrate.

Under guidelines set up by the Obama Administration and retained by Congress as part of last year’s tax overhaul, federal tax credits of up to $7,500 per vehicle apply only on the first 200,000 battery vehicles sold by an individual manufacturer. After that they begin to phase out, meaning that Tesla could be at a financial disadvantage once the company loses the incentives entirely by the end of next year.

The Last Word!

Other companies, including General Motors, Nissan and Ford, are approaching the threshold but their buyers will likely continue to receive some incentives well into 2020, barring any move by Congress – something considered unlikely – to extend the tax credits. (more…)

Nissan Admits to Second Round of Emissions, Mileage Tampering

Officials say 19 models affected in latest scandal.

by on Jul.09, 2018

Nissan's latest emissions and fuel economy testing scandal impacts the Note, the brand's top-selling vehicle in Japan.

For the second time in less than a year, Nissan Motor admitted to employees improperly measure exhaust emissions and fuel economy for 19 vehicle models sold in Japan.

Sample test environments for emissions and fuel economy in final vehicle inspections at most of its Japanese plants were not compliant with domestic standards, according to Nissan, which added the inspection reports were based on altered measurements.

News You Can Trust!

The measurements do not impact any vehicles shipped overseas, including the U.S., Nissan officials said. The company made a similar admission last October. Then it admitted that the practice had gone on for decades with uncertified inspectors signing off on the test results. (more…)

EV Sales on the Rise in First Half of 2018 in the US

Bolt sales are up in first half, production to increase.

by on Jul.05, 2018

Sales of the Chevy Bolt rose 3.5% in the first half of 2018.

Rising gas prices and improved range appear to be creating an appealing environment for plug-in electric vehicle sales with no company reaping better results than General Motors in the first half of the year.

The company’s Chevy Bolt EV saw sales rise during the second quarter of the year.

Plug In!

U.S. and global demand for the Chevrolet Bolt EV has been very strong in 2018, with global sales estimated to be up more than 35% year over year in the second quarter and up more than 40% in the first half. (more…)

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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